I am stoked to finally get my hands on this book last week. I have been slowly absorbing the lists (and other parts) of the book for a few days now and I am not disappointed at all. This is just some random thoughts on the book really so bear with me if it does not follow a logical pattern as I tend not to read these books from start to finish in any sensible order.
What does it offer gamers of Flames of War? Nothing if you play Soviets (but that should be no surprise should it?). Well it offers you some really cool Infantry Lists for Germans, U.S. and Brit (Commonwealth) players. In addition you get Campaign rules for an Infantry only escalation campaign. This includes accumulating experience points from games played. A concept not seen previously in FOW.
The Company lists are Division specific and also campaign specific. These are not generic lists used to represent any division that you wish which is usual for these Campaign specific books. These lists when you look at them initially may just appear to be minor variations of the standard generic Fortress Europe lists. But the inclusion of a Special Rule (or more than one) and different weapon/support options can really set them apart from previous incarnations.
1st Fallschirmjager Division.
The last support slot is Cassino Fortifications.
So what you might say…static items in my list…no thanks. OK fair enough but some players like to defend and historically this is what 1st FJ at Cassino did (and did it very well). So take Fortifications and you are the Defender in Defensive Battle missions against other Infantry. Those that don’t take Fortification options that is. Then it becomes a normal dice off for attacker/defender.
This FJ list can have in addition to its 2 mandatory FJ platoons, 2 x FJ Pioneer Platoons. Not an option I recall seeing elsewhere so this just further sets it apart from previous FJ lists.
Artillery options. This list only gets access to 1 non FJ option and that is a Rocket Launcher platoon. Otherwise artillery is FJ guns (7.5 or 10.5cm) with a 15cm option as well. The bonus to that is the Fearless staying power they have which means keeping the arty pinned just got harder for your opponent.
Never Surrender Special Rule. Combat and Weapons Platoons pass Platoon Morale Check on 2+, Company Morale check is 2+. HOLY COW! Now this is the icing on the cake. That’s why I left it til last. Now it becomes a realistic option to consider reduced sized FJ platoons (which is more historical in my opinion). It certainly helps capture an aspect of the Cassino story in the game.
So I can visualise a list that might have…
2 FJ Platoons (both smaller sized)
2 FJ Pioneer Platoons (1 smaller 1 full size perhaps)
Fortifications (Panther Turret, AA nests, HMG Nests)
Arty FJ 10.5cm platoon or get 6 x Nebelwerfers and buy loads of Gun Pits from the fortifications slots.
Depending on points limitations throw in a Platoon of Stugs or Panzer IV for mobility.
Anyway I will post some more thoughts about the lists and the book in the near future. That’s enough for now.