First I better explain what the Mistaken Target rule is. When your opponent is shooting at one of your platoon, they pick an individual team to target. The attacker can assign the hits how they like as long as the first hit goes on the initial targeted team, and all the hits are evenly distributed within 6 inches of that target. Mistaken Target comes in here as now the defender has the option to swap all the hits on one legal team with all the hits on a second legal team. The first use most players think of for this rule is if some teams in the platoon are inoperative (bailed/bogged down) then you want to try to move as many hits away from the active tank teams. But this just scratches the surface of what you can do with it. Look at this example:
In this example an Abram shot at the T-72s and hit once, putting the hit on tank marked A. You might think it doesn't matter which tank gets hit but it does. Tank A is within 16 inches of the Abram while tank B is more than 16 inches. That puts Tank B at long range so its armor is 1 higher. So it would be in the Soviet player's best interest to swap hits for a higher chance of a tank surviving. In a related note, remember you have to keep track of where each hit came from, especially if some of the shooters are getting side shots like in this next example:
Let's assume the Abrams in this example are more than 8 inches away. If each Abram hit once then the US player would want to put the hit from C on Tank B and D on to Tank A so it would be impossible for the Soviets to make an Armor save because it would be side shots. The Mistaken Target rule would allow the Soviet player to swap hits so both shots would be on front armor. In the heat of battle it can be easy to forget to use the Mistaken Target in this way. On the flip side, a tank "knife" fight is far more deadly than I initially thought. I figure that if my opponent is going to flank my tanks and there is no way to stop it, I would deploy my vehicles facing every directions, hoping I could then use Mistake Target to put as many shots as possible on front armor. What I didn't realize until recently is that if my opponent close the distance, then not only can they practice place the hits for maximum side shots, I also wouldn't be able to use Mistake Target rule because they are too close. In the above example the Abrams are actually 4 inches away, which would prevent the Soviets from using Mistake Targets. In this in mind for your games.
In the next example I have two pictures. In the first picture things are in the actual distance I will be describing. The second picture is a close up of the action so it would be easier to see what the issue is.
This situation happen in my last game, to my detriment. I pointed the issue out in hopes for me and Tracy to become better gamers and it bite me in the end. In this example it is the US turn and the Cobra hasn't fired yet. Wanting to protect my aircraft, I attempted to wiped out the enemy AA. The Soviets still had two working Shilkas and I just had my HQ tank to take them out. The Abram only hit once so I put the hit on the Shilka labelled A. It doesn't matter what angle the shot is coming from, any hit on a Shilka from an Abram is practically a dead Shilka. However in this case, Shilka A is in range of the Cobra while Shilka B is just outside of range to shoot at the aircraft. Since there is nothing else to shoot at the Shilkas it is in the Soviets player best interest to swap the hit so they can still do AA fire on the Cobras. In our actually game we played West Germans vs Soviets and I lost a Tornado because of this situation.
So always be aware what your opponents can still shoot next before deciding on using Mistaken Target rule and rolling saves. Because just swapping hits away from the active tanks may not be in your best interest. Instead it might be more beneficial to try to protect certain Anti-Aircraft teams or move hits onto teams that are the only targets for enemies that still can shoot.
One last point on Mistaken Targets and its something I only learn when I decided to write this post. Infantry can
I hope I was able to offer some advice on playing Team Yankee. If you know of some tactics using the Mistaken Target rule that I didn't cover, please leave a comment about it. Thank you for reading.