25 April 2018

Free Nations in WWIII

The next volume in Battlefront's expanding library for Team Yankee hits shelves in a month. Free Nations will cover the Canadian, French, Dutch and Australian forces stationed in Western Europe in the fictional 1985 we play in.

We're going to take a look at each of the nations in depth over the next week or so in their own articles, but read on and we'll give you a brief synopsis of what you can expect to be fielding if you take one of these minor combatants in WWIII...

4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group

As you'd expect, the Canadians are armed with a variety of arsenal from the NATO partners. Your formation choices if you choose the Canadians are going to come from either:

- The Royal Canadian Dragoons armed with the German Leopard 1 MBT. These guys are reasonably skillful and resilient, but fielding the more lightly armoured Leo 1 means you're going to have to be pretty selective with your tactics.

- The 1 Battalion, Royal 22 Regiment. The Canadian Mech Infantry riding in the American M113 APC. These guys are your jacks-of-all-trades giving you access to infantry and the Carl Gustav AT teams.

In support roles, you'll get access to the Lynx recce vehicles along with the ADATS and Blowpipe air defence capabilities.

You can, should you desire, take an allied formation from any other NATO force and you'll also have access to US and West German support choices as well.

Armee de Terre

You get a few more formation selections if you take the French as well access to their unique kit. Here, you're going to get to choose from:

- 12EME Regiment de Cuirassiers fielding the AMX-30. While being the most lightly armoured of the NATO Tanks, the AMX-30 houses the CN 105 F1 gun which has more than enough bang to get through the Pact armour.

- 19EME Groupement de Chasseurs. The French Mech infantry are now using the MAX-10P transport to get them around the battlefield and they also have access to the excellent APILAS anti-tank teams and Milan missiles. 

- 3EME Regiment de Hussars taking the, somewhat strange, AMX-10 RC. This vehicle, while based on the AMX-10 hull, has a 6x6 wheeled config and is armed with a 105mm gun in the turret.

- 110E Regiment D'Infanterie which are being ferried in the VAB transport rather than the AMX-10. 

In support roles, you have access to more French toys including the HOT-armed Mephisto, the AMX AuF 155mm artillery, Gazelle helicopters and Mirages. You can also, once again, add another NATO formation as an Allied formation.

Netherlands 1. Korps

The Dutch are also armed with a variety of NATO equipment as well as some unique equipment of their own. If you decide to take a Dutch formation, you're going to be choosing from:

- 43 Tank Bataljon equipped with the West German Leopard 2 tank. The Dutch were the first export customer of the new Leopard 2 and started using them in 1981.

- 42 Tank Bataljon which are armed with upgraded Leopard 1 tanks.

- 42 Pantserinfanterie Bataljon. The Dutch Mech infantry are equipped with the YPR-765 transport as well as some firepower with both Dragon missiles and Carl Gustav anti-tank teams. They can also take, as part of the formation, the YPR-765 PRAT Antitank APC which houses an Improved TOW missile in a Hammerhead turret.

- 103 Verkennings Bataljon armed with the M113 C&V. Similar in development to the Canadian Lynx, being based on the M113 hull, it sports a 25mm cannon to allow a mass of suppressing fire and protection from helicopters. These act in a recce role in a Dutch force.

As before, you can also take another NATO formation as an Allied formation and you have access to West German support choices as well.

ANZAC Brigade

While based around the Australian Armed forces, I'm sure you can field these as a New Zealand force as well. They're your toys....

You have a couple of formation selections here. As they're listed in the book, they are:

- 1st Armoured Regiment armed with the Leopard 1 tank which replaced the British Centurion in 1976. They also have an M113 Cavalry troop inherent to the formation if you want to take it with both the M113 LRV and MRV available.

- 5th/7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. Australia's M113 ferried Mechanised battalion. 

Support options include the Land Rover 88 equipped with a 106mm recoilless rifle in an anti-tank role, the M113 Redeye AA missile carrier and the Kiwi connection in the Scorpion armoured troop.

You have access to British support options here as well as your NATO Allied formation choice as well.

All in all, I think Free Nations is going to provide a lot more choice to people who are thinking about getting into Team Yankee but not necessarily wanting to play any of the major NATO forces. We'll look into a little more detail on the intricacies around each of these minor nations and their own special rules, and hopefully provide some more steer for people considering them.

As you've come to expect from Battlefront, the book is beautiful with a heap of colour and picture to get you inspired. Painting guides are in the back, of course.

There is all sorts of fluff on the forces depicted for each of the nations as well as a couple of new scenarios as well, which I think is a great addition.

Next article, I think we'll dive right in and look at the French. Yeah, that sounds good to me...

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