Last night I played a combined Allied force of Reds British (Crusaders, Grants and a hellova lot of artillery!) and Lukes Paras, and came away with a draw that wasn’t deserved, and with an urgent need to consult my rulebook over the number of things the Americans can do that I hadn’t spotted before! Here is a short list of observations about some of the American units:
1]. Shermans - Yes I said I thought they were good beforehand, but when your fielding StuG’s you don’t really believe you‘ll come off worse. But when they blow said StuG’s to little pieces without so much as a scratch themselves then you start to panic! The truth is they have armour as good as a StuG, if not better with the side armour of 4, and a gun that is the near equal and easily capable of blowing apart anything anyone at the club fields (even Tigers and KV1‘s at close range), plus the ability to move and fire full rate using their stabilisers.
2]. Armoured Recon Platoons - No I hadn’t heard of them, or taken any notice of their entry in the army lists, so when they appeared and started spraying my infantry with 50cal gun fire I was a tad upset. Particularly when the firepower and anti-tank ability of the 50cal means half-tracks and foxholes are not much protection - Naths Finnish T26‘s and Aidans Italians have real reason to fear them. Finally came the bomb shell that they are not transports, they are tank teams just like the Universal Carriers (shudder), so they can launch into any assault they like and not be pinned down. There is one ray of hope for us, and that is that they have to be accompanied by a number of jeeps, who can be pinned, can’t assault, and can be blown up by mortar fire!
3]. Artillery - Its not until American officers started popping out of the woodwork almost everywhere that you realise there really is no hiding from the Yanks heavy guns. I only just managed to block an attempt to use them to guide in the Brits 25pdrs which would have been disastrous for me! My fortune in the two times I’ve played them is that they only have light guns, and my tanks were fairly safe, although my mortars and one of my 88s didn’t survive as unscathed as my Panzer III’s. When they managed to haul big guns across from the States we’re all in trouble.
4]. Fearless Paras - MORE fearless enemies? And this lot are fearless veterans to boot, making them tough to hit and tougher to frighten away, a bit like fighting the Finns. I am resisting the urge to switch to the SS on moral grounds, but only just….
5]. Bazookas - Its about one per platoon, then 3 come with the HQ, 3 come with the engineers, more with the mortars, more with the HMG’s and so on. I haven’t managed to get close enough to get shot at by them yet, but the first poor soul to optimistically throw a tank platoon into the front of those paras is going to have a long walk home afterwards.
All this wouldn’t matter of course if the person using them was happy to sit at the back and trade long-ranged blows, my Germans can do that as well as anyone (except possibly the Royal Horse Artillery). However our resident Yank prefers attacking. Damn.