Hell on Wheels? – Maybe

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Martin with a look at the American 80th D-Day Anniversarry army deal release from Battlefront. This one brings us the American 2nd Armoured Division. A box packed full of stuff just like the American Forces in Normandy, it has a tool for every job. The 2nd Armoured with its nickname from General Patton was one of the key formations fighting across the Cotentin Peninsula and during Operation Cobra the allied break out from the boccage and this is reflected quite well by the box overall.

You get plenty of infantry to clear out the last of the defenders from the final areas of the boccage supported by the ever present field artillery with their potent 105mm guns to blunt any counter attacks and then plenty of armour to exploit the more open terrain beyond. Unlike the other three army box deals here you get a two Formation Force making it a stronger game play option and a great place to start collecting Americans. Its all plastic meaning you get a bit more and it is easier to build as well.

Now this all sounds good but lets take a more detailed look at what’s actually in the box models wise. Starting with the infantry you get enough sprues to build the black box units for a Veteran Rifle Company but what is missing here is that you will also get enough 60mm mortar teams on those 6 plastic rifle sprues to build two veteran 60mm mortar platoons as well. This will add some extra firepower to your Formation as well as units making it stronger in every way for a mere 6 extra points. So if you use all the models available, you’ll have a 30 point Infantry Formation with 5 platoons, which is a really solid start.

So that’s the infantry plenty of bodies, reasonable cababilities and a solid if not spectatular Formation lacks any real anti-tank capability but this is then supplemented by all the tanks you get as well. This is where the fact this box is all plastic really starts to shine. You get quite a bit here for you money.

  • 8 Sherman kits
  • 3 Sherman 76 upgrade sprues
  • 3 Stuart sprues
  • 2 M10 sprues
  • 1 Greyhound
  • 2 Jeeps

So this is intended to be a Veteran (for which you might read it as “you get smaller platoons”) Sherman Company. Giving us a Formation of HQ with 2x 75mm Shermans, first platoon of 3x 76mm Sherman and 2nd platoon with 3x Stuarts and a third platoon of 3x 75mm Sherman. This leaves the M10’s and recce vehicle kits to make up as Support platoons, along with the 105mm field artillery.

It’s not bad but it’s not that good either personally I would have like to see the two M10’s left out in place of two extra Sherman kits to make those platoons stronger. In game terms the minimum sized 76mm platoon will be fine but the small platoon of 75mm gun tanks is caught in a half way house being neither powerful enough to face off against an equivalent Panzer IV platoon or numerical enough to deal with infantry or massed light armor. Points wise this gives you a second Formation of 4 platoons costing 36 points adding that to the infantry we have our two Formations for a total of just 66 points.

So what have we got left, ah yes, two M10 tank destroyers equipped with the GMC 3″ gun and FA5 these are still potent weapons but with just the 2 tanks you will need to use them carefully and more annoyingly buying 2 extra tanks is a bit tricky to do to boost the platoon up to full strength, These are definitely a platoon that will need careful use but they do provide an option as an Ambush platoon if you end up defending with you new American Force. The Greyhound and Jeeps form a Cavalry Recon Patrol providing Spearhead capabilities which again may be best used to get the M10’s into a solid position to flank the enemies heavier armour, the other useful thing you can do is to employ the M8 Greyhound as an Observer team for the 105mm Field Artillery, whilst you jeeps generally whizz around to annoy your opponent stopping them using Dash Movement and blocking off Ambush positions. Combined, these give us another 11 points of troops. Running total 77points.

If only there were four!

Lastly we come to the 105mm Field Artillery battery, 4 excellent field guns at 10 points but they have 2 major weaknesses 1. They are Agressive so are eay to pin and 2. They are immobile meaning if the enemy get ranged in on them you will have trouble getting them out of the bombrdment zone. Under a repeat bombardment large guns with their 4+ save can die quite quickly.

With these added in you get a total Force which comes to a maximum of 87 points which is a prettty good start and simply adding in 1 extra box of Sherman tanks will bring you up to a full 100 point Force.

The Extras

So that’s the models all done and a look at how it all fits together, but this box still has more to give! Yes, like the other boxes you get all the Unit cards plus a set of 20 dice and some new natty 2nd Armoured division decal sheets as well as a set of very bright new tokens.

Finally, if you want to hear more about what we thought about this and all the other D-Day Army Deal releases check out the vlog Time of Day or follow the Shoot and Scoot podcast.

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