The Flakpanzer V Coelian is a prototype anti-aircraft weapon based on the Panther platform. It was designed to combat the ever increasingly effective Allied ground attack aircraft and to give the crew some fighting chance to survive attacks. From the research I have done, no working prototypes ever got to field testing stage due to shortage of supplies and as such it is as much a 'what if' vehicle as some of the more fantastic designs going around at the time. The final design, had it actually been built, would of housed dual 3.7 cm Flak 43 guns firing at a rate of 150 rounds per minute with an effective range out to 4800 meters.
So now that we have established that this machine never actually existed outside of a wooden mock up we can start the conversation about how we can use it in a game of Bolt Action. There are currently no official rules available however that does not stop us here at the Bolt Action Alliance HQ from making some up!
Firstly though lets talk about the miniature itself. Our friends at Warlord Games make it in resin with metal bits (barrels, hatches etc) in 1/56 scale. When I ordered it I did not have to wait long for it to arrive (less than two weeks to Australia from the UK) and while some clean up was involved it was not onerous to put together. I wanted to make it look like a prototype really rushed into action as a last call to arms and went about painting it in the oxidized red primer with white marking still showing with some inspiration from some already amazingly painted miniatures out there in internet land.
There was no time or resources available to get this fighting vehicle battle ready so they just had to make do with parts cannibalized from other Panthers to get it rolling out the factory door. I really like how it turned out and look forward to putting it on the table in a bashed together last line of defence type German force.
Speaking of playing how would you point score a vehicle that never existed? Well lets start at the cost of a Regular Panther as 355 points with a super heavy AT gun, lets take that AT gun off costing 190 points and replace it with two heavy auto canons worth 90 points (these points costs have been derived at by our good friend Ubergruber, aka. David of the Down Order Podcast, who has broken down the Bolt Action vehicle costings). This gives us a vehicles worth 255 points. Now this is clearly a low point score for what we know would be an amazing vehicle on the table. Four shots out to 72" with +3 penetration means it will chop up light tanks and below with relative ease. To balance it out we really should put a negative rule in to represent that it was a prototype and was never actually field tested.
This is what we have come up with:
Flakpanzer V 'Coelian'
Principle service: 1945
Cost: 184pts (Inexperienced), 255pts (Regular), 326 (Veteran)
Weapons: Dual turret-mounted Heavy Autocannons with 1 forward facing hull-mounted MMG
Damage Value: 9+
• The Panther's heavy frontal armour was comparable to that of much heavier tanks, so against all shots hitting the front of the vehicle it counts its damage value as 10.
• "Does this even work?" - After the Coelian has activated roll a d6, on the result of 1 something dramatic has happened to your vehicle, roll against the following chart:
- 1-2 - Dual Jam - The guns have both had a critical failure with rounds being jammed beyond the ability to fix during a firefight. The Coerlian's main guns can no longer fire for the remainder of the game. The hull mounted MMG may still fire.
- 3-4 - Turret stuck - The turret rotation mechanism has become inoperable, the turret is now locked in whatever direction it is currently pointing and any further shooting must be within those arcs.
- 5-6 - Out of fuel - The tank shudders to a halt as the last remaining drops of fuel are exhausted. The Coelian is immobilized for the remainder of the game.
Just because a unit has no rules does not mean it has to be automatically excluded from the table, use our rules or make up your own. Take care until next time!