AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter
"Close air support covereth a multitude of sins."
- – The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries
Though it's been through some updates since the jungles of Vietnam, the AH-1 Cobra is the front line attack helicopter of the United States. The Cobra is an excellent tank hunter, using its narrow cross-section to avoid incoming fire and unleashing hell from its side mounted TOW tubes. It's also no slouch at taking down infantry with its M197 20mm Vulcan Gatling cannon, and M159 rocket pods.
In Team Yankee
The AH-1 Cobra is an excellent, all-round Helicopter.
With its Improved TOW missile, the Cobra can detonate vehicles four feet away, and since it's Guided and HEAT like all AT missiles, you ignore the penalties for shooting at long range. This means you can hover well out of the range of non-missile AA and pop the turrets off of Soviet armor. The only downside is that you can't shoot if you move.
Krauts Ivan in the open, you can drop the massive Salvo template in the form of the M159 Rocket Launcher once per game.
For dealing with infantry (and helicopters), the Cobra carries the M197 20mm Gatling Gun. Its short(ish) range is made up for by the fact that it has a ROF of 6 if you hover, great for mopping up the infantry that just bailed out of the transport you just blew up. The cannon alone makes the Cobra superior to all other NATO helicopters. For just 0.5 more points per heli, you gain an ROF 6 autocannon with 5+ FP, able to comfortably destroy anything which isn't a tank once enemy AA has been sufficiently neutralized.
An added bonus is the Hunter Killer special rule, which is unique to NATO choppers. This rule means that the Cobra can use terrain as concealment and unless it has fired, it counts as gone to ground so you're only being hit on a roll of 6+.
US armies can take two AH-1 Cobras for 7 points and a full platoon for 14.
While expensive, the Cobra is arguably the most versatile helicopter in the game. The 21AT missile might be mediocre compared to the PAH and the Hind's kokons but it is able to comfortably destroy all existing Soviet armor with ease (with the T-72 needing 5s to BAIL). However, the crown jewel of the Cobra is its stationary ROF 6, a terrifying weapon with the ability to shred through vehicles and helicopters with an AT 6, 5+ FP weapon. While mediocre against entrenched infantry, the Cobra can remove blocks of platoons in the open with rocket pods or its vulcan. The Cobra is also the only true gunship in NATO, and 2 flights can be brought in from Divisional support. Armored Cavalry Companies have access to a single Cobra platoon, bringing up the maximum to 3. It may be a good support unit, but can also serve you well in an air assault list with Warthogs and Cobras with a handful of ground units to mop up anything that your aircraft missed.
The new American book for TYV2 brings the almost mandatory upgrade (the TOW tax) to switch out its TOWs for the TOW2, which gives the cobra an amazing AT23 to deal with any opponent for 1 point per unit.
Take the base US variant and improve its Morale, Skill, and Courage rolls by 1. Otherwise, no changes.
Iran troops are horribly undertrained, as represented by their 5+ skill, but are really REALLY fanatical, bringing 3+ for Morale and Courage.
The AH-1 Cobra was first deployed by the US Military in 1968 and saw use in the Vietnam War.
The Cobra was developed in response to a US Army demand for a "Helicopter Gunship" to support its UH-1 Hueys, as it was becoming apparent that the Huey was vulnerable to ground fire and if fully loaded with troops was incapable of suppressing enemy positions near a landing zone. The AH-1 utilized the same engine and rotor as the venerable UH-1 as well as several avionics systems.
The Cobra is still in use today in many countries around the world, and the US Marine Corps uses a twin-engine version as its primary attack helicopter. However it can't keep up with the V-22 Osprey. Which itself has no weapons and the Army will most likely get an armed tilt-rotor before they do.
Just as the T-72 wasn't the most modern tank used by the Soviets. The Huey based helicopters were not the most advanced aircraft that the US military had in 1985. The Black Hawk was adopted in 1979. While the Ah-64 Apache went into service a year later in 86. Team Yankee has gotten rules for the Apache but we haven't seen anything for the Black Hawk just yet.
|US Forces in Team Yankee|
|Tanks:||M1 Abrams - M60 Patton - M551 Sheridan - RDF/LT|
|Transports:||M113 Armored Personnel Carrier - UH-1 Huey - AAVP7 - Bradley Fighting Vehicle|
|Troops:||US Mech Platoon - Marine Rifle Platoon - Huey Rifle Platoon - HMMWV Machine Gun Platoon - Light Motor Infantry Platoon|
|Artillery:||M106 Heavy Mortar Carrier - M109 Howitzer - LAV-M - M270 MLRS|
|Anti-Aircraft:||M163 VADS - M48 Chaparral - M247 Sergeant York - HMMWV SAM|
|Tank Hunters:||M901 ITV - HMMWV-TOW - LAV-AT|
|Recon:||M113 FIST- M113 Scout Section - HMMWV Scout Section - LAV-25 - Bradley Fighting Vehicle|
|Aircraft:||A-10 Warthog - AV-8 Harrier - AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter - AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter|
|Israeli Forces in Team Yankee|
|Tanks:||Merkava - M60 Patton|
|Transports:||M113 Armored Personnel Carrier|
|Troops:||IDF Infantry Platoon|
|Artillery:||M109 Howitzer -M106 Heavy Mortar Carrier -M125 Mortar Carrier|
|Anti-Aircraft:||M163 VADS - ZSU 23-4 Shilka - M48 Chaparral - Redeye SAM Platoon|
|Tank Hunters:||Pereh - M150 TOW - Jeep TOW|
|Recon:||M113 Recce - Jeep Recce|
|Aircraft:||AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter - A4 Skyhawk|
|Iranian Forces in Team Yankee|
|Tanks:||T-55 - T-62 - M60 Patton - Chieftain|
|Transports:||M113 Armored Personnel Carrier - BTR-60 - BMP-1|
|Troops:||Iranian Mechanized Platoon - Basij Infantry Company|
|Artillery:||M109 Howitzer - BM-21 Hail - M106 Heavy Mortar Carrier|
|Anti-Aircraft:||ZSU 23-4 Shilka - ZSU-57-2 - SA-8 Gecko|
|Tank Hunters:||Jeep TOW - Jeep 106mm Recoilless - M113 106mm Recoilless|
|Aircraft:||AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter|
|Soviet Support:||SU-25 Frogfoot|