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Perimeter Play: Fielding The Perimeter Outpost From Devil's Charge

Devil's Charge
Perimeter Play:
Fielding The Perimeter Outpost From Devil's Charge
with Gavin van Rossum

The US Fortified Company represents some of the forces arrayed on the eastern edge of the Allied advance in wintery Europe during the end of 1944 and the beginning of 1945. The US 28th Division had taken up their Winter Quarters to recover from their advance to the German border and fierce fighting in the Hürtgen forest.

The Perimeter Outpost list is based around reinforced Rifle Platoons. Lighter than usual on Rifle teams, backed up by LMGs, HMGs, Anti-tank guns and through their own sweat and backbreaking labour, their Outpost Fortifications. The 28th Division’s special rule is to always start in Prepared Positions and re-roll failed attempts to Dig-In. This can be useful for Infantry and Gun platoons without fortifications to be secure in Meeting Engagement missions or when moving in from reserves.
Devil's Charge
The Germans had been in retreat since the Allied breakout from Normandy, finally settling into defensive lines on their frontier as Autumn turned into Winter. In early December 1944 it seemed, to the Americans facing them in the Ardennes forests of Belgium and Luxembourg, unlikely that the Germans would attack.

Learn more about Devil's Charge here...
Devil's Charge
The force has access to a vast array of American support; however following the Armoured Reserves rule in the Flames of War Rulebook (page 269) a Fortified Company may not Deploy any Fully-Armoured Platoons on table, during a mission using any of the Reserves rules. That is a crucial rule when looking at any Perimeter Outpost list as you should factor into your plan that they are going to be fighting for possibly two turns without Fully Armoured Platoons during a Reserves mission such as No Retreat or Dust Up.
Perimeter Play: Fielding The Perimeter Outpost From Devil's Charge
Force Composition and Tough Choices
As the core of my force I must always have the Perimeter Outpost HQ and two Outpost Platoons and their Outpost Fortifications.

I really like the firepower heavy HQ section of a Command Rifle, Bazooka and LMG team and would always buy both Rifle Squads of two Rifle teams. Purchasing the additional M2 60mm Mortar is useful for the extra two shots over friendly teams, which allows a deeper firing line, then the essential HMG and single 57mm in Gun Pit. This full load gives you a ten Team strong platoon which is sufficient for a Veteran force. Due to the reassuring high Rate of Fire presence of the LMG and HMG, I would also swap one Rifle team (of the two optional team upgrades) for a Bazooka for five points, increasing the threat versus Tanks and possibly holding armoured foes off for a turn or two as they try to whittle your platoon down with fire, rather than risk the chance of a failed assault (two failed armour saves versus defensive fire and the Assault Falls Back, page 154). Remember your force is Reluctant, so keep your Company Command team close to the fight and within 6”/15cm of your platoons, or risk falling back from Assaults or even failing Platoon motivation if taking heavy casualties.

Perimeter Play: Fielding The Perimeter Outpost From Devil's Charge
1250 point Perimeter Outpost Force
For a short 1250 point list the Outpost Platoons are going to be self-sufficient versus Infantry and any rapid assaults by vehicles; with their LMG, HMG, Anit-tank options and the delay of Wire and Mines they should get some respect and need a few turns of preparation where you can also return fire or weather the lead firestorm.

Core Force
Perimeter Outpost HQ: 15 points
with Compamy Command Rifle team, 2iC Command Rifle team and Trench line.
Perimeter Play: Fielding The Perimeter Outpost From Devil's Charge
Outpost Platoon: 185 points
with Command Rifle team, two  Bazooka teams, one M1919 LMG team , there Rifle teams, one  M1917 HMG team, one M1 57mm (late) gun in Gun Pit, two Trench Lines and one Barbed Wire Entanglement.
Outpost Platoon: 185 points
with Command Rifle team, two  Bazooka teams, one M1919 LMG team , there Rifle teams, one  M1917 HMG team, one M1 57mm (late) gun in Gun Pit, two Trench Lines and one Barbed Wire Entanglement.
Perimeter Play: Fielding The Perimeter Outpost From Devil's Charge
Perimeter Play: Fielding The Perimeter Outpost From Devil's Charge Outpost Fortifications: 220 points
with four Minefields and two Barbed Wire Entanglements.

This solid force gives time for the Towed Tank Destroyer platoon to react and use their Recon Jeeps and Seek, Strike and Destroy ability to threaten advancing vehicles. Remember to pick the moment for your strike, use their threat to buy you time. Focus sufficient firepower to half Infantry and Tanks in their field of fire and ward off Assaults. By placing the Minefields and more Barbed Wire into the Outpost Fortifications section it gives you greater power to plant them within your Deployment Area or in No Man’s Land to positions further away from your Outposts, rather than ‘inside the wire’ of the Fortified Platoon deployment rules (page 262 of the rulebook).
Anti-Tank Platoon:
28th Division (Reluctant Veteran) 95 points

with one Command Carbine team and six Bazooka Teams
My favourite platoon from Devil’s Charge;  this is a great Ambush platoon or if they can come in from Reserves into an aggressive posture to rattle the enemy, or defensive to in time to integrate their anti-tank shots into an Outpost’s Fire
Towed Tank Destroyer Platoon: (Confident Veteran) 275 points
with one Command Carbine team, four M5 3” Gun (late) and one additional Bazooka team.
Hidden until revealed by their Security section, these Guns should have time to react to the enemy’s deployment and likely incoming vector.
Perimeter Play: Fielding The Perimeter Outpost From Devil's Charge Perimeter Play: Fielding The Perimeter Outpost From Devil's Charge
Field Artillery Battery: (Confident Trained) 140 points
with one Command Carbine team, one Staff team, one Observer Carbine team and four M2A1 105mm howitzers.
Combined with the excellent US Artillery rules these are an affordable way to keep the enemy spread out and moving, or integrate with an Outpost to provide additional defensive fire. Hitting assaulting troops with their Breakthrough Gun means instant death.
Intel & Recon Platoon:
(Reluctant Veteran) 80 points

with one Command .50cal Recce Jeep, two .50cal Recce Jeeps and one Bazooka Recce Jeep. 
These guys are great, use them to keep enemy recon back and with two extra .50 Cal MGs and the new Bazooka Recon Jeep if you have to shoot light vehicles or Infantry up you have some firepower, or even the threat of it is useful to control the battlefield. 
Perimeter Play: Fielding The Perimeter Outpost From Devil's Charge Perimeter Play: Fielding The Perimeter Outpost From Devil's Charge
Upgrade to 1500 point Force
This force consists of two Perimeter Outpost platoons, the Anti-Tank Platoon, the Towed Tank Destroyer Platoon with Bazookas, Veteran 105mm Field Artillery Battery, Light Tank platoon of three Veteran M24 Chaffees. With 5 points spare I can upgrade one of the Outpost Command teams from a Carbine team to a SMG team.

Your reinforced Towed Tank Destroyer Platoon can now deploy and hunt Tanks with their Command team and three Bazookas. Combine the Tank Destroyer Strike with a Veteran artillery bombardment and the Bazooka men clean up the remnants. Use the Chaffees as your classic high mobility, high firepower force to ride in and save the day from reserve. Once they are on table they can move to a supporting position hopefully out of danger, in cover and give your enemy pause due to their 16”/40cm move to flanks with 75mm cannon and multiple machine-guns. Unless desperate, do not push them in the open like Tanks, they are Cavalry units and your most potent and mobile reserve.

Perimeter Play: Fielding The Perimeter Outpost From Devil's Charge
Upgrade to 1750 point Force
This force consists of three Perimeter Outposts and Outpost Fortifications, the Anti-Tank Platoon, the Towed Tank Destroyer Platoon with two Bazookas, the Veteran Field Artillery Battery, the I&R Platoon and a Light Tank Platoon of three Veteran Chaffees.

You are now covering the board with three Outpost Platoons and the Towed Tank Destroyers are still going to be the best support to have on table during half on missions as you are eight platoons now, unless your opponent is running a Trackless list where the Chaffees or Artillery would be useful for fire support. The Outposts can support each other while calling for speedy Reserves.  Look for opportunity for an Outpost that is not directly defending an objective to become a reaction force to assist the other Outposts. Deployment options are easier as you can place your fortifications and choose Outpost positions to cover the likely Objective placements or force Objectives to be placed in less advantageous positions for your opponent. Use the I&R jeeps and Chaffees as threats and to disrupt the enemies support base, it is best if they can threaten his artillery or divert efforts against your Outposts and the Objectives. Also if you think you want to start with two Outposts and two Support platoons you can remove the fortifications from an Outpost and it does not have to be deployed in any mission such as Hasty Attack where even the defender needs platoons in Reserve.

Enjoy the force, be patient and choose your deployment well, it will strongly influence the result of the battle. Pick your fights, conserve your forces and hold your Objectives.

Perimeter Play: Fielding The Perimeter Outpost From Devil's Charge
Final Words of Advice
  • As Sgt. Lipton says in Band of Brothers, “Find some cover”.  As your force is mostly on foot, you need to embrace as much cover and integrate it into your defence. Area Terrain is your best friend and should be reinforced with troops and fortifications. Make the threat of Sneaking Up on Tanks (page 153 of the rulebook) a concern for the enemy; this will delay their forward advance. Your force rerolls unsuccessful attempts to dig-in, use it!

  • Cover obstacles in fire or you allow the enemy to circumvent, reduce or cross them at their leisure. Remember you can deploy the Outpost Fortifications in No Man’s Land if that disadvantages the enemy or assists your deployment.

  • Keep your Company Command team within 6”/15cm of several teams with your platoon closest to the action as his reroll for Motivation is essential. Trenches may allow him to move around a bit, but never assume the option will be safe.

  • Your platoons can start without their Platoon Fortifications and still be in Prepared Positions, this is the 28th Divisions Special Rule. This gives you some deployment and maneuver options to exploit if terrain is very favourable.
~ Gavin.


Last Updated On Thursday, January 24, 2013 by Blake at Battlefront