Bands of Brothers – US Airborne in FOW

I am an Airborne trooper! I jump by parachute from any plane in flight. I volunteered to do it, knowing full well the hazards of my choice.
I serve in a mighty Airborne Force – famed for deeds in War – renowned for readiness in peace. It is my pledge to uphold its honor and prestige in all that I am – in all I do.
I am an elite trooper – a sky trooper – a spearhead trooper.
I blaze the way to far flung goals – behind, before, above my country’s enemy’s front lines.

The US Airborne Creed

The new US D-Day book allows you to recreate the famous Parachute and Glider Rifle Companies that landed on the early morning of the 6th Jun 44.  Additionally the book also includes a new scenario called ‘shot in the dark’ which allows you do a glider or parachute assault with their own special deployment rules.

The Forces – Paras


First off we have the venerable Para Formation.  For veteran players of FOW the US Paras wont come as a surprise stats wise.  These are fearless veterans with a cautious to hit rating.  In short they are the best of the best although with a point cost to match.

The actual formation allows 3 rifle platoons backed up by guns, arty, mortars and recce.  Perfect for a strong core force.  Take all of that and you will not be worrying about a formation break, these boys stick around.

The humble rifle platoon clocks in at 14 points with 9 stands (7 rifle/mg, bazooka and mortar) and for me the extra bazooka at a impressive steal of 1pt is a no brainer and gives me a nice sized 10 strong platoon of hard as nails vets.

Para formations always struggle for anti tank, so the 4 x 57mm guns at 10pts is a must for me.  With AT10 they can make those Panzers think twice and provide deadly defensive fire when backing up your dug in infantry.  

Templates aren’t an issue with mortars and 75mm guns.  They are pricey at 8 and 12 respectively and I see the mortars as the better of the 2.  The AT6 of the 75mm just doesn’t have much of a place in Late War (different story when paras come to MW).  Of course each rifle platoon also has a mortar and while it re-rolls hits its perfect for pinning (killing things is a bonus).

I would look at the following for my formation

Hq -3
Full Para Platoon with extra Bazooka -15
Full Para Platoon with extra Bazooka -15
Short Para Platoon – 11
4 x 81mm mortars – 8
4 x 57mm Guns – 10

62pts

A expensive formation there but that’s an awful lot of top quality troops and 4 templates, along with some respectable AT.  I would also add the sticky bomb card because A. its fluffy and B. its mitigates the tank threat bringing me up to 64pts.

With my remaining 36pts I will focus on mobile AT.

Hq 2 x M20 Scout Car – 2 .
4 x M10s – 16
4 x M10s – 16  

Adding the Desert veterans card x  2 makes both my Tank Destroyer units veteran which is really important with their new seek and destroy rule.  Blitzing and then shooting and scooting on a 3+ will really increase their staying power.  This rounds me out at 100pts.  With 60% on table I just leave off a unit of Tank Destroyers (17 with the command card) the scout cars, 1 x large para platoon and the mortars.

Now I am not suggesting paras are a top tier meta all singing and all dancing force.  They are expensive but they are reliable and can do most things.  A force like the one above will put up a tough fight and most importantly you will have fun doing it.

The forces – Glider Rifles

The 327th Glider Rifle Infantry regiment is represented by this formation.  They are not the elite fighting force of the Paras but instead trade their stats for numbers.  The infantry itself is aggressive, trained and confident (with a 3+ rally).  However for a mere 10pts you get 10 x rifle stands, a mortar, LMG and a bazooka along with options for another bazooka and mortar for 1pt each.  Basically they are a beefed up normal rifle platoon with the mortar included.  While it gets similar company support to other rifle platoons it does get the cannon platoon which the paras dont and at 8pts for 4 guns its a tasty way to get some FP3+ bombardments as core.

For me i would be looking at

HQ – 2
Full platoon with extra Bazooka – 11
Full platoon with extra Bazooka – 11
Full platoon – 10
3 x 57mm Guns – 5
4 x 105mm Cannons – 8

47pts

Well a much cheaper formation than the paras and much bigger.  They are going to take a huge amount of shifting and come with 4 templates.  Just like the Paras I would want a second formation but this time I get more!

Hq 2 x M20 Scout Car – 2 .
4 x M10s Desert Vets- 17
4 x M10s Desert Vets- 17
4 x M10 -Desert Vets 17

I don’t care how many tigers you have, 24 At12 shots is enough to make you think and Stugs/Panzer IVs will have to be extremely very cautious.   

New Missions and Rules

The book comes with a new mission called ‘shot in the dark’ which allows you to attack with either glider or para drop rules. 

The book even has a handy page with glider and para drop templates you can photo copy and cut out (along with everything you need for a beach assault as well).  This is a great idea, only the most dedicated modeler is going to seek out actual glider models for a mission that probably wont be regularly played.  Just like real life, I can tell you the mission is a tough one for the yanks.  We will have a batrep shortly with my paras shattering all over the place!  The rules for the glider and para deployment are actually really straight forward and result in a unit commander being placed on the table and the rest of the unit deploying within command.  Just don’t get too close to the enemy.  As I have found in both my games its easy to scatter onto them and be captured/wiped out before you start.

Conclusion

With elite Para and numerous Glider Rifles the airborne forces are well represented in the book.  At 100pts you will need some other support but you have loads of options from air support, DD Tanks and Cavarly Units to the feared Tank Destroyers.  I lean towards the Glider Rifles as the more competitive of the 2 choices however Paras do have that rule of cool that just cant be overlooked.  With Battlefront releasing new plastic paras along with their inclusion in the starter set, I can certainly see them being  popular choice.  Until next time…. “Currahee”.

Category: Flames of WarLate WarList DiscussionParaUSV4

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4 comments

  1. I love veteran fearless and careful…for 101 airbone.
    For their first fight in war.
    Very good training 😉 in V4.
    Bad guy and Panther FA don’t have this luck in V4 .

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Article by: Mark Goddard