22 March 2018

Armoured Fist - 7th 'Desert Rats' Armoured Divsion

Today we'll start having a look at some more detail on the formations you can choose from in Armoured Fist. In this article, we'll be looking at the 7th Armoured Division, the Desert Rats.

The 7th Armoured Division became one of the most famous units in the whole war after seeing extensive action in North Africa against the Italian and German forces.

Through the desert campaigns, the differing brigades of the Desert Rats would be equipped with many different weapons including Crusader, Grant and Honey Stuart tanks.

In Armoured Fist, you'll have the option of fielding a number of different formations to represent the Desert Rats.

The Royal Scots Greys

The Royal Scots Greys has a proud history as a cavalry regiment dating right back to the end of the English Civil War through the Napoleonic Wars. At the start of WWII, they were a true cavalry regiment stationed in Palestine and was then reforming into an armoured regiment in 1941, training and honing their skills initially on the Honey Stuart before being equipped with the more powerful Grant.

Fielding the Royal Scots Greys in Flames of War means you're taking a Grant Armoured Squadron. You must field a Grant Armoured HQ consisting of either 2 or 3 Grants tanks. They're pretty well drilled these boys, you're hit on 4+ and they have a Motivation of 4+ as well, although you'd best hope too many don't bite it because your Last Stand is 5+. The Grant does benefit from Protected Ammo though, so you're remounting on a 3+

From that point, you have 2 compulsory choices to make. One of these must be a Grant Troop of 3 Grants. Your second choice could be either another Grant Troop, a Crusader Troop or a Honey Troop. You then have an option of another Grant Troop, should you want to take it (I would!!!)

County of London Yeomanry

You'll have opportunity to field a formation based around the 4th County of London Yeomnary (4th CLY) which was taken from it's sister unit in the 3rd CLY and then assigned under the command of the 7th Armoured Division. In Armoured Fist, you'll be fielding units from either B Squadron or C Squadron, both of which were equipped with the Crusader cruiser tank.

As always, a Formation HQ is your first choice here. You have two options with this one:

1. 2 Crusader II with 2 pdr and 2 Crusader CS with the 3" artillery gun, or
2. 1 Crusader II and 2 Crusader CS

Your compulsory choices then start with a Crusader Troop. You do have a choice to make here because you can take either a Crusader II Armoured Troop with 3 Crusader II tanks armed with 2 pdr guns OR you can take a Crusader II & II Troop which you can build with either 1 Crusader II and 2 Crusader III tanks or vice-versa.

The Crusader crews are a little more gung-ho than their brethren in the Grant so they have a To Hit rating of 3+. They have the same Motivation and Last Stand as the Royal Scots Greys but when it comes to skill, they need to get into Jerry's face quick smart! This is represented by the Tally Ho rule which gives them faster speed at the expense of tactics. Not a bad trade off....

Your second compulsory choice can then be either another Crusader Troop or you can add a Grant Troop for some heavier power.

Finally, you have the option for an additional three Crusader Troops to round out your formation.

The 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars

Another unit with an illustrious history, the 8th Hussars can trace their unit's lineage all the way back to the 17th Century and was also one of the units to participate in the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War...obviously not in Honey Stuarts though!

As you may have guessed, taking the 8th Hussars means you'll be fielding a Honey Armoured Squadron. These little tanks are quick and if they get into the sides of those pesky Panzers, the 37mm gun packs enough punch to deal with them!

Your Squadron HQ allows you to field either 3 or 4 Honey tanks. The are very similar to the 4th CLY in that they're hit on a 3+ and have a 4+ Motivation/5+ Last Stand. Much like the Crusaders, you want to get these in FAST, and so at the sacrifice of some skill, you move faster... 12" Tactical or 16" over terrain.

You have to take at least 1 Honey Troop consisting of 3 tanks. Your second choice, again like the 4th CLY, can either give you another Honey Troop or a Grant Troop for some heavy support.

The formation can then be rounded out with up to 2 more Honey Troops.

The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry

Whilst not technically part of the 7th Armoured Division, I have included the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry here to have a look at. In Armoured Fist, they're based on A Squadron of the 9th Armoured Brigade, 2nd NZ Division at El Alamein.

What's that mean? It means Shermans!

So, into the formation. You'll need an HQ which in this case consists of between 2 and 4 Sherman tanks. The tankers in the Shermans are a little more careful with their tanks so they're hit on a 4+. They maintain the Motivation 4+/Last Stand 5+ of the other British tank units though.

Into your compulsory selections, you've first got to take a Sherman Armoured Troop. Here, you have 2 options. You can either tank a Troop of 3 Shermans or you can mix it up and take a Troop with a Grant and 2 Shermans. This is representative of 3 Troop being armed with Grants at El Alamein.

You other compulsory choice can be another of the above or you can choose either:

- A Grant Armoured Troop,
- A Crusader Armoured Troop, 
- A Honey Armoured Troop or,
- A Churchill III Armoured Troop (which we'll cover in the next article...)

From there, you have another optional slot which can be either a Sherman or Grant Armoured Troop and a final optional slot which can be Shermans.

This has the potential to get some pretty well rounded arsenal on the table, depending on what points you're playing.

So that's gonna do it for the Desert Rats and our extra special guests. Next time, we'll be taking a look at the 78th 'Battleaxe' Division. Churchills!!!!

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