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Armoured Assault - The T14 Assault Tank In Flames of War

Armoured Assault - The T14 Assault Tank In Flames of War
with Joe Saunders

With the release of North Africa Mid-War Forces, Flames of War players have an amazing range of new tanks to choose from to enhance their battles in the desert.  Amongst these are some unusual and experimental vehicles that, though they showed promise (in most cases), did not go into general deployment in WWII.  North Africa Mid-War Forces embraces these vehicles allowing players to use them in their armies.  This of course creates a trade off between historical accuracy and variety, but if you ask me, increasing your options as a player can only be a good thing.   In this article we want to take a closer look at one of these theoretical vehicles, the T14 Assault tank.

The T14 was conceived of as an assault tank, it was to be heavily protected but fairly slow.  This was not seen as a disadvantage though, as it allowed it to work closely with infantry, tackling pillboxes and other hardened defenses to allow the infantry to advance safely.  As such, it was massively armored for an allied vehicle in the mid-war period.

Designed in the US, the T14 was intended  to take some of the best features of the Sherman, namely the engines, transmission and 75mm gun and combine them with some novel ideas from heavy tanks that were under development.  This option was not only attractive to the US Army, but also the British, who saw it as a solution to the issues they were having with the Churchill (which had not yet reached maturity in its design).

Armoured Assault - The T14 Assault Tank In Flames of War

Though the British had ordered the T14, it did not see regular service.  The idea to mate heavy armor to components made for medium tanks proved too demanding. The realities of tank design and requirements for maintenance and performance meant the T14 was ultimately passed over. The British turned their interest back to the Churchill and the Americans decided that the M4 Sherman could do the job of the T14 just as well.  Despite this, as Flames of War players, we have the luxury of looking at the “what if” side of history, so the T14 is available to both American and British Forces in North Africa Mid-War Forces.  Let’s take a closer look.

Armoured Assault - The T14 Assault Tank In Flames of War

Armoured Assault - The T14 Assault Tank In Flames of War
On the Defense
The T14 looks like you would expect it to. A bigger, meaner Sherman. The stats also bear this out. The Front Armor value is 7. Though this is not more than a Tiger, it is a very high value for Allied armor. When you consider that Panzer III and IVs are Front Armor 5, 7 is a great value. With most of its opponents having cannons with AT 9 or 10, the T-14 will be able to take a hit and keep going. (Watch out for 88s though.) Side armor is 6. For the time period that is crazy good. In Mid-War, there are no panzerfausts or shreks to worry about, so a side armor of 6 will make the T-14 a very tough nut to crack. Most anti tank rifles will be useless against it and the German 2.8 can only bail the T14 out! Further, Top Armor 2 makes it completely immune to improvised attacks and flame throwers.
On the Offense
As you have no doubt figured out, these stats help the T14 live up to its role as an assault tank.   It has the versatile 75mm main gun and up to 5 dice of machine guns (3 from 50 cals).  This, and its protected sides, means that you should keep your T14s moving forward.  If you want to get close for side shots on enemy armor, they can do it. Go ahead and absorb hits on the high front and side armor values as you close (fire some smoke rounds to help), then unleash your AT10 cannon at close range.  Panzer IIIs and IVs have Side Armor 3 so the worst the T14 can do is bail them out!  Against infantry, the T14 should be a special kind of nightmare.  As it is practically immune to all hand to hand weapons, the T14 will roll over most infantry with little worry.  Add in its 3+ Counterattack and it will continue to fight, making it less likely to fail its rolls to stay in an Assault.
Using the T-14
Because of its heavy armor and aggressive characteristics, you will want to use your T14s in one of 2 ways.  First is closing with the enemy to get into Assaults and point blank gun fights with other tanks.  Second, is using them to absorb higher AT hits using the Mistaken Target rule to protect other medium tanks.  Keeping these ideas in mind is crucial when considering how to add the T14 to your force, because this brings us to their main drawback, points cost.   The T14 is 13 points each for the British and 9.5 points each for the Americans, so bringing large numbers of them will be difficult.  Also, since there are pretty distinct differences between Mid-War American and British stats, the essential tactics for using the T14 are determined by the nationality using them.

The British Armoured Assault Squadron
If you want to use your T14s aggressively to get in the opponent's face, you should definitely look at playing the British. The British Armored Assault Squadron allows you to have as many as 5 platoons of 3 T14s, with a further HQ of 3 more.  (Although this is kind of unrealistic as it would cost 234 points!) With a Hit On rating of 4+ and a respectable Skill of 4+ The British T14 is something that the enemy will not want  near their lines (when combined with its armor and many machine guns).  Therefore, if you are playing British and have some T14s, you will want to put the pressure on the enemy.  Watch your opponent make mistakes as they try to deal with the closing T14s, freeing your other lighter units up to go after objectives.

Armoured Assault - The T14 Assault Tank In Flames of War


Armoured Assault - The T14 Assault Tank In Flames of War

The American T14 Assault Tank Company
The US forces get theT14 assault Tank Company.  This includes platoons of up to 5 T14s (for a whopping 48 points!) or mixed platoons of Sherman’s and T14s. The large platoons of T14s might interest the US player at first, but I think this would be situational. To use them like the British and conduct aggressive assaults, you need to consider that in Mid-War, US tanks are Hit On a 3+ and only have a Skill of 5+. This means that they are harder to get into assaults, and when they get there, they will struggle to win with their 5+ skill. (However with a 3+ counter attack you might be able to tie the enemy up in combat for a long time…)  It is the ability to mix and match the T14 with the lowly Sherman that should be drawing your attention. US armored forces like to fight on the move at medium range, where they can use their stabilized guns to good effect and still avoid being assaulted by keeping distance or using massive numbers of machine guns as a deterrent. 

The problem is, with Front Armor 6, and being hit on 3+, the Shermans can't absorb that much punishment (instead having to rely on numbers)…until now. By adding the T14 to your Sherman units, you can now substitute its front armor of 7 with the Mistaken Target rule to absorb the hits and keep your Shermans in the fight.  One point of front armor (and 2 points at the side) at first does not seem to be that much of an improvement, but trust me, in Mid-War, where you are frequently up against enemies with an AT of 9, having to roll a 3+ is a lot better than having to roll a 4+ in order to keep your tank alive.  The T14s in the US formations then function like extra armor insurance, making sure you can absorb the hits to keep greater numbers of tanks on the battlefield than your opponent.


Onward to Battle!
This brief look at the T14 should give most Flames of War Players some ideas for how they can integrate this formidable tank into their forces.  When compared to the other new tanks in North Africa Mid-War Forces it does not have a particularly powerful cannon or good mobility, but it has more than enough armor.  TheT14 can take a hit and keep on going, and that is just as useful!  So grab your assault tanks and get them on the table, you will be happy with what the T14 can achieve for the Allies.

Last Updated On Thursday, March 17, 2022 by Luke at Battlefront