“Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?” – ANZAC List Building in WW3:Team Yankee

Lee takes a look at the ANZACs in NATO Forces and ponders a list.

So, long term listeners to the Podcast will know I definitely had opinions on ANZACs being in the European theatre of the WW3:Team Yankee universe. However, over time I’ve gotten used to BF’s idea of a Cold War Gone Hot not aligning with mine and what better way to show that than taking a look at a possible list.

I’ll be honest, this really started because of the M1A1 in Aussie camo…

But we’ll get to that. First, let’s look at the basic character of the force.

Australians combine a decent “confident” 4+ motivation with a very good “veteran” 3+ skill rating, making them relatively dependable troops, able to reliably pull off most movement orders. The Infantry have an improved counter-attack of “3+” meaning they are not afraid to stick in a fight, though they are “only” assault 4+. All in all, this makes them a bit punchier than the NATO standard, though not quite as resolute as the West Germans or as solid in Bayonet range as the British Infantry.

Leopard AS1 Armoured Squadron

To my mind, the Australian Leopard Squadron may be one of the best in the game. I plan to do a deep dive on the “NATO standard” tank in a future article, but I feel I should back up my statement.

Firstly, the Australians have access to large platoons of the tank. The HQ can have up to two tanks and the platoon, up to four of which are in the formation, can take three or four tanks. When it comes to medium armour, more is better.

Secondly, the Australian Leopard packs all the normal features of the standard model; stabilisers, IR gear, laser rangefinder, AT19 moving RoF2 main gun, but it also packs HE rounds, granting the tank “Brutal”. This makes the Leopard AS1 an ideal infantry support weapon; able to dig out Warsaw Pact infantry with “brutal” efficiency.

Finally, the real ace up of the sleeve. The Leopard has bought a bigger brother with it; a Troop of M1A1 Abrams.

Yep, in classic ANZAC fashion the Aussies have conducted some “Moonlight Requisitions” and put some of the US latest MBT to good use. They sadly couldn’t get any silver bullets but West German tungsten rounds seem to work in the breech so it all good, sport! What this means is that you get all the mobility and protection of the 120mm armed tank, whilst the drop from AT23 to AT22 partly offsets the increase in skill the ANZAC crew brings.
It’s worth noting that, whilst the West Germans can certainly claim a more diverse mix of units in their Leopard formation, even they can’t get a Leopard 2A4, let alone a 2A5, in formation. The addition of the Abrams gives the formation a true MBT to distract the enemies attention whilst the nimble but vulnerable Leopards work to flank the enemy. Alternatively, a platoon of three M1A1 provides a handy near-one drop reserve.

Okay, so how to put this formation to use? Obviously we grab three M1A1, Four Leopard AS1 and two more in the HQ to fill our compulsory slots. A second platoon of Leopard in the third tank box is also a no brainer. But is a third in the fourth box? I think the infantry may be more useful to hold ground or clear urban areas so I have a measure of restraint.

To fill out the formation I take a platoon of the LAV-25. I was originally going to go with the classic M113 but the chaps on the Patron Discord convinced me that the LAV-25 was the better option. If I want the 76mm then go Kiwi Scorpions, otherwise the LAV-25 is packing a thoroughly satisfactory AT8 auto-cannon and isn’t limited by “Sneak and peak”*. That leaves us with a core formation of:

That’s given is a decent base of Anti-Tank, infantry and recce. However, we really need some artillery and anti-air cover.

The Australians can pull in British support so let’s add a three gun M109 battery, an OP and a platoon of four Tracked Rapier. The Australians have seen a boost to their organic anti-air capability with the addition of the Swedish RBS-70 beam riding anti-air missiles, mounted in M113, a big boost over the previous Redeye. However, its only RoF2 and four of them have the same cost as four of the RoF3 Rapier. If I only have one AA system, best make it count with the Rapier.

That leaves 4 points on the sheet. I pondered taking the two Redeye teams to bolster the Rapier, then spending the last two points on a pair of LAV-25. In the end, I decided the anti-air threat in our group didn’t warrant it so I instead added a full troop of four LAV-25 in the formation. This left me with this:

The scary thing is… this is oddly doable for me with a minimal buy in. I had a bunch of PSC Leopard 1 sitting around waiting for me to do something with them for the West Germans. Same for M1A1s. The Rapier is already in my collection and I have a box of M109 that could be reallocated to this force. All i really need is two boxes of LAV-25, a blister of infantry and the metal bits for the M113! Hmm…

M113 Mechanised Company

The ANZAC infantry have always been a solid choice for any game system they appear in, from “North Africa”‘s command cards to “‘Nam”s infantry formation, the ANZAC almost always provide a well motivated, sturdy infantry platoon or three to get stuck in with. So it continues here.

The Mech company combines two to three platoons of infantry with in-formation Armour, Recce, Anti-Tank and mortar based artillery. The Infantry themselves follow the British model of combining SLR, LMG (the M60 rather than the FN MAG) and Carl Gustav but use the M113 instead of the FV432. Furthermore, the m113 embodies the lessons of Vietnam and sues the T50 turret system meaning each M113 not only has a 0.5″ but also a 7.62mm M1919, giving it a boost in firepower.

Australia uses the Milan missile system and can also choose to upgrade to the Milan 2 for extra firepower should ERA equipped tanks be the local flavour of choice. Unlike the British, these can’t be purchased as an upgrade for the Mech platoon, but stick to their own platoon mounted in, sadly firing post-less, M113 with T-50 turrets. As often discussed on the podcast, this is sometime the better option, as the attached squads can be a liability for the surrounding infantry as they give their position away. Having two AT platoons, plus an optional tank platoon gives plenty of anti-tank firepower.

The M1A1 is not optional

The Mech Company also works well for a two platoon force. a couple infantry platoons, a couple Milan platoons and a Mortar platoon comes to a bout 40pts, leaving plenty for a second formation.

To build a force around the M113 Mech Company I first start with the obligatory HQ and two full strength platoons. I add two Milan platoons but stick with the Milan 1. I suspect the threat of the Milan 2 will drive most players to massed medium armor over modern MBT. However, it always pays to consider the threat so I add a platoon of three M1A1 to provide a solution to marauding T-80s and act as a handy chunk of reserves. Four M125 provide some decent suppressive fire and smoke.

But what to add to this? Time to go Cav.

M113 and LAV Cavalry Squadrons

The M113 Cavalry Squadron and LAV Trials Cavalry Squadron use a similar formation lay out but with different HQ and Troop configurations. Both have two to three Cavalry Troops backed up by optional tank, infantry, mortar and anti-tank platoons, making for a great all rounder formation that can act as a core formation or complement another formation. The infantry platoon is especially interesting; the Assault Platoon having four M60 teams and five Carl Gustav teams! That’s a lot of firepower on hand.

The difference really comes down to their chosen mount. The LAV Cavalry Squadron uses the LAV-25 wheeled recce vehicle. Australia would eventually adopt this as the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) Type I in the late eighties but this happens a little quicker in the Team Yankee universe. The LAV-25 was chosen as a replacement for the other type. The M113. This Cavalry troops combines two to four T-50 turreted M113 Light Recce Vehicle (LRV) with zero to two Medium Recce Vehicle (MRV). The MRV is the replacement to the Vietnam era “Saladin” turreted MRV, instead using a 76mm armed Scorpion turret to provide similar firepower.

The M113 Cav squadron has more armour than the LAV, better mobility over all but roads and the MRV provide a heftier punch than the LAV’s autocannon. But the LAV outshoots the LRV that make up the majority of vehicles in the troop, is slower but still okay over rough terrain and, whilst it has less armour, the difference between 1 and 3 only matters versus HMG. Most importantly it doesn’t have a mix of weapons types in the platoon and doesn’t have the dreaded “Sneak and peak” rule*.

To continue our army build, we pair a LAV Trials Cavalry Squadron with the M113 Mech Company we already discussed. We take our mandatory HQ and two full troops of LAV-25. We can skip the Assault company as we already have two infantry platoons but more AT and mortars are always handy so we take four of both.

At this leaves some points on the table, coincidentally the same amount as points as we had earlier for support so we go with the same support; M109, OP and Rapiers.

This gives us a force that can Attack or Defend. On the defense, 12 Milan missiles provide some anti-tank cover until the Abrams arrive to help finish off what ever is left after they try dislodging two ANZAC rifle platoons whilst under mortar and 155mm bombardments.

On the attack, the M113 , LAV and Abrams can advance under missile overwatch and behind plentiful smoke and suppression artillery fire, with the M109 slowly digging out any an infantry dumb enough to stay under the template until they get a SLR bayonet to the face.

A final honorable mention to the Kiwis.

Scorpion Armoured Squadron

Do you like aluminium-armoured tracked recce vehicles? Do you like high firepower 76mm? Do you like not having “scout” to keep the Scorpions alive in a misguided attempt to use said Scorpion as an infantry tank? You do? You sadist. Well, here’s a formation for you. A HQ of two to three M113 (T50) with two to four Scorpion Troops and an option to field a M113 Mechanised Infantry platoon in the fourth box.

The Scorpions retain the ability to Spearhead but the loss of Scout is a bit dicey as they really need it to stay alive as they get in position to unleash a blitz and shoot with the “Sneak and peak” afflicted 76mm. The formation isn’t terrible, the addition of the M113 infantry is very useful, but hurts for lacking the Striker missile. I think I’d be tempted to just take an Allied British Medium Recce Squadron.

The RNZAF also makes an appearance with Scooter, the A4 Skyhawk.

The A4 brings a host of attack options, having nose 20mm cannons, 500lb dumb bombs and the high-velocity CRV7. The latter two systems give the Skyhawk the option of a small area, high firepower attack, perfect for digging out infantry or demolishing tanks, or a wide area effect weapon that will deal quite nicely with massed BMP or advancing infantry. The A4 was also wired up for the Maverick missile and you can take these without losing the other two under-wing weapons (presumably the Mk-82 move to a centreline MER).

The only real issue with the Scooter is that its competing for its slot vs the BL-755 armed Harrier. Whilst the BL755 can’t match the firepower of the 500lb, it can beat it for anti-tank and has a still good 3+ firepower, plus a wider area of attack. The Harrier will also turn up more often!

The real niche for the Skyhawk may be in the same one that the Viggen carves for itself, a two-plane flight carrying missiles to harass enemy armour.


Hopefully that gives you some ideas on using the Australians and New Zealanders in WW3:Team Yankee. I’m not going to rule out the possibility of revisiting the Australian Leopard list I detailed above as an actual army at some point in the future.

(*note. The new book says the MRV does not have “Sneak and Peak” but the Free Nations version did and Forces also says they have it. Hopefully a future FAQ will clarify but right now I’m assuming its a cut and paste error from the Cougar).

3 thoughts on ““Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?” – ANZAC List Building in WW3:Team Yankee

  1. Good write up but someone didn’t read the book. Aussie MRV don’t use Sneak and Peek.

    1. Oh, I read it. The problem here is that Forces shows the MRV as having Sneak and Peak and BF have always said that Forces takes precedence. They also had it in Free Nations so I suspect the new book stat line may be a cut and paste error from the Cougar.

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