Stoss… Hammer Time!

Today, Duncan is back to look at some options for his WW1 Great War Germans – to Stoss or not to Stoss… that might be the question… possibly… maybe… let’s find out!  

Hi Duncan here and today I going to be looking closely at expanding my Great War German so that I don’t have to take the, in reality ultra-rare, AV7s in every game just to get to a decent points total.

The obvious choice to me is more infantry – currently only having the two compulsory platoons does make me think I’m a little light in the foot sloggers but the question is now: What type of infantry?

Infanterie Platoon

So more of what I already have – but that is not a bad thing! Coming in at 150pts for a Confident Trained Platoon or 195pts for a Confident Veteran Platoon of a command team, 6 rifle teams and 2 machine gun teams, both standard platoons are good value. If knew I was defending I would be tempted to take the Confident Trained option with the converse being true if I had to charge across no-mans-land.

The Infanterie Platoon is the mainstay of your Great War German force and for just shy of 600pts for 27 stands of Confident Vets is really good value.

Having established that I’d be looking at using the Confident Vets to attack with, they are a good benchmark to compare to the other offensive option – The Stoss Platoon!

Stoss Platoon

The first thing to note is that the Stoss Platoon comes from your Support Platoons and not from your Combat Platoons in a regular Infanteriekompanie. This means that you will have at least 2 Infanterie Platoons to purchase first, and form the backbone of your army, before you can add in the Stoss Platoon.

And what a Platoon it is! It ALWAYS ATTACKS – that’s right unless you also bring an artillery battery to the party the Stoss Platoon is going for the throat. This is very powerful, as we experience towards the end of the V3 Flames of War period, and allows you to tailor your list to address the difficulties of attacking in a mission without having to consider how the same elements would have to adapt to being the defender.

A Stoss Platoon also gets some funky little rules – Trench Fighter (pistol and SMG Teams hit on a 2+ in assaults) Stosstruppen Infilftration (Stoss and Infanterie Platoons may Spearhead) and Mission Tactics (replace destroyed Platoon Command Teams) on top of all of that the pistol and SMG teams are rated as tank assault 3 – and breath!

However… all that lovely goodness comes at a cost – a hefty cost. A Stoss Platoon with a command pistol team, 6 more pistol teams and 2 machine gun teams is north of 300pts! Around 50% more than a rifle armed Infanterie Platoon. Once you add in a Flamethrower and an SMG upgrade for the command team you are looking at nearly the cost of two Infanterie Platoons. Wow.

So Which Is Better?

I am going to add a single Stoss Platoon to my Infanteriekompanie as the spear tip to my assault forces tooled up with the SMG and Flamethrower – and backed up by Confident Vets. For me the auto attacking option gives me the flexibility to understand what I will need to achieve in every mission – that combined with my normal Infanterie Platoons being able to get further up the table on deployment is worth the points investment.

I think that the historical flavour of these troops has been captured superbly – they were, and are, the rocket fuel that will propel your troops into the enemy trenches. But with only being armed with pistols (and a miserly range of 4”) don’t expect them to hold out for long on their own – the Stoss Platoon will need to be reinforced by your other infantry assets ASAP.

I’ll try the Stoss Platoon in my next game – replacing the 2 x AV7s will give me plenty of points to play with at least – and report back with my findings in another AAR.