Recent Articles

Tally-Ho!: British Tank Tactics in Mid-war


British Tank Tactics in Mid-war
with Ben Polikoff

The British Eighth Army has a plethora of armoured options in Armoured Fist, which may confuse somebody new to Flames Of War who is trying for the first time to create a balanced force on the tabletop. The lightning-quick Crusader is the standard British cruiser tank in the desert, and its numerous variants have also been supplemented by some brand new, lend-lease American ingenuity. Each of these tanks can play a specific a role in attaining your objectives on the battlefield, so let’s examine each one in more detail.

The Crusader Mk II is armed with the Ordnance QF 2 pdr anti-tank gun, amongst the best pre-war anti-tank guns in the world. Constant armour upgrades to the Panzers stand as a testament to the quality of this weapon. Because of its small calibre, an effective high explosive (or HE) round is not available for the 2 pdr, so Crusader Mk IIs are complemented by the  Crusader CS tank, armed with a low-velocity 3-inch gun capable of firing both high explosive rounds and smoke rounds.
With a high tactical movement and an accurate gun, the Crusader Mk II is perfect for flanking the enemy and punching 40mm holes into the side armour of a few German Panzers! Use the CS tanks to obscure your advance with smoke to help protect your lightly armoured Cruisers from any incoming fire. The CS tank is also very useful for digging out any stubborn infantry with its HE rounds.

To maintain their edge in firepower versus the newer, up-armored Panzers, the British armed the Crusader Mk III with the larger, Ordnance QF 6 pdr anti-tank gun. The armour, too, was improved to provide better protect protection. These tanks are only available in limited numbers and as such, the newer Mk III can supplement but not completely replace the older variants.

American Muscle
The war in North Africa gave the Americans a chance to flex their industrial muscle via the Lend-Lease Act. As a result, the British were sent some new tanks. One such tank was the M3 Stuart, nicknamed the Honey by its crews, which was even faster than the Crusader and a welcome addition to the Armoured Squadrons. Use the speed of the Honey to flank enemy tanks so that your opponent is forced to expose their weaker side armour to any number of anti-tank guns you may have positioned nearby.

While the M3 Grant might look ungainly, it's reliable and more importantly very well armoured. Not only is the Grant armed with the same 37mm gun as the Honey but also a powerful 75mm gun mounted in the sponson. This is just the thing to send any German infantry who dare leave their foxholes diving quickly for cover!

The best thing about the Grant is that it excels at almost any role on the battlefield. They can engage enemy infantry and most Panzers with ease. Caution must be taken, however, when engaging some of the later Panzer IIIs and IVs with their long-barreled 5cm or 7.5cm guns. These pose a serious threat to the Grant.

All Guns To Bear
The most important thing to remember when fielding British tanks are to take advantage of your superior numbers. Concentrate your fire on individual enemy units, rather than spreading your fire across a board front. Destroy the enemy unit in question before moving on to the next. And remember to keep your Grants away from the new German Tiger tank, as they are a high-value target for that monster!

~ Ben.