Command Card Formations - Axis Allies

Command Card Formations - Axis Allies

Command Card Formations - Axis Allies
With John Lee
When V4 of Flames of War released, alongside the books were Unit Cards and Command Cards – this was new for the game.  The Unit Cards have all the stats as in the book and rules for that unit which meant you could refer to them more easily in the game, rather than having to flick through different sections of the Army book.  The addition of the command cards allowed the army book to be streamlined with the core formations and units whilst the specialising, upgrading, downgrading, warriors and non-standard formations and units moved to the new card pack.

Each Army Book has their own set of Command Cards and for this article we are focusing on the three Axis-Allies sets for the Eastern Front – Finns, Hungarians and Romanians.  

The Command Cards are made up of the following different types:

  • Force – Cards affecting your force overall
  • Formation (Type) – Cards affecting the selected Formation Type
  • Unit (Type) – Cards affecting the selected Unit
  • Build – Allows you to build a new Formation Type or alter an existing one
  • Limited – Only one of these cards can be in your force
  • Warrior – Adds the selected Leader or Personality to your force.  You may only ever have one Warrior in your force

Some cards are a combination of the above eg Build, Limited. For the purpose of this article, we are going to explore the Build Formation cards in both the packs.  These formations normally provide some of the more interesting formations that you can take. Some are considered competitive, some are spammy and almost auto include min/max style lists for tournaments or the power gamer. 

There are a total of eight formations across the three Axis Allies command card packs and they are a mix of Pioneer, Recon and Light Tank Companies.

Starting with the Finnish they have one command card formation – the Pioneer Company. It has an HQ and 2-3 platoons of Pioneers (taken from the support section of the force diagram). The HQ platoon and Pioneer platoons can dig in on a 3+ and cross minefields on a 3+.  There are no other units in the formation, so if you take it, you will probably want to take all three platoons.  


Next up are the Hungarians who have four options:

  • Assault Pioneer Company
  • Toldi Light Tank Company
  • Csaba Armoured Car Company
  • Motorised Recon Company

The Assault Pioneer Company is made up of an HQ and 2-3 platoons.  The HQ is taken from the Motorised Rifle Company and the core platoons are taken from the Assault Pioneer Platoon found in the Support diagram. So, all units are Confident Careful Trained with the Huszar rule as well as the Pioneer rule which allows all units in the formation to dig in on a 3+.

The Toldi Light Tank Company is made up of an HQ and 2-4 platoons. Each platoon can take up to five tanks, so it can be used to field against other Light Armoured Formations.

Command Card Formations - Axis Allies

Command Card Formations - Axis Allies

The Csaba Armoured Car Company is made up of an HQ pf three Csabas and can take 2-3 platoons of three.  Each platoon costs 2pts so fielding a formation of twelve costs 8pts!  Great for a secondary formation or use it to min max other more expensive units. We explore this later on in the article.

The Motorised Recon Company contains an HQ as well as 2-3 platoons of Motorised Rifle Platoons and 1-2 platoons of either Csaba Armoured Cars or Toldi Light Tanks. To add some more flavour to this formation, you could take the Motorcycles Command Card to upgrade a unit of Motorised Rifle Platoons.


Finally, the Romanians with their three command card formations:

  • Pioneer Company
  • Reconnaissance Company
  • T-38 Light Tank Company

The Pioneer Company is made up of an HQ and 2-3 Platoons.  The HQ is the same as the core Motorised Rifle Company with the difference is that you pay an additional 1pt for the formation and the core platoons are taken from the Pioneer Platoon found in the Support diagram.  Also, these guys are Confident Careful Green (or trained if you roll Elite).  The Pioneer teams get two bonuses.  First is that they can cross Minefields safely on a 3+ and second, they can dig in on a 3+ instead of a 5+ or 4+ (Elite).  

The Reconnaissance Company is a mix of Infantry and Recon units and can provide some character and flavour.  Alongside the HQ, there is 1-2 Infantry or Cavalry Platoons and 1-2 AB Armoured Car Platoons.  There are some other command cards that can be applied to this formation that can change how this formation is fielded.  We explore this in more detail later.

Command Card Formations - Axis Allies

Finally, we come to the T-38 Light Tank Company.  Aside from the HQ, you can take 3-4 platoons of three T-38s for five points a platoon.  A maxed-out formation of five platoons is going to cost 25pts!  We can either pair this with another formation eg Pioneer Company or we can min max it by getting some of the more expensive units such as allied Panthers!

Command Card Formations - Axis Allies

My favourite types tend to be Recon formations, especially those that have a balanced formation of potential units and a high unit count.  This suits my style of play which tends towards combined arms and a Swiss army knife approach.  I also look at units which can pull double duty eg perform multiple roles where possible.

For the Hungarians we will look at the Csaba Armoured Car Company, pair it with an Autocannon Company and how to min max it to get other units on the table.  We already know we can max it out with twelve vehicles for 8pts.  The Autocannon Company are another fragile formation but provides some more flavour and you can park this formation in the rear hiding somewhere if things get desparate.  

Command Card Formations - Axis Allies

So dual formation for more survivability with FOUR platoons for spearhead with scout.  Two units of infantry for defending objectives or assaulting.  One artillery template and a unit of Marders and Zrinyi for AT work.  If you want AT14, you will need to swap out the Zrinyi and change out the Assault Pioneers with a Rifle Platoon to get two allied Panthers.


For the Romanians, I would look at the Reconnaissance Company which is comprised of the following:


  • 1 Motorised Rifle Company HQ
  • 1-2 Motorised Rifle Platoon or Cavalry Troop
  • 1-2 AB Armoured Car Platoon


I love these mix and match type of formations – creates some character and something a bit different.  There are a couple of command cards that work for this formation to add more character and flavour to change out the types of platoons in the formation.

A command card titled “R-1 Cavalry Tank Platoon” allows you to replace all armoured cars in the Unit with four R-1 light tanks for 2pts.  

The other command card applicable here is titled “Motorcycles” for +2pts per unit.  It reads– “Infantry Teams from this Unit become Unarmoured Tank Teams with a Save of 4+ and the movement and special rules below. Discard this card at the start of any Movement Step to revert them to Infantry Teams” for 2pts per unit.” 

So, we can create some flavour for this formation by having the HQ riding in a half-track, a Motorised Rifle Platoon on motorcycles, a Cavalry Troop mounted on horses, Armoured Car Platoon and Cavalry Tank Platoon.  All mobile units with different equipment and abilities and flavour.

Command Card Formations - Axis Allies

To complement our formation, we have added the wild card option of TACAM-60s to give us some AT12 and allied German Panthers to provide some AT14.  Add a second formation of R-2s – because why not!  Gives us sixteen tanks to support our assault.  One artillery template and dual formations to give us survivability.


There you have it.  There are some flavourful formations and cards in the pack that you can explore and put on the table.  Enjoy!
~John Lee