Brand New PLASTIC 250s

with Kai

The Sd Kfz 250 was the light armoured personnel carrier of the Wehrmacht, providing a smaller but faster counterpart to the Sd Kfz 251. The shorter wheelbase made it less capable in crossing obstacles, but its greater speed was an asset for armoured reconnaissance battalions. Each transport
could hold 4 or 5 men, also known as a Halbgruppe (half-group).

The chassis was also ideal for carrying support weapons that could keep up with the motorised infantry, including 8cm mortars, as well as 3.7cm and 7.5cm guns. A total of 7,500 units were built by the end of the war in a wide range of variants, including Erwin Rommel’s famed command vehicle,
the ‘Greif.’

View from the Factory
After this kit was developed, the factory team had a field day, test assembling the full range of variants and checking parts for quality and compatibility. MG details had to be just right, and the 2cm turret had to fit together correctly. I think we did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself.

The Sd Kfz 250 sprue has a tremendous amount of flexibility, and we’re quite proud of how many different versions you can build from one kit. You can add Sd Kfz 250/9 armoured cars in a Scout Troop to provide your force with Spearhead capability, or support your Reconnaissance Company
with 8cm mortar carriers, while the 7.5cm gun half-track version can help you reduce machine-gun nests and gun positions.

You can also build a 3.7cm gun version to add a bit of punch to Reconnaissance Platoons.

The D-Day Global Campaign

with Andrew Haught (Battlefront NZ)

This week we take a closer look at the D-Day: Global Campaign Battlefront and the crew over at OnTableTop are running later this year. We have done several campaigns with OnTableTop in the past for Team Yankee and those who played in those will recognize this campaign- even though there are a few key differences. The campaign itself will have players fighting their way through the battles of Normandy taking over Routes and securing Areas that will earn their side a bonus when fighting in that route during the next week.

This Global Campaign kit is flexible and can be played during the online campaign, linking both your store’s campaign and the online campaigns together; or it can be played offline at any time using just the campaign kit. Each kit will have a ruleset, a campaign map, recruitment posters, and a set of stickers to mark your progress.

The online part of the campaign will link gaming communities from across the world together to fight over a global map. Along with recording your games and adding your side’s victories you can also write up your battle reports and share them with the online community, earning cool achievements and giving your side even more of an edge.

Did I say edge? Well, here is a non-obvious segue way into talking about Tactical Edge cards! Those who are participating in the Hobby League you will earn Tactical Edge cards to use during this campaign. These cards give you a one use boost for any game you play during the campaign, giving you an “edge” in your games. If you didn’t take part in the Hobby League then you don’t have to worry about these cards, unless your opponent has, then be afraid! Be very afraid!

Just kidding, the cards are cool and have cool effects, but none of them are game-breaking on their own, so if you don’t have them and your opponent does it’s not the end of the world.

Well that’s it for our first look at the Global Campaign, later on we will go even more in depth on what’s in the campaign kits and we will go over how the campaign will work. For now why not join in the global discussion over on our Facebook forums and let us know what side you will be representing in the global campaign.

The Brand New PLASTIC Panther

with Kai Tun (Battlefront Malaysia)

Check out the Panther in the Online Store…

One of the most exciting kit releases coming with D-Day: German is the Panther A with Zimmerit in all plastic. Here, Kai (BF Malaysia) takes us through a brief overview of the Panther tank and the brand new Panther kit.

The Tank
The Panzer V ‘Panther’ Ausf. A was the second production type of the formidable German medium tank. Many of the reliability issues of the prior Ausf. D, such as engine and transmission problems, were rectified by the time the Panther A faced the Allied invasion in the villages of Normandy.
With a potent 7.5cm KwK 42 L/70 gun and 80mm of sloped frontal armour, it was superior to any individual tank the Americans and British could bring to bear. At the same time, the Panther had superior manoeuvrability compared with the Tiger tank. 2,200 Panther A tanks were built, making it the second-most numerous Panther variant after the Ausf. G. The Panther A saw service on the Eastern Front, as well as in Normandy and Italy, so you’ll
have plenty of opportunities to field – or face – this deadly steel beast.

View from the Factory
The plastic Panther A model has been a long time coming! Needless to say, several members of our Malaysian team were quite happy to be the first hobbyists in the world to build this model.

The new Panther A kit has been designed to use the same track sprue that goes with our older Panther G model. Some of the parts on the track sprue – like the exhaust pipes and the ball-mounted hull MG with Zimmerit – have just been waiting all these years to come together in an all- plastic kit.

Our early assembly tests at the factory helped to ensure that all parts from both old and new sprues fit perfectly. Do note that early Panther A tanks were equipped with a pair of vertical exhaust pipes at the rear of the tank, but later production tanks had a triple pipe coming out of the left side instead of the normal single left pipe, to help with cooling.

 

This could be a great way to distinguish some Panther A tanks in the Late-War period as newly-arrived replacements! The new hull and turret have been modelled with the Panther A’s Zimmerit anti-mine paste, giving it a very distinctive textured look compared with our Panther G model. Anticipating that Soviet infantry would begin using magnetic anti-tank mines, the Germans began applying the paste to new Panther A tanks in the factory in late 1943 – but ultimately abandoned the practice by September 1944.

The D-Day: Beach Assault Mission Terrain Pack

If you want to cut to the chase and get to gaming D-Day, you can check out the Mission Terrain Pack in the Online Store… 

Focussing on D-Day with the first wave of Late War releases has given us all a chance to get excited about the monumental D-Day landings and airborne assaults vividly brought to life by media like Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers.
However, one of the difficulties with D-Day games is the requirement for specific terrain, and while you can direct order that terrain (and landing craft) right here…, for many of us, D-Day games come round but once a year. 

Our new Cardboard D-Day terrain set contains everything you would ever need for any number of Beach landing missions from the D-Day: American book- including landing craft, minefields, gun bunkers, and mortar pits. Your new D-Day: German Beach Defence force has everything they need to fight off the attacking Allies. To it all together, all the German defensive unit stats in the back of D-Day: American are provided as unit cards to match the pop-out and play cardboard defensive units.

On top of landing craft for beach missions like FUBAR, the Cardboard Terrain mission pack also gives you handy cardboard tokens and pieces for airborne missions. The Drop Zone Marker is used to determine the drift of parachute landing forces, while the Landing Zone Marker is used for troops landing in Gliders.You can check out our handy How-To videos on Airborne and Beach Landings below- everything you need to know to use the new Cardboard Terrain pack!

D-Day: German Spotlight

with Phil Yates (Battlefront NZ)

In early 1944, the situation in France was clearly the quiet before the storm. An Allied invasion would come, probably in the summer, but until then it was a quiet place to rebuild divisions shattered in the desperate autumn and winter battles on the Eastern Front behind the ‘Atlantic Wall’ fortifications lining the coast.

The challenge faced by the German commanders, Rommel and von Rundstedt, was how to combine these disparate forces into a battle-winning force. Should the panzers support the beach defences closely? Or should they operate with complete freedom, seeking to strike a battle-winning blow to cut off and destroy the Allied armies once ashore? What would be the best way to handle the massive Allied superiority in numbers, artillery, especially heavy naval gunfire, and aircraft? They made their choices and failed. Can you do better, defeating the Allied invasion and saving Germany?

What’s In The Book?

Beach Defence Grenadier Company

  • Plenty of cost-effective firepower, with lots of ways of getting even more.
  • Grenadier platoons can increase their firepower with more machine-guns, added heavy machine-guns, and Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck anti-tank weapons.
  • Poorly-trained family men, limited skill, weak in assaults, and easier to hit than most German troops.
  • Lots of anti-tank and artillery options with 5cm or 7.5cm anti-tank guns, 8cm and 12 cm mortars, and 7.5cm and 15cm guns.
  • Good for holding ground, but don’t expect too much from them.
  • Easy to convert from Grenadier Company in Fortress Europe.

Fallschirmjäger Company

  • Large platoons of fearless, high-quality infantry.
  • Platoons can get extra firepower with heavy machine-guns, and Panzerfaust, and Panzerschreck anti-tank weapons.
  • Well defended against tanks with both Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck anti-tank weapons and 7.5cm anti-tank guns.
  • Lots of mortars 8cm and 12cm guns.
  • Good for holding ground, even better for taking it.
  • Exciting new addition to Late War.

Fallschirmjäger StuG Assault Gun Company

  • StuG assault gun has better front armour and the same gun as a Panzer IV medium tank, but has no turret so can’t shoot targets to the flanks, and is less effective when assaulting infantry.
  • StuH assault howitzer has a brutal gun with 2+ firepower for knocking out enemy guns and infantry.
  • StuH assault howitzers operate in a separate platoon and can fire as artillery to support StuG platoons or grenadiers.
  • Company can include an integrated Fallschirmjäger or Beach Defence Grenadier Platoon to protect the assault guns.
  • Work well with infantry. Assault guns provide fire support. Infantry cover vulnerable flanks.
  • Easy to convert from StuG Assault Gun Company in Fortress Europe.

Panther Tank Company

  • Medium tanks with enough armour to stop any Allied anti-tank gun and a gun that can easily penetrate any Allied tank, and fast to boot!
  • Thinner side and top armour make more vulnerable than heavy tanks like the Tiger.
  • Integrated self-propelled anti-aircraft (including Möbelwagen quad 20mm on Panzer IV chassis) help keep Allied aircraft at bay.
  • Flexibility. Can swap out platoons of Panther tanks for a platoon of Tiger heavy tanks and a platoon of Panzer IV medium tanks.
  • Easily outclasses all opposition, just watch out for your flanks.
  • Easy to convert from Panther Tank Company in Fortress Europe.

Panzer IV Tank Company

  • Baseline medium tanks. Good armour and better guns than Allied medium tanks.
  • Protected ammunition storage and bazooka skirts limit effectiveness of US Bazookas, British PIATs, and Soviet anti-tank rifles.
  • High-quality crews give tactical advantages.
  • Integrated self-propelled anti-aircraft (including Möbelwagen quad 20mm on Panzer IV chassis) help keep Allied aircraft at bay.
  • Flexibility. Can swap out a platoon of Panzer IV tanks for a platoon of Tiger heavy tanks or Panther tanks.
  • Gives you the numbers to match the Allies, while still exceeding them in quality.
  • Easy to convert from Panzer III & Panzer IV Tank Company in Fortress Europe.

Tiger Tank Company

  • Elite heavy tanks with thick armour and powerful guns, yet more mobile than most medium tanks. Ploughs through terrain without a problem.
  • Almost immune to medium tanks, artillery, and infantry.
  • Integrated self-propelled anti-aircraft to help keep Allied aircraft at bay.
  • Expensive quality, but still cheap enough to field a good-sized company.
  • Easy to convert from Tiger Tank Company in Fortress Europe.

Armoured Panzergrenadier Company

  • Armoured Sd Kfz 251 half-tracks for battlefield mobility, even under fire.
  • Infantry can assault while mounted in their half-tracks to overrun light opposition.
  • Half-tracked heavy weapons, including 8cm mortars, 2cm AA, 7.5cm guns, and flame-throwers. Grille gives integrated 15cm heavy artillery.
  • Flexibility to take dismounted troops. Save points by leaving the half-tracks at home.
  • Fast and mobile with plenty of firepower in the attack, solid with massive firepower in the defence.
  • Easy to convert from Panzergrenadier Company in Fortress Europe.

Panzergrenadier Company

  • High quality infantry.
  • MG teams give plenty of firepower.
  • Can add Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck anti-tank weapons and 7.5cm anti-tank guns to keep tanks at bay.
  • Plenty of integrated weapons, including heavy machine-guns, 8cm and 12cm mortars, 2cm AA, and 7.5cm and 15cm guns.
  • Option to include half-tracked heavy weapons for a mobile attacking force.
  • Flexibility to take a platoon in half-tracks as a mobile strike force.
  • Plenty of firepower to cover attacks or break up enemy attacks. Trained for clever, aggressive attacks and tenacious defence.
  • Easy to convert from Panzergrenadier Company in Fortress Europe.

Reconnaissance Company

  • Armoured panzergrenadiers mounted in smaller, sneakier, faster Sd Kfz 250 half-tracks.
  • Up to 7 half-tracks per platoon for maximum mounted firepower.
  • Sneaky scout versions of 8cm mortar and 7.5cm gun half-tracks.
  • All-new armoured including:
    • 2cm, Puma 5cm, and 7.5cm eight-wheelers.
    • Light 2cm half-tracked armoured cars.
  • Armoured cars are integrated into formation.
  • Flexibility to take armoured and dismounted panzergrenadier platoons.
  • Can be integrated into armoured and dismounted panzergrenadier companies.
  • Sneak into position, then hit hard and fast.
  • Easy to convert from Panzergrenadier Company in Fortress Europe.

Support

  • New Jagdpanzer IV tank-hunter. Cheap, effective, mobile.
  • Super-deadly long 8.8cm anti-tank guns on cruciform turntable have all-round field of fire.
  • Plenty of AA options to counter Allied aircraft. Self-propelled single and quad 2cm, or ground mounted 2cm light or 8.8cm heavy AA guns.  
  • Lots of artillery choice, with Hummel 15cm and Wespe 10.5cm self-propelled guns, 10.5cm howitzers, and 15cm Nebelwerfer rocket launchers.
  • Allied air superiority prevents any German air support in Normandy..

How Do the Germans Play?

The Germans in Normandy have three distinct styles, although they can be profitable mixed and matched for even greater customisation to match your approach.

The first style comes with the Beach Defence Grenadier Company. This formation has a hard crust and a soft gooey centre. It relies entirely on firepower to keep the enemy at bay. If the enemy ever gets through your wall of fire, you will suffer badly. On the other hand, since everything is so cheap, that wall of fire can be very imposing.
The second comes with the Fallschirmjäger Company. This formation is the exact opposite. These guys are hard right the way through! Although they can turn on the firepower, particularly with plenty of mortars, they really shine when they get up close and personal with the enemy. Their deadliness is lethal to infantry, and almost as scary to tanks, thanks to their bazooka-like Panzerschrecks and short-ranged Panzerfausts.

The panzer divisions provide the third style. Whether tanks or panzergrenadiers, these troops have the best equipment in the world, and are highly skilled and won’t quit. Fighting cleverly, these elite troops can tackle greater numbers with ease.

Combining these different styles can also be profitable. You could back your beach defence troops with a hard-hitting armoured battlegroup, or use beach defence troops to hold an objective while your panzers pivot onto the enemy flanks. Your Fallschirmjäger can benefit from the compact firepower of the panzer divisions supporting their attacks, or provide the panzers with a core of shock troops to assault the objective.

In summary, a successful German force will use their superiority in equipment, training, skill, and cleverness, combined with a good dose of aggression, to keep the initiative, hit the enemy in their weak spots, while minimising the enemy’s opportunities to hit them back.

Normandy Campaign Missions

D-Day: Greman includes three new missions and a linked campaign. The first mission is Armoured Fury, a mobile battle where the attackers must push past an enemy spearhead to seize objectives deep in enemy territory, while at the same time preventing the spearhead from pushing on further. It recreates both the German armoured counterattack late on D-Day that pushed between the British spearheads to reach the sea, cutting the British sector in half, and the desperate German counterattack at Mortain, trying to reach the coast and cut off the American breakout.

The second mission is Outflanked. Here the defenders must extend their line to avoid being outflanked by the attackers, reflecting the battles in the week after D-Day before the lines solidified as both sides sought to find an open flank.
The third mission is Breakout, which allows you to refight the desperate German attempts to escape encirclements at Roncey, Falaise, and then Mons. The attacker is trapped between the encircling defenders and the troops closing in behind them. They must breakout or die.

These three missions are linked together with two standard missions from the rulebook in a simple campaign where the outcome of one battle has an effect on the next. If the German player can breakout from encirclement in the fifth mission, they win the campaign.

Who are the Warriors

The D-Day: German command card pack includes six warriors: Friedrich Adario, Heinz Auert, Wilhelm Bäder, Heinz Deutsch, Hermann Droppman, and Kurt Knispel. These tough fighters were all awarded the Knight’s Cross, one of Germany’s highest awards.

Kurt Knispel, veteran of years of combat on the Eastern Front, led a platoon of Tiger heavy tanks in Normandy. As the highest scoring tank ace, Knispel rarely missed his target, and refused to leave the battlefield until the task was completed.

Wilhelm Bäder and Hermann Dropmann led grenadiers into battle. Bäder, an ex-artilleryman, made good use of his formation’s mortars and infantry guns, while Dropmann, despite being a colonel in charge of a whole regiment, knocked out five tanks in close combat in a single day, for a career total of at least fifteen tanks.

Friedrich Adario and Heinz Deutsch were both deadly efficient anti-tank commanders. Adario’s long 8.8cm guns were deadly when striking from ambush, destroying well over one hundred British tanks from long range in the Normandy campaign. Deutsch led a StuG assault gun platoon, and ended the war with a claim to 46 Allied tanks destroyed.
Heinz Auert was a real fire eater who commanded a reconnaissance company. Rarely waiting to give the enemy time to prepare, or time for his supporting troops to arrive, Auert attacked, catching the enemy by surprise as they were preparing their own attack.

Command Cards

The command cards introduce a new concept, title cards. These cards have the title of a division and a special rule giving the division’s flavour. The key is that you can only have one title in your force. Beach defence troops gain five different varieties from fast bicycle troops to specialist assault battalions, from reluctant ‘volunteers’ from the prisoner of war camps to the higher-quality 352nd Infantry Division. Your beach defence troops can also enhance their firepower with cheaper, but not as well-trained, artillery, anti-aircraft, and anti-tank options.

The Fallschirmjäger paratroopers add three different titles from the barely-trained 5th Fallschirmjäger Division to von der Heydte’s elite 6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment. The panzers round out their options with three more divisions to join the basic Panzer Lehr. These range from the superb 2nd Panzer Division which adopted night attacks to avoid Allied firepower to the barely-trained 116th ‘Greyhound’ Panzer Division.

Other ways in which you can customise your force include crewing your Tiger tanks with aces, allowing your assault guns’ escort platoon to operate as true tank riders, upgrading your infantry to pioneers, armouring your self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, allowing your heavy anti-tank guns to fire as artillery, and creating fortified defences with MG and anti-tank nests, dug-in tanks, and misplaced and forgotten minefields. You can even cause the Allied heavy bombers to score an ‘own goal’, delaying their own reserves!

There are also a few new formations, such as scout companies equipped with various armoured cars.

Last, but not least, the Lucky card gives you a useful one-point filler, giving you that critical re-roll just when you need it.

Saving Private Ales

with  Ales Potocnik

Hey everyone!

I thought I would share the creative process of making a special miniature inspired by the now -classic Saving Private Ryan movie. It was done as a fun project for myself to celebrate the release of the first FOW D-Day book and it seemed fitting to honour Tom Hanks in his role as Captain John H. Miller. So, I decided to make my own Captain Miller. One of the most memorable scenes for me was towards the end, when he is, in a final act of defiance, shooting at a Tiger tank with his pistol!
 
Since I had been digitally designing Americans from that period, I already had the basic clothing and equipment.  I had to pose it as close as I could to the scene here and make some of the other equipment he is wearing. Funny part, I also put some blocks in the back to substitute for the motorbike just to get the height and pose right. I take every piece of gear I have, make it fit onto his body and mimic how it would behave on an actual human. Some of the details are made slightly over-emphasised so they will cast well and they can be painted by us.


Our soldiers have a slightly larger heft due to the demands of the 15mm size. If I am making miniatures for manufacturing in different materials I will have to make some changes when it comes to facial structures and emphasis, density of folds on the clothing because I can’t only go for accuracy, I also need to make sure when we get the final product it will take paint well, and there will be plenty of details to paint. . Accuracy and attention to detail is our primary concern and we always try to pull out the most amount of detail that we can with the scale we are working on and the end material. When I see  our products that you guys build and paint I am always blown away. Least I can do is show you respect by doing the same when I am designing these for you.
I took a little bit of liberty since it is inspired by the movie and not exact reproduction, and tilted his head back, and raised the pistol. This was done simply to make him look cooler and even more defiant. At this stage there are no details on the character yet, only the fold at the belt, and distortion on the webbing in the stomach area. These come in later. I already did some work on the face too. The amount of detail I am adding is way more than usual since something like a lip would be less than one tenth of a millimetre thick!

Slowly by adding detail, distortions, folds,  we are getting closer. His left leg is slightly further extended and raised in the scene, but I wanted no empty space under his left knee and flat on the platform. I made a satchel, added the grenades, muzzle, ammo pouch and then detailed them. You can never completely finish something at this stage, personally I could fiddle with it into infinity finding small little details like pant folds and imperfections to add, not to mention the face.

I do the smart thing and leave it as it is.

Final result in all of his glory. I greatly enjoyed making him and I am happy with how he turned out, let me know what you guys think!

D-Day: American Spotlight

with Phil Yates
The D-Day landings were the biggest undertaking of the US Army to that point in the war. The US Army was huge, but most of its divisions were totally inexperienced. Only a handful of divisions had taken part in the fighting in North Africa, and most of those were still engaged in Italy. To offset this inexperience, they had raised elite assault troops, such as paratroopers and rangers, reorganised their regular troops for assault landings, and brought experienced veteran divisions back from the Mediterranean.

This gives an American commander a wide choice of forces, even though their equipment was standardised to maximise the benefits of Americsn-style mass production. Do you want to field fresh, eager troops, available in significant numbers, or do you want to field the less common desert veterans. Are you content with regular army troops, or do you want a small, elite strike force?

What’s In The Book?
Parachute Rifle Company

  • Hard-as-nails volunteers. Fearless and trained exceptionally hard, so ready for anything.
  • Ready for anything. Platoons include riflemen, light machine-guns, mortars, and bazookas.
  • Platoons can be further reinforced with extra bazookas and light machine-guns.
  • Light infantry, so few integrated weapons. Just mortars, pack howitzers, anti-tank guns, and recon jeeps.
  • Can parachute into battle in airborne assault missions.
  • Regular army troops can provide tanks and heavier fire support.
  • Tanks, who needs tanks? I’ll just rip it apart with my bare hands!
    Glider Rifle Company
  • Large rifle platoons reinforced with light machine-guns, mortars, and bazookas.
  • Platoons can be further reinforced with extra bazookas and mortars for more firepower.
  • Small, hard-hitting formation with just two rifle platoons, heavy machine-guns, mortars, anti-tank guns, and pack howitzers.
  • Can land by glider in airborne assault missions.
  • Take the objective, then hold it with massed firepower.
  • Easy to convert from Rifle Company in Fortress Europe.

Ranger Company

  • Deadly assault troops who rally and hit in assaults on 2+!
  • Small, elite platoons with flexible organisation including mortars and bazookas if needed.
  • Compact company of two range platoons makes it easy to scale. Take as many or few companies as you need.
  • Scale impassable cliffs with ease.
  • Lead the way in assaults.
  • Easy to convert from Rifle Company in Fortress Europe.
    Assault Company & Veteran Assault Company
  • Rifle company reorganised to spread the risk for assault landings.
  • Up to six small platoons with plenty of weaponry: rifles, bazookas, mortars, and flame-throwers.
  • Either normal support platoons or integrated platoons with both a heavy machine-gun and a mortar, escorted by riflemen.
  • Swarm the enemy, pushing through any weak spots found.
  • Field as desert veterans – better tactics, less gung ho.
  • Easy to convert from Rifle Company in Fortress Europe.
    Rifle Company & Veteran Rifle Company
  • Cost-effective infantry with large, cheap platoons that can withstand a lot of enemy fire.
  • Platoons can be further reinforced with extra bazookas and light and heavy machine-guns for more firepower.
  • Formation has integrated heavy machine-guns, mortars, anti-tank guns, and artillery.
  • New 57mm anti-tank guns and 105mm light howitzers.
  • American riflemen manoeuvre quickly at dash speed.
  • Field as desert veterans – better tactics, less gung ho.
  • Fire and manoeuvre. Lots of artillery and firepower to support rapid assaults.
  • Easy to convert from Rifle Company in Fortress Europe.

M4 Sherman Tank Company & Veteran M4 Sherman Tank Company

  • Cost-effective medium tanks with integrated support.
  • Stabilisers for greater volume of fire on the move.
  • Up-gun an M4 Sherman platoon to 76mm guns for more anti-tank punch.
  • Heavy fire support from M4 Shermans armed with 105mm howitzers and half-track mounted 81mm mortars.
  • Flexibility. Can swap out a platoon of M4 Shermans medium tanks for a platoon of M5 Stuart light tanks.
  • Field as desert veterans – better tactics, less gung ho.
  • Grab their nose, manoeuvre to the flank, kick them in the butt.
  • Easy to convert from M4 Sherman Tank Company in Fortress Europe.
    M5 Stuart Tank Company & Veteran M5 Stuart Tank Company
  • New upgraded M5 Stuart light tank.
  • Exceptionally fast, ideal for flanking manoeuvres.
  • Cheap light tanks with light and fast M8 Scott or heavy M4 Sherman assault guns as artillery support.
  • Flexibility. Can swap out a platoon of M5 Stuart light tanks for a platoon of M4 Shermans medium tanks.
  • Field as desert veterans – better tactics, less gung ho.
  • Speed around the enemy flank to seize the objective before they can react..
  • Easy to convert from M5 Stuart Tank Company in Fortress Europe.

Armoured Rifle Company & Veteran Armoured Rifle Company

  • Armoured M3 half-tracks for battlefield mobility, even under fire.
  • A weapon for every occasion. 
    • Platoons have riflemen, light machine-guns, mortars, bazookas, and half-track-mounted machine-guns.
    • Formation has integrated heavy machine-guns, mortars, anti-tank guns, and self-propelled artillery.
  • New 57mm anti-tank guns and M8 Scott light assault guns.
  • Massed firepower overwhelms the enemy when attacking and shoots down any attack.
  • Field as desert veterans – better tactics, less gung ho.
  • Large, resilient platoons withstand a lot of enemy fire.
  • Easy to convert from Rifle Company in Fortress Europe.
    M10 Tank Destroyer Company
  • Massed self-propelled anti-tank guns, with up to 12 in a company.
  • Up to three security sections for perfect initial deployment, spearheading into No Man’s Land to flank enemy tank attacks.
  • New M20 scout car in HQ and security sections. Fast and well-armoured.
  • Use Seek, Strike, and Destroy doctrine to blitz into position and then scoot back out of sight after shooting up the enemy.
  • As mobile as a medium tank, and almost as well armoured, but fewer machine-guns and no top armour, so stay away from enemy infantry.
  • Easy to convert from M10 Tank Destroyer Company in Fortress Europe.
    Support
  • New M8 Greyhound armoured car mounting 37mm gun operates with machine-gun and mortar armed jeeps as well-armed cavalry recon.
  • New 3-inch towed tank destroyer for solid anti-tank firepower.
  • New L4 Grasshopper air observation post makes sure that your artillery are always on target.
  • New M12 155mm self-propelled gun for heavy artillery support and bunker busting.
  • Three batteries of towed 105mm or self-propelled M7 Priest or M12 155mm artillery give American forces powerful artillery support on top of the integrated artillery in formations.
  • Time on Target rule allows supporting artillery to make enemy infantry and guns re-roll successful saves for extra deadliness.
  • New P47 Thunderbolt fighters armed with eight machine-guns, bombs, and HVAR rockets have the right weapon for any target.
  • New M15 and M16 self-propelled AA guns. Mix of 37mm guns for punch and quad .50 cals for volume of fire.

How Do the Americans Play?

The Americans have three basic varieties of troops in D-Day: American. You can field elite paratroopers and rangers, regular troops fresh into battle, or experienced veterans. Each of these has a different play style.

The elite paratroopers of the parachute rifle company are a new experience for American players. They are some of the best infantry in the game, being rated as Fearless, Veteran, and Careful. On their own, they need to be aggressive as they don’t have the long-range firepower to stop the enemy from sitting back and picking them off, but used this way they can be hard to stop. Given tank-destroyer and artillery backup, they also make excellent defensive troops, so you can swing either way.

The other elite option, the rangers, are more assault oriented, being Aggressive, so easier to hit, and rallying and hitting in assaults on 2+. If you sit around, you’ll get shot to pieces, but if you go for it, the rangers are hard to stop without killing every last one of them!
The regular troops are well trained and eager for battle, although still lacking in actual combat experience to polish off the rough edges and teach them the difference between training and life-or-death battle. Most are rated as Confident, Trained, and Aggressive. Their eagerness shows in their ‘Blood and Guts’ approach to warfare which gives their tanks a better Last Stand rating and their infantry a better Rally rating. Once again, they usually need to take a fairly aggressive stance to prevent more skilful enemies massing firepower against them, although rifle companies can often mass enough firepower of their own to turn the tables.

The veteran formations have learned what works and what doesn’t, so are rated as Careful, making them harder to hit, and have ‘Yankee Ingenuity’ pushing their tactics up to 3+. Of course, they’re no longer so ‘Blood and Gusts’ as the green guys.  Their skill allows them to match the best, but they are more expensive in points, so your force is smaller, so tactics need to be more cautious.

The American strategy can be summarized in the phrase mobile tactics. They win by using their mobility, their ability to fire on the move, and their numbers to outflank their opponents and keep them off balance, while applying massed firepower to overwhelm any opposition.
Normandy Campaign Missions

D-Day: American includes three new missions and a linked campaign. The first mission is Shot in the Dark, an airborne assault gone wrong with the attackers scattered across the board (and possibly off it) while the defenders attempt to organise a defence in the dark before the attackers reform and overwhelm them. It uses simple rules to reflect the chaos and uncertainty of airborne assaults.

The second mission is Help Is On Its Way, a refight of the Rangers’ battle at Pointe du Hoc. This mission uses the amphibious assault rules to bring the attacking forces ashore. A shortage of landing craft forces the attackers to land in multiple waves, which tanks to the attacker’s Overwhelming Force rule may include units from previous waves that have already been destroyed. The defenders have bunkers, nests, minefields, and barbed wire to delay the attack, while both sides hope desperately for assistance from a rescue force coming from inland.

The third mission is FUBAR (an acronym for Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition) which allows you to refight the bloody battles on Omaha Beach. This uses the same amphibious assault rules, but is a much more straightforward frontal assault into heavy defences with victory being determined by how fast, or even if, the American player can capture their objectives.

These three missions are linked together with two standard missions from the rulebook in a simple campaign where the outcome of one battle has an effect on the next. If the American player can make their final breakthrough in the fifth mission, they win the campaign.
Who are the Warriors

The D-Day: American book has four warriors: Norman ‘Dutch’ Cota, Lafayette Poole, James Earl Rudder, Turner Turnbull.

Norman ‘Dutch’ Cota, famous for leading his troops off Omaha Beach, showing them how an assault should be done, allows infantry under his command to attempt to charge again if they are driven back by defensive fire.

Lafayette Poole, America’s most successful tank ace, is ideal for leading your tanks’ advance. His men will follow him as he dashes forward, then when he gets close, his accuracy while firing on the move us unparalleled.

Turner Turnbull’s paratroopers refused to give up ground, no matter how many times the Germans attacked. His platoon’s defensive fire is virtually impenetrable.

James Earl Rudder led the rangers at Pointe du Hoc, steadfastly counterattacking any German penetrations into the rangers’ defensive positions.

Command Cards

The command cards introduce a new concept, title cards. These cards have the title of a division and a special rule giving the division’s flavour. The key is that you can only have one title in your force. 

Title command cards for D-Day: American give you the option to field twelve new infantry divisions in addition to the two in the book. These allow you to customise your rifle company force to fight in many different ways. Some divisions give you new equipment, such as SMG-armed assault groups or M7 Priest assault guns as far of the formation. Others give your troops new abilities like attacking at night, riding tanks, navigating reserves to where they are needed, and improved artillery support. Most of the title cards give your division a different focus, trading out the ‘Blood and Guts’ rally bonus of the ‘yankee Ingenuity’ tactics bonus for other advantages.

Your tankers and armoured infantry aren’t left out, gaining the option to be the Free French ‘Division leClerc’, determined to liberate France or die trying. If they want to stay good ol’ boys from the US of A, they get lots of interesting equipment for their Sherman tanks: DD amphibious gear, Cullins hedgerow cutters, tank telephones, and sandbag armour.

The Americans are known for their love of fire support, and the command cards don’t disappoint, giving naval gunfire support, heavy mortars, air superiority, and new weapons loads for your P47 Thunderbolts including napalm and really big bombs!  

If all this firepower seems to blunt to you, you can get all sneaky with the French resistance. They can mess with your enemy’s reserves or fight alongside you on the battlefield! And, when everything else fails, there’s always luck, with the Lucky card giving you a re-roll at the critical moment.

Fortress Europe: British Spotlight

with Phil Yates

After defeating the Germans and Italians in North Africa, the British took the fight to the enemy, invading Italy. At this point, the British Army was in transition from the Desert Rats of Africa to the much larger army that invaded France on D-Day. This book covers that transition. You can either build a mid-war style force to fight in Italy, or get a head start on a British force for the battles in Normandy.

The workhorse of the British armoured forces is the venerable 75mm-armed Sherman tank. After encountering the new generation of German heavy tanks, the British developed the Sherman Firefly, replacing the 75mm gun with a 17pdr gun. Typical platoons mix Shermans and Fireflies together to make cheap, versatile platoons that are capable of handling most situations, especially when backed by their motor infantry platoons.

Some situations require a bit more armour. The Churchill maybe slower than the Sherman, but its heavier armour means it can take heavier hits. Churchills are ideally paired with infantry, where their lack of speed is not a problem.

British infantry are assault experts, hitting hard and then staying put. On top of this, in the right situation, rifle companies can launch night attacks—giving them much needed cover as they rush towards their objectives.

A British force is like a golf bag, it has a club for every stroke. The key is picking the tool for the job at hand.

Sherman Armoured Squadron

  • Uses same Sherman tanks as Mid War. The organisation is almost identical, so easy to transfer across.
  • Upgrade with Firefly (17 pdr) for extra anti-tank capability, and add Stuart recce patrols for extra sneakiness.
  • Solid, cost effective medium tanks with the option of a nasty surprise for enemy heavy tanks.

Churchill Italy Armoured Squadron

  • Same organisation and equipment as Mid War, so easy to transfer across.
  • Flexibility to mix Churchill and Sherman units, and to add Stuart recce patrols for extra sneakiness.
  • Tough, slow, infantry tanks to grind their way through the enemy.

Rifle Company

  • Same organisation and equipment as Mid War, so easy to transfer across.
  • Tough, assault-oriented infantry.
  • Formation has integrated heavy machine-guns, mortars, anti-tank guns, and reconnaissance.
  • 6 pdr anti-tank guns have better anti-tank with the latest ammunition.
  • Lots of carriers as armoured elements for scouting, flank protection, and raiding.
  • Use night attacks to overrun the enemy before they see you clearly.

Motor Company

  • Similar organisation and equipment to Mid War, with more infantry platoons available, so easy to transfer across.
  • Small infantry units with lots of firepower, backed up with integrated heavy machine-guns, mortars, anti-tank guns, and reconnaissance.
  • 6 pdr anti-tank guns have better anti-tank with the latest ammunition.
  • Lots of carriers as armoured elements for scouting, flank protection, and raiding.
  • Great for holding ground while the armour takes the fight to the enemy.

Support

  • Similar organisation and equipment to Mid War, so easy to transfer across, although obsolete equipment like Humber armoured cars and Hurricane tank-busters are no longer available.
  • New M10 self-propelled anti-tank gives the British excellent anti-tank, particularly with the upgunned 17 pdr version.
  • Three batteries of 25 pdr or self-propelled M7 Priest artillery give British forces powerful artillery support.
  • Mike Target rule allows multiple artillery batteries to range in quickly for rapid and effective artillery support.

How Do the British Play?
The Germans in Fortress Europe are among the last of the old guard, trained before the tide turned, in the days when Germany was winning the war. They are rated as Confident, Veteran, and Careful, so are some of the best trained and most experienced troops available. Their faith in the thousand-year ‘Third Reich’ gives them a better Last Stand rating, so you can trust them to hang in there, even when things look bad.

This training follows in the footsteps of their legendary forebears, the stormtroopers of the First World War. Their Stormtroopers ability allows German troops to attempt two movement orders in each turn. Combined with their high skill rating, this allows them to fight with a finesse that no other army can match.

To go with this superb level of tactical prowess, German engineering provides you with the best tanks, such as the Panther and Tiger, and the most powerful guns, like the long 8.8cm which can penetrate any tank with ease. Even older tanks like the Panzer III have been brought up to the latest standards with bazooka skirts and HEAT ammunition.

In summary, a successful German force will use their superiority in equipment, training, skill, and cleverness, combined with a good dose of aggression, to keep the initiative, hit the enemy in their weak spots, while minimising the enemy’s opportunities to hit them back.

What to Expect in D-Day: British
Fortress Europe forces will transfer easily to D-Day: British and form the basis of solid Late War forces, ready to add on all the new kit that will appear. D-Day will bring new tanks like the speedy Cromwell and unarmoured and upgunned late-model Churchills — including the savage Churchill Crocodile flame-thrower, the most powerful flame-tank in existence. For air support, they’ll have the frighteningly-effective rocket-firing Typhoon fighter-bombers.

To reflect the harsh fighting in Normandy, D-Day: British will have two flavours. The fresh divisions are a little less eager to walk into the meat grinder than the troops in Italy, demanding heavy fire support to suppress the enemy, while the old hands of the Desert Rats are wondering why they are still leading the charge with untried troops sitting in Britain, so are reluctant to take unnecessary risks.

There will be lots of totally new options for a whole new D-Day force as well.

This isn’t to say that a force from Fortress Europe will be superseded. The troops in Italy can still hold their own against any comers, the ‘D-Day Dodgers’ just don’t have as many flash new toys as the troops in Normandy. Whether you stay in Italy, or are preparing to land in Normandy, Fortress Europe is the place for any British player to start their journey.