BATUS Chieftain

With John Lee

With the release of Red Dawn, I wanted to look at what forces would be available in Canada that you could put on the table to create a themed force that would possibly counter the Soviet Airbourne forces.  Specifically, taking a Canadian force with NATO allies.

In Canada, because of its ample space, several NATO nations kept training establishments in Canada. The British held regular exercises and training at a BATUS (British Army Train Unit Suffield) in Alberta, while the West Germans had a similar facility in Shilo, Manitoba (German Army Training Establishment). The British kept two squadrons of tanks and equipment and vehicles for mechanised infantry, while the West Germans had 45 Leopard 1s, as well as Marders and artillery. In times of war, especially on their home ground of North America, the Canadian and United States forces would also work in close cooperation.

Canadian M113A1

Based on the current Free Nations book, Canadians can take two formations plus support.  To represent the forces based in Canada at the time, we can only look at the M113 Mechanised Infantry Company.  This means no Leopard 1s would be available as they are all based in West Germany.  In the future NATO book (upcoming Free Nations replacement), there are more options to choose from for home defence, but I will only focus on what is currently released.  

Before looking at the allied formation we could take, let's look at the core options for the Canadians.  Currently, you can choose to take your Canadians with either US or West German support options as per the force diagram, but that is based on the Canadians deployed to Europe, so we will ignore the allied support options and only focus on the following Brigade support options that we may want to include:

● M109 Field Battery
● M113 OP
● Blowpipe M113 Air Defence Section
● ADATS Air Defence Platoon 

Seeing as we are going to field the M113 Mechanised Company with its intrinsic mortars and in the interest of needing to shave points to get the allied tank formation in the list, we are going to drop the M109 Field Battery.  I am not 100% sure about the ADATs being deployed in Canada but will include them for the AT24 goodness we will need.

Canadian M113

Looking at the M113 Mechanised Company formation now (minus the Leopard C1 Armoured Troop), it is comprised of the following units:

● 1 M113 Mechanised Company HQ
● 2-3 M113 Mechanised Platoon
● 0-1 M125 Mortar Platoon
● 0-3 M150 TOW Anti-Tank Section
● 0-3 Lynx Recce Patrol

So, we need to ensure that we have enough units in the formation for the formation break and need to take the mortars for a template and smoke as we are not taking the Brigade M109s.  For 28pts we can squeeze in seven units and take some of the Brigade support units to round it out before looking at the allied formation options.

We have maxed out the ADATS with some Blowpipe support and an OP for the mortars.  If you want more TOWs then drop a couple of ADATs, Blowpipe section or the Mortar Platoon and OP.  This is our core force and leaves us with 52pts (assuming a standard 100pt game).

Chieftain BATUS

 Looking at BATUS (British) options first, we would look at fielding a Chieftain Armoured Squadron which is comprised of:

● 1 Chieftain Armoured Squadron HQ
● 2-4 Chieftain Troop
● 0-1 Swingfire Guided Weapons Troop
● 0-1 Abbot Field Battery
● 0-1 Scorpion Recce Troop
● 0-1 Warrior Mechanised Platoon or FV432 Mechanised Platoon

Looking at what would be deployed there, I would rule out the Warriors.  This is one option we could take.

Taking the mandatory Tank Troops, we can take the Swingfire Guided Weapons Troop and Scorpion Troop, or we could substitute those for an FV432 Mechanised Platoon.  We would struggle to get a third Chieftain Armoured Troop unless we dropped those units and the Blowpipes and a couple of ADATs or TOW units.

Leopard 1 GATES

Looking at the West Germans next, we would field a Leopard 1 Panzer Kompanie which is comprised of:

● 1 Leopard 1 Panzer Kompanie HQ
● 1-2 Leopard 1 Panzer Zug
● 1 Leopard 1 Panzer Zug or Marder Panzergrenadier Zug or M113 Panzergrenadier Zug
● 0-1 Jaguar 1 Jagdpanzer Zug or Jaguar 2 Jagdpanzer Zug
● 0-1 Gepard Flakpanzer Batterie
● 0-1 Fliegerfaust Gruppe
● 0-2 Luchs Spah Troop
● 0-1 M109G Panzerartillerie Batterie

We should rule out the M113 Panzergrenadier and Jaguars.  Not sure about the Gepards or Luchs.  Maxing out the Leopards and already having infantry, this is what we could field:

We could always replace the Gepards with the M109G Panzerartillerie Batterie for a second artillery template, but we can still field fourteen Leopard 1s!

For now, those are the options to put a themed Canadian with either allied BATUS or GATES forces on the table to push back the VDV invasion force! Enjoy.

~John Lee