Ah, the joys of V3. Learning new rules, trying to see if your list was completely gutted (my Crocs will never see the table again) and then analyzing old lists to see what just got bumped up. Admit it - you are all doing this!
Damn you http://www.easyarmy.com/! You make it sooooo easy (pun intended) to go out and look at a bunch of lists. My productivity has been shot.
But one of my favorite "sneaky" army lists has always been Task Force A out of Turning Tide. For the unfamiliar, it is an armored recon list like no other. You have to take M18 Hellcats in a platoon and M8 Greyhounds in the other. Then you add on platoons to taste. Just like salt!
So after listening to an old WWPD podcast (I think Mike Haught was on there too) talking about TFA, I have always kept it in mind.
Then this past year, I saw the list in action. I met and befriended a great guy from Poland, who was in the States on business. He sent an email to me via the player finder app at WWPD.net and we got a game in. We also invited Igor (that's his name) to a LW tournament, where he brought TFA. It was really a lot of fun to see this list in action. Tank detroyers with 16" of movement, little armored recon units acting like Stuarts - it was great! But the list still had some challenges and holes.
Hear me now, believe me in 6 months - TFA actually became a viable list. Now the list is not for everyone. First, it is Trained. With small platoons. That is still a bad combination. But everything is a recon platoon and with the changes to wheeled movement, they are all super fast. Now add on the new rules for American Tank Destroyers and you have a potent strike list.
Just think the standard Defensive Battle mission. TFA is "always attacks", so let's think about that. You deploy. Every, yes basically EVERY platoon gets a recon move. And you get first turn. Now, just think of the Security Section of the TDs as a mobile ambush spawning site. For those of you who play computer games, you get where I am going. Everyone moves forward in recon move. If terrain is on your side, you move the Security Section as close as allowed by the rules to your enemy. Then at the start of the game, spring the ambush. But be sure to read the rules. You only need to deploy a certain distance away from the enemies. And you need to be in command with a team from the Security Section. But if my Security Team is 16" away from the enemy (recon move limitiation), it doesn't say my TD section that is springing from the ambush needs to be that far out. They just need to be concealed.
Let that last statement soak in.
And if you look at the picture in V3 that talks about the TD rules, you will see a TD sprung close to an enemy because the Hellcat is concealed by a fence. It will shoot at short range and the target is in the open.
Yup. Concealed. Like wheat fields, orchards, woods or... a corner of a building. RoF 2, AT 12 Light Tanks shooting at short range. That's 8 shots. Add the second TD platoon and you can get 16 shots (8 total Tank Destroyers). Then push the Greyhounds forward in Turn 1 (or same turn you spring the mobile ambush / spawning point) and you will simply overwhelm the enemy. 8 shots at vets gets 4 hits (assuming open target). AT12 is a big shell - assuming medium tanks are the target you will get 3 destroyed / bailed. So there - a mobile ambush that maintains full RoF at short range.
ARE YOU KIDDING?!?!
So rethink TFA and American Tank Destroyers. And think of the TDs as mobile ambush / spawning platoons. Yes, you will see a lot more of these units on the table in the coming months!