So the last book of Late War is finally here, we are at the gate of the German capital and the last days of the Reich. Berlin is a 73 page book that covers the German defenders of the city (Kampfgruppe Berlin) and the street fighting lists of the Soviet Union (Hero Strelkovy, ISU and IS lists). Today we are going to cover the Germans, please come back on Monday for the Soviet lists (click here to see it.)
Berlin has only one German list, but it makes almost every other list in the game look restrictive. The book starts with a history section that is about 12 pages long and gives you all the info you could want about the battle.
Kampfgruppe Berlin has two special rules, Enjoy the War for all Fearless and Confident units (a 2+ and 3+ respectively) and Battlegroup Berlin with means you can’t use the Kampfgruppe special rule but ignore the Reich Divided rule.
The first thing that surprised me was this list does not auto defend, it’s a normal infantry company. You can turn it into a fortified company but it’s not cheap to do so, I will cover this when we come to that option.
Your HQ can be either SS or Heer and can have one Panzerschreck added to it, The combat platoons have five options! Option one Veteran SS or Heer, option two trained SS or Heer, option three Trained FJ’s, option four Volkssturm (yes you can finally collect the Volkssturm compamy!) and option five Hitlerjugend.
The Veteran, Trained and FJ platoons are quite similar. All are Panzerfaust/MG teams and any or all can be upgraded to Assault Rifles for +5pts per team. The Volkssturm are the same as they are in other books with Panzer Faust Rifles.
Now the new unit, the Hilterjugend, this might be my favourite unit in the book! They are Fearless Conscripts, and are Panzerfaust teams, you can give them rifles as an upgrade if you like. What I love about them is they get a special rule called Tank Terrors, this means they can move and shot their panzerfausts, thats right move AND shoot, there are a nice cheap throw away unit which if you can put them in ambush will scare the you know what out of most tank platoons!
Next up is the weapons platoons, here you will find options for SS, Heer and Volksturm HMG, Mortar and infantry gun platoons, the Heer and SS have a few more options for the infantry guns. All the Volksturm support gets the same special rules as the regular Volkssturm infantry. You also have the option to combat attach these units to the Voksturm platoons if you want too. The final weapons platoon are Anti-Tank Guns. No Volkssturm option here, but the SS and Heer can have 1 to 3 PaK40’s or PaK38’s, these platoons can make combat attachments and can be upgraded to have Panzerfausts gun teams.
Next up is the Fortifications options, as you’d expect with this being a city fight you get street barricades. The basic fortification is 2 Street Barricades, 2 Minefields and a Panzer IV turret or Panther turret. You can add up to 3 sections of bared wire, two more street barricades and an addition turret. This option also makes you a fortified company.
Now the support platoons. The first option is a Heer Panzer platoon with Panzer IV’s, Panthers or Tigers (without Tiger Ace skills), all can have tank riders. Next up is a SS King Tiger platoon which does get Tiger Ace skills and the final armoured option is StuG’s or StuH’s both Heer and SS. Mobile AA can be either Wirbelwinds or Ostwinds and recon comes in the form of Heavy Panzerspah with Sd Kfz 234/1 and 234/4 (PaK40). Interestingly once again (as with KG Arnhem) battle front have put the recon and the mobile breakthrough guns in the same slot.
Now on to one of the oddest looking units in the book, the Bedbug Platoon. This platoon is made up of 2 to 3 Kleinpanzer Wanze’s, which are Bergward B IV demolition carriers (so halftracked) armed with 6 Panzerschrecks! Short ranged but ROF 3 and can move and shoot at full effect! They have a similar rule to the Heavy Rocket platoons, so once they fire they have to either miss a turn of shooting or roll a skill test to shoot the following turn.
Tank-Hunter platoons come in the form or either Elefants, Panzer IV/70’s, Hetzers or Waffentrager (8.8cm). The Waffentrager is a new unit which is very cheap, but is slow,has almost no armour and has awkward layout but is AT 16 and ROF 2.
Anti-Tank gun platoons can have either PaK40’s or PaK43’s and also get the Panzerfaust upgrade option. There is an option to have Infantrtie Platoons which represent the secondary branches with some level of training, units like Polizei, Lufwaffe voluteer detactments, etc. These are Confident Trained and are Panzerfaust Rifle/MG.
Pioneer platoons for the Heer and SS are expensive being Panzerfaust Pioneer MG teams, with the option to upgrade to Assault Rifles (is there anything these teams can’t do!?!), they also get the normal 3 flame throwers which seems very expensive to use them like that!
Heavy Mortars platoons are all 12cm sGW43’s and the normal and heavy artillery has almost every option you can think of from the other Late War books. You also have all three options for the Nebs, but with one artillery slot for all 4 options you will have a headache trying to work out which one to use.
The final two options are Luftwaffe Heavy and Light AA which like the artillery have all the options you can think of. They do get a rule with means they can choose to start the game in Prepared Positions. And other than the kitchen sink thats it!
The book rounds out with a look at historical Kampfgruppes in Berlin if you want to theme your lists and where they fought during the battle.
As you have probably worked out you can do anything from a super elite company of SS-Charlemagne to the hordes of Reluctant Conscripts and everything in between. The amount of options is scary! This list will appeal to anyone who likes list building and wants to find that wining combo. Personally I’m trying to resist the Volksturm Company as your core 6 platoons comes to a very small 490pts! Add in a platoon of Hitlerjugend and and a HQ option and you are still only at 640pts for 7 platoons! Sure they are all Conscript and bar the Hitlerjugend are all Reluctant but you still have a lot of points for some support options. Although 350pts of that might need to go towards fortifications as you do not want to be attacking with this army!
I hope you enjoyed the list preview and don’t forget to check out the Soviet preview Monday. Until next time