Get ready! The launch of two brand-new divisions, NATO’s 8th U.S. Infantry Division (Mechanized) and the Warsaw Pact Soviet 39th Guards Motorized Rifle Division, as well as the new Loop 10v10 map, is around the corner.
These two new battlegroups will form part of the Mileston NEY, our second milestone, described in last week’s blog post. And named after "the Bravest of the Brave", legendary Napoleonic Marshal Michel Ney, of 1812 fame.
Strap in and read up on all the new goodies and units you’ll soon get to play with!
The 8th U.S. Infantry Division (Mechanized)
Although an American mechanized infantry division, the 8th U.S. Infantry Division is built with the same composition of infantry and tank battalions as an armored division. It has a different ratio, though, deploying more infantry. In terms of WARNO** gameplay, this battlegroup features more and cheaper infantry slots and fewer (and more expensive) tank slots compared to the 3rd Armored.
The new American formation doesn’t use any Bradley IFVs. Instead, its soldiers rely completely on the more venerable M113A3 armored personnel carrier - but also more spacious! This means no fire teams, but fully equipped Mech. Rifles squads. These can either be deployed with Dragon II ATGMs (the same as found in low numbers in 3rd Armored) or as a lighter squad fielding a LAW but transported to the battlefield with the M113A Dragon variant (which carries both a .50 call Heavy Machine Gun and a Dragon II ATGM).
The newest main battle tanks were destined for the 3rd Armored, with the 8th U.S. Infantry Division relying more on the M1 Abrams, with only a few M1A1 available (but no M1A1HA). One of the division’s tanks battalions even kept their M60A3 Patton up to our war year of 1989; this tank unit is therefore also available. In the artillery category, the new division has more choice compared to its armored predecessor, being able to field the M125 81mm self-propelled mortars and the M110A2 heavy self-propelled 203mm howitzer.
The REC tab introduces the Rangers LRRP as an elite recon squad available with both trucks or helos as transport options. The rotary air wing of the 8th U.S. Infantry Division is completely filled with the Bell AH-1 Cobra, meaning no Apaches. Looking to the skies, the aircraft include the ubiquitous F-16 Fighting Falcon with various load-out variants, such as fighter and cluster bomber. There is also the improved F-111F as a tactical bomber and the EF-111 Raven SEAD.
Let’s welcome the Germans
In the event of a Soviet invasion in WARNO, the 8th U.S. Infantry Division would have immediately detached one of its tank battalions to reinforce the 11th Armored Cavalry to delay the offensive. To make up for this, West German territorial troops (this means they have a locked veterancy, and only basic trucks as transports) in the form of a Jäger battalion would be seconded to the Americans. The German units, and support weapons, are spread out over several categories. The 8th U.S. Infantry Division will be the first time you get to play with some German units, including:
- INF - Jäger Füh (Commander), Jäger (light infantry) and Heimatschützen (home guard).
- REC - Jäger Aufkl (heavy scout squad).
- AA - FlaRak. Redeye (MANPAD team).
- AIR - Alpha Jet - (light bomber).
- Additional German units will be added later (these include Milan F1, Kan. Jagdpanzer, 120mm Mortar, etc.)
39th Guards Motorized Rifle Division in-game
Being at the forefront of the Cold War, the 39th Guards Motorized Rifle Division would be part of any invasion and march into West Germany as one of the first Soviet divisions. This formation is equipped with the usual complement of T-80 main battle tanks. Its infantry battalions were roughly equally distributed (three each) between BMP-1, BMP-2 & BMP-3** (tracked IFVs), and BTR-60 (wheeled APC).
In the Logistics category, the division receives an extra command unit with the fast (and armored) BTR-60PBK. You also get to play with the supply Mi-8TZ helicopter. No new infantry squads or teams, but there will be more BTR-60PB APCs as fast transports, as well as the latest of Soviet IFVs, the BMP-3, to counter the American Bradley. The BM-27 Uragan can be deployed as a new artillery unit.
Although the TNK tab loses its T-80U variant, it introduces the efficient MT-LB SHTURM-S self-propelled ATGM carrier. The division’s anti-aircraft forces see the Tunguska replaced with the iconic ZSU-23-4M3 Biryusa (also known by its older variant’s name, Shilka). They also receive the BRDM-2 STRELA-1 light SAM unit.
Just in 1989, the divisional helicopter squadron was increased to a regiment, providing 39GvMSD with much more helicopter support than another division. Ingame, it means more and cheaper slots than its predecessor, as well as a whole slew of Mi-8s and Mi-24s, with a variety of load-outs.
Say hello to the Germans
Just like its American counterpart, the 39th Guards Motorized Rifle Division gets some help from its own local German allies. With the proximity of the Inner German border, East German Grenztruppen (border guards) units are featured, including:
- INF - UAZ-469 SPG-9 (fire support jeep)
- REC - Grenzer (recon infantry)
- AIR - MiG-23MF fighter and Su-22M-4 ground attack planes.
New 10v10 map
Loop** will be the 5th map delivered to the community since the launch of this Early Access.
This map has been designed for intense 10v10 battles, covering a surface area of 90km²!
Loop is made up of a large river splitting in to smaller channels with a peninsula in-between. This area contain 4 command zones to be secured to control the battlefield.
The river first flows close to one side's deployment zone, then move away, acting as a real bissector of the map, then closes on the opposite side's deployment zone. Its layout creates many unique smaller battlefields.
It will be up to each Commander to select its attack lane depending on his battlegroup and planned strategy.
Urban or industrial areas have been distributed evenly all over the map. These areas have a high tactical value, be they in a command zone or not, and players will have to take them into account to achieve victory.
Regarding the map's topology, it is made of three central plateaux. Keep in mind that plateaux bring the defender a major advantage. Therefore, the one holding the center will be able to defend more easily.
We are eager to watch the first replays of the battles soon to be fought on Loop!
See you on the battlefield!
We’d love to hear what you think!
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