Ok, so I had intended to post this many months ago but there were far more exciting things for me to write about. Regardless, it’s Team Yankee, British, Cold War gone Hot, and all very exciting! Here is my short review of the new British rulebook. The good is quite simply – Challenger 1 tanks! The bad is mostly just how bloody expensive these buggers are! They’re the toughest tank in the game but with the draw back of the Cheiftain’s gun (Halted ROF of 2, Moving ROF of 1).
The new units added in the book do add some nice options for players to choose from to suit their play styles. However, players now really need to focus on balancing the sheer cost of the newer models versus the benefits of their armour and weapons. It oddly feels quite realisitic from a defence procurement point of view – you ‘could’ have this really cool and modern bit of kit, buuuut it’s going to cost you at least 2 arms and a leg.
I feel that essientially Battlefront, with this rulebook, has kinda showcased to NATO players the future of this game – the incredibly delicate balancing act between the number of models and the awesomeness of models. Considering that Bradley’s and Apaches are on the way for the US players (Apaches!! gahhhh! the sheer WIN of it!). God knows what’s in store for PACT players…
Having played around with building new British lists from 50 points up to 150 points, I find that making a competetive list with the new Chally 1 and Warrior IFVs incredibly difficult. Keeping in mind the need to maximise numbers and focus on the nation’s strengths (that being infantry for the British), the Chally 1 costs’ essentially meant I can’t take them in small and mid-sized lists, and Warrior IFVs are double the price of FV432s so I struggled to justify them in small sized lists.
Here’s what I’ve come up so far:
50pts – A classic FV432 mechanised company. Three full platoons with milan teams to boot, 4 Abbot SPA with FV432 FOO, 6 Spartan Blowpipe, 4 Scorpions, and 2 SF teams. The British play best at defending and their infantry are really well represented in the game as being true stalwarts of the field. So it makes sense to take as many of these as possible. The artillery in version 2 of the rules are more worth while taking, even in small games, and the Abbots are a nice balance between cost and firepower. The added FOO allows the other teams to do their job instead of faffing around with calling fall of shots, but I wouldn’t expect it to last long. The Scorpions are there to skirmish light and medium armour whilst the Milan teams tackle the heavy stuff. Having AA teams is now a must in any game given aircrafts’ increased survivability. As for the SF teams, well they’re just for fun!
75pts – More FV432 mechanised goodness. This list is essentially the same as above with the following changes; the SF teams are removed, the Spartan Blowpipes are replaced with 4 Tracked Rapiers, and the Scorpions are folded into a Recce formation. In that formation are 8 Scimitars and 4 Scorpions. Why more Scimitars over Scorpions? I battle with this decision each time I look at the two; the Scimitars have more shots but is designed to deal with infantry and the light armour, whilst the Scorpions have fewer shots but are designed to deal with the medium stuff. I decided to take the Scimitars as I’d expect to deal with lots of infantry and light armour, and actually their gun isn’t too bad at trying to take on some medium armour. I’m still not sure though.
100pts – Mixed, classic, again. Unsurprisingly, I chose to take a full mechanised company, again FV432 given their cheapness. Instead of a Recce formation this time, I’ve replaced it with a Chieftain squadron. In said squadron are 2 full troops of Stillbrew tanks and a single Stillbrewed leader. Since I find having only 7 tanks very limiting, the formation also has 3 Swingfires and 4 Scorpions. The formation also has the 4 Abbots as I figure they would help keep the formation in Good Spirits for longer.
125pts – Heavy mechanised! Finally I feel it’s worth while taking the newer stuff, Warriors mostly. In this single formation force, I essentially replace the FV432s with uparmoured Warrior IFVs and regain one SF team. The formation also has 3 ROMOR Challenger 1s (‘cus why wouldn’t you take the extra armour?), but unfortunately I had to replace the Abbots for 4 FV432 mortar carriers… no FOO. In support are 4 Rapiers and 3 Chieftain Marksmans. And finally getting some air support, 2 sets of 2 Lynx HELARM. Why 2 sets of 2? The TOW missiles are actually pretty nasty so this gives me opportunities to kill 2 teams, or hammer just one, and it splits the enemies focus without me worrying about morale killing them off.
150pts – Heavy armour! At this point level I really wanted to take a Challenger squadron with 3 troops full ROMOR Chally 1s, but I could really only afford 2 troops (plus the 1 leader). The formation also has a full Warrior platoon with Milan and 4 Abbots. A second formation comes in the form of a Recce squadron with 8 Scimitars; I had 9pts to spend so I thought why not. In support, a FOO, 4 Rapiers, 3 Marksmans, and 2×2 Lynx HELARM.
Obviously each game would have different lists etc, but this is what I’d probably be comfortable taking. I’d love to field my Harrier force, or maybe a heli-borne force, but I’m not convinced either would be a good choice. And I’d obviously love to take more Warriors or Chally 1s but the cost of taking really limits your options.
Still, these lists give me something to aim for when buying models!