Kissing Dutch Nightingales

I write this post in a haze of post-DSEI relief. Time has become relative and the spinning clock hands have slowed sufficiently that I have actually managed to digest the new Team Yankee NATO forces book. As expected there isn’t a tremendous amount of new stuff in there for the Dutch, but nonetheless some of what is in there does add another string or two to the Lowlanders bow.

So, let’s go and tongue some amphibians and see if any turn into Prince Constantijn Christof Frederik Aschwin.

Leopard 2A5

Access to the newest of new, new generation Leopard tanks appears to be answering a question that no one was asking. They are, a bit, cheaper than their Germanic cousins but bring no more hitting power, but cost quite a bit more. Four Leopard 2 hits the glorious mark of a single drop reserve for a standard 100pts game, the same number of Leopard 2A5 puts you in the opposite end of the spectrum where they would be more than you would be allowed to have on the board.

My issue here is not that they are poorly costed, just that the thing you need is punching power with the Dutch and the additional front and side armour is nice but is scant consolation for the diminished number of rounds heading down range.

120mm Mortier Peloton

YAY! Ground-mounted mortar teams…
BOO! They are the same cost and require me to have had the foresight to keep more than one YPR-765 transport team…

My biggest thing with this platoon, is that it slides neatly into the YPR-765 Pantserinfanterie Compagnie, but again is seemingly quite costly for what I have access to. The concern I have is with a Courage Rating of 4+ you cannot guarantee undertaking the one task that is on the table for 50% of the time when pinned. The extra platoon you received is a tank attachment with a .50cal and no enhancement in survivability… meh, sure.

I think I am sticking with my M125 mortars here.

[There is a historical argument here for including it as the M125’s inclusion was a fudge from TY’s anti-gun team days. But you have to really want to do it – Lee]

AH-64 Apache Gevenchtshelikopterluch

Apart from being one hell of a mouthful, the AH64 Apache (I’m not typing the rest again!) is one hell of a helo. The Hellfire missile is bringing far more bang for your buck and the Chain Gun gives you an option for shredding unarmoured tank teams and other squidgy targets. All of this is wrapped up in a lovely airframe that will dominate unless dealt with.

The great thing here is that the AH-64 is bringing something else to the party, something that they did not have in the locker before. The Hellfire missile tops the performance of the HOT missile that previously was the top end of your AT at AT23. It also sports 24″ of extra range AND the gravy on the top is access to Thermal Imaging all of which gives you a tasty little stew of anti-T80.

The downside is that you are slightly worse at Blitzing – which is a big deal for a helicopter with no moving ROF on its main missile weapon. Nothing to worry about, but something to consider. The 30mm chain gun does at least give you options for when you feel like you need to redeploy.

MLRS Raketwerperbatterij

The phenomenally named MLRS Raketwerperbatterij initially feels like a duplication of effort, but a closer look reveals that there is a distinct choice to be made between it and the already available allied West German LARS.

When you take into account that the MLRS rule means you *only* need 2 models to count as a full battery, then the price cost between the two units is the same. Admittedly, you get 3 x LARS for 2 x MLRS but the effectiveness is the same. The Skill of the West German crews is better but the MLRS are armoured so cannot be pinned. The LARS also has a 7.62mm AA MG which might help…?

This is a tricky one for me, I think that the German LARS is the better bet as Smoke matters and the Veteran Skill matters but it really is a coin toss here… which is good! More choices are always, better than less. Always.

New Weapon Systems

Dragon 2

The useless lump of scrap that is the Dragon has been updated to the Dragon 2.

Not only is the Dragon 2 also a useless lump of scrap metal, but it is also a trap…

The reason I say this is you only have two for the whole platoon. I’ve found the temptation to fire with the Dragon against MBT is basically non-existent, but the temptation with an AT21 missile is far greater. The single point upgrade is not the issue but more that you must remain disciplined in your engagements.

TOW-2 Missile

The YPR PRAT Antitank Peloton gets some love with the TOW-2.

This is not a trap. It is not a drill. It is the real thing. The PRAT are dedicated AT weapons and the boost from AT21 to AT23 is notable and welcomed. An AT23 weapon can threaten the Soviets best armour frontally, keeping them honest. I think you take this upgrade all day every day and twice on Sundays.

So is it a Prince?

And that’s it… that is your lot. Not too much waffle, just a short and sweet update on what the new NATO book brings for the Dutch arsenal. Overall I can’t be disappointed because I wasn’t expecting too much, for example, Dutch Marines or Het infanteriebataljon van de territoriale infanteriebrigade were unlikely inclusions and there aren’t really any new armoured vehicles that need an inclusion.

I’ll be back soon with a cup of single-origin, cold brew flat white artisan coffee with more thoughts from the hipster’s beard.

– Dunc

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