Continuing the excellent wave of USA releases this month is the USA Firefly Jump Troops.
I was eagerly awaiting these as my plan for several months has been a full jump army with these, the new US Airborne plastics (including all the weapons teams you can build from them) and the jump walkers, using the Mudskipper and Jackal as the vehicles.
As such, I was eager to get my hands on the birdmen! The box from Warlord contains a squad of 10 guys. It contains all the weapon options (infantry flamethrower and 2x BAR). This will give you a good solid squad completly tooled up for thier close assault role.
The Fireflys are a small box release, but like a good breakfast cereal, picked with everything a growing G.I. needs.
The figures are 2 or 3 parts, body (a few with arms seperate) and jump packs. I like that the packs are seperate, as they are getting the standard USA ‘paint it green’ treatment!
The sculpts as ever are lovley and clean. And go together easily.
On The Table
If we turn to 148 of our rule-books we can see the firefly rules. There seems to be 2 ways of running the squad:
Option 1 – Minimum squad (5 man, inc nco)
This is a nice little assault unit for 90 points, it can put out a lot of close range shots and get to just the right place to apply them due to the flight rules.
If you are feeling really daring (and frankly before they amend to BA 2 rules) you can add the flamethrower for 40 points. Although this is expensive you now have a 5 man squad that puts out 8 shots and flames – in short, a unit deleter. At this point I’d use them as a slightly large mobile weapon team. The extra shots are nice, but just gravy on the flamer’s attacks.
Option 2 – Maximum squad, (10 including NCO) optionally with all the toys.
This is the big risk/big reward play. Especially if you throw in the flamethrower.
The 2 BAR’s give you range while advancing, however they may also tempt you to leave your squad slightly exposed just to ping something for a pin.
Close up, if relatively unscathed this unit can be hideous. 18 shots + flame can ruin anyone’s day, especially if you can jump into point blank to hit on 2’s.
The flip side is the cost and the fact if you only take one firefly unit its going to be exposed without backup – if you commit your mudskipper, that’s around 450 points in one thrust.
Overall for the unit
- Mobile – the flight rules add a level of mobility the USA has lacked so far compared to other nations, especially Germany.
- Great from reserves – A particular strength is they seem great in scenarios with reserves as a counter punch, especially with a flamethrower.
- Great close in – as above, a mass volley close in can be very hard hitting
- Only Human – Unlike the German falcon troops they are only veterans, one bad move to being caught in the open and their effectiveness will be severely impaired. Especially watch out for reactions – if you get caught out, you will get shredded.
- Can be subject to luck – Especially if you go for the smaller unit option, the key is 2 dice; an early doors order dice for the alpha strike and a good roll on the flamethrower. If either of these go awry, especially against a soviet horde army, then you’re going to have a bad time.
- Expensive – the full unit is the best part of 200 points, which is a lot. If you are going to go rampaging up the board, plan as such and build your army around that plan. Otherwise you risk just throwing them away. As I ahve found out with even limited play, a single large unit is a very tempting, very expensive basket to put all your eggs in.
This unit is a real shift for the USA in K47. It gives them a strong attacking option, though it is slightly a glass cannon. Which every way you run them, there is bags of potential havoc to be done.
I think the flamer will become less popular if the BA2 rules come in, but is still and fun and fluffy choice.
I’m looking forward to playing with the 107th air wing and taking the fight to the enemy!
If you want to add some Fireflys to your force, visit the Boss for great service and prices. Tell him Shipman sent you and he’ll sort you out !
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