Followijng on from looking at a Brit list, today Mark looks at 3 different US lists and why he thinks they work for V4.
The US in version 4
I have heard many players complaining that the US has been heavily nerfed in V4. Before we look at the lists, let’s have a ponder on this.
Firstly the US was too good in V3. Sorry, but there is absolutely no argument you can give me to say otherwise. They had everything you wanted and more. You want trained troops with Vet. skill arty (for free)? Check. Jumbos taking the 1st hit even when no leading from the front? Check. Ability to crack anything open everything with lots of heavy arty and the ability to combine them with 105 mm guns? Check. AT13 guns that just magically appear? Check. The lists goes on.
So what has been lost for the US in V4? Well off the top of my head;
- Jumbo leads the way.
- The choice of whether to use stabilizers or not. (If you move they are used, no option).
- Loss of the US arty strength vs armour (same as all nations).
- Tank destroyer ‘Romulan de-cloak’.
Now, all of that hurts, and I know your pain as a US players myself. But, you know what? Hand on heart, this needed to happen and it really isn’t all bad news. Let’s look at what the US is still good at in V4.
- Those really cheap 57mm guns just got a lot more survivable with 3+ saves.
- The US infantry can now get ‘QoQ’ and can move a lot faster making them really good in the attack. With ‘Follow Me’ and ‘Dash’ you can make a 16 inch move! Or a 16 inch assault.
- Calliopes just become one of the best units in the game. Dirt cheap, armoured and throw out a pie plate template that starts the game ranged in.
- Access to cheap armoured mortars (brilliant unit).
- The US still has a massively varied number of lists allowing you to make pretty much the army of what ever skill you want.
- US infantry became harder to break with the new morale rules. e.g. a 11-stand US platoon used to need 6 losses to test, now it needs 9!
In a nut shell, the US is still hugely viable but there are winners and losers when it comes to individual units, and your list selection (just like for every nation) will need to change. Also for those US infantry camper lists? Well, yes you are going to have a bad day.
US INFANTRY 1750pts
2ID was my 1st proper US FOW army, I remember getting them after the Battlefront Video Bat-rep when the first Bulge books were released. I’ve loved them ever since.
The list has 4 core platoons including the HQ so will be quite hard to break given their size.
You have 6, 3+ save guns and 4, 4+ save heavy guns with a nice bite to them so medium armour is fairly comfortably mitigated. The hellcats have be chosen over the M10s for their speed. King Tigers are a massive issue to lists now, and you have to either flank them with something power like a AT13 gun or assault them (Which these big inf platoons can do).
Finally a short (I use this term loosely as its around 11 stands!), Armoured Rifle platoon for mobility and the Swiss army knife effect.
This list can really attack, if required. With 2 big infantry platoons which now move a lot faster than in V3 plus an Armoured Riffle platoon and some serious arty, you can really do the hurt onto another infantry or mech. force. Against a tank force you can still defend and put down 10 guns and 2 platoons of infantry plus arty (oh, and maybe free mines depending on the missions).
Where this list can be pretty vicious is defending in a mobile battle. Keep the hellcats in reserve to flank enemy tanks (very easy in counter attack and breakthrough). The Armoured Rifles go in reserve as well ready to come on and threaten the enemy rear or machine gun the attacking infantry. Remember; you can be braver with transports now due to the infantry getting a 3+ save if their transport dies.
All in all a pretty nice list. It has no answer for enemy air other than self defence AA . (but has no expensive tanks for those cans to rip open) And like most lists will struggle vs King Tigers or big cats (you have to think creatively).
Armoured Rifles 1750
Like all good lists this has the ability to attack and defend and is based around 2 full Armoured Rifle Platoons which are just amazing value at sub-300pts for 14 stands of vet infantry with LMGs, Bazookas and a Mortar. These platoons can speed around at ‘Dash’ speed or dismount and Dig In. Perfect for defending in a mobile battle or attacking in one. Also very good at threatening objectives on each flank during meeting engagements.
The 2 surprises here are the Pershings and air support. I wasn’t a fan of the Pershing in V3, they didn’t get a lot of love due to their vulnerability to artillery and the fact that TDs were a better option for anti tank. With the change to the TDs and arty values I think these are potentially good solid US AT assets. FA10 and veteran makes them very survivable, and they have a gun that can happily punch through Tigers and Panthers. Are they perfect? Well no, but I think about 190 more points that hellcats they will get more return.
The air is there to add its cannon to the mix, they are great for anti medium armour duties and also dealing with the rear Self-Propelled Artillery (which there will be much more of in V4 I predict). That arty is what will threaten your infantry so needs to be dealt with.
The wonderful Calliopes are still there along with the mortars to soften up the enemy prior to the assault or to win the arty dual. The list is rounded off by the faithful and cheap 57mm guns.
The nice thing is that you have 5 core platoons, so it’s very hard to break.
Unlike the other lists this one is RV. This is purely down to points. It’s just too expensive to do it in CV and personnel opinion but with the old crutches gone, 7AD CT just doesn’t cut it any more (Jumbo shield isn’t as good, Patton is nerfed and AT guns are more survivable). Therefore RV is the middle ground.
Full disclosure: I don’t think US army is really that greater list anymore and its purely down to the changes to the Jumbo. Firstly, you can now only assign the first hit them on a 3+ and also you cant attach the CiC Jumbo to another platoon unless you shoot at it directly (so, no ignoring 2 hits like V3).
This now creates some fairly expensive tanks with dubious morale (but with protected armour that massively mitigates it).
The list kicks out a respectable amount of AT13 with 8 shots, has a lot of AT10 and DF smoke, a full Armoured Rifle Platoon to hold the objective or to push forward and Crocs to dig out infantry and gun teams. These have become better with their longer range than most flame throwers, combined with their ability to fire every turn. Now you can dash forward with less fear (no double hits), move full speed and then flame. Ouch!
The list has no answer to air which will really hurt (if you have cannons) and will struggle vs King Tigers.
In an ‘ETC-like’ setting where you can be shielded from certain lists, I think this could work but in an open tournament I think you will see the swarms of Russian IL-2s (why wouldn’t you take them?) and Big Cats gut the list. I just cant see what else would really make them better.
Is this the demise of US medium armour…? Only time will tell.
There is still much to like in the US forces especially for their infantry and mech lists. The big platoons are real winners in V4 and trust me people are over estimating the effect of artillery vs Dug In Veteran troops. Remember when you do the maths, even once range in you only kill a vet stand for every 6 rolls to hit (with FP4+). You have about 11 stands in your platoons and the average game is around 10 turns!
I struggle to see TDs as a great buy now, unless you plan to defend on mobile battles a lot and use them to come on the flanks (or also in dust up).
Sadly, I cant see my US armour making many outings now. In the world of 3+ save 6pdrs (come in 6s) and Pak40s (can also come in 6s) I just struggle to see what they do well.
In a few weeks (once I have recovered from the imminent event of Fatherhood) I’ll be testing out the 2ID vs Richard Hardy, stay tuned.