Ghost Panzer – Mounting an Assault

Whenever I think of this attack, my stomach turns over

Heinz Guderian – prior to the the assault on Kursk

A couple of weeks ago I looked at the new Ghost Panzers booked and the new options it brings to the German Forces for Mid War.  Today I am going to look at the highly anticipated Armoured Panzer Grenadier list.

Armoured Panzer Grenadiers

When I started pondering options from the new book I had to start with this list, as its perhaps the one most people have been patiently waiting for and remains one of my favorite (and trickest) armies to play.   It’s a swiss army knife that can do everything but all this ability comes at high cost.  It needs to be played carefully and deliberately, you cant afford mistakes.
What I want out of this list is a good representation of what the force would have had available, rather than creating a min/max with all the awesome toys (so no Elephant as there were only about 80 of them!).  The force needs to be able to attack, but also defend but with a good counter attack option.

To start with I am going to make a strong core force to ensure I have a good solid base for formation morale.

HQ 2 x SMG Teams  & halftrack 3
Full Armoured Panzergrenadier Platoon with  2.8cm ATR & half tracks 15
Full Armoured Panzergrenadier Platoon with half tracks 13
4 x mounted 8cm mortars 6
4 x mounted 7.5cm guns 10

Total 47 pts

The formation units have 2 solid infantry platoons with bucket loads of MG dice and the mobility and assault potential of Halftracks with the armoured assault rule, which makes them rather ‘tasty’.  The mortars are great value, with smoke and a average 4+ bombardment.  Finally eight AT9, with mobility,  is quite respectable for 10pts and will be very welcome vs the lists you often see with lots of light vehicles and tanks.

The first thing I need with support is some AT12.  I need to be able to deal with KVs as well as Valentines that those pesky Soviets will be packing, as well as the odd Churchill (Both Soviet and British now!).  Therefore Marders fit the bill and also are a historically fitting Tank Hunter unit for an Armoured Panzer Grenadier force.

4 x Marders 16

Next I never leave home without some recce and a light scout patrol fits the bill nicely.  Ill replace the one of the MGs with a 2.8cm as I already have loads of MG dice from the core units.

Light Scout troop (replace 221 Mg with 221 2.8cm)  2

I am now at 65pts.  Options now get tough.  3 x Stugs is out as they are too expensive, I could take 4 Panzer III late or 1 x Panzer III late and 2 x Panzer IV late which certainly adds mobility and respectable fire power. That would round me off at 100pts nicely.  However 3 x tanks does worry me.  Sure a 4+ to save, range and cover gives a 6+ to hit and makes them very survivable, but all the enemies AT will be pointing at them.

Marders, dont leave home without them!

The other option is to stick with the Armoured Grenadier core and ignore tanks altogether.  With 35pts you can get:

Another full armoured panzergrenadier platoon with half tracks 13
Nebelwerfer x 3  9
3 x 7.5cm Pak40 Guns 15

This comes to 102 points but remove the ATR from the first platoon and you are at the magic 100pts.  I really like this idea and it makes all that really expensive enemy AT redundant!

HQ 2 x SMG Teams  & halftrack 3
Full Armoured Panzergrenadier Platoon with  half tracks 13
Full Armoured Panzergrenadier Platoon with half tracks 13
Full Armoured Panzergrenadier Platoon with half tracks 13
4 x mounted 8cm mortars 6
4 x mounted 7.5cm guns 10
4 x Marders 16
Light Scout troop (replace 221 Mg with 221 2.8cm)  2
Nebelwerfer x 3  9
3 x 7.5cm Pak40 Guns 15

Total 100

As a side note if I wanted to make this a highly competitive list i’d swap the Pak40s for a Ferdinand and reduce a full Armoured Grenadier Platoon to a short one but adding in a ATR which saves me 2 points.  However as I say I dont think a Ferdinand would have been supporting this type of infantry force and I am conscious that the Ferdinand will become somewhat default in German lists as its rather awesome!

I think this list has everything I need to put a fight up against pretty much everything.  Sure there are lists that can beat it, but there always will be. 

I love the fact that it has three infantry platoons.  This makes it an assault monster with the ability to use two platoons up front to push a hole onto the objective and another to bring up to hold it.  Most lists you see only have two platoons, and with only seven teams each, you often have little to hold on with once you have fought your way across the board.  Its also a lot of cautious stands to hold ground when you need to defend (remember one half track also has a ROF 2 AT6 gun in each platoon which can make armour think twice about defensive fire). 

When defending in mobile battles the half-tracks will make you super mobile, and able to go and grab your objectives or get key blocking positions such as buildings.  They are also great when coming on from reserve.  There is little more satisfying than having them come on from reserve in Dust Up or Breakthrough and assaulting them straight into a infantry platoon which has little AT defensive fire!

AT wise you are pretty covered, a good mixture of AT9 with the 7.5cm halftrack guns, the always lovely AT12 Marders, as well as another 6 AT12 shots with the Pak40s, perfect when you need to defend against armour.  In fair fights you have a good AT12 asset to assign to each obj, which makes life a lot harder for your opponent. Especially with your infantry flying around in halftracks as needed.

Artillery is rather well covered as well.  I love the Nebs because you can start them ranged in and deny a huge area.  Place it around an objective and the enemy literally has to start under the template if it wants to hold it.  The fact that it also has a smoke bombardment is the icing on the cake.  A second template and smoke bombardment is supplied by the mortars; two smoke bombardments is key.  I have one to cover my dash with the halftracks and then one to drop smoke in front of what I assault while my other template pins them (with bags of MG dice as back up).  Pinned, with smoke cover, is key to get that infamous armoured assault off!

Conclusion

Well there you have it.  A veritable Swiss army knife of a list which stays true to its historic roots and doesn’t resort to any ‘Stilton’ like cheese (Fez, aren’t you proud of me!).  Its certainly on my list of armies to do a Batrep with in Feb once I am back in good old Blighty.

Category: Flames of WarGermansList DiscussionMid War

2 comments

  1. Great article Mark! I’m a veteran with the halftracks but haven’t used them with the new rules yet. They changed them regarding how they work in the assault phase, with no longer giving extra hits depending on how many teams ride along, but increase the ‘To Hit’-number. Do you think that will impact the way you use them, maybe delay assaults even?

    1. Not massively. It is a shame as the 2 attacks was very nice but a re-roll is also pretty important as it’s a 89% chance of killing someone. In V4 you can only kill what you are in base to base with so 2 attacks is also quite redundant.

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Article by: Mark Goddard