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Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations
with John Lee
With the release of Brave Romania, I was asked to explore the Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations like the article I wrote for the Bagration: Axis Allies launch (Click here for the article).  Looking at the booklet and command cards, there are six 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.

Before diving into the formations, I want to cover off a couple of rules specific to the Romanians and a couple of useful command cards that can be applied to most or all core formation units we will be discussing in this article.
The first special rule is “Peasant Army”. This rule is “Each unit has two columns on their unit cards for Motivation and Skill – Standard and Elite. At the start of the game, roll a die and on a 5+ use the Elite column.” So, each unit that you roll a 5+ on (either at start of the game or as they come on from reserve), you have a better Last Stand rating of 4+ and skill of Trained rather than Green or Veteran rather than Trained.

The second special rule is a skill rating titled “Defend the Homeland”.  This gives you a better assault rating – so on a 3+.  Very handy for your infantry!  Especially as their core skill is either Green (5+) or if Elite (4+) for most units.

Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

The first Command Card is titled “Vanator De Care”.  This card applies to all Infantry units for +2pts per unit and gives them some additional oomph to take on tanks in assaults.  It reads “Discard this card to give Infantry Teams in this Unit Anti-tank 3 and Firepower 1+ against Top Armour in Assaults until the end of this turn”.  This card is almost certainly an auto include for your infantry units.

The second Command Card is titled “Scout Ahead”.  It applies to Motorised Rifle Platoon, Rifle Platoon, Mountain Rifle Platoon, and Cavalry Troop for +2pts per unit and gives the unit the ability to be harder hit moving under cover.  It reads “This Unit gains Scout.  Team can remain Gone to Ground while moving.”  This card is useful for a force where you would be aggressively attacking.


So, let us explore the core Motorised Rifle formation first, then look at the Reconnaissance, Rifle, Mountain Rifle, Pioneer Formations as well as the Calvary Squadron (Yeah Cavalry!).    

Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

 The Romanian infantry are rated Confident Careful Green with the HQ platoon comprising of two ZB24 rifle teams for 1pt or two ZB24 rifle teams and one TB (Sd Kfaz 251) half-track for 2pts.

With the motorised rifle platoons, you have several options to optimise how you want the makeup of these platoons to look.  Five ZB24 rifle and ZB30 MG teams for 4pts or seven teams for 6pts. You can also add up to two ZB30 HMG teams for +1pt each.  I think an absolute no brainer to add at least one of these HMG teams for the additional firepower for your platoon.  

The Armoured Rifle Platoon is slightly different in that they have TB (German Sd Kfz 251) half-tracks to ride in, are full ZB30 MG teams and no optional HMG teams with the additional firepower coming from the half-tracks machine guns.  The interesting thing here is that you now have a platoon that can be mounted in their half-tracks for assault or dismounted with additional MG firepower to support an assault or help with defensive fire.  Five ZB30 MG teams with three TB half-tracks for 7pts or seven ZB30 MG teams with four TB half-tracks for 9pts.

This is an interesting option to take, I think.  You can take the Armoured Rifle platoon for one or two of your platoons as well as the HQ, gives you an offensive option to either assault or come on from reserve to relieve pressure on a contested objective using their half-tracks speed to get there and if required, launch a mounted assault.

Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

The next platoon to look at is the ZB53 Machine-Gun platoon where you can have four of these teams for 4pts. Something to consider taking, especially if you do not take an Armoured Rifle platoon. Adds another platoon for the formation count. I do not always take these but can be useful to bolster defending an objective or protect artillery.

Up next is the 81mm Mortar Platoon (you can take up to TWO of them!) – I think one of the best buys in the formation with two for 2pts, three for 4pts, or four 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 and three mortars are the best price point. If you manage to get these as Elite, then you get a Trained skill rating for ranging in!

Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

The final units to round out the formation are the Anti-tank Platoons.  The 47mm Anti-tank Platoon has two guns for 5pts or four for 10pts.  Useful AT8 FP4+ with a range out to 24”.  The 50mm Anti-tank Platoon has two guns for 7pts or three for 10pts.  Better AT9 FP4+ with a range out to 28”. 

Great little units to provide some AT support for defending assaults or keep your opponent’s recon elements honest and provide another unit for the formation break. 

There is a command card title “Motorcycles” that can be applied to the Motorised Rifle Company HQ and Motorised Rifle Platoons, but I will cover it off in the Reconnaissance Company Formation section later in this article.

For Mid War you need some AT12 at a minimum to deal with most big threats and if you have AT14 even better.  The Romanians have one AT12 option they can take in their support diagram – the 75mm Anti-tank platoon.  Two guns for 9pts or three guns for 14pts.  This is an auto include for your infantry force as an ambush unit.  If you want the certainty of AT14 then you can also take allied German Panthers or Tigers.  I feel though that with the infantry formation, you may not even need AT14, you still need some AT12 and some form of armour to support the infantry.  Let us look at two lists – one with allies and one without. Lists will be based on 105pts

Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

 Six units for the formation break.  Two artillery templates.  Maxed out infantry – two armoured to attack with one on foot to defend an objective or provide a unit to plug a gap.  Mix of AT12 and AT14 for heavy AT work and 47mm AT guns for medium AT work.  A unit with spearhead to get your Armoured Rifle platoons into assault range quickly with light tanks to help screen the advance.  If you need reserves, then you could put both tank units in reserve with either the HQ or Armoured Cars.  Another option is one of the Armoured Rifle platoons with the Panthers in reserve.

The second list is no allies and no Armoured Rifles and makes use of other AT options:

Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

Six units for the formation break.  Three artillery templates now including the Stukas and the six tube 120mm mortars allowing rerolling of misses, combined with repeat bombardments makes this a deadly combination.  We have three AT12 guns plus Stukas to give us our heavy AT options and the T-4s and Long 47mm AT guns for medium AT work.  Armoured cars for spearhead.  Three infantry platoons giving flexibility in tactics.


 

 The second formation we will look at is the Rifle Company and is comprised of the following:

Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

So, it looks like the Motorised Rifle Company but not quite as big in numbers.  The main differences are that they are rated Confident Aggressive Green and no access to Armoured Rifles.  The Rifle Platoons ROF also drops from 2/1 to 1/1 being ZB24 rifle teams instead of ZB24 and ZB30 MG teams.  The other differences are that you can now have an Infantry Gun Platoon as an option.  The HQ is two ZB24 rifle teams for 1pt.

The Rifle Platoons comprise of either seven ZB24 rifle teams for 4pts or nine teams for 5pts. You also have the option to add up to two ZB30 HMG teams and one 60mm mortar for +1pt each. The 60mm mortar is interesting, gives your platoons their own template – works like the US mortar. Yes, you need to reroll hits being only one weapon but sometimes all you need is one hit for the pin before you assault with the rest of your platoon. For me, it’s an absolute no brainer to take all nine teams and all the options for 8pts giving you the eight hits required for a pin instead of five. Combine this with “Scout Ahead” command card and gives you some interesting design options for your list.

The ZB53 Machine-gun Platoon has four ZB53 HMG teams for 3pts and worth taking depending on how you want the make up of your formation to work.

Taking up to two 81mm Mortar Platoons, you have the option to take two teams for 2pts, three teams for 3pts or 4 teams for 4pts. Taking one platoon, I would take four. With two platoons, you could get away with three teams each. It would also depend on whether you take the 60mm option in the Rifle Platoons.

Next up is the 37mm Anti-Tank Platoon. You can take two 37mm guns for 3pts or four guns for 5pts. They have a range out to 24” with AT6 FP4+. Useful against marauding Armoured Cars and Light Tanks and provide an additional platoon for the formation count as well as giving some AT capability in defensive fire.

The Infantry Gun Platoon has either four 47mm infantry guns for 5pts or six guns for 7pts. They do not have gun shields, a range of 24” AT6 FP4+ with HEAT. HEAT is useful at long-range negating the +1 armour save the enemy gets. I think that taking six guns is a no brainer here getting out 12 HEAT shots up to 24” increases the defensive bubble for marauding enemy Armoured Cars and Light Tanks.

This formation also gets the option to field one of two Warriors. The first is “Nicolae Dabija”. This card applies to the Rifle Company HQ for 4pts and gives the following benefit:

“Any Unit whose Unit Leader is within 6"/15cm of the Formation Commander passes Last Stand and Rally on a 3+.”
The second is “Ioan Palaghita” and applies to the Rifle Company HQ for 6pts and gives the following benefits:
“This Unit passes Blitz Move tests on 3+. The Formation HQ and any Unit that is making a combined Assault with it Counterattack on 3+.”

 Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations  Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

Combining one of these Warriors for your cheap infantry formation can bring some added benefit depending on what you want to use it for. If I was using them to defend and had other options to attack, then I would pair them with “Nicolae Dabija”, otherwise on attack I would be using “Ioan Palaghita”.

 Looking at a sample list of 105pts, this is what I would be looking at as an attacking list:

Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

 Seven platoons for the formation break and has four artillery templates.  Armoured Cars for spearhead and screening your two attacking infantry platoons (with the scout card) with the third platoon, infantry guns and mortars either defending an objective or supporting the attack.  Note that I have put THREE allied Panthers into anti-tank support.  This will cause your opponent to choose which is the greater threat to them – six AT14 shots at long range or the swarm of 20+ infantry teams assaulting an objective!  If you must defend then you could have one the platoons with Scout ability in reserve ready to support whichever objective is under threat.  If you wanted to take a warrior here, you could remove one of the mortar platoons to include Nicolae Dabija or remove one of the mortar platoons and either a Scout Ahead card or armoured car platoon to get Ioan Palaghita.


 

 The third formation to look at is the Mountain Rifle Company and is comprised of the following:

Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

This formation is like the Rifle Company except that they are Confident Careful Trained (or veteran if roll Elite) and have a rule called “Mountaineer”. This rule allows infantry teams that start their Movement Step adjacent to a cliff or mountain side (or another similar Impassable terrain feature) roll a Skill Test. If successful, the Team may move using Terrain Dash across the terrain. These are your elite troops with better training and the points reflect that. Trained vs Green or Veteran vs Trained (if roll Elite) gives you more options such as ability to pull of Blitzes and for artillery to range in easier.

The Mountain Rifle Platoon has a similar composition as the Motorised Rifle Platoon with five ZB24 rifle and ZB30 MG teams for 5pts or seven teams for 7pts. You can also add up to one ZB30 HMG team and one 60mm mortar team for +1pt each.

The next platoon to look at is the Mountain ZB53 Machine-Gun platoon where you have the choice of two ZB53 HMG teams for 3pts or four teams for 5pts. Adds another platoon for the formation count. I do not always take these but can be useful to bolster defending an objective or protect artillery.

Up next is the Mountain 81mm Mortar Platoon – I think one of the best buys in the formation with two for 3pts, three for 4pts, or four for 6pts. This is an absolute no brainer and I think the best price point is for three teams. Something to consider depending on whether you want to take 60mm mortars in the infantry platoons or not but with Trained over Green skill rating is advantageous.

Last platoon is the Mountain 47mm Infantry Gun Platoon. You only get two guns for 3pts. Still worthwhile taking them especially if you have the spare points and helps with the formation break.

 So, with a better trained formation, lets see what we can put together for 105pts:

 Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

 Only five units for the formation break but these are better quality troops and is supported by a secondary formation of light tanks which has six units for the formation break.  Opponent must break both formations for you to flee the battlefield, and with two infantry platoons that can attack or defend along with thirteen light tanks to help screen them with two artillery templates that will be either trained or veteran to pin the enemy before the assault.  Mix of mobile AT10 and AT12 guns, should keep your opponent honest.


 

The first command card formation is next and is the Pioneer Company which is comprised of the following:

  • 1 Motorised Rifle Company HQ
  • 2-3 Pioneer Platoon

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 Pioneer Platoons give you some interesting options for their composition and is made up of two types of teams.  The usual ZB24 rifle teams as well as Flame-thrower teams. The Flame-thrower teams have a 6” range with ROF 2 AT2 AUTO FP.  Get these guys into assault range and get them to vaporise some teams before the unit goes in to rout the enemy!  Four ZB24 rifle teams and one Flame-thrower team for 4pts or six ZB24 rifle teams and two Flame-thrower teams for 6pts. You add a ZB53 HMG team for +1pt as well.  You also have two upgrade options here which gives some flexibility in how you can utilise these for just one platoon or a mix for all.  Replace all ZB24 rifle teams with ZB24 rifle and ZB30 MG teams for +1pt. This gives you the ability of ROF 2 halted and lose the slow firing rule.  This would suit either a defensive platoon for more firepower in defence or general all-round capability. The other option is to replace all ZB24 rifle teams with Orita SMG teams for +1pt. This would suit the assault platoons with ROF3 to pin the enemy before the assault goes in – remember all infantry assault on a 3+!  Combined with the “Vanator De Care” command card and these guys are looking deadly!

There are no other units in the formation, so if you take it, you will probably want to take three platoons.  How should we construct the list for 105pts?

 Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

Maxed out units for the break – five.  This is an attacking force and two of the platoons are upgraded to SMG to reflect that for assaulting with the remaining platoon as a reserve or to defend an objective.  Spearhead unit to get your troops in there with two artillery templates to remove or pin enemy units for the assaults.  Three Allied German Panthers to take on all comers with ranged AT14.  This is a bit more of a finessed list and lacking some light and medium AT options, but this could be mitigated by removing one panther and adding in a light tank formation or 75mm AT guns and a platoon of light tanks.


 

The final book formation in the booklet is the Cavalry Squadron and is comprised of the following:

Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

All units are Confident Careful Green (unless you roll Elite and they become trained) and can either be mounted or dismounted. You can start mounted and dismount anytime at the start of your movement. Once dismounted, the unit will remain dismounted for the rest of the game. The HQ comprises of two ZB24 rifle teams for 1pt.

Each Cavalry Troop is made up of either five ZB24 rifle and ZB30 MG teams for 4pts or seven teams for 6pts. You can add up to two ZB53 HMG teams for +1pt each. The exciting thing about running these troops is the ability to launch an assault from 6” out rather than the standard 4” and combined with assault rating of 3+ can give your opponent a nasty surprise.

Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

The Motorised ZB53 Machine-Gun platoons and Motorised 81mm Mortar platoons are the same as the in first formation and I would add the mortars and maybe take the machine-guns depending on what I want my force to do.

The last platoon to round out the formation is the 45mm Anti-Tank Platoon.  This is made up captured Soviet 45mm guns and you can have two for 5pts, four for 9pts or six for 14pts.  Range out to 20” with AT7 FP4+.  Take four of these or if you have the points, take all six.

There is also a useful command card titled “Hack Them Down” costing 3pts per unit that allows either a Cavalry Squadron HQ or Cavalry Troop unit to Counterattack on a 3+!  Combined with hitting on 3+ and additional reach when assaulting whilst mounted makes them quite fearsome!

 Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

 Another maxed out formation with eight units for the formation break.  You can choose which or all the troops to be mounted and use the HMG platoons to support assaults or defend objectives.  Two artillery templates to support the assault with a mix of AT 9 and AT 12 to ward off enemy armour and the six 45mm AT guns to ward off armoured cars and light tanks.  Armoured cars for spearheading or providing screening for your cavalry charge!  If you wanted to apply the Hack Them Down card, you could remove an HMG platoon and reduce the 45mm AT gun platoon to four guns which would give all your Cavalry Troops the card.


 

The last formation is the Reconnaissance Company which is in the command cards and 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.  Having already covered off the Motorised Infantry and Cavalry Troops in the article lets look at the Armoured Car platoon and a couple of command cards that work for this formation.

The AB Armoured Car Platoon has two German Sd Kfz 222 (2cm) and one Sd Kfz 221 (MG) Armoured Cars for 2pts.  They are Careful Confident Green (unless you roll Elite then trained) and have FA1 SA0 TA0 and armed with either a 2cm gun with 20” range AT5 FP5+ and Self Defence AA rule or a MG with ROF 3.  This unit also has “Scout” and “Spearhead” rules which makes them harder to hit when moving in cover and allows (in certain missions) to expand your deployment zone to get your units into an advantageous attacking position.

 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 ratings for these are Confident with Last Stand of 5+ (unless elite making it 4+) with FA1 SA0 TA1 and ROF 3 MG. Movement stats are 10” Tactical speed, 12” Terrain Dash, 18” Cross Country Dash, 24” Road Dash and 4+ Cross Check.

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.” The movement stats are: No tactical, 10” Terrain Dash, 16” Cross Country Dash, 40” Road Dash with a 4+ Cross Check. NB: For unarmoured teams, they cannot Charge into Contact and must Break Off if Assaulted.

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.

 Exploring Mid War Romanian Infantry Formations

Maxed out formation of five units that has two artillery templates and two units for spearhead, you will be attacking or choosing manoeuvre with the cavalry and motorcycle infantry. Use their speed to get up in your opponents face whilst trying to deal with your allied Panthers and sheltering from the roving Stukas. This is a list that suits my play style and has a bit of a swiss army knife feel to it and lots of flavour! One slight change I would make is to apply the Hack Them Down card to the Cavalry Troop, I could change out the T-38 platoon to R-2 platoon, 75mm Artillery Battery to the 100mm Artillery Battery and drop the Observer. Another consideration is that I could change out the Panthers and remove the Stukas to a single Tiger and a secondary R-2 Light Tank Formation to give it more oomph.

So, there you have it – six infantry formation options to choose from. Romanian Infantry have some uniqueness about them with Armoured Rifles, Cavalry, Recon, Mountaineers and Pioneers that you can exploit in your games. I hope this has been of some help. Happy List Building!
~John


Last Updated On Thursday, October 21, 2021 by Luke at Battlefront