The new World War 3: Team Yankee – West German book is here. Which is a bit of a mouthful so I shall just refer to it as ‘West Germans’. Below I discuss the main additions and changes between this and the old Leopard book, (and the Panzertruppen supplement). Subsequent articles will be published looking at various bits in more detail.
The original Leopard book only had three formations, with a further three added later on in the Panzertruppen supplement. The new book doubles this again for a total of 12 formations.
The new formations are:
•Leopard 2A5 Panzer Kompanie – The new toughest tank in the game
• Marder 2 Panzer Grenadier Kompanie – possibly the coolest IFV that never was
• Leopard 2 Panzeraufklarungs Kompanie – the above 2 mixed together with an extra dash of sneakiness
• Fallschirmjäger Kompanie – Elite infantry and tiny tankettes
• Gebirgsjäger Kompanie – Elite infantry in big units (by West German standards)
• Jäger Kompanie – West German infantry that are hit on 3+
So let’s go over those in a little more detail
Its front armour is WHAT?!
The Leopard 2A5 formation doesn’t really add anything over the old Leopard 2 formation-the mandatory and optional Leopard 2 boxes are now Leopard 2A5w, and the 2nd Mandatory box gives you a choice of Leopard 2A5, Leopard 2 and infantry in Marder 2s or Marder 1s. But that’s not to say it’s not worth talking about. The Leopard 2A5 is a beast. Its main gun is your standard 120mm – same as on the Leopard 2,so nothing special there, but its armour blimey-its armour is immense – just look at it!
That’s right, front armour 22, this is the toughest tank in the game. The only tank that can damage it from the front is the M1A1 with its AT 23 rounds of DU freedom, and that’s only if it gets within 16”. It’s even got a chance of bouncing an AT 27 missile launched by fixed wing aircraft. Side armour 13 is no slouch either, making it harder for your opponent to swarm your sides with T-55s or other cheap and cheerful vehicles.
This does come at a price though- the Leopard 2A5 isn’t the most expensive tank in the game, that’s still the M1A1HC, but it’s not much cheaper.
Is it worth the cost? Well, that’s a discussion for another time.
It’s AT is HOW MUCH?!
The next new big shiny thing in the book is the Marder 2.
The Marder 2 Panzer Grenadier Kompanie is again very similar to its Marder 1 counterpart. You get an HQ, black box and optional Marder 2 Panzer grenadier Zug, a black box that can be Marder 2 Panzer grenadiers or either flavour of Leopard 2. The rest of the support is the usual Jaguar 1, M113 mortars, Gepards, M109s and Luchs.
For the HQ you get a choice between just one G3 team and Marder 2, or a G3 team, MG3/Panzerfaust 44 team and 2 Marder 2s.
The Panzer grenadier Zugs themselves are the standard tiny sized West German ones we know and grumble about, but now you get the option of adding in a Carl Gustav team, so at maximum size you can have 6 infantry teams, (3 MG3/Panzerfaust 44, 2x Milan and the Carl Gustav) and 3 Marder 2s.
The Marder 2 itself continues the West German theme, and is now the toughest transport in the game with a front armour of 6, which basically puts it in light tank territory. It can either be armed with a 35mm cannon or a 50mm cannon. Both are rate of fire 3/3 and have anti-tank values that will make anything that isn’t an MBT hide under a blanket with a teddy bear. AT 11 or AT 13 on a troop transport is mental.
The best of both worlds
The Leopard 2 Panzeraufklarungs Kompanie is not only an amazing score in scrabble, it is also an amazing formation in the book. I personally think it’s the best one in there, and if I was going to do a West German army, it would be the formation I’d use. Not that I’m going to collect another Team Yankee army stats nervously sweating.
The Marder 2 Spah Trupps are the same vehicles as mentioned above, but only come in pairs and are missing the Milan launcher. They do, however, gain the Scout and Spearhead rules for some sneakiness. I’ll be doing a more in-depth article about this formation as I design a 100-125pt list for them, which I definitely won’t end up buying looks around nervously.
These boots were made for walking
I said that the Leopard 2 Panzeraufklarungs Kompanie was in my opinion the best formation in the book, but that doesn’t mean it’s my favourite formation in there. For you see, the pages of West Germans also includes something magical for Team Yankee players. Something rare and special that we all dream of but few get. I am of course speaking of Leg infantry.
That’s right, West Germans bucks the Team Yankee trend and includes Leg Infantry formations- three of them to be precise. Now I know the Iranians in Oil wars can have the Basij leg infantry, but it’s not quite the same. This is one of the major mainstream nations getting them. It gives me hope that we might see more for other nations in future.
As a bonus, it’s the same infantry pack to make all 3 units and it comes with cards for all three, so if you buy one type of infantry, you’ll be able to field the others as well.
Ride of the Valkyries
The first leg infantry formation is the Fallschirmjäger. “But wait”, I hear you cry, “don’t they come in helicopters?” Yes, but the helicopters are an optional upgrade you have to pay for. They don’t come with them as standard.
They are you classic highly skilled relatively small sized units, and the formation doesn’t have many options: An HQ, 2-3 units of the above, and then optionally 1 unit of each kind of Wiesel. Speaking of which, just look how cute these things are.
When you absolutely, positively want either a 20mm cannon or a TOW missile armoured in tin foil, accept no substitutes. They are both armour 0 all round and don’t have any sneaky rules that help they stay alive, so will die to a stiff breeze, but boy are they are cute. The TOWs come in units of 2-4, and the 20mm in 3s or 6s. Oh, and if you’re wondering about the TOW missile, it’s just the basic AT 21, no TOW 2 here.
Mountains of Madness
Next, we have the Gebirgsjäger, the mountain infantry.
These chaps get zero transport options, none, zip zilch. They are pure leg infantry. Isn’t it glorious? . They do get a special ‘Mountaineers’ rule, which basically means if they pass a skill test, they can climb mountains or cliffs, which is highly situational, and I doubt will come up in very many games.
They are big units by West German standards-at full strength you get 7 MG3/Panzerfuast 44 teams and 2 Milan teams, which Warpac players will still think is cute, but it’s a lot for West German players. Their Leopard 1 unit can also be up to 5 tanks strong.
Just plain Jagers
Last, (and possibly least,) it’s the Jäger Kompanie. That’s right, none of your fancy Gebirgs or Fallschirm for these guys. Instead, they get giant combat robots that require two people to pilot….. no, hang on, sorry, that’s the wrong type of Jäger.
They are actually reservists, which means they have worse stats then the rest of the West Germans, but like many things in the book, worse is subjective, and apart from the hit on 3+, the other stats are still fairly decent.
They come on foot as standard, but can be given some M113s to ride around in for a token amount. They also come in decent sized units, but the fact you only get 1 Milian team might cause problems.
A formation of them is HQ, 2-3 Jäger Zugs, optional M113 Mortars, and the choice of either Leopard 1s or Kanonenjagdpanzers.
All the information support has similar stats to the infantry, so you can have some cheap Leopard 1s that are hit on 3s.
The Kanonenjagdpanzer are a nice addition, I mean in game terms. They are terrible, being thinly armoured, and with a 90mm main gun, they were hopelessly obsolete in the 80s, but it’s a nice option to include. It also has the forward defence option, so doesn’t count as a tank for deployment when you play with the deep reserves rules.
One thing that’s a bit annoying though is that several times in the Jäger Kompanie fluff, it makes reference to them mostly using old M48s and a few Leopard 1s, but they don’t include any stats for the M48. Now I’m not greedy-I don’t expect Battlefront to make another plastic kit, (despite the fact that loads of nations used the M48 and it’s used a lot in FoaN and NAM – okay I am annoyed they don’t make it in plastic,) but they could have just re-boxed the metal and resin M48 from Fate of a Nation, possibly with a couple of different metal parts to make sure it had the correct barrel and IR box.
I just think it’s a missed opportunity to introduce something that the community has been after for a while.
Tweaking the old stuff
That’s a run-down of the new formations, and now here is a quick look at changes to the existing formations.
Leopard 1 Kompanie
-Can now have 1 or 2 tanks in the HQ
-Jaguar 2 zug has been replaced with a Jaguar 1 zug
Marder 1 Kompanie
-Can now get a MG3/44 team in HQ with a 2nd Marder 1
-The Marder 1 Panzer grenadier Zugs can add in a Carl Gustav team.
-Has been renamed to the Leopard 1 Panzeraufklarungs Kompanie to distinguish it from the Leopard 2 version.
-Can now only include 1 Fuchs Zug, and loses the option to take an information Leopard 2 Zug
Fuchs Panzeraufklarungs Kompanie
-Can now have a unit of Gepards in formation
-These now come in 2 flavours: the classic M109, and the new and improved M109A3G,-the only difference being the M109A3G has a better Antitank in direct fire for a slight points increase. Well, you also get a range increase in bombardment, but I don’t think having a range of the entire table to having a range that will let you shoot onto the next table really makes that much difference.
-Which M109 option you get depends on which formation you have chosen. Some get the basic M109, some the M109A3G, and some can choose which one they want.
-Both types of M109 now come with bomblets as standard and can be taken in units of up to 6
-You now have the option of taking 3 in a unit.
-The only changes to support are the additions of the MRLS and the Kanonen Jagdpanzer.
I’m not collecting a West German army, I’m not collecting a West German army, I’m not coll………
That concludes our preview of the new West German book. In the coming days we will have more articles covering some bits in more detail. Overall, I think it’s a great book, with some good solid formations, and I’m pleased to see the introduction of so much leg infantry into the game.
I personally won’t be collecting an army of them, but I’m now off to design some Leopard 2 Panzeraufklarungs Kompanie list, purely for research purposes you understand…… more nervous looks. Oh, and I might do an unofficial unit card for the M48A2GA2 whilst I’m at it.
Hmmmm…. a Leopard 2 Panzeraufklarungs Kompanie backed up with some cheap J
ä ger infantry might be an idea……. Not that I’m going to collect a West German army goes for a cold shower.