Blitzkrieg Cover Tactics and Strategy for Fielding Montgomery in Early War
by Russell Briant

The British Early-war warrior is Major General Bernard Law Montgomery.

You get to choose Montgomery if you take a British Rifle Company as your force. This company could be Guards, Regular or Territorial. Montgomery commanded the British 3rd “Ironsides” Division for most of the French campaign. The 3rd Division comprised the standard three infantry brigades. The 7th (Guards) Brigade was blessed with the 1st and 2nd Grenadier Guards and 1st Coldstream Guards battalions. The 8th Brigade, were made up of the 1st Suffolk and the 2nd East Yorkshire battalions, and the 4th Royal Berkshire (Territorial) battalion; and the  9th Brigade, consisting of the 2nd Lincolnshire, 1st King Own Scottish Borderers and the 2nd Royal Ulster Rifles battalions.

Learn more about the British Rifle Company here...
Guards and Regular Companies are Confident Veterans, thoroughly trained professionals. They’re harder to hit and more effective in hand to hand combat. If British regulars are tough, then the Guards are the toughest infantry in the game! Guards have the Unflappable rule (see page 134 of Blitzkrieg), allowing them to re-roll failed platoon and company moral tests, increasing their chance carry on the innings on when the wicket gets sticky.

Territorial units from the 4th Royal Berkshires are Confident Trained. Being less well trained, they are easier to hit and less effective in hand to hand combat, but you can get more of them which allows you to put more shots on Jerry.

No Heavy Tanks

If you choose Montgomery you will need to fight without the support of heavy armour. The allied French and British Matilda I (A11) and II (A12) platoons are not allowed in this force. That’s just fine.  Control the enemy’s armour with your Anti-tank guns, preferably from ambush, and give them no place to rest with your artillery, while your infantry win you the fight.


Right: The British 2pdr Anti-tank gun.

Below: The British Bren Gun Carrier.
The British 2pdr Anti-tank gun
The British Bren Gun Carrier
You can get a troop of Mk IV B Light tanks from the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars Divisional Cavalry if you just must have tracks. Don’t underestimate these tankettes; on the face of it, three tanks with paper thin armour are extremely weak, but this is in some ways a good thing as you are never tempted to use them like proper tanks! And they can pack a nasty punch with their three 0.5” HMGs. More useful though, are the Carriers. These are extremely brittle, but their jobs isn’t toe-to-toe combat with Jerry, but provide reconnaissance and extra fire support to the infantry in the front lines – a hint is not to think of them as armoured vehicles but as highly mobile Bren Gun Carriers. Any self-respecting British Rifle Company should always have at least one patrol of Carriers.

Monty’s Special Rules

Self-Assured
Monty always passes a Company Morale Test on a 3+. If you are as confident and capable as Montgomery you should never need this special rule. But keep it in the bottom of the kit bag just in case.

Brilliant
This special rule allows you deploy one of your Rifle Platoons at the same time as Independent Teams. This means you get an opportunity to counteract to your opponent’s deployment. Thicken your defence where he’s massing to attack or bolster where he’s left you an opening.

Calm, Clear Brain
This is the bookies favourite for the Derby. In a Defensive Battle when you are defending, you can make your opponent to attack at dusk. Starting on your turn three you start rolling to cause night fall (on a roll of 5+). This is likely to mean that the closing rounds of the game are fought under the Night Fighting rules (page 154 of the main rulebook).


Right: Montgomery as featured in Blitzkrieg (page 117).

Learn more about Montgomery here...

Major General Bernard Montgomery
This is great for the defender. Once the sun has gone no one can move more than 8”/20cm and successful bogging tests need to be rerolled, slowing down your opponent’s momentum just when he hopes to be closing in on the objectives.

At night you are concealed and, if you hold your fire, then it becomes problematic for the enemy to even see you to shoot at you.

His Stukas have to stop harassing you for the night.

All this is likely to baffle him. Does he rush across the table without proper preparation to try and beat the going down of the sun? Does he push into that difficult terrain and risk bogging? Night time is infantry’s time. Fasten bayonets and counterattack remorselessly.
The British Rifle Platoon Choosing Your Force

Don’t skimp on the infantry. These are not just the core of your force – British infantry is the best infantry in Flames Of War. I’d take at least three Rifle platoons. Motorcycle platoon can provide some mobile infantry with firepower.
If your enemy is likely to have armour, then you are going to need to have sufficient Anti-tank support. You have the option of up to three Anti-tank gun platoons from the battalion’s integral Anti-tank or Divisional Support from the 20th Anti-tank Regiment – and the 2pdr gun at Anti-tank 7 on a turntable is the finest Anti-tank gun in 1940.

Above Left: The British Rifle Platoon.

Right: The British 2pdr Anti-tank gun. 
The British 2pdr Anti-tank gun
A British 18pdr Battery. Artillery from any of the 7th, 33rd or 76th Field regiments can do both the bombardment and provide useful Anti-tank support. There are plenty of reconnaissance options to choose from.

Left: A British 18pdr Battery.
Mortars with the HQ are always useful for laying some smoke to cover an attack or pin un-armoured enemy.

Right: A Company HQ with mortars.
Company HQ with Mortars

With the great man, this is a smashing defensive force and they’re no Hooray Henrys when attacking. It is a force that should fill you with as much self confidence as a Montgomery!

~ Russell.

References

http://www.ordersofbattle.com/UnitIndex.aspx

http://niehorster.orbat.com/017_britain/40_org/_inf-div.html#div-03

http://www.cgsc.edu/CARL/nafziger/939BIBA.PDF

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Last Updated On Thursday, October 14, 2010 by Blake at Battlefront