M109 Howitzer

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Thats a big boomstick you got there, son.

"Big guns never tire."

Lugft Huron

The M109 is one of the most popular self-propelled guns used across various armies of the 20th century. Mounting the massive M185 155mm Howitzer, the M109 is capable of firing a huge variety of shells, from standard HE, to bomblets, to mines, to laser-guided projectiles, to freaking NUKES. To be fair they are... Uh, smallish? The nukes that is, not the guns.

The turret's advanced fire control and ability to, ya know, rotate, allows the M109 to bombard multiple targets without repositioning the hull and possess excellent off-road capabilities allowing it to "Shoot and Scoot" to avoid enemy Counter-Battery Fire; essential to any force employing manuever warfare on a serious (Divisional) scale.

Thanks to electronic fire control, M109 crews also have a party trick where, by firing multiple times at slightly different angles, they can make about a dozen shells hit a target all at the same time. Now imagine an entire battery of M109s doing that.

If the M109 starts shooting at your general vicinity, bend over, grab your ankles, and kiss your sorry ass goodbye.

In Team Yankee[edit]

The Stat Card

Sadly, the M109 does not get access to its nuclear round, as game breaking as that would be, what with such weapons being designed for preventing the exact situation that Team Yankee portrays.

Despite this deficiency, the M109 is an awesome artillery piece capable of hitting targets up to 8 feet away with its M185 155mm gun (not that you'll ever truly need that range but it's nice to have). Using its standard ammunition the M109 can absolutely brutalize infantry even within bulletproof cover due to its firepower rating of 2+. It stands a decent chance of damaging tanks as the AT Value of 4 is resolved with their top armor rather than the front or sides, but can tear lightly armored vehicles like BTRs and BMPs inside out after several volleys. If you fuck up and the enemy gets to close (or those Afgansty Bastards airdrop in on top of you) you can switch to direct fire. I direct fire mode, the M185 has an AT Value of 15 and a Firepower rating of 1+, that's right 1+. You also gain the Brutal special rule (Re-roll successful saves) as well as the Slow Firing special rule (+1 hit if you moved). To be fair, in real life, you're going to instantly cause a firepower kill by tearing the damn gun off and otherwise shoving in their shit nicely.

Thanks to never signing the Ottawa Treaty (or anti-land mind convention), you also have access to Area Denial Artillery Munitions to deploy minefields at range. If you are using mines, once you have ranged in, you can place a minefield for every 3 guns that fired, not much else to say about that.

If you are using bomblets, the AT value drops down 3 and the Firepower falls off to 6+, but you get to use the SALVO template. Use this against communist infantry spam: remember, the job of the artillery is to pin down infantry, any kills are a bonus. With luck, a single salvo can literally stop your opponent's army from advancing.

You can also deploy smokescreens to shield friendly units. If you wish, you may have 1 or more M109s fire smoke while the rest fire standard bombardments.

If you are using the Laser Guided Projectiles, you lose access to the template, but the AT Value shoots through the roof to a staggering 21 and your firepower remains at its spectacular 2+. Since its laser-guided, your Paladins don't need to have line of sight to the target, drawing line of sight to the observing team instead. However, range drops to 40 inches from the M109s. Keep this in mind if you decide to use your projectiles for counter-battery fire.

You get three M109s for 7 points and can double the squad size for a further 7. Mines, bomblets, and laser-guided projectiles all cost 1 point to equip.

British Variant[edit]

Fire Mission, HE, on the way!

Inferior to the US version, the British only deploy their batteries of 2, 4 or 8 adjusting the price. For 5, 10 or 20 points, you gain access to a 4AT gun with 2+ firepower, a mediocre improvement over the Abbot considering how the price is almost double. The M109 is a divisional asset, and only one unit can be brought afield.

Unlike the American version, Brits do not have access to fancy ammunition types or laser-guided projectiles and must instead rely on the raw firepower of such monsters. And monsters they are indeed. For 21 points, you gain access to a template which hits NATO units on a 2+ (after ranging in on a 2+) with a 33% chance to destroy tanks and 18.5% chance to bail thanks to its 2+ firepower. However, the inflexible template means that this investment is rendered mute if your opponent spaces out their units against your artillery.

Ironically, the M109 can be fielded as a frontline battle tank through the direct fire profile's respectable 36". Insane troll logic aside, their low cost (2.5 per vehicle) makes them comparable to a substitute AVRE: incapable of engaging tanks but utterly pulverizing infantry while comfortably engaging armored vehicles.

Due to this incredibly niche role which is performed better by the Harrier or as FRONTLINE COMBAT UNITS, consider the M109 suitable for larger games and games where you'd like to give your opponent a nice, big surprise! Do not consider the M109 if you are a grizzled power gamer (or build sensible lists with efficient units).

Do note that despite the sales pitch, the British M109 is still overcosted compared to the abbot given that the Brits have plenty of anti-armor in their arsenal, whether via tanks or Milans. Artillery traditionally fulfills the anti-infantry and utility role in a British list, making the overcosted M109 a terrible choice compared to mortars or the abbot.

German Variant[edit]

Who needs Bewegungskrieg anyway?

Canadian Variant[edit]

It's hailing shells, and raining Soviet body parts.

Representing the vaunted Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, this vehicle is unfortunately self-propelled and not horse drawn as the Regimental name might suggest.

This M109 is largely the same as the British version, but with a worse assault value (Though, if your artillery is engaged in melee, something has already gone horribly wrong). Skill 3+ means that ranging in will be more reliable, something that always comes in handy. Comes in in groups of either 3 or 6 for 7 or 14 points respectively, and cannot be upgraded. This makes it slightly less of a point sink than most other variants. Unlike the 81mm carriage or the Raketenwerfer, the M109 is used to murder your foes, not just pin them or blind them with smoke. With 4AT 2+ FP, this unit excels at fighting lightly armoured vehicles such as BTRs and BMPs.

Some of you will note that these are the same targets that the Leopard 1 chews over for dinner: the M109 may not be a 'terrible' choice per say, but the average player will have better use from the raw pinning power of rocket artillery or the cheap, smoke-and-pin versatility of mortars.

Dutch Variant[edit]

That's not gun smoke emanating from the crew compartment...

Exactly like the American version, stat-wise, but without the special ammo types. Hence, this thing is big bad-ass artillery, but nothing more. Since the Dutch armored infantry have access to the excellent 120mm Mortars, who are just as utilitarian at popping smoke or blowing shit up, you really have to ask yourself what the M109 brings to the table: the answer depends on the list.

As with other countries, the Dutch M109 is a killing artillery unit that pays a premium for access to the heaviest artillery shells money can buy, ideal for destroying light armour but decent at killing entrenched infantry. However, your list may force you to pick the M109 if you want any artillery at all. Both the Leopard 2 and Leopard 1 companies do not have the option to buy mortars, meaning that you might be forced to use M109s for your smoking needs against those pesky BMP-2s and ATGMs. Players should realize that the M109 excels against the same threats that MBTs do, and are therefore almost redundant.

A decent unit that lacks any clear spot within Dutch army lists. It is hardly an auto-include but is competitive enough to see play in the right list.


IRL[edit]

Here Comes the BOOM!

The M109 is used by militaries all over the globe. The current model in use with the United States armed forces is the M109A6 (nicknamed the Paladin) which features improved targeting systems and communications equipment. The newest M109A7 is a massive upgrade that may as well be a new vehicle entirely. The A7 unit has an autoloader and can fire a steady barrage of one round a minute continuously until dry, a huge speed increase compared to the M109A6 which could initially crank out up to 6 rounds in the first minute but would quickly slow as the loader team tired. While other European countries have typically adopted the PzH 2000 as their modern replacement, the similarities belies the M109's influence.

US Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: M1 Abrams - M60 Patton - M551 Sheridan
Transports: M113 Armored Personnel Carrier - UH-1 Huey - AAVP7
Troops: US Mech Platoon - Marine Rifle Platoon - Huey Rifle Platoon - HMMWV Machine Gun Platoon
Artillery: M106 Heavy Mortar Carrier - M109 Howitzer - LAV-M
Anti-Aircraft: M163 VADS - M48 Chaparral - M247 Sergeant York - HMMWV SAM
Tank Hunters: M901 ITV - HMMWV-TOW - LAV-AT
Recon: M113 FIST - HMMWV Scout Section - LAV-25
Aircraft: A-10 Warthog - AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter - AV-8 Harrier
British Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: Chieftain
Transports: Spartan Transport - FV432 Transport - 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
Anti-Aircraft: Spartan Blowpipe - Tracked Rapier
Tank Hunters: Striker - Spartan MCT - Swingfire
Recon: FV432 FOO - Scorpion - Scimitar
Aircraft: Harrier Jump Jet - Lynx HELARM
West German Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: Leopard 2 - Leopard 1
Transports: Fuchs Transportpanzer - Marder Zug - M113 Armored Personnel Carrier
Troops: M113 / Marder Panzergrenadier Zug - Aufklarüngs Zug
Artillery: Raketenwerfer Batterie - M109 Howitzer - M113 Panzermörser Zug
Anti-Aircraft: Roland Flak Batterie - Gepard Flakpanzer Batterie - Fliegerfaust Gruppe
Tank Hunters: Jaguar Jagdpanzer
Recon: Luchs Spah Trupp - M113 OP
Aircraft: Tornado - BO-105P
Canadian Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: Leopard C1
Transports: M113 APC
Infantry: Canadian Mechanized Platoon
Artillery: M109 Field Battery - M125 81mm
Anti-Aircraft: ADATS - M113 Blowpipe
Tank Hunters: M150 TOW
Recon: Lynx RECCE Patrol - M113 OP
Dutch Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: Leopard 1 - Leopard 2
Transports: YPR-765 IFV - M113 Armored Personnel Carrier
Troops: M113 Tirailleur Peleton/YPR 765 Pantserinfanterie Peloton
Artillery: 107mm/120mm Mortier Peloton - M109 Veldartillerie Batterij
Anti-Aircraft: Gepard Flakpanzer Batterie - Stinger Peloton
Tank Hunters: YPR-765 PRAT
Recon: M113 C&V Ploeg - YPR-765 OP
Aircraft: