V-156F Vindicator

Unit Card:


Set - Rarity - Number

Condition Zebra - Common - 6/40


The Vought Vindicator is an American carrier-based dive bomber. It was the first monoplane dive-bomber of its type for the U.S Navy. The Vindicator also saw service with the French navy. These French Vindicator variants were known as the V-156-F. The French Vindicators were first used on the aircraft carrier Bearn, from there carrier tactics and trainings were applied. However, age and time caught up with the French carrier, and therefore Bearn was reassigned to aircraft ferrying duties. The Vindicators were put ashore and became land-based in France. When Germany invaded France, these Vindicators sustained heavy losses while attacking bridges and German ground targets in Northern France. By the time of France's surrender, there were very few Vindicators left in French hands, and the type was phased out of service.

Performance wise, the Vindicator was not as good as the venerable SBD Dauntless. American pilots referred to the planes as "vibrators" or "wind indicators". In addition, the SB2U did not have (reliable) dive-flaps, but featured a reverse pitch propeller to slow the aircraft during a dive. Vindicator pilots had to extend their landing gear to further slow the aircraft down.


There are only three excuses for fielding this unit on your board. 1) You are playing a scenario in which the Vindicator is appropriate, 2) you play with national restrictions on fleets (very very common), 3) you don't own any other allied dive-bombers (seriously, invest $10 and go to ebay and pick up a few SBDs or a couple Barracudas).

Now, if you've read my other reviews, you're probably about to give me some of my own medicine. I preach the economic and deliberate use of points to maximize fleet effectiveness… and you're probably wondering why I don't think a 7 point attack craft is just about the greatest thing. Well, here's why: THEY DIE and all they do is hand over points to the other side. This isn't like 3 Zara's rushing an Alaska or 2 Kongo's man-handling a Washington, or a swarm of Kamikazes. This is giving away points with nothing to show for it.

So if you are having fun with your all French fleet, enjoy the painful experience of unescorted armor 4 attack craft being chewed by Destroyer anti-air (and I have, thank you much), but otherwise, go get that Dauntless and thank me later.

On the positive side it is reasonably priced and has Press the Attack. With it's low armor it tends to get aborted, a lot. And with such a low VA it dies a terrible death. I rarely use this one myself. Will do ok in Med scenarios but otherwise do not recommend it.

About all I can say for the Vindicator is to only send it after the weakest of targets (DDs, DEs, and MTBs) and Press like mad. What's the worst that will come of it; the plane dying? :D

Tincancaptain: (after Condition Zebra)
Decent little dive bomber that is cheap but frail. At least it has Press the Attack, which is more than can be said for the Stuka. Export Version seems useless as both the US and UK have better options when it comes to dive bombers. 8/10

Herky80: (after conditon Zebra)
In 1939 US and UK have no better options. Of course US has no options, but if playing a 1939 game and you field the Victorious with Expert Bomber, this unit could help. At 7 points, it costs the same as the Stuka, but with one less Bomb die and vital armor. But Press the Attack makes up for that and based on Bearn or Victorious and you have that one die back. It is therefore on par with the Stuka and should be fine against early German AA ratings. 8/10

Plastic Figure Notes:


Not the greatest aircraft sculpt, and is surprisingly fragile for a rubbery WOTC aircraft mini. Still, looks nice painted up, especially if you paint some up for use with the USN.

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