British Mechanized Company
"England expects that every man will do his duty."
- – Lord Horatio Nelson
By 1985, the British infantryman has evolved into a mechanized unit, riding FV432s onto the battlefields of Europe. Platoons number around 35 men, composed of 4 Rifle sections and a command section. As with all NATO armies, the platoon is led by a 2nd Lieutenant (pronounced “Leff-tenant in the British English) and a Sergeant First Class as his second in command. The Rifle sections have 6 riflemen with L1A1 Self Loading Rifles (SLRs), 2 riflemen manning an L7 GPMG, an anti-tank gunner with a Carl Gustav 86mm Recoilless Rifle and a Squad leader with an SLR. In real life, disposable 66mm Anti Tank rockets would be issued by Battalion depending on the mission and are not part of the standard loadout. More importantly, they are disposable and not carried like tic-tacs the way it's represented in the game.
In Team Yankee
The British Infantry are represented in Team Yankee by the Irish Guards as part of the 4th Armoured Brigade. It is composed of 3 or 4 infantry sections; made up of a support fireteam (with a Carl Gustav or a 2" mortar) and a GPMG team with a LAW. Compared to other NATO infantry Platoons, the Brits field a greater number of teams and anti-tank armaments, making them far deadlier against enemy entrenched infantry, main battle tanks and even other infantry in assaults, since the Gustav fireteam can fight equally well in close combat as any rifle base. Another base of note is the mortar team, capable of destroying enemy infantry but ideal for blinding key enemy units with smoke, such as heavy weapons. Their
alcohol rations Irish heritage grants them 3+ Assault.
Despite all their strengths, they suffer from the same weaknesses as other infantry, such as vulnerability to being pinned. While the M113 and Marder feature .50 cal MGs and autocannons capable of fighting light armor, the FV432 features a comparative peashooter with AT 2, limiting it to fighting enemy infantry or unarmoured tank teams like BM-21 Grads. A key difference is that they retain a moving ROF of 3 and have 1 armor all round, so expect these things to die way faster than the infantry they are supposed to protect. Another weakness is their inability to defeat entrenched infantry with a piddly FP 6+ on their rifles, encouraging their role as defensive troops.
You may purchase 2 Milan teams for 2 points, giving them the ability to RELIABLY destroy enemy tanks at range. When the enemy comes close, these Milan sections can be excellent sacrificial lambs to try bouncing shots towards in order to protect your far more valuable Carl Gustav teams.
You may also purchase a GPMG team for 1 point, providing the effective fire of two MG teams with 6 shots stationary and 2 shots on the move at AT6. Ideal for an anti-infantry role, but competes with units like the Scimitar which can engage light vehicles. A situational purchase when you absolutely need more machine gun fire, as 2 GPMGs would be far more specialized than a Scimitar platoon.
In the triangle of survivability, firepower and close combat the British stand proudly as the best infantry in the game in literally every category except shooting entrenched infantry. Expect to paint many of these Leprechauns if you wish to play a tournament level British list.
The vast majority of British infantry are equipped with FV432 APCs, with Armored Divisions transitioning to Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles from 1988 onward; exceptions include the Territorials and the Parachute Regiment. Today, the infantry operate a variety of transports for different missions, including the Warrior, the Bulldog (a modernized FV432) and Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles.
While the L1A1 is their primary rifle in Team Yankee, by 1985 the British army had started adopting the SA80/L85 to replace it. Designed by people who hadn't fired a gun before, based off a reverse engineered AR18 (a system that was still under patent protection when they initially intended to start production before delays) that they didn't really understand or reverse engineer too well, then poorly converted to bullpup form the L85 never had much of a chance of being a good rifle. This disaster was made worse when workers at Royal Small Arms Factory learned they would soon be laid off after making the things and proceeded to not give a damn en mass. Rather than a light, compact weapon, the resulting rifle was actually heavier than its contemporaries with conventional layouts. Soldiers literally couldn't fire a full magazine in any moderately adverse conditions without failure, earning the rifle the nickname "Civil Servant", since it didn't work and you couldn't fire it. The only part that worked as expected were the second wave of mags, which all made by Colt in the United States, and even then had the issues expected of early, black follower ("If it's black, send it back") STANAG mags. After several redesigns and modifications done by German company H&K (that wound up costing more than buying new rifles!) and American made EMags the L85A2 works, albeit at the cost of being even heavier than it originally was. Unloaded without optics the SA80A2 is already the heaviest 5.56 rifle adopted and weighs over 132% of an M16, a full two pounds heavier. Allegedly the rifle was more accurate than others, but the test to obtain this result was based on scoped SA80 compared to everything else with iron sights instead of a proper test of mechanical accuracy, so it ultimately amounted to the conclusion "scopes have better practical accuracy than iron sights". Since those fixes did not begin till 1992, didn't actually start till 1998, and in this scenario Germany is on the front lines, those redesigns would never happen, so its reasonable to assume that the Brits would've stuck with the tried-and-true L1A1 for the time being.
Aside from not working, being heavy, and being a bullpup, the L85 is notable for optical sights being standard, since low sight radius makes irons on a bullpup pretty sub-optimal, yet not making them even semi-integral. The first optic was the 4X SUSAT scope which was... OK. It actually worked, which was more than could be said for the rifle it was attached to, but had a very narrow field of view that rendered it unsuitable for close range engagements (you know, the place where you might actually want a bullpup) and was before scopes were nitrogen purged so it would fog up a lot. Since the rifle was adopted a decade before the adoption of picatiny rail as standard for optics mount, it uses a proprietary and heavy mounting solution. In 2007 American ACOGs were used an interim solution for a few years followed by replacing the SUSAT with a picatiny mounted 4X ELCAN optic (made in Canada, to further outsource fixing the rifle) with a small red dot (made in the US) on top of it, which works though is a heavy optic setup on an already heavy rifle.
|British Forces in Team Yankee|
|Tanks:||Chieftain - Challenger 1|
|Transports:||Spartan Transport - FV432 Transport - FV510 Warrior - Lynx Transport|
|Infantry:||Mechanized Company - Milan Section (Mechanized) - Airmobile Company - Milan Platoon (Airmobile) - Support Troop|
|Artillery:||Abbot Field Battery - M109 Field Battery - FV432 Mortar Carrier -M270 MLRS|
|Anti-Aircraft:||Spartan Blowpipe - Tracked Rapier|
|Tank Hunters:||Striker - Spartan MCT - Swingfire|
|Recon:||FV432 FOO - Scorpion - Scimitar -FV721 Fox|
|Aircraft:||Harrier Jump Jet - Lynx HELARM|