US Army Starter Army I

Box Contents

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

  • x6 US Army Infantry sprues (36 Infantry) – Plastic
  • US Army MMG Team – Metal
  • US Army Medium Mortar Team – Metal
  • US Army Medium Howitzer – Metal
  • M3A1 half-track – Plastic
  • M4 Sherman Medium Tank – Plastic

The Mighty Though Fighters List

Standard Reinforced Platoon
Officer
2nd Lt (SMG) – Veteran – 65
x1 Buddy (SMG) – 13
78pts
Infantry
Veteran Infantry Squad – 9 men – 117
x2 BAR – 10
Tough Fighters – 9
136pts
Veteran Infantry Squad – 9 men – 117
x2 BAR – 10
Tough Fighters – 9
136pts
Veteran Infantry Squad – 10 men – 130
NCO SMG – 3
x3 SMG – 9
Tough Fighters – 10
152pts
Medium Machine Gun Team – Regular – 5050pts
Medium Mortar Team – Regular – 50
Spotter – 10
60pts
Artillery
Medium Howitzer – Regular – 70
Spotter – 10
80pts
Tanks
M4A1 Sherman 75mm – Regular – 195
Cancel ‘Easily Catches Fire’ – 10
205pts
Transports
M3 half-track – Regular – 9999pts
Total9 Order Dice996pts

Breakdown

  • Rifle – 20
  • SMG – 6
  • BAR – 4
  • MMG – 1 (2)
  • HMG – (1)
  • Medium Mortar – 1
  • Medium Howitzer – 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 works at a competitive level. Please in mind, this List was written using only the content of the Starter Army.

This army list looks to harness the power of Late War US – big squads of Veteran Tough Fighter Infantry. We want to make use of the incredible Fire & Maneuver Army Special Rule using the options provided in the Starter Army. We are using almost all the infantry (32 of the 36), both vehicles, and all three of the weapons teams. Although this particular list has fewer Infantry squads than I would typically prefer, these three squads pack some serious punch. The list also is bringing only 9 Order Dice at 1,000pts but one of those Order Dice is a big ol’ Sherman tank. All of this is to say, we are looking at an elite US list. Elite lists are often seen with Germans but outside of Airborne (British and US), you don’t see elite Vet US Army all that often. Thus, we are entering into somewhat uncharted waters – so hang with me. Let’s dive in!

The core of this list is the two nine-man Vet Tough Fighter double BAR squads. These two units are what you need to move up the table with. Supported by the Sherman, you will be able to handle most threats. Keep in mind, these two units do not suffer the -1 To Hit for firing on the move. That gives you 11 highly accurate small arms shots per squad each turn. If they are not blasting away at the enemy, they are out of position. Keep the Sherman close to engage targets these squads cannot harm. And don’t worry about getting stuck into close combat – these are nine Vet Tough Fighters. You’ll be alright. In addition, you have a Medium Howitzer and a Medium Mortar to provide some excellent indirect HE support. Use both of those to target the enemy static units and drop those 2″ and 3″ templates right on them! Oh, you have a MMG Team to provide additional support as well. Do not rely on those five MMG shots to eliminate targets, but it can put out some reliable Pins (and that’s important).

Now, as your two BAR squads and the Sherman advance under the supporting fire of the Mortar, Howitzer and MMG – your Lt and the 10-man ‘assault’ squad should be waiting in Reserve or Outflank aboard the M3 half-track. The Starter Army comes with a half-track, so we might as well use it! The pintle HMG on the half-track offers some prime support fire as it advances with your heavy hitting quad-SMG Tough Fighter squad waiting to hop and demolish their target. With the Lt aboard, you can all but guarantee the half-track will arrive when and where you need it from Reserve. Plus, the Modern Communication Army Special Rule means there is no -1 Morale when testing to arrive from Reserve. It will all come down to timing. You need to wait for your opponent to move into position close enough to a table edge to make sure the target is within the 9″ half-track Advance plus the 6″ Infantry Squad Advance. You want to ensure this 15″ move will leave the target within 12″ for those SMG shots at the most. If you can get within 6″ for Point Blank and close range for the SMGs you can deal some serious damage. Then, anything left standing can get mopped up via assault on the following turn.

These tactics are tried and true. What could go wrong? Well, your AT is not great. All we have is the Med. AT Gun on the Sherman and the Med. Howitzer (and that’s AT as a secondary). The indirect HE support you have is excellent, but another AT asset (like a Bazooka Team) would be nice to have. Not a need to have, but a nice to have. Beyond the lack of stronger AT support (and I’ve certainly seen worse) the other big item to keep in mind is, you need to play tight. This is an elite list with minimal Infantry and Order Dice. You cannot give anything away. Don’t stick your neck out, keep your units supported and make moves with combined arms.


What’s Next?

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

  • Drop the MMG – If you drop the MMG, you can add 4.5 more Vet Infantry. That’s a swap I would make any day. Plus, sadly, MMG Teams are a prime target for enemy snipers. One shot and poof that MMG Team is removed. I truly wish MMGs were more effective. But with this current list and the low Order Dice count, it’s a liability.
  • More bodies – One of the reasons I crafted this list as Vet is because of the relatively low body count. If you add just a dozen more men you could make the switch to Regs and that will open this list up tremendously. I think that people sleep on how effective US Regs with rifles and BARs really are. Fire & Maneuver is an astoundingly good Army Special Rule and if you are advancing up the table with four units of 8+ Regs, that is a lot of accurate small arms pinning away.
  • Swap the half-track for a truck – It’s been said time and time again. Whenever a half-track is included in a Starter Army I am compelled to point out that swapping it for a truck is the way to go. Trucks are faster, cheaper, more maneuverable and almost always pack the same amount of punch (pintle MMG). Drop that M3, get yourself a Two-ton Truck. Yes, half-tracks are cool but you know what else is cool? Zipping 24″ up a road on an Advance.
  • Bring more AT – Build a Bazooka Team, you already have the required bits (they are included on the Infantry sprue). If you swap the half-track for a truck (or drop it enterally) that’s almost all the points you need for that Bazooka Team right there! Having both the Medium AT Gun on the Sherman and the Medium Howitzer is some decent AT, but one more AT asset will go a long way.

Andrew

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