Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Staghound I Tactical Evaluation

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Mechanised Ace Rupert Gile's exploits in Operation Sealion made him a legend in my household.
Ever since looking over lists to see which I would initially play when I jumped into Flames of War years ago, I have loved the British armoured cars. I played the Welsh Guards & 2nd Household Cavalry out of Hell's Highway the most and with the V3 rules, I still enjoy playing them from Market Garden. Throughout my games, I came to like the Staghound the most. Imagine my thrill to discover that I could field even more Staghounds when Road to Rome was released! Some of my most memorable games featured some daring feat from my Staghounds.

I can't extol their virtues enough.They are the true workhorse in any of my mobile forces lists and no turn finds them still: Eyes and Ears to make enemy infantry vulnernable and then mowing them down with tons of machine gun fire, racing for objectives, hunting armoured cars or flanking light tanks with their powerful main gun, distracting the enemy when necessary and disengaging for survivability, and using Cautious Movement to seek out concealed areas to make them a tougher target to hit. 


  • Name: Staghound T17 Armoured car 
  • Type: Reconnaissance armoured vehicle 
  • Armament: M3 75mm gun, Co-ax MG, Hull MG 
  • Maneuverability: Wheeled 
  • Armour: Minimal 3/1/0 
  • Max Speed: 18” 
  • Favoured Terrain: Roads, Cross Country 
  • Nationalities: England, and Commonwealth forces.


A striking symbol of British reconnaissance, the Staghound’s armament and recce capabilities make it one of the most versatile tools in my army. The Staghound is one of my premier attack vehicles. I play typically Confidant Veterans and use Staghounds as a vanguard of my main strike force to reduce primary defenses, distract the bulk of the enemy's firepower, or threaten objectives. With a 4 up to hit, keeping my staghounds in concealed terrain and at long range increases their survivability, giving them a 5 up to hit when concealed and a 6 up to hit at long range. In addition, if they are surprised by something they cannot take on, such as a front facing tank, they can disengage instead of firing. It' s not unheard of for my Staghounds to survive the entire length of a battle and ride off safely into the sunset.

Versus Infantry

Staghounds are able to bring a lot of machine gun fire to bear on infantry in the open. A typical platoon of three Staghounds brings 12 machine gun shots to the party, has enough armour to survive infantry machine gun fire, and is not pinned down by suppressive fire, using Eyes and Ears first to make enemy infantry more vulnerable if necessary.
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Scrapping some German half-tracks and then speeding off into the sunset.

Versus Vehicles

The 75mm main gun is capable of taking out armoured cars and some types of tanks head on, but it really excels in sneaky flanking maneuvers.  The fully mobile turret ensures that the Staghound is covered by 360° armament, reducing enemy flanking abilities. Even Germans with their big cats have to think twice before advancing when Staghounds are on the prowl. A flanked panther can be destroyed on a roll of 1 and bailed on a roll of 2 by the Staghound's main gun.
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Staghounds fearlessly roll up on a couple of Panzer IIIs, planning to veer off to flank the tanks.


If I assault enemy infantry with staghounds, a side armor of 1 means that the Staghounds have some survivability from HMG defensive fire, reducing the chance of breaking the assault since the enemy needs two successful hits to break the assault off. The machine guns also offer great defensive fire for allied infantry being assaulted. 

Taking Objectives

Using the advantage of speed and cover, I can generally get to an objective rather early in a game. This is helpful for two different strategies a) holding the objective with a type of guerrilla warfare by disengaging and harassing any competition b) creating a sense of urgency with the enemy who will scramble to react while I direct another force to a different enemy objective. You can also use the versatility of a staghound to rather safely contest an objective.
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Did I mention my staghounds also bring their own luck?

The main weakness is the light armour, especially if the vehicle cannot disengage. The armour won’t stand up to most enemy tank fire, and it worthless against air support. I try to keep Staghounds close to forests and buildings to force the enemy to roll to range in.

Being wheeled is also a weakness. When encountering slow going terrain, having to drop down to 4 inch movement can be brutal. Many other recce vehicles are jeeps that can move much quicker. So the Staghound trades some speed to get heavier armour. They can use disengage and start of game recce moves to compensate some for the speed deficit.

The worst use of the Staghound is as the vanguard of a frontal assault mission against a fortified enemy position in a flat setting. Staghounds have limited to no value in defensive or garrison assignments as their major advantages can be reproduced with heavy tank fire in a more economical way.

Although these weaknesses are something to be mindful of, they are relatively small faults in my mind as I love the cost to versatility ratio.

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Giles calls in his bagpiper to celebrate his There Can Be Only One triumph over the German Commanding Officer.


The Staghound’s optimum deployment is on a road in an area with plenty of available cover, far from enemy forces and fortifications. Open areas and clear line of sight is a death knell to a Staghound. After initial straightway recce moves and 1st turn movement to get into place, stick to terrains with obstructions and concealment, as Staghounds will be able to fire more safely at targets or disengage as needed. and when that’s not an option, farmer’s fields can keep you concealed from ground forces

A column of Staghounds also work in urban environments since they they are highly maneuverable, they can use eyes and ears against entrenched enemies, and there is plenty of cover. They also present a small, compact target to the enemy and pack enough high explosives to take out infantry within the buildings.
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Staghounds supporting an infantry team breaching emplacements before storming the objective at the top of the hill.


Despite its strengths, the Staghound’s armour is a physical limitation that make it a challenging weapon to use in certain situations. To countermand this, disengaging is a particularly helpful tool for saving these fragile vehicles and removing them from constricted situations where an enemy contingent could potentially ambush my typically unaccompanied Staghound platoon. Given the small cost associated with Staghounds, it’s easy to realize maximum value from their weapons and their CYA recce moves limit the risk of major losses. I have actually used my Staghounds as a a psychological weapon against infantry with a sheer machine gun power pinning and breaking an enemy infantry column.In areas where fortifications are not present, Staghounds can provide a mobile punch that can be used to harass enemy advances and objectives, but this is very much dependent on the circumstance and do not reflect the main role of the vehicle.

Staghound Love Transcends the Table Top

Just for kicks, here are a couple of photos of me visiting a Staghound in person at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa in 2013 and 2014 (I'm a repeat offender). 

2013: Love at first sight.
2014: I'm going to hug him and squeeze him and keep him for my verrrry own.


  1. I like Staghounds. Especially Kiwi ones covered with gypsy road trip gear and in the Mud and Black camo. cheers

  2. Nice evaluation of the Staghound. They are one of those vehicles that has a certain cool-factor I think :-)

  3. Wow. nic capturing on those huge vehicle. I think we can call that photography. Its really nice. Colors are vibrant and it looks so alive. I wish i had like those cute little guys hehe. This is how the internet connects us all together and share ideas even if we are far away from each other. By the way, you might want to use the internet not just for blogging but also make money online by joining an affiliate program. This is the power of the internet. You can stay home and still be an enterprenuer