So what is the second (right after Tank Destroyers) most annoying special US rule? Correct: 'Jumbos lead the way' :)
What this rule means is that tanks with front armor of 12 and side armor of 8 will be considered lowest armor for hit allocation. Thus, in most cases they will be the first target to be assigned a hit from any direct fire weapons. With their high armor rating, these hits will most likely ricochet off their front armor plate and be completely wasted. It would maybe not be such an amazing rule, if not for the fact that apart from platoon tank upgrades (1 per platoon), you can also upgrade a HQ tank to Jumbo. With some clever employment of CiC or 2ndIC Jumbo tank, a US player can effectively negate 2 initial hits of each salvo targetting the platoon that he intends to protect. Such a unit will then go around the table killing whatever they want and be almost impervious to any return fire.
So the question is: how to deal with these metal monsters? :)
I have collected some of my experience in fighting Jumbos that I mostly earned the hard way in the points below (I will go from most obvious to the least obvious ideas):
1. Outflank whenever you can. This seems like an obvious method, but it really needs to be mentioned. A drop from armor 12 to 8 means a lot, especially at short ranges, where most medium anti-tank guns can get a penetrating hit to the side or rear.
2. Ignore the unit and shoot the support. Once the tanks are rid of their supporting units, they become somewhat helpless. With no recce, they are prone to ambushes, with no artillery, they will have a hard time to dig out infantry. You do not always have to go for the strongest unit first. I would say that quite the reverse is true - in such deathstar lists, it is often beneficial to focus down weak platoons in an effort to force a company morale check.
3. Assault whenever possible. In an assault, these tanks are not much different from any other tank. Battlefront made them Top Armor 2 but if you are launching assaults vs tanks I think I can safely assume that you bring some bazookas/panzerfausts/piats with you anyway.
4. Use smoke - target the Jumbo tanks. There are 2 rules that help you here:
- at long ranges, smoke covers completely, blocking line of fire
- at short ranges, smoke makes the Jumbo be considered gone to ground and thus be the last one to be allocated a hit
6. Whenever possible, approach the platoon so that only the soft targets are within 16" of your shooting teams. This will force priority of hit allocation on them, since the table in the rules says so :P
7. Use your other units to block line of sight to Jumbos. You just need to make sure that you state your intention to your opponent and that you do this on a team by team basis. This means, that you will probably need to sacrifice or at least expose one team per gun/tank shooting to get the desired effect. But hey, it is still better than to just sit there and get shot to pieces! :)
Well, these are the methods that I normally use to fight Jumbo tanks. But what is your experience?