US Paras

Playing the Airborne Assault pack and missions
With Jacob Hopkins

WWIII: Red Dawn brings us so many new and exciting new unit options for the Soviets and the greater Warsaw pact. But one element of the book that has not yet been really touched upon has been the inclusion of the Air Assault mission, and its subsequent air landing options. So, grab your parachute trooper and let’s take a dive into what this part of the book has to offer.

The history of air assaults has been plagued with complications since their conception in the Second World War. With lost supplies, displaced forces, and dangerous weather conditions claiming the lives of paratroops who were brave and bold enough to jump into enemy lands; the logistics of these missions can be tricky. This new mechanic in Team Yankee allows a player to experience the pros and cons of dropping men, vehicles, and supplies directly into enemy-occupied lands and the airborne assault mission itself is the focus of this chapter.

Airborne Assault Mission

 At first glance of the deployment map, it seems like a fairly standard take-and-hold mission. But don’t let its seeming simplicity fool you. Right off the bat, the defender is required to place 2 objectives on the field that must be 24”/60cm Apart and a minimum of 12”/30cm from a table edge. Following that the defender is required to deploy their force within 12”/30cm of either objective, before knowing where exactly the enemy is going to be deployed. This will force you to focus on all-around defence which could leave some of your units in poor positioning for turn one. On top of this is the deep scattered delayed reserves, you will struggle to get the heavy armour you have where and when you need. To overcome this, plan accordingly and build a list more suited for this engagement. Extra infantry platoons that can be dug in on defensive points would be my priority over more tanks or extra artillery.

 The attacker has their own set of challenges to overcome of course. First, the only elements you will start on table with are those capable of either parachute landing (more on this later) or helicopter insertion. Secondly, when parachuting in, you are completely at the mercy of random chance that could cause your entire army to end up scattered completely across the board (as you can see in our most recent game below ). The parachute deployment rules have you first roll for each units drop zone, followed by direction and drift of the unit itself. The units drift can lead to a rough landing that can injure or destroy elements of your force, or even delay their arrival by forcing them into reserves. Personally, I find this to be hilarious fun, but it does make for difficult strategic planning. Especially when you are required to hold onto any point you take until at least the sixth turn.                   

 Lastly, and this one is a bit of a con for both sides… All units on the table start pinned down or bailed out. This one line can be the difference between victory and defeat, as it could either force the attacker to bog down right off the start, or leave the defender severely hampered in their ability to direct fire at the enemy in their midst. Armies with good morale will shine in this situation, but careful positioning of your formation commanders can make a huge difference in even the most unmotivated of troops.

 The second portion of the chapter has to do with what units for each faction are capable of conducting airborne operations. I will leave it up to you to more thoroughly explore this section but let’s take a little look at some of my favourite parts. 

US Army Airborne operations


Seeing as my most regular opponent plays America, I was drawn here first to see what I might be fighting against. Immediately I noted that the US can parachute in HMMWV units and their M551 Sheridans alongside its troops, this to me is a Must try as I Do so love my HMMWV forces! And of course, the Americans bring along the excellent CH-47 Chinook helicopter as an alternate transport option for their Airborne, sharing it with the British as well.

Chinook

 Soviet Airborne Operations


Like their US counterparts, the Soviets have some excellent options for their airborne assault forces. The Afgantsy Air Assault battalion provides an excellent hard-hitting force specifically made for these forms of missions; allowing you to parachute in your infantry that would normally have to wait their turn to be transported forward by the Hinds. Alternatively, bring along some MI-8 HIPs to transport your Air Assault companies for a negligible points cost, freeing your Hinds to roam the skies like birds of prey.

VDV

 Of course, given all this, what might be a good list for the attacker to use in this mission? Well for Soviets, I of course keep coming back to both the Air Assault company and the BMD companies available in Red Dawn. Both of these formations are capable of airborne operations, so why not bring both?

Air Assault List

I'll attach 2 Mi-8 HIPs to each of the Air Assault Companies, bringing the total to 115 points.

 The small BMD platoons parachute in as your first wave, their smaller unit size helping to mitigate the impact of terrain on your landing capabilities. While they consolidate and put fire on enemy SPAA, in swoop your Hinds and Fitters, delivering ATGMs and cluster munitions to the most dangerous OpFor elements. Once the foes defence is crippled and you have them on the back foot, your MI-8 Hips thunder in to deliver large, well-motivated and trained companies to dig in and secure the point against possible enemy counterattack.

 Remember, you too can do more before 0900 then most folks do all day with this exciting new mission!

more before 9am

~ Jacob Hopkins
Lack of Foresight Gaming

 
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