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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

List Dissection: Panzer Lehr Panzergrenadiers

INCEPTION
Before the price break, I never considered armored Panzergrenadiers all that great.  7 Stands, expensive, and mechanized?  That means you have to try to attack infantry forces with small units.  It also means your MG teams are next to useless on the attack!  But then, in their wisdom, Battlefront reduced the price of MG teams, making their inclusion a possibility.  That, combined with Panzer Lehr's large platoons and integral AT, meant that this list immediately spoke to me.


CONSTRUCTION
With expensive combat platoons, I've decided to only go with 2 core combat platoons to be the brunt of my fighting strength.  That's 22 (including the HQ + 2iC) CV teams bristling with MG and AT fire, excellent assault capabilities, and 10 halftracks for mobility/Machine gunnery.  I'll take it!

I give my 2iC a panzerfaust (I decide to save the 10 points from my CO.. for now) and 2 full combat units with a panzerfaust upgrade.  That's 75+290+290 = 655.

Here- I chose to Panther.
1095 Remaining.
In my mind, the next big question is "To Panther?  Or Not to Panther".  I rarely take those big cats.  I'm a knife fighter by nature- I'd rather be in your deployment zone making you sweat than worrying about protecting my weak side armor.  So, for this build, I am going to leave the Panthers at home.  I know this is a big decision point, and I may have lost many of you.  Suffice it to say, I think Panthers are an okay option for Lehr, but I'm a Panzer IV Man.

In fact, I love Panzer IVs so much, I'm going to go with 8 of the beasts in 2 platoons of 4.  Let me say this, however.  If I knew I was going to an open late war tournament where I may run into lots of KV-85s, IS-2s, heavy assault guns or the like, I would probably think long and hard about those Panthers.  But, as I am a huge proponent of themed tournaments, for the rest of this write up I am going to assume that we're facing Western allies.

335 Remaining.
Alright so we're at 4 platoons, and getting into slim pickings now.  At this point, knowing we may have to attack dug in infantry, I'm going to opt for some recon.  3 Pumas, you say?  Absolutely.  Those things are reliably awesome, and cheap to boot.  With a decent gun if they get into a scrape, good mobility, and killer looks I just can't pass them up.  That leaves us with 185.  My first reaction is to grab some Panzerwerfers, but looking back over the list I notice that not a single platoon of ours is "immobile".  If we're forced to defend in Breakthrough or Breakout, we're going to have to leave a lot of stuff off the table.

So, I opt for the cheaper Nebelwerfer option (3 15cm tubes), and beef up my HQ a bit more by adding in the CO panzerfaust, and a tank hunter section with 2 panzerschreck teams.

That brings us to 1745.  We have 6 tank hunter teams, 2 panzerschreck teams, 4 panzerfausts, 11 half tracks, 8 Panzer IVs, nebelwerfers, and Pumas.  Bring it on!


You have to love Easy Army.  Seriously, you have to.


EXECUTION
Those big infantry platoons have some real staying power!
I have never played this exact list in a tournament, but I've played similar builds.  In general, an enemy armored company doesn't scare me all that much.  We have enough integral AT with big platoons to hold the line until we can form a nice counter punch.  In No Retreat I'd probably start with both Lehr platoons on the board with Panzer IVs in ambush.  In a mobile battle vs infantry I've had great success driving boldly forward in the halftracks, overwhelming my opponents.  2 big infantry platoons + 8 Panzer IVs + Pumas is a lot to throw at someone, and it's easy to overload them with targets.  Lay down some smoke with werfers to cover you're advance, and now you're really cooking!

I usually keep my halftracks around for a long time (and come V3- I'll keep them even longer!), as the ability to summon 11 halftracks worth of MG fire is enough to discourage infantry units from making counter attacks- or really from doing anything at all besides hiding in their foxholes.  Keep them in concealment, and enemy tanks will rarely go after them- especially if it means ignoring those Panzer IVs (German Sherman baby!)  Don't be afraid to stay in your halftracks!  That extra movement and mobility is huge- you'd be surprised at how survivable they can be when you have other things (like 8 panzer IVs) backing them up!  Being impervious to small arms fire is a big deal for infantry platoons.

I've included SS Tigers and 3 Panzer Lehr Panzergrenadier platoons in variant lists- I was happy with the list in both cases.  SS Tigers add some back bone over a 2nd platoon of Panzer IVs.  The 3rd infantry platoon has been slightly less impressive, since it comes at the cost of some much needed support options.

So, in closing- Lehr is a really great and flexible list that really plays more like US Armored Rifles than any other German list.  It's aggressive, capable, and highly mobile.  Again, all things that appeal to me.

Make sure to check out some Panzer Lehr Battle Reports!

How have you guys run Panzer Lehr?  What has worked for you?  To Panther or not to Panther?

17 comments:

jmezz382 said...

Nice article my friend ... well done

jester_prince said...

... why do you people hate me. Ive been eyeing these guys up for a while and decided to go for raiders. Gamer ADHD is setting in.

Tyler said...

Panzer Lehr is awesome since it's such an aggressive force whereas many LW German lists seem to be more defensive-oriented (which makes historical sense). As a German player who plays hyper-aggressively, I think Panzer Lehr may be my dream army :D

Samulus said...

The army I'm currently working on for FOW is a panzer lehr force - so far I'm thinking about panthering but I have the Panzer IVs on back-up in case I change my mind! I think with the mobility you get from the half-tracks the Panzer IVs become a really good proposition, you really want something you're not afraid to rush forwards with and throw into an assault. Panthers just seem too valuable to do that with.

cbaxter said...

i bought my brother a panzer lehy force for christmas, but with panthers and panver ivs. its a great starter force for someone.

WEBGriffin said...

I have not run this list, but I have faced it many times. I completely agree with the comparison to American ARP. Mobile, integrated AT and some interesting support options.

I do believe the biggest question is Tiger / Panzer IV or Panthers.

Lehr is a strong list and I think with the transport changes that are upcoming, we will see a lot more hitting the table.

Harvey said...

I love my PzrGren Lehr - I would agree that it's a good solid German force for beginners. Particularly if you also take Panthers.

Steve - with the list you decided on here, what are your tactics for dealing with the heavies when you face them (IS-85s, IS-2s etc.)?

Rabid Monkey said...

I finally painted up my Panzer Lehr Grenadiers about a year ago and I haven't looked back.

For fun, sneak in a Tiger II and use it as a (slightly) mobile bunker. I also wrote up a list the other day that I'm eager to try out using only front armor 1 vehicles. Its all about the Sd Kfz 251/9, baby! Woot!

zsavk said...

Nice Steven thanks! I recently completed a Aufklarungs Lehr company and its very similiar except for the lack of integrated AT. however there is the AT gun on the command HT of each platoon. Plus you get a ton of fun recce options! :)

zsavk said...

oh and ya I like the panthers. Simply because it draws the oppenent attention away from the PGrens waiting to smash through a weak point.

Snowdog said...

I use the same list but replace a Panzer IV platoon with Jagdpanzer IV (same points) for that extra armour point against 76mm guns.

Chris said...

I am planning the same force but exchanging the pumas for motorcycle scouts

Phillip said...

Looks pretty good to me and very versatile. What's the plan against a Tank company with lots of Heavy Breakthrough guns (E.G. Zrinyi IIs/ISU-122/152s/SU-122s)?

indierockclimber said...

As I said in the article, this is largely working under the assumption I'll be facing Western allies. This is primarily because I vastly prefer historical matchups.

On the Eastern Front, I would probably consider panthers far more seriously. Tigers at least. We discussed some alternate builds on our forum if interested!

locker.wheelie said...

Awesome! Exactly what I would like to see more of. Great job, especially the format.

Chris from Model Dads said...

Nice timing. I am looking at building a Lehr company at this very moment so this comes in useful.

josh Dewhurst said...

German Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier (Panzer Lehr)

Mechanised Company, from Atlantik Wall, page 106


Compulsory Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie HQ (p.107) - CinC SMG, 2iC SMG, 2x Sd Kfz 251/1 half-track (65 pts)
- Upgrade CinC SMG to CinC Panzerfaust SMG (10 pts)
- Upgrade 2iC SMG to 2iC Panzerfaust SMG (10 pts)
- 2x Panzerschrek, Sd Kfz 251/1 half-track (65 pts)

Compulsory Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Lehr Platoon (p.108) - Command MG, 6x MG, 3x Tank-hunter, 4x Sd Kfz 251/1 half-track (280 pts)
- Upgrade Command MG to Command Panzerfaust SMG (10 pts)
- Upgrade Sd Kfz 251/1 half-track to Sd Kfz 251/10 (3.7cm) half-track (0 pts)

Compulsory Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Lehr Platoon (p.108) - Command MG, 6x MG, 3x Tank-hunter, 4x Sd Kfz 251/1 half-track (280 pts)
- Upgrade Command MG to Command Panzerfaust SMG (10 pts)
- Upgrade Sd Kfz 251/1 half-track to Sd Kfz 251/10 (3.7cm) half-track (0 pts)

Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Anti-tank Gun Platoon (p.110) - Command SMG, 2x 7.5cm PaK40 gun, (105 pts)
- 3x Sd Kfz 251/1 half-track (15 pts)

Panzer Anti-Aircraft Platoon (Panzer Lehr) (p.105) - Command Flakpanzer 38(t) (2cm), Flakpanzer 38(t) (2cm) (80 pts)

Panzer Platoon (p.103) - Command Panzer IV H, 3x Panzer IV H (360 pts)

Anti-tank Gun Platoon (p.126) - Command SMG, 3x 7.5cm PaK40 gun (155 pts)
- Kfz 15 field car, Sd Kfz 11 half-track per gun (5 pts)

Puma Panzerspah Platoon (p.124) - 2x Command Sd Kfz 234/2 Puma, 2x Sd Kfz 234/2 Puma (200 pts)

Rocket Launcher Battery (p.227) - Command SMG, 2x Observer Rifle, 2x Kubelwagen, 6x 15cm NW41 rocket launcher (200 pts)

Anti-aircraft Gun Platoon (p.129) - Command Armoured Sd Kfz 7/1 (Quad 2cm), 2x Armoured Sd Kfz 7/1 (Quad 2cm) (150 pts)


2000 Points, 10 Platoons

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