Competitive fluffing or how to theme a tournament army 

One of the things that most inspires us here at KO about K47 is it’s background. The way the writers have put in enough detail to drive a story but just little enough so you can let your imagination run free in the twisted weird war world.

Not my image but a really nicely presented display!
However there is a rather unfortunate trend in miniature gaming that equates fluffy or themed lists as not being tournament competitive and this is partly true a person that disregards the background and Just picks the most optimal units and uses them in the most effective way possible will always end up with a more powerful list it’s the nature of the beast, that being said I firmly believe you can have a fluffy list that is capable of competing at a tournament or just at your local club vs players that don’t like to theme as much.

So what do we mean by theme, well for the purposes of this article I’m going to stay away from ‘force selectors’ as they are known in bolt action and talk about the basic K47 reinforced platoon. Putting it simply a theme means restricting your choices to fit an idea of a force.  To illustrate this here is an example.

Any of you that have listened to Rift Tech Radio will know I’ve picked up some of Warlord’s new Australians that they released for the Papua New Guinean campaign book I love the idea that in 47’ this battle is still going on between newly rift Tech outfitted Australians and Japanese. In my head I have the image of lightly equipped troops trekking through jungle taking only what they can carry or being brought up by really hardy tanks or walkers. The PNG book goes into some detail about the use of tanks (notably the Matilda as it had good armour and reliable ground coverage).

Image courtesy of Warlord Games

Some Really beautifully painted models i found on google, not my work but wish they were!
From that then we have lots of infantry backed up by sturdy tanks or walkers. All transports are out and so are the automatons and heavy infantry just to slow and heavy to be of use in jungle warfare. Also out is any sort of towed artillery. As you can see quite a few restrictions there.

Jungle fighters from Warlord
Next up we need to consider what makes a competitive force. In K47 most of the scenarios revolve around objectives or moving off the opposite table edge as well as killing the enemy, therefor I think in order of importance to a competitive list you need to look at.

  1. Mobility – either attacking or getting across the table if you have to foot slog it in the open to achieve anything you’re going to have a hard time.
  2. Order dice – no hard and fast rule here but you want a reasonable number of dice so swarm armies can’t out pull you and hit you before you hit them each turn.
  3. Anti infantry – this is an infantry based game and in most cases they make up the bulk of your opponents army, how will you deal with them?
  4. Anti rift units – heavy infantry, bears and wolves they are fast, they are tough and they want to rip your face off so you need a plan.
  5. Anti tank – they might not be common but you have to think about how you’re going to deal with armour
  6. Lastly defence – how are you going to hold your objectives?

As you can see with my own self imposed restrictions the item I placed top of my list is going to be an issue. So let’s write a list and see what I come up with.

I think these HQ miniatures are full of character
This is written for a local 1500 point tournament we have comming up next year as well as some of our casual games.

British Konflikt ’47 Reinforced Platoon – PNG 

National Characteristic 

Rapid Fire

Platoon #1

First Lieutenant (Veteran) – 116

1   First Lieutenant with Submachine gun

2   Infantry (equipped as modelled)                         –              –

Regular Infantry Section (Regular) – 123

1   NCO with Submachine gun

1   Infantry with Light Machine gun (requires loader)

8   Infantry with Rifle

Regular Infantry Section (Regular) – 123

1   NCO with Submachine gun

1   Infantry with Light Machine gun (requires loader)

8   Infantry with Rifle

Free Forward Observer – 0

Commando, Royal Marine, Airborne Infantry Section (Veteran) -185

1   NCO with Submachine gun

1   Infantry with Light Machine gun (requires loader)

4   Infantry with Rifle

4   Infantry with Submachine gun

Entire squad equipped with anti-tank grenades

Medium Mortar team (Regular) – 50

1   Medium Mortar team (3 men)

Sniper team  (Regular) – 50

1   Sniper team

Flamethrower team (Regular) – 50

1   Flamethrower (infantry) team

Anti-tank Rifle team  (Regular) – 30

1   Boys anti-tank rifle team

Anti-tank Rifle team  (Regular) – 30

1   Boys anti-tank rifle team

Grizzly Medium Assault Walker  (Regular) – 200

1   Grizzly Medium Assault Walker

Platoon #2

Second Lieutenant (Veteran) – 78

1   Second Lieutenant

1   Infantry (equipped as modelled)                         –              –

Regular Infantry Section  (Regular) – 123

1 NCO with Submachine gun

1 Infantry with Light Machine gun (requires loader)

8 Infantry with Rifle

Commando, Royal Marine, Airborne Infantry Section (Veteran) – 139

1   NCO with Submachine gun

1   Infantry with Light Machine gun (requires loader)

2   Infantry with Rifle

4   Infantry with Submachine gun

Grizzly Medium Assault Walker  (Regular) – 200

1   Grizzly Medium Assault Walker

Total – 1497

Whats better than one Grizzly? Two!
That’s the list, its been a tough one to write up to make it competitive but still fit the theme. i decided to go for a second platoon in because all of the choices i picked were relatively cheap and it allowed me to open up the option of a second grizzly.

I suspect any British players out there are scratching their heads and asking why I haven’t taken a guardian, surely a light walker with a flamethrower would be a perfect fit for a jungle fighting themed army, and you’d be right it would however as much as you make sacrifices with self-imposed restrictions for fluff your still trying to write a competitive list that fits the theme. The grizzly fits as it’s a rugged tough infantry support walker that’s highly adaptable, and it’s not unlikely in K47 they would be used commonly in the jungles as well. The reason for a second grizzly over a guardian is a game play choice the list is stuffed full of anti-infantry firepower but lacks any real heavy hitters so a second medium AT that has D6 HE is a welcome addition. This is a good example of the line you must tread while trying to make a themed list competitive.

On the mobility front although i rate that as my top priority this list is actually pretty static, with a huge amount of bodies it means it’ll defend well but i need careful on the attack. My basic plan would be to use the grizzly’s as a shield turn one move up the board as fast as possible and use them to draw fire, with the two veteran units behind. i need to be careful considering when to go down as maintaining numbers is key to an infantry attack being successful

The infantry backed up by the Grizzly will make a decent gun line with plenty of anti infantry fire and a decent amount of anti Rift tech unit fire power. Light armor is well covered off a combination of the Anti tank rifles and the medium AT guns on the grizzles will keep them honest. Heavy tanks will be more of an issue because the biggest i have is the +6 medium anti tank gun so i choose to give the commando unit Anti tank grenades as a last resort / backup plan

I aim to get this list up and running over the next few weeks, real life is limiting hobby time at the moment but i.m really excited about getting this list onto the table to see how it plays and put theory into practice.

Would love to know your thoughts on this subject so please let us know!

All of these lovely models can be brought from our friend Scott at Boss Miniatures





2 thoughts on “Competitive fluffing or how to theme a tournament army 

  1. Really interesting read and totally in line with my own thoughts on game play in general – a list with a theme and a reason for being together but without being to light in terms of power not to give you a chance of winning the game.

    It’s interesting that your only Rift Tech is the pair of Grizzly’s – was that intended?


    1. Thanks for the feedback it’s welcome.

      And as for the grizzly’s being my only Rift tech it was lead by my theme, all of the current British Rift tech is really heavy and clunky and didn’t fit my idea of light jungle fighters the versatile grizzly did as I can see it being modified to suit the jungles.

      Going forwards however into resurgence ill add a war hound pack as i think will fit and I love the idea of bringing the Rift grenadiers into the mix as well so I plan a follow up to this where I look at updating it with the new units


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