Monday, July 9, 2012

What Might An M42 Knight Army Look Like?

Shout, Kerem Beyit
Sandwyrm here. As I said last week, I had something of a revelation at my first Flames of War tournament. Where the points and size of the force I could take was (to my thinking as a 40K player) much smaller than I was comfortable with. But after 5 games in 2 days against a variety of opponents, where I did pretty well, I feel VERY confident now that we can make a smaller-sized 1000-1200 (In 40K points) game that works, is fun, and which be tactically superior to a 2000 point 40K experience.

First up, let's look at the FoW army I took and I'll tell you what I actually saw during the games.

Let's see, that's 15 vehicles and 34 infantry. Which isn't too different from a typical 2000 point 40K IG force. But let's look at how it's broken up into gameplay actors:

The army is made up of 5 units, and 2 HQs (white). Which isn't a lot of 'things' to move around compared to 40K. But it worked quite well on the table.

Now here's what I actually saw while playing.

To my eye, the tanks are Knights of 2 different types. 

A Games Workshop Chaos Marine Havoc Model
The Panzer IV's (Red) are Knights with long-ranged armor-piercing  weapons. The closest 40K equivalent would probably be a Havoc or a Devastator. Though I'm picturing them carrying something more like a Tau rail rifle. This is a unit that can stand off and provide long-range tank/knight killing power, but which can run forward and contribute to an assault if they have to.

A Games Workshop Space Marine Scout Squad

Note though, that this squad wouldn't be as heavily armored as most Knights. They don't really want to get close to enemy Knights if they can help it. I'm imagining kit-bashing together some standard GW Space Marines with some scout models to get the look I'm after.

The Panzer III's (Blue) are my general purpose fighters. They like to get in close and assault enemy infantry after the enemy's armor is destroyed.

A Games Workshop Space Marine Tactical Squad
Much like standard GW Marines with bolters. These guys really don't need swords. Leave that to the army guys who need a power sword or two to defend themselves from a Knight Rush. :)

Next up would be the Heavy 88 Guns (Yellow) that are death incarnate to heavy armor. I see these as a 2-gun squad of Army infantry.

A Forge World DKoK Lascannon Team
You would have 2 crewed weapons and one sergeant to lead them.

The Anti-Aircraft trucks (purple) could be represented by...

A Forge World Tauros Assault Vehicle

Light trucks with Anti-Aircraft weapons mounted on top. Of course these can also be used to pepper enemy positions. But you will have to be careful, as these vehicles would be lightly armored and not able to just run up and sit in front of an enemy position the way a Knight could.

Now what about those scouts (green)? Well, how about...

Imperial Red Riders, Conversions Of Forge World Models by Bungaroo
...something like this? Army guys on bikes. Except that they can dismount in-game and fight on foot like normal infantry. The bikes make them fast to redeploy, but you don't want to drive up in front of the enemy on one.

As an aside, there's this idea:

Conversion Of A Games Workshop Imperial Guard Model
After you stop laughing, think about it for a second. It wouldn't be as fast as a bike, but you could mount a medium-sized gun on the front, pointed down. When you stop, you step off the thing and lay the Segway down in front of you so that the gun points forward. Instant self-propelled infantry gun position! Much faster than pulling a gun around by hand. This is the future after all. :)

So a formal list would look something like the following. Don't hold me to the names. :)
First In Command (1iC)
Laansarmie Knight w/Autocannon, Mk2 Armor

Second In Command (2iC)

Laansarmie Knight w/Gyro-Rifle, Mk3 Armor


Laansarmie Knight Squad
3 Knights w/Autocannons, Mk2 Armor

Laansarmie Knight Squad
4 Knights w/Gyro-Rifles, Mk2 Armor

Support Units

Laansarmie Heavy Anti-Tank Squad
2 Rail-Cannon Teams, Sergeant
Laansarmie Motorcycle Scout Squad
3 Laansarmie Troopers + Sergeant w/Motorcycles, Auto-Rifles

Laansarmie Mobile Anti-Aircraft Team

2 Chenowith Mk4/AA

As far as the force density that you would see on a standard 6x4 foot table...

This was a particularly fun battle where we were both moving up behind terrain for 4 turns trying to get an advantage before the shooting started. Just mentally replace every tank with a Knight, and every stand of troops with some army grunts.

Here's a battle vs. another elite tank force. Most of the table was wide open, but it still played very tactically.

Here's another shot where all of my 'Knights' are dead, but the regular infantry was able to move up and grab the objective. He had two Terminator-class "Knights" (Panthers), but they just couldn't do enough damage to me. Plus they had to hide from my gun squad (the 88's across the river).

The 'hoard' armies I faced (Russians) would translate to just 4 units. Two of those units would be 35-40 models each with some Loota-like models sprinkled in to kill/deter my Knights. Plus 3-4 Big-Mek like models, some Grot-like artillery/mortars, and a flyer. 

So that's what I'm thinking. Balance the game around 1000 points. Make the hoard armies about 75% of a 2K Ork/Nid army in 40K. While the Knights can run around with some backup in the form of army grunts. But still be very elite overall.

Instead of one type of armor/weaponry for the Knights, we have all sorts of different kinds based on their role and some sense that even in the future you can't just buy the best stuff for everyone. 


And BTW: This is just a starting point for our thinking. As ever, what works for Flames of War will not always work for our game. As we discuss and develop our ideas we'll come up with better, more unique ideas for what we want to do.

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