British Airborne Starter Army I

Box Contents

The British Airborne Starter Army is a mix of plastic and metal models containing:

  • x6 British Airborne sprues (36 Infantry) – Plastic
  • Airborne QF 6-pdr Medium Anti-Tank Gun – Metal
  • Airborne Light Mortar Team – Metal
  • Airborne Medium Mortar Team – Metal
  • Airborne Flamethrower Team – Metal
  • Airborne MMG Team – Metal

The Assault List

Standard Reinforced Platoon
Officer
1st Lt (SMG) – Veteran – 90
x1 Buddy (SMG) – 13
103pts
Forward Artillery Observer – Regular – 00pts
Infantry
Paratroop Section – Veteran – 6 men – 84
x1 LMG – 20
Stubborn
104pts
Paratroop Section – Veteran – 7 men – 98
NCO SMG – 3
x4 SMG – 12
Stubborn
113pts
Paratroop Section – Veteran – 7 men – 98
NCO SMG – 3
x4 SMG – 12
Stubborn
113pts
Paratroop Section – Veteran – 7 men – 98
NCO SMG – 3
x4 SMG – 12
Stubborn
113pts
Medic – Veteran – 3030pts
Sniper Team – Veteran – 6565pts
Flamethrower Team – Veteran – 6565pts
Medium Mortar Team – Veteran – 65
Spotter – 10
75pts
PIAT Team – Veteran – 6565pts
Artillery
Medium AT Gun – Veteran – 9090pts
National Characteristic – Vengeance
Total14 Order Dice988pts

Breakdown

  • Rifle – 12
  • SMG – 17
  • LMG – 1
  • MMG – 1
  • Sniper – 1
  • PIAT – 1
  • Flamethrower – 1
  • Medium Mortar – 1
  • Medium AT Gun – 1

(x) denotes a vehicle-mounted weapon.

Notes and Analysis

The objective of this list is two part – 1) use as many of the components from the Starter Army as possible and 2) make a List that work at a competitive level. Please in mind, this List was written using only the content of the Starter Army.

Let’s start with a quick look on what you’ll need to build using your plastic Airborne:

– The PIAT Team (use the PIAT and ammo)
– The Sniper Team (use the scoped rifle)
– A Spotter for the Medium Mortar (use the binoculars)
– The Lt and his buddy (Highly recommend using SMGs)
– Forward Artillery Observer (Rifle and binoculars)
– Medic (add extra pouches / bags)

The spruces included have just enough bodies to make this happen. This List uses all of the 36 included bodies, there will be none left over. For all the men in your four Airborne squads, you’ve got enough Rifles, SMGs and LMGs to get them fully equipped. You’ll be using just about every single bit you have to make this List work.

Except for the Light Mortar. Honestly, why is this included? Or, on the other side, why is the Medium Mortar included? In a Standard Reinforced Platoon, you can only have one Mortar (Light, Medium or Heavy). You can’t have more than one in a Platoon. I was impressed with myself for writing a List that used every single model included – but I can’t do anything with the Light Mortar.

This is an aggressive List. When playing this, you need to push it forward and push it forward fast. You do not have the ability to engage effectively at range and you will be outgunned outside of 12″. You will almost certainly have an Order Dice advantage with 14 (fourteen!) Order Dice at 1,000pts. Be aggressive, get those three SMG Airborne Sections up and into your opponent’s face. You’ve got three squads of seven Vets, each with five SMGs – close the distance and fire away. I maxed out the number of SMGs for each of those three squads, I wish I could give all seven men an SMG, but these are the options we have. The Vengeance National Characteristic will help you keep the troops moving, use cover and make some early game Run Orders. Also, make sure you are moving the PIAT, Flamethrower, Medic and Lt up with those three squads. Those seven units are your spearhead. You don’t have to bunch all those elements up, but press forward with all seven units, and press hard.

While those three squads are charging forward, use the MMG, Sniper, Mortar, Med. AT Gun and LMG squad to support at range. Hope for an early indirect hit with your Mortar and keep any vehicles at bay with the Med. AT. Use the PIAT Team to cover the area your AT Gun cannot. As additional support, call in that Artillery Bombardment from the Forward Observer as early as you can. The end of Turn 1 is not too early. You need to get your enemy Pinned early to allow your spearhead to move up. Remember, you don’t have an single unit that can move faster than a 12″ Run. Hope for a solid Artillery Bombardment to get some extra Pins out allowing your assault elements to close the distance.

The strength of this List is simple – it’s 100 percent Vet (except the free Observer) and has 14 Order Dice. That is a massive Order Die count for an all-Vet force. You could play around with the squad makeup and go with three squad of more men but with the SMG max at five, I wanted to give up more assault elements. Each unit may be on the smaller side, but they are still Vets with Stubborn.

Now, the weaknesses. Your AT assets, they are just ok. Static AT (the Med. AT Gun) is not a good use of points and your PIAT has a very limited range. The PIAT does pack a punch but you need to be up close and personal. Luckily, you should be running six other units forward with the PIAT. Try to be sneaky with the PIAT, sneak on up behind a building and then BLAM! Hit ’em with that spring loaded rocket! Oh, I don’t forget, your Flamethrower is a powerful AT asset as well. Only downside, you gotta be even closer than with the PIAT! Because you have so many small teams, you’ll need your Sniper to immediately go after the enemy Sniper. You do not want to lose your MMG, Flamethrower, PIAT or Lt to a single sniper shot.

But Andrew! What is going on with the points total? 988pts for a 1k List? We are 12 big points under! So what happened was, I ran out of bodies. There are no more troops we can add to the list. Also, besides adding another LMG, the options for the squads are already maxed out. If I added another LMG, we’d be 8pts over and that’s no good. We could drop three SMGs, to give us enough points to add another LMG, but that’s not a trade I want to make. If the Paratroop Section had the option for two LMGs, that would be a different situation, but as it stands currently we just have an options to fill those 12pts. That being said, I like this list, a lot.


What’s Next?

Considerations for next steps and expanding your Airborne collection – keep in mind, all these suggestions are keeping with the Airborne theme:

  • Add a Light Howitzer – Get one. You need more HE support and a Light Howitzer is both thematic and effective. Plus, the British Light Howitzer is ace.
  • Drop the MMG – If you drop the MMG, you can add 4.5 more Paratroopers. That’s a swap I would make any day.
  • Add some Fast Attack – This List lacks speed. Every single element is on foot. Yes, the Airborne were dropped in with limited vehicle support but we do have some options. The British Airborne Recce Jeep a Truck (make it a captured Opel Blitz for even more fun). The Recce Jeep is 42pts Vet. and includes a single MMG with Recce. For 10pts you can make it a twin-MMG. Prp tip – always make it a twin-MMG. To give your infantry some speed, add a basic Truck with a forward MMG. The 3-Ton Truck will do just fine. If you want to model your choice in a more thematic way, use an Opel Blitz or similar instead of a British truck, representing a ‘liberated’ lorry captured in the field.
  • Add a Tetrarch! – It’s theme! It’s adorable! It can take a Light Howitzer! For the low low price of 105pts Reg, the Tetrarch is not only the most adorable tank in the British arsenal, it can also take a Light Howitzer instead of a Light AT Gun at no cost. Sure, it’s not the most intimidating option, but what else are you going to take in your Tank slot? I mean, you could also grab a Firefly for 300+pts but I’m trying to keep the List pure Airborne.
  • Campaign: Market Garden – As I’m sure you can tell, this force is pretty limited. There simply are not many options in the Armies of Great Britain for the Airborne. What is a player to do? Simple, get yourself a copy of Campaign: Market Garden and go whole hog on numerous new units, options and Theater Selectors. Just at a high level, you’ve got the British Paratroop Reinforced Platoon, British Airlanding Platoon, Airlanding Rife Section, Scout Section, 21st Independent Company Platoon, Airborne Reconnaissance Troop (my personal favorite, you can take up to six Jeeps!), and the Glider Pilot Platoon. Honestly, you are spoiled for choice.

Andrew

2 thoughts on “British Airborne Starter Army I

  1. Just a thought. Drop an SMG and give one of the Assault squads Anti-tank grenades. They’re not ideal but it might just work! And when they do…oh boy.

    Liked by 1 person

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