D-Day Unit Reviews

| June 21, 2006 | 0 Comments
ALLIES

CANADA

Canadian Infantrymen
A SMLE that’s 1940 instead of 1941. Makes the already obsolete SMLE even more so.Eagle-Eyed NCO
A very nice fighting commander, with the stats of a regular rifle combined with a very nice, command ability and Initiative +2. Works well with many units; ATGs, AA, MGs, and even regular infantry. The +2 range has a huge impact, and shouldn’t be underestimated. The NCO is perhaps best used with Brens/BARs.

Sherman DD
A unit that will most likely be relegated to historical play, it’s not (currently) particularily worth paying the extra 3 points to cross streams, that may or may not be there, and may or may not be in the way.

FRANCE

Free French Infantrymen
Exactly the same as the Canadian Infantry, which is nearly the same as the SMLE, which are all worse than the MAS Rifle. Other than historical games not much point to this guy.Somua S-35
Another rare French tank. For 14 points this one is interesting at least; it has the same defence as the Renault but double the speed. 10/8/7 AT dice isn’t bad either. It’s comparible in some ways to a T-70, and the lack of a weak rear makes it a little better, though the higher cost keeps it in check. It will be decent in French armies because of its speed and in other games it’s still a good light tank, despite its Undermanned drawback.

SOVIET UNION

Hero of the Soviet Union
For 8 points it’s an Elite Soviet unit, which is nice. It’s very dependant on luck; for cover rolls and then for its Endurance roll. It could make the unit uber powerful, or it could have no effect at all. Still its ability to teleport, and immunity to disruption make it very nice. To get the most out of ‘Brazy Boris’ put him in a Pillbox asap – 3+ cover, ignores disruption, and 5+ endurance makes him very tough to take out.SU-76M
A good AT piece, that packs a punch for a low cost. It’s vulnerable from the rear, so care has to be taken with its maneuvering. Best used as a supporting unit, or as part of a T-70 pack for hunting enemy AFVs.

UNITED KINGDOM

Bren Machine Gunner
While at first glance +1 point for only +1 AI dice at medium range may not seem like much of a deal, against soldiers it’s a significant increase; from 34% chance of a hit vs Defence 4 soldiers, to 50% or 11% to 23% vs defence 5 ones.Churchill AVRE
A bit of a specialized unit, the Churchill AVRE is definately an infantry tank, and works well supporting them. It lacks superior armour 2 unlike it’s flametank cousin, but makes up for it in (extremely) close range firepower. Low speed and complete ineffectiveness at range make it less desirable, although some may take it simply for the cheap 7/6 defence. If your games see an abundance of obstacles, then definately use this unit.  It works moderately well as an infantry support tank.

Concealed Forward Observer
Not bad, but not great. Unless you get a very good setup position you’re going to have to move, losing the Camoflauge SA that you paid for (also note that disembarking from a transport counts as moving). So if you can somehow deploy within four of where you think the enemy might go from the start without moving then by all means do so. It’s perhaps best if you find a decent spot so it isn’t taken out early on, then move on afterwards. For the defender in an assault game the Concealed FO can be a little more useful. It would be nice if the British had some indirect fire units to take advantage of the FO.

Defiant Paratroopers
As is, the Defiant Paratroopers are a little disappointing. They’re one point less than the Screaming Eagle Paratroopers and have the same stats, but lose out on Hard Charger. This is fairly significant since its hard charger that makes the SE PTs so tough. Now perhaps the Def PTs will get a PT Commander as well that will make them on par with the SEs. If playing Historical Scenarios (or at least ones limited by years) the 1941 date makes them very useful. In casual play I vastly prefer them to the Screaming Eagles as they tend to be a little more balanced and fun to play with/against.

Hawker Typhoon
A very nice plane, similiar to the Mustang but a bit more expensive. It has -1/-1 AI dice, bringing it to about an aircraft average, but gains a decent AT attack. Also, like the Mustang, the Rockets are very useful. Having antiair and decent attack values means its good, if not great, against all units, making it worth the 21 point price tag.

Inspiring Hero
Currently the only Hero/Commander, the Inspiring Hero is fairly nice. +1 Initiative isn’t too special, but a Teleporting Tally-Ho is very nice; he almost seems to be a Defiant Paratrooper Commander. For 1 less point than the Inspiring Lieutenant the only bad thing I can say about him is he has less initiative, but then gains so much more. Taking both the Hero and Lieutenant is too expensive, so I’d generally take the Hero if given the choice – losing a point of initiative does hurt, but the stats of the Hero more than make up for it.

Mk VII Tetrarch
For 12 points you get a Tank you can place anywhere outside of your opponents deployment, following the British rapid assault theme. However 2/2 defence is a serious drawback, and that combined with its Crusader II-like firepower are pretty bad for such a late war unit. It’s useable in a Paratrooper/Vanguard type army, but not great.

Sherman VC Firefly
Fairly expensive for an upgunned Sherman, but at Speed 4 and 15/13/11 AT dice it’s alright. The speed and 5/4 defence make it a little better than a Panzer IV G. Useful if you want a AT unit than can survive a bit of a firefight.Supermarine Spitfire Mk I
A very nice plane; For British theme armies this is a great addition, and along with Paratroopers greatly increases the mobility of the army. Its primary purpose should be in taking out enemy craft, closing in to range 2 where it gets it close range dice against the enemies medium range dice. Otherwise it’s best used to harass and assassinate key units. Agility is an immensely powerful ability, and will have your opponent carefully considering when and where to place his aircraft.

UNITED STATES

“Amtrack”
Similar to a Ka-Mi with transport, the Amtrack will probably see more use in scenarios than standard play. It’s slow and poorly armoured. Water is a joke on the current maps, and the streams (if there even are any) may not even play a roll in the game. It at least has 8/8/6 AI dice, but at the cost of AT. There’s really no point of taking this over a M3 Halftrack except for historical games, or once they make some decent water maps.“Buffalo Soldiers”
These guys give you a fair alternative to M1 Garands. They may not get those precious Stars and Stripes dice, but ignoring the -1 to hit is very nice, and doesn’t have to rely on tying up a commander with them. They make good advanced units to be dropped off by Jeeps or other transports since they continue to fight just as well when disrupted.

Higgins Boat
Maybe when there are maps with a decent amount of water it will be useful. Until then this is simply a Display Piece. Otherwise it’s a slow transport (even more so than the Amtrack), but carries an extra soldier, either of which can be artillery.  Even on the Beachead and River maps released you don’t need a Higgins, so thus far it’s relegated to an scenery piece.

Lockheed P-38G Lightning
A bit more expensive than other fighters, for +3 point it gains stafe – a limited form of All Guns Blazing. While ‘limited’ it can still be quite useful, shooting up commanders and adjacent infantry, or tightly packed defenders. The low, if standard, 6 medium range AI dice tempts the player to go to close range to attack, which runs the risk of extra AI dice to shoot the plane down with; I’d only recommend doing so if the target(s) are already disrupted.

M1 81mm Mortar
For only one more point than the similar Russian or German mortars, the US mortar cuts out the need for the middle man; the spotter, which in effect reduces its cost a fair amount. A pair of these makes for some nice AI support for your troops. This mortar is best used with US Aircraft, like the Mustang.

M16 Halftrack
A little better than I had expected, and somewhat expensive; the M16 is simply a M5 Halftrack with the Quad 50’s attack. While it’s fairly frail, it does make a very nice mobile MG. In standard games it isn’t too useful, but in large/casual games the speed becomes very important.

M3 Halftrack
Finally a properly costed halftrack. While it loses fighting platform, the addition of Gun Transport is nice; now you can move your Mortars and ATGs around quickly and keep it a US-only army. It is also nice they figured the improved AT stats over the Sd Kfz 250 were worth an extra point.

M7 105mm Priest (Rare)
An alright, if pricey, supporting piece that sacrifices defence for indirect fire. It needs protection against death cycles and fast moving scout cars than can zip around and nail its Open Back. It does work well in armies already using spotters for aircraft or other indirect units.Resourceful Hero (Uncommon)
Very powerful for only 8 points, and works well with paratroopers or transported units. One tactic is to wait until you have a soldier close assaulting a decent tank, then teleport the Hero in to finish it off and grab its gun. However, Improvisation can be fairly difficult to pull off, since your opponent will do everything in his power to stop it, and target a lot of firepower on the Hero.

AXIS

GERMANY

88mm Flak 36
Despite its fearsome size, the 88mm Flak 36 only has a few more dice than a PAK 40. It has a few more dice, and a little more range – but still only against vehicles. Even though it’s anti-infantry dice are low, the AA ability is still nice as it prevents enemy aircraft from using their close range dice without at least taking some fire.  With the changes in the transport rules, the 88 works nicely with the new Sd Kfz 250 – position it quickly into a pillbox with a good field of fire and take out those enemy AFVs. A Vigilant Commander nearby doesn’t hurt either. The 88 also has the distinction of being the first rare soldier.Disciplined Spotter
He has all the same basics as every other Soldier-Spotter, but with some added firepower which makes him almost worth the +1 point, but not really. Still it’s nice that he can do something by himself if it comes down to that.

Focke-Wulf FW190A
A decent plane, and replaces the Messerschmitt after 1940. The +1 AI at close range makes it much more effective against infantry, though one should always be careful of charging in point blank.

Fortress Defender
Definately a second rate troop (at best), the Fortress Defender is a decent unit for a Defender army in an assault game. Otherwise he’s pretty useless. Even the Luftwaffe Infantrymen sneer at them, though only slightly.

Grizzled Veteran
Not quite as flashy as the GI JOE, the Grizzled Veteran is still good. Works well with the BMW since the Germans still don’t have Paratroopers (yet). Pretty much a slightly tougher SS-PG, but with a ‘critical hit’ ability – good but not overwhelming. Though a lucky roll can be devastating.

Jagdpanzer 38(T) Hetzer
At 20 points these units are very affordable and are perhaps meant to be another Sherman counter. While the Elite Panzer IV D from Set III might be a better overall choice, since it’s good against all unit types, adding a speedy and dedicated AT Hetzer could be quite useful.

Jagdtiger
For those who like the sheer number of dice it’s quite impressive, but otherwise it’s not actually all that good. It’s slow, has a restricted arc, and is prone to breakdown making it easily swarmed. All your opponent needs to do is get a decent shot or two on your rear and its game over for the Jagdtiger. Also for 5 more points you’ll find the Veteran Tiger averages up to 2 more success per attack.

Marder II
Given the choice I’ll pay the three points and get the Hetzer for +1/+1 defence, +1 cover, +0/+1/+0 AI, and no open back. Actually, given the choice I’ll use pretty much anything over the Marder II. Compared to the Hetzer it’s far worse, with only the 1942 year compared to the Hetzers 1944 giving it a chance of seeing play. In addition to only have an extremely weak rear defence of 2 (that’s 1 when disrupted), open back means you have to be extremely careful with the placement of this unit, as pretty much anything can easily destroy it.  Like the Nashorn, in the current game this unit is simply to easily taken out before it even fires a shot.

Messerschmitt Me 110
Pretty unimpressive, the Me 110 costs three more points than the Focke-Wulf with only a very minor increase in dice (+0/+1 AI, and +1/+1 AT). 5/4 AT is hardly enough to do more than harass light vehicles, so seems to be a bit of a waste of points. It does have a little potential against units with a weaker rear defence of 3 (or a disrupted 4). If you add in a spotter to direct its attacks it becomes a little more useful, with 6/5 dice edging up enough to threaten some medium tanks. If you don’t have the points to specialize for a Stuka/Me109 then the Me110 might work.

Sandbagged Machine-Gun Team
I favour mobility over defence so initially I didn’t care for it. However, it is useful in certain circumstances. In defender armies it has obvious uses; the defence 5/5 will tie up infantry while 10/8/7 will threaten enemy infantry. In standard scenarios they can often be placed in hexes which give them cover and provide LOS to and around the objective. Of course in some maps, like High Ground, Knife Fight, and Urban Combat, this can be difficult depending on what side you deploy on. I don’t like the SB’d MG Team, but it does have its uses. As we’ve found out with SS-Panzergrenadiers since Set I, 5/5 defence is extremely difficult for regular infantry with 6 medium dice to harm.

Sd Kfz 250
Like the M3 Halftrack, this unit is a nice improvement over the original and FINALLY gives the Germans a cheap transport. Well cheaper at any rate. It lacks the firepower and fighting platform of the Sd Kfz 251 (which often actually comes into play in larger games), but the addition of gun transport is tremendously useful. This is a very welcome unit to the Axis side.

sGrW 34 81mm Mortar
A German clone of the previous Russian Mortar, it’s alright for a nation that already has quite a few AI options.

Veteran Tiger
Yes it’s good, but is it great? It’s only two more points than the original Tiger I, and has the same attack stats. It seems it loses out on 2 range, which only comes into play on larger games. It also loses Overrun, which is often a very useful ability. But of course, it gains tremendous firepower from Crack shot making it effectively the most powerful AT unit in the game, and very capable of destroying a Sherman with one shot. Clearly an overpowered piece to be used in tournements, but you may want to refrain from using it in friendly/casual ones.

Wehrmacht Veteran Infantrymen
Much like the Aussie Infantry from Set III, the WVI also gains Suppressive fire. While it may not be quite as good as an SS-Panzergrenadier, it’s still quite good, and gives those who want to field a Wehrmacht army (or at least non-SS) a good option. With the changes in Firing Platform it can be fun to drive one of these in close to enemy infantry; even if the halftrack becomes disrupted the WVI can still fire normally.

ITALY
L3/35
Leave it to the Italians to make the Panzer II C look good. The L3/35 trades 1 medium range AI dice and gets -2/-1/-0 AT dice, all for +1 speed. For Italian only armies it’s about as fun as fielding an army of all Fuciles. Even the Chinese laugh at it.

JAPAN
Honour-Bound Hero
A very nice and fun unit, sneaking through cover to get in close to kill his targets. Superior Camoflauge makes him useful, and while aircraft can zoom in to negate it they are still firing at a 5/5 defence soldier that’s immune to disruption. This one is perhaps the least broken of the heroes though, as with them all, is still powerful.

NON-ALIGNED

Obstacles

Barbed Wire
Barbed Wire can be useful; at only half a point you can section off areas against infantry. It can be used to slow down those pesky BMW’s by blocking off the road, or to section off areas; to be really annoying place them on opposite sides of streams, etc.Minefield
WotC kept it fairly simple with the mines. Odds are you won’t want to risk going through them, even if you have Veteran Crew (or SS Determination) their are still some significant penalties, like -1/-1 defence. It’s nice that they aren’t too overpowered, and fairly cheap because of that. The model could have been better.

Pillbox
Ugly as sin, but fairly decent. Again, they’re good in a defencive army, but even offencive armies may be able to position them decently. Units like the Sandbagged MG or 88mm fit nicely (ok the 88 kind of sprawls over it..), as does Crazy Boris.

Tank Obstacle
The Tank Obstacle could see some use in all-infantry armies, blocking off key roads on both sides of the map. They can be good to use up those last few points in your army, just be mindful of where you position them.

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