Semper Fi – Fielding a Marine Infantry Company

Gung-Ho – US Marine Corps in the Pacific

Semper Fi
Fielding a Marine Rifle Company
With Mitchell Kemmis

In this article I'll be looking at fielding a Marine Rifle Company at both the Pacific War and Late War point levels.

To start with I want to talk about how the Marine Rifle Platoon – how flexible it is and how that has factored into my list design. The big thing you notice when you start planning a Marine Rifle Company is just how many combat attachments you can make to your core Marine Rifle Platoons. You can have as few as seven stands in your platoon or include every option for a massive 27-stand platoon.

You also have a lot of flexibility in the type of teams you can attach ranging from man-packed guns to dog-handler recon teams.   

If you want to attack, load up with dog-handler teams, 60mm mortars, pioneers and flame-throwers. If you want to defend, you can add up to four heavy machine-guns and three light machine guns, which alone provides a whooping 39 dice in defensive fire; I’d like to see a Japanese Banzai charge make it through that. 

Pacific Points Levels

Pacific War Late War  

The isolated nature of the Pacific Theatre of Operations and the slow development of weapon technology by the Japanese meant the power and effectiveness of the weapons in the Pacific seem somewhat out of balance with what was being used in Europe at the same time. This led to some weapons, like the Sherman tank, having a greater impact for a longer time than in Europe.

We realised many gamers will also want to pit their Pacific forces against forces from Europe. To cover this you will find two point levels for each platoon, one for the Pacific War, intended for playing games within the context of the Pacific Theatre, and Late-war, with points compatible with any other Flames Of War forces with Late-war points.

Pacific War Points are also compatible with Early-war Points, although not all the equipment was available in the Early-war (1939-1941). Whatever points option you select, you and your opponent’s forces must be entirely selected from that points option.

Semper Fi – Fielding a Marine Rifle Company
So let’s start to discuss the list.
Pacific War 1650-point List
Marine Rifle Company (Fearless Veteran) Pacific War
Headquarters
Marine Rifle Company HQ
With 2 x Command SMG teams 55 points
Combat Platoons
Marine Rifle Platoon
With 2 x Rifle Squads 165 points
Marine Rifle Platoon
With 2 x Rifle Squads 165 points
Company Machine-Gun Platoon
With 4 x M1919 LMG teams 105 points
Weapons Platoons
Mortar Platoon
With 4 x M1 81mm Mortar teams 125 points
Assault Section
With 2 x Assault squads 220 points
Regimental Support Platoons
Anti-tank Platoon
With 4 x M3A1 37mm guns 225 points
Divisional Support Platoons
Light Tank Platoon
With 3 x M3 or M3A1 Stuart tanks 350 points
Marine War Dog Platoon
With 2 Dog Handler Rifle teams 70 points
Marine Artillery Battery
With 4 x M1A1 75mm Pack howitzers 165 points
Total: 1645 Points
To start with I've taken two 'short' Marine Rifle Platoons to form the core of my list. Normally in an infantry list I take full-size platoons. But in this case, given the range of combat attachments, I’m going to have enough teams to attach to make the platoons large enough. I have also decided not to upgrade the teams to BARs as I’m going to add enough weight of fire with my combat attachments.
Semper Fi – Fielding a Marine Rifle Company
Now to run through the combat attachments I plan to add to my platoons.

Knowing I’ll be facing Japanese infantry I need to make sure I have something that can halt a Japanese Banzai charge combined with banners, to do this I’m going to add 2 heavy machine guns to each platoon.

If I need to attack with my infantry, I have added a few specialist teams to assist my rifle platoons. First is an assault section, which will provide me with a bazooka, pioneer team and flame-thower, giving me the ability to take on armour and fortifications and pin down enemy platoons. Then, to provide me with some recon and ambush protection, I’ve added in a dog handler team to each platoon. 

Moving onto the support, the first thing I’ve added is an 81mm Mortar Platoon. Their role will be to provide smoke cover or direct fire support in attack or break up enemy infantry assaults in defence. 
Semper Fi – Fielding a Marine Rifle Company

I’ve included a platoon of 4 37mm anti-tank guns, which should give Japanese tanks a lot to be concerned about with ROF 3 and AT7. They also have HE and Cannister rounds which are very effective against infantry teams.

For some mobile support I’ve added in 2 M3A1 Stuarts, which are very formidable tanks in the pacific and will give me a quick-response force with their 16" movement. 

Finally, for artillery support I’ll add in a battery of 75mm Pack howitzers. On the attack they can both pin and smoke the enemy. They will also make handy anti-tank guns against the light Japanese armour with ROF 2 and AT 6 direct fire rounds.

Semper Fi – Fielding a Marine Rifle Company
Now let’s take a look at how we can field a Marine rifle company in Late war.
Late War 1650-point List
Marine Rifle Company (Fearless Veteran) Late War
Headquarters
Marine Rifle Company HQ
With 2 x Command SMG teams 55 points
Combat Platoons
Marine Rifle Platoon
With 2 x Rifle Squads and Command SMG team 170 points
Marine Rifle Platoon
With 2 x Rifle Squads and Command SMG team 170 points
Company Machine-Gun Platoon
With 2 x M1919 LMG teams 55 points
Weapons Platoons
Assault Section
With 2 x Assault squads 160 points
Regimental Support Platoons
Anti-tank Platoon
With 4 x M3A1 37mm guns and 4 x Bazooka teams 180 points
Scout & Observer Platoon
With 3 x Scout squads 130 points
Divisional Support Platoons
Marine Artillery Battery
With 4 x M1A1 75mm Pack howitzers 140 points
Marine Artillery Battery (155mm)
With 4 x M1 155mm howitzers 305 points
Priority Air Support
With F4U Corsair Close Air Support with Rockets 245 points
Air Observation Post
With L4 Grashopper AOP 40 points
Total: 1645 Points
The core of my list is exactly the same as my Pacific War list. However, I have made a few tweaks to my combat attachments. Given a much wider range of opposition and the fact that I don’t have to worry so much about Banzai charges in Late War, I have opted to add only a single LMG to each platoon. I have still included the Assault Section, as this is the only way to get a vital Bazooka into my platoons and provide them with integrated anti-tank assets. I have also ditched the dog handler teams in favour of a Scout and Observer Platoon to provide me with a dedicated recon platoon.
For my Anti-tank Gun Platoon I have added four Bazooka teams. 37mm guns aren’t the greatest anti-tank gun in Late War, as they will struggle to penetrate the front armour of most tanks you see, or even the side armour of heavy tanks. The key to this platoon is to keep them in ambush and be incredibly patient. Ideally you want to wait until you can ambush in a position to get flank shots and then launch out with your bazooka teams to clean up in assault.
Semper Fi – Fielding a Marine Rifle Company

Now on to the artillery. To start with, I have kept the 75mm Pack howitzer battery, which will perform a very similar role to what they do in my Pacific War list; they just probably won’t get used as anti-tank guns. Most importantly, the Marine Artillery Battery will also allow me to include a heavy artillery battery of 155mm howitizers. This platoon will be very important for performing indirect anti-tank fire and providing me with a ranged threat that the list otherwise lacks.

To support the artillery I’ve added an AOP, which will really boost the long range threat capability of the heavy artillery. 

Finally, my favourite addition to the list: a priority F4U Corsair with Close Air Support and rockets. This will give any opponent nightmares, as the Close Air Support provides me with two dice to see how many planes show up and allows me to come up to 12 inches away from my own teams, instead of 16 inches. They also have a good variety of weapons to deal with all kinds of enemy. If you have enemy infantry in the open, gun them down with machine-guns, only needing a 2+ to hit. For dug-in infantry or gun teams you have bombs with a 1+ firepower.  For enemy armour, rip them open with your rockets with an awesome AT6 against the top armour. If you really want to, you can even add Napalm for instant destruction to anything other than an armoured vehicle.
Semper Fi – Fielding a Marine Rifle Company

So there you have it, I hope this has provided you with some inspiration for your own Marine Rifle Company.

~ Mitchell.