Stripes: US Forces in World War III
The United States has the most powerful armed forces in the world. Three army corps stand ready to defend Western Europe from the red horde poised across the Iron Curtain. Armoured troops’ powerful M60 Patton tanks or state of the art M1 or IPM1 Abrams tanks, mechanized infantry mounted in reliable M113 personnel carriers, and light infantry of the 82nd Airborne all stand ready to stop the red tide. Cavalry and scouts deploy forward in tanks, APCs and HMMWV vehicles to thwart the enemy’s progress, while anti-aircraft troops with gun and missile vehicles watch the skies. The US Marine Corps’ amphibious troops are ready to be deployed where needed with their own tanks, Light Armored Vehicles, and hard fighting infantry, backed by their own support. Those commies won’t know what hit them!
INSIDE YOU WILL FIND:
• Background on the US 7th Corps,1st Armored Division, Combat Team Alpha, 82nd Airborne Division, and the 2nd Marine Division.
• Instructions on how to build a M1 Abrams Combat Team, M60 Patton Combat Team, Mech Combat Team, Armored Cavalry Troop, Cavalry Troop, Infantry Combat Team, Marine Tank Company, Marine Infantry Company, and LAV Company.
• Three scenarios that drop you into the actions of an Armored Combat Team.
• A detailed painting guide to help you prepare your US Forces for combat.
Stripes contains all the US force options found in the original Team Yankee rulebook, the M1 Abrams Armored Combat Team and M113 Mech Combat Team, with additional units, as well as new formations.
M1 Armoured Combat Team
The M1 Abrams Combat Team now 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.
Stripes adds 0-2 M113 Scout Sections to the mix, giving you further TOW missiles and the very handy Spearhead rule, allowing you to expand you forces deployment in the right circumstances.
M113 Mech Combat Team
The M113 Mech Combat Team has also gained M113 Scout Sections and can also, of course, have IPM1 Abrams in its M1 Abrams Tank Platoon. As we have also introduced the M60 Patton tank in Stripes, they can also take a M60 Patton Tank Platoon instead of a M1 Abrams Tank Platoon. See more on the M60 Patton below.
The changes and extra options above are just the tip of the iceberg. The first new formation you will notice is the M60 Patton Armored Combat Team. 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 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.
Armored Cavalry Troop
We have also added the 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 anti-tank missiles (Anti-tank 21). 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, and a UH-1 Huey Rifle Platoon.
HMMWV Cavalry Troop
These are not the only cavalry troops available as a formation, Stripes also introduces the HMMWV Cavalry Troop. 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 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.
UH-1 Huey Infantry Combat Team
To represent the core of the 82nd Airborne Division Stripes 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.
A Rifle Platoon made up of a tough core of M249 SAW teams and a M47 Dragon missile team transporte 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 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.
US Army Support
The US Army’s support section has also gained a few more anti-aircraft options. With only the M163 VADS AA Platoon being available in the original Team Yankee rulebook, Stripes has added three more AA options. The first is the M48 Chaparral SAM Platoon which is armed with MIM-72 AA missiles mounted on and unarmoured tracked chassis. This guided AA missile has excellent range and firepower.
We have also added the controversial M247 Sergeant York AA tank. Fifty Sergeant Yorks were in service by August 1985 and would face the Soviet air force in Team Yankee.
In 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.
Our third new weapon system 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 support contains all the great thing you would expect from a US force including M109 Field Artillery, A-10 Warthog aircraft, and AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopters.
Yes, the US Marines. We have added another branch of the US Armed Forces to Stripes in the form of the Marines. We introduce 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Stripes 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
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