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World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

World War III: American
US Forces in World War III

with Wayne Turner 

World War III: American is our second force book to be expanded and updated. The book covers the US forces in Germany in August 1985, more specifically the 1st Armored Division, 3rd Armored Division, 9th ‘High Tech’ Motorised Division, 82nd Airborne Division, and the 2nd Marine Division.

World War III: American substantially expands on the forces available to the US Team Yankee player, as well as adding a bunch extra options for those who haven’t been tempted by the Americans yet.

Check out World War III: American in the online store here...

What is Different?
World War III: American contains all the US force options found in the Stripes book, these include:

  • M1 Abrams Armored Combat Team
  • M60 Patton Armored Combat Team
  • M113 Mech Combat Team
  • M113 Armored Cavalry Troop
  • HMMVW Cavalry Troop
  • Infantry Combat Team
  • M60 Patton Marine Tank Company
  • Marine Rifle Company
  • Marine LAV Company

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With these we have the following additional new formations:

  • M1A1 Abrams Armored Combat Team
  • M2 Bradley Mech Combat Team
  • M3 Bradley Armored Cavalry Troop
  • Combined Arms (Heavy) Company (9th MD)
  • Combined Arms (Light) Company (9th MD)
  • Light Attack Company (9th MD)

Let us take a look at what each formation gives you.

M1A1 Abrams Armored Combat Team
The first Formation in the book is also a new Formation. With this you can now field the up gunned and up armoured M1A1 Abrams. This give you a tank with the same high armour of the IPM1 Abrams (Front 19, Side 10, Top 2) with the much more powerful M256 120mm gun (Anti-tank 23).  This Formation can also field the M1A1HC (HC = Heavy Common) which was further upgraded with additional layers of depleted uranium to its Chobham armour package (Front 21, Side 11, Top 2).

The combat team can also take M3 Bradley or M113 Scout Sections, M2 Bradley or M113 Mech Platoons, a M901 ITV Anti-tank Platoon, and a M106 Heavy Mortar Platoon as part of the Formation.

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

M1 Abrams Armored Combat Team
The M1 Abrams Combat Team includes options to field either M1 Abrams or the IPM1 Abrams. The M1 Abrams is a powerful tank with excellent armour and mobility and a powerful M68 105mm gun with a long range and a good anti-tank.

The IPM1 (improved production) Abrams has more armour. The M1 has Front 18, Side 8 and Top 2, with the addition of Chobham Armour that gives it Side 16 against HEAT weapons. The new IPM1 has additional protection with Front 19, Side 10, Top 2, and still retains the Chobham Armour. You can now upgrade your M1 Abrams to IPM1 Abrams tanks for an additional +1 point per tank.

Like the M1A1 Abrams Armored Combat team above, options for M3 and M2 Bradley Units have been added to the Formation.

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

M60 Patton Armored Combat Team
The M60 Patton Armoured Combat Team was first introduced with Stripes. This formation remains unchanged as it represents older formations yet to upgrade to the latest equipment. This is organised just like the M1 Abrams Armored Combat Team, except that the Tank Platoons are armed with the M60 Patton. The M60 Patton was in the process of being replaced by the M1 Abrams, but many still were in service and is armed with the same excellent 105mm gun as the M1 Abrams.

The US Army’s M60s have undergone an upgrade program (designated as the M60A3) and are fitted with a Laser Rangefinder (no long range penalty to hit) and Thermal Imaging for improved night fighting capabilities. The M60 is well armoured when compared to its contemporaries like the West German Leopard 1.

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

M2 Bradley Mech Combat Team
The second new formation introduces the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle to World War III: Team Yankee. The M2 Bradley offers substantial firepower to the Mech Platoon, with its TOW missile launcher and 25mm Bushmaster autocannon. The M2 Bradley sees the introduction of the TOW-2 anti-tank guided missile. The TOW-2 has improved anti-tank capabilities over the Improved TOW missile, with an Anti-tank rating of 23. For knocking out lighter targets the M2 Bradley can use its 25mm Bushmaster with its Halted and Moving ROF of 3, Anti-tank 8 and 5+ Firepower. The standard M2 Bradley has similar armour to the M113 with Front 3, Side 2, and Top 1.

However, if you want extra protection you can upgrade you Mech Platoon to be mounted in the M2A2 Bradley giving them armour Front 5 and Side 4 with the addition of the Applique armour rule (Front and Side 13 vs HEAT).

M113 Mech Combat Team 
To go with the M113 Mech Combat Team‘s M113 Scout Sections, M901 ITV Anti-tank Platoons, M106 Heavy Mortar Platoons, the Tank Platoon option also gains the M1A1 Abrams Tank Platoon to go with the M1 Abrams and M60 Patton Tank Platoons.  The M113 Scout Section options are joined by M3 Bradley Scout Sections.

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

UH-1 Huey Infantry Combat Team
To represent the core of the 82nd Airborne Division World War III: American contains an infantry combat team, which we have mounted in the UH-1 Huey helicopters from the 82nd Aviation Brigade. A UH-1 Huey Infantry Combat Team consists of UH-1 Huey Rifle Platoons, M551 Sheridan Tank Platoons, a HMMWV Scout Section and a HMMWV-TOW Anti-tank Platoon.

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

A Rifle Platoon is made up of a tough core of M249 SAW teams and a M47 Dragon missile team transported in UH-1 Huey helicopters. You can add to this with another M47 Dragon, up to 2 M60 GMPG teams, a M224 60mm mortar team and an extra UH-1 Huey if required. We have given the 82nd Airborne a better Morale (3+) as airborne troops known for their toughness.

The 82nd Airborne Division was the only division still to be using the M551 Sheridan airborne assault vehicle. These could be dropped from the back of a heavy transport aircraft near the combat zone with the Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System (LAPES).

The M551 Sheridan is armed with the short M81 152mm gun that could also fire the Shillelagh anti-tank missile giving it excellent anti-tank firepower. However, it is only lightly armoured so it is to be used with care and stealth.

The infantry also mounted their Improved TOW or TOW-2 missile systems on the HMMWV for added mobility, as the ground mounted TOW launched was somewhat large and cumbersome. This gives the formation a light and handy anti-tank platoon of HMMWV-TOW vehicles.

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

Combined Arms (Heavy) Company
World War III: American introduces three new Formations from the 9th Infantry Division (Motorised). This division was a test bed for the ‘High Tech’ Light Division (HTLD) concept to create a hard hitting, fast moving and relatively easily deployable force that fitted somewhere between a light division and a mechanised division. This would be achieved by the introduction of fast light attack vehicles and a new light tank/assault gun.

The Combined Arms (Heavy) Company is the light tank formation of the 9ID (Mot). A number of designs were put forward for this role, some like the Stingray were eventually adopted by foreign nations. We decided to go for the most interesting and innovative design of the contenders, the AAI RDF/LT (Rapid Deployment Force/Light Tank) assault gun. The Formation consists of and HQ and three Assault Gun Platoons all armed with the RDF/LT, plus a HMMWV mounted infantry platoon and a HMMWV Scout Section.

RDF/LT is packed full of novel concepts such as a 75mm cannon that delivers short bursts in order to defeat enemy armour through volume of fire, and a unique gun mount that allows the vehicle to fight from cover and concealment. These allow the AAI RDF/LT assault gun, despite its small size and light armour, to get into positions of advantage over enemy forces. This spiritual successor to the M551 Sheridan is bound to pull a few surprises out of its hat.

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

Combined Arms (Light) Company
The infantry element of the 9ID (Mot) is mounted in HMMWV to provide them with good mobility and speed while sacrificing the protection of infantry transport like the M113 and M2 Bradley. The infantry are equipped as M249 SAW teams with a ROF of 3/2 and a M72 LAW for anti-tank protection. Their firepower is enhanced with a M60 GPMG machine-gun team and three Dragon anti-tank missile teams. Fire Support Platoons and RDF/LT Assault Gun Platoons offer extra firepower.

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

Light Attack Company
Initially the ‘High Tech’ Light Division (HTLD) called for a fast attack dune buggy style vehicle, but the introduction of the HMMWV offered a ready built alternative. A Light Attack Platoon is made up of four HMMWV armed with two M2 .50 cal MGs, a Minigun, and an Mk19 grenade launcher. One of the M2 .50 cal MGs can be exchanged for a second Minigun. The Minigun offers better ROF (7/4 vs 3/2) over the .50 cal MGs better anti-tank (4 vs 2), Firepower (5+ vs 6) and longer range (20”/50cm vs 16”/40cm). The Mk 19 has good ROF and Anti-tank (Range 16”/40cm, ROF 5/4, AT 4, FP 6).

The Formation consists of an HQ, 2-3 Light Attack Platoons, 1-2 Fire Support Platoons, a RDF/LT Assault Gun Platoon, a Light Motor Infantry Platoon, and a HMMWV Scout Section.

The Fire Support Section fields two to four HMMWV vehicles armed with either Improved TOW (Range 8”/20cm – 48”/120cm, ROF 1/-, AT 21, FP 3+) or TOW-2 (Range 8”/20cm – 48”/120cm, ROF 1/-, AT 23, FP 3+).

The 9th Motor HMMWV Scout Section is armed with 2x HMMWV-M2, 1x HMMWV-MK19, and 1x HMMWV-TOW or –TOW-2.

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

M3 Bradley Armored Cavalry Troop
The third new Formation is the M3 Bradley Armored Cavalry Troop. This formation is armed with the new M3 Bradley cavalry fighting vehicle (CFV), taking over the role from the M113. The TOW armed capabilities of the M3 Bradley simplifies the Formation, eliminating the need for M901 ITVs in the Scout Sections with each Scout Section consisting of two M3 Bradley CFVs. The M3 Bradley has the same armour and weapons as the M3 Bradley, but configured for its reconnaissance role. The M3 Bradley also has the same armour upgrade option to field the M3A2 Bradley with improved armour and Applique Armour.

You tank platoons can be armed with M1A1, M1A1HC, M1, or IPM1 Abrams tanks. The M3 Bradley Armoured Cavalry Troop also has the additional option to mount your HQ in tanks, taking M1A1, M1A1HC, M1, or IPM1 Abrams tanks.

Other units in your formation include a M106 Cavalry Mortar Platoon, M109 Field Artillery Battery, AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter Platoon or AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter Platoon, and a UH-1 Huey Rifle Platoon.

M113 Armored Cavalry Troop
World War III: American also includes the M113 Armored Cavalry Troop. This formation is made up of tank platoons, with M1 Abrams or M60 Patton tanks and M113 Scout Sections. It also includes its own mortars, artillery, attack helicopters and airmobile infantry.

The M113 Scout Section are made up a M113 Scout armed with a .50cal AA MG and a M901 ITV armed with Improved TOW or TOW-2 anti-tank missiles (Anti-tank 21 or 23). The rest of the formations units are a M106 Cavalry Mortar Platoon armed with M106 107mm mortar carriers, a M109 Field Artillery Battery, an AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter Platoon or the new AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter Platoon, and a UH-1 Huey Rifle Platoon.

HMMWV Cavalry Troop
These are not the only cavalry troops available as a formation, World War III: American has the HMMWV Cavalry Troop as well. For light divisions like the 82nd Airborne Division, their reconnaissance squadron contained a Cavalry Troop mounted in light vehicles.

The new High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) was just the thing for this role. A HMMWV Cavalry Troop consists of 3-6 HMMWV Scout Sections, each of a HMMWV-M2 with a .50cal AA MG, a HMMWV-MK19 with a 40mm grenade launcher, and 1 or 2 HMMWV-TOW with an Improved TOW or TOW-2 anti-tank missile launcher. This makes for a cheap and plentiful scouting force. The TOW missiles give them good firepower, but the HMMWVs only have limited protection from incoming fire.

US Army Support 
The US Army’s support section has also gained a few more options. World War III: American support can be selected from a variety of anti-aircraft, aircraft and artillery.

The M48 Chaparral SAM Platoon is armed with MIM-72 AA missiles mounted on and unarmoured tracked chassis. This guided AA missile has excellent range and firepower.

You can also field the controversial M247 Sergeant York AA tank. Fifty Sergeant York AA tanks were in service by August 1985 and in the face of a Soviet invasion of Europe would have found themselves in the thick of it. In World War III: Team Yankee the M247 Sergeant York makes for a good alternative to the M163 VADS. It has armoured to protect it from light weapons. Its Twin 40mm AA guns have a good range against ground and air targets as well as a high rate of fire.

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

A third anti-aircraft weapon system option is the Stinger surface to air missile. The HMMWV SAM Platoon provides the Stinger and its HMMWV transport combined. The Stinger guided missile has range 48”/120cm, ROF 2, and FP 4+.

The M163 VADS AA Platoon mounts the excellent M168 20mm Vulcan Gatling gun on a M113 to providing an effective weapon against both ground and air targets.

Artillery support is provided by the new M270 MLRS Rocket Launcher Battery. The MLRS fires a Salvo bombardment with the added benefit of each weapon counting as two. The MLRS has a Range 120”/300cm, fires a SALVO template (10”/25cm square), and has AT 3 and FP 5+. It can also fire Minelets to place a Mine Field on the table during the game.

The M109 Field Artillery Battery is a tried and tested weapon system armed with a M185 155mm howitzer.  The M185 155mm howitzer fires a wide variety of ammunition, including conventional high explosive, DPICM (Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions) bomblets, scatterable Minelets, and Copperhead laser-guided projectiles out to a range of 18 km (11 miles).

A-10 Warthog Fighter Flight gives you excellent tank-busting performance with its GAU-8/1 30mm Gatling gun and Maverick missiles.

The AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter Platoon was originally armed with Improved TOW anti-tank missile, but now has an option to field TOW-2 missiles with Anti-tank 23.

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

The new AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter Platoon add another helicopter option for the Americans. The AH-64 Apache was designed as a replacement for the AH-1 Cobra. Development of the prototype continued over the next decade, and the type finally entered service with the U.S. Army in 1986.

Designed to perform at the front line of battle against Soviet forces, the Apache was equipped with night fighting and all-weather capabilities. Its armament consists of a 30mm M230 Chain Gun (Range 6”/15cm, ROF 6/3, AT 8, FP 5+, Anti-helicopter, HEAT) with 1200 rounds of ammunition and, depending on configuration, can carry up to 16 Hellfire missiles (Range 16”/40cm – 64”/160cm, ROF 1/-, AT 25, FP 3+, Guided, HEAT) and 76 Hydra 70 rockets (Range 16”/40cm, SALVO, AT 4, FP 6, One Shot) in up to four pods.

The Marines!
World War III: American also included the Marines. It included the background for the 2nd Marine Division landing on the coast of Denmark and counterattacking down the Jutland peninsula.

You can field three different Marine formations, a M60 Patton Tank Company, a Rifle Company, and a LAV Company. As well as their unique organisations, we have also given the Marines a better Courage (3+) and Rally (3+) to represent their willingness to keep going forward.

M60 Patton Tank Company
The M60 Patton Tank Company consists of 2-3 M60 Patton Tank Platoons. The US Marine Corps M60s are the older M60A1 model. They have good optics, giving them the Accurate rule instead of the Laser Rangefinder rule. Accurate means they don’t suffer the usually +1 penalty To Hit at Range over 16”/40cm if they did not move. They have the same armour and guns as the Army M60s. They also have Infra-Red (IR) instead of Thermal Imaging, meaning they are a not quite as effective at night.

The formation can also take a Rifle Platoon, a LAV Platoon, a HMMWV Scout Section, or a HMMWV-TOW anti-tank Squad. The HMMWV Scout Section consists of three HMMWV, one each with a .50 cal AA MG, 40mm grenade launcher, and a TOW launcher. The HMMWV-TOW Anti-tank Squad has a pair of HMMWV-TOW vehicles armed with Improved TOW anti-tank guided missile launchers.

The formation can also take a Rifle Platoon, a LAV Platoon, a HMMWV Scout Section, or a HMMWV-TOW anti-tank Squad.The HMMWV Scout Section consists of three HMMWV, one each with a .50 cal AA MG, 40mm grenade launcher, and a TOW launcher. The HMMWV-TOW Anti-tank Squad has a pair of HMMWV-TOW vehicles armed with Improved TOW anti-tank guided missile launchers.

Marine Rifle Company
The Marine Rifle Company is based around 2 or 3 Rifle Platoons they can be either mounted in AAVP7 amphibious landing APCs or UH-1 Huey helicopters. A Marine Rifle Platoon is a large unit with 9 M249 SAW teams. Additional optional teams including M47 Dragon missile teams, a M224 60mm mortar team, and SMAW teams. The Dragons provide medium range anti-tank, while the SMAW (Shoulder-launched Multi-purpose Assault Weapon) provided short range anti-personnel, anti-tank and demolition. If you are preparing to face hordes of enemy infantry then up to two M249 SAW teams can be exchanged for M60 GPMG teams.

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

As you can see the Marine Rifle Platoon has plenty of firepower making them a formidable offensive force when combined with their AAVP7 APCs for additional firepower and protection. Alternatively you can mount them in UH-1 Huey helicopters to drop them in where ever you need them. The new Huey plastic model allows you to build either the single or twin engine variant of the helicopter so the model can be made to represent the Marine or Army model.

A Rifle Company machine-gun platoon contains 3-6 HMMWV-M2 vehicles mounting .50 cal AA MGs, which can be exchanged for any number of HMMWV-MK19 40mm grenade launcher armed vehicles.

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

LAV Company
The third Marine formation is the LAV (Light Armored Vehicle) Company. In 1985 the role of the LAV was in its infancy in the Marine Corps. Each division was assigned a LAV Battalion that took on the reconnaissance role. The LAV Company consists of 2-3 LAV Platoons with 2 or 4 LAV-25 vehicles, a LAV-AT Anti-tank Section with 2 or 4 LAV-AT, and a LAV-M Mortar Section of 2 LAV-M.

The LAV-25 is the standard vehicle of the formation, it is eight-wheeled with light armour, and armed with the excellent M242 25mm gun. The platoon can use the Scout and Spearhead rules, letting it move about stealthily and push out its forces deployment.

For anti-tank firepower the LAV-AT mounts the same TOW hammerhead launcher as the M901 ITV, making it ideal of knocking out enemy tank from concealed positions.

Finally, the LAV-M provided immediate indirect fire support with its 81mm mortar. It can also fire a Smoke Bombardment once per turn.

Marine forces have a variety of support like their own M109 Artillery Battery, and AV-8 Harrier Attack Flight. The British designed Harrier serves as air support operating from aircraft carriers, light assault ships, and forward air bases. They can also take the LAV-AD which mounts a dual purpose turret mounting a GAU-12 25mm Gatling AA gun and Stinger AA missile launchers.

As the Marines share the same Force Diagram as the US Army all the support units from there are available to a Marine Force, either representing cooperation between to the two branches of the US Military, or in the case of things like HMMWV Stinger Sam Platoons and AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter Platoon, representing the US Marines’ version of these units.

World War III: American contains three scenarios to try out with your US Forces. Each pits them against a force from Red Thunder. Try them, modify them, play all in a series and go for the 'best of three', they are there for you to enjoy

New Plastic Models
To get you started you can grab the great new American Starter Force. It comes with:

  • 5x Abrams tanks
  • 4x Bradley Scouts
  • 3x M109 155mm Self-propelled guns
  • 2x AH-64 Apache Helicopters
  • 4x HMMWV Scouts
  • 2x Flight Stands
  • 8x Rare Earth Magnets
  • 1x Complete A5 Rulebook
  • 1x American “Start Here” booklet
  • 4x Decal Sheets
  • 14x Unit Cards

World War III: American: US Forces in World War III

Though not a new model, you will now be able to use the M1 Abrams kit to make the M1A1 Abrams or the M1A1HC Abrams (to identify the HC the new boxes will come with the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) to attach to the right rear of the tank.

The M2/M3 Bradley is a great new kit that allows you to build the original model as well as the upgraded M2A2/M3A2 Bradley.

The new AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter allows you to model it as either the standard Apache or the Apache Longbow version.

New US plastic kits also include the M109 self-propelled howitzer and the M270 MLRS rocket launcher, both already featured in World War III: British.

The A-10 Warthog will also be in plastic, replacing the resin and metal model. As will be the AV-8 Harrier for the Marine Corps.

Keep an eye out for the Spotlights in the coming weeks for these new plastics, as well some other new resin and metal models.


Last Updated On Thursday, July 9, 2020 by Luke at Battlefront