Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Berlin Part One: The Germans!

Berlin looks like the final statement on the Eastern Front for Flames of War (until new, interesting battles are explored or Version 4 drops!).  Though the book has only a few lists in it, the options are immense and really add some neat flavor to your Late War game.  Get ready for some new units and some new concepts - may your wallet and painting queue survive!

Special Rules
Notice that in this book there are no restrictions at all on force selection.  Pick any HQ, then pick any unit in any box, regardless of symbol present.  This makes for a very interesting set of options!  This could be missed, as the only indicator is the lack of usual language around the force organization chart that is easy to skip.  To verify that this was indeed the case, we asked Wayne Turner, who confirmed.

Battlegroup Berlin - No Kampfgruppe German special rule for these guys.  Also, there is no Reich Divided.

Enjoy the War-  Instead of rolling a Platoon Morale check, roll for each team -  Confident teams fight on with a 3+, and Fearless teams fight on with a 2+.  If you get down to a Sole Survivor check, you fail automatically.  No re-rolls allowed for EtW, and Reluctant teams do not use this special rule.

Click to read on!

Berlin Kampfgruppe
This Infantry Company has a LOT of choices and none are exclusive- that is to say you can mix and match and make a real grab bag of platoons for your KG!  First of all, you get to pick between CV Heer or FV SS.

Combat Platoons
You can have up to three Combat Platoons, with two mandatory.  There are five choices for each box, giving a lot of variety for your force.

Panzergrenadiers - This is a standard Late War platoon, with seven Panzerfaust MG teams, including the command.  For +5 per team, these can be upgraded to Panzerfaust Assault Rifle Teams.  This small, expensive unit is quite pricey, weighing in at 245 or 295, depending on which morale level is chosen.  As we will see later, there is some opportunity to fill out the numbers, as a 7-stand platoon can be fairly useless, no matter how it is equipped.

Fresh Panzergrenadier Platoon - Like the above platoon, this is seven Panzerfaust MG teams.  It can also be upgraded to Assault Rifles for +5 per team.  This is the CT and FT option, weighing in at 190 and 225, respectively.  Is this worth saving 10 points or less per team?  Maybe.

Hitlerjungend Platoon - This Fearless Conscript platoon comes with six Panzerfaust teams and a Command Panzerfaust SMG team.  Wait, what?  For +5 points per team, the Panzerfaust teams can be upgraded to Panzerfaust Rifle teams.  What is interesting, is the Tank Terrors special rule that this platoon gets:  these teams can move and shoot their Panzerfausts!
For 85 points, 115 for the fully loaded platoon, I might be able to find a way to get this.  Immediately, I think that this makes a pretty effective tank ambush platoon.  This list could be made into an interesting “Infantry in Name Only” thing, but I would think that these platoons would melt away pretty quickly, especially since there are no combat attachments.  I like to see this option here and I am curious to see what people come up with!

Fallschirmjager Platoon -  Again, organized along the familiar seven stands of Panzerfaust MG teams -- and again, +5 points per stand to make these  Panzerfaust Assault Rifle teams.  This Fearless Trained option is great historically, but also cannot get combat attachments in this book.  At 225 for the default build, I think this is....ok.  Again, the small, elite units seem to be difficult to see working in a tournament environment.

Volkssturm Platoon - Now, this unit has some size to it!  For 105 points, you get Reluctant Conscript troops with nine stands of Panzerfaust Rifle teams.  These also have the Local Militia rule, which basically means they always start on the board, in prepared positions and do not “count” as anything for Reserves.  Also, you lose Stormtrooper, Mission Tactics and Enjoy the War.

Also, we’ll see that the Volkssturm get some options for combat attachments, so you can really fill up on some crappy troops.  I think several folks have proven that these troops can be....ok.... when used to protect high-value assets.  I cannot wait to see what people come up with for this list!

Weapons Platoons
Panzergrenadier/Volksturm Machine-Gun Platoon - Each has up to four HMGs and a Panzerfaust in the command team.  Combat attachment is limited to either PzGrens or Volks.  Nothing terribly interesting here.

Panzergrenadier/Volkssturm Mortar Platoon - Up to six guns with the PzGrens and up to four with the Volks.  Interestingly, the Volks can Combat Attach out to your Volks platoons.  Other than that, nothing terribly interesting here.

Panzergrenadier Infantry Gun Platoon - Heer and SS versions of leIG18, IG37, PaK50 and SIG33.  The options here are pretty good, with AT from 9 to 13 in direct fire.  The lower calibers also have some smoke available in direct fire, which is not bad.

The Volks version of this platoon is limited to the IG37, with only two guns.  40 points for a Reluctant Conscript platoon that I can combat attach?  This could be an options to boost the numbers in your Volks platoons.

Panzergrenadier Anti-Tank Gun Platoon - PaK38s or PaK40s with one to three guns.  Interestingly, each of the guns can be equipped with a Panzerfaust for only +5 points each. Makes them a bit more survivable in an assault.

These have to be included in the Berlin book, right?  The options are fairly limited.  The base level is with two Street Barricades, two Minefields and a Panzer IV Turret for 250 points.  This can be upgraded to a Panther turret for 90 points.  In addition, up to 3 Barbed Wire Entanglements can be added for 10 points each.  Up to two additional Street Barricades for 30 points each, and finally a Panzer IV turret added for 90 points or a Panther turret for 180.

Taking any of this makes your list a Fortified Company.  For my money, taking the Street Barricades will be worth it, especially if your opponent is not taking much in the form of Engineers.

Support Platoons
Panzer Platoon - Heer only, and available with two to four Panzer VI J or Panther G tanks with a top cost of 350 and 750 points, respectively.  The other option is for one to three Tiger I E tanks that cost 200 points each.  No Tiger Ace skills, I am afraid.  For the Js and the Panthers, you can add in Assault Rifle Tank Escorts for +15 points per tank.  This makes the tanks even more expensive.  Nothing dazzling here, but the opportunity for some cheap German tanks is something I would like to have had here.

Schwere SS-Panzer Platoon - This one is pretty simple - one to three FV King Tigers for between 385 and 1155 points.  Expensive, but maybe worth it with all the Soviet heavy armor running around.

Assault Gun Platoon - Heer and SS options for two to four StuG G or StuG G (late)s for appropriate costs.  Heer can alternatively take two or three StuH42 (late)s for 195 or 295.  All tanks get the options for Assault Rifle Tank Escorts for 15 points per tank.

Panzer Anti-Aircraft Gun Platoon - Standard choices for Wirbelwinds and Ostiwinds.

Heavy Panzerspah Platoon - Heer only.  Up to three patrols, each containing one 234/1 and one 234/4 (PaK40).  125 to 375 points.

Bedbug Platoon - Now this little platoon is pretty neat.  This platoon contains either two or three Kleinpanzer Wanze.  This is a modified Sd Kfz 301 Borgward with six Panzerschrecks attached.  There are some fairly simple special rules for this guy that basically implement the Full Salvo marker rules.  This little guy is a 0-0-0, Half-tracked and has ROF 3, AT 11 and 5+ FP.  Interesting, this gets full ROF on the move.

This platoon is in a box with an AT Gun unit and Heavy AA, meaning that one can still take two platoons of other tanks AND these guys.  This is a good thing for the German list-builder.  Rated at Fearless Trained with a maximum cost of 65 for three, I think this is probably worth taking a long look at.

Tank-Hunter Platoon - The SS are limited to up to three Panzer IV/70 (V)s or Hetzers.  At Fearless Veteran, these can get a bit pricey, maxing out at 510 and 285, respectively.
For Heer troops, add in one or two Elefants, up to three Panzer IV/70 (A)s or up to two Waffentraegers (8.8cm).  The Waffentraeger is 1/0/0 Slow tank with an AA MG and Awkward layout.  The gun is a 8.8cm PaK43 with 40” range, ROF 2 AT 16 and a 3+ Firepower.  CV and only 105 points each?  These may be an ok buy, but definitely an interesting one!
All of these options can add in Assault Rifle Tank Escorts for +15 points per tank.

Anti-Tank Gun Platoon - The Heer and SS options can get two to four PaK40s, with four costing 215 and 250, respectively.  In addition to this choice, the Heer can get one to four 88.8cm PaK43s for between 115 and 430 points.  Ouch.  All guns can get a Panzerfaust upgrade for +5 points each and transports of various types can be added for 5 points for the platoon.  These are some good, standard choices with some spice thrown in.

Infanterie Platoon - I like this little option for some CT troops.  Seven stands of Panzerfaust Rifle/MG teams that can be upgraded to Panzerfaust Assault Rifle teams for +10 point per team.  170 is the base cost for this platoon  

Panzerpionier Platoon - Standard platoon with seven stands of Panzerfaust MGs for 255 and 305 points for Heer and SS.  Any or all can be upgraded to Panzerfaust Assault Rifle teams for only +5 points per team.  For free, change one stand to a Flame-thrower.  For 30, add in a Pioneer Supply Maultier.

Heavy Mortar Platoon - The only artillery box starts out with this platoon.  Up to four guns for Heer and Grens.  155 and 175 points.

Artillery Battery - From two to six 10.5cm leFH18/40 guns for both Heer and SS.  Four guns cost 215 and 245.  In addition, the Heer have the options of fielding up to six 12.2cm FH396(r) for up to 290 points.  These captured guns are 1/7/2+ in direct fire, but AT 4 3+ FP in bombardment.  No smoke, however.  There are no included transport or options to add, so be sure you place there where you want them!

Heavy Artillery Battery - For Heer and SS, up to four standard 15cm or 10cm K18s are an option.  Again, no transport, so put these where you need them.  For the Heer, they can also choose my favorite - up to 4 K81s for 435 points.  AT 17, baby!

Rocket Launcher Battery - Ahh...just about every option you could want!  From 15cm to 30cm rockets, Heer only.  From 2 to six rockets, you can spend from 105 to 200 points here.

Luftwaffe Heavy Anti-Aircraft Gun Platoon - With three boxes dedicated to AAA, the heavy is the first platoon you can choose.  Reluctant Trained, one or two guns are available from 8.8 FlaK36, 8.8cm FlaK41 and 10.5cm FlaK39.  All can add 1 ROF if you pay 10 points per gun and model with eight or more crew.  Costs range for as little as 50 points to as much as 220.  Interestingly, this platoon can begin the game in Prepared Positions.  Not sure if that makes up for being RT, but is kind of cool.

Luftwaffe Light Anti-Aircraft Gun Platoon - This is a very simple platoon.  Pick three 3.7cm FlaK43, 3.7cm Flakzwilling 43 or 2cm Flakvierling 38s.  These can also start in Prepared positions, and cost between 60 and 70 points.

Panzergrenadiers- 1750
This is your vanilla Panzergrenadier list.  The idea is to get to six platoons by attaching out the HMGs and the PaK50s to beef up to ten stands.  With Enjoy the War, those guys may just stick around for a bit.  There are a LOT of points tied up in those infantry platoons, but they should be able to take on just about anything.

The Elfant and the PaK43s should give some ranged striking power against heavy tanks, with the Panzer IV Js there to be your mobile problem-solving force.  The Nebs do what they do - set up for assaults, pin what needs to be pinned, or drop a protective smokescreen.

060 - HQ - 2 Panzerfaust SMG Teams
245 - 7 Panzerfaust MG Teams
245 - 7 Panzerfaust MG Teams
140 - 4 MG42 HMG Teams 1 Panzerfaust SMG Command Team
85 - 2 7.5cm PaK50 Guns, 1 Panzerfaust SMG Command Team, 1 Observer Rifle Team
220 - 2 8.8cm PaK43 Guns, 1 Panzerfaust SMG Command Team
105 - 3 15cm NW41 Nebelwerfers, Command SMG Team, Observer Rifle Team
350 - 4 Panzer IV Js
300 - 1 Elefant

SS- 1750
This is a crazy list to show off what can be done with the mix and match rules.  Notice that the Company is a FV SS list, but only the King Tiger is actually an SS unit.  Tricksy!  The idea with this Fortified Company is to slow everything down, hold up the advance with your fortifications and Panzergrenadiers.  Do not forget that the Sniper can give a vital Pinned status - go read up on those rules.  The Hitlerjungend can be used to charge out and faust tanks to death - remember, they can shoot on the move!

Protect (and hopefully, Ambush) the Waffentraeger - make those shots count.  The King Tiger should stick around for a while, and can probably hold down a flank as long as there is some infantry protection in the area.

070 - HQ 2 Panzerfaust SMG (FV)
 +50 Sniper Team
115 - Hitlerjungend - 6 Panzerfaust Rifle, 1 Panzerfaust SMG (FC)
115 - Hitlerjungend - 6 Panzerfaust Rifle, 1 Panzerfaust SMG (FC)
250 - 2 Street Barricades, 2 Minefields, 1 Panzer IV Turret
 +30 - 3 Barbed Wire Entanglements
210 - 2 Waffentraeger (8.8cm) (CV)
385 - King Tiger (Henschel) (FV)
245 - Panzergrenadiers - 7 Panzerfaust MG (CV)
245 - Panzergrenadiers - 7 Panzerfaust MG (CV)

Historically speaking, I love this book.  All of the crazy options and the ragtag assembly of those options captures this time at the war’s conclusion in great and fitting detail.  Though one could kind of piece it together before, having this book available is bound to spawn some really awesome scenario games and some wonderful painting projects.  I would love to participate in some scenario games using just this book - I think the lists match up very well.

The historical background and the painting guide is also top-notch.  I really enjoyed the story of these last days of Berlin while reading through this book.  I really look forward to what some of the guys put together using this as a launching point.

From a tournament perspective, this book doesn’t offer much for the Germans, in my opinion.  The list is not terrible, but it doesn’t seem to offer much that looks like a winner.  The issue is that any infantry worth anything is hugely expensive due to all of the MGs, Assault Rifles and Panzerfausts everywhere.  There are tons of cheap options for infantry, but the backup for these lists is just not there.  Correctly, the tank and other support options are not great.  But hey - they DID lose the war.

See Part two with Soviets!

Popular Posts In the last 30 Days

Copyright 2009-2012 WWPD LLC. Graphics and webdesign by Arran Slee-Smith. Original Template Designed by Magpress.