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Stripes Formations 101

Stripes Formations 101
with Matt Maggitti

Today we look at the formations in the newest addition to Team YankeeThe new Stripes book for Team Yankee Americans has a whopping 9 Formations to choose from, giving American players unprecedented versatility.  This article will compare and contrast the various formations so aspiring American commanders will have a grasp of their options.

The 1st Armored Division “Old Ironsides” has 6 Formations, 2 of which are familiar.The M1 Abrams Armored Combat Team is the Army’s main battle tank and the focus of your armored thrust. While the Abrams’ 105mm gun isn’t quite as powerful as the 120mm on the Leopard 2, the new Improved Performance (IPM1) option lets you upgrade the front armor to 19 and side armor to 10, making the IPM1 Abrams the world’s best-protected tank in Team Yankee. An Abrams formation can field between 5 and 17 tanks and the 3 various MGs make it a versatile threat. Optional units flesh out the Formation’s combat utility and include Heavy Mortars, ITVs, a M113 Mech Platoon, and 2 of the new M113 Scout Section. More on the Scout Section later.

The M60 Patton Tank Platoon is a new Formation for the Army, featuring the upgraded M60A3 Patton. The M60 offers an alternative to the hardy M1, providing the same M68 105mm gun but with slightly less frontal armor and speed at half the cost.  This ‘glass hammer’ option lets you flood the field of battle with 4 point AT20 shots.

The Patton comes off slightly worse when compared to the T-72’s Anti-tank and front armor, but the Patton costs slightly less, outranges the T-72, and can fire twice. The comparative advantages clearly outweigh the drawbacks making the M60 Pattons an attractive choice for American generals. Formation options mirror the Abrams’ choices.

Stripes Formations 101
 Stripes Formations 101

The UH-1 Huey Infantry Combat Team creates a new Airmobile Formation for the Americans.  The Huey transports can transport Infantry teams with a variety of optional weapon upgrades to anywhere on the battlefield.  Passengers dismount the turn after the Hueys land so proper planning and support is required for this powerful and flexible tactic.  Platoons can add an extra chopper at no cost, and the Huey M60 door guns can fire on the turn that they land.  This Formation depends on speed, flexibility, and the judicious use of firepower, not the armored toughness of the Abrams.  Options include HMMWV Scout and Anti-tank TOW platoons. The Humvees are ‘0’ armor tank teams with some nice firepower so plan accordingly.

The Huey is the only Formation that includes the air-transportable M551 Sheridan.  The fragile Vietnam-era Sheridan has a powerful short-range main gun and an even more powerful long range missile for just 2 points a tank.

Players will see a single  Armored Cavalry Troop Formation that will be familiar to anyone who’s played Tour Of Duty.  This combined arms troop offers flexibility and scale and is a self-contained army in its own right.  At its core, players field 1-3 platoons of M1 Abrams or M60 Pattons and 2-6 of the new M113 Scout Section.The M113 Scout Section is featured in many Formations and consists of a single M901 ITV anti-tank missile launcher and one .50cal AA machine-gun armed M113 for 2 points. These fill the role of chess pawns, bringing the Scout and Spearhead abilities to the American force.  Ultimately expendable, the Scouts have enough flexible firepower that they can’t be ignored.  The Armored Cavalry Troop includes a wide variety of options including the M106 mortars, M109 SP Artillery, Cobra attack helicopters, and Huey airmobile rifle platoons. This breadth of options makes the Armored Cavalry Troop its own self-contained army which means your options are paying their points into your Formation Good Spirits as opposed to Support choices.

 Stripes Formations 101

The HMMWV Cavalry Troop Formation shoves 10-26 HMMWVs out on the field to dash about while sowing confusion and firepower. You can take a single Formation of 3-6 HMMWV Scout Sections consisting of the M2 .50cal AA MG, MK19 40mm grenade launcher, and TOW anti-tank missile launcher variants. As Zero Armor tank units they are vulnerable to everything, but the variety of weapons makes them able to dish out damage in any situation. They also bring the Scout and Spearhead abilities for the American general to play with. At most this would be a 19 point Formation; a useful auxiliary but it will never be the army’s core.

Moving on, the 2nd Marine Division, “The Silent Second” brings 3 Formations to the table with its own support choices so American commanders can field a pure Marine force if they want.

The Marines’ M60 Patton Tank Platoon consists of the older M60A1 Patton instead of the Army’s M60A3.  The M60A1 has Accurate instead of Laser Rangefinder and Infra-Red instead of Thermal Imaging.  They are still 4 points each but Marines’ M60s are allowed to field 5 tanks in a unit instead of the Army’s 4, allowing units to remain in Good Spirits longer.  Options include HMMWV Scout and TOW sections, along with the Marine Rifle Platoon and Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) Platoon giving a formidable mobile force.

The 2nd Marine Division Rifle Company is borne by a choice of AAVP7 amphibious transports or Huey helicopters.  Weapon upgrades include M60 GPMGs, M47 Dragon missiles, M224 60mm mortars, and MK153 SMAW teams and contribute to a hard hitting durable infantry squad that will be hard to push off an objective.  Formation options include Pattons, LAVs, and HMMWV Tow and Machine-gun platoons.  The Marine HMMWV Machine-gun platoons can field 6 M2 .50cal AA MGs or MK19 40mm grenade launchers in a single squad.  That’s a lot of firepower.

Stripes Formations 101

The LAV Company Formation fields 6-14 Light Armored Vehicles at 1 point each.  The LAV is a lightly armored vehicle platform with an AT8 turret with the Anti-helicopter special rule.  The LAV-AT Anti-tank section features the same Improved TOW Hammerhead launcher as the M901 ITV.  The LAV-M Mortar Section fires a 56” range 81mm mortar that can fire a smoke bombardment.  Altogether, the LAV Company is a simple, direct, and inexpensive formation with medium guns, anti-tank missiles, and mortar carriers with an AA machine-gun on every vehicle.  One maxed out LAV Formation clocks in at a mere 22 points.

Stripes Formations 101

The American commander has a wide variety of choices, varying from the mighty M1 Abrams to versatile HMMWVs.  If a flexible army is paired with flexible tactics, the Americans can hold the line against the red onslaught and eventually liberate Eastern Europe from the yoke of the Soviet oppresors!

Last Updated On Thursday, December 7, 2017 by Charlie at Battlefront