Mike’s Chi-talians

Mike’s Chi-taliansi

Mike’s Chi-taliansi
with Mike Haught

In 2005 I stood in line at my local hobby shop, arms loaded with a brand new copy of Avanti Savoia, an Bersaglieri army deal boxed set, and three boxes of Italian tanks. As I handed over my credit card, my mind was entirely focused on one thing: the M14/41 ‘medium’ tank. I had owned the models for only a few minutes, but in my mind I had already played a hundred games, envisioning dozens of M14s tearing across the desert, kicking up dust and dealing machine-gun death to enemy infantry that was inexplicably just standing in the open. Crusaders and Stuarts (the dominant tanks in our group at the time) were blowing up under the deadeye gunners of my M14s. It was a glorious daydream.

6 Weeks Later
I’m at a tournament and my daydream had largely come true. American half-track armies have been savaged my my powerful 47mm guns, Soviet infantry had been piled high, and heaps of Grants and Crusaders were turned into scrap metal by my cunning and bold tankers. My tanks were on the verge of winning their first tournament. Only one army stood between them and ultimate victory.

Mike’s Chi-taliansi 

I took a deep breath as I faced down 21 T-34s… As Semoventes and a few allied Panzer IIIs held the center while the M14s rushed the flanks. What transpired was a brutal fight, I quickly lost most of my M14s, but their sacrifice had got the rest of the tanks into the flanks of the easy-to-hit Soviets. Each destroyed Soviet tank was a huge victory, as my force hung on to a slip chance at victory. In the end I was down to one Panzer III, three M14s, and a Demolisher infantry platoon riding on the backs of five L6/40 light tanks. My opponent was down to a half-dozen T-34s. With the M14s on the flanks, my opponent had to make a call what to shoot at and he chose to split his fire to finish off my tanks and force a morale check. He succeeded in knocking out my Panzer III, which was a huge blow to my personal morale, but taken in stride by my Italians. Crucially, however, he missed my M14s.

Mike’s Chi-taliansi

I knew I wouldn’t survive another round, so in desperation I charged the T-34s with everything I had. The M14s opened fire and miraculously managed to knock out two more T-34s. When this didn’t break the Soviets’ morale, the L6/40s charged the T-34s and unloaded their demolisher tank riders which immediately assaulted the Soviet tanks. After braving defensive fire they got stuck in and after some back and forth, destroyed the remaining soviet tanks with only two surviving infantry teams remaining! When the dust settled, I had my three M14s, a couple of demolisher teams, and some light tanks… but my force’s morale held. I was shocked. But my underdog Italians had secured a hard-fought tournament win and it remains the single most memorable battles I’ve ever played on the table top.

Mike’s Chi-taliansi

My 2005/2018 Army
With the release of Avati, I wanted to pay homage to my old M14 army and rebuild it with all of the new models. Though separated by 13 years, the two armies are functionally identical, which is awesome. So to celebrate Avanti’s release, I’ve lined up the following for today’s build session:

M14/41 Tank Company  
M14/41 Tank Company HQ 2 Points

M14/41 tank (x 1)


M14/41 Tank Platoon 1 12 Points
M14/41 tank (x 5)  
M14/41 Tank Platoon 2 9 Points
M14/41 tank (x 4)  
M14/41 Tank Platoon 3
9 Points
M14/41 tank (x 4)  
Semovente Platoon
20 Points
Semovente tank (75mm) (x 5)  
Support Units  
L6/40 Light Tank Platoon  5 Points
L6/40 (20mm) (x 5)  
Assault Engineer Platoon 15 Points
Breda MG & Carcano Rifle Team (x 5)   
Brixia Mortar Team (x 2)  
Flame-thrower Team (x 2)  
German Support  
M14/41 Tank Platoon 2 28 Points
Panzer III (Long 5cm) (x 4)  
Total 100 points