Know Your Foe

with Chris Allen

Comrades, today we will be conducting an intelligence briefing to confirm and describe new equipment being fielded by the British army in the Northern Sector alongside German troops. As I’m sure you’ve all heard there has been a recent rearmament and push of military equipment in the British sector in what is believed to be preparations for a new offensive.

We will be discussing vehicles previously not fielded in the region, their capabilities and how to defeat them.

The British have continued to flood the sector with any and all equipment they can muster and have turned to the older Fox Scout car. While new to the hostilities it is an older vehicle that is armed with a 30mm cannon and is more than a match for our BMPs in a gun fight. The vehicle is less mobile and will restrict its movement to open ground and roads but is small and easily hidden so can be difficult to engage directly until it starts shooting which can be a problem for our lead forces.

The British continue to rely heavily on massed reconnaissance forces to
determine out axis of advance and attrit our lead forces. Make no mistake this vehicle is dangerous and is being seen conducting rehearsals in large number. Combined arms against these packs of cars is key. Artillery can easily scatter them or dissuade them from using terrain like urban areas for
cover and should be used more than liberally when these vehicles are engaged. Their crews across their entire vehicle fleet have fought on long after others would have left their vehicles behind, this is expected to be the case with the Fox so mass firepower and ensure their destruction. They have no ability to affect our tanks and small coys of tanks work well against them as they are similar to the Warrior IFV which we will discuss shortly.

British defense scientists have developed a new armour technology ‘chobham’ which they have put into service on two new vehicles the Challenger tank and the Warrior Infantry fighting vehicle seen here.
What makes this armour interesting is that it has been specifically designed to defeat HEAT warheads. While this has an effect against all HEAT warheads it is of significant importance for smaller shoulder based weapons and smaller missiles such as the RPG-7 and the Spigot missile. These weapons become ineffective against chobham armour even against the side armour of the vehicle. What does this mean to you the commander on the ground?

Shoulder fired anti-tank weapons used by Infantry units can’t stop these monsters from assaulting. We are very used to having complete command of positions with our RPGs against vehicles and it is possible to bail a Challenger or a Warrior but is incredibly unlikely so you will need other nearby supporting units such as BMPs or tanks to make your defensive fire effective. Both of these units are incredibly effective at taking objectives in the late game so expect that they will hold back and attempt to attrit our forces before pushing forward.
While BMP-2s can engage the Warrior they are at a disadvantage as the capitalists, copying our design but adding greater armour, have made engaging these with BMPs a losing affair. At long range the Spandrel missile is a good bet against the Warrior but due to their Chobham armour it is still possible for the vehicle to survive a direct hit. The Warrior is not as numerous as the BMP and few carry an anti-tank weapon, as such they are perfect targets for our tanks who with the capability of the 125mm gun will often see the passengers destroyed.

Brutal goes a long way. Even early model tanks like the T-62 are perfect at hunting these vehicles and pinning the infantry they support. For the Challenger, Chobham along with the frontal armour make it incredibly resilient against our ground-based weapons. Even powerful missile systems like the Storm will find it incredibly difficult to hurt these, our defense scientists suggest a hit from an AT-6 Spiral missile will only destroy an up- armoured Challenger 11% of the time. Flanking these vehicles is the only ground based solution, and is risky, but while the British Army is planning a great offensive spearheaded by these tanks we have a different opinion of the situation.

Gentlemen, the air force has reorganized its forces and will have flights of SU-25s on standby at all times. There is nowhere the Challenger can hide from the air force. Armed with the Kh-25 air to ground missile the SU-25 will destroy these tanks with ease. Even frontally, a hit from the Kh-25 will destroy a Challenger 80% of the time and more importantly, as we have seen with their Chieftain tank British forces are unwilling to commit their armour to battle while the SU-25 is in the air. This gives our ground forces the time and space to take up key positions and more importantly reduce their anti-air assets to be able to destroy their armour on arrival.

That brings me to their new AAA system, the Chieftain Marksman. Re-purposed older tanks are having a turret similar to the German Gepard installed. Adding to the Blowpipe and the Rapier missile systems the British army now can provide air defence coverage similar to our own. As you all know their other systems are missile based and provide large coverage but lacked the ability to deal with large numbers of aircraft simultaneously. The Marksman solves this problem and will threaten full wings of MI-24s and
SU-25s with hundreds of 40mm rounds. With more armour than the Gepard this vehicle is more suited to supporting ground operations and can rapidly destroy light armoured vehicles and infantry formations, so expect it will be in a position to move forward. While it will be rare to see all three systems in an area at once, it is a possibility, but this will most likely come at the cost of other support. It is also very difficult in most of the European theatre to hide three large units like this against an entire attacking force.

Using artillery and direct fire weapons to suppress or destroy these is key and destroying them will open the air for the air force to take apart the other elements of the enemy force. Remember enemy air defence systems can only fire on air or ground targets at a time so threatening them with both at once will force them to make tough decisions and provide you with options. The other main support vehicle being pushed up to the front is their version of the Grad, an MLRS system that primarily delivers scatterable munitions such as DPCIM and mines.

Unlike the other howitzer and mortar based systems the MLRS can deliver munitions across huge areas and will be a huge threat to dug in companies. As with the air defence systems these will be a priority target and based on the threat using either tanks or aircraft is your best bet to deal with these. Should you be engaged by the MLRS staying in place is not a good option as repeated bombardments will quickly dig out our infantry. Leaving the position is unfortunately also a concern as the British are exceptional at directing artillery fires and the area hit with this system is so large that many teams will be leaving cover but unable to leave the blast area. If engaged, go to the source, either by destroying the spotting teams or the launchers themselves. Destroying the launchers is a task commonly best suited again to the air force and you can see this is a running task of dealing with their hardened and rear elements.

Even with their advancements, the Soviet army along with the air force is prepared and more than capable of destroying the capitalist aggressors with ease. Our combined arms forces supported by the air force are the ire of our enemies who are scrambling to copy our structure. Using all of the tools at
your disposal will see you to victory.

Remember the following when planning for battle:

  • Once your reconnaissance has determined the enemy force you face you need to understand it and its key elements so you can divide an destroy it, dividing and destroying is the key to victory.
  • Identify what elements NEED to be destroyed by the air force
  • Identify threats to the air force and plan their destruction if you don’t you will lose your air support and then have serious problems on the ground.
  • The British want a war of small attrition, they fight like cockroaches always staying if you do not eradicate them, too much is never enough when it comes to the application of firepower, destroy units and move to the next or risk being delayed or even taking critical losses from the remnants of their force.
  • Their artillery systems are now a threat to not only platoons, but entire companies. If you ignore the firepower of the British army you will not survive long enough for punishment by higher.
  • The British army has the most numerous reconnaissance force on the front. They are more than capable of counter reconnaissance and attrition tasks.Combined arms is the way ahead as they cannot stand against the might of our armour. This ends the briefing for today. Happy hunting Comrades.

The Marksman

with Garry Wait

One of the newest, most exciting weapons featured in the British Army book is the Marksman Self Propelled Anti Aircraft Gun (SPAAG). Following the Falklands War, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was livid at the losses sustained by the Royal Navy and the British Army, in part due to issues with the Rapier towed antiaircraft missile systems. Problems were experienced due to the need to “zero” the system and calibrate after each road move or unloading from a Naval landing craft. This meant valuable time of 15 minutes was wasted while cables were laid, stabilising of the sights and the calibration of the Blindfire radars was done.

It was acknowledged that the British Army’s reliance on missile systems was overoptimistic and a few within the Ministry of Defence noted that the Argentines had been pleased to have available Swiss Oerlikon twin 35mm Antiaircraft weapons on ground mounts for the Falkland Island defences.
Some of these weapons had even been captured and pressed into use with the RAF Regiment, who were delighted to have a solid backup to the longer ranged but troubled Rapier system.

Thatcher met with Minister of Defence Michael Heseltine in 1985 to discuss options as tensions had historygrown extremely hot with the Soviets. When the Iron Lady asked about options, Heseltine’s private secretary had a brainstorm. He pointed out that the Finns had expressed interest in a Marconi systems private development, the Marksman. This was a modular turret that could be mated to almost any Main Battle Tank. The Finns had in fact ordered a prototype system to be tested and put onto a modified Polish made T55. Although the testing was in the preliminary stages, the weapon
had shown promise.

The Prime Minister jumped at the idea, especially when advised that 15 fire units of twin 35mm Oerlikon KDA guns that had been captured in perfect order from the Argentine Army and were still currently in use with RAF Regiment reservists of 1339 Royal Air Force Auxiliary Wing. These weapons were confiscated by Royal Ordinance Factory in short order and integrated with seven other sets of 35mm that were in testing along with the sole prototype unit. This gave the factory enough for seven batteries of three Marksman SPAAG’s as an initial production run. More guns would be forthcoming from Krauss Maffei who provided spares from their busy Gepard production lines.

With the Challenger tank coming on line and taking over from existing MBT regiments, two squadrons of recently replaced Chieftains were stripped of their turrets and assigned to the fledgling project. For the first time since the Crusader SPAAG of World War II, the British Army had access to a world
class self propelled anti aircraft gun. Done in complete secrecy, this weapon would even surprise the average “squaddie” who expressed their shock and admiration at the exciting new designs when displayed for the first time on Salisbury Plain.

The Marksman provide an outstanding gun platform and was noted to be even more stable than the T55 the Finns had provided for testing, as the Chieftain was larger and more robust for the heavy recoil of the twin cannons. Some wag tried to describe it as a Brit Gepard, which was shouted down by indignant Royal Ordinance Factory staff. One superintendent pointed out that not only was it better armoured than the Gepard, it also had a laser rangefinder for engaging ground targets out to 8 kilometres, Marconi radar enabling air targets to be engaged out to 12 kilometres and fully stabilised gun sights for the commander and gunner. British technology had actually improved on the work of the Bundeswehr’s prized SPAAG.

More than a few officers bemoaned the fact that it had taken the Cold War turning hot to get the stingy taps of the Treasury to open a little more to provide funds for this superb weapon. Having access to ammunition kindly provided by the Argentine Army had proved helpful in getting reluctant bean counters to sign off on the process.

Initially, as the British Army was already heavily committed with the British Army of the Rhine, operators from the Royal Air Force Auxilary Regiment were integrated with British Army Chieftain crews to provide composite teams to operate the new equipment. This ensured a clever mix of
experienced gunners to operate the expensive new electronics and qualified drivers to maintain the frustrating Leyland engines of the Chieftain tanks. As Corps assets within British Army of the Rhine, the new vehicles were extremely popular and the seven batteries tended to see lots of action in the
Third World War. It was a particularly innovative weapon that took the battlefields in World War III as the Marksman. British troops soon found that the Marksman worked very well as a “backstop” support to the highly
successful Tracked Rapier. Occasionally ground commanders got overconfident and put the Marksman in the front line as a fire support weapon. Even with the thick hull armour of the Chieftain chassis, the vehicles didn’t stand up long against infantry RPG fire and cases are known of local commanders being castigated for such waste of scarce resources for inappropriate missions.

In game terms, you will find the system works very well as a complement to the existing missile systems as a mobile and well armoured platform capable of medium range effective AA support. As summarised to the troops on issue originally :

DO :

  • Keep the Marksman at range, behind the front line armoured forces it’s designed to protect.
  • Prioritise against air targets which are the bread and butter of the Marksman system.
  • Protect the Marksman with combined dismounted and armoured forces, ensuring it’s not swamped by enemy infantry.
  • Team up the Marksman with Tracked Rapier and if possible Blowpipe to ensure the full range of Air Defence assets are used appropriately. The key is to have Rapiers at the back, Blowpipe in concealing terrain scanning the skies while the Marksman keeps up with the armoured thrust forward.
  • Plan the use of the Marksman carefully, using it’s excellent rate of fire and mobility to provide an umbrella of firepower over your vulnerable armoured spearhead.


  • Risk the Marksman unit as a solo asset, remember you’re part of a larger team.
  • Assume that the Marksman is a dedicated armour killer. You only carry 20 rounds per gun of APFSDS ammunition. Make them count. Your primary mission must be air defence, the anti vehicle ammunition is not there for use as a primary choice.
  • Overestimate the range of the guns. Unlike the missile systems of the Rapier and Blowpipe that you’ve become used to, the Marksman is lethal – except at shorter ranges. Use the mobility of the vehicle to make the enemy pay. You have exceptional firepower and mobility and this should be used carefully.
  • Run the depleted formation, Marksman provide best support as a full unit.
  • Expose the Marksman to enemy fire until you’ve cleared the way. This secret weapon is priceless and not to be squandered in small scale efforts.

In conclusion, the combination of the two forces used here – Royal Tank Regiment and Royal Artillery – bring to mind the two mottos, which are respectively “Fear Naught” and “Ubique” (which translates as “Everywhere”) The Marksman truly allows your armoured crews to Fear Naught, Everywhere.

Being an FO: Using Artillery in WWIII: Team Yankee

with Scott McCorley

An FO is someone who spots for the artillery unit or battery and their primary role is to guide the rounds on target with the help of a laser range finder that gives a 10 figure grid reference, or with a tested method of map to ground with the help of an artillery protractor and a 8 figure grid reference.

A grid reference allows the FO to give a more accurate target indication when calling in a fire mission. The grids themselves, one grid square is 1000m x 1000m with a 4 figure reference, 6 figure increases it to within 100m x 100m, 8 figure to 10m x 10m, and 10 figure to 1m x 1m which allows for more accurate fire control. Most rounds land between 30 and 90 seconds from firing. This also depends on the rounds used, for example a normal HE round from a M109 155mm can be fired up 15km or an Excalibur round to 40km. So having a FO is mission critical as they can direct the fire support to help suppress or cover the axis of advance. Same can be said for JTAC’s
(Joint Terminal Attack Control) for strike aircraft.

So how does this become relevant in our games of WWIII: Team Yankee? There are many ways our FOs can be used in our games be it to spot or range in on a new viable target location. Having our FOs in cover and in prime position with good line of sight is a must for the continued use of our artillery in subsequent turns. Having an FO twill help with the +1 to range going a long way, especially if your target may be in short or tall terrain or covered by a smoke screen. Remember, any team leader can also spot for your artillery but only the FO has the +1 to range in.

Now let’s move onto the Artillery and what the FO has to work with out in the field.

So using your artillery on the enemy infantry is a good start as it can prepare the way for your own infantry or tanks for an assault, but can also pin enemy infantry down, and is very useful if there are any ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles) in the unit. Now if you are going to use your artillery to help launch an assault this can be tricky as it requires some good judgment on the template and ranging in so that you won’t get that danger close or within 4” of the template with any of your teams.
Key to achieving this is one: by having good line of sight from available team leaders and FOs (remember the +1 as this helps against target in cover) so that you can position that marker where you need it, preferably at the back of the enemy platoon. The goal here is not to kill but to keep they heads down so that your infantry can benefit from the reduced fire while launching an assault. Also if you chose not to lunch an assault you can, with the added effect of repeat bombardments, force the infantry to re-roll their  saves.

As most tanks have a top armour of two it makes it hard to destroy them, and the chance of making them bail quite low so it’s best to leave heavy armour to the dedicated anti- tank units like milians and spandrels. The best use in this case is to go after soft skinned AFVs as their top armour is ether one or zero and if it’s a transport a good chance to take out some pesky infantry as well. Also of the opportunity arise direct fire is also good against AFVs as most SPs artillery (self-propelled guns) have a good AT and FP to destroy them.

So that’s two ways of basic use of artillery and our FO, but here is where things can get interesting.

Other types of arty like the rockets, mortars and special shells, deployment of arty, the use of ranged in markers for certain missions and smoke bombardments is where we’re headed next. First of the different types and how to use them.

Rockets are great for coverage and area suppression of a target being a salvo rather than arty, so a bigger template. This is great for getting large blobs of infantry or AFVs that are too spread out for normal arty to target and hit, even better now with the new weapon system like the British MRLS.
Now once again don’t think you will be able to destroy tanks, as rockets tend to have a low AT rating.

Next up the mortar. Mortars like rockets don’t have the AT rating so don’t expect them to take out tanks or AFVs in droves. Best use for these is to lay down some smoke to ether get your infantry in position for an assault or to cover a flank of your precious tanks from enemy AT fire while they advance. Also don’t forget if they are targeting infantry repeat that bombardment next turn to make them more effective.

Now onto the special shells. While all types of special ammo will require you to pay the extra points, what you want to know is it worth taking. Well yes and no, first let’s talk about the types, most arty like the M109s and the 2S3s give you the option to take thing like copperhead rounds or the reds equivalent. The drawback to these is its either direct fire which requires line of sight or an FO to guide it onto the target. Great for tanks as it has a higher AT than normal and gives you a better chance to do damage to them.

Next up minelets, oh boy do I love these! The best job for mines is choke points- good old choke points. For those of you not military-minded a choke point is where you funnel the enemy into a kill zone so you can wipe them out or manage a larger force by a smaller one. So for example West Germans, Leo 2 Company up against a BMP horde. Just seeing this can give a player nightmares but with the use of minelets you can force your opponent to reposition their units around the mines and giving you the best use of your guns. Best used in conjunction with the terrain as well to achieve that choke-point.

Bomblets operate on the same principal as rockets, great for suppression.

Also don’t forget Smoke bombardments as these are great for covering the advance of your forces especially out in the open.

Now for the last use arty the ranged in maker and there deployment. As for deploying your big guns, generally you want them somewhere you get great table coverage and out of line of sight to avoid counter battery fire from enemy arty. Unless your goal is to use the arty as a direct fire platform, I’d
advise against it as your arty is very soft skinned and prone to being destroyed if able to be seen. The other one is the deployment of the ranged in marker at the start of deployment for certain missions, if placed well can give you an advantage from the start. Choosing were to place it can be difficult but if placed in a wood in the enemy deployment zone this can then deter infantry and keep them pinned from turn one, it also helps avoid the +1 to range in for the template if it touches short or tall terrain and smoke.

Another is to place it in the most likely axis of advance of the enemy’s route as it can force them to rethink how to move and allow you to set up that all important choke point. So that is some of the uses for arty and FO’s.

Lastly weighing up the cost of arty to things like air support it can become a difficult choice, especially if you are a Soviet or East German player, NATO players might find it a bit easier. At the end of the day it comes down to what role you want them for, be it cheap mortars and rockets for suppression and smoke or arty for range and the direct fire just in case things start to look bad.

I hope you have enjoyed this rollercoaster ride with me today about artillery and FOs I wish you the best of luck in the future, so get out there play some games try new thing with your arty and remember it’s not just to pin infantry and that they are other ways out they that can give you the tactical edge in the fight.

So enjoy and happy spotting.

29th Infantry List Tech

with Andrew Haught

The 29th Boat Assault Company have been near and dear to my heart since they first arrived years ago in the Bloody Omaha book, at that time I leaned heavily into numbers over elite units so it was an easy choice for me between the 29th and the Big Red One.

The US Assault Company is a unique Infantry company that has a mix of specialty weapons from Bazookas to Flame-Throwers, this unit has a weapon for every occasion. Along with this unique composition you have access to lots and lots of units in one formation. Having access to six core infantry units is a key aspect of this list.

Before getting into the list let’s look at what you get in a unit. For nine points you get:

5x M1 Grand Rifle Teams

2x M1 Bazooka Teams

1x 60mm Mortoar
1x Flame Thrower

As a bonus you can replace one of your Bazookas with M1919 LMG at no cost.

The version of the Assault Company I am running are Confident, Trained, and Aggressive. They also come with the Blood n’ Guts trait that gives them a 3+ to rally, that will keep my units moving forward. I could go with the Big Red One elite option, but the 29th is who I want to play. Since I am going for the cheaper version that is easier to hit, it is important then to make sure I have the numbers to absorb losses more easily.

To this end I am going to take 5 units of the Assault Boat Sections, adding in the HQ  and M1917 Machine Gun platoon that gives me an even 50 points. I am choosing to leave the 2 Bazookas in each unit instead swapping any for the LMGs. I don’t think those units need the rate of fire since I am going to run two units of the Support Boat sections with the M1917 Machine Gun platoon for 5 points a unit, and I have a unit of M1917 guns. Adding in those units brings me up to an even 60 points.

Next I want to add some artillery; this will be simple as I already have loads of small one gun templates, so adding a full strength mortar platoon for 6 points would be ideal.
So right now my army comes to 66 points and I have 10 units in my formation, so it looks pretty solid and I have enough artillery and machine guns to deal with most infantry lists I come across. I do feel that I am relying too heavily on my Bazookas to take care of all the tank threats that may be in the game.  To cover this weakness I decided to look in the book and see what I could get for 34 points tank wise. I quickly landed on M10s, as those give me 8 AT 12 tanks, and the downside of not being able to deal with infantry is covered by the rest of my list. An HQ and two units of 4 M10s comes to 34 points exactly, giving me a full 100 point list with 13 units- seems good on paper.

Now the list has some Achilles heels, I have no dedicated anti-air units so air-power can be quite effective against me. I am also weak against light tank lists, like a Stuart company. At a 100 points you can get 50 of them and at those numbers they will swamp me, my M10s don’t have enough shots to kill them all and the Stuarts AT is high enough to kill an M10 even when hitting front armour. But no list can cover all the bases and even against light tanks and air-power I will have a fighting chance, as I do still have loads of bazookas and my M10s have self-defence AA.

So here is my final list

Assault Company (66 points)

  • Assault Company HQ, 2 Pts
  • Assault Boat Section, 9 Pts
  • Assault Boat Section, 9 Pts
  • Assault Boat Section, 9 Pts
  • Assault Boat Section, 9 Pts
  • Assault Boat Section, 9 Pts
  • Support Boat Section, 5 Pts
  • Support Boat Section, 5 Pts
  • M1917 Machine Gun Platoon, 3 Pts
  • Mortar Platoon, 6 Pts

M10 Tank Destroyer Company (34 Points)

  • M10 Tank Destroyer Company HQ, 2 Pts
  • M10 Tank Destroyer Platoon, 16 Pts
  • M10 Tank Destroyer Platoon, 16 Pts

As a list this works really well- it’s easy to split it up when figuring out reserves and it is flexible with the ability to both attack and defend quite well. On the defence you place one Assault Boat Section and Support Boat Section on each objective, freeing the rest of your force to be placed in such a way that they can delay and assault the incoming enemy models.  On the attack I would focus one objective, soften it up with the loads of artillery templates this list has and band all my infantry together and swarm the weakened objective. I will use my HMG and tanks to threaten any reinforcements to the attacked objective while also proving much needed fire support to my main attack.

Well, I hope this gives you an idea of how you want to build your beach landing company. Perhaps you want better quality of troops instead of numbers by swapping out the 29th with Big Red One, or maybe you do have a Stuart player in your area and you want Shermans instead of M10s. I highly suggest tweaking your lists to fit your local m eta and your playstyle.

Well that’s it until my next List Tech, hope to see you on the battlefield.