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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Flames of War Panzers to the Meuse from The Ardennes Offensive

I mentioned how much I liked the Panzers to the Meuse (PTM) lists in my overview of the Ardennes Offensive (AO) previously and I wanted to go over why these lists are so much fun and competitive.  These lists were first released as a PDF, and then again as part of the Devil’s Charge Digital Exclusive and now they find themselves in AO, and I hope that other German players will see how great these lists are.

Much like everything else in the German inventory you are paying premium prices for quality equipment. You will never have a huge force on the table with any PTM list, however you will have an aggressive force that is a blast to play.
The basic lists contained in all the PTM releases are a Panzer Company, a Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Company, a Gepanzerte Aufklarungs Company, and a Panzergrenadier Company.  However each of these lists can be fielded for the 1nd, 9th, 116th, or Panzer Lehr Divisions that each have their own distinct flavor.  So PTM is really a collection of 16 very unique lists and the options each contain are vastly different.
Another key element of the PTM lists are how some of them are “Always Attacks” and some units get the “Spearhead” special rule.

Let’s look at the Panzer list first. 
The thing you should notice first is that your two mandatory combat platoons immediately give you interesting options, because you do not have to take two tank platoons. In fact all of the lists have that option.
You will also notice that not all of the units have the same options as far as their tank platoons go ; an example of this is how Panzer Lehr cannot take StuG’s for their company HQ or for a combat platoon.
Same thing for the Pumas, not every force can take them.

I have played the Aufklarungs Company at LW Nationals and the NOVA open a few years ago and I was not upset with my results.  Let’s now look at the differences in the Aufklarungs lists.
As you can see when looking at the entire list above a player can get the sense they can take anything on that list; that is wishful thinking.

While the combat platoons are the same for all.

A player has to pick one of the four units and can only take support options from those.
So as you can see, not everyone can take the great Panzer IV/70(V) or the Jagdpanther.

Sadly the Lehr gets no Hummel love.
So when making a list using the current late war total of 1425 points, you get 4 very different lists.

Above is the Panzer Lehr List.  They do not have any armored artillery, so you have to take mortars which you end up using for smoke. You do get Jagdpanthers which are not cheap. 

2nd  Panzer above can only take Panthers for tank support.

The 9th can get Panzer IV/70(V)s and Panthers, but only Hummels and mortars for artillery. Oh did I mention, they can get a ton of Pumas?

The 116th Windhund is similar to the 2nd Panzer but is stuck with only Panzer IV/70(V)s and no Puma’s.
So you can see how varied these lists are.  Yes, I know the weaknesses of them, they are not strong in any one area due to cost.  When the point total was 1900 these lists were excellent and even now at 1420, in the hands of a good German player they do very well.

The Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Company is much like the Aufklarungs above, however you can often forfeit the spearhead move depending on the composition of your force.  If that special rule is not important to you then this may give you the force mix you prefer over the previous ones.

The regular Panzergrenadier Company gives you the widest choice of support options of any of the other list.  The division you pick still dictates what is available. For a player who likes to play defensively this list is not so bad.

So with all of the different options, how do you go about making a list from PTM.  Like I said in my AO overview, these lists were confusing to build since each are so different.  I would recommend looking at the support options you want and from that pick the division that enables you to field it.
While the lists from PTM are really on their third go-around, I hope their inclusion in a big book will socialize them more and help them gain the popularity they deserve.
All lists builds taken from

Twitter: @MitchWWPD

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