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If you’re anything like me you might be already planning a brand new American force with those awesome new plastic Easy Eights! Catch you next time!
The beautiful new book Bulge: American allows players to field brand new tanks. Surely the Jumbo and Easy Eight will have caught your attention too? However, true romantics know that the infantry is the queen of battles and the new book certainly doesn’t leave romantics like me disappointed. Bulge: American allows you to deploy four infantry formations. In the article we will review them to learn more about how they are composed, their training, their motivation, their strengths and even those of weakness.
Battle Weary Armoured Rifle
Given that the new book is heavily focused on the new American tanks, it is not surprising that the first proposed infantry formation is the Armoured Rifle, the mechanized infantry that is able to keep up with the armoured spearheads of the United States Army.
Armoured Rifle Company units are veteran units hardened from years of war. Some have served in North Africa and Italy while the less experienced departments are still active in Europe since D-Day. All of these experiences are represented in the game by the Is Hit On value which is Careful 4+. This is the best value available and has a big impact on the gaming table. Taking advantage of a cover or even just being stationary in open field the infantry becomes concealed and will be hit at 5+. We went from a 50% to a 33% chance of being hit. If they do not fire while concealed the opponents need a 6+ so they will only hit the target 16% of the time. This makes Careful infantry such as Battle Weary Armoured Rifles a great option for garrisoning targets as they can take a lot of fire with low casualties. This is also true of artillery fire which is particularly effective against infantry.
The Carful rating also gives it an important advantage during assaults. Since an attacking unit is knocked back by defenders if it is hit by 5 or more hits (unless it is Large Platoon) and having a 50% chance of being hit helps a lot. Even without concealment or smoke the defender will need 10 hits to pin a Battle Weary Armoured Platoon, statistically speaking. Unfortunately I have happened to see my own platoons pinned by only 5 shots but using concealment or smoke is always a good idea.
Despite the experience accumulated in months of battles, the skill of the Armoured Rifle Platoon is that of Trained 4+. This is a fine rating and it helps keep the unit price down points wise. The Yankee Ingenuity rule allows you to pass Tactics tests at 3+. This is an important bonus that is very useful for many things such as overcoming minefields, acquiring a great shooting position thanks using Blitz or get out of a bad situation with a Shoot & Scoot.
As we have said, many veteran infantry formations have been in combat since the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944 and then crossed France to the German border. These troops have extensive experience but have had little respite from the fighting. They tend to be more cautious and less aggressive. Their morale is therefore Reluctant 5+. However they have the Blood ‘N Guts rule which grants them an improved Rally score of 4+. This helps them get back up when pinned down but overall you need to be cautious and avoid taking too many losses.
The Armoured Rifle Formation has three compulsory slots consisting of an Armoured Rifle HQ and two Armoured Rifle Platoons with a third Armoured Rifle optional. The formation also has heavy support with M1917 heavy machine guns equipped with transport if necessary, an anti-tank support with its 57mm also equipped with transport if necessary and two artillery supports. In addition to the M3 Armoured 81mm Mortar consisting of three pieces the formation has a platoon of M8 Scott Assault Gun. This is a rather expensive unit but it is undoubtedly very versatile on the battlefield as it can both bombard and hunt down enemy armoured cars.
The Armoured Rifle platoon naturally deserves an honourable mention. A full strength platoon consists of 6 M1 Garand Rifle Team bases great for assaulting and marking, 2 M1919 LMG bases to manage infantry and provide suppression fire, 5 bazookas to manage tanks and even a 60mm Mortar that adds a bombardment. In total, there are 14 infantry bases that can effectively manage almost all situations that arise in front of them. There are very few adversaries capable of posing a serious threat. Assaulting an Armoured Rifle Platoon requires very careful preparation in terms of attrition and it is practically impossible to succeed without having first bombed intensely and launch a smoke bombardment. As if that were not enough the Armoured Rifle can count on 5 M3 Half-trucks. There are no substantial differences from the M3 Half-trucks we already know, except for the fact that two of them are armed with .50 “instead of .30”. These machine guns are much more effective than their light counterparts and can also be used comfortably against armoured cars or lightly armoured vehicles. The other interesting thing is that the Armoured Rifle Platoon can be chosen without the Half-trucks as very often these units were used in the mud of the Ardennes. I personally find the transports to be very much worth the points cost, allowing the unit to both zip up the field or hide the teams inside the relative safety of a transport . Giving up the transport saves some points but it means giving up on mobility. If desired the platoon can be also be chosen at a reduced size, giving up an M1 Garand Team and a Bazooka Team and saving a few points.
Overall the Armoured Rifle Formation is a truly complete formation, almost a miniature force. It has incredible infantry, fairly effective anti-tank weapons, extra anti-infantry weapons if needed, and two self-propelled artillery platoons that can fire smoke and bomb from a distance. The point cost of course is not cheap, but having low to medium morale and a trained skill helps to keep costs down. I am convinced that the Armoured Rifle Formation will be one of the most popular formations of the new book.
Battle Weary Rifle
Nearly all armies have a Rifle Formation and of course Bulge: American is no exception! The formation that we have already seen in the previous book is named in Battle Weary Rifle. As the name suggests this formation shares the same rating as “Is hit on”, skill and motivation with its Armoured Rifle “cousins”. These are therefore difficult teams to hit, with adequate training, good tactical versatility thanks to the 3+ tactics but a mediocre morale only partially offset by a 4+ Rally. Also in this case the lack of morale helps a little to contain the cost in points.
The Battle Weary Rifle formation has one HQ platoon and two Rifle platoons as compulsory choices. A third Rifle platoon is an optional choice. The formation also has support that make it able to face almost all situations, at least in defence.
First up is the artillery. The Battle Weary Rifle Company has two mortar platoons. Each platoon can be equipped with 81mm or 60mm mortars. The effectiveness is exactly the same as that of all other mortars of the same type. What changes is the range, 40 inches for the classic version and 32 inches for the smaller one. However both can fire a smoke bombardment. The platoon size is the same as D-Day: American if you choose the 81mm mortar: two, four or six pieces. The cost is slightly lower due to the worse rating which makes it very good value for points. The 60mm platoon can only consist of three stands at a low cost. But the artillery component of the formation does not end there. A third slot is available and can consist of a 105 Cannon Platoon or a Veteran M4 Sherman Assault Gun Platoon. The first is a platoon of light howitzers. They have the same effectiveness as the 105 (3/3 +) field howitzers but a much lower effectiveness on direct firing. This is certainly not a big problem. The platoon can consist of two, four and six pieces. At full strength the platoon costs a little over a dozen points, not too much for the support they give in terms of artillery. The Sherman Assault Gun platoon is the same as D-Day: American version. These are a great choice since they are self-propelled assault guns resistant to both enemy artillery and opposing light units. The cost is not exactly cheap but this can be an important investment that will sometimes pay for itself.
The Battle Weary Rifle formation also has two slots for anti-tank guns. The excellent 57mm, which had already given good evidence of him in D-Day: American, continues to protect American infantry from enemy tanks. Sure, an anti-tank value of 10 is starting to not be as effective against enemy tanks that often have a fairly high front armour but the point cost is more than affordable. With a command card it is also possible to remove the No HE rule making them more effective even against enemy infantry and cannons. A couple of 57mm platoons are usually a good investment.
Last but not least is the good old heavy machine gun platoon. There is no big news in this respect, if you are looking for a way to manage enemy infantry spending a handful of points this way is always a good idea.
Overall the Battle Weary Rifle Formation is a very solid and versatile formation. With two sizable infantry platoons, two mortar platoons, and two antitank gun platoons, you’ll have a base to handle almost everything but the heaviest units. In order to deploy high anti-tank guns, it is therefore necessary to resort to supports. There is no need to worry, as the point cost of the formation should leave enough points for all possible choices. If you are looking for an all-in-one training, this is the right training.
Bastogne Parachute Rifle Company
Of all the units that fought valiantly at Bastogne the parachutists were the ones that endured the most tremendous efforts. Isolated in the forest, outnumbered and with very few supplies, they resisted every German attack. The exploits of that band of brothers are now legend and it is logical that even on the tables of Flames of War they are represented as the best of the best. The ratings are pretty much the best in the game. They are Careful, Fearless and Veteran. No other rating would have been more suitable! Now to represent the stubbornness, they have a Last Stand 2+. Whatever happens (snake eyes aside!) You can rest assured that the Parachutists will not retreat, resisting to the last man. Currahee!
The Bastogne Parachute Rifle Formation must consist of one HQ and two units of Bastogne Parachute Rifle Platoon. A third platoon can be chosen to reinforce the formation and add more diehard infantry bases. A Bastogne Parachute Rifle Platoon consists of 5 or 7 bases armed with M1919 and M1 Garand rifle team, one equipped base with 60mm mortar and another armed with the deadly M1 Bazooka team. This gives the platoon great versatility, being able to bombard opposing gun teams and repel an armoured assault thanks to the Bazooka or infantry thanks to the rate of fire 2 on the Riflemen bases. The combination of ratings, of which we have already spoken and of equipment is certainly not cheap. That’s at least a dozen points for the smaller platoon and even more for a full-size version. Additionally with a very small investment it is possible to add a second Bazooka for extra anti-tank support and up to two M1919 LMGs to help the platoon manage the infantry. A Bastogne Parachute Rifle Platoon can cost nearly a fifth of the points on a standard 100 list but trust me: no one can ignore it!
The formation can count on a fair component of artillery, anti-tank and even reconnaissance. A platoon of 81mm mortars on 4 pieces provides a support that is not exactly cheap (the cost is not much less than ten points) but very effective. A second artillery slot is dedicated to the Bastogne Parachute 75mm Cannon Battery or the Bastogne Glider 105mm Artillery Battery. The first platoon is a battery of two or four pieces of 75mm light guns. Not very effective in direct fire but still effective against armoured cars and they provide decent artillery support with a firepower of 4+. However the cost is not cheap. The battery lent by the Glider Rifle consists of three or six pieces of the same 105mm lightweight howitzer that we have already discussed.
As for reconnaissance the Bastogne Parachute Rifle formation has a slot inside it unlike many others. The Airborne Jeep Recon Patrol is made up of four jeeps all armed with the deadly .50 Cal. The platoon is capable of producing a massive volume of fire and can also be very useful for handling enemy armoured cars. As non-armoured vehicles they can only count on a save of 4+ however the best defence is to avoid being hit, making use of the Is Hit on 4+ value and the Scout rule along with orders such as Blitz and Shoot & Scott. Try to avoid the machine guns, they can be really lethal. The cost is still very affordable considering that the unit consists of four jeeps. The biggest advantage however is to be able to count on this unit for the morale of the Formation, since it avoids to take the necessary Recon unit as support.
The Bastogne Parachute Rifle Formation is a truly elite formation: expensive and few in number but irreducible. This is a really reliable line-up. Solid both in defence and in attack, it can adapt to any situation thanks to the valiant parachute rifles.
Bastogne Glider Rifle Company
The Bastogne Glider Rifle Company is airborne infantry in the strict sense, that is to say they are not paratroopers. They are a kind of middle ground between the Rifle Company and the Parachute Rifle Company. They maintain an Is Hit On value of 4+ and have Veteran training. Morale wise the Glider Rifles are more motivated than the Battle Weary Rifle / Armoured Rifle but not as much as the Parachute Rifle. On the other hand, taking to the battlefield in the back of a glider requires a lot of coolness! Also thanks to the Nuts rule they have a Last Stand of 3+ which is unlikely to make them leave the battlefield early.
The formation consists of a Bastogne Glider Rifle HQ and two compulsory Bastogne Glider Rifle Platoons. Unlike other infantry formations the company does not have the possibility to take an additional platoon. However the platoons of Glider Rifle are larger than those of the Parachute Rifle Company. The platoon is composed of seven or ten bases armed with M1 Garand rifle, a M1 Bazooka team, an M1919 LMG and finally a team equipped with 60mm mortar. Furthermore a second Bazooka and a second mortar can be added. The extra Bazooka is always excellent, the second is likely to be a bit redundant since one or two mortars have the same effectiveness. In any case it is evident that a Glider Rifle Platoon is fully autonomous on the battlefield, thanks to the good rate of anti-infantry fire, anti-tank equipment and even the possibility of bombarding . Having multipurpose units is certainly not unique in the American army but a composition like that of the Glider Rifle Platoon represents a unit landed behind enemy lines that would have to face any situation, a bit like paratroopers. The cost corresponds with the size and versatility of the unit so also be prepared to spend close to 20 points for a full-size platoon and certainly consider fielding more than the minimum size platoon. Numbers do matter!
In addition to the two Glider Rifle platoons, the formation has two artillery support slots, one anti-tank unit and one anti-infantry unit. Let’s start with the latter since it is the classic platoon equipped with two or four M1917 HMGs to develop an intense volume of fire against the opposing infantry. As for the artillery, the first slot is the mortar platoon. The biggest difference compared to that of the Rifle, in addition to morale lies in the size that can be 3 or 6 mortars strong. The smaller platoon is slightly cheaper than usual while the 6-size platoon is an important investment. The second slot can consist of the Bastogne Glider 105mm Artillery Battery or the Bastogne Parachute Parachute 75mm Artillery Battery. They are the same artillery that we have already had the opportunity to talk about before. Finally, the Glider Rifle can count on the Bastogne Glider Anti – tank Platoon composed of 57mm guns that also equip the common infantry. While the anti-tank rating isn’t overwhelming it’s an important platoon to hold formation.
Overall I think that a Bastogne Glider Rifle line-up is quite successful, able to satisfy those who want to try something different than the Bastogne Rifle but who don’t want a too short line-up like that of the Bastogne Parachute Rifle.
Which support for my infantry formation?
In concluding this article we will look at what support options are best for an infantry formation. This choice depends a lot on how you intend to set up the list. It must be said that there are some fundamental points that need to be addressed. First of all it is certainly the anti-tank component. American infantry suffers from having portable anti-tank with only AT 10. This means that if you are attacked by heavier tanks, you risk running into a lot of trouble. While you can take extra teams of Bazooka (and I recommend you do!) it is certainly a good idea to invest points in M10s or better still M36 Jackson. Having a response to a 9 or 10 front armour will really help your infantry a lot. Even a Sherman platoon perhaps enhanced with Command Cards to have anti-tank 13 could be enough to need but my advice is to separate the roles whenever possible. I mean that it would be better to set the Sherman tanks in a more aggressive stance (perhaps sacrificing quality for the number) in order to have that extra unit capable of winning a decisive assault and defeating the opponent. fielding all 76mm Sherman will not always be possible. Some believe the Stuarts more than suitable for this role (and if you face infantry they are often right), others may prefer more solid Pershing. Whatever your choice, a platoon of tanks will serve to increase your options with an infantry force.
Even the excellent P-47 Thunderbolt is a valid choice because it allows you to reach those units that hide and that it is difficult to reach with an infantry. Of course the plane is always very random, sometimes it is decisive and other times it is a waste of points.
The last thing to consider is to deploy quality artillery. The American infantry are very equipped with mortars, some can even deploy a total of twelve teams! Do not forget that mortars are almost completely ineffective against self-propelled guns and therefore if you do not have other solutions such as the plane you could find yourself losing the gunner duel with the opponent. Keep this in mind before betting everything on mortars which are great but like all things have their limits.
The American Armoured Rifle Platoon (ARP) has pretty much become a staple support unit for my US armoured lists. It’s a highly versatile unit that’s good on the offense and defence. One of my favourite aspects about the ARP is definitely the bazookas, bazookas and more bazookas. This single platoon packs enough firepower to make any opponent think twice about assaulting it or being assaulted by it. At 19 points a full ARP is not cheap though, so when I heard the new American Bulge book has Battle Weary ARP options for fewer points, I was quite intrigued.
The new Battle Weary ARP opens up new possibilities for your US Force by freeing up points to spend on other options such as the new heavy hitting Jumbo’s, Easy 8s, Pershings and so much more. The challenge with adding costly tanks to your list is that you have to give something up, but with the new Battle Weary ARP, the trade-off seems to be minimal. The ARP maintains nearly all of its valuable stats, but for three fewer points per platoon. While their Motivation goes from four to five, they have a Blood n’ Guts Rally of four. So while they may be reluctant to jump in the fight, they are just as willing to stick around as the more costly Veteran ARP. There’s also an option that saves six points by removing the halftracks.
Let’s say you want the halftracks for offense, the three points you save can be used to bolster the strength of your M4 Shermans. There are many options, but for example you could upgrade to a Jumbo for three points or add an Easy 8 and upgrade a 75mm to a 76mm. That’s enough firepower to tie down enemy armor and draw fire away from your vulnerable halftracks.
Defensively speaking, I think this is where the Battle Weary ARP is going to be most valuable. For just 13 points you can defend an objective with six infantry stands, five bazookas, two LMGs and a mortar while your remaining force goes on the attack. It should take your opponent a lot more than 13 points to push the weary ARP off of the objective. There is a lot you can do with six points you save with an American list. A platoon of two Pershing’s only costs four points more than a platoon of three 75mm M4s and then you have two points left over to upgrade a 75mm M4 to 76mm Easy 8, or a ton of other choices in the new American Bulge book!
It seems like the new Battle Weary ARP allows you to still pack a serious punch with your infantry without sacrificing too much in terms of unit stats. The lower costs will free up points for the new, more costly, heavy hitting tanks or other new unit options. I’m very anxious to see if the reduced cost outweighs the lower Motivation and I’m looking forward to testing out the Battle Weary ARP in my upcoming lists.
I play what some might call ‘a lot’ of different games. I won’t bother listing them, or putting a number out there. Not only just because I’m incapable of doing either off the top of my head, but because it’s simple enough to describe it as ‘likely way too darn many’. With that said, Flames of War has been my favourite ever since I discovered it more than a decade ago. While I enjoy the look of the game, and the mechanics of the game itself, I’m pretty confident that the thing that keeps me coming back is the history. That is to say, while I’ve definitely got time for super heroes, mutants, gribbly space monsters, knights, wizards, goblins, and the rest, nothing interests me more than modelling and gaming through the amazing stories that revolve around the second world war. While my love of this game and the hobby has lead me to collect a rather wide assortment of forces, my absolute favorite has always been my 101st Airborne Rifle Company. When it comes to histories, few are as well-known or as widely told as that of the 101st. This is likely a function of the efforts of Mr. Stephen Ambrose, the author of ‘Band of Brothers’. As a general rule, despite my owning the series on disc, if and when I come across ‘Band of Brothers’ on the television, that’s pretty much the end of the day. I’ll gather my hobby supplies, the tv tray, and a project to work on and happily spend the day puttering about listening to the story and building a model or two. This army was a standard for me in the past, and I’m very excited to see it come back to the game with the release of the American Bulge book. I intend to take a broad overview look at the Para list in the Bulge book, what has changed between previous V4 airborne options, and the old V3 Nuts book. We’ll also take a stab at the core of a list, and discuss modelling options.
The Bastogne Parachute Rifle Company is possibly the most elite infantry force presently available in Flames of War, but what does that mean in game terms? These guys are rated as Careful Fearless Veterans, with a 2+ last stand. They bring a mortar and a bazooka as standard, and have options to add a second bazooka, and up to a pair of M1919 LMG’s. While this certainly means that a platoon of U.S. Paratroopers is better equipped, prepared, and able to get most jobs done than their counterparts from other forces, it also means those are ratings and tools that you’ll be paying points for. Like most elite forces, you’ll not have as many stands as you might like, making each decision and roll of the dice that much more important. How many points are we talking about? 18 Points for a fully kitted out platoon, and 12 for the minimum. While that’s only a single point increase over the previous American Paratrooper entry in the D-Day American book, it’s a fairly hefty price tag. Let’s take a look at what you get for the price.
When comparing the newer Bulge option to it’s predecessor from the D-Day book we’ve only got a handful of differences to consider:
The addition of the ‘Nuts’ rule to our Last Stand rolls on the majority of our platoons
The addition of the 105mm Artillery Battery as a formation option
The addition of a 3 gun option to the 57mm Anti-Tank Platoon
Access to Bulge Support options
Access to Bulge Command Cards
NUTS The ‘Nuts’ rule puts just how stubborn and tenacious these paratroopers are meant to be on display, and it’s nice to know that you’re only losing a platoon in bad spirits on the roll of a 1. Unfortunately, the value of a rule that protects a platoon from failing it’s Last Stand roll is a direct function of the value of the platoon in question. If we’re rolling Last Stand, then at most, that platoon only has 2 stands left. Now admittedly, this could be because we’re a might out of position with some teams, but chances are this platoon is on it’s last legs. It could be the case that passing this Last Stand buys you another turn in some clutch situation in a game, but the point remains, in the vast majority of situations ‘Nuts’ is likely too little too late. Further, it’s potentially made a little redundant with the addition of a command card. In short, it’s definitely a bonus, but not one I’m personally excited about paying for in what is already an expensive list.
105MM Artillery Battery While this is a difference between the Bulge and D-Day versions of the formation, it likely won’t make much of a difference for most players. Unless you’re specifically looking to keep everything organic to your formation for historical reasons, the Glider option isn’t giving us much. The full 6 gun battery is likely far too expensive for our formation, and the 3 gun option costs more than a 4 gun Field Artillery Battery taken as support. Both likely pale in comparison to the 8.8cm Provisional Field Artillery made available via command cards.
57mm Anti-Tank Platoon Where we previously had only a 4 and 2 gun option, we’ve now got a 4, 3, and 2 option. The 4 gun option has us paying a 1 point tax for our ‘Nuts!’ rule relative to the D-Day offering. The 2 gun option is priced identically to its predecessor. I didn’t use an Anti-Tank platoon with my V3 Paratrooper list from Nuts, as the Rifle platoons could have as many as 4 bazookas each. However, with that limited to 2 stands per platoon now, and the changes to hit allocation, these will likely be much more important. I’ve got a set waiting to be built in fact. The addition of ‘Nuts!’ on this platoon is potentially a big deal, as having that last gun stick around could be very important.
Bulge Support Options Now this is where things change up for our Paratroopers, and why I intend to pick up the Bulge book first thing. Combined arms is the best way to play this game in my personal opinion. If you’re playing a formation of paratroopers, you’ll likely be looking for something to pull some teeth out of armoured targets at range, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than the new US Armor options, including the Easy 8, and Jumbo in this book. This is also a super easy way to add some history to your list. Nothing says ‘Bastogne’ better than a company of beleaguered paratroopers dug in like ticks, holding on against all odds, and the timely arrival of the 4th Armored.
Bulge Command Cards
We’ve got all sorts of options to consider here when it comes to throwing a little more punch, and historical flavour into our paratrooper list.
Sticky Bombs-For 2 points, we’ve got a one turn use Anti-Tank 3 assault value. I’m not excited about spending more on my paratrooper platoons, but having this, and making sure your opponent knows it, might make a difference. This card puts 1 platoon on par with their V3 predecessor’s gammon bombs for 1 turn.
Maxwell Taylor – For 5 points our Parachute and Glider Rifle platoons gain Spearhead. This could be fun/useful in a bit of scenario play in which you’re building a list for a game in which you know you’ll get to use it. It’s cost is too much to be considered for competitive play with the More Missions matrices. At 2 points I can grab a Recon Patrol, have access to spearhead, and another unit.
Richard Winters– For 4 points we’re passing Rally on 2+, and we’re bumping the formation commanders motivation reroll abilities out to 8”.
Ronald Speirs– For 3 points, we get a formation commander that rerolls saves when not in bullet proof cover, appears from ambush within 6” of any teams of a Parachute Rifle Platoon, and not within 4” of enemy teams. Now here is a neat little piece of history we can chew on. These rules do a solid job of representing Speirs mad dash to relieve Lieutenant Norman Dike of command during the assault on Foy. These rules are very similar to this model’s representation in Nuts, however, with the addition of the ‘Follow Me’ rule, it could make for some very interesting assault possibilities. This also allows us to position our formation commander in response to where our opponent has chosen to focus their offensive. I like this one.
Carwood Lipton – For 2 points, we pass Rally on a 2+ when within 6” of the formation commander. Similar to a portion of the Richard Winters card listed above. Though we’re now requiring proximity to the formation commander.
Julian Cook – For 2 points, we pass tactics on a 2+ when within 6” of the formation commander.
James Gavin – For 3 points, after your opponent rolls to receive reserves you get to roll a die for each unit you still have in reserve. Any 6’s rolled cancel one of your opponent’s successful reserve rolls. This could be neat, but it’s ability to hurt your opponent is a function of you having multiple units in reserve, not something I intend to build a list for.
So, with all of that said, my initial thoughts are that we likely won’t be seeing much of the Bastogne Parachute Rifle Company in the competitive tournament scene. Yes, these are the best infantry out there, but they are still infantry, and so long as they’re relegated to simply holding ground, they’ll likely lose out to other similarly effective but cheaper formation options like some of the Battle Weary entries in the Bulge book. Thankfully, my interest in the hobby predominantly revolves around the modelling, an appreciation for the history, and the social aspect of gaming with a club. I’m very excited about breaking my Bastogne themed Paratroopers back out, and seeing just how much ground we can take and hold. We’ve already established that it’d be a might silly to pay this sort of premium for a static infantry formation to just sit on objectives. So I’m hoping to put together a sort of all comers list, and play a might aggressively to get the most value out of these Fearless Vets. I’m going to have tons of fun doing it too, trusting my dice rolls to keep those 3+’s coming to keep these fellas on the board. My first run at this list at 110 points looks something like this.
I’ll likely end up dropping either the AOP or the Speirs command card to bump the 88’s up to the Long variant. This list is built to 110 points to match the Late War points values for 2022. The two armour platoons come out to 44 points, making them ideal reserve options. We’ve got a solid formation of 6 units. The hope is to be able to identify and take advantage of games in which I’ve got a position of authority early to claim a larger portion of the board with some aggressive play, and some judicious use of my artillery. In games in which I don’t have such an advantage, we’ll dig in, and attempt to counter punch.
Modelling My favourite thing about my paratrooper force, is the look of my paratrooper force. We’ve got a fair bit to play with options wise here. Supplies, including winter gear, were in short order as American forces were rushed in to stem the German offensive. I’ve chosen to model this by basing my Paratroopers in a winter theme on Battlefront’s rural base set, and by mixing winter geared riflemen, and regular paratrooper models. My opinion is likely biased, but I believe this makes for a very interesting, and striking looking force.
I’m excited about playing this force again, and if you’ve an interest in this particular piece of history, I’ll bet you do to.
With several new artillery weapons being released I thought I would look at all the options available to me that I might have previously not even looked at plus the new stuff. To my surprise when I tallied up the number of units able to deliver an artillery or salvo template, it was at least twice to three times what I imagined! If you consider what is available in several formations, support and command cards, the total number of different indirect weapon systems totals nineteen! That is right, nineteen! Here is the list of them:
60mm Mortar team
105mm Field Artillery Battery
10.5cm Provisional Field Artillery
M7 Priest Artillery Battery
8.8cm Provisional Field Artillery
Armoured 81mm Mortar Platoon
T27 Xylophone Rocket Launcher Battery
4.2 Inch Chemical Mortars
M8 Scott Assault Gun Platoon
P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Flight
105mm Cannon Platoon
Glider 105mm Artillery Battery
M4 Sherman (Late) Assault Gun Platoon
M4 Sherman (Calliope) Tank Platoon
Starting out with the formation weapons we look first at the mortars. These tend to be the cheapest artillery assets and can be taken by several infantry and recon formations (with the armoured mortars in the tank formations). As well as being cheaper, they also count towards keeping the formation from breaking.
First up is the 60mm mortar which is either intrinsic to the Infantry Platoon or an option for the dedicated mortar platoons. It has a range of 32” AT1 FP4+. In the infantry or recon platoons where they appear, it’s a great little option to field multiple templates which can support assaults or to pin your enemy – with one weapon in the battery.
Next is the humble 81mm mortar which has a range of 40” AT1 and FP4+. It can also fire a smoke bombardment and useful to defend objectives if required. In the Battle-Weary Mortar Platoon, you can take two for 2pts, four for 4pts or six for 7pts (no brainer to take six for rerolling misses). Alternatively, you can three 60mm mortars instead for 2pts. In the Bastogne Parachute 81mm Mortar Platoon you can either two for 4pts or four for 8pts. The Bastogne Glider 81mm Mortar Platoon you can take either three for 5pts or six for 10pts.
The armoured versions of this mortar are mounted in the M3 Half Tracks in Tank and Armoured Rifle formations. Three in a unit and are 3pts in Veteran Tank Formations or 2pts other Formations. The advantage they have are that they are armoured and can keep up with tanks and easier to escape counterbattery fire.
The M8 Scott is based on the Stuart tank and mounts a 75mm howitzer that has a range of 64” AT 4+ and can fire a smoke bombardment. It also has direct fire capability with a range of 20” AT6 FP3+. Being armoured and fast makes them survivable by being able to move when required quickly. The Veteran version found in tank units are two for 4pts or three for 6pts or other tank units are two for 3pts or three for 5pts. In the recon formations they are a minimum of two for 2pts to a maximum of six for 12pts in the unit.
The Paras get their own 75mm pack howitzer that has a range of 64” AT FP4+ and smoke bombardment. Direct fire capability of 20” AT6 FP3+. You can take two for 6pts or four for 12pts. Both the Paras and Glider Infantry have this in their formation.
Next up is the 105mm Light Howitzer that has a range of 56” AT3 FP3+ and smoke bombardment. Direct fire is a useful 20” AT7 FP2+. In the Bastogne Glider 105mm Artillery Battery, you can take three for 11pts or six for 22pts. The Battle Weary 105mm Cannon Platoon is two for 4pts, four for 9pts or six for 13pts. If taking the Gliders, I would take three as part of my formation, if rifle company then take the six for rerolling misses for the points for the formation.
The mighty Sherman (Late 105mm) is found in various formations. Useful dual-purpose gun which has a range of 48” AT3 FP3+ that can fire a smoke bombardment as well as direct fire 24” range AT9 FP2+. Can double as mobile artillery and anti-tank duty against light and medium targets. The Veteran version costs 9pts for two, 18pts for four, 27pts for six. The other version costs 7pts for two, 14pts for four, 21pts for six.
The last formation unit to cover off is the M4 Sherman (Calliope) Rocket Launcher. These are found in various tank formations and provides an in-formation rocket launcher. Range of 48” firing a salvo with AT2 FP5+. With the 5+ fire power, you will be looking to pin units rather than removing them but useful over a large are and for counterbattery fire. Take three for 8pts, four for 11pts, five for 13pts. You get three of these in the new starter box or you can buy the add on launchers as packs of three separately to put on your Shermans. There is also a command card that allows you to put these on early model Shermans instead of the new M4A3 series.
Moving onto the support options now we look at the guns first starting with the workhorse of the artillery – 105mm howitzers. Again, you have the choice of the towed version or self-propelled (Priest). Range is 72” with AT3 and FP3+ with a smoke bombardment. Direct fire out to 24” AT9 FP2+ with Brutal and Smoke. Towed is two for 5pts and four for 10pts. Self-propelled is three for 8pts and six for 16pts.
Next up is the M12 (self-propelled 155mm gun). Massive 96” range AT3 FP2+. Again, you want something to stay down, this is it. The gun can fire direct out to 24” with AT15 AUTO FP and Brutal. Tanks beware if they get into direct fire range! If you can afford these over the Priests or 105mm towed guns, then do it. Two for 6pts or four for 12pts.
The new kid on the block for this release is the T27 Xylophone Rocket Launcher. This is your counterbattery rocket launcher battery. Able to lay down a devastating salvo barrage and then move to take up alternative positions being mounted on trucks. Stats are 48” range and AT2 FP5+. You will want to keep these out of sight and use observers for them. Two for 3pts and four for 7pts.
The final support option is the P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Flight. You can fly anywhere on the board and drop bombs on your opponent and with a template with AT3 and FP2+ against infantry and gun teams or fire rockets with AT5 FP4+ for taking on tanks if you need to. The AT5 can even threaten heavy tanks such as the Tiger and IS-2s top armour. A flight of two costs 9pts. Even though you only have two planes, you are not penalised with having to reroll hits.
In this release there are also four command card upgrades if you want to take something a bit different for your artillery. First up is the 10.5cm Provisional Field Artillery card. This card allows you to replace a 105mm Field Artillery Battery with captured German 10.5cm howitzers keeping the “Time on Target” rule and all other stats. They are Confident Aggressive Veteran and as large guns assault on 5+. Two guns are 5pts or four guns are 10pts.
Second is the 8.8 Provisional Field Artillery card which represents the captured 8.8cm AA guns to replace 105mm howitzers. They have a range of 88” with AT2 FP4+ and useful direct fire stats of 40” range AT12 FP3+. It has gun shield and slow firing rules. No tactical move but terrain dash of 2” cross country and road dash of 4” with a cross check of 6. You won’t be moving them very far without transports! Two for 5pts or four for 10pts.
Third card is again for replacing 105mm howitzers and represent captured Pak 43 AT guns. Same stats as the 8.8cm AA guns except they are AT13 instead of AT12 – everything else is the same.
The last command card option is the 4.2-inch Chemical Mortars. You can take this unit if you have the option of fielding a Battle-Weary Mortar Platoon in your formation. It has a range of 48 with AT2 FP3+. Its four for 6pts and allows you to take another cheap mortar option.
A quick mention about “Time on Target” rule. Several artillery units have this rule. What it allows is that if a unit ranges in on the first attempt, all infantry and gun teams hit by the bombardment must reroll successful saves. Basically, a free repeat bombardment on your first attempt. The units that have this rule are:
Bastogne Parachute 75mm Artillery Battery
Bastogne Glider 105mm Artillery Battery
105mm Field Artillery Battery
M7 Priest Battery
M12 155mm Artillery Battery
5cm Provisional Field Artillery
The tables below do a direct comparison across each of the weapon systems and will help you determine what you might want to include in your force.
Weapons using a standard artillery template:
4.2 Inch Chemical Mortar
75mm Pack Howitzer
Captured 8.8cm Gun
Captured 8.8cm Gun (Long)
Captured 10.5cm Howitzer
Rocket launchers using the salvo template:
T27 Xylophone (4.5”-inch)
The last thing I want to cover off is using an observer. You have a choice of a M4 Sherman (Late) OP for 3pts or L4 Grasshopper OP for 2pt. The M4 Sherman (Late) OP is armoured and can be used as a tank firing AT10 and MG’s as well. The L4 Grasshopper is a plane and can be anywhere on the board to spot – that is very useful on terrain heavy tables. Now you can only take an observer if you take one of the following artillery support units:
Bastogne Parachute 75mm Artillery Battery
Bastogne Glider 105mm Artillery Battery
105mm Field Artillery Battery
M7 Priest Artillery Battery
M12 155mm Artillery Battery
T27 Xylophone Rocket Launcher Battery
If you take one of the command cards options that replaces one of the above, eg the Provisional Artillery Batteries, that also applies. Once you have an observer in your force, it can spot for any artillery unit including any formation units except for the P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Flight which must self-observe. Another note is that a lot of American recon and infantry units have the Observer attribute so they can also be an observer, so depending on your force composition, you may not even need to take a specialist.
In summary, the Americans get a lot of artillery options to choose from with this release. Choose the best unit that suits your requirements and cost to fit into your force and enjoy list building!
The new book Bulge: American finally sees the famous Pershing tank. Since 1943 the Germans have demonstrated their superiority in armoured vehicles but with the arrival of this tank this is finally being questioned. I think everyone is just as excited as I am, so let’s go see the features of this end-of-war tank.
The United States could count on an excellent medium tank already a few months after entering the war. The M4 Sherman, in fact, entered service as early as 1942 and participated in the war effort giving excellent proof of itself. With the Tiger’s entry into service in 1943, however, the Sherman quickly showed its limits in dealing with this heavy tank. On the other hand, the construction of a heavier tank than the Sherman had already been under consideration since 1940 but the project suffered numerous slowdowns. From T6 the project evolved into T20 in May 1943 and then changed again to T23. But the continued superiority of the Tiger pushed the leaders to further evolve the project and equip the tank with a powerful 90mm cannon that was able to easily pierce the opponent’s armour.
The T26E3, as it was called at that time, went into production from November 1944 and 242 units were made until February 1945. From model 197 onwards, the tank was renamed M26 Medium Tank “Pershing”, by the US general John Pershing commander of the ‘American Expeditionary Forces. 6,000 units of the tank were then authorized, but only 1436 units were made.
The Ardennes offensive revealed the supremacy of German armored vehicles in a condition of lack of air superiority. It was for this reason that the High Command quickly decided to send the first pre-series M26 Pershing to the continent. Arriving in Antwerp shortly before Christmas 1944, they were then distributed to the departments in January: ten were assigned to the 32nd and 33rd tank regiments, while another ten armed two companies of the 9th Armored Division. Towards the middle of February the departments completed the training to be then already engaged at the end of the same month at the Roer river (Operation Veritable). Before the VE (Victory in Europe) as many as 200 M26 Pershing operated on the European battlefields but the tank had no way to operate in the Pacific as the war ended earlier. On the other hand, the M26 Pershing was used later in the Korean War and ended its career in 1953.
The Pershing tank looks like a hybrid between the tiger and the panther. Its frontal armour is equal to 9, the same value as the Tigers and Panthers. Such a high value makes it completely invulnerable to light cannons and practically invulnerable to medium ones. Only high-velocity guns like the Pak40 or Zis2 have any hope of being able to pierce its armour (and only at short range). The main threats are heavy tank destroyer guns such as 88mm, 100mm or 17pdr. Against these guns you have to be very careful but fortunately they are not particularly fast guns.
The medium tanks do not have much hope of facing the Pershing head-on and coming out victorious. Other heavy tanks on the other hand, are more dangerous but the Pershing is also a match for them: a perfect balance! The side armour on the other hand does not offer as much protection. With a value of 6, even medium tanks can be particularly dangerous. It is therefore necessary to manoeuvre carefully to avoid being bypassed, even by tanks such as the Panzer IV or the T-34. As you may have guessed assaulting will not be so easy. Panzerfausts, Parzerschrecks, PIATs and bazookas can be very dangerous and could push you back from an assault if not eliminated or in any case if the unit has not been pinned. On the other hand, the Pershing has a top armour of 2 which makes it an unsurpassed opponent for those infantry units that have not taken anti-tank support or perhaps have lost it. In addition, this top armour provides good protection against aircraft which can be very dangerous. Overall, the protection of the Pershing is quite adequate even if it is nothing exceptional when compared to other similar tanks.
The Pershing moves like medium tank with a Tactical value equal to 10. It also manages to adequately exploit the terrain while not being particularly effective in crossing them. Thanks to a Cross Country Dash of 16 ” it can dart to hide behind terrain quite easily. On the other hand, it is more difficult to cross the terrain due to a 12 ” Terrain Dash. Entering the terrain risks slowing down a lot but the Pershing has an excellent Cross value of 2+ which allows it to cross the terrain with ease even while moving at tactical and firing at enemy tanks. The Road Dash is rarely used but in case you are lucky enough to skid on a road you could move up to 18 “.
The armament is a source of pride for the Pershing tank with it mounting an excellent 90mm long gun that can hit targets at 36 ” away. This value is lower than that of German guns of the same size but it is perfectly serviceable for our needs. The anti-tank value is very high with it equaling other heavy tanks at 14 and can therefore penetrate almost heavy tanks in the game. Tigers, Panthers, Churchills and IS-2s must all therefore be very careful. Only the Ferdinand and the Elefant are completely immune, but they are immune to everything that comes from their front! The firepower is also comparable with 3+. Once they fail an armour save you will destroy two out of three tanks. The Rate of Fire is equally adequate with 2 when the Pershing is halted and 1 when the Pershing is moving. Unfortunately the Pershing can’t rely on Stabilizer that American players are used to and the Pershing must therefore be played in a different way from the Sherman. The Pershing also has a lot of light firepower to handle infantry and guns and is equipped with a powerful .50 “and two .30” lighter. They can then fire 4 shots while moving and 5 shots from stationary. Infantry will not be able to assault a Pershing Platoon and can very easily threaten to pin an assault. The .50 “machine gun can also fire anti-aircraft fire (self-defence), giving the Pershing some protection against planes that would undermine its Top 2.
The training of the Pershing is adequate. Getting hit at 4+ is quite useful when you can count on 9 armour but not definitive against the guns that populate the Late War battlefields. Using any cover, the Pershing will be hit at 5+ which is not easy to hit. The motivation is average with Confident 4. Keep in mind that very often the HQ will be needed to reroll important morale rolls. Their training is also average Trained 4+. However, as with American veteran tanks, the Pershing can count on Tactics 3+ giving them a skill rating that can be really decisive for such powerful tanks. The Pershing must rely on it and exploit it and as you may have guessed, the Pershing cannot be a cheap tank and costs just under ten points with even the smallest platoon costing 19 points for just two.
The Super Pershing
If you think the Pershing isn’t armoured enough or powerful enough, well then you should aim for the Super Pershing!
In 1945 the Germans began to deploy the very powerful Tiger II Konig Tigers making the Pershing far less effective. It was decided to up-gun the M26 by installing a more powerful 90 mm cannon with the T15E1 gun, the American answer to the 8.8cm KwK43 that can penetrate 330mm of armour. This vehicle was based on the first T26E1 vehicle and after trials a single tank was then shipped to Europe and attached to the 3rd Armored Division. The men of the 3rd Armored Division’s maintenance workshops further modified the tank by cutting out armour plates from German Panther tanks and welding them to it, creating the unique T26E1-1 ‘Super Pershing’.
As you can imagine the Super Pershing has a lot in common with Pershing. Basically the main changes concern the frontal armour and armament. The armour of the Panther welded on the front brings the Front Armor to 13, making it practically invulnerable to the blows of almost any weapon that plies the battlefield. Only the most heavily armed tanks like the Jagdpanther and the Elefant are truly a threat to a Super Pershing. Tiger, Panther and M10 instead have a very limited effectiveness, being able only to hope to bail the American heavy tank. On the other hand, the side armour remains at 6, leaving the Super Pershing particularly vulnerable during assaults on weapons such as bazooka, panzerfaust and PIAT. As for the armament, the 73-caliber 90mm cannon can hit targets within 48 “and pierce almost anything thanks to an anti-tank value of 18. Virtually any tank can be penetrated from the front. Even the Elefant can be destroyed at short range, It is a deadly weapon but with so few shots per game it should only be aimed at strongest targets.
The training of the Super Pershing of course is the same as that of the regular Pershing since the tankers are from the same division. The platoon is made up of only one specimen since the Super Pershing was built in only one specimen. Of course the point cost represents these very important values of armour and armament, a Super Pershing costs more twice that of a M26 Pershing but it’s worth all the investment. Let’s see why together.
On the battlefield, Super Pershing’s role should be the pillar on which to build the game. Formations of tanks very often find themselves facing some units that are difficult to deal with. Maybe a heavy anti-tank gun unit, a heavy tank destroyer like the Elefant or maybe a tank destroyer unit. The Super Pershing can confront them head-on, standing in the middle of their line of fire, and shoot them in turn with high hopes of destroying the target. Of course it is a piece that must be moved with great caution as it must avoid being flanked at all costs. Apart from that give it a try and you will have fun as it the weight and hitting power of this tank becomes the centre of gravity of your tank company.
A comparison between heavies
The Pershing is rightly designated as the American heavy tank. The Americans are undoubtedly the last of the major powers to develop this type of tank so now let’s now make a comparison to better frame it among the heavy tanks of the Late War.
Pershing vs Tiger
The Tiger is undoubtedly the most famous tank of the Second World War. When it entered service in 1943 it radically changed armoured warfare. Thanks to powerful armour and a powerful cannon it proved to be a near undefeatable vehicle for many tanks of the Allies for the initial time in which it was first introduced. With the M26 Pershing, the Tiger shares a very good frontal armour of 9 making it nearly unassailable for medium tanks and less powerful anti-tank guns. Both of these tanks can then move forward with relative peace of mind as long as they are concerned about avoiding heavy anti-tank guns or more powerful tanks. M26 Pershing and Super Pershing also share a top armour of 2 making them virtually unassailable for infantry lacking anti-tank weapons such as bazooka or Panzerschreck / Panzerfaust. The big difference is undoubtedly the side armour. The Tiger can count a Side Armor of 8 which makes it a particularly hard nut to crack even for portable anti-tank weapons and cannons that carry out defensive fire the Pershing has a value of only 6. It therefore follows that while the Tiger can assaulting almost all infantry with relative tranquillity the Pershing must be much more careful to limit the blows it will receive as much as possible. Flanking must also be taken into account. The Tiger can practically ignore the medium and light tanks attempting to flank it such as the Panzer IVs, T-34s and Shermans with 75mm guns. The Pershing does not have this advantage and must manoeuvre carefully to avoid nasty surprises. Surprisingly, the Tiger can count on greater mobility as the powerful engine compensates for the increased weight. The difference is not on the Tactical movement which is equal to 10 for both tanks, but on the Cross Country Dash. The Tiger can move 18 “while the Pershing” only “16”. It’s not a big difference, but sometimes two inches can make the difference between a good position and a dangerous position. Even with regard to the Road Dash, the Tiger can count on these fateful 2 extra inches. The terrain mobility in Dash is exactly the same with 12 “and cross at 2+. As for the armament, the Tiger and Pershing are equipped with a gun with the same characteristics of Rate of Fire, Anti-tank and Firepower. The only difference lies in range. the Tiger’s cannon can hit (and destroy!) targets at 40 “while the Pershing’s at 36”. This can undoubtedly be a more important difference because 36 “is the range of many allied anti-tank weapons. The tiger can then strike without being hit, while the Pershing will have to manoeuvre to avoid return fire.
The Pershing however has better anti-infantry armament. While the Tiger has only two machine guns for a total of 4 rounds (both moving and stationary) the Pershing has two .30 “machine guns and one .50” machine gun for a total of 5 stationary rounds and 4 moving rounds. Of these two or three shots (depending on whether the tank is moving or not) have an anti-tank of 4 and a firepower of 5. In addition, the .50 “can fire anti-aircraft.
Both the Tiger and Pershing are 4+ to be hit, dodging 50% of hits even in open field. Both have a Motivation of 4+, but because the Tiger-equipped units were assigned to the best tank crews, they have a Remount and a Last Stand of 2+. This makes the Tigers a much tougher bone, which must always be taken into consideration.
On the battlefield Tiger and Pershing play different roles. The Tiger is a complete tank that can engage opposing heavy tanks and subsequently assault opposing infantry. The Pershing on the other hand tends to limit itself to engaging enemy tanks, perhaps attacking them on the side so as not to avoid being flanked in turn.
Pershing vs Panther
The Pershing is known on the playing field as the American Panther, it is no coincidence that these two tanks have many traits in common. The front Armor is identical with a value of 9 which offers decent protection. The side armour is also very similar, although slightly in favour of the Pershing. The Panther can only count on a value of 5 while the American tank of 6. It is certainly not a substantial difference but sometimes that point can make a difference: I have seen Panthers destroyed by armoured cars or light tanks with an anti-tank of 7 take advantage of too many 1 rolled on protection throws. With a value of 6 the greatest risk is to be bailed, a big difference. Most significant is the difference on the Top Armor. In spite of the excellent front armour and the powerful gun, the Panther has a Top Armor of 1 like that of the lighter tanks (the M3 Stuart for example!). This does not make Panther suitable for assaulting enemy infantry, especially considering the side armour . The Pershing on the other hand has a Top Armor of 2, which gives the American tank the option of assaulting infantry who have do not have their anti-tank weapons or have lost them due to casualties.
The Panther has greater mobility than the Pershing. On both the Terrain Dash and the Cross Country Dash another 2 “must be added for a total of 14” and 20 “. Detroit’s finest is not up to par with the German engines, at least for the moment. Even greater is the difference on the Road Dash (24” for the Panther) which can have a marginal importance. Thanks to these better characteristics, the Panther is able to make better use of cover and if necessary cross larger distances while in terrain compared to the Pershing.
The gun of the Panther is the same in terms of effectiveness as that of the Tiger so the same considerations already made previously apply.
In terms of training, more or less the same goes except that the Panther cannot count on a crew as motivated as that of the Tigers. The German Third Reich national rule guarantees him a Last Stand of 3+ making them more likely to remount compared to the Pershing.
On the battlefield Panther and Pershing behave in similar ways, using their powerful cannon and excellent frontal armour to take on medium and heavy tanks. The biggest difference is that Pershing can have that extra edge to end the game by assaulting the enemy infantry that holds the objective firmly.
Pershing vs IS-2
The American and Soviet heavies have very little in common. The IS series tanks, either IS-2 or IS-85, are tanks conceived as armoured giants designed to face German heavy tanks but above all assault infantry bristling with Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck anti-tank weapons. The armour of the IS tanks is in practically every respect superior to that of the Pershing. While the latter can count on a value of 9, the IS tanks have a value of 10. A point of difference may seem small but it is not so when facing anti-tank values of 12 (to which they are nearly invulnerable) or of 14. The side armour of the IS is also superior with a value of 8 and is a real challenge for medium tanks and light anti-tank weapons . The top armour on the other hand is the same making it resistant to aircraft and infantry. Despite the greater armour the IS can count on a fast movement thanks to their superior engine.
As for the armament, the situation is quite varied. The IS-2 has a powerful cannon designed primarily to flush out infantry. At 122mm it does not have a particularly high piercing capacity, it is the same as that of the Pershing, but it has a better firepower of 2+ and the Brutal rule that forces infantry and non-armoured vehicles to re-roll successful saving throws. On the other hand due to the particularly complex ammunition the rate of fire is 1 both when the tank is stationary and when the tank is in motion. The cannon also has the slow firing rule which adds +1 to the roll required to hit the enemy when the tank is moving meaning if it moves it will have a harder time hitting its target.
The gun of the IS-85, on the other hand is lower in terms of performance to that of the Pershing. The rate of fire is identical to that of the Pershing tank but the anti-tank value is equal to only 12 which is 2 points lower than that of the Pershing. This means that the IS-85 struggles to take on all heavy tanks but excelling against medium tanks. The firepower is equal to 3+, which seems appropriate for 85mm guns. The anti-infantry armament of the Pershing is superior to that of the counterpart thanks to the second light machine gun of the Pershing allowing more overall shots when stationary.
As for training the IS like almost all Soviet tanks, are 3+ hit because they are aggressive. This means they will have to take a lot more hits. Their morale on paper is the same (confident 4+), but the No one step back rule gives the Soviet tanks a Last Stand of 3+. While the strong anti-infantry vocation this gives it a Counterattack value of 3+.
On the battlefield, the IS and the Pershing play completely different roles. The Pershing takes on enemy tanks from a distance while the IS are at their best in assaulting the infantry head-on.
Pershing vs Churchill
Her Britannic Majesty’s army does not have (at least for the moment) any tanks similar to the Pershing. Until further development (which there will be, and how if there will be!), The only heavy tank deployed is the Churchill. Born as an evolution of the mythical Matilda it is a support tank for infantry designed to give a hand during assaults. It is therefore not surprising that the mobility of the Churchill is indeed lower than that of the Pershing. The British tank can only move 8″ per tactical which is the same speed as the infantry. Also for the Dash the speeds are lower: 10″ on the ground, 14″ in the open field as well as on the road. At least the value of Cross is the same: 2+. Concerning the armour it is necessary to distinguish between the different variants of the Churchill present on D-Day: British. The Churchill armed with a 6pdr cannon has an armour of 9 (identical to that of the Pershing) while the Churchill armed with the 75mm cannon, it has an armour value of 11. A similar value is really considerable, excellent for dealing with even high anti-tanks. The side armour is for both Churchill models equal to 8, identical to that of other heavy tanks and great for assaulting infantry. The top armour is the same.
The Pershing has a much more effective on armament. The 6pdr has an anti-tank value of just 11 with a firepower of 4+ while the 75mm has a value of 10 with a firepower of 3+. In addition, the range of the British tank is just 28 “. It is therefore not surprising that in a Churchill vs Pershing battle, the Churchill has very little chance as it is not suitable for dealing with heavy tanks in a head to head fight
Pershing and Super Pershing In their formation
Given the few Pershing that entered service during the Ardennes Offensive, it is not surprising that these tanks are available in limited numbers. The Pershing’s platoon is available as for one of the slots of the Veteran M4 Sherman (late) Tank Company formation. At least this slot is one of the two Compulsories so any American formation can field a Pershing platoon as Support.
Pershing’s platoon consists of two to five tanks. Considering the cost of tank it will be necessary to decide whether the Pershing will play the leading role and investing a good number of points in this unit, or relegate this powerful tank to a support role. The possibilities are many, what is your solution?
Finally we must also talk about the Super Pershing. The platoon consists of only one tank and the slot, unlike that of the common Pershing, is not a compulsory. To deploy this powerful vehicle you will have to play a tank formation: you will not be able to be smart!
This list is a classic example of a list built around the new US Army tanks. Overall, it ranks 4 M26 Pershing and 1 T26 Super Pershing making for a real armoured mass. The unit of M26 Pershing has a very appropriate cost because it can be left in reserve if necessary (some missions also require the attacker to have 40% of the points left over) and occupies almost all the points reserved for it. You can also leave the recce in reserve, a necessary sacrifice. The Super Pershing will certainly be on the table and this should give the American player a advantage. The Sherman platoon is a particularly useful unit. It has the well armoured Jumbos capable of absorbing the most powerful enemy shots by using the mistaken target rule along with two tanks capable of hitting enemy tanks back along with a Sherman (late 75mm) capable of effectively hitting infantry or firing bullets or smoke bombs. The Jumbo also has a 75mm gun effectively adding to the effectiveness of the unit here too.
Unfortunately, the high cost of the units did not allow for powerful artillery support. The mortars can provide the necessary smoke to allow the tanks to assault which is a must have for the points this unit costs.
As you can see, this other list is more balanced than the previous one. By giving up an M26 Pershing and the mighty Super Pershing enough points are spare to insert a substantial amount of infantry support and artillery. The infantry should be able to capture or defend targets that tanks struggle to cope with. Personally I think that all balanced lists should have at least one infantry unit. The armoured rifle platoon is particularly effective as it is equipped with five bazookas, two light machine guns and a mortar, not to mention the armoured half-tracks which are excellent for moving around the battlefield. The priests, on the other hand, are an excellent artillery for their points. Equipped with excellent anti-tank and firepower when bombarding they can be particularly lethal, especially with the Time on Target rule. In addition they can fire smoke both as direct fire and when bombarding. All for just 8 points. The unit is made up of only 3 guns but being armoured vehicles should help them survive. Sometimes hiding them can be a very good solution which is why I put in an aerial observer. Bombing from inside a forest or behind a building may seem obnoxious but is very effective. The basis of this list has remained is more than capable of meeting almost any challenge on the battlefield.
So what are you waiting for? Be sure to try the M26 Pershing and see what they can do on the battlefield with the American answer to the German Panther!