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Upgrading D-Day American Forces with Bulge options

Upgrading D-Day American Forces with Bulge options
with John Lee
With the release of the Bulge American, I thought I would look at how to upgrade existing D-Day forces and what new support options are available that you could add for your force. For those of you who have existing armies, there are several options available to you. 

 You could still run your D-Day American force using the D-Day American Force Diagram and take Bulge American Formations and Black Box units.  We will look at some options for that first.  Secondly, we will look at using the Bulge American Diagram and how you could take existing formations and how they upgrade to the Bulge version (if applicable) and the new support options available in the new force diagram.

Upgrading D-Day American Forces with Bulge options

There is some cool new kit in the release that we could add to the D-Day American forces that we would still run, and I will focus on those Black Box unit options from Bulge.  That’s right we are talking the M4 Sherman (Late), M4 Easy Eight, M24 Chaffee, M26 Pershing, M18 Hellcat and M36 Jackson.  At a minimum cost, you can these platoons to your existing formations and force, you already run from D-Day American force diagram.  You can also get access to Para, Glider, Armoured Rifle and Rifle platoons where they have some different stats.  An example would be where you would normally take a Veteran Armoured Rifle Platoon as a black box support unit in addition to your core formation, for 19 pts, you can now take the Battle-Weary version for 13pts.  That is massive saving of 6pts!  Now, the core difference here is that their Motivation rating goes from Confident to Reluctant (with a rally of 4+).  For me, you still have the same ability to unpin but don’t expect them to complete a Follow Me order or stick around on Last Stand checks – but if you are in that position anyway, something has gone terribly wrong!

Let’s see what D-Day formations could translate into their Bulge equivalents and what the differences are or what we might need to swap out.  Looking at the table below, we can see briefly that we can upgrade almost all formations to a degree except the two Assault companies.  You could still run those a formation in Bulge American diagram with access to the new support options and command cards along black box units from both diagrams.

D-Day Formation

Bulge Formation

Parachute Rifle Company

Bastogne Parachute Rifle Company

Glider Rifle Company

Bastogne Glider Rifle Company

Assault Company

N/A

Veteran Assault Company

N/A

Rifle Company

Battle Weary Rifle Company

Veteran Rifle Company

Battle Weary Rifle Company

Ranger Company

Command Card Upgrade – 2nd Ranger Battalion

Armoured Rifle Company

Battle Weary Armoured Rifle Company

Veteran Armoured Rifle Company

Battle Weary Armoured Rifle Company

M4 Sherman Tank Company

M4 Sherman (Late) Company with Command Card – M4 Sherman Tanks

Veteran M4 Sherman Tank Company

Veteran M4 Sherman (Late) Company with Command Card – M4 Sherman Tanks

M5 Stuart Tank Company

Command Card Upgrade – 761st Tank Battalion Mosquito Fleet

Veteran M5 Stuart Tank Company

Command Card Upgrade – 761st Tank Battalion Mosquito Fleet

M10 Tank Destroyer Company

M36 Tank Destroyer Company

Starting off with the Parachute Rifle Company first, the formation diagram is similar, except you now have the option to take Glider 105mm Artillery Battery instead of the Parachute 75mm Artillery Battery.  Stats wise, the units now get a Last Stand rating of 2+ except the Airborne Jeep Recon Patrol.  The Parachute Rifle platoon increases by 1pt for this ability as does the Parachute 57mm Anti-tank platoon if you take four guns.  This unit now also can take three guns as well two or four guns.

Upgrading D-Day American Forces with Bulge options

The Glider Rifle Company’s formation diagram has one change as well. The Glider 75mm Artillery Battery is replaced by the Bastogne Parachute 75mm Artillery Battery.  The biggest change for this formation is that they are now Confident Careful Veteran instead of Confident Aggressive Trained, lose the 3+ Rally but gain 3+ Last Stand.  This is reflected in the points of the units increasing significantly.
Upgrading D-Day American Forces with Bulge options

Formation diagram for the Rifle Company is the same except they access a Veteran M4 Sherman (Late) Assault Gun Platoon instead of M4 Sherman (105mm) Assault Gun Platoon. They move from being Confident Aggressive Trained to Reluctant Careful Trained.  The Rally now goes from 3+ to 4+ and they gain Tactics 3+.  There is a nominal increase in points for larger or maxed out units.

Upgrading D-Day American Forces with Bulge options

Same thing for the Veteran Rifle Company formation wise as above.  Stats wise, they go from being Confident Careful Trained to Reluctant Careful Trained.  Gain Rally 4+ and keep the 3+ Tactics.  Due to becoming Reluctant, you are now saving points.

Next up is the Ranger Company.  They get an upgrade now with a command card option titled “2nd Ranger Battalion”.  This command card allows you to upgrade the Ranger Formation from Fearless Aggressive Veteran to Fearless Careful Veteran.  They keep their 2+ Rally and 2+ Assault and the formation itself does not change.  You are now paying more points for this upgrade of course but in opinion, this is one awesome assault unit now!

Upgrading D-Day American Forces with Bulge options

The Armoured Rifle Company has the same formation layout.  Again, they are going from Confident Aggressive Trained to Reluctant Careful Trained.  Their Rally goes from 3+ to 4+ and they gain 3+ Tactics.  There is a small drop in points across some of the units.

The Veteran Armoured Rifle Company’s Formation remains the same.  Stats wise, they also go from Confident Careful Trained to Reluctant Careful Trained.  Gain Rally 4+ and keep the 3+ Tactics.  Due to becoming Reluctant, you are now saving a lot of points in the Armoured Rifle Platoons and saving small number of points across the other units.

The M4 Sherman Tank Company is replaced by the M4 Sherman (Late) Tank Company with the only unit remaining the same is Armoured 81mm Mortar Platoon and M5 Stuart Tank Platoon.  All M4 Sherman Tank Platoons are now M4 Sherman (Late) and you have the option of also introducing the M24 Chaffee Tank Platoon and M4 Sherman (Calliope) Tank Platoon.  There is also a command card titled “M4 Sherman Tanks” that allows you to use your existing M4 Sherman (75mm) tanks instead of the late version for -1pt per tank.  This means you could run this new formation still using your existing M4 Sherman (75mm), M5 Stuarts and Armoured 81mm Mortars and adding in new 76mm Late Shermans, Jumbos and Easy Eights.  Stats are pretty much the same unless you have some of the upgraded 75mm Shermans as they get a better remount of 3+.

The Veteran M4 Sherman Tank Company is also somewhat different to the Veteran M4 Sherman (Late) Tank Company.  Again, the only units that are the same are Armoured 81mm Mortar Platoon and M5 Stuart Tank Platoon.  All M4 Sherman Tank Platoons are now M4 Sherman (Late) and you have the option of also introducing the M6 Pershing, T26 Super Pershing, M24 Chaffee, and M4 Sherman (Calliope) Tank Platoons.  The command card titled “M4 Sherman Tanks” also applies here for -1pt per tank.  This means you could run this new formation still using your existing M4 Sherman (75mm), M5 Stuarts and Armoured 81mm Mortars and adding in new 76mm Late Shermans, Jumbos and Easy Eights. Stats wise they remain the same.

Upgrading D-Day American Forces with Bulge options

The Veteran M5 Stuart Tank Company and M5 Stuart Tank Company are replaced by the M24 Chaffee Tank Company, but you can use a command card titled “761st Tank Battalion Mosquito Fleet” that allows you to replace the M24 Chaffee Tank Platoons with M5 Stuarts and all units gain Veteran skill.  This is an option to consider depending on your playstyle.

So, lots of options for your formations – some have the same or similar layout, and you can choose which version to depending on points or your preference.  There is certainly more variety added with this release with your existing force.  Like me, I will be adding some of the new goodies to complement my collection.

Upgrading D-Day American Forces with Bulge options

Lastly, there are several new support options available to the new Force Diagram:

  • M5 Stuart Cavalry Recon Patrol
  • 3-Inch Towed Tank Destroyer Platoon (Upgrade Command Card)
  • T27 Xylophone Rocket Launcher Battery
  • 105mm Field Artillery Battery (Upgrade Command Card x3)

The M5 Stuart Cavalry Recon Patrol is a new recon option available to take either instead of or as well as the M8 Greyhound Cavalry Recon Patrol.  It’s made up of one M5 Stuart (37) tank, one Jeep (MG) and one Jeep (60mm mortar) and costs 4pts.  The advantage of the M5 Stuart over the M8 Greyhound is that it has more armour, is faster and its main gun is not overworked anymore but gains stabiliser.  The disadvantage is that you can only have one in the patrol instead of the option to take two in the Greyhound patrol.

The new kid on the block is the T27 Xylophone Rocket Launcher Battery.  These are truck mounted rocket launchers and this is your counterbattery rocket launcher battery.  Able to lay down a devastating salvo barrage and then move to take up alternative positions with their mobility.  Stats are 48” range and AT2 FP5+.  You will want to keep these out of sight and use observers for them.  Two for 3pts and four for 7pts.

Upgrading D-Day American Forces with Bulge options

The 3-Inch Towed Tank Destroyer Platoon is the same as the D-Day version except that you can upgrade its fire power via a command card called “Tank Destroyer Hyper-Velocity AP”.  You can increase your anti-tank rating from 12 to 13 for +1pt per two teams (or part thereof).  So, for this platoon, with the card added, you get AT13 anti-tank guns for either 7pts for two or 14pts for four.

You can now also take captured German guns to replace your 105mm Field Artillery Batteries, providing some more flavour and for the 8.8cm versions, the ability to pull double duty of providing a template and anti-tank options.  First up is the 10.5cm Provisional Field Artillery card.  This card allows you to replace a 105mm Field Artillery Battery with captured German 10.5cm howitzers keeping the “Time on Target” rule and all other stats.  They are Confident Aggressive Veteran and as large guns assault on 5+.  Two guns are 5pts or four guns are 10pts. 

Second is the 8.8 Provisional Field Artillery card which represents the captured 8.8cm AA guns to replace 105mm howitzers.  They have a range of 88” with AT2 FP4+ and useful direct fire stats of 40” range AT12 FP3+.  It has gun shield and slow firing rules.  No tactical move but terrain dash of 2” cross country and road dash of 4” with a cross check of 6.  You won’t be moving them very far without transports!  Two for 5pts or four for 10pts.

Third card is again for replacing 105mm howitzers and represent captured Pak 43 AT guns.  Same stats as the 8.8cm AA guns except they are AT13 instead of AT12 – everything else is the same.

So, there you have it.  For those with existing armies, you have options to either supplement your existing forces or upgrade them to the new formation structures and stats.  Happy list building!
~John


Last Updated On Thursday, December 2, 2021 by Luke at Battlefront