Flames of War Tactics – Kangaroo

Ahh one of my favourite units, and I’m going to look at how to use them. Hi all coxer here once again and I’m discussing the British armoured transport the kangaroo, both Ram and Sherman.

So for those of you who don’t know what a kangaroo is let me enlighten you. During the war British infantry were aware of how vulnerable infantry were, at the same time the US made Priest self propelled artillery piece was removed from British service due to problems with supplying ammunition – these defrocked Priests became the basis for this experiment and were very successful – it was then that the obsolete Canadian Ram tank was identified as an armoured transport – in Italy damaged shermans were used in a similar way.

In the game Kangaroos have one advantage over the APC’s of other nations, such as the German SdkFz 251 and US M3 half track, and that is armour – and I mean proper armour! They may not be able to bounce a Panther, but a Panzer 4 can be bounced! They also have an MG, and can frequently get an additional 50cal as well. Oh and they are fully tracked so more mobile than half track transports in rough terrain. The main disadvantage is 
So how can you use them? I find there are three effective uses. Defending vs infantry, attacking infantry, securing objectives.

Defending vs infantry – this may seem counter initiative but these are fantastic with your infantry on an objective. Assuming you have all three with an extra MG, you lose 3 teams (perhaps 6 shots for unpinned rifle/MG teams) for 12 shots – but then consider these can’t be pinned so can really help keep infantry from assaulting you. And with FA5/6 if your opponent is firing at these guys then they’re ignoring your own armour.
Attacking infantry – now the hope is that you just drive up, open up with the 50 cal until the enemy infantry is weak enough for your guys to dismount and assault – this is harder than it looks. You have to be careful you do not get into assault range – even with maximum MG’s you have 12 shots – add a little smoke – statistically you’ll hit assaulting vets 4 times, that’s you hit in combat and all your men automatically dead. The trick to attacking infantry is playing it a bit like defence, move up with the infantry safe if the roo’s at about 16 inches jump out (ideally into cover) with the roo’s adding to your defensive dice so you don’t get pinned+assaulted, then the following turn you infantry in the roo’s can either help pin the target or jump out themselves to help assault. 

Mobility – this is the reason to take roo’s help get your forces around. They benefit from night assault by being able to spearhead – it might not be their regular 12 – but they can get into position quickly. Whilst in some of the mobile battles, like counter attack and breakthrough, you may not deploy the roo’s, in many other mission they can be very effective, either coming on from reserve to reinforce a position or just to force the enemy to counter them as a potential threat.
One of the key things I find to keep a roo alive is target saturation. If you can deploy two platoons in these transports, plus some shermans (personally a fan of a cheap breaching group) and even some M10’s, you have (if you play your cards right) 18 odd armoured chassis on the table – most should be veteran. Combine this with assaulting at night, and therefore having to be spotted (assuming you don’t shoot) and your opponent has to waste a lot of firepower to hit and hurt you. 

Well I hope you found this brief look at the kangaroo useful – as mentioned the hardest part is getting close enough to assault the enemy, whilst not being assaulted first! Until next time

Category: BritishFlames of WarLate WarTactica

One comment

  1. Nice post, some good tips there on getting the most out of the Kangaroos. I have some that I use with Canadian Armoured Squadron. It's great having infantry that can keep up with tanks and stay alive long enough to be useful!

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Article by: Mark Goddard