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Exploring the Mid War Finnish Infantry Formations

Exploring the Mid War Finnish Infantry Formations
with John Lee
With the release of White Death, I was asked to explore the Mid War Finnish Infantry Formations like the article I wrote for the Bagration: Axis Allies launch (Click here for the article). Looking at the booklet and cards, there are three infantry formations in total you can take. We will explore each one and what some of the command cards can be applied to either the formation itself or unit(s) within the formation. So, let us explore the core infantry formation first, then look at the Light Infantry and Pioneer Formations.

Exploring the Mid War Finnish Infantry Formations

The Finnish infantry are rated Fearless Careful Trained and have the special rule “Hunter”.  This rule reads “Infantry Teams treat Snow, Woods or Forests as Cross-country Dash instead of Terrain Dash.”   So, in your games with lots of cover, you can move 12” instead of 8”.  If you also use a Follow Me order, you could move up to 16” in a single turn!  Use that to your advantage.  

Before looking at the units in the formation, I thought I would also discuss the “Close Defence” command card.  It applies to all Light Infantry, SMG, Infantry, Pioneer, and any Anti-tank platoons for a cost of 2pts per unit.  Discard the card to give Infantry and Gun teams in the unit AT3 FP1+ against Top Armour until the end of the turn.  This card is quite versatile, and I would consider almost an auto-include for most units (including Anti-tank gun teams!) – especially if I have the points.

Exploring the Mid War Finnish Infantry Formations

With the infantry platoons, you have several options to optimise how you want the makeup of these platoons to look.  Five M/27 rifle and M/26 MG teams for 6pts, seven teams for 8pts or nine teams for 10pts.  You can also beef up the platoons by adding a Maxim HMG team for +2pt and a Lahti anti-tank rifle team for +1pt.  I like to take the HMG team if I have the points.  If the platoon gets pinned, then you need that extra dice defending in assaults. For mid war, the anti-tank rifle team for +1pt is worth it for me – gives me ROF2 AT5 out to 20”.  Helps with warding off enemy light recon units.

The Light Infantry platoon is configured the same as the infantry platoon except all teams are armed with M/27 rifle only meaning a ROF 1 with moving ROF 1 slow firing.  They have the “Crafty” rule giving them a tactics rating of 3+.  Lahti anti-tank rifle team and Maxim HMG are optional for same points as Infantry platoon, but they also gain access to an optional 50mm mortar team for +1pt.  This team has the “Overhead fire” rule allowing you to fire overhead of moving teams to a range of 16” and has a FP4+!  Its slow firing though so it will hit on a +1 when moving.  Five teams for 5pts, seven teams for 7pts, and nine teams for 9pts.  You can apply another command card here for this unit called “Forward Scouts” for 2pts per unit that allows the unit to remain gone to ground when moving!  Combined with the “Hunter” rule means you can move stealthily in cover up the table and only be hit on 6s or 7s!

 Exploring the Mid War Finnish Infantry Formations

The SMG platoon is configured the same as the infantry platoon except all teams are armed with SMGs instead of rifles and MGs.  They have the “Crafty” rule giving them a tactics rating of 3+ and the “Assault Weapons” rule allowing them to assault on 3+.  Difference is 6pts for five teams, 9pts for seven teams and 11pts for nine teams.  The Lahti anti-tank rifle team and 50mm mortar team options are the same here also.

Depending on what your preference is, you could take two or three infantry platoons – take the third if you have the points.  If you are offensive minded, you would take the Light Infantry or SMG platoon as the third platoon to assault whilst the other two platoons defend the objectives.

The next platoon to look at is the Maxim Machine-Gun platoon where you can have two of these for 3pts or four of these for 6pts.  Something to consider taking, especially if you do not take them in the infantry platoons.  Adds another platoon for the formation count.  I do not always take these but can be useful to bolster defending an objective or supporting an assault.  

Exploring the Mid War Finnish Infantry Formations

Up next is the 81mm Mortar Platoon – I think one of the best buys in the formation with three for 5pts.  This is an absolute no brainer – range of 48” and can fire a smoke bombardment.  This is one of my core units for this formation.

We have two options in the Anit-tank Platoon slot.  The 37mm Anti-tank platoon is made up of two 37mm guns for 4pts.  They can fire optional Stielgranate as well as its normal ammunition and those cost +2pts.  With normal ammunition, they have 24” range with AT6 FP4+.  Stielgranate has a range of 10” with AT12 FP5+. If you take these – put them with an infantry platoon because even KVs and Tigers will have a problem with AT12 vs SA8 in defensive fire and you only need to bail out two tanks to stop the assault – so 5+ FP is not a problem.  The 45mm Anti-tank platoon is made up of two 45mm guns and has a range of 20” with AT7 FP4+ for 4pts.

For Mid War you need some AT12 at a minimum to deal with most big threats and if you have AT14 even better.  Whilst the Finns do not have high end AT in their force, they can take German allied Panthers or Tigers to help with that or they have a 75mm AT platoon with AT12 that you can take.  I feel though that with the infantry formation, you may not even need AT14, you still need some AT11/12.  Let us look at two lists – one with allies and one without. Lists will be based on 105pts.

Exploring the Mid War Finnish Infantry Formations

There are five platoons for the formation break.  One artillery template that is part of the formation (Two in total).  Three infantry platoons that will allow you to have two platoons defending objectives and the SMG platoon to attack with support from the StuGs or have one platoon defend and use two platoons to attack.  BA-10s to screen against any light armour, infantry, or go and create diversions or even tie up the enemy on the other flank.  Looking at an all-Finnish option:

Exploring the Mid War Finnish Infantry Formations

Six platoons for the formation break.  To get everything else in the list, I dropped the “Ferocious Valour” command card and the 50mm mortar from the SMG platoon.  Two platoons of 37mm guns to provide AT support on one flank with one platoon of Pak40s on the other flank.  Three templates including the aircraft flight.  T-28s to assist with assaults – TA2 makes them almost unstoppable in assaults (just make sure anything that hurt them has been taken care of first!)  The key to these lists is the infantry – use them aggressively!


 

 The second formation is the Light Infantry.  These are meant to be Finland’s finest troops.  They have a slightly different composition to the standard infantry formation.  It comprises the following:

Exploring the Mid War Finnish Infantry Formations

 The formation costs 2pts and includes two SMG teams for the HQ and they have the “Crafty” and “Assault Weapons” rules as well.  A Warrior is available for this formation – Lauri Torni (see below).  You can also apply the “Ferocious Valour”, “Trench Fighter”, and “Sissi Tactics” command cards to the formation.

Lauri Torni Command Card:  Allows the units in the formation to pass Blitz tests on 2+ and pass Last Stand checks on 2+ if within 6” and in line of sight of the Formation Commander.  All for 4pts!

The Light Infantry, SMG, Maxim HMG and 81mm Mortar Platoons details have been covered off earlier in this article so the only new platoon to look at is the Anti-Tank Rifle Platoon.  They have the “Crafty” rule giving them a tactics rating of 3+.  Two teams for 3pts, four teams for 5pts.  This is a great unit to keep any enemy light recon units at bay.

Exploring the Mid War Finnish Infantry Formations

 Five platoons for the formation break.  Only one template but this is an assault force, and you will be attacking.   Use spearhead to get your Scout Light Infantry Platoons into assault position with theT-28s and StuGs supporting and Lauri Torni leading the way!


 

 Now onto the command card formation - the Pioneer Company

Use the Pioneer Platoons in the support section instead of Infantry Platoons.  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.  You can also apply the “Ferocious Valour”, “Trench Fighter”, and “Sissi Tactics” command cards to the formation.

Each Pioneer platoon is configured the same as the infantry platoon except all teams are armed with M/27 rifle only meaning a ROF 1 with moving ROF 1 slow firing.  They have the “Crafty” rule giving them a tactics rating of 3+.  There are also two compulsory Flame-thrower teams that are part of the platoon as well.  6” range with ROF2 AT2 AUTO FP are deadly – especially against unarmoured targets! So, including the two Flame-thrower teams, its five teams for 6pts, seven teams for 7pts and nine teams for 9pts.

Let’s see what we can take to support the Pioneers.

Exploring the Mid War Finnish Infantry Formations

Exploring the Mid War Finnish Infantry Formations

You have a maxed-out formation and can leave two platoons defending objectives if required but if attacking, you might only need one in reserve or to protect an objective.  120mm mortars provide an artillery template, T-28s and StuGs to provide a screen and BA-10s for spearhead.  This is an aggressive list and its all about the assault! 

So, there you have it – three infantry formation options to choose from.  Finnish Infantry have some uniqueness about them being Fearless with some unique flavour and some command cards that you can exploit in your games.  Looking at the Finnish infantry – they are really geared for attacking and suits the aggressive attacking playstyle.  I hope this has been of some help.  Happy List Building!


Last Updated On Thursday, August 12, 2021 by Luke at Battlefront