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Support Vehicles or Not Support Vehicles, That is the question

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The discussion about the differences between the 250/8 and the 251/9 halftracks brought up another school of thought.

If you had enough points to choose a few support vehicles what would you choose, what do you stay away from?

It seems the Puma is a favorite choice of my opponents.

I never purchased 81mm ‘tracks. Has anybody had success with these?

How about the smaller caliber halftracks like the 20mm and 37mm.

Finally do you find yourself using all your support vehicle points or would you spend these points on infantry and/or their support weapons. (armor or artillery not an option)

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As the Allies, I always have M3A1 or M5A1 halftracks for their .50cal, ammo load and squad transport.

The Kangaroos are great for their speed and because they are as thick as a tank. The Stuart Kangaroo can bring a PIAT behind the opponent flank fast enough so that it doesn't get hit often and withstands anything that is not a real AT round.

The U.S. and German mortar carriers suffer from that they need LOS, they cannot use a HQ for spotting like the normal mortars can. Kind of sad, since the targets mortars are best used against bite back and knock out thin vehicles in LOS. The mortar vehicles come with lots of ammo, so I choose one from time to time.

The German halftracks are not overly useful given the all-present .50cal that can penetrate them at long range. The 20mm one is nice in non-tank games and many people like the 75mm, but still they are too fragile for my taste and the environment given.

The 234 is rather expensive and too thin and doesn't match with Greyhound and Daimler Armoured Car in recon situations due to the slow turret.

I don't like the MG-only scout cars (M3A1 and White), rather get the normal halftrack APC or when I need speed a Kangaroo. The M20 can be a halftrack killer, but lacks ammo and doesn't have armoured personal transport, I chose it once and it wasn't good.

The British carriers are nice due to their low silhouette. The normal one can transport mortars and such (not armour protected, though) and still has a MG with some ammo, the MG variant comes with lots of ammo. Question: is the MG modeled to have more firepower? No data given by CMBO, but as I understand, the normal carrier has a bren and the MG carrier has a vickers. Anyone knows if that assumption is correct?

Greyhound and Daimler Armoured Car are capable fighting vehicles, not much they lack from a tank.

I generally stay away from trucks and jeeps/kuebels since they are very slow when away from roads. The German gun tractor can be useful as personal transport or for gun towing in difficult terrain.

The use of Wasp and SdKfz 251/16 should be obvious, although the Wasp is better due to its low carrier silhouette which fits the thin skin.

I never bought an assault boat :)

Generally I am more happy with the Allied vehicles. The Germans lack a thick APC, all vehicles lack guns that can knock out similar opponent vehicles and they generally don't have as much ammo. On the other hand, they have the HE-heavy 75mm on several vehicles, while the Allied equivalent (M8 HMC) counts as tank and the Puma has the strongest gun of all vehicles.

[ 05-04-2001: Message edited by: redwolf ]

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I usually buy few vehicles, or none. Sometimes a halftrack to move guns, or if playing with 57mm guns one of those nifty scout cars the Americans have. And the occasional wasp or three if I am British and feeling evil.

I don't like the German halftracks much, because they are vulnerable to .50 cal fire. And the amount you pay for what you get is not so wonderful.

Guns and armor are a much better bargains. Infantry is better, but not hugely so. But I can guarantee you that guns, armor, and infantry will more than eat up your point allotment.

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Well put Red Wolf and Pvt Tom you hit the nail on the head.

With the latest CM rev level the Germans, I find, must choose support vehicles to try and stay on an even keel with the allied armor.

I think the 75mm is effective against the thinner skinned Allied TD’s and at close range against Sherman’s. With the few armor points in the smaller QB’s (e.g. 1000pt game, Germans only get 200pts armor but 250 support vehicle) I like to buy a couple of TD’s. Now it’s necessary to have infantry support guns like the 75. These can be used in the dual purpose of protecting the flanks of the TD’s and at a later point in support of the infantry. The heavy armored car with the 75 is not as susceptible to .50’s as the 251/9 and is about the same price.

The Puma although great against allied halftracks is not effective against the Sherman’s frontal armor and not terribly effective against infantry and his high end in points.

The 251/16 is fun but you have to get close to use it and one grenade and it’s history.

I’ve only used mortar vehicles in premade scenarios and would rather have a 250/8 with it’s 75mm. If they get a good position though they are very discouraging to the enemy.

I think the next game I play I’ll get a passel full of 250/8’s and see what’s left in the end.

I usually use all my armor and support vehicle points before choosing anything else.

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I have used the American 81mm mortar HTs with some success, but they are hard to keep alive. It was a real oversight not to let HQs spot for them as was done in RL.

I've decided that it's best to take an 81 FO and if he needs to be mobile, put him in a jeep or HT.


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Since I play nothing except the American's

( still bad at the British about the tea thing ) I only buy Greyhounds and if I have to the halftracks for the 50 Cal mounted on it. I love pitting the American halftracks up against the German 250/1 or 251/1. They come out on top everytime. But they really aren't too useful otherwise. If I ever did play the German's I sure wouldn;t hesitate to buy the Puma. They are very strong and have a pretty good punch. The mortar vehicles are useless in my hands.

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I wonder why people think the M3A1 or M5A1 is not very capable.

The best thing about it is its amount of ammunition, with two MGs and being able to fire 360 degrees. If possible, I make sure that the HT is engaging an isolated opponent infantry detachment, for example around minor flags (if the opponent does this). These halftracks can shoot all day long at 200 meters, where they are not vulnerable to infantry AT. This is very effective, his losses add up quickly and your risk is almost zero.

If he moves one tank to stop the nonsense, I have an isolated tank to go after with all my tanks. If he moves a group of tanks, my tanks start engaging the now stripped from tanks main group of his infantry, while my halftrack just flees, no problem against most German tanks except Panthers and Marders.

Of course, there are good reactions that make my tactic ineffective, but that's just what this game is about :)

[ 05-05-2001: Message edited by: redwolf ]

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I've come to love the 20mm equipped SPWs (250/9 and 251/9), they go through thin-skinned AFVs very effectively and almost always hit. Very good to deal with the Allied HT.

The only other SPWs I use are transport variants (250/1 and 251/1) the occasional 75mm version and my favorite SPW, the 251/16 flamethrower.

I dislike the pricey 50mm scout cars for 70+ points. For that price you can almost get two nice 50mm ATGs to quickly deal with the flies (Stuarts). Not to mention Stuarts can dispatch those expensive scout cars easily. Besides, I tend to stay away from the Puma variants, unless I can't even get a StuGIIIG.

The Pumas aren't worth it IMO. The SPWs are better and cheaper.

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