I like to work on the principle that I’m always right. And many of you will remember back in one of our podcasts we slated the HMG. We were right at the time, however experience has changed what ‘right’ is – and I have to say I now love HMG’S!
I’ve changed my mind as the environment in which I play has evolved. When I slated the HMG it was after my experiences of using them in British lists in LW. They were unable to combat attach, I never found a good time to use their bombardment rule (which was not available to the para’s anyway!) and in comparison to the 6pdr less versatile – all of that is still true.
In EW my Finns are armed only with rifles (ok in MW and LW too) they are a decent number of stands strong (9) but if they are smoked and pinned they will struggle to stop an assault – and with no save in combat having an enemy vet infantry platoon crash into them, I lose so much more it feels like than my opponent. Adding one or two HMG’s – even when pinned adds so much more weight to that defensive fire. Married to that is the extra protection vs light tanks – admittedly it was a MW game where t70’s charged into my Finns but the extra HMG shots stopped the assault- in EW AT2 is enough at times!
Westfalen – the trained experience
This has been on which I don’t have the maths to support – but more my testimony and experience. When using trained infantry, you can’t sit there like a vet and take shots, you have the numbers, therefore more firepower – use it! Now don’t be suicidal – if you’re HMG are facing a mix of infantry and tanks, you need to be careful, as that tank will pick on you HMG’s once they’ve opened up! But you are weaker in assault than the vet infantry coming at you – it works to whittle them down on the way in I feel. The HMG’s won’t be fighting so they better pull their weight – and defensive fire is not enough pulling!
Volksgrenadiers/late war Finns – the I’m so big to shift experience!
One of the better advantages of adding HMG’s I think is increasing the platoon size. With the Volksgrenadiers when you have your normal 7 stand platoon, add two schrek’s and 2 HMG’s you become a very self sufficient unit able to deal with infantry and tanks easily – as well as take more casualties of you have to slog across the field to assault! Likewise there is also the psychological benefit of sitting an already big fearless platoon (like Finn’s) and adding HMG’s and AT assets to it – breaking that bad boy when it sits on an objective is tough!
Well there endeth the ramble – is the HMG an auto include in a list? No. Is it included if it adds to the plan? Hell yeah.
Till next time.