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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Stripes: Reviewed and Spoiled by Sarge!

We here at WWPD got lucky to get our hands on the new Team Yankee book, Stripes, which focuses on the Americans and gives them some great upgrades.  This luck was compounded by getting some famous people who once wore stripes to talk about what they initially thought of when they read the pre-release copy.  We at WWPD thought this would be a great way to commemorate the upcoming Veterans Day and to have these enlisted icons tell you a bit about what is new in Stripes. Before we get to the Sergeants, I will tell you that this book is what every US player has been waiting for and really adds some flavor and color to the US lists from the original Team Yankee book. I know some folks really wanted the Bradley IFV to be in this book, however you get so many neat new toys here I just do not see any room to complain. Also in Stripes the developers take some liberties with some of the units and weapons that were around in Europe during the period (1985) that the game takes place in. Once again, no room to complain because the alt-history in Stripes really is minor and I like what they did here with this new book. Now off to those NCO's of Hollywood!

1st Armored Division by Sergeant First Class Hulka
Listen up!  Sorry no EM-50 for those of you wanting a state of the art Urban Assault Vehicle; however Stripes does have some heavy metal that Russell Ziskey rates very high.  In Stripes US players get the option to buff their M-1 Abrams to the IPM-1 model for a point each.  With this point you get a front armor of 19 vice the 18 of the M-1 and the cross rating stays the same for extra protection unlike the Stillbrew Chieftain. I know many were hoping to get the M-1A1 with the 120mm gun, but the IPM-1 is not a bad deal for the cost.
The new or rather old baby on the block, and it’s a favorite of both Dewey Oxburger and Throck Morton is the M-60 tank. Costing half as much as the M-1 (four vice eight points), the M-60 boasts the same 105mm gun (AT 20) and a lower armor rating 15/8/2 and a higher Remount rating (4+ vs 2+) than the M-1. In a tank battalion you can get 14 M-60’s for 56 points, so it’s a cheap tank option for a US player, but you will still can’t run a horde like you can with the T-55.
So what else about the new armored formation? Well you cannot combine M-60 with M-1 tanks in the same formation and finally the US gets scouts but someone else will talk about that.
Big Toe Out!

Armored Cavalry Troop by Sergeant Elias (25th ID Vietnam)
The next new and interesting unit that we will talk about is the Armored Cavalry Troop which I would argue with SSgt Barnes about back at the firebase. This unit has an M-113 scout as an HQ and one mandatory tank platoon which can be ether Patton’s or Abrams and two mandatory scout sections.  Before we go any further let me tell you about these new scouts; they are made up of one M-113 scout and one M901ITV for a cheap two points. It is a nice thing to have the M901 out in front, that TOW missile is deadly with the Hammerhead special rule. This unit fills out nicely with the option to take 2 more tank platoons (all tanks must be the same) and another 4 Scout sections.  This unit also has Cobras within its org chart and the ability to take a Huey rifle platoon. What neat options! Well the worm has definitely turned for a US player and another famous NCO wants to chat with you now.

HMMWV Troop by Master Sergeant Ernest Bilko
Let me tell you about the latest vehicle we have in the motor pool, and it’s the HMMWV also called the “Hummer” and I never let Colonel Hall near one. The Hummer is the back bone of the HMMWV troop which is a new unit in Stripes. The HQ has two command Hummers and each of the 3 mandatory platoons can have one .50 cal, one Mk19 and one Tow Hummer for 2 points.  You can take another TOW shooter and the section would cost you 3 points. Do not worry, you know Bilko cuts a good deal for his best customers. You can max out this unit by taking up to six scout sections, however that is all you get.  I have to run, that nosy Colonel Hall is coming back.

82nd Airborne by Sergeant Morgan O'Rourke, F-Troop
Things have sure changed since I was in the Cavalry, but these guys remind me of my days at Fort Courage. At first look, this unit has some big infantry units, Sheridan tanks, and is helicopter borne. I always thought the 101st was the chopper unit, but I think this game is based on fiction.  Anyway the basic rifle platoon is big, starting at the 8 point level you get seven M249/M72 teams and a Dragon ATGW team and they ride into battle in 3 UH-1 Huey’s. You have a lot of add on stands with this force, at the cost of a point each you can augment this platoon with another Dragon, two M60 GPMG teams, and a 60mm mortar and another Huey for free.  So this platoon can have up to twelve stands and 4 choppers. You have to take two rifle units and can opt for a third.
You also have the option to take up to two M551 Sheridan tank platoons. At 2 points apiece with a max of five per platoon, these tanks cannot take a hit (armor 4/2/1), but they can shoot the MGM51 missile which packs a punch (AT 22, 3+FP) which can engage the enemy at a distance (48”).  The 152mm gun is Brutal (it is actually) but only has a range of 16”, but up close it has a 21 AT and a FP of 1+.  The other organic units is a Hummer Scout section and a Hummer Stinger platoon.  The 82nd also gets a unique platoon, TOW missiles on Hummers, and the unit can have up to 4 vehicles.  Well Corporal Agarn and I have to pull off some shenanigans  so I am out of here.

Mech and US Support by Gary Cooper as Sergeant Alvin York
Now why didn’t I get to talk about the 82nd ? That was my unit in the Great War, before they went airborne. First off I will tell you about the Mechanized list in Stripes; it’s the same as the previous one except you can take M-60 tanks instead of M-1’s. You also have the ability to take two Scout Sections, so now the US can use the Spearhead rule like everyone else.

Now for the support options!  The Tank, Mech, and Cavalry units all have the great M106 Mortar platoon in their org charts and the Cav can get the M109 Paladin and Apache attack helicopter organically as well.  The rest of the support is from divisional assets.
While I like the addition of the M247 Sgt York AA platoon in Stripes, the last I checked this weapons system was never operational and never deployed to Europe.  This weapon was so bad that it would sometimes lock onto friendly targets or just folks walking around it. However as Sgt O'Rourke stated this is a game based on fiction.  Since I do not want my name associated with such a bad weapon (I can hit my target at least) I will just call this the US Gepard. With a 5/4 RoF, AT 7 and a FP of 3+ this is much like the Gepard and costs two points apiece and can be taken instead of a VADS platoon which is unchanged from before.
The next piece of AAA is the missile shooting Chaparral, which shoots a ground based version of the Sidewinder missile. This system follows in the trend of the Rapier and Gecko, a missile shooter with an extreme range; 72”. These guys have a RoF of two and a FP of 3+ and a platoon of 4 costs 8 points.

The next new AAA platoon is stripes is the Hummer mounted Stinger team.  A platoon of four will cost four points and has a range of 48”, RoF of 2 and a FP of 4+.
Well that is enough from me, now I will turn this over to my buddies in the USMC.

Marine Tank Company; Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, USMC 
I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, I am here to talk about the Marines in the new Stripes book. Do you maggots understand that? The M-60 is the featured tank here since the Army wouldn’t let us use their precious Abrams tanks! These M-60’s do not have the fancy targeting gear that Army has, but it comes with a Marine crew so its Courage and Remount are a bit better and has the Accurate special rule that makes the USMC M-60 cost the same as the Army version.  The Corps also likes five tank platoons as opposed to the four used by the Army.
Rounding this unit out you can take a Rifle Platoon, Hummer Scouts, Hummer Tows, and a LAV platoon.
Oh-Rah, Gunny out!

Marine Rifle Company; Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter, USMC
Besides watching over the real Private Pyle I am a rifle platoon Sargent and I want to tell you about the Marines cutting edge the Rifleman.
The Company is based around the Rifle Platoon, which has nine or six Saw/LAW squads, however you can add up to two dragon teams. One 60mm mortar team, and up to two SMAW teams.  So, you can get up to fourteen teams in this platoon for a point each.  The combo of the M47 and the SMAW makes these guys tough against tanks.
You can have these guys ride in two AAVP7 Amtrac’s or four UH-1’s, the Amtracs are really good weapons with their .50 cal HMG and 40mm automatic grenade launchers.  As for the Huey’s, the Marines Corps uses them for gunships and mostly sends us into combat with CH-46 and CH-53 heavy lift helicopters.
Support for this force consists of a M-60 platoon, a LAV platoon, and up to two Hummer TOW squads.  We also have the HMG platoon, made up of 6 vehicles for four points and can have .50 cal HMGs or 40mm automatic grenade launchers.
Not bad for the Corps!  I have to go see if Pyle is still singing those Johnny Mathis songs in the barracks.

Marine LAV Company by Gunnery Sergeant Alva Bricker USMC
The last Marine unit in Stripes is the LAV Company which has three LAV platoons (two are mandatory) a LAV TOW section and a LAV mortar section. The LAV cost one point each except for the TOW shooters (they are six points for four vehicles) and all have the Scout and Spearhead special rule.  The TOW’s get the Hammerhead special rule which keeps them hard to hit even if they shoot.
For divisional support we have the guns of the M109 artillery battery which has the same stats as the US Army version, however we use a Hummer as an OP.

The Harrier is also available and the Jump Jet special rule makes these guys enter the game on a 3+ vice a 4+ for other aircraft.
Now back to our author.

Well folks you now have the Stripes book spoiled, stay tuned for articles from the Tom’s that go into depth about the book. One neat thing about the book the esteemed NCO's above did not mention is the ability to take a NATO formation as support.  This addition makes the Stripes book very interesting to more than just dedicated US players.
Twitter: @MitchWWPD

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