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Re: Five Days to the River Elbe 7DttRR Campaign

Postby WingAttackPlan-R » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:29 pm

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Re: Five Days to the River Elbe 7DttRR Campaign

Postby WingAttackPlan-R » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:30 pm

The Covid-19 `give myself something to do` project.

Seven Days To The River Rhine - Know Your British Army Of the Rhine

CHALLENGER

Queen of the Battlefield - King of the Hill

Along with the M1A1 Abrams, Britain`s Challenger tank is the apex predator of 7DttRR. It`s side armour is greater than most tank`s frontal armour, and it`s main gun can rain on the parade of any Warsaw Pact tank. Challenger is simply the first choice on the team sheet like Mo Salah for Liverpool, or David Beckham for Manchester United before he became an underwear salesman.

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Skytrex Tank Model and Figures. Battlefront Figures and GPMG
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I really wanted to use Chieftain for Seven Days, but my first four games saw Chieftain suffer over eighty percent casualties, even in the single game that I won. The problem was not entirely enemy armour, the old British warhorse could just about handle them. The real nemesis of even the Mk 9 Chieftain was the mass of HEAT weapons coming from Saxhorn teams, BMP-2, BRDM Spandrels, and Hind gunships. The battle with T-72 tanks was evenly matched, but add-in a wall of missiles and the result was always burning Chieftains.

Reluctantly, I invested in some Challengers, liked the models from Skytrex very much, and put them on the table, where they had an immediate effect. Although not a magic bullet (for I have proved it is still possible to lose a game with Challengers in one`s force), the Challenger`s ability to take multiple hits from tank rounds and HEAT missiles is a force multiplier that helps justify it`s points cost as one of the most expensive tanks in the game. It`s `special` armour rating allowing it to survive HEAT hits that would easily knock-out a Chieftain, matched with it`s excellent weapon rating, `Thermal` trait, and good `To Hit` roll, helps compensate for the fact that you will almost always be outnumbered by WarPac forces.

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Skytrex Model is Very Nice
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Challenger works best if you can play from the short table edge, thereby keeping enemy armour in your fore arc for as long as possible, and with as broad a field of fire as achievable. Best chance your opponent has is against the weaker side armour, and if he is allowed to swamp your Challenger with superior numbers, then the law of averages dictates he will get that magic hit sooner or later. I don`t remember any of my Challengers taking a catastrophic single hit through the frontal arc, usually Challengers were removed by an accumulation of morale markers, or a catastrophic hit to the side armour.

Still, it is strongly advisable to use Challenger with infantry. Even the Challenger will pay penalties for operating near enemy infantry and support teams without it`s own infantry support, both in terms of moving, firing, and sometimes even losing a tank to enemy LAW-type weapons. You particularly want friendly infantry in woods or buildings near your Challengers in case the enemy springs their `Spetsnaz` tactical card, which can be unpleasant for unwary armour to say the least. With this kind of friendly infantry support, one can sit a Challenger up against buildings or woods to deny at least one flank to enemy fire. Any blind spots can be covered by a second Challenger on the other side of the wood/building covering the other flank, always being aware not to position them within four inches of each other in case the dreaded `KABOOM` effect from losing one Challenger also affects the other.

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Challengers Doing the Do
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Keeping these points in mind, the new owner of a Challenger tank can experience many miles of carefree motoring and gaming.
Stay safe! :D
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Re: Five Days to the River Elbe 7DttRR Campaign

Postby WingAttackPlan-R » Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:09 pm

The Coronavirus `give myself something to do` project. Part Two.

Seven Days to the River Rhine - Know Your British Army Of the Rhine

INFANTRY

Essential Support for the Armour : Second Name on the Team Sheet

Seven Days really handles infantry and supports well. They are capable, adaptable, but are not given superpowers beyond reason as other games have done. 7DttRR`s use of morale markers as a way of hindering one`s ability to activate, and issue infantry with orders, means you have to look after your infantry assets, and not just dump them in cover and expect them to hold.

Good practice is to remove morale markers from infantry on objectives, first chance that you get. If you delay, then chances are that your opponent could steal initiative and finish off your infantry before you get a chance to recover morale. It`s also worth remembering that enemy units will find it more difficult reacting to your infantry, particularly if they are in cover, so if you are wanting to get things done, it may be advisable to lead with the infantry where a tougher reaction roll may encourage your opponent to keep their powder dry and await your armour moves before expending command tokens on an attempt to react.

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Infantry Make Good Tank Hunters At Short Range
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Infantry can be highly effective against armour within 12", and also can bring down attack helos (with a great deal of good fortune). I have used infantry to shoot down a Hind gunship that Tracked Rapier wasn`t even getting a sniff at, and have seen infantry rapidly cross the board, wiping-out light vehicles as they went. But they must be used as part of a combined arms battlegroup. Use them in isolation and they`re vulnerable to heavy weapons. Equally, if you attempt to use heavy weapons without infantry support then you can expect big trouble. Even tanks will suffer `To Hit`, and movement penalties, if operating near enemy infantry without friendly infantry support. This is part of the joy of 7DttRR; it replicates the need to have a balanced battlegroup rather than the tank parks or missile shooting galleries of other Cold War rule systems.

Be careful about using infantry in built-up areas also. They may like the cover buildings offer, but they can be targeted by anti-tank missiles in a `bunker buster` type mode, in the same way as the Brits used Milan anti-tank missiles against Argentinian fortifications during the Falklands War. Conversely, having friendly infantry in woods or buildings that are within 6" of friendly armour denies their use to enemy Spetsnaz when that pesky `Infiltrators` tactical card is played. It is a judgement call as to what carries the greater risk. If you have the `Infiltrators` card, then clearly the threat diminishes.

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Infantry Debus From A Warrior, Out Of Sight Of Enemy Forces
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It is inadvisable to drive your infantry right into the heart of the battle in a lightly armoured APC. Best follow British doctrine and drop them off (if you can) near the action and have them assault through cover (again, if you can), only using your Warriors or FV432 as fire support. Try driving into the middle of the battle and chances are that you will lose both APC and infantry in one fell swoop.
Transports are handy for getting infantry onto or near objectives during deployment, and once in position, the soldiers can be difficult to shift without overwhelming firepower (and lots of your opponent`s precious command tokens) being used to do so. But it is also surprising how quickly infantry can cross the table on foot, particularly if you dedicate several activations to do so. It goes without saying, infantry running around in the open in front of enemy guns does not do the infantry very much good at all. They can be robust, but if they are pinned-down by multiple enemy units, particularly in the open, they will not last long.

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Once In Position, Infantry Can Exert Considerable Influence
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They are capable, but you must bring the rest of the battlegroup`s toys for infantry to succeed.

The Cold War version of 7DttRR currently treats all infantry as being the same quality, but the recent Beta-test Yom Kippur War supplement is starting to try out different troop quality types.

Commanders: ignore the infantryman at your peril!!!! :o
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Re: Five Days to the River Elbe 7DttRR Campaign

Postby WingAttackPlan-R » Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:16 am

Covid-19 `give myself something to do` project. Part Three

Seven Days To The River Rhine - Know Your British Army Of The Rhine

MILAN Anti-Tank Guided Missile Team

Punches Above It`s Weight : 3rd Place Behind Challenger and Infantry

Milan is now a regular feature of my British list simply due to the fact that it has repeatedly proven itself to be of immense value. I was initially wary as the team can only take three morale markers, can`t move and shoot, and will struggle with `Special` armour types such as composites or reactive armour. It is also a hefty 38 points (if playing points games), and you must field two infantry units for every support unit (such as Milan).

However, one only gets a proper insight into the rules when playing the game, and when I saw how well Soviet anti-tank guided missiles were performing against my units, I revisited Milan. True it will struggle against T-80U and the like, but not other vehicles such as BMP-2 etc. When you are pitting Challengers against top-line Soviet armour, you don`t want to be wasting their precious activations on lighter vehicles. This is where Milan comes into it`s own; with a good `To Hit` number, and an excellent `Weapon Value`, Milan can deal with the other armoured threats allowing your tanks to concentrate on the enemy tanks. If the enemy brings second string tanks with more traditional armour, but more of them, then Milan can aid your Challengers in taking them out; Milan being particularly effective against tanks such as the T-72 Ural and T-55AM.

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You Can`t See Them, But They Can See You.
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With a ninety degree arc of fire, it is good to position Milan on either flank commanding likely routes of advance. Alternatively, getting Milan in behind woods or buildings to catch enemy tanks in enfilade as they pass can pay dividends also. With Challengers in front of them, and Milan firing into their side armour, the enemy tank attack is likely to fail. This is best achieved by quickly getting your firing posts into advantageous positions with APC transport.

Cover is essential for using Milan, making enemy tank reaction rolls all the more difficult. It is advisable to hit hard with Milan and move, for if the enemy gets a bead on your rather brittle Milan team, then they will not last long. My last game of the campaign (see page one) saw a Milan team take-out a T-72 and T-55 in it`s first two activations, but the hail of fire that came back soon silenced the Milan.

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Milan Augments The Tanks Rather Than Replace Them
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Over the five campaign battles covered on the first page of this thread, Milan made-up a little less than a tenth of the points cost of each list, yet ended the campaign accounting for over a quarter of East German tank losses; the missile teams punching well above their weight. The reason being largely that the East German T-72 and T-55 did not have the `Special` armour trait of the Soviet`s latest tanks. But this does not mean that Milan is a stand-alone wonder weapon. It survived to do it`s job because so much East German fire was being directed at the Challengers. Without the heavy armour spearhead, Milan and it`s brittle morale rating of three would soon be history. Again, Seven Days emphasises the need for a balanced all-arms battlegroup.

Milan was also used in the campaign as a `bunker buster` against enemy infantry in buildings, it`s high weapons value giving it a good chance to `Convert` one hit into two. However, one must resist the urge to place Milan INSIDE a building, as firing from such a position will incur an immediate morale marker. With only three lives to lose, this practice is unwise.

Hard-hitting but brittle; struggles with advanced armour but great in defence. Milan has a deserved place in my top three British assets.

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Using Milan In Enfilade Fire Against Passing Tanks Is Ideal
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Stay Happy And Stay Safe!! :D :D
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Re: Five Days to the River Elbe 7DttRR Campaign

Postby maelmordha » Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:55 am

WingAttackPlan-R wrote:`My Egyptians need a run against your Israeli interlopers, then I wouldn't mind re-running this with different maps and switching sides. We'll see.`

- My plucky Zionist homesteaders are ready when you are. Do you mean re-running the campaign as Arab-Israeli, or back in Europe with me as the brave defender of the Worker`s revolution, and you as lackey to the imperialist running dogs?
Either is fine by me. Now that I`ve won something I can stop worrying, learn to love the bomb, and die happy.
Whichever you choose is fine by me, I`ll be there...... one day, presumably. :D

I meant back in Europe with my Dutch or something else NATO against your Reds. I might even have my terrain and troops fully painted by then.... Arab/Israeli first though. I should have both campaigns done over the weekend for you to have a look at since we now know what's involved in running one for 7DttRR.
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Re: Five Days to the River Elbe 7DttRR Campaign

Postby maelmordha » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:31 pm

Force Composition from the Red Perspective
Yeah well...where to start. Early on the power units were supposed to be Hinds, BMP2s, ATGWs and T72s, infantry was no more than an afterthought. That changed quick!

Choppers: If you want to use Helicopters you must have more Command Tokens than the enemy so you can sneak them on at the end of the turn without risk of drawing AA return fire, which means you end up conserving your command tokens as much as possible during the turn or waiting until the serious AA units have been killed off. Helis are best used mid to late game when AA units and token count have been reduced. It's still risky since infantry with LoS can still take down your helicopter.

They're expensive and dont come with command tokens so they're a real luxury. It's worth using a heli early in the campaign to tempt your opponent into spending points on AA later in the campaign, especially if they only have SAMs as they aren't cheap. You're unlikely to see many helis in NATO forces since their juicy tanks are soooo expensive and it's usually a choice of either/or. They do look good though!

Armour - MBTs: The Soviets get a larger choice of tanks than any single NATO force, from super cheap to moderately expensive. They are universally cheaper than NATO tanks but the cost is in their ability to shoot straight.

    The T80U is the best tank available but at 75 points its not that much cheaper. It does hit hard with weapon 11 and has Thermal but still loses out on a 5+ to hit. Going down the T80 route usually means taking on NATO at 1:1 and the T80U hits on 5+ rather than the more usual 4+ for the better NATO tanks it will face. The T80U is 10-15 points cheaper than its NATO equivelant which may pay for another T80U or some support but that's not enough to make it worthwhile.

    > The T64B is probably the best Soviet tank choice in their arsenal. Decent armour at 17s, Wpn 10, hitting on a 5+ and Fast at 60 points a pop cant be sniffed at. It has decent protection against those pesky Milans too.

    > The T72B is a cheaper version of the T64B at 54 points. The drop in armour by 1 point is probably not worth it for 6 points against a force that's likely to field top line NATO tanks but is definitely a better choice than the T64 if facing Chieftains, Leopard 1A5s or M1A1s.

    > The T72A ranks with the T64B as being one of the best Soviet choices in the game. It has a point less armour again than the T72B but still has special armour (although how much is debatable). At 44 points it's cheap enough to make a difference, and with Armour 15s, Wpn 10, 5+ hit, and Fast it's an excellent choice. They'll die quicker than T64s but you get 2 for each super NATO Leo 2 or Challenger and enough command tokens to pepper them with extra shots.

    > The T72U is a poor man's T72 or a Warpac special. No special armour and hits on 6+ (split optics) but still has weapon 10. At 35 points it's the cheapest wpn 10 tank available. It wont hit much as it will be moving and shooting at units in cover so hitting on 8+ isnt likely but you can put lots on the table and hope some hit (they do). A decent option if you want to stack up on command tokens with Wpn 10 tanks.

    > The T55M is my favourite. At 30 points a pop Armour 15, Wpn 8 and 5+ hit is far more useful than it first appears. It will add Morale markers to anything except the best NATO tanks front on and have some chance of killing most things (and flank shots are not that hard to achieve). It kills infantry very effectively with its Wpn 8 gun and can easily take out APCs & light vehicles. You get 3 of these for every Challenger, and 2 for the same price as a T64B and they're usually well down the priority list of targets for your opponent unless he's fought them before. What's not to like.

    > The PT76 is a decent option as a Command Token generator. For 14 points each it's worth bringing a few to dilute a more expensive force. It also has Wpn 7 and is useful against infantry but is hitting on 6+ and can’t be expected to survive long against anything. Buy some, hide them, and use them for mopping up infantry at the end of the game.

Light Vehicles and APCs: Lots but only a few are worth mentioning.

    > The Shilka: Unusually more expensive than better NATO equivalents such as the Gepard. Useful for AA and autocannon against infantry. Take a couple for anti infantry if you dont have BMP2s otherwise not really a priority since NATO helicopters are rare.

    > SAM units: Units such as the Gaskin are a waste of time. They’ll never be used and are expensive.

    > The BMP2: At 19 points a pop with decent armour of 11, an autocannon and a Spandrel missile it's a very decent package. You must buy the infantry to go inside but that's not a bad thing. It doesn’t come with a command token though so it's usually either the APC or the infantry that activates or you need to steal command tokens from elsewhere. Spandrel is useful against infantry in buildings too.

    > The BRDM2: For recce only. Not a great choice but the only recce vehicle the Soviets get. For 18 points it’s a tad expensive for what it is but 1 or 2 are needed to expand on reaction options and to benefit from certain tactic cards.

    > BRDM Spandrel: Situational. If you have command tokens to spare then this is a reasonable option. A lot depends on the available targets; APCs, infantry in buildings, normal armour and especially AA units, makes this unit viable. It dies easily so it needs to shoot and scoot which can cost a lot of tokens. Best deployed where enemies need to move into LoS. This unit usually has to hide until later in the game when other threats take priority.

    > BTR 60PB: Cheap APC, probably too risky to transport infantry in except where the table is quite crowded and LoS is very limited. Not a unit of choice unless the scenario needs infantry up front quickly.
Infantry and Support: These are essential.

    > Infantry are the cornerstone of any force. At first they look expensive and not very effective. Once opposition infantry get within 12” of your tanks or grab hold of an objective they become a real pain. Enemy infantry slow your vehicle movement to ½ unless you have friendly infantry close buy and reduce your accuracy by one. They also have Wpn 8 at 12” that isn’t affected by special armour.

    > Support can be bought at 1 unit per 2 infantry. These are your ATGMs and AutoGLs. Saxhorn is 23 points with Wpn 11h and hits on a 4+ base. Good for killing most stuff apart from NATO units with special armour, although it’s often worth shooting just to get the morale marker.

In a standard 800 point game I always try to take a minimum of 4 Infantry detachments and 2 Saxhorn units.
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Re: Five Days to the River Elbe 7DttRR Campaign

Postby maelmordha » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:08 pm

Red Tactics (or Musings of a Madman)
All you need to do is swamp the capitalists and hope to come out the other end with something left over…. I wish it was that simple.

The first thing is to realise what NATO forces you will be facing and what their advantages and limits are.
Most NATO units have better ‘to hit’ numbers than the soviets, but not all. The nations without the super tanks are more unpredictable than those with.

Those with the decent tanks will use them as much as possible (why throw away such an advantage – right?) which leaves them with fewer Command Tokens than most. Fewer command tokens mean they become vulnerable to helicopters and infantry at the end of the turn so they’ll buy some AA, infantry in APCs to protect their tanks, and some recce. They may dilute their force by buying some cheaper tanks instead of the super tanks. They may also buy some ATGM infantry to stop soviet tank dashes. All of this reduces their core super tank force to 50-60% of their BP.
The juicy parts of that Force are the support units and infantry. The tanks are usually rock hard and should be neutralised by LoS and use of area terrain.

The way I would handle this is fairly straight forward. Select enough cheap tanks and light vehicles that can kill his infantry and supports. T55Ms are perfect for this and can use Platoon activation to good effect, picking an infantry or Milan team as a target. Following an Infantry push with a T55M platoon move gives NATO lots of targets to consider and the command tokens should start to stack as he tries to react.
Once critical NATO units start to stack command and morale tokens (and running out of command tokens) you can risk exposing your better punchier units to get a shot at the super tanks or even a struggling infantry unit.

Hand the initiative back if your opponent isn’t taking the chance to react but retain enough command tokens to remove those pesky morale markers. Make sure you break LoS as much as you can beforehand though. Grin and bear it as he tries to shred your T55Ms and ignores your infantry. If he goes for your infantry spend your command tokens on brigade morale rolls at every opportunity. The main thing is to push with half your force and snipe with the other. Lose initiative in the battle and NATO will pick over your carcass at leisure.

Of course, if your opponent refuses to react until he sees a juicy target all you can do is either push your infantry or trade initiative when everything is out of sight….

Red Mantra: Always aim to have command tokens left over when NATO has run out.

Going toe2toe
Hard to do with the NATO advantage in Thermal tech which means they’ll be hitting on 4+ most of the time. Using T80Us with Thermal can reduce the advantage but they only hit on 5+. A typical 800pt Soviet force can have a maximum of 10 T80Us with 40 points to spend elsewhere. NATO can have 9 Leopard 2s (r35), or 8 Challengers (r70). The T80 will hit 10% less often assuming both are stationary, and movement makes things proportionally worse for the T80.
With Weapon 11 on all tanks the T80 will kill a Challenger 20% of the time and a Leopard II 30%, while both NATO tanks will kill a T80 30% of the time on a hit (all have 10% chance of inflicting max morale).
Close but not really good enough to warrant going toe to toe using T80Us. Besides it would lead to an incredibly boring game.
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Re: Five Days to the River Elbe 7DttRR Campaign

Postby WingAttackPlan-R » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:39 am

Covid-19 `give myself something to do` project. Part Four

Seven Days To The River Rhine - Know Your British Army Of The Rhine

Honourable Mentions

CHIEFTAIN

Still capable when facing enemy armour, but vulnerable when facing the mass of anti-tank missiles a WarPac player is likely to have. The traditional armour of Chieftain may be thick, but it struggles against HEAT weapons that the Warsaw Pact has in abundance.

If playing a points game, it is good sense to get five Challengers for less cost than seven Chieftain Mk 9. Even when I`ve taken a mixed bag of Challenger and Chieftain, it`s the elder statesman that is burning by the end of turn three, leaving the Challengers to do the heavy lifting; logic dictates just taking Challengers.

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Chieftain`s Leyland L60 Engine Noise Was Unmistakable, When Working.
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Chieftain has done well against East German T-72 and T-55, it`s excellent `Weapon Value` well capable of taking-out both types, but it always comes back to the fact that as Chieftain engages the enemy tanks, a cheap missile system, or missile-toting Hind will get a flank shot that cripples or brews-up your tank.

Sorry Chieftain, you were great in your day, if a little slow and mechanically unreliable, but it`s a new war now.

SCORPION / SCIMITAR

A big strength of the UK forces in 7DttRR is their reconnaissance choices, in particular, the Scorpion and Scimitar light tanks. Using a common hull, Scorpion has a 76mm gun, whiles Scimitar has the 30mm Rarden cannon. They are a welcome boost to a UK player`s ability to react to enemy moves, and their recce trait comes in very useful when investigating hidden markers in games that have them as part of a scenario such as `Capture` with the `Hidden Deployment` rule.

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Excellent Recce Assets, Useful As Fire Support Also
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They can spot for the `Airstrike` tactical card, and are both very useful in providing fire support against enemy infantry; the Scorpion`s `Weapon Value` gives it a better chance of converting hits, whiles the Scimitar`s `Autocannon` trait gives it a better chance of hitting the target in the first place.
Care must be taken, as they are lightly armoured, but unlike some other nation`s recce assets, Scorpion/Scimitar both have a useful support role outside their recce duties.

WARRIOR

Very useful transport, and relatively inexpensive due to it`s lack of a guided missile. Sports the same 30mm Rarden cannon as fitted to the Scimitar, which comes in very handy in supporting infantry with it`s two dice that it gets as a result of it`s `Autocannon` trait. Also useful against light enemy armour such as BMPs or Shilkas. With only guns, one is able to resist the urge to go tank-hunting as one may with the BMP or Bradley. Warrior excels at dropping it`s infantry near the objective, and giving support fire as the infantry take the assault in.

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Gets The Infantry Where They Need To Be, And Then Supports
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Warrior can also drop your anti-tank teams overlooking a line of enemy advance, particularly effective if this catches them in enfilade fire; difficult to do from your own start line, but Warrior can get them there, fast, and withdraw. Usefully armoured, one of my Warriors took multiple hits from T-55 tanks and survived, but this practice is not recommended.

One of the best `battle taxis` in the game, Warrior does enough to warrant it`s inclusion in both attack and defence.

Stay safe all! ;)
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Re: Five Days to the River Elbe : Seven Days Campaign AAR

Postby maelmordha » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:41 am

Those Scorpions and Scimitars are very effective. Recce with constant 3+ reaction, 7h or 4a weapons hitting on 5+ and 4+, at 20/19pts (TBC - Too Bloody Cheap) cant be sniffed at.
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