Today Mark looks at 3 Late War German lists and how they can be played in V4.
I have to be honest, Germans were a tricky army to play in V3 Late War and probably still are in V4. They have small. but powerful. platoons; excellent. but expensive. tanks; and little air support. However, there is something awesome about having big cats (Tigers – I and II, and Panthers for any newbies joining us), rocket launchers and armoured halftracks charging into people. They may be the baddies, but they have some cool kit.
In V4, some of the difficulties playing Germans have been reduced. Firstly the small 7 stand platoons now test at two stands, instead of three, and at the start of the next turn – not at the end of the phase. Also the big cats are now much more survival due to the reduction in the effectiveness of artillery vs tanks. I tended to lose my Panthers to bombs rather than shooting. Also you can’t just spend the whole game smoking my expensive Jagtiger anymore; hurray!
With this in mind lets take a look at three lists; one each of Infantry, Mechanised and Armoured.
Volks Grenadiers – Infantry – CV (Ardennes Offensive)
When it comes to infantry I tend to lean towards Confident Veteran, where possible. Lots of people are fretting about the new artillery rules vs infantry, but if you do the maths on how hard it is to blow away Vets and you may just be surprised. Infantry can now really get around with a 8 inch tac move increasing to 12 with a successful follow me order. Plus, Germans, thanks to their updated Stormtrooper rule, can actually blitz, move and use follow me! Yup, a 16 inch move right there. That’s a huge threat when you have three platoons of MG, ‘Faust and ‘Shrek infantry running around, dashing from forest to forest. My view is that we need to stop looking at infantry lists as a defensive posture. They have a massive capability to attack now, especially when loaded with all the weapons these guys have.
Every army needs anti tank and that’s supplied with two respectable gun platoons, enabling both objectives to be protected by infantry and guns. Additionally one platoon of the PaKs can bombard when on the offensive. I do like the full platoon of 6 PaK-40s. however, I needed to get 2 sets of AT guns to ensure that I have redundancy and the ability to protect two places at once.
The mobile firepower of the list is supplied by a platoon of three Panther tanks. These have really benefited from V4 with the new Storm Trooper rule and the death of artillery gun parks killing of all my big cats. While not veteran, the fearless status will keep them in the fight and help them remount and avoid good spirit tests.
To be honest this list isn’t that dissimilar to something you would see in V3, however I think with the increased manoeuvrability of the infantry and survivability of the Panthers the army has really benefited.
Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie (Lehr) – Mech – CV (Atlantik Wall)
Once again I have gone for veteran infantry in this case, for the same reasons as above. This time one of the platoons is mounted in armoured transports allowing for even more aggressive play, as well as brilliant mobile MGs for any infantry that moves. The infantry platoons are really brutal and one of the only times LW Germans get 10 stands on a platoon meaning eight casualties before a good spirits test.
Anti tank is a bit thinner here, with only a single platoon of PAK40s; when defending with reserves, the infantry will have to sit tight until the Panthers arrive from reserve.
As the list needs to be able to attack it has two good templates (why would you not take nebs at that cost!) to start digging out infantry and gun teams, as well as supplying smoke.
Finishing off the list is some AA. Now, under V4 rules, I don’t expect it to do much, but it’s a deterrent and also useful for shooting up recce, light AFV, and infantry.
A hasty attack stance suits this list. When facing a likely defending opponent you force them to defend in a mobile battle where you can MG them in the open and rain artillery onto them. Also it means that you ‘defeat’ a prepared attack by forcing them to defend as well with half on in a mobile battle.
Panzer Kampfgruppe – Tank – CT (Desperate Measures)
As discussed, Germans have some very expensive toys, especially their heavy armour. In order to get the mass of tanks I feel comfortable with, I have been forced to go trained and drop to replacement tanks which don’t get the storm trooper rule. To mitigate the trained aspect, I have gone with a high front armour 9/10. Even the infantry is armoured to help mitigate those MG shots.
This list needs to fear tanks such as SU100s and Fireflies. That’s where Rudel comes in with his AT11 cannons which re-roll misses. He arrives on a 3+ as well, and can never be shot down, always returning. A bargain for 175pts!
A bit of recce has been thrown in to allow the big cats to be deployed in the optimum position, along with some dirt cheap artillery (seriously – Nebs are one of the big winners this edition) for pining and smoke.
Finally, we round the list off with some decent AA in the form of the 3.7cm armed Ostwinds to stand a chance of dealing with roaming Typhoons; although nothing is really going to stop the flying tanks in the shape of IL-2s!
This is an offensive list, so will often be choosing the planned attack stance. However, this may drop to hasty attack if facing other armour that is likely to take hasty as well. I don’t want to defend in a mobile battle after all!
All in all, my German lists haven’t changed that much in V4. Perhaps I may have been more weighted to ensuring that there are at least 3 combat or weapons platoons, but largely they are unchanged.
I really do feel that Germans have benefited in V4 especially with the their big cats and infantry morale rules. The thing that worries me is the dual between AA and air at the moment. It means that IL2s (flying tank and high AT cannon) can rip expensive tanks apart with relative impunity. Even the formerly very nasty Ostwinds don’t cut it, really. On the flip side you can’t mitigate everything and aircraft were an issue for heavy tanks in V3 as well. At least they don’t come back once they are shot down now!
Next time, I will be looking at Soviet lists for LW. Ill give you a tip, go and buy IL2s right now!