Matt decides on a Mid War American Army


Matt decides on a Mid War American Army

The Americans in Mid War have a different fundamental structure than the Desert Rats or Afrika Korps.

The Fighting First gets a wide variety of formations—6 options!

Support tend to be shifted within the formations from Divisional Support.

Ultimately, American Formations tend to be more complete integrated fighting units.

These are early days for the Americans, so they are more enthusiastic than experienced. This is reflected in their rules, being Hit on a 3+ with a 5+ Skill and 4+ Motivation. They are determined so they get a 3+ to Rally tests.

All this together means I want an army that can absorb damage.

Amored Rifle Companies are unique to the Fighting First so I want to build an army with a core of infantry mounted in halftracks. 

For my HQ, I chose the 50. Cal M3 Halftrack as my transport. It throws out fewer shots than 2 jeeps but it has a heavier gun and it’s capable of Self-defense AA.

M3 Halftrack

The Armored Rifle Platoon provides versatility, durability and mobility.

They are death to anything with 16” and the 60mm mortar gives them some long range firepower against unarmored targets. The Machine Guns from the halftracks and M1919s can hose down any light targets that come within 16”. The Bazookas back a mighty Anti-tank 10 wallop and can move and fire but only have an 8” range.  

I take two large Armored Rifle Platoons and 1 each of the 4 formation support choices: Armored Machine-Guns, Armored Anti-tank Guns, T-30 Assault Guns, and M4 Armored Mortars. 

This give me a nice well-rounded formation that can absorb damage for 50 points. 

There is no dedicated AA units yet, but each of the .50 cal MG Halftracks, the Assault Guns and Armored Mortars provide me with a single shot of Self-Defense AA on the table. That’s 15 shots, enough to give some attacking Stukas a moment’s pause. 

I could add a 3rd Armored Infantry Platoon for 15 points but I think I’ll use the 2nd half of my army to get some Armor to play with and it will address the main weakness of my army so far.

I want some punch, and I have several options to choose from. 

M10 Tank Destroyers have a heavy hitting AT12 with a 36” range so they can outgun and outrange the Panzer IV long barrel. Front armor 5 isn’t great but it isn’t terrible. The M10’s could hide behind the infantry as they pick off Panzers.

M3 Stuarts have an AT7 shot at a short range 24”.  They die easy but are plentiful. 

M3 Lees have a variety of weapons and can fire at 2 separate targets.  Lee hull weapons can be upgraded from AT9 to AT10 for 1 point each. 

M4 Shermans have the best armor with a Front 6, AT10 weapon and a self-defense AA MG. 

I decide on the M4 Shermans because they’re new plastic models and 4 of them makes a solid, capable brick.

Add in a 1 M4 Sherman HQ unit and that’s 40 points. 

I have 10 points left and I need my 2nd compulsory combat unit so I go with 5 Stuarts.

M4 Sherman

I consciously chose not to have any divisional support, choosing to pour my points into the formations.  Page 82 of the Mid War rulebook reminds us that “If a player has no Formations in Good Spirits…they lose the game…”

I have enough versatility and AA in my formations that I don’t feel the need for divisional support.

The Fighting First really don’t have an analogue for the 5cm and 8.8 FlaK guns from Afrika Korps or the 6pdr or 17pdr guns from Desert Rats. It’s important to remember that the Americans play different and require a new way of looking at the battlefield. I prize flexibility over straight power and I my Fighting First list will be a good all-comer’s army. 

Armored Rifle Company
Armored Rifle Company HQ 2 Points

M1 Carbine team (x 2)


M3 Halftrack (.50 cal MG) (x 1)  
Armored Rifle Platoon 1 15 Points
M1 Garand rifle team (x 6)  
M1 Bazooka team (x 5)  
M1919 LMG (x 2)  
60mm mortar (x 1)  
M3 Halftrack (.50 cal MG) (x 1)  
M3 Halftrack (.30 cal MG) (x 4)  
Armored Rifle Platoon 2 15 Points
M1 Garand rifle team (x 6)  
M1 Bazooka team (x 5)  
M1919 LMG (x 2)  
60mm mortar (x 1)  
M3 Halftrack (.50 cal MG) (x 1)  
M3 Halftrack (.30 cal MG) (x 4)  
M1917 Armored Machine-gun Platoon 4 Points
M1917 HMG (x 4)  
M3 Half-track (.50 cal MG) (x 2)  
37mm Armored Anti-tank Platoon 9 Points
37mm guns (x 4)  
M3 Half-track (.50 cal MG) (x 4)   
T30 75mm Assault Gun Platoon 3 Points
T30 (75mm) (x 3)  
M4 81mm Armored Mortar Platoon 3 Points
M4 (81mm mortar) (x 3)  
M4 Sherman Tank Company
M4 Sherman Tank Company HQ 8 Points
M4 Sherman (75mm) (x 1)  
M4 Sherman Tank Platoon 32 Points
M4 Sherman (75mm) (x 4)  
M3 Stuart Tank Platoon 10 Points
M3 Stuart (37mm) (x 5)