Peasant army part 1 - Late War Romanian Infantry
Ok, so it might seem that this is pure sarcasm, but believe me, this is currently my favorite army in Late War. I started this project when one of my gaming pals mentioned that Romanians have access to a 12 gun artillery battery. And mind you, this was back in the days when I believed artillery could actually work in infantry companies (please refer to my other articles to learn why I no longer think this is true). This particular event had a profound impact on me - I HAD to somehow become an owner of a Puscasi Battalion from Red Bear.
It was a game within a game to collect all the needed models (shame on you Battlefront!). It was a real pain in the ass to find a Battalion box, the cavalry, mortars and almost everything else apart from the guns. I spent countless hours searching for the minis online, bought some True North miniatures (even though they look crap), until I finally e-bayed most of it. Fortunately, now that I have almost everything that I need, the models look lovely (hugs and kisses Battlefront!).
With a strong base to build around, I started composing and testing some lists. First, I checked out the special rules of the army and found them to be really good. The ones that really stand out are: "Defend the Homeland" which means British bulldog for all Romanian platoons and "French Doctrine" that lets all Romanian gun and infantry platoons to dig in on a 3+, regardless of their skill rating. The one outstanding rule that provokes mixed feelings is "Peasant Army" - it makes all Romanian platoons to roll before each game to determine their skill and morale ratings (anything from Reluctant/Trained to Confident/Veteran).
As a second step, I verified the support options. They were amazing! 6 gun platoons of Pak40s or 9 gun platoons of smaller guns seemed to be a real game changer. Also, this briefing lets you field cavalry scouts - hands down the best recon in the game!
With so many these goodies available to me, all I needed was to top it off with my dream unit: an artillery battalion of Skoda 100mm guns (poor direct AT, 4/4+ bombardment, but no smoke or smoke bombardment!).
Then I started my tests. I went to several tournaments and did ok, but not brilliant. I was still unsure what was the reason for it until I finally decided to let go of the 12 gun fun factor and focus on something that is actually useful. I shuffled the units around a bit and came up with my final combination for a 1550 points army:
Axis Battalion Puscasi
Regular (33% chance to be veteran)
HQ: 2x Rifle + 2x Panzerschreck
Platoon 1: Panzerfaust SMG + 8x Rifle/MG
Platoon 2: Panzerfaust SMG + 8x Rifle/MG
Platoon 3: 4x 81mm mortars
Platoon 4: 5x German Panzer IV
Platoon 5: 9x 47mm Schneider
Platoon 6: 6x Romanian Pak40
Platoon 7: 4x 120mm mortars
Platoon 8: 4x Rifle/MG Cavalry Scouts
This army immediately clicked with my preferences. It has everything that I really need: tough infantry platoons, tons of anti-tank that can also be used to dig out stubborn guns or infantry, a strong, flexible and mobile unit in the form of Panzer IVs, smoke, a heavy mortar template that forces the enemy to spread out a bit and insane scouts.
If it was not for the random skill ratings, I would say that this is probably the best infantry force in the game. But rolls can unfortunately go against you and force you to re-assess your battle plan right after you deployed all of your units, which can be a bit harsh sometimes :(
In any case, I love my Romanians with all their pros and cons and for the upcoming Mid War tournament I intend to build and test a Romanian Cavalry list. More on that later - stay tuned :)
Have you ever had any good experience with Romanians (no matter on which part of the proverbial stick you ended up)? Feel free to share in the comments below! :)