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Building A D-Day: British Recce Squadron

Building A D-Day: British Recce Squadron
with John Lee

I have an affinity with Armoured Cars, Recon Formations and Command Card Formations.  So when D-Day: British was released, I was happy to see the Daimler Armoured Cars in their own Formation. 

The Formation also had core elements that I look for in Formations to make it more like combined arms. Let’s have a look at what you can take in the Formation:

  • 1 HQ Unit
  • 2-3 Daimler Armoured Car Troops
  • 2-6 Universal Carrier Patrols
  • 0-1 Motor Platoon
  • 0-1 Motor 6pdr Anti-Tank Platoon
  • 0-1 3-inch Mortar Platoon

As you can see, you can build a strong Formation which your opposition will have trouble breaking (if you build it right). Minimum of five units, maximum of 13 units!

Looking at how many of each unit we can have in the Formation, I would be looking to take three Daimler Armoured Car Troops, 3-4 Carrier Patrols and two if not all three integral support options as a minimum here. Another consideration of course is how many points are you planning? 60? 70? 80? 100? I will build a list based on 100pts.

Building A D-Day: British Recce Squadron

Building A D-Day: British Recce Squadron
Starting with the Daimler Armoured Car Troop, you can take three or four vehicles. The base troop is 2 x Daimler (2 pdr) and 1 x Dingo (MG) for 2pts. There are a couple of decisions to make here. First you need to decide to have two standard Daimlers or one standard and one with the Littlejohn adapter.  The difference is paying another point and you get AT8 instead of AT7. The downside is that is that it introduces the “No HE” rule.  Already the vehicle has the “Overworked” rule. This means that if firing on the move you take a double penalty to hit when shooting with the main gun. If I was looking at a smaller point game, I would consider spending the point as I won’t be able to take as much support that I would want at say 60 or 70 points. The second decision I need to make is whether to take a second Dingo (MG) vehicle or not for another point. I recommend paying an extra point to get an extra Dingo (MG) to get four vehicles in the troop – better survivability. What I love about these units is that they are Veteran Careful with Scout and Spearhead and AT7/8 that can cause your opponents headaches in the back field and can be a secondary assault unit assaulting on 4+. Taking all three Troops helps with Formation break.
Building A D-Day: British Recce Squadron

Next let’s look at the other compulsory unit we need to take – the Universal Carrier Patrol. Base unit is 3 x Universal Carrier (MG) for 2 pts. Now again there are further decisions to be made about whether to upgrade any or all of the carriers in the patrol.  We can arm any or all with an optional PIAT for 1 point each. If we wanted to upgrade all three carriers then we would pay an additional three points. There is also an additional Command Card called “.50 cal Carrier”. This Command Card upgrades the MG in each patrol to .50 cal MG for one additional point per patrol.  Adam Brooker wrote an excellent article about converting a carrier to a .50 cal version.

Read Adam's excellent article here... 

For me it’s a no brainer to upgrade the carrier patrol to .50 cal and upgrade one carrier in the patrol to a PIAT which costs 4pts per patrol. This gives the carriers some versatility in their role, from recon to AA defence to point blank AT work and just being something else annoying your opponent must deal with.

Building A D-Day: British Recce Squadron

With the compulsory platoons out of the way, that leaves the anchors to the Formation.  First the Motor Platoon.  At 6 pts is a good infantry platoon defensively with firepower (can attack also with 3+ in Assaults – need to be careful with only 6 teams in the platoon).  Depending on what support I want to take, I will take this most of the time to anchor one objective. 

The Motor 6pdr Anti-Tank Platoon dishes out AT11 goodness and anchors the other objective for 10pts. There is also a Command Card called “Carrier Transport” for 1pt will provide a gun tractor option to tow your guns in case they are needed somewhere else on the table or if you need to put them in Reserve. This is a no brainer to include in the Formation.

Finally, to round out the Formation is the 3-inch Mortar Platoon. This provides an artillery template integral to the Formation. Take six of these for 9pts or four for 6pts. I prefer to take six tubes (re-rolling misses) but if you need to shave points you can take four.

Let’s see how the Formation looks so far:

 Building A D-Day: British Recce Squadron
That comes in at 48pts and has 10 units in the Formation – so quite hard to break it!  52pts left to play with.  What support elements do we need? Some heavy-duty AT and for that we can get one or two of the excellent M10 (17 pdr) Platoons. Another battery of artillery is also good so either 25 pdrs, Sextons (another Command Card) or Priests along with an Auster OP Observation Post to spot anywhere on the board. Other options are Churchills, Crocodiles, Cromwells, Shermans and Typhoons.
For me, I would opt for two M10 SP Anti-tank Platoons. 18pts for each platoon and that gives me eight AT14 platforms (depending on mission, one platoon can start off in ambush). Next, I would opt for either a battery of 25 pdrs or Sextons (depends on your preference) as they cost 14 pts each and round off with an Auster OP for 2 pts to allow spotting for artillery anywhere on the board. This gives me a second template and the ability to hit anywhere on the board.
Building A D-Day: British Recce Squadron

You could swap out one of the M10 SP (17 pdr) platoons and reduce the 3-inch mortars from six to four tubes to add in Crocodiles at 21 pts. If you want some different infantry, then you can swap out the Motor Platoon for infantry that you feel more comfortable with – ie nine teams rather than six. Play around with the points and options that suits either what models you already have, or what your playstyle is. The good thing about taking this Formation is that it also suits taking it at a smaller points scale and still have a lot on the table.

I hope this article has given you food for thought and the new plastic Daimler and Dingo kit is awesome. That is another reason to play this Formation. Give it a go!

Last Updated On Thursday, August 6, 2020