Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Getting Ready To Face The Horde...

by SandWyrm

Hopefully, TheNeverThere has finished assembling his 21 T-34s to a playable state for tonight's game. Here's the 1450-point German Panzerkompanie that I'll be trying to hold them back with.

Afrika Panzerkompanie

145    1iC: Panzer IV F2
100    2iC: Panzer IV F1

Combat Platoons
     Panzer Platoon
435    3 Panzer IV F2

     Panzer Platoon
300    3 Panzer IV F1

Support Platoons
     Schwere Panzer Platoon
385    1 Tiger 1E

     Rocket Launcher Battery
80    2 NW41 Rocket Launchers + Command Team + Observer Team
  5    + Field Cars & Half Tracks

1450 Total

Wow. That's only 9 tanks and some rocket tubes to face the T-34 wall. Let's break down the list and see how I expect to use everything...

The Tiger 1E

This guy is a real beast, to be sure. But I really don't expect him to do a whole lot. That long-range, hard hitting, 88mm gun only gets 2 shots a turn (unless I roll lucky for his Tiger skill), and if those T-34's get close enough, they could glance me to death on the front or get lucky pens on my side armor.

Really, he's there to frighten the enemy, distract, and maybe pick off an isolated unit that's giving me trouble. Placed in ambush, he could be pretty nasty in a defensive mission.

Panzer IV F2's

With their long-range guns, these guys are going to be my primary workhorses. The Tiger has a much better gun, but the F2's should make up for in quantity of shots what they lose in quality. Their armor is paper-thin though, so I'll be hugging cover and depending on my Stormtrooper moves (very similar to the Tau's Jump-Shoot-Jump assault phase movement in 40K) to keep me hidden when the T-34 wall gets too close for comfort. At the beginning of the game, they can deloy in cover, where TheNeverThere will need 6's to hit me at long range.

The 1iC (First In Command)

This is the leader of my company and he'll probably join up with the other F2's to let them re-roll their morale checks. It's important to keep him safe though, as if he dies my entire army will run away should I lose more than half of my platoons (3 of the starting 4 in this army).

The Panzer IV F1's

The F1's (unlike the F2's) were never designed to engage other tanks. They're primarily an infantry support tank. Their short barreled howitzers are actually worse for AT work than the better armored Panzer III's I use. While I can fire long-range artillery-style bombardments with them, that's really only good for pinning down enemy infantry. Since all I could do is bail out (stun) a T-34 when firing that way. Maybe.

Buuuuuuut... They do have one redeeming feature that I'm banking on. The F1 is the only German tank that can fire smoke rounds. Remember those 2" smoke templates I made? For every hit I score with these guys, I can lay down 2 templates that touch the target tank. Any LOS drawn through those templates will reduce your view range to 16" and even then you'll have a 2 point penalty to hit anything you can see.

So, I'm hoping to be able to create a wall of smoke with their fire that will force the T-34's to keep moving instead of firing. I might also be able to make only certain targets (like his 1iC) visible, so that TheNeverThere has to allocate hits to him. Muhahahaha...

The 2iC (Second In Command)

 Like the 1iC, this guy can let a platoon re-roll their morale checks. But nobody cares if he dies. :)

The Rocket Artillery (Nebelwerfers)

I had 85 points left over, so I took a small platoon of rocket artillery for 80 points. The transports were another 5 points, though I don't really expect to use them. The small team on the far left is the observers, who are the artillery's eyes on the field. The small team to their right is the command team for the battery, who will be staying with the guns.

Two-gun artillery batteries really aren't all that good for trying to kill things, as you have to re-roll your hits. But that's not what I'm going to use them for. My plan is to use them to drop a large 6"x6" smoke template on the enemy. Like with the direct-fire smoke from the F1's, this will force TheNeverThere to move. Meaning that he'll get fewer shots at me.

And that's the plan! I expect that we'll get at least 2 games in. So I'll take pictures and post the results here on the blog.


  1. Oh, boy....da Russians are coming.

    I've faced them many times, and the only advice I can give you is this-
    Make your Stormtrooper rolls!

    You already know you'll be playing the 'backup game,' so the only thing you can do is use the nebs to smoke a bunch of Ruskie tanks, and shoot at whoever is left over.
    And then Stormtropper away before they can focus fire on your platoons.

    Hope he makes a mistake with one of his platoon leaders, too, and blast him.
    I know it's grimy, but so are Russian Tank lists!

    Good luck!

    1. Unfortunately, I'm really bad at making my Stormtrooper rolls. :(

  2. Use the Tiger as a battering ram and smash their formations. Can the T-34 even penetrate the Tiger's front plate? I thought it was immune to their fire, even at point-blank range?

    His large force will probably be quite unweildy so using the smoke to screen parts of it off, then beat it piecemeal with the F2s should work pretty well. I really like the 75mm gun they used. The upgraded Panzer IVs were such nice tanks.

    1. The T-34's can't do anything at long range to the Tiger, but if they get within 16" they can bail me out to the front. Or if they can get around my side I could roll a 1 on my save and be penetrated.

    2. The T-34 has Anti-Tank 9 vs the Tiger's front armour of 9, so even at close range a roll of a 1 would beat their score right? I don't really know the rules very well, maybe the Russkies get some way to boost their AT values?

    3. Yeah, you're right. No way they can do anything to the front. Though the upgraded T-34's get an AP of 11.

    4. Yeah but by then you have the Panthers :D

  3. For those at home keeping score, remember: I've never played, I've yet to read the 3rd edition rules, and my only tactics are RARAAAHGHARGH and more RARAAAHGHARGH!

    Also, what are these platoons of which you speak?

    1. Spoken like a true Red Army tactician - it's like you're channelling Zhukov!


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