During my time in the US Army, I had the pleasure of serving a good portion of my career on the M2A2 ODS and M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle. I likened it to a bulldog, stout heavy and mean.
Since the debut of Team Yankee, many players have clamoured for the Bradley. Now, it is here! The Bradley gives US infantry players the offensive punch I feel they have been lacking. With a vehicle that poses a threat to nearly any armoured vehicle on the field, the infantry will once again take their title of the “Queen Of Battle”.
Mechanized Infantry Company Formation
The Mechanized Infantry formation is similar in scope to their M113 brothers. Up to three Bradley infantry platoons, a tank platoon, two recon Sections and a Heavy Mortar Platoon make up the formation. While similar in makeup to the previous mech formation, the Bradley formation comes with WAY more integral firepower. This allows the formation to take a much more aggressive stance than M113 infantry.
The Bradley Infantry Platoon
Like the Formation, the Bradley Platoon is organized with four vehicles, with seven total infantry stands as the extra Dragon team is redundant (plus, take it from me, Brads are cramped inside). No change to the infantry stands themselves, equipped with SAW, LAW, and Dragon.
Of course, the real change is in the tracks. The Bradley is one mean machine, outclassing the M113 in every category. With armour comparable, and in many ways superior, to the BMP the Bradley can take it to the enemy.
With the TOW-2 making its debut, the Americans get a HOT/Spiral equivalent and this formation can take them in spades. Overall, I think Battlefront has done a fairly decent job of representing the Bradley, and feel it will prove itself competitive on the tabletop.
From Defense to Offense
Overall, the Bradley Infantry Company takes American infantry from a predominantly defensive posture to an offensive one. The track gives the US infantry player the tools and survivability to be an offensive force. Back this up with a few M1A1s and Apaches and this can really wreck faces on the tabletop. With this being said, I decided on an initial list that looks like so:
HQ (3 pts) 1x M16 Team, 1x M2A2 Bradley
Platoon 1 (16 pts) 4x M249 Teams, 3x Dragon Teams, 4x M2A2 Bradley
Platoon 2 (16 pts) 4x M249 Teams, 3x Dragon Teams, 4x M2A2 Bradley
Platoon 3 (42 pts) 3x M1A1 Abrams
Platoon 4 (3 pts) 3x M106 Mortar
Platoon 5 (6 pts) 2x M3A2 Bradley
Support 1 (1 pt) 1x M113 FIST
Support 2: (8 pts) 4x M247 SGT York
Support 3 (4 pts): 4x Humvee STINGER
= 99 pts
The force here is based on the idea of a “triangular” armoured/mechanized battalion that I served in while stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas.
The battalion had two Infantry and one Tank Company, with integral Mortar and Reconnaissance assets. This could be done also at the company level, switching platoons instead of companies.
Now, prior to release, many had bemoaned the Deep Reserves Rule biting M2A2 Brads and Warrior in the butt.
Simply put, don’t ever defend with M2A2 Bradleys.
The idea behind this force is to hit fast and hit hard. With 11 Bradleys packing AT23 Missiles, three deadly M1A1s, and enough AA coverage to give aircraft pause, you should be able to get in close and stick em with the pointy end. Use your tracks to get the infantry close, then support them as they sweep through the objective.
Another tip, DARKNESS IS YOUR FRIEND. I look forward very much to testing this out.
In conclusion, I look forward very much to taking one of my absolute favourite pieces of Army equipment during my career. Having experienced first hand the real deal, and sizing up the game stats, I think this force can be very competitive against all comers. And as such, the infantry will once again shout “QUEEN OF BATTLE! FOLLOW ME!”