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Getting Started in the Great War with Brett’s Brawlers

Getting Started in the Great War with Brett’s Brawlers
With For Warned Forearmed

Hi all, and welcome back to another article with your local S2. This time we are taking a trip into history as we look at starting a new army in the Great War. The group I game with is looking at trying something different, and we decided it would be interesting to give Great War a go as it’s a niche game with interesting game mechanics that are similar to Flames Of War and WWIII: Team Yankee for the base rules but change slightly to show just how much it was a war of attrition until the invention of the Tank.

Not knowing much about Great War and wanting to get an army and rules the quickest way possible, I decided on Brett’s Brawlers, as having a quick look through the list they do get access to support Units from their French and British allies. I thought this would be great especially if I wanted to expand my armies for this game in the future. Plus it also gives me an excuse to paint some cool French tanks in their camo as well.

The other good thing about this box is that it gives me enough minis to have a decent-sized infantry Formation to start with, which can be used to represent the 3 distinct infantry Formations that are available in the book, 2 of which are veterans.

The box includes:
  • 1x Rifle Company HQ (with 2 teams)
  • 2x Rifle Half-Platoons (each with 11 teams)
  • 1x Machine-Run Platoon (with 4 teams)
  • 2x 76mm Stokes Trench Mortars
  • 1x 75mm Field Gun
  • 1x Char Saint Chamond Tank
  • 2x Renault FT-17 Tanks
  • 1x Sniper

GUSAB02 Brett's Brawlers

My options are the 1st and 42nd Infantry divisions and the good old Devil Dogs the US Marines in the form of the 4th Marine Brigade. I’ve decided I will build my force around the more recently trained US forces as this gives me a decent force as well as some good support choices.

This gives me the following:

42nd Rifle Company HQ

1
42nd Rifle Half-Platoon + Flamethrower 13
42nd Rifle Half-Platoon + Flamethrower 13
42nd Machine-gun Platoon 15
42nd 76mm Stokes Trench Mortar Platoon 5
42nd 76mm Stokes Trench Mortar Platoon 5
42nd Field Gun 9
Light Tank Platoon 14
Char Saint Chamond Tank 21
Sniper 4

All up this gives me a large Formation which is good for morale and also gives me plenty of Units on the table. As far as starting a brand new force and game I think this is the starter to get.

Looking at the list in more detail, I have two fairly large-sized infantry platoons upgraded to include 2 flamethrower teams which will come in handy for assaults and counter assaults. Looking at the stats of the platoon I can use them to great effect to take on other infantry or to dig in and repel an oncoming attack, it’s no wonder WW1 was so brutal considering the weapons used by these platoons.

Getting Started in the Great War with Brett’s Brawlers

The base infantry platoon has 5 stands of Springfield teams who have a decent range however they do have slow firing which is something to be mindful of, especially if I’m looking at launching an assault across no man’s land. This is followed up with 2 VB rifle grenade teams and 2 MG teams which round out the base platoon.

Both of these 2 teams seem crucial in me being able to hold objectives and to assault to clear objectives, it is probably why I included a flamethrower team in my platoons. As going by these teams and their stats I would like them to be pinned before commencing an assault if I was playing against similar units. As each of them has a decent stat line, especially the grenade teams, the ability to have FP 4 seems to be crucial as this will help dig out dug-in units. While I did not take them, the platoons do have access to the 37mm mle team, which seems like a logical choice to take in a defence list. It has good ROF and FP as well as AT which could be helpful if assaulted by tanks.

Getting Started in the Great War with Brett’s Brawlers

My next choice for the formation was a unit of MGs as this gave me a high ROF unit as well as access to a template in the form of a bombardment which could be handy if I wanted to pin a unit before an assault. While I have kept them all together in one platoon in future I may split them to give better coverage of fire or as I like to call it enfilading fire which may prove useful in staying off assaults and defending objectives.

Next up was some 76mm trench mortars which will come in handy to get rid of dug-in infantry. While the stats are nice I may look at exchanging these in future or adding some 58mm ones to the formation just for better FP and range, but these will do in the meantime while I get my head around the game pace and learn the army.

This just leaves the support choices. As I said this box gives me some cool French tanks which will look awesome on the table with their unique paint scheme. So with that, the box does come with a Char Saint Chamond so it was an auto-include as this gives me the real power in my force: a Unit brisling with MGs and a 75mm gun to boot. It will also give me an excuse to get to know the Landship rules better by using it. One thing is, if I use it to assault I have to be mindful of close support weapons like those 37mm mle I was talking about and any other big guns like 75mm.

Getting Started in the Great War with Brett’s Brawlers

The other Unit of tanks are some Renault light tanks; one with MGs and the other with a 37mm gun. This gives me a good light mobile Unit that I can use to advance and help cover or push for an objective with infantry support.

The box also comes with a 75mm gun which will be a good deterrent against other tanks, especially those German A7Vs that I will encounter. Big guns seem to be the only sure way of getting rid of tanks, thanks to their high AT and FP.

Last of all a sniper team, as this will give me a unit that can give some added fire in support or to try to help pin a Unit when needed.

So that’s my thoughts on the Units. As for playing this list, I may either defend my objectives with 1 of my infantry platoons and machine gun platoon with my 75mm gun centred to cover any objective, while my tanks and other infantry platoon try to capture my opponent's objective.

So I look forward to building and gaming with this box as I learn a new game, and I hope it gives you some insight from a Great War newbie’s perspective as at the end of the day this box is a starter army and I could not think of a better box to get started with Great War.

Until next time, good hunting.

~ For Warned Forearmed


Last Updated On Thursday, December 7, 2023 by Ryan Smith