FOW NZers Finished: Support Platoons

FOW NZers Artillery First Gun Section This post concludes the NZers ’roundup’ that I started last week. There are three Support platoons in my NZer Flames of War 1500pt army. Of course no Rifle company would be complete without some backup, so my first (divisional) support choice is a four-gun 25pdr artillery battery.

I own all the transports for the two gun sections but have only got around to painting two of the quad gun tractors because I almost never transport the arty onto the table simply because I want the guns to be firing from the first turn.

FOW NZers Artillery Second Gun Section Naturally this occasionally leads to bad positioning on the table, so once I’ve painted the remaining two quads and the command jeep I’ll start transporting them on in friendly games and see how that works out.

From memory the observer white scout car that appears with the second gun section was the first Flames of War vehicle I painted. That’s kind of ironic because I don’t think I’ve ever actually fielded the observers in it! They’re usually seen foot slogging with an infantry platoon.

FOW NZers Light Tank Platoon Arty is all very well but it’s no good for mobile support and plugging those inevitable weak spots in your line. Historically NZers in North Africa had their own Stuart ‘Honey’ light tanks, in fact General Freyberg rode his own command Honey called ‘Polly’. So it seemed appropriate to field at least one platoon of these fast, light tanks.

They’re a great little model and a joy to paint in 15mm. Unfortunately being light tanks they’re little better than armored cars when it comes to the crunch. Their 37mm tank gun isn’t that powerful either. Typically they’re used to support the infantry while moving up, or ‘mixed in’ with the heavier Desert Rats Shermans which is my last support choice.

FOW NZers Desert Rats Platoon Ah yes, the Shermans. These were a fairly recent addition to my force, replacing a third Rifle platoon and various sundry hangers on. The Shermans appeared when my friendly ‘Garage Gamer’ opponents started fielding more and more tanks. I used to have a lot of anti-tank units (6pdr Portees and the 17/25 Pheasants) until I realised the best anti-tank unit is another damned tank!

These are Desert Rats Sherman III’s, so thankfully they’re not ‘Ronson’ being diesel engined, but they’re only Trained Confident instead of the Veteran Confident of the rest of the NZers. This leads to them occasionally letting the side down in the heat of battle…which echoes some of the historical gripes the NZers had against British tankers in North Africa I guess.

The astute observer will note the central Sherman III is lacking the desert track guards of the other two. That’s because my local gaming store was out of stock of the Desert Rats Sherman III’s so I was forced to pick up a Russian lend-lease Sherman to fill out this unit prior to a game. Such is life. On the table it’s not really that noticeable and if anybody asks I just mutter something about reinforcements being fresh off the railhead…

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