29 March 2019

Over There!

- with Mike

When volunteers were called to cover the Great War on Behind Enemy Lines, I wanted to do the Americans. I’ve got several family connections with World War I. Two of my great-grandfathers fought in the war, one in the 123rd Field Artillery (155mm guns, often seen supporting the Big Red One Division) and the other in the ambulance corps. I also had a great-great uncle who died as a Marine in the bloody Battle of Belleau Wood. So when I saw the new Great War book from Battlefront, I was very pleased to see the expanded US forces included.

The book includes the the USMC, fresh off the heels of the fighting at Belleau Wood. They are fearless, well trained, and experienced. You also have the Big Red One, 1st Division, which also had battlefield experience by late 1918. You can also combine a USMC formation with a 1st Infantry formation to field the 2nd Division, which was unusual in the fact that it had both an US Army half and a US Marine half. There is also the freshly arrived and eager 42nd Division, which was commanded by General Douglas MacArthur. Together these formations present an excellent cross-section of the US forces in France.

I managed to score a copy of the new Brett's Brawlers army box, giving me an excellent start on a US Army. It's got 2 infantry platoons loaded up with flame-throwers, infantry guns, light machine-guns, VB grenade launchers and riflemen. On top of these virtual mini-armies, you also get a platoon of heavy machine-guns, a sniper, a pair of 76mm trench mortars, a 75mm field gun, two FT-17 light tanks and one Char Saint Chamond tank.
This is an excellent start! I've got some spare FT-17's that I'll add into the mix to bring the light tanks up to full strength. Other than that, that's my painting schedule sorted!
Now to get to work!!!

23 March 2019

The Whytak Wars - This is Not a Test Campaign

The fall came early to the Whytaks, the decimation was swift and unrelenting. While most never made it to the next day, some knew what was coming and made plans to ensure their survival...and least for a short time. 

Some say that because of the presence of the 'Mercan forces in Akland, we were targeted first.

Some say it was random, that nothing would have changed it. The inevitability of the fall making it easier to comprehend.

But still others, in muffled grunts from the overgrown forests, will tell you other stories....if they let you live.

The New Western Dominion has been established. But not all embrace the new order of things...


We are about to undertake a campaign of post-apocalyptic warfare and survival here at Behind Enemy Lines using the awesome rule set, This Is Not A Test from Worlds End Publishing. We've had a game of this posted on our YouTube channel before but now you'll get to see a campaign in all its glory!

The best part of TNT is the campaign system, seeing your warband progress and thrive...or potentially die as they venture through the their adventures in the wastes.

And so, let us take a look at the warbands of the Whytaks.

3rd NWD Ranger Company, Delta Squad aka Goff's Ghosts

When the bombs fell a company of 'Mercan special forces were in Akland taking part in training exercises. Most of the members in the chaos and devastation that followed perished but a few survived and used their training to set up a peace keeping force for members of the area which was formerly West Auckland.

A local council had been formed and the Rangers become one of the official forces of the New Western Dominion.

Most squads are led by survivors of the original company or other special forces operatives that have been recruited. Delta squad of the 3rd Company are led by a former NZSAS member known as Ares due to his uncanny instincts in war.

Goff's Ghosts are named after a famous mayor of Akland who after being voted out of office in 2019 single handedly took over the Skytower and held it for several days. When the tower was finally secured Goff was nowhere to be found and to this day no one knows how he escaped.

As per tradition members of the Rangers only use their call signs and in the new world this becomes their new name.

The squad took heavy losses recently and only Ares and a few of his squad made it out. Artemis the scout and sniper never stays in one place long enough to be pinned down and Hunk the engineer had to be physically dragged away from the fight due to his stubborn nature.

The new recruits have passed basic training and while not up to what would have been original Ranger standards, these days its this small number of men and women who hold the line against all manner of dangerous mutants, criminals and beasts.

Its time for their first patrol in the wasteland that used to be Akland and for some it will be their last.

Blue Boys

The Enclave. A small bastion of civilization in the wastelands of Akland. Situated on what used to be known Pre-Fall as Te Atatu Peninsula, the Enclave survives due to 3 things. The fact it is surrounded on 3 sides by water, the large wall that cuts the 4th side off from the rest of Akland and the Blue Boys.

Immediately after the Fall, the man simply known these days as The Commish gathered as many of Akland's Police Force to the Peninsula as he could find. With the help of an AOS Commander, he managed to amass a considerable force, with an armoury to match and set about continuing to uphold their original mandate on a much smaller scale. Protect the public.

Over the years, many have tried to break to through the wall that stretches from the creek to the sea, that seals off the Enclave from the ravaged outside, but none have succeeded. This is mainly due to the tactical brilliance and ruthlessness of AOS Commander Wayne Bruce. Fiercely loyal to The Commish, Bruce enforces The Commish's will with an iron fist. Hideously disfigured when he was captured by a band of Raiders who held little love for the authorities before the Fall and even less after, Bruce is never seen without the armoured cowl that hides his face from the world and his trademark long leather coat. The mask, combined with his almost religious zealotry for wiping out Raiders and Muties has turned him into some sort of boogieman to the warbands in the surrounding area and only the bravest or the drunkest stand in his way when he leads one of his heavily armed excursion into the wastes.

The Wasted

The mutants simply known as 'The Wasted' have lurked in the Whytak mountains since the great fall, surviving by picking off the survivors stupid enough to venture into their rugged homeland. At first thought a myth to scare travellers, no one returns from the Whytak mountains. But a lone caravaner recently returned, bloody, mangled and completely mad. Jibbering about twisted beings with muscular frames and bone spikes protruding from their flesh. Telling tales of towering behemoth mutants and degenerates that feast on human flesh. Of hounds that have been malformed into nothing but hungry vicious freaks of nature. These rumours are now reality, as the mutants begin to run low on food, they are using their skills as expert hunters and bushmen to venture out of their home and find more victims to cannibalise.

The Bitches of the Bay

With the fall of the Akland and no longer confined to their bordello life, Lara takes control of the surviving girls and takes them to safety. They wander the wastes looking for suitable stock to further their Tribe, but only those women worthy of such glory. Having made their home in an abandoned 'Mercan bunker, they're armed to the teeth and not afraid to use the firepower. They'll never come under the yoke of any foolish man again, not while Lara still lives and breathes....

19 March 2019

The French...actually!

- with Greg

I can hear what you're thinking now. The French, are you serious?! Yeah, well I am. In Flames of War - Great War, the French offer some really good tactical options and also allow you, with what is effectively a single army, to field a variety of different forces that fought on the French side in the conflict.

Like the other guys, I'm starting my force off with one of the new army box deals from Battlefront, in this case Clavery's Chargers. I decided early on that I wanted the basis of my force to be built around French Infantry and the boxed deal gives you 2 full Fusilier sections to build your formation around as well as the support options such as MG's, Trench Mortars (both 76mm and 58mm come in the box) and a field gun. And yes, you get a couple of the bigger French tanks as well....

Now, while you have a number of options with the French in terms of the infantry, such as Metropolitan, Colonial, Russian or Harlem Hellfighters, because they're essentially using the same gear every time, painting them one way and running them in one of the other flavours shouldn't be too much trouble. While the Colonial and Harlem troops favoured a brown uniform instead of the traditional blue, I'm sure you could sneak it past your opponent!

So, building to an initial 60 point list and deciding that I want to start with the Metropolitan Fusiliers, my starting point looks something like this:

Compagnie de Fusilier HQ - 2 x Lebel Pistol Teams                                   2
Fusilier Section with Flamethrower team                                                13
Fusilier Section with 37mm mle 1916 gun                                              14
Machine Gun Platoon with 3 Hotchkiss HMG teams                                  11
76mm Stokes Trench Mortar                                                                   5
76mm Stokes Trench Mortar                                                                   5
75mm Field Gun                                                                                    9

This ends up at 59 points and while it doesn't have tank support to start with, it's still pretty tough. I have a couple of Fusilier sections, one to push forward and flame the trenches before an assault and one to plug gaps if needed.

With the Trench Fighters rule, my guys hit on 2+ in assaults which is awesome! They do counter-attack on a 4+ so we just need to make sure we get in tough! Being hit on 4+ should make them pretty survivable as well.

Trench Mortars and HMG's are a must in my opinion. They give up multiple chances to pin enemy in trenches or mow down the ones coming toward you in short order. If I'm defending I can also put the HMG's in nests or pillboxes for better survivability.

The 75mm gun adds much needed AT if I'm facing tanks, which judging by Pat's lists, I very well could be!

So where to from there? Fleshing the list out to 100 points should be relatively easy. As well as French tanks, I get access to the big British tanks as well...but who needs them!

I'll likely add a Char Saint Chamond. At 21 points, its a massive investment in points but dammit, its a great model and has a mass of firepower that I can bring to bear. That leaves me with 20 points...

And with that, I'm likely to add either a 2 gun battery of 75mm artillery for both impact and AT capability or, and this may surprise you, another unit of infantry, but this time Colonial Tirailleurs instead of the Metropolitan Fusiliers.

My reasoning for this is this... THEY ARE ASSAULT MACHINES!!! I'd arm them with a flamethrower and send them up. They counter attack on a 2+, they hit in assault in a 2+ and they're still hit on a 4+! They're a downright bargain at19 points in my opinion!

So there you have the beginnings of my French WW1 force.  I'v already started painting so keep an eye here for the first article on that in a week or so!


06 March 2019

The Germans of the Great War

- with Pat Gribble

The German forces of the Great War are represented by Battlefront with 4 different lists in the new Great War book. You can choose from the Infanteriekompanie, Stosskompanie, Siegfriedstellung or Jagerkompanie. Each of these has their own unique features, positives, and negatives, so there should be something in it for you, no matter your playing style.

I’ve managed to secure second-hand one of the German Army deals from the first release as well as a Stoss platoon. I’ve beefed this up with a couple of 7.7cm guns and the regimental support blister, from the sale before Christmas, which should keep me busy. Most of the army is based, but only some is painted, and my progress is best described as that of “an asthmatic ant with heavy shopping”. 

As I type, however, I keep flicking to the launch sale page on Battlefront’s website and trying to convince myself I don’t need any more, even if it is such a cheap price for more tanks.

In the first release, there were army deals for all the major nations, the Germans having Blitz’s Battlegroup, which let you make an infantry company. This time around, the Allied nations all have the same army deals from the first release. In comparison, there’s going to be a new army released for the Germans. Contained within the new Steiner’s Stosstruppen army deal, you get the following:

1x Stosskompanie HQ (with 2 teams)
2x Stoss Platoons (each with 8 teams)
2x Stoss Machine-Gun Platoon (each with 2 teams)
1x Stoss 7.6cm Minenwerfer
2x 7.62cm Infantry Guns
1x 7.7cm Artillery Battery (with 2 guns)
2 A7V tanks
1x Sniper

Looks very promising....

So, let's take a bit of a closer look at the formations you have access to and some sample 100 point lists you might consider.


The backbone of the Imperial Army, the infantry. Can assault, can defend. The all-purpose force. The infantry are trained (4+ skill) and confident (4+ motivation), but they do have the German special rule ‘Infanterie Vor!’, meaning their blitz move is better (3+). So what can you get? 

HQ, 3 Infantrie platoons, 3 MG platoons, a werfer section, a 7.6 Minenwerfer and 2 choices of minenwerfers or 3.7cm AT guns. Stripped right down to the cheapest option, the kompanie could be 77 points with all platoons used. But there’s so many options for the infanterie platoons!

Flamethrowers, AT rifles and rifle grenades mean a maxed out platoon would be 18 points, which is nearly a fifth of your force.

For me, a force would have:

HQ                                                                                           2 points
2 large Infanterie platoons with AT rifles                                    28 points
1 large Infanterie platoon with AT rifles and flamethrower           17 points
MG platoon with 3 guns                                                           14 points
Minenwerfer                                                                             9 points
1x A7V Panzer                                                                        19 points

1 x 7.7cm Field gun                                                                  9 points

This force should be enough to deal with anything that assaults it, and there’s 3 infantry platoons that can attack with tank support if that’s what is required, plus they have a flamethrower to pin if needed. Not sure about the AT rifles though; 5+ firepower with AT 4 is asking for a fortunate bad/good dice roll combo to hurt a tank. But they’re cheap and can move with the infantry. MG platoon for dealing to enemy infantry in the open, good for defence. Minenwerfer for coping with strong points, and a field gun to do the same or else take on enemy tanks at range.


This is the force if you’re the player in it for the assault. With a 2+ for blitz and in assault, and most of your weapons having a 4 inch range, you want to get in close fast. Not really a force for a long-range duel.

The Stosstruppen have the ‘Trench Fighters’, ‘Spearhead’ and ‘Night Attack’ special rules. The company itself has the option for HQ, 3 Stoss platoons, 3 Stoss 7.6 Minenwerfers, 2 Stoss MG platoons (max 2 guns per platoon) and 2 veteran 3.7 AT platoons. Even the cheapest version of all that is well over 100 points, even before you add options or support. Your options include an upgrade to the MP18 SMG for your HQ and 1 stand in each platoon, as well as flamethrowers.

If I were designing a Stoss force, my pick would be:

HQ                                                                                        2 points
2 full platoons with flamethrowers                                          46 points
MG platoon                                                                           12 points
Minenwerfer                                                                          12 points
Veteran 7.62cm infantry gun                                                    9 points

A7V                                                                                      19 points

Something to attack with, MGs for dealing to exposed infantry, support for taking out pesky strong points and I can’t pass up the chance for a tank. A small force, and those infantry platoons are expensive, especially with flamethrowers. But they can get close fast, have a lot of shots despite moving, and any hits with a flamethrower pin the target platoon. Also, the pistols and SMGs are AT 3 in assaults, giving you a good chance to knock out enemy tanks. These guys are just made for assaults, ensuring a fast, bloody (hopefully only for your opponent) game.


The Jager troops are a mix between the Infantrie and the Stosstruppen. If you want, you can even call them the Prussian 27th Jager Battalion and have Finns, since this unit was made up entirely of Finnish volunteers. These guys have the  2+ for blitz, and the infantry are equipped with rifles. Your troops are confident veteran, and there’s up to 13 stands in a platoon, plus extras. The Jagers have the ‘Infanterie Vor!’ and ‘Spearhead’ special rules.

Your formation can consists of HQ, 3 infantry platoons, 3 MG platoons, 2 platoons of either 7.6 Minenwerfers or 3.7cm AT guns and a Stoss platoon, which all together at the cheapest option wold be 120 points, not counting support. However, there are numerous options you can add. The HQ pistol units can upgrade to MP18 SMG, as can one stand in each infantry platoon. Also for your infantry, there’s a flamethrower and AT rifle available for each platoon, as well as an upgrade to rifle grenade for one stand in each platoon.

This force, it was a tough one to figure out. I’m tempted to have two small infantry platoons as well as a Stoss platoon at full strength for a big assault force and leave out tanks. However, I’m going to have to go with my standard two infantry platoons and support here.

HQ                                                                                              2 points
Jager platoon (13 stand) with flamethrower and AT rifle                 27 points
Jager platoon (13 stand) with flamethrower and AT rifle                 27 points
MG platoon with 2 Maxim MG08 HMG                                            12 points
3.7cm AT gun                                                                               8 points
A7V                                                                                            19 points

Sniper                                                                                          4 points

This is a list that would be interesting to run. The two infantry units are huge, accounting for over half the points, but should be very difficult to stop in assault. They won’t have the close-in rate of fire of the Stoss platoons, and won’t hit as easily in assaults, but if they’re all attacking then they need 8 hits in defensive fire to be stopped. A couple of MG's for defensive fire. There’s also a tank and AT gun to deal with enemy tanks, and a sniper to pin anything  potentially threatening or take out a major threat.


If your style suits standing your ground saying “Come at me!” then this
may be the force for you. There’s 1 platoon of infantry in this list, but 10 of assorted MG's, werfers and guns. The infantry platoon can also add a Granatenwerfer and AT rifle, and upgrade to an MP18 SMG and rifle grenade. This list represents the German defensive preparations to hold the Hindenburg Line from early 1917. The Siegfriedstellung list gets the ‘Defence in Depth’ and ‘Concrete Bunkers’ special rules.

The troops are Reluctant Veterans, although the infantry can blitz on 2+, and
due to the Concrete Bunkers rule, everyone rallies on 4+. With all platoons included, the cheapest version of the company is just over 100 points.

So, what's my list look like?

HQ                                                                                                2 points
Infanterie platoon (13 stand) + AT rifle                                           18 points
7.7cm Field Gun                                                                            10 points
7.7cm Field Gun                                                                            10 points
MG platoon with  4x MG08                                                             23 points
7.6cm Minenwerfer                                                                       11 points
7.6cm Minenwerfer                                                                       11 points
7.62cm Infantry Gun                                                                      8 points

3.7cm AT Gun                                                                                7 points

The MG platoon may take nearly a quarter of the points, but I can always swap for nests/a pillbox in some missions, so there is that benefit. The list’s got a lot of guns, but they should be able to do the job. And all contained within the formation diagram as well, so no need for any support platoons. 

Speaking of which…what ARE the support options you can get?

The A7V, of course!! You can get 6 of them! But at 19 points each, that’s not likely unless you’re playing 150+ points. Or you can have support from captured Mark IV Female and Male tanks. 

Additionally, there’s the 7.62cm infantry gun trained or veteran, the 7.7cm field gun again trained or veteran and artillery batteries trained or veteran. However, a 4-gun veteran battery runs at 46 points, so nearly half your force, meaning I don’t think you will see that very often. Of course, there is also a sniper for 4 points. 

Additionally, missions that have the ‘Machine-gun Bunkers’ rule allow you to swap MG teams for nests and pillboxes: 1 MG team for a nest, or 3 MG teams for a pillbox.

The Germans look like they’ll be fun to play, and with 4 different lists I can try the different formations with a bit of proxying. My challenge now is to get my army to a table-top ready condition, something I’ll be working on over the next short while.

I'll keep you posted...