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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Iron Maiden: My Wish List

Many of you can accurately say that I beat the Iron Maiden release to death this month! I did feel the need to cap off the month with an article on what my future IM list will look like. I think you may have gathered from my previous articles - and the podcast dedicated to IM - that I really like this book for a lot of reasons.  With IM, Battlefront really changed the scope of the game away from it being an fight based on just tanks, and gave us some really good infantry to disrupt the “meta”. It’s not that the British tanks are bad - in fact they are quite good and appropriately priced - it is just that the strength of this list is the amount of missiles you can throw at your opponent. While tanks do feature on my list, I know going into this that I have to play them differently that I would the Leo’s and T-72s.

So here we go with my 100 point list:

Formation 1: Chieftain Armoured Squadron
HQ: 1 x Chieftains (6 Points)
Platoon 1: 3 x Chieftains (18 Points)
Platoon 2: 3 x Chieftains (18 Points)
Platoon 3: 2 x Swingfire Troop (4 Points)
Formation Total: 46 Points

I know I said my list would be based around the infantry, and here I go spending half of my 100 points on tanks. My defense of that is simple: tanks cost more, and a full up list based on tanks would have a lot more tanks in it.

Mechanized Company
HQ: Command with 2 x SF GPMG Teams (3 Points)
Platoon 1: Mechanized Platoon with 2 extra Milan ATGM (9 Points)
Platoon 2: Mechanized Platoon with 2 extra Milan ATGM (9 Points)
Platoon 3: 4 x Milan Section (4 Points)
Platoon 4: 4 x Mobile Spartan Milan Section (4 Points)
Formation Total: 29 Points (Force Total: 75)

So if you are keeping count, so far I can shoot 14 missiles per turn in my formation.  While this formation just has the mandatory combat platoons and 2 support platoons, it still is a lot of infantry for a Team Yankee list. I did not take the cheap mortars since they have an AT of one and cannot direct fire smoke.

So now I am in a quandary: do I take an air mobile or a recce force? I know I praised the airmobile in the podcast, I just do not know how they will play in the game. I know that AAA is deadly in the game and the helicopters caring these guys can get blasted out of the sky with ease. Also, this formation has to fly to a point on the table in one turn, then land, then move out on foot and then shoot the next turn since they cannot move and shoot - that is 3 very vulnerable turns. The other choice is the recce company, and they have their faults as well. It comes down to cost on the wallet - even going small on the airmobile company means in will need 6 Lynx, which is pricey. I know the recce is not going to be cheap either, however they will be less than getting 3 boxes of choppers.

Medium Recce Company
HQ: 2 x Spartans (1 point)
Platoon 1: 4 X Scorpion Troop (4 Points)
Platoon 2: 4 x Scorpion Troop (4 Points)
Platoon 3: 4 x Striker Troop (10 Points)
Formation Total: 19 Points (Force Total: 94)

Now I have upped my missile salvo rate to 18 per turn. I do think the Scorpion with the AT 14, FP 2+ gun is stronger than the Scimitar's which does have a better RoF when moving( RoF of 2 vice 1). It comes down on how you plan to use this force in a game. Even with the slower RoF, the Scorpion is still killing more than the Scimitar will “Bail out” due to its 5+ FP.

Divisional Support
Platoon 1: 4 x Rapier (6 Points)

The mobile Rapier is the best SAM in the game based on its range and FP.  You have to keep this platoon alive at all costs if you are playing against an opponent with a lot of air on the table.
Force Total: 100 Points

Before I get flamed for my selection above, I am basing it on having played the game more than a few times.  I feel that unless you have US artillery with mines and Copperheads you can pass on it.  Smoke is limited in Team Yankee, however your Scorpions, Chieftains, and 2” mortar all direct fire smoke (yet another reason to take the Scorpion over the Scimitar) which will come in handy. Many people will ask, "Why no air?".  Hey, as an airman who has been a student and proponent of airpower for 3 decades I know what is good. While the Harrier has some good points (Jump Jet), it has to get close (8” cannon, 6” CBUs) to be effective and that places you way too close to the enemy’s AAA ring.  AA trumps air in this game so far, so I feel unless you have a standoff attack platform you can pass on air.  I am pushing for inclusion of Arclight strikes in later Team Yankee lists, so things may change. Another reason for no air is that you have some fast forces that will be in the enemy’s backfield quickly so the need for air is not that urgent.

You would have to give this list high marks for defense. With the added teams, each mech platoon is 10 stands in size, with good long and close range ATGMs. Adding the SF GPMGs gives them great firepower vs other infantry if you play vs a BMP horde. The real plus for the infantry is that once placed and in foxholes, they are not going to be moved because they are excellent in the assault. Expanding the defensive side of this list is how you can play your Chieftains, with the soft sides (SA 6) you need to keep the enemy away from the flanks of these slow moving tanks. I would almost play them as you would with tank destroyers in Flames of War.

On the attack, I still feel you have a good force to win the game. With 7 Chieftains and 8 Scorpions, you have some assets that may work well in tandem, with another 10 mobile missile vehicles covering your advance. Plus, you actually have infantry that can win most assaults; so while the learning curve to attack with the Brits is a bit harder, overall you have a very well balanced list.

As we all know, no list survives the first shot of battle, so in the future I may tweak this list, perhaps taking the chance on the Airmobile company instead of the recce.  This tinkering will have to wait.

Twitter: @MitchWWPD

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