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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Devil's Charge Exposed! Part 1: The Germans

By now you've probably learned what you've wanted to learn from Devil's Charge since advance copies have been floating around for a while now!  But, we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't give you a complete run down on all the awesome new stuff you can run out of the first book to cover the Battle of the Bulge!

To hear a review about the book itself, listen to Episode 40 of our News From the Front Podcast.

There are 2 lists available to the Germans.  These lists represent SS Kamfgruppe Peiper and Skorzeny's 150. Panzerbrigade.

Kamfgruppe Peiper

  • Peiper Himself can be purchased for 235.  He is Fearless Veteran in a Panther and lets you re-roll 1 failed reserve die similar to Patton.
  • Forces from Kamfgruppe Peiper ignore "Reich Divided"
  • A force from Kamfgruppe Peiper may elect to use the "auto attack" rule.  If they do, all Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier and Panzer IV platoons get to make a Spearhead move!
  • The core list itself is a Panzerkompanie, but is very flexible.  Essentially there is only 1 required combat platoon, and that combat platoon can either be Panthers, King Tigers, or Panzer IVs.  The same is true for the HQ- allowing for 1 or 2 tanks.  
  • Of course the big draw is Fearless Trained.  King Tigers clock in around 295 each (the HQ is 305 but gets 2 Tiger Ace Skills).  Panthers are 490 for 3, and Panzer IV Js are 75 points a pop!
  • Your 2 other combat platoons can either be a tank platoon as above or Gepanzerte SS Panzergrens
  • The SS Gepanzerte Panzergrens are 200 points for the full strength option (Fearless Trained), with the ability to give either the platoon leader or everybody panzerfausts for +10 points/team.
  • You can get a neat Heavy platoon as a weapons platoon with 3 HMGs in 251/17D halftracks with the option to add 2 armored mortar halftracks and/or 2 7.5cm halftracks.  This platoon is really flexible and can make combat attachments to panzergrens.  
  • Other weapons platoon options are 12cm heavy mortars and up to 6 7.5cm halftracks.  SP AAA is also available with quite a few options: Wirbelwings, Ostwinds, or Mobelwagons.
  • Support options include fairly standard stuff like Panzerpioneers, Artillery (with up to 6 guns!) equipped with 10.5s or 15cm.
  • There is also a neat Grille infantry gun battery with up to 6 grilles in the battery (though no staff team)
  • Fallschirmjaeger support (which is still fearless trained) can ride on your King Tigers and receive a 3+ save while riding.  They also don't need to dismount under fire.
  • ME-262s are 105 for sporadic, have the same bombs as an Early war Stuka and some weak cannons but they cannot be intercepted.
  • They can be supported by Skorzeny commandos (see below)

150. Panzerbrigade
  • No Reich Divided rule.  Some stuff is Heer (Confident Vet) some SS (Fearless Vet)
  • Enemy Disguises work the same as Soviet Decoy rules (sans infiltration of course- just the identification pieces)
  • Skorzeny commandos are crazy!  You can get up to 2- they are jeep teams.  They don't count for or against morale- they're basically just markers.  They're considered fearless veterans.
    • Perfect Disguises.  They can't be identified in the same way as above.  And, you basically can't kill em.  They can't be the target of shooting, artillery, etc etc.  You can shoot through em, but otherwise they're basically treated like a friendly team.  
    • They are deployed in your opponent's Deployment Area immediately after independent teams.
    • Skorzeny commandos move in your opponent's turn after his normal movement.  They can never move at the double.  They may move within 2" of enemy teams!
    • If a friendly unit (as in- German) comes within 16" of a Skorzeny commando, the team is immediately removed from play.  
    • If a skorzeny fails a skill check they are exposed and removed from play.  You can also remove them from play if an enemy command team within 6" rolls a skill check to identify them.
    • SOW CHAOS.  This is what these guys do:
      • During your opponent's starting step you can choose what flavor of chaos you wish to sow.  All 3 options require a skillcheck- failing means the team leaves
      • SPREAD RUMORS: choose 1 enemy platoon within 4".  If you pass the skillcheck, they're pinned down immediately.  
      • REVERSE ROAD SIGNS: Enemy reserves cannot arrive from within 12".  If this makes any reserves unable to arrive, they go back to reserve!
      • OBSERVE DEFENCES: Basically gives them the same 8" bubble to shut down ambushes that recon teams have.
  • The list itself is also a Tank Company.  The HQ is 2 SMG teams in captured jeeps. They can be upgraded to German halftracks.  The Jeeps use the enemy disguises rule.
  • Your first combat platoon is either composed of Ersatz Panthers, SS Jagers, or Fallschirmkommandos.  The 2nd is either Ersatz Stugs, SS-Jagers, or Fallschirmkommandos.  The 3rd is the same minus the armor options.
  • So if you want to be a true tank company you'll only have a max of 5 Ersatz Panthers and 5 Ersatz Stugs.
  • The Panthers and Stugs of course use Enemy Disguises.  The Panthers are a tiny bit cheaper than normal CV Panthers, but have "limited vision" since the cupola has been removed!
  • The SS Jagers are basically a late grenadier platoon with the option to add captured US trucks.  They get enemy disguises while they're all on trucks.
  • Fallschirmkommandos are fairly standard FJ.  10 stands, Rifle/MG, give commander a faust.  Full strength (excluding faust) runs you 265.
  • Gepanzerte Panzergrens available as a weapons platoon.  You can swap their halftracks with captured M3 halftracks and, you guessed it, that gives them enemy disguises while all mounted.  They also have a dedicated gunner so they have AA MG rather than Passenger-fired MG.  Of course, they lose the 2nd rear mounted Passenger fired AA MG.  I'd like to see Mounted Assault launched with US halftracks!
  • 2 slots for Skorzeny commandos giving you a max of 4 jeeps.
  • Can get captured M8 Greyhounds in an Ersatz Panzerspah Platoon
  • Can have an infantry pioneer platoon (10 guys, rifle teams)
  • Heavy mortar battery available.

Some very interesting German lists available here!  I really like the first one- fearless trained is just right for King Tigers and panthers.  The 2nd is a fun list, but I'd have to play with it before deciding it was "for me".

Both lists are very flexible though, with so many options in your combat platoons you could make several entirely different forces with the same army list!

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