TDs! (FOW Survival Guide)

Sorry guys, it has been a while since Ive done one of these! However it’s definitely good to be back! In this post we are going to be looking at some of the more common TDs (tank destroyers) of world war two (late war period) and how they play out in FOW.

Stug G

The Stug was the most produced German armoured fighting vehicle of the second world war. This fact is partly due to versatility of the vehicle itself having the ability to fulfill several roles effectively, but also due to simpler production of not needing a turret and the defensive actions that Germany were needing to perform during the late war period. The Stug was often used in the tank destroyer role to keep enemy armour at bay and generally did so with much success!

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Strengths

  • Front armour 7
  • Some platoons can take a Stuh42
  • Good mobility, especially with stormtrooper special move
  • Protected ammo

Weaknesses

  • Side armour very weak
  • Can be difficult to attack with, given the last point and lack of turret

Summary 

The Stug is a very nice option and my go-to German armoured vehicle in any list type. In a tank list I like to use a single platoon of Panthers supported by 2 Stug platoons on either flank. Normally the army needs to be trained (skill rating) due to points cost, but this is certainly helped a lot by that front armour 7. It does make a lot of a difference! If you can substitute a Stug in a platoon with Stuh42s then its worth considering as well as this gives a platoon both smoke and a breakthrough gun!

SU-100

The SU-100 is basically an improved SU-85. The SU-85 was becoming less useful during the late war period, given that its gun was the same as that on the T34/85. With the Germans producing larger tanks with thicker armour an upgrade was required. The SU-100 carries a powerful 100mm cannon and was clearly a successful design as it was used by several countries many years after the Second World War had ended!

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Strengths

  • Excellent anti tank value (16)
  • Strong frontally
  • ‘Cat Killers’ special rule (& long range 40″) makes this a true sniper

Weaknesses

  • Needs to be static to be truly effective
  • Slow moving and difficult to re-position
  • King Tigers!

Summary

The SU-100 for me is the real sniper tank in Flames of War. The ‘Cat Killers’ rule requires the SU to sit at long range and pick targets off from a distance and it absolutely excels at this… (unless the target is a King Tiger of course). Panthers and Tigers beware – the SU100 will go through these like butter, (as it will do with 99% of things it comes up against). This tank destroyer is absolutely dedicated to its role of sniping and as such is almost useless on the move. You really need to have a good amount of support around them and requires quite a bit of planning when it comes to list creation, be that an attacking tank force, or a dig in and defend infantry list.

M10

The M10 tank destroyer was of course an American design. But it was the British who helped it evolve into the late war period by fitting their 17 pdr gun in place of the American 3″ gun. The 3″ gun was less than effective against Tigers and Panthers hence why the British decided to up-gun it. However this is not to say that the 3″ was obsolete in 1944-45 – far from it. The majority of armour encountered by the allies were not Panthers and Tigers anyway and so 9 times out of 10 the US M10 was more than capable of taking out enemy targets and as such remained in service throughout the late war period.

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Strengths

  • Excellent ambush unit
  • Normally quite affordable
  • American Tank destroyer rules (with security section) make them very powerful

Weaknesses

  • Weak armour
  • One hit wonders. They can easily die after popping out and having just 1 turn of shooting

Summary

The M10/ Wolverine/ Achilles like most tank destroyers lack a lot of the flexibility that medium tanks enjoy… Of course its nice to have a turret, but the weak armour makes them very fragile indeed. As such they are best suited to an ambush or sniper role and not for trading shots with enemy tanks. Its normally is a case of popping out and then kill or be killed from the turn they are deployed. The American tank destroyer rules allow for more aggression than the British variant, given the security section essentially keeps the tank destroyers off the table for a more ‘mobile’ ambush later in the game. If the timings right they can win you the game, if its not it can cost you a platoon very quickly.

Jagdtiger

The Jagdtiger is both impressive and baffling at the same time. Having seen one in the flesh at Bovington last year and comparing with the Western allies primary tank – the M4 Sherman in the same hall I couldn’t help but think, ‘But what an earth was the point?!’ The Jagdtiger is an absolute beast that’s for certain, but does seem rather impractical (not to mention overkill) for the task at hand! Nevertheless it is probably the coolest looking tank destroyer of the lot and has absolutely no time for subtlety!

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Strengths

  • Best frontal armour in the game
  • Best anti tank gun in the game
  • Works well in defensive armies

Weaknesses

  • Becomes the focus of smoke and artillery bombardments
  • Slow and overloaded
  • High points cost

Summary

The Jagdtiger is at its best when on the defensive. The Remagen book includes several Auto Defend lists for the Germans, which can include Jagdtigers alongside infantry and nasty trap teams! Defending suits this beast well due to its low mobility and numbers. Keeping one in ambush can have devastating results for your opponent if they are not careful about their attack. Use the terrain well to prevent being outflanked and do everything you can to nullify the enemy artillery and you will find this beast can truly dominate the battlefield!

Thanks for reading

Matt

Category: Flames of WarFOW Survival Guide

One comment

  1. Tidy write up.

    But here’s the crux: Am I to assume that any late war German commander would opt to go for the jagdtiger over the StuG – purely for its effectiveness – and be happy with not much else in list? Facing unknown (but guessed tank-heavy) opponents?

    Just interested to see how you think on this.

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Article by: Mark Goddard