The Bundesheer At War: Part II
with Ian Birdwell

Read Part 1 here...

With an understanding of where the Bundesheer would be relative to the other nations of
the Team Yankee timeline and which published list would do best to represent those forces on the tabletop, it is possible to begin to percolate on a list to be represent those forces. In terms of the most readily available Austrian formation around, that’s definitely an Austrian Panzer company equipped with M60 tanks. So, this article is going to zero in on a list design built around the Magach 6 tank formation from Oil War and how to get it representing an Austrian formation from the mid-1980s. So, let's explore the pros and cons of the Magach 6 formations, then percolate on the tactics that formation can take advantage of, before finally putting together a list of 93 points.

Pros and Cons
Initially, it is critical to examine the benefits and drawbacks of the Magach 6 Company in order to develop an executable game plan for both list building and the tactics of the list.

M60 Oil War


There are a few noticeable pros within the formation and they are as follows:

1. Brutal medium-strength anti-tank gun assets
2. All of the machine guns on the M60
3. Inclusion of an infantry platoon for formation staying power
4. Option for a recce platoon

Most of these pros are wrapped in the M60s themselves, as they’re a fantastic long and short range anti-infantry platform. The combination of a brutal main gun with loads of MG dice alongside an anti-helicopter .5 cal makes for a wonderful infantry killer. The main gun being AT 19 makes for an even better deal with a moderate amount of anti-tank capability suitable for all but the most modern tanks. The infantry platoon adds some much needed staying power for the formation, as the tank platoons at 3 a pop will likely not be long for this world on a battlefield dominated by spandrel and milan missiles. But the shining star from my perspective is the option for a recce platoon. Spearhead in Team Yankee is vitally important so having a platoon capable of it is needed in every formation, and the Israeli list has limited options for getting it in a list. Therefore my love for the humble recce jeep platoon, it’s vital for giving us options later. In terms of cons, the list is of about the same length regarding the M60 formation: 

1. Small tank platoons with moderate armor
2. ROF when moving
3. No ingrained artillery in formation
4. No AT 21 options in formation

As I mentioned before, the M60 platoons are really useful against most comers. They’ll trade blows effectively with their contemporaries fairly well, but when it comes to most anti-tank weapons they’ll have to rely on luck to stick around. The great last stand rating only helps so much if all of the tanks have been destroyed. Another drawback to the formation is the reduced ROF while moving, which is a bit of a drawback for fire and maneuver when combined with the lack of ingrained artillery in the formation. Finally, the thing that makes me a little worried about the formation itself is the absence of anti-tank values higher than 19 in the formation. Given the high front armors of modern main battle tanks which litter Team Yankee battlefields, I’ve always felt you need as many weapons with anti-tank values over 21 as possible. Thankfully though, all of these cons can be made up for with support options!

Individual Unit Roles
Having examined the M60 formation, now it is possible to move on to a discussion of the role of the forces. I usually divide these into a few broad sections, in this case three primary combat systems, fire support elements, and AT delivery systems. Primary combat systems in this army will break out into the M60s, but their primary job is to engage the items which can easily destroy them. Usually this would be infantry and their fighting vehicles, and often any AT assets which can reliably eliminate them (usually AT 19 or higher). In some cases the Infantry will be folded into the primary combat systems but the armaments of the infantry platoon pushes them into being generalists and therefore into more of a supporting role for the tanks. 

Bundesheer

Speaking of support, the next system section is made up of fire support elements that exist solely to have the back of the M60s in their efforts to make the magic happen. Thus, this section should include adequate air defenses, which is always a full missile platoon and a full gun platoon. Additionally, it should include artillery support to provide smoke screens or pin enemy infantry platoons. I’d also throw recce and the infantry platoon into this section as their primary role is to support the tanks. Finally, the most readily apparent section is the AT delivery section. The goal of this section is to launch as many missiles as possible towards enemy tanks in order to protect the M60s. This is where you load up on as many vehicles with AT 21 as possible in order to make up for the limited high AT of the M60 formation.

Building the List
With all of this in mind, we can get to piecing together a list to represent Austrians in Team Yankee, we’ll look at building a list for 93 points. Initially, I’d suggest maxing out on all of the platoons available in the M60 Company. It caps out at eleven M60s, a twelve stand platoon of infantry, and 3 recce jeeps and you’ll need them all. Then layer on some more fire support in the form of artillery and air defense, so I’d pick up some M109s, a full redeye platoon, and a full VADS platoon. I like the versatility of the direct fire capabilities of the VADS and the M109 platoons compared to their cheaper counterparts, as the M60s may have their hands full in the course of a game. To round out the list, adding in a platoon of 4 AH-1 Vipers and 4 TOW jeeps to get some needed AT 21. This gives us a good chunk of high-AT weapons to supplement our M60s with the ability to hopefully take out at least a single enemy tank platoon a turn with good rolls. That pushes us up to a solid 93 point list with 10 platoons, which makes reserves really quick with the list. Reserves largely depend on the make-up of the opposing force, but in practice it is beneficial to bring units that can take care of themselves. In that regard, below are three reserve options depending on enemy force styles:

1. For tank heavy forces
    a. 1 M60 Platoons
    b. The infantry platoon
    c. The TOW Jeeps
    d. The VADS
    e. The Vipers

2. For infantry heavy forces
    a. 1 M60 Platoon
    b. The infantry platoon
    c. The Vipers
    d. The VADS
    e. The M109s

3. For air-heavy forces
    a. 1 M60 Platoon
    b. The infantry platoon
    c. The Vipers
    d. The VADS
    e. The Redeye Platoon

Bundesheer 2

Bundesheer 3

 

The forces above represent how I would basically set up the force to deal with those three scenarios, though be sure to have a good idea of where your opponent is going to position
themselves with their reserves before committing. In my local meta air has become increasingly important due to my success with East German air, so I’m much more likely to face skews
focusing on air. But be mindful of your own local metas when determining reserves, and adjust accordingly.

In terms of what the force should be pushing for as a whole, the goal will be to maximize the amount of force on the smallest part of your opponent’s force. Each of the sections should be working to support one another and to section off enemy supporting elements whenever possible. The trick will be to identify what your opponent is going to use to eliminate your armor and then focus your army to protect your armor by either eliminating those units or to protect your own with smoke. Regarding battleplans, my goal is usually to try to maximize the amount of platoons I have on the table so I usually select the Attack battleplan in the hopes of putting my opponent into a position where they will have reserves while I will not. It is important though to try to limit the amount of times you’ll face an opponent with minefields due to the inability of the list to address them. Thus, my suggestion would be to stay flexible in your battleplans in order to prevent playing missions with minefields, doubly so when you think your opponent is running a defensively minded list on a table with clear choke points. On the whole, be mindful of your local meta, the capabilities of the opposing force, and what their general battleplan may be.  With a list in hand, tactics percolating, and a plan in sight, it's time to get moving on converting and painting Austrian forces for Team Yankee!