Monday, March 12, 2012

In Flames of War, Van Saucken = CREED!!!

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

Just a quick lil' thing before I get all tactical an' stuffs.

Lets say you wanted to jump into FoW as a new player. Here's a good place to start in Late War, as an example-

Grey Wolf Panzerkompanie- 1750 points
HQ- 2 Panzer IV

4x Panzer IV
4x Stug G
4x Stug G
4x Stug G

Warrior Dietrich Van Saucken

If you were to order a single Battlefront halftrack (or the official Van Saucken mini, if you feel the need) from the WarStore, you could get the Version 3 Flames of War min-rulebook for free. Then you go to Easy Army and sign up for the Grey Wolf book for a couple of bucks.
Buy the Stugs and Panzer IV's from Plastic Soldier Company, and this entire army clocks in at less than  150 bucks!

Just sayin.' Not tryin' to corrupt ya, or nuthin' like that...

This army will give your opponents fits, as well. Mainly because of this guy.

*This guy here? A genuine badass*

In the life, Dietrich Van Saucken was an old-school cavalry guy who affected a monocle and wore a sabre. In war, his heroism was rewarded with the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross, with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds.
In truth, the guy disliked Nazis, and disrespected Hitler TO HIS FACE.
This guy was too cool for his Wiki entry, IMO, so I won't link it cuz it's lame. I urge anyone interested to do a lil' digging, and read up on him. I love this guy.

Needless to say, I would find a way to run this guy in my lists just cuz he's that cool. There's no need for wonky 'historical reasons' as far as I'm concerned. No need for that regardless, as both the generic Grenadier and Panzerkompanie lists have access to him in Grey Wolf.

Not just that, but....this guy is FoW's version of of 40k's infamous CREED.

*Such a tactical genius he's infiltrated other games*

Van Saucken allows any units within his command radius (8 inches) to re-roll failed Stormtrooper attempts.
He also gives a single die re-roll for Reserves every turn.
He's also a Higher Command Team and he's Fearless, with all the benefits that entails, like passing Motivation and Morale Checks.
Warrior rules in Version 3 are none too shabby, either.
*Grin widens*

He comes mounted in a Sd Kfz 250 Halftrack, and he's 65 points.
*I'm sorry, my grin is so wide it hurts I've been subjected to Joker Gas*

*All your base is belong to Van Saucken*

Looks like I've found a Terran capable of leading Der Spectrenacht, who have broken from the Third Reich and are busy using the hustle and bustle of history's greatest conflict to steal a bunch of Arcane Artifacts and enable a Occult-y, Xenos-styled Armageddon.
That's my fluff and I'm sticking to it. Nyah.
...Don't you judge me.
*moar grinning*

I've decided I'm bored to tears with Infantry lists.
I'm fully cognizant that the Tournament System in FoW encourages their play. If one wants to have a decent chance at 'Top 3' in any given event, running Fearless Infantry (like paratroopers), with multiple arty platoons in support and maybe a unit of tanks is a pretty good way to do it...but it's boring as hell.
I say pretty good, because bad match-ups, bad tables and bad dice happen to everyone.
And certain lists in FoW are a bad matchup for anyone, paratroopers (of any nation, pretty much) are just one list that gives virtually any other list a hard time. FoW has a bunch.

I've faced off against paratrooper lists with my Grenadiers many times, and the result is pretty predictable.

If I win the roll-off that's required to determine defender/attacker, I end up attacking.
I will be mercilessly pummeled by the arty on the way to the objective, and in the event I actually manage to get close, MG's and Fearless troopies will pop out of their bulletproof cover (aka foxholes) with grenades and bayonets and will immediately put an end to my scheming.

If I lose the roll, and end up Defending, my Grenadiers can usually hold them off, although it's often a very narrow thing and I've lost a couple. Paratroopers are friggin' determined, and more than a lil' obnoxious. I should probably pack more arty (mortars, even) in my Infantry lists, but all I ever bring is a platoon of Nebs.
Artillery is un-fun for me, and I like my foot lists to be more 'counter-punchy' than purely defensive.

*Laying out the 'not welcome ' mat of fiery death from the skies*

With my Grenadiers, Tournaments usually saw me hoping to lose roll-offs and get a lil' help from the terrain on the table to stave off all the other Infantry lists out there.
At every event I've been to, I've looked across the table at a paratrooper list, or one of the Fearless 'foot-horde' lists from the Russians at least once, and sometimes twice, in the same day.
A lot of those games were decided by the time running out, making each one a two and a half hour grindfest of attrition, basically.
I've had enough of that.

Grey Wolf gives me cheaper Panzer IV's and Van Saucken. The new Panzerkompanie list lets me put my 1ic and 2ic in Panthers,, sexy Panthers.
*even moar grinning...chuckling sounds added now*

Like this:
HQ- 2 Panther A
4x Panzer IV
4x Panzer IV
4x Brummbars
3x Panzer II Luchs (Reconnaissance)
3x Armored Rocket Launchers
Warrior Dietrich Van Saucken

Kampfgruppe the Brummbars (or Pz Iv's if you need the Panthers due to enemy heavies) in Reserves Missions to make 6 Platoons. Put the Armored Rocket Launchers, a Platoon of Tanks (add 1ic), and Van Saucken on the table, along with the Recce.
His ability to re-roll Stormtrooper will help remove the smoke trails from the Armored Rocket Launchers (*tee-hee*), and keep those tanks shooting 'n' scooting with proper deployment/movement.

The Reserves re-rolls will help get the rest of your stuffs onto the table, but you're picking away with tanks 'n' rockets in the meantime, and maybe trying to get at his arty with the Luchs.

Aw...does da poor lil' Defender hafta suffer with Delayed Reserves? That's too bad...
*sad face now...but it's totally fake*
When the tanks and rockets have eliminated or isolated the enemy AT assets, advance the Brummbars.
Y'know...if he had anything that could hurt them anyway.
*super evil mean-face grin*

*The term in Flames of War is 'Bunker Buster'*

Both Grenadier and Medium Tank lists got a huge boost with Grey Wolf, in a competitive sense. Since many things in the lists are cheaper, Van Saucken is basically a free upgrade in these armies, and you'll end up with more stuffs overall. It's not a lot, maybe a single tank here, or a couple of AA Halftracks there, but every lil' bit helps, right?
Sheesh- even those AA Halftracks are cheaper now, who am I to say no?

I have to point out that the Ultimate Rival is FURIOUS over this, as are many on the FoW forums. Rumors have it that the basic Sherman Tank will not be receiving a points drop in the forthcoming Battle of the Bulge books, which he (and many others) were expecting.
Panzer IV's are the same points now (for Confident Vets), and Shermans don't have protected ammo or Shurzen, and have an AT 10 gun as compared to the Pz IV's AT 11.
They don't Stormtrooper. Womp-womp.

I kinda get the feeling that running some of the new lists featuring Van Saucken is not a great way to endear one's self to some people.
As for myself, I like 'im. He gives me a lil' 40k-ish Hero-Hammer feeling. And the lists rock.It's nice to have awesome, killer lists that aren't Lehr or Das Reich or Fallshirmjager variants. The generic stuffs in Fortress Europe was a tad overcosted, and Grey Wolf makes up for that in a big way. 

Adding Van Saucken pushes the Panzerkompanie list firmly into 'power army' territory, in my opinion. The Panther/Brummbar list above is mildly brutal before you add the various re-rolls Van Saucken provides for a measly 65 points. With Van Saucken it borders on evil.

Eighteen medium tanks, all bearing AT 11 and 10 guns, and with Van Saucken approaches ridiculousness at 1750. This is a swarm akin to what the Allies and Russians can put on the table with their Shermans and T-34's, but the Panzer IV is a better tank than both of those...and these are re-rolling Stormtrooper and coming in from Reserves sooner.
Stugs get their extra pip of front armor, of course.
The Fortress Europe version of this list was 'meh.' Van Saucken makes it 'wow.' He fits courtesy of the the price drop for Panzer IV's in Grey Wolf.

HQ- 2 Panzer IV's
4x Stug G
4x Stug G
4x Stug G
4x Panzer IV
Warrior Dietrich Van Saucken
(you've actually got 10 points left over...rejoice!)

I'd put the Panzerkompanie w/Van Saucken up against the other two Armored 'power lists' in the game, the Russian T-34 (and friends!) list, or British 7th AD. The list, like the Russians and Brits, has many potentially powerful variants due to the multitude of options.
Additionally, re-rolling Stormtrooper within an 8 inch Command Radius, and a single Reserves die every turn are very powerful abilities indeed, and paying 65 points
...Ok, maybe it's a lil' cheesy...just a lil' tiny, teeny weeny bit...

*And there's Panthers. Say hello, you sexy AT 14 thing you...*

Sigh, y'know how it is...they see you rolling, they hating, patrolling, trying to catch you riding dirty...

Until next time, folks- Exit with catchphrase!


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