21st Panzer Divison – Building a better list

It’s been a while since I last did one of my ‘better list’ series but the 21st Panzer Div seems ripe for the treatment.  As health warning, this article is about using this booklet to make a more competitive list.  I dont like to do anything too crazy but I am not being bound by 100% history, instead Duncan will be doing that separately.

The units

First off lets look at the really different things the 21st Panzer Div brings us.  First off we have the 7.5cm Hotchkiss, which is basically a Pak40 on a french chassis. Broadly it does what the Marder from Fortress Europe does, and comes in at the same points.  The key difference is that these guys are core and you can get seven chassis in a formation.  Glass cannons can be dealt with, however lots of glass cannons is a bit trickier.  While these guys will happy brew up medium armour and even have a crack at FA9 during a blue on blue, the three-strong nature of their platoons makes them vulnerable to last stands.  Also worth noting is that the lack of armour means they aren’t affected by deep reserves so can happily be used in defense.

The 10.5cm Hotchkiss is the compulsory artillery unit of the formation and clocks in with a respectable bombardment and smoke.  HEAT is a nice touch but ROF1 AT10 is nothing that will make this a real tank killer. Brutal could be nice against gun teams, especially trained ones which are far easier to hit.

Reinenwerfer is a Neb on wheels with a pretty hefty price increase for the fact that you cant be pinned, however, again its core so has its place in the formation.  If you run the assault gun company you will want core units due to their fragile nature.

Finally the S307(F) is back and again is a Marder on wheels, but with even less armour.  It replaces the Pak40 in the traditional Panzergren formation and allows a mobile AT asset, perfect for ambushes.

Hotchkiss Assault Gun Formation

Now I’ll lay my cards on the table here and say that I don’t think there is a very competitive list to be had with these guys.  They look great fun and its wonderful that BF have added them, but you needn’t fear about the meta being changed.   That said, while I wouldn’t call them a A list they certainly have their charm and in the right hands could do well.

First off I argue that you need all six core platoons for this to work, all your platoons are squishy, even armoured cars are going to ruin your day.  Six core units means that formation morale is mitigated.

HQ 7.5cm Hotchkiss 4
3 x 7.5cm Hotchkiss 13
3 x 7.5cm Hotchkiss 13
3 10.5cm Hotchkiss 12 
4 x Reinenwerfer 12
2 x 10/4 (2cm) AA 3

That all clocks in at 57pts.

A key strength of the formation is that it has an answer to infantry with a Salvo and a FP3+ bombardment as well as fourteen AT12 shots for AT.  However I cant over stress how vulnerable these guys are.   For example US air support has 8 x AT5 FP5+ shots.  Unless everyone is hiding in a wood then you are going to be very vulnerable to them.  Use of cover will be key, not getting hit is your armour here.  With that in mind a 250 recce patrol is my next buy, in many missions, especially the new missions, recce is key and three points is a fair investment.

Next up I need a way to attack, nothing I have is going to do that and I have 40 points to do it with.  That’s not a lot for Germans!

I am still a huge fan of a pair of Tigers; they are hugely point effective and can assault pretty much anything.  The 2+ last stand and remount mitigates the two-strong platoon issue. 

Along side them I shall field an armoured recon platoon equipped with a panzerfaust.  As this is a competitive list I will add the Greyhound card to reduce their cost to a total of 14.  The scout rule means that this unit can approach a position with a lot less risk when utilizing cover.  Again not getting hit is their armour.  That now brings me to 38pts.

With the final 2 pts, I will pick up the lucky card; it really can save the day, plus make my AA armoured using the “Armoured AA” card; this will assist they key role of hiding and keeping the army in good spirits.


HQ 7.5cm Hotchkiss 4
3 x 7.5cm Hotchkiss 13
3 x 7.5cm Hotchkiss 13
3 10.5cm Hotchkiss 12 
4 x Reinenwerfer 12
2 x 10/4 (2cm) AA 3
SD Kfz 250 scout troop
2 x Tigers 24
Full Recon Platoon with faust and Greyhound Card (Last Stand 5+ and tactics 4+) 14
Armoured AA Card 1
Lucky Card 1

I think it would be certainly be a fun list to play and play against.  It will take a great deal of skill to get the most out off.  Interestingly you can risk defending with it, you could have everything but the Tigers and inf on table and against some armies that would work.  However I think in delayed reserves you would really struggle, its hard to hold on with glass hammers.

21st Panzer Grenadier 

Okay a second health warning.  I have to acknowledge that RAW you could take this formation and apply the Greyhound Card to it because in its title is Panzer Grenadier.
However,

  1. I don’t think that’s intended, and
  2. 2. That’s too much even for a comp article, so we wont be doing it!

That said unfortunately the 21st Panzer Grenadiers really don’t stack up that well point wise when you are looking from a competitive perspective.  The HQ pays two points for its transports and due to the U304(F) having a one passenger capacity you cant even leave them behind and jump in for a ride off the core platoons.

The aim of the list below is to be defensive but balanced enough to be able to attack as well.

My core formation looks as follows

HQ 2 x SMGs with 2 x U304(F) 4
7 x MG teams with faust 11
7 x MG teams with U304(F) and faust 15
4 x S307(F) 15
4 x Reinenwerfer 12

That comes to 57pts

We now look at support.  The core of the formation is pretty good, I have some solid mobile AT, perfect for an ambush, a salvo template with smoke and two decent infantry platoons.  However if I put that on table in the current meta I think I would be walked over. 
I need more AT urgently and and four Flak 88s seems sensible.  When defending that’s an easy trade out for the Reinenwerfer at 12pts.  That now means I have eight decent AT teams on table and 31pts left to play with. 

I am a big fan of not having too many reserve rolls, and I still want a unit able to attack, and deal with armour.  Five Panzer IVs seems to fit the bill at 28pts.  This would leave 3 pts which is perfectly filled by recce.


HQ 2 x SMGs with 2 x U304(F) 4
7 x MG teams with faust 11
7 x MG teams with U304(F) and faust 15
4 x S307(F) 15
4 x Reinenwerfer 12
4 x Flak88s 12
SD Kfz 250 scout troop  3
5 x Panzer IVs. 28

100pts

Quite a balanced list and packs a reasonable amount of AT.  It has bags of MGs shots vs infantry and two units able to press forward and attack, as well as a salvo template.  It ticks the required boxes.

For interest lets compare it to a “Greyhound” ‘normal’ Armoured Panzergren list which is formed as close as it can be to the list above.

Core units are -2 pts and are all last stand 5+and have 4 + tactics

HQ 1
7 x Mgs plus faust 9
Armoured Panzer Grens x 7 plus faust 12
4 x Pak40s 13
4 x armoured mortars 4

Thats 39pts, 18 cheaper than the 21st PanzerGrenadiers,  You lose some stats (last stand for infantry isn’t a big deal to me and some tactics, but I don’t really plan to blitz them and start dug in).  I also lose four halftracks and drop to a normal sized template.  Finally my Pak40s are static but there is some advantage in that when it comes to staying power, it depends on what you face really.  18 pts is a massive deal though, it buys me 4 x 88s with pak front and it all starts on table!

I then have 41 pts for support.  That allows a few options

  1. 3 x tigers plus 4 x armoured 7.5s and a lucky card
  2. 5 x Panzer IVs and 3 x 10.5 cm lorraine schleppers (Fp3+),
    4 x armoured 7.5s and a lucky card.

Option 2 is pretty nasty IMHO
 
HQ 1
7 x Mgs plus faust 9
Armoured Panzer Grens x 7 plus faust 12
4 x Pak40s 13
4 x armoured mortars 4
4 x armoured 7.5s
4 x 88s with Pak Front
5 x Panzer IVs
3 x Lorraine Schleppers

Now you turn up and face that and you probably will have a pause for thought regardless what you are running.  I doubt the 21st version does the same.  As I said at the beginning you could be super cheesy and do the greyhound card on the 21st which would buy back 10pts granting Pakfront and 4pts to play with, but I am still not hugely convinced.

Summing up

The 21st Panzer Div offers some cool choices.  Lots of glass hammer AT is a new way to play and the the fact that you can get a core salvo is pretty nice as well.  That said I think they are fun lists to play and are not going to be grade A tournie winners.  Is there anything wrong with that?  Not at all; I really hope we see more lists like this. 

Hopefully this article has given you an idea how to get the best out of your 21st Panzer on the table.  Just remember, not being hit is your best armour.

Category: Flames of WarGermansLate WarList DiscussionV4

Tags:

5 comments

  1. Hi Mark just wondering what the logic was behind increasing the points of 15cm Lorraine Schleppers was in late war when there are far more things that are much cheaper available to the allies that can kill them much easier?

    1. They are but That doesn’t explain why they are more expensive in late war than mid war. After all they have the same stats as mid war?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Article by: Mark Goddard