Andrew’s Rangers Lead the Way

with Andrew Haught

Wayne and I sat down to play a game of Flames Of War and we wanted to do a beach landing. Since I was still working my 29th Infantry Div beach landing Assault Company I decided to do something a little different than what I normally play for this Beach Landing game. I wanted to play Rangers. Rangers in V4 are incredibly cool. They are assault monsters and if they can get in close they will kill everything with their +2 to hit in Assaults.

Now, when brewing up a list for a Beach Landing mission, as an ally force you want to focus on the units that will cycle back onto the table: the infantry units, so I want at least 3 units, but the way the Rangers work I only get two per formation so I need to bring two formation. This is one of the strong aspects of the Rangers since their formations are small you can get multiple company commanders to help motivate your troops and keep your forces moving. With the core troops I wanted to add some artillery in the form of Mortars and Naval Gun Support. And since we are going D-Day let’s get some Duplex Drive tanks via the DD Sherman Command card.

Here is the list I ran against Wayne in our game:|
 Ranger Company 1

Ranger HQ 1 Point
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Mortar platoon with 6 guns

Ranger Company 2
Ranger HQ 1 Point
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Platoon 10 Points

Support
M4 Sherman Tank Platoon with 4 tanks 14 Points

Command Cards
Lucky 1 Pont
Naval Gun Support 12 Points
Sherman DD 0 Points

If you add it up you can see we were playing below the normal 100 point level, at 75 points. This was due to the fact we were playing in a recorded battle report and we wanted to keep it short. But 100 points is where the game truly shines and if you wanted to add 25 more points to this list I would add the following,

Ranger Company 3
Ranger HQ 1 Point
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Platoon 10 Points

Add a fifth tank to the M4 Sherman Platoon +4 Points

That gets you to 100 point easy and you will have even more troops on the table to harass your opponents.

Wayne and I were playing the FUBAR mission found in the D-Day: American book, we wanted to show off the basic mission and give players a look into how the mission is played. We could have played the Pointe Du Hoc Variant rules that would have let us play the beach landing the Rangers ran into on D-Day. Both missions work as FUBAR is a great representation of the Omaha beach landings.

I won’t tell you how the game went as you can watch our battle report video to find that out but I will go into the basic tactics of this list.

This list is all about attacking, you move your infantry in and you overwhelm your target with sheer numbers. During the FUBAR beach landing mission you have to take both objectives but your opponent’s resources are quite limited so try and mass up on both objectives. Your Shermans are limited resources so be careful with them and get them up the beach quickly and have them focus on taking out bunkers, start with the AT bunkers and once they are dealt with move on to the MG nests.
Something else to keep in mind when building non-Ranger Tank forces, Rangers formations are cheap point wise to add to your force. For 21 points you get two full units of Rangers and an HQ, so you get re-rolls and some of the best Assaulting units the Americans have to offer. Its easy to build a well forces list and slot the Ranger platoon in, for example,

M4 Sherman Company
M4 Sherman Company HQ with 2 Tanks 7 Points
M4 Sherman Tank Platoon with 5 tanks 18 points
M4 Sherman Tank Platoon with 5 tanks 18 points
M4 Sherman (76) Tank Platoon with 5 tanks 23 points
M4 81mm Armoured Mortar Platoon 2 Points

Ranger Company
Ranger HQ 1 Point
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Platoon 10 Points

Support 
Priest Artillery Battery with 3 Priests 8 Points
Sherman OP 3 Points

There is a hundred points and the Rangers are the perfect include, if you have to defend well you get two full strength Ranger platoons to dig in on the objectives, with their 3+ moral rating they will rally and stay in the fight longer than most other American infantry units. Add in their 2+ to hit in assaults and you have a defending unit your opponent does not want to assault into.
Ranger weakness to keep in mind, they are easy to hit, so HMGs and other high rate of fire hostiles are a big threat, you want to use your tanks and artillery to deal with those threats before the Rangers move into the assault.

To see the video of our game click here…

Well that’s it for this Army Spotlight, hope to see you on the battlefield,

Painting US Airborne- Evan’s Guide

with Evan Allen

All my figures are painted with the Vallejo range of paints. These are my personal suggestions only so please treat them as a guide and not “gospel”. I’ve also refrained from my usual technique of adding a little Deck Tan VP986 to the basic uniform colour and drybrushing highlights so you can see the actual colour more clearly.

The M1942 Uniform
The first combat uniform issued to US Airborne troopers, the M1942, was purpose designed for Airborne troops by Maj. William Yarborough (who was also the designer of the US Airborne parachute wings). The design included features such as pockets cut on the diagonal to allow easy access while wearing webbing equipment and large, expanding, bellows style leg pockets that became a trademark of the wartime US airborne trooper. The M1942 uniform was used only by Paratroopers and wasn’t issued to Glider troops. The Paratroopers taking part in combat jumps in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Normandy wore this uniform and even one battalion that jumped during “Market Garden” in Holland was still wearing this uniform.

This uniform was made from light cotton that was a pale greenish-tan colour and I must admit to spending an awful lot of time experimenting to achieve, what I hope to be, the closest match possible. I try to avoid mixing different colours to achieve my basic uniforms but this uniform seems to bring on my OCD (Obsesive Colour Disorder) to get it closer than just plain Olive Drab (887 gets).  The Olive Drab (887) is close but a bit too dark for my taste so, eventually, I settled on a 50/50 mix of Khaki (988) and the Olive Drab (887)

The other colours I chose are:

Uniform Piece Vallejo Colour
Webbing & Equip. Green Grey (886)
Helmet US Olive Drab (887)
Helmet scrim Khaki (988)
Weapon Furn. (wood) Beige Brown (875)
Jump Boots
E-tool handle
Pistol holsters
Flat Brown (984)

The M1942 uniform was practical to wear in combat when it was warm but it offered no protection from the elements when the weather turned nasty. Also, being made from lightweight cotton, the knees and elbows tended to wear out quickly so many an airborne trooper bribed his unit parachute rigger to sew patches over the elbows and knees. The material commonly used for this was cotton duck from old parachute packs and was green in colour. I’ve painted patches on the elbows and knees of this figure over an otherwise standard M1942 uniform with US Dark green (893). You could even mix these with “unpatched” troopers for a bit of variety.

The Glidermen
The Glider borne troops were basically standard infantrymen who woke up one day to find themselves called Glidermen, there were no calls for volunteers here! With a job equally as dangerous as their Paratrooper brothers they were denied the extra “jump pay” until just prior to the “Market Garden” landings when, finally, they achieved official recognition of the hazardous nature of their job. The uniform worn by these intrepid airborne soldiers was almost exactly the same as the “leg infantryman”. The only allowance for airborne duties was the issue of jump boots to a few fortunate troopers and, other than those few, they are the same as an ordinary infantryman in the M1941 uniform.
The colours I chose are:

Uniform Item Vallejo Colour
Jacket/leggings Khaki (988)
Trousers USA Field Drab (873)
Webbing Green Grey (886)
Helmet US Olive Drab (887)
Boots
E-tool handle
Flat Brown (984)

The M1943 Uniform
After the US Airborne forces were withdrawn from Normandy they were refitted and brought back up to strength ready for the next mission. This included the widespread issue of the brand new M1943 olive drab uniform to the veterans of the 82nd and 101st divisions. This wasn’t just a paratroop uniform but the beginning of the US Army’s push to standardize the combat uniform. All airborne units received the M1943 uniform, even the Glider troops, but the paratroopers were quick to modify theirs by adding bigger
leg pockets.

The new airborne divisions arriving fresh from the States already wore this new uniform and it was the

uniform seen dropping from the sky, or climbing out of a glider, during “Market Garden” in Holland and
“Varsity” over the Rhine and into Germany proper.
This figure is painted as wearing the new M1943 olive drab uniform. The uniform colour I used is US Dark Green (893). The rest is the same as for the earlier paratroop uniform colours details. For all the airborne equipment, like mortars and bazookas etc. US Olive Drab (887)

as the US Army used pretty much the same colour of Olive drab on everything.

 

 

 

 

I hope I’ve given you enough to help get you started on painting your airborne force and also a feel for the kind of troops that you’ll be leading, I’m sure, to tabletop success whether from the sky or as elite “leg infantry” with a bit of Armour in support.

Brandon’s Armoured Rifles

with Brandon Davis

At last it is finally here! D-Day American!

I have been really looking forward to this book so I can finally start my late war Armoured rifle and why not kick it off with the Veteran Armoured Rifle Company! I love the speed this company brings! Being able to zip around the board with all those MG’s. They can hold most positions against infantry while trying to grab objectives on top of creating barriers with half tracks them selves.  

Than of course you add in the support of the 57mm Anti-Tank platoon that will back up the half tracks zipping around. They are only AT 10 but that should be able to hold down or take out what I need in time to get into position.

The M4 81mm Mortar platoons and M8 Scotts will rain hell down on machine gun nests and pin down enemy troops until my rifle get into position as well. I also forgot to mention that the M3 half-tracks all have defensive AA!

Over all this army is fast, efficient,  and well rounded. They have all the weapons needed to get the job done. This is definitely going to be a fun army to field.

Fantastic Plastic Forces

with Lonnie Mullins

I’m a plastics guy from way back – if it’s not plastic I have a difficult time including it in my force.  I’ve always wanted to base an American army around a Tank Destroyer Company but didn’t relish the idea of resin M20’s and Jeeps in the security and HQ sections so I held off.  When I found out that we were changing those to plastic the game was afoot.

I’m building a full M10 Tank Destroyer Company – 12 x M10 3-Inch Tank Destroyers, 8 x M20 Scout Cars, and 3 x Jeeps for 59-points.  Being able to whack Panthers and Tigers from the front is not only exciting but will be a new experience for me as my previous American armies have been based around the ubiquitous Sherman Tank (mostly 75’s) and I’d lose 3-tanks for every Panther I took out.  I’ve got an Armoured Rifle Platoon from my mid-war Army already finished so adding them in for 15-points was a no-brainer. Their speed and versatility (and Bazookas, let’s not forget the 5-flippin’ Bazookas) make them an attractive option to take and hold objectives.  Being a BIG fan of air-power, I can’t help but add a P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Flight (even though they’re not plastic) to the mix for a mere 9-points.
This leaves me with 17-points left to spend on support. Now I could have used those points to add 4 x M4 Sherman tanks, which I’ve already got assembled and painted from my Mid-War army, but instead I’m going with an M7 Priest Artillery Battery of 6, mainly for the smoke screen it can lay down to protect my M10s as they advance (or retreat) and to pulverize any enemy infantry they come across. With 1-point left it was time to peruse the Command Cards. I was tempted by the “Lucky” card from the command deck, but I just could not pass up the “2,000 lbs. Bomb Load” card for my P-47 Flight. With anti-tank 4 and fire power 2+, plus no penalty for having only 1 or 2 weapons firing, it seems like a winner to me and worth replacing my 500 lb. bombs and rocket load out.

US Recon Cavalry Army

with Blair Mackey

While building this list I had two words in my head: ‘mobility’ and ‘utility’. I wanted to create a fast moving force that has a tool for every situation. For this I chose the US Cavalry Recon Company Command Card owing to its relatively inexpensive base requirements, and the tools it has.
 The formation has integrally the HQ, and 3 Cav Recon Patrols which are all Scout and Spearhead units, giving me plenty of throw away units to deny enemy ambush locations and expand my initial deployment area, as well as to out deploy my enemy in Fair Fight missions.

The M8 Scotts will serve to lay out smoke ahead of assaults, pin enemy anti-tank assets, and dig out enemy infantry. Having a Veteran M4 Sherman 76mm Platoon gives me an option for dealing with heavy enemy tanks, with mobility on my side, and being cautious I can limit the potential return fire that I will face, while applying force to a specific part of the enemy line.
M5 Stuarts combined with hedge cutters and sandbag armor can exploit momentary gaps in the enemy lines, and cross terrain easily to assault enemy infantry positions.

The Rangers exist for the purpose of chasing down enemy tank destroyers and captured bailed out enemy tanks. The L4 Grasshopper allows me to engage in counter battery fire against enemy artillery, and have eyes
on anti-tank assets without exposing my Scotts.
Lastly, the P-47s give me another option to deal with Tigers and a Panthers from a safe distance, combined with Total Air Superiority to keep the enemy planes off table, and the Napalm from the 370th Fighter Group the P-47s are really a potential counter to anything that could be on the board.

Currahee!

with Chris Potter, BF UK

For me nothing typifies Late War like the Normandy invasion. The largest seaborne invasion in history? Check. The largest airborne drop of troops to date? Check. And all this against a dug in and entrenched foe, led by none other than the Desert Fox himself: Erwin Rommel.

When the Late War journey was announced and the information about the books started to come to fruition, I was in my element like a kid in a sweet shop. I was at the front of the queue when we had the Late War sale clutching my list of ‘must haves’ begging the boss to let me get my blisters and box sets. Like a lot of others, I had to wait my turn, much to the better half’s relief as my list far outweighed my wages.

But boy did the factory deliver. I managed to bag myself two boxes of US Parachute Infantry, to get my Band of Brothers Airborne fix, as well as a box of 29th Infantry for the all important beach landings. This would be the start of my D-Day Force. Because on the horizon I was being tempted by the new plastic Airborne sprues and some rather tasty kit in the form of new plastic jeeps and rumours of 80mm mortars to rain fire on the enemy.

However, Matt managed to bring me back to the present as he reminded me that we needed to put together forces for Fortress Europe before I got carried away with the US D-Day book. Sorry boys of the 29th and 101st, you will have to wait whilst the glory boys of the 3rd Armored have their time in the spotlight.

I don’t want to reiterate what has already been said by a thousand others, but nothing screams US dominance on the Western Front like the wonderful Sherman tank. Whatever version of Sherman, you see a group of these coming, and you know that the rest of the US forces are not far behind. They are the breakthrough, the reason that prior to D-Day in 1944 the plucky Brits designed a Duplex Drive (DD) system to allow them to ‘swim’ up the beach to smash the enemy. They even fitted them with canvas flotation devices to literally float them through the surf.

From Omaha to Caen, throughout Market Garden to the German homeland, Detroit’s finest were leading the way and looking good doing it!

So when I saw that the new US Combat Command contained no less than 5 Shermans, which when combined with the 8 found in the Hit The Beach starter set, meant I had the solid core needed for a Fortress Europe Armoured Company. Add into that, the Priests for some artillery support and the M10 Tank Destroyers for some long range AT, all I need is some Armoured Rifles to take and hold objectives.

I am really excited to field Americans in Late War for V4. At heart this is all about getting as many models onto the table all at once. My usual modus operandi is to get what looks cool, then play a few games and work out the weaknesses before changing up the army composition. This time will be no different. My first game is against Gareth’s Germans. Let’s see how the Combined Arms list compares and performs!