Artillery Options for a WWIII West German Force

WW3: West German release brings in a couple of new units (finally) to add to your force that can complement your artillery options you may already have.  The M109A3G Panzerartillerie Batterie and especially MARS (MLRS) Raketenwerfer Batterie can add some real value to your force.  In this article we look at new and existing equipment, their stats, cost and compare them.

Starting off with the new equipment, let us look at the M109A3G Panzerartillerie Batterie first.  This is an upgrade to the existing M109G (with a longer improved barrel) and has partially replaced the M109G in frontline units.  The gun can deliver a potentially devastating AT4 artillery template out to 112” – pretty much anywhere – even on the larger tables!  Can fire a smoke bombardment and bomblets.  Even tanks need to fear this, you can catch everything underneath it with AT4, you can remove vehicles including tanks.  FP 2+ means anything that fails its saves is most likely to be destroyed.  Direct fire it can reach out 24” with Brutal, AT15 and auto firepower.  Nasty against non-Tanks and infantry.  They are armoured so have some chance of survivability – especially against counterbattery fire and have a cross check of 3+ which means you can park them in woods to conceal them and not too worried if you must move them.  Three for 8pts, four for 11pts, five for 13pts, six for 16pts.

Next is the MARS (MLRS) Raketenwerfer Batterie.  This is effectively the replacement for the LARS.  People are potentially split on this new option due to the 5+ firepower.  I think it has great potential depending on the force you want to run and how many points you may have to spend.  Each vehicle counts as TWO vehicles when firing which is great if you are taking three or more, as it means you can reroll misses.  It has a range of 120” AT3 and FP 5+.  With a salvo template you have the option to suppress your enemy and even destroy light vehicles.  With 5+ FP, if you are playing Czechs with their 5+ remounts, means bailing them is effectively taking them out of action.  What better way to take out six DANAs and RM-70s in counterbattery fire?  They are armoured so have some chance of survivability – especially against counterbattery fire and have a cross check of 2+ which means you can park them in woods to conceal them and be confident that if you must move them, you can almost all the time.  You can take two for 6pts, three for 9pts, four for 12pts.  You can also fire minelets for an additional 1pt for the battery.  The ability to take minelets, with each vehicle counts as two weapons means you can create a bigger minefield.  Very useful addition to have.  An auto-include for me when taking this unit.

Onto existing equipment now, we will start off with the humble M113 Panzersmorser.  This is the workhorse of the infantry formations and provides cheap in-formation ability to be able to pin enemy infantry for the assault or provide a quick smoke screen for your attack or take out light vehicles.  It has a range of 64”, AT3 FP 3+.  Very useful overall ability to take.  Armoured with a cross check of 3+ you can put in the woods for concealment and not be too worried if you need to move them.  Three for 3pts or six for 6pts.  This an absolute bargain and almost an auto-include if you are taking an infantry formation that has them as part of the formation.  They are also in the Jager formation which is slightly cheaper due them being hit on 3s instead of 4s.  Three for 2pts or six for 5pts for the Jager option.

Next up is the ending M109G Panzerartillerie Batterie.  This can be taken in most formations or as support.  Handy if you run a formation which does not have any inherent artillery (such as Fallschirmjager).  Useful to take if you want a second artillery battery in addition to you may already have in the formation – maybe pair it with the Panzermorser.  It has the same stats as the M109A3G except the range is 88” instead of 112” and direct fire is AT12 rather than AT15.  It can still fire bomblets and smoke.  Three for 7pts, four for 9pts, five for 12pts, and six for 14pts.

Finally, we have the very cool looking LARS Raketenwerfer Batterie.  It has a range of 80” AT3 FP 4+.  Useful AT3 and has a salvo template, so its good for pinning infantry and counterbattery fire. Its not armoured so you want to protect them and hide them if you can.  5+ cross check, so you do not want to put them in the woods if you can help it.  Park them behind woods instead if you can, so if you need to reposition them you can.  Two for 3pts or four for six points.  You can also fire minelets for an additional 1pt for the battery.

The tables below do a direct comparison across each of the weapon systems and will help you determine what you might want to include in your force.

Indirect fire:

Weapon Range Type Anti-Tank Firepower Notes
M113 Panzermorser 64”/160cm ARTILLERY 3 3+ Smoke Bombardment
M109G 88”/220cm ARTILLERY 4 2+ Smoke Bombardment, Bomblets
M109A3G 112”/280cm ARTILLERY 4 2+ Smoke Bombardment, Bomblets
MARS (MLRS) Raketenwerfer 120”/300cm SALVO 3 5+ Minelets
LARS Raketenwerfer 48”/120cm SALVO 3 4+ Smoke Bombardment, Minelets

Direct fire stats:

Weapon Range ROF Anti-Tank Firepower Notes
M109G 24”/60cm 1 12 AUTO Brutal, Slow Firing, Smoke
M109A3G 24”/60cm 1 15 AUTO Brutal, Slow Firing, Smoke


Movement Stats:

Weapon Tactical Terrain Dash Cross Country Dash Road Dash Cross
M113 Panzermorser 10”/25cm 16”/40cm 24”/60cm 32”/80cm 2+
M109G 10”/25cm 16”/40cm 24”/60cm 28”/70cm 3+
M109A3G 10”/25cm 16”/40cm 24”/60cm 28”/70cm 3+
MARS (MLRS) Raketenwerfer 10”/25cm 10”/25cm 16”/40cm 32”/80cm 2+
LARS Raketenwerfer 8”/20cm 8”/20cm 14”/35cm 36”/90cm 5+

The last thing to discuss is using the observer.  You can only take an observer if you take at least one unit of the above artillery units.  The advantage of taking an observer for 1pt is the ability to keep your artillery concealed out of sight and allows you to range in on a better skill.  Using an observer allows you to range in on a two instead of three (three instead of four in terrain).  Much better odds to range in first time to get the job done.

In summary, the West Germans finally get the new upgraded artillery options to complement existing weapon systems.  Choose the best unit that suits your requirements and cost to fit into your force.  Personally, I am excited about the new MARS (MLRS) Raketenwerfer.  I am looking forward to finally get them onto the table!