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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Peiper Down: The New SS lists in the Ardennes Offensive

By Mitch Reed

One of the first articles I wrote for this blog was a piece in my “Lists We Play” series where I talked about some of my favorite Waffen-SS lists.  One of the lists I did mention in that piece was KG Peiper from Battlefront’s Devil’s Charge book, which at the time was relatively new.  The new Ardennes Offensive (AO) book augments the Waffen-SS force that took part in the offensive by adding two new lists which I will detail in this article.

Much like my last article on the Waffen-SS I want to reiterate my distaste of the actual SS, however their inclusion in the game does cause us to remember their history and helps us ensure that we never see another organization like that again.

KG Hansen
In my overview article on AO, the I said that KG Hansen is like KG Peiper without the tanks - however there may be more to this list than what I assumed at first glance.  The biggest reason why players would shy away from a list like this is because it is rated a Fearless/Trained instead of Fearless/Veteran like most other Waffen-SS units.  However, being that these guys are trained means that you are paying less for then as you would vets and in a true Bulge themed tournament, where they use the snow and fog rules these guys may not get shot up so much. 

One thing I didn’t like about this list was the lack of types of tanks you can pick, however I forgot how great the Panzer IV/70 (V) is.  They have a front armor of 9, and a gun which has an AT of 14, which at 390 points for a platoon of three is not too bad. They do have some downsides: they move slow, have glass sides (side armor 3) and are overloaded.  However placing these in ambush would be deadly to any American tank the Battle of the Bulge book.

The other tank you can take is the King Tiger, which with the ability to get FJ tank riders who save on a 3+, is also not a bad way to go.

Add to this that you can take a Skorzeny Commando Group in support, you may have a very good defensive minded list.

Since the commandos now stay alive longer this unit is a “Must Add” to this list.

Another thing I do like with Hansen, is the fact you can take that great German heavy artillery, which I am becoming a huge fan of.   Another neat platoon most players overlook is the cheap (140 points) two gun Grille platoon, excellent for digging out enemy infantry.

I may look at taking a KG Hansen list to a Bulge themed tournament, it is a very defensive list that can give you opponent a headache.

KG Knittel
When I first looked at these two lists I liked this KG of KG Hansen, however now I would say that Knittel is the weak sister of the two. 

I have an odd fascination with these fast armored car lists and have the models to play them, yet I have never brought a list like this to the table and after looking deeply into KG Knittel - my fascination will stay unfulfilled. 

It’s not like KG Knittel is a bad list, just that we have other lists like this that are much more competitive. 

I know one guy who would play this list, Scott Maclemore and this is what that list would look like.

Company HQ: 1x Sd Kfz 250 25 Points
1st Combat Platoon: 2 x Pumas 90 Points
2nd Combat Platoon: 1 x Panzerspah Patrol 85 points
Support Platoon: 2 x King Tigers 560 points
Support Platoon 2 x King Tigers 560 points
Support Platoon: 2 x Skorzeny Commando Groups 100 points
5 Platoons at 1420 points

In fact his would not be a bad list to play against an American list in Battle of the Bulge.  A lot of recce to keep US tank destroyers away and the small Commando teams cannot be ignored by your opponent.  If anyone tries this list out, please contact me.

As with most things, a closer look seems to clear things up.  While I was not thinking about ever playing either of these lists, my analysis in creating this article has changed my mind. 
Twitter: @MitchWWPD

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