Mid War Paras: Perhaps Pals?

Mid War Paras: Perhaps Pals?

Mid War Paras: Perhaps New Pals? 
With Calum Hughes

Thanks to the recently-released All American booklet I introduced US Paratroopers to my Mid- War Sherman formation after having played a lot of straight armoured lists. Lemme tell you- paras pack a proper punch and I’ve never looked back.

As a relatively inexperienced player and a man whose mental juggling and tactical planning leaves... well… some to be desired, I have usually played a force that is primarily or solely tanks. This allows me to focus on fewer bonuses and abilities and utilise my force as effectively as possible without overwhelming my little pea-brain with too many distracting details.

However, as I have become more confident in and knowledgeable of the game I have found gaps in my force, particularly as the games I play increase in points. 

A few areas in which I find a tank-forward force lacks the tools for the job are:

  • Holding objectives, particularly buildings
  • Moving through tight terrain like towns or forests towns
  • Crossing difficult terrain

Introducing paratroopers to support the tank and artillery teams I already had allowed me to fight a more three-dimensional battle and take on my opponents in new places. Places that they would have otherwise had me dominated or at least posed a more difficult obstacle to overcome. Covering my Paras with smoke barrages and tank fire they were able to dash from the edge of the map and quickly conceal themselves in terrain and buildings, taking and holding objective cards and key positions on the map. Using the tanks once more I could pressure the opponent and hold off assaults until I gave my Paras enough room to advance. After a few of these advancements, I found myself knocking on the defending teams’ door.

Mid War Paras: Perhaps Pals?

At this stage, if I were still using primarily tanks, my ability to Assault would be severely reduced. Tanks are not very effective when Assaulting infantry in buildings. Firstly they have to roll a skill check to cross terrain while Assaulting even if they don't move and if that fails they are a well stuck sitting duck and unable to take any productive part in the assault. They also use their weaker side armour rating while assaulting and so are more vulnerable to defensive fire. They are even more vulnerable to counter attacks as improvised weapons or grenades can make short work of tanks (often) pitiful top armour and they are also unable to conduct return defensive fire.

After all of that if the Assault does not go well and their unit is Pinned and forced to Break Off the tank teams must re-roll a terrain cross to retreat. If this roll fails the tank immediately surrenders and is destroyed. 

HOWEVER with the nimble and Assault ready paratroopers you can lay down an artillery assault from the mortar teams (hopefully Pinning the target to reduce the effect of their defensive fire), fire bazookas and LMGS into the building in question and then run in guns-a-blazing with your rifle teams.

The other great bonus for new players like myself is that Mid-War paratroopers also pose a much lower painting challenge to overcome. A lot of players start on tanks because there are fewer tanks to paint in an armoured formation than there are infantrymen in a foot slogger company. Picking up a single Para platoon to support an armoured Formation is a great way to stretch your boundaries and give infantry painting a go.

I found this small addition to my force made a huge difference on my gameplay style, the way I thought about each battle, my understanding of the units and their place in war and, while not always giving me the win, certainly gave me a more enjoyable and effective game.