Wednesday, July 8, 2015
American Infantry: My Go To Army
Posted by Luke
By Luke Melia
As most of you know I am an American player, both literally and figuratively. I own Soviets and Japanese and have owned Germans, but I always feel most comfortable playing the U.S. So in this article I thought I would talk a little about my experiences playing Americans, in particular Infantry and why I always seem to keep coming back to the good ole U.S.A. when making lists.
#1 I'm boring. Maybe I have been married for too many years and am used to routines and consistency, but I like what I like and when I am comfortable with something I have trouble letting it go. Maybe that is part of the reason I have been buying the same style of Disney shorts for the past seven years.
I know what I am getting with the Americans and after so long playing them I know how to handle most situations that arise in any given game. That does not mean it always works, but I have seen most play challenges come up and faced most all of the army lists with the U.S. Also, I do not play as much as a lot of people out there, so for me it is hard to get tired of playing my lists. Maybe that would change if I was playing several times a week, but right now I have the "Old Faithful" mentality.
#2 I own it all. Many times in the past I would struggle to get this or that unit painted before a tournament, because I had come up with a new list. Now I pretty much have everything a U.S. player needs for consistent play. Yes there are some things out there I do not have, but I probably will never "need" those units unless we are doing some kind of silly or a scenario game. The other great part of the American army is that it is by far the most cost efficient, from a real life monetary cost, nationality in the game. You can pretty much use the American Infantry unit you painted five years ago in North Africa, Italy, Normandy or crossing the Rhine.
Yes, I know, uniforms changed a bit and there are unit patches and insignia, but not dramatically and especially not for playing a miniatures game. I use Sherman's in MW and LW and no one has every called me out on any historical inaccuracies. This is all great for me because I enjoy the game and the time interacting with others more than the painting or the history. As far as painting goes, let's face it, Americans in the grand scheme are relatively easy to paint too.
Let me go ahead and put my disclaimer out there now, if you are in to painting or absolutely historically accurate units that is great and I completely respect and admire that, it's just not my thing.
#3 The Swiss Army Knife of FOW. I will focus here on Infantry, but the same is true for most of the U.S. lists in Flames of War and has always been since I have been playing. Americans have support options and list diversity like no other army. You can be trained or veteran and have options to improve your basic rifleman with great upgrades like, I don't know, bazookas and with some carefully placed points, a couple of heavy machine guns or some light mortars and light machine guns.
The 2nd I.D., for example, can have a CV rifle platoon with four bazookas in it for 215 points. For 85 more you can add two heavy machine guns and another bazooka with a platoon that now has fourteen stands! Try digging those guys out, it's not easy. Not to mention just about all lists have two tank options, engineers, air, mortars and let's not forget artillery.
When a tournament is announced and especially if it has a theme or there will be special missions you can customize your force for one that will be best is the overall meta of the tournament. Is there is a good chance you will see a lot of German Heavy tanks? Then I will be taking heavy artillery. Are they all mobile missions? I'll we be taking fully decked out platoons and some great mobile and smoke assets with a contingent of breakthrough guns. Oh what the heck I will add paratroopers to my force because that is an option as well and they are great for assaults. I believe every successful list has to have good offensive capability and the Americans have that in spades.
The best part in my opinion is that with the flexibility of the U.S. infantry you can make an "all comers" list. You may not be great at everything, but you are really good at a lot of things and with a well balanced force you can usually take on any list with a decent chance or success.
So those are my big three reasons for loving the Americans as much as I do. For the most part #1 is my big motivator. I like routine. I also feel the Americans most fit my play style and my personality. They are good on the attack and even when I put a couple of artillery batteries in my list, I still like the fact that I have some really good offensive units that can strike out and take objectives.
For a while, as I was doing some soul searching over this article, I thought maybe I was taking Americans because I thought that I would have the greatest chances for winning with them. Well that is partially true and I can not deny that fact, but it is not my biggest motivator. For me, right now in my life I am not playing as much as I used to and I want to enjoy the time I have when I do play. Therefore, I'm playing what I want to play and the lists that I feel most comfortable with. My American infantry is so diverse I feel like I always have a chance to win against whomever is across the table from me. I know what the army can do and I know how to manage it. I enjoy playing them in in the end that is what really matters no matter what any one else thinks.
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