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      Death_Kitty
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      XVIII Corps: The American Airborne

      “This effect is known as the Rule of LGOPs. This is, in its purest form, small groups of 19- year old American Paratroopers. They are well-trained, armed-to-the-teeth and lack serious adult supervision. They collectively remember the Commander’s intent as “March to the sound of the guns and kill anyone who is not dressed like you…” …or something like that. Happily they go about the day’s work…” 

      Pros:

      • Elite infantry that are well armed
      • Rapid armor support
      • Early forward reinforce
      • Tier 0 paradrops
      • Offmap fire for days.
      • Reliable snares on heavy tanks

      Cons:

      • CP intensive tree
      • Micro intensive
      • Munitions hungry
      • Reliant on carbines
      • Rough tier 4 unit presence

      Key Units: Units that are vital to your victory on the battlefield

      Old Crock Command Squad: As airborne, you will be stuck with a lot of squads that you might want to get rid of later in the game for some of your stronger options later on. This squad is where your withdrawal is located. In addition, this squad also has your marksman and the press-to-delete button that is the 105 battery. A valuable squad that can also perform in front line combat in a pinch, though beware that high reinforcement cost.
      101st Airborne: Unlike your tier 0 82nd airborne squads, these guys have the US suppression and damage weapons (M1919 and BAR’s), as well as serving as your early game anti-emplacement and anti tank.
      Pathfinders: A strange little squad that costs 200 manpower for no combat ability almost whatsoever, but functions as the key to your front line reinforcements no matter what your build is. You will be building these guys, no question about it.
      Air Control Liaison Jeep: Where your airstrikes come from, and a vital unit to any airborne game. This is how you manage to eat german tanks in the late game, as well as control hordes. This little vehicle is also a very enticing target for any of your opponents, and it’s spotting range is not that great. Keep it safe, as you cannot waste munitions and constantly rebuild it. The airstrikes themselves are also very expensive, so make sure you use the right one for the right situation.

      Order of Battle

      Here I will present the two “Builds” I use when I play the doctrine. This is by no means a bible, and is of course dictated by the circumstances in your game. I will provide insights into my decision making process when opening with the doctrine, which will hopefully prove useful to you. US airborne has two interchangeable builds: early game, and late game. The early game build will focus on whether you open with the platoon or company command post, while the late game part of the build will focus on your decision to unlock the 17th airborne, or call in easy company and their jumbo sherman. 

      Tier 0:

      Airborne has a strange little quirk, in that opponents know what they are up against from the second you pick the doctrine. The second you call in that plane, you announce to the entire map that you are playing airborne. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something to remember. Similar to airborne, you have a carbine only start, so taking fights closer is going to be important to your success with the doctrine. And while your carbines are better than engineer carbines, they can also be up to 60 MP more expensive, and lack both the cheap reinforcement cost, and the ability to get rid of them at tier 1, so you are stuck with them. Despite how bad I am making this sound, not a bad thing, mainly because you get to the middle first, and the only other doctrines that match you for race-to-the-middle speed (Iron will and Wunder) die incredibly quickly to your infantry.

      So at the beginning, you need to decide what to build. You can drop a carbine squad at your base, and begin building an engineer squad, ensuring you will reach the middle with 2 carbine squads, and then another 2 join the fight, with your built squad catching up after you take the middle point, along with a second airdropped 82nd squad. This is a considerable munitions investment, but actually puts you slightly ahead of a luft player who decided to build 3 pioneers. Not bad. This is most likely the safest option: the sledgehammer of 24 carbines hitting the front almost at the same time is something very few doctrines can survive, and remember, those 82nd Airborne (henceforth, I will shorten Airborne to just AB) as special, in that when fired from range, they actually work. Use your engineers to push hard, while your 82nd AB fires away from the long to mid range. 

      Alternatively, you can paradrop directly on the point with pathfinders (82nd cannot paradrop onto hostile or neutral points until beacons have been unlocked), cap the point, set your pathfinders to AEA, and move in with 2 engineers and 1 82nd AB (Or just with your starting engineers. Paradrop in a second AP squad the second you can). This leaves you with one less squad against the first of the german waves. Pathfinders are 3 men armed with 1 carbine and 2 pistols, and are of no use to you (YET). Send them to cap points in the vicinity. Not the best opening strength, but if there is green cover in the center of the map, this will ensure you are the owner. 

      Either way, at this point you need to decide how your reinforcement options will look like: you can either unlock beacons first and set up the “DIY ambulance”, or unlock 101st airborne, and go for platoon command post, and the forward HQ that comes with it. The DIY ambulance involves a beacon being set up next to an AB medic (paradropped off of an 82nd squad)… it is slower to reinforce, and the heal aura is manual, but it hits at tier 0, giving airborne the fastest reinforce capability in the game. 

      If you are starting with a DIY ambulance, unlock paradrop beacons as your first unlock, and build it with pathfinders. Paradrop a 82nd AB medic next to it, deploy him, and you are good to go. Otherwise, your first unlock will be the 101st airborne. 

      Tiers 1 & 2:

      Your plays off of tier 0 are quite varied, and there is a lot of room to do and build whatever you want, so in this section, I will try and guide my basic thought process here. If I have unlocked beacons at tier 0, then my opening will be a company command post rush into an M15. The autocannon supporting 82nd AB is usually enough to roll entire fronts. Micro your halftrack, and use it to clear buildings and murder infantry in the open. Pressure otherwise with the 82nd, as to not eat a faust or grenade, as losing your halftrack early on is crippling. When you go back for your platoon command post, you can get the 101st AB, and then the airborne forward HQ, which you should upgrade with medics as soon as possible.

      The 101st unlock skips the fast M15 in favor of a solid infantry build, with 2 squads of 101st, equippable with BAR’s and M1919’s with rifle grenades. I highly suggest having the first squad equipped with rifle grenades, as this will allow you to counter most german light vehicles, which you will otherwise be vulnerable to, although the BAR loadout has higher killing power. Notably, your reinforcement option will be the forward headquarters, which is buildable by your pathfinders. It is a very tough little tent, and you will have to build it to unlock some of your important abilities later on. 

      There are a few variations here that I will list out for your benefit:

      •  I have seen beacon openings progress to a quick airborne forward HQ, with the players dropping in weapons and pack howitzers. The AT gun will defend you from a surprising amount of german armor, and the early howitzers are quite strong. This can be done before 101st, but is safer if done after. The biggest issue is getting the 3 CP before something major hits, so I suggest avoiding this opening against opponents who can hit you with early armor and veteran infantry at the same time. Make sure to crew these weapons with vehicle crews, your starting engineers, or if you lose them, your 82nd engineers. You want to make sure your reinforcement costs for these weapons is as low as possible. 
      • Another variation is trying to get the CP together for an early 82nd AT team, which will allow you to get 2 BAR armed 101st squads without any compromise on AT. 

      Really, the options are wide open though a common rule with elite, expensive infantry comes to mind: Do not lose them! The hit to your MP and muni reserves is going to sting!

      Eventually, you will get the Old Crock command squad, and the withdraw ability will allow you to get rid of your medics, pathfinders, and any “free” 82nd squads you get from the forward HQ medics, which will net you a massive windfall of MP, hence why I recommend you put it as close to your front as possible. 

      Tier 3:

      Tier 3 is more of what you would expect, and the doctrine makes your options pretty clear: keep doing what you are doing, use your spotter and old crock barrages with the liaison truck, as well as your airstrikes as they come online. If you need tanks, you have 2 call ins that will give you some anti-armor power (2 wolverines, and 2 76mm shermans, which come in 2 min. apart). If you encounter a heavy tank, that 82nd AB team can detrack vehicles from the front, allowing you to finish them off with an infantry rush, or an offmap strike. With heavy tanks, 76 mm HVAP is not necessarily going to be very reliable, so if it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

      The big decision here is how to go about your late game: to either unlock the 3 squad 17th AB paradrop, or go to tier 4 for the easy eight squads, and the 75mm jumbo. 

      The 75mm jumbo will be discussed in tier 4, when it arrives, but the 17th airborne are liable to be here. The 17th airborne comes in two waves, meant to support one another. The 3 squads of 17 AB that come in are decent when used as a group, those carbines will do decent work at range, and close up, and they will vet-up quite fast, but don’t expect them to do miracles. They do, however, come with pocket bazookas, so there is that. 

      The glider that accompanies them yields one of the most interesting utility squads in the mod: The recoilless rifles (RR), which come with 4 models, armed with 1 RR each. For 50 muni, you can launch a canister rocket (works like the tank variants, but with less range… too little as a matter of fact. Save them for situations when you need to clear out urban areas. The squad won’t survive if you charge them in), there is a white phosphorus rocket, which does its job well, but be aware it is quite vulnerable to hitting terrain, and finally, a rocket which will give you a crit on tanks. Unfortunately, if you use these abilities too often, you will lack the munitions for air strikes, so use them with care. 

      Tier 4 and beyond:

      When it comes to describing US airborne tier 4, the options you unlock are mercifully short: All that is left to discuss is the easy company call in. Sheathed in the finest american P.L.O.T. armor, and armed with the best weapons the world can buy… or liberate, in the case of the StG and the fausts… with such storied members amongst their ranks as Damian Lewis, and Ron Livingston. Joking aside, these guys are incredibly good late game infantry, with 2 squads, and the capability to reach vet five more than justifying their high cost. The sherman jumbo is not a terrible asset either. The thick armor will keep most enemies off of it, and the main gun can be switched to HE mode to deal reasonable anti-infantry damage. 

      With your arsenal rounded out, kill everything with your paratroopers, if that isn’t enough, drop a bomb on it. 

      Closing thoughts and some things that might not be obvious:

      Notable Matchups: Here I will write down a few problem docs/units that you might need to keep into consideration when fighting.

      Panzer Grenadier: This is going to be a common entry in allied docs, but that tier 1 armor rush of a puma and MG 42 222 is killer. The only way you will survive it is if you either take 101st with LMG’s for the AT rifle grenades, or you manage to drop the 82nd AT squad in time for 2 CP. Your infantry is better than theirs (if only because you get vet and weapons sooner), and you 2 AT squads are quite apt at dealing with panzer fours, but the speed of an anti-armor rush is going to hurt. Trying to get a 57mm AT gun out will not work. Be very careful when facing this doc. In addition, panzer grenadier is one of the view docs that has infantry that will keep up with yours if they manage to get their veterancy and upgrades up. Keep your squads alive. 

      Luftwaffe: Luftwaffe plays the same game you do when it comes to elite infantry, but they can try and out spam you on a dime, and are not as setback as you are due to squad wipes… keep them reinforcing those fallschirmjager to make sure you stay ahead in the MP game, but between field divisions and their vet 2 sniper, you have a hard game ahead of you. Be aware of how they open, and take measures to counter spammy field division openings (HMG’s, mortars, howitzers, M15 rush), or if you are up against falls (get out 101st, m15 rush, mortars howitzers)

      Super Heavy Tanks: An interesting unit for you, as you are one of the docs that will be responsible for killing them, at least on maps where they get close to you. Using the 82nd airborne AT squad to de-track the tank from the front, followed by a swift use of the bombing strike, preferably called in from the edge of the map closest to the offending armor. Try to avoid rocket strikes if you can immobilize a tank, as those have a habit of picking the wrong target. 

      Additional Tips:

      Crewing team weapons: When the respective unlock is… unlocked, be aware that you can use your starting engineers, or vehicle crews to man your dropped weapons. These options are the cheapest available to you in terms of reinforcing. If you lack those units, 82nd AB engineers are your next best option. 

      AT squads: Don’t be afraid to have both the 82nd and 101st AT squads out at the same time if the situation merits it. The 101st is quite good at cracking panzer 4’s, but the snare on demand of the 82nd is incredibly powerful. If your enemy is playing quite big cat or panzer heavy, this is not a bad option.

      With regards to airstrikes and fire support: You have quite a swiss-army knife to choose from, so here I will list the offmap options available to you, and how I prefer to allocate them. 

      • Heavy Mortar Barrage, from 101st recon squad: I personally almost never use this, as you can usually secure mortars early on, and late in the game, you just have better options.
      • 105 Battery Barrage, from Old Crock command squad: A very scary howitzer barrage that is very good at murdering infantry and stopping tanks from moving…  the perfect choice if you see a retreat point, or a bunch of pio’s repairing a german heavy. 
      • Thunderbolt Strafe, from Air Liaison Jeep: Your standard 50 cal strafe, if you are getting blobbed and need relief fast, call this in. It won’t kill much, but it will stop the push. More ammo efficient than calling in something that might miss. 
      • Bomb strike, from Air Liaison Jeep: Perfect against bunkers/static positions or tanks that are stunned/tracked. Quite easy to dodge otherwise. Will kill anything it hits.
      • Rocket Strike, from Air Liaison Jeep: Good if you see enemy armor, and want something that will track targets. The rocket run will focus on heavy and medium tanks, but if there are multiple targets, the strike might very well “miss”. Use it if you are sure it will hit, or if you just want to cause casualties to a group of armored units. 
      • Point Neutralization: A wave of 3 liberator bombers fly over a point, and bomb it so hard it decides to give up it’s german allegiance. Freedom. Does not sound quite spectacular, but if your opponent puts something too close to a point….
      • Air superiority: A wave of thunderbolts, with multiple strafes, 2 bombing runs, and 3 rocket planes, this will do damage to anything that remains in its radius. The wave of strafe planes will usually serve as an obvious telegraph to what is coming, but if you can call it behind the enemy blob, it might not matter. 

      With all “loiter” airstrikes: (strafe, rocket run, air superiority) I have found they are much more potent if you can maintain vision of the target area. This is easier said than done, but if you can do it, planes won’t waste passes waiting for a target to be spotted. 

      This doctrine guide was last updated on 4/11/2021, and is considered up to date for Wikinger build 3.4.5a. Special thanks to Battle_Chief and Wheeze for proofreading and feedback. Additional thanks to the Wikinger mod team, for making the mod. 

       

      • This topic was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by Death_Kitty.
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