Today, Gary covers the American list updates in the new “Battle of the Bulge” compilations.
“Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle.”
–General George S Patton
I think we can all agree that the American forces were covered very well during the initial Bulge releases, in fact some of the top performing tournament lists came from that collection of books. So whats in store for them with the new compilations.
Mainly the compilations take a chance to redress some of the rules issues with the Americans and tone down some of the more over used rules, plus there are a couple of new lists.
One change that can be seen on several of the lists including the very popular 7th Armored Division and 2nd Infantry Division is that you can no longer mix veteran and trained units. If its a veteran army then you need to get veteran support, should go some way to reduce the min/max lists. This change isn’t applied to all list and some like the US paras can still take trained support.
One of the big changes in the book is General George S Patton. Yes, I’m afraid Battlefront have done what the German army couldn’t and cut old blood and guts down to size. Gone are the 3+ motivation checks for everyone who has line of sight to him and instead its a 2+ for the unit he has joined. He has also lost the ability to give units a spearhead move. If you want extra moves you need to use Abrams (who hasn’t changed). General Patton still gives you ‘always attack’ and re rolls for reserves but that’s it. Points costs are down to 75 but even with the reduction he is no longer the ‘no brainer’ choice for the 7th Armored Division.
No big changes to the 4th and 7th armored division lists except that you now have the option of Chaffees as well as Stuarts for your light tank slots.
There are 2 new lists in the form of an armored company and light company for the 761st ‘Black Panthers’ Tank Battalion’. This was the first African American tank battalion and it is available as both fearless trained and fearless veterans which represents the unit in late 1944 or early 1945. I like this option and would like to see it used in other lists to show how they change with time. They do get some interesting rules like re-rolling the first range in attempt for assault guns, mission tactics and they count as hero’s but their armour options are very limited with Jumbos and Easy Eights not being available until the 1945 lists.
With the extra costs for fearless this is an expensive lists so with that and the reduction in armour choice I can’t see these lists being taken often but it is always good to get extra choice.
The 2nd and 99th infantry divisions largely untouched. They both loose Truscott Trot to get their special rules so no more 16″ double move through terrain for the 2ID boys. Again, another nice way of balancing the lists without points costs changes. You get a special rule but you loose one to balance it out.
The assorted airborne lists now have light tank support but are other wise unchanged.
Now where the infantry divisions get interesting is with the new lists.
First off there is the new 29th infantry division . These guys have fought hard since the Normandy beaches and now confident veteran. They are tooled up for the assault on the Siegfried line and all the infantry platoons can be upgraded to pioneers plus they can have LVT-4 Amtracs as a transport option.
They have fairly standard infantry support options but do get access to flail tanks and Sherman Crocodiles which will make this into an always attack list. Now that opens up some interesting possibilities.
The other big addition is the 2nd Rangers and finally we have some fearless veteran rangers. As well as all of the usual rules they get to to hit on a 2+ in an assault. They don’t have the same support options as the other infantry lists but the company is built on some top class infantry.
One of the Corps Support options does gets a major change. The towed tank destroyer platoon is tank destroyer in name only. They now act as standard guns but at least they can ambush within 16″ of the target. Now before you throw yours away they did get a good points drop to compensate. 220 points for 4 AT13 confident veteran guns, yes please
If you were expecting a big shake up to the American lists with this compilation then I’m afraid your going to be disappointed. As it says on the tin, this is a compilation of the previous lists which gave the Americans some good coverage.
What BF have done is refined the lists to try and iron out some of the balance issues. They haven’t gone for big changes in points costs just a rewrite of some of the army special rules. It will be interesting to see how this will affect the game balance over the next few months but on first reading I believe these changes are for the better.
I hope you have enjoyed my commentary on the new lists. I haven’t covered all of the changes, just the main ones that have jumped out at me. So pick up a copy and have a look for yourself.