By "Dirty Jon" Baber
For the past several months, I have been fooling around with some fairly weird lists on the German side, and I think I am ready to get back to something more "normal" and also fun for me - the HG lists.
Instead of focusing on my beloved Panzer IIIs, I think I will take a look at working the Infantry Company and StuH42 angle. The StuH42 really is a great tank, and I want to see if I can still make a decent list considering the explosion of technology in Late War.
I'll go with the regular core infantry platoons and upgrade the Platoon Command with a Panzerfaust SMG team. With six MG teams, this little unit has a chance against both infantry and tanks. Is it great? No - Late War sees small German infantry units that are pretty weak. Re-rolling Platoon Morale checks should help these stick around a bit, though. This is only of some value, as half an already small unit is pretty bad, but might save a VP. I will not be heavy-lifting with these infantry units, for sure. I do think that in defense, these little guys can hold their own for a bit.
If I do have to attack, I like having some transports to get the troops up to the battle. I will have to be careful to keep them hidden on the way, but the extra movement could be useful.
Ah, PaK 40s - how I love thee! Though armor has generally increased in Late War, the PaK 40 is still a good gun for shooting up Shermans and the like. For this list, I can definitely use the extra AT provided by this platform. On the Defense, I see these as a prime candidate for use in Ambush. Interestingly, this unit can also use the Combat Attachment rule to bolster the size and AT capability of my Infantry. Options are always nice. Generally, I am taking this unit to help smite medium armor - Shermans and T-34.
So, first, the StuH42. I love this tank, especially in numbers. In choosing this over the normal StuG, I give up one AT, but I gain a FP and I get Breakthrough Gun. I sacrifice a bit against tanks, but I gain a ton against basically everything else. Gun teams get taken out quite quickly with this guy - I am looking at you, mortar and HMG teams!. I also really like a CV tank with FA 7 and Protected Ammo. This makes the tank hard to hit, hard to penetrate, and fairly certain to get back in if Bailed Out.
To give me some additional AT capability, I add in two CV Tiger I Es as Allies. I do think the Tiger is less and less capable in Late War, but I like this choice. The options for mobile, high-AT assets in this list are not great, so I have to take what I can. I sure can blow the hell out of Medium tanks! If I get some good Tiger Ace skills, we could be golden.
As always, the obligatory Nebs are present. These are just a great buy, and I can use them to screen my troops with smoke, or to isolate targets. If I catch infantry in the open, then that is a good thing too.
Finally, I get some air. This is really only there to help shoot down an AOP and possibly make my opponent move less efficiently. Could I bomb something? Sure, but I am not counting on it. I really hate devoting 100 points to this, but I feel it is necessary.
HQSo, with my leftover points, I make the 2iC and CiC Panzerfaust SMG teams for even more AT goodness. In addition, I add in some Panzerschrecks that I can attach out to make my small platoons a bit bigger and a bit more tank killy.
ConclusionsWell, I don't think this list will be smashing through the tournaments and winning it all. I think I am ok with facing lots of lists, but not great at many. I think I would have a tough time with a huge horde of infantry if I have to attack. In this case, having no Recce is a problem, as well as not having a ton of MG boxes. The StuH42s will be great.
The other issue will be heavy tanks. Lots of FA 8+ will be a problem, as the StuHs are not great there and the Tigers are too few. Here, I have to hope that they have to attack and I can pick some off before the assault. I am actually not too bad in assault, but the small platoon size makes me thin.
I think a mixed list will be a good opponent. ARP or Brits with some tanks, some infantry, etc. will give me a good chance, especially on defense. If the Arty Party comes along, I lose....along with every other list, so who cares.
There are some possible changes to be made to this list, and the first to come to mind is to drop the air or the PaK40s for some Recce. This would help attacking against another infantry list, but would not do much for other scenarios. I am not sure that is worth it, but your local meta may be different than mine.
Also, the Tigers could be dropped for 4 more StuH42s. This is chancy, as AT 10 is not great against Late War tanks. If this is done, I would for sure go with some Recce, as you are basically betting on facing infantry and mixed lists without a ton of high armor, high AT assets. This is an all-in strategy and could work.
In the Tiger slot, I could not figure out how to make Panthers work. I am not a huge fan of CV Panthers in Late War anymore, but it could be worth looking into.
While this is far, far from perfect, this should be more effective than the Panzer IV/70, Hetzer and Jagdpanther Flames of War craziness I have been playing lately! I really like the HG options, and this could be something enjoyable for a non-Pz III list. What do you think? Sound off on the Forums...