Thanks for tuning in everyone! We’ve had a great time and hope you’ve had a chance to check out all the content! But don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere and you can check all of it out at your own pace.
Hopefully, you’ve found something to inspire you and your West German armies, we look forward to seeing them on the table in the coming weeks!
A linked campaign of 5 battles, that as the result of each battle is known, further changes the upcoming battles in terms of points, forces available, and final outcome.
USMC has 120 points to deploy from battle 1 and depending on the dice roll of repaired vehicles between battles, their points/units (?) reduce throughout. There are NO force restrictions, but if the force is chosen as per the Army Book, then there will be a small bonus randomly drawn.
Reinforcements come as two options for USMC: What Chris can paint in addition to the 120 points starting, and if successful on battle 3 ‘Replenishment’ then can bring in one unit extra to the 120 points for each of the next battles.
West Germans have 77 points from Battle 1 and can choose to activate units from Battle 2 up to 100 points and from Battle 3 have unlimited ‘respawns’ in terms of units up to 120points for further battles. If Gareth can bring more troops to the table in terms of painting tanks and troops, then he can use them in the upcoming battles with NO Force Restrictions.
Further units can be included by third or neutral players TBD: East Germans, Soviets (enemy) and Soviets (friendly), Scattered NATO troops/units, Eastern European Forces and special forces teams from multiple countries.
The forces of West Germany have done the unthinkable: they have thrown off the shackles of the NATO and post-WWII Western Governments and rearmed, refit and reorganised themselves, to strike at the western powers to free themselves of foreign rule and declare a Fourth Reich. Supported by Ultra Communist Soviet interlopers, advisors and spies, the West Germans attack multiple NATO bases in concert, pushing allied forces back to the border with France. A successful union between East and West Germany, allows the Germans to threaten the Soviet Union less than 40 years since Operation Barborossa in the Second World War. The Soviets scramble to remove Nuclear Weapons from their satellite states before war is declared.
A small force of United States Marines is left stranded and deep in enemy territory after they were rediverted from Desert Exercises in the Middle East to seize and protect an arsenal of Nuclear Weapons from Ukraine after they refuse to hand them over to the pro-western Soviets.
They must combat both the aggression of a Germany unified for the second time in a century, as well as marauding Eastern European Forces intent of their destruction. Now the USMC units must scramble for the Western border, whilst fighting off desperate attacks from West German forces to secure the Nuclear Weapons, delay the advance of the enemy so that NATO units can redeploy and stem the tide of war; and live to see another day.
With the UK now starting to come out of Lockdown, something that’s been affecting most of us for the last 14 months, I have decided to celebrate upcoming face to face gaming again with my good buddy Chris from the office with a new army.
I already have a large Soviet force, so it would be good to have an opposing force to go against them. I have picked the West Germans as they have some great new releases coming out for them and I also fondly remember one of Harold Coyle’s other books ‘The Ten Thousand’ where the Germans rebelled against NATO and a stranded US army had to make their way out of Germany. This will allow my West Germans to be able to play the NATO role and that of the Opposing Force.
Having chosen my army, I will let you into my stages for starting and completing a new army.
Stage One: Read the book and draft out the first army list
I spent the weekend reading through the book and I really like the list options that are there for the West Germans. With 12 Kompanies to choose from, there is no lack of choice. With me not having any West German forces at all, this is a completely fresh new army for me. The quick and easy choice would be to take the Leopard 2A5 Kompanie.
85 points, so a solid core of my points taken up. This will give your starting force a massive firepower punch but will struggle to hold objectives and deal with any enemy infantry.
So rather than putting all my eggs in one basket, I picked up the West German Starter Force Box Set, so I had some models to play with. The box has allowed building the following force:
For now, I have dropped the Tornado Strike, and as for the remaining 4 points, I am going to add a Fuchs Panzeraufklarungs Zug so that I have some infantry that can hold the objectives, whilst my big cats go hunting down the enemy armour. The only real thing that I am concerned about when facing the opposition is if I come up against a large amount of Milan, TOW, or RPG teams as they could exploit my flanks and take out the Leopards leaving my force extremely weakened.
Looking through the book again I think my next Kompanie will be the Fallschirmjager with the rifle teams being able to make a quick dash in the Hueys to take vital ground whilst the Wiesel TOW and 20mm will be able to guard my flanks.
The next stage is to build my army and get on to the task of painting.
Stage Two: Purchase and assemble the models.
Stage Three: Paint the army. I am not a great detailed painter when it comes to painting my forces. I would class myself as fast get them on the table painter. I have been looking at some new techniques for painting quick camo over tanks using sponges
Stage Four: Play my first set of games and see how the army plays and what changes or additional units I would like to add to the army.
Stage Five: Taking from the lessons of the test games, refine the list and add or remove needed units.
I don’t need an excuse to start a new army, as the newest shiniest thing is enough to get me salivating at getting models stuck together. Sadly, finishing them off can sometimes be my downfall. My desk at work is a testament to this and on a regular basis is littered with projects, units half completed and what not. However, with the implementation of Rolling Lockdowns here in the UK in April 2020 I made it my mission to finish as many of my Flames of War and WWIII: Team Yankee projects as possible; and all the while juggling the joys of working from home, homeschooling the kids and staying safe.
The hobby lockdown competition over on the Flames of War website was a great help to my motivation seeing everyone’s projects, checking in with the Flames Facebook groups, and even keeping in touch with friends and acquaintances the world over on message groups and Skype chats! My biggest project was by far the Bagration: Soviet Tankovy list in early 2020. This kept me going until nearly February 2021 and by then I was done with green tanks. So I busted out the M1A1 company which I’d started for my USMC army, but never completed. So sandy hues and Desert MERDC became my new obsession to anyone who would listen. And that is where the West German book found me when it dropped into my lap a few weeks ago. I was tempted by the Leopard 2A5 calling my name, and the Glory and Uncle Sam for courage and resistance. It is far easier to find an excuse why my USMC would be fighting Gareth’s West German tanks in the 1980s!
Gareth introduced me to another novel by Harold Coyle (writer of Team Yankee novel) called The Ten Thousand, which in a nutshell is about the Americans teaming up with some disenfranchised Soviets, to steal Ukrainian nukes and get them toward France, fighting through a revived Greater German Reich. I was hooked.
So not only did I start putting together a 120-point vehicle-based list designed around speed and aggression, but I painted enough extra army choices to increase my overall points or easily swap out for actual games, rather than skirmish-style scenarios as we were hoping to play in our lunch hours. In addition to this, I went a bit chop heavy on my Humvees and removed the hardcover at the back, and created some open-backed versions to carry extra equipment. I also managed to scrounge the office for some pieces to ‘beef up’ the HMMWV including bull rams on the front, hazard warning lights, and a Nuke in the back of one of the Humvees for our scenarios!
All of this meant that I had the inspiration for my project, motivation from Gareth to complete it, and a cool themed force to take into the brave new world we are entering, for when tournaments restart and games are replayed. Plus, for the first time ever, I had a finished WW3 Army to join the plethora of Flames of War Armies I got done in 2020 (but that is a WHOLE other article) The only thing next is to get some Apaches and paint them up as the Longbow variant from an Allied British Army Air Corps unit so that they can join the long march from Eastern Europe, through Germany toward France. And then turn on their heel and play some scenarios against Matt’s Soviets in a traditional game…
One of the great things in the new West German book I feel is the addition of a lot of excellent infantry formations. In the previous Leopard book, the West German infantry lists were very small but elite, when compared to their Soviet counterparts. Which tended to see a Panzergrenadier Zug of 5 stands getting easily overwhelmed by a motor rifle company with upwards of 20+ stands each one when trying to defend. I remember quite a few games where no matter how many advancing Soviet infantry I killed, they would just keep coming and would easily walk over and through my poor Panzergrenadier Zugs. Artillery would not stop them and was often shot up by Hinds or tanks before they got more than a few barrages off. I really felt that, in an infantry formation duel, that the West Germans would find it very hard to compete against the other forces.
The inclusion of the Panzertruppen supplement to the West German forces, added an extra Milan team, which helped against a cheap Soviet BMP or T-55 rush, but still did not really have any effect against the large infantry swarm attack of the motor rifle company formations. But all in all, these formations were not for defending, they were too small, but more sized for counter-attacking after blunting an assault. The issue was that sometimes you could not stop the rush, as you lacked the numbers to absorb any loss of troops.
With the addition of three extra infantry formations, Fallschirmjäger, Gebirgsjäger, and the HSB (Heimatschutzbrigade) Jäger Kompanies, you now have extra options with larger platoons, to play a more defensive infantry list. I guess if you look at how the start of WWIII in 1985 would have started, that is what would have happened initially, as the NATO allies counter-attacked. At first, there was going to be a massive red wave of troops and armour from the Soviets, which would be blunted by counter-attacking forces, the mobile Panzertruppen as in the first Leopard book, which would buy time for more forces to be brought up, to have a chance of holding them at cities, bridges, autobahn choke-points, and other such places. This brings us to the new book, World War III West Germans, which is a full representation of the total forces available to the Bundeswehr in WWIII, not only the Field Army but the Territorial Army as well.
The Heimatschützbrigades ( Home Security Brigades) were part of the Territorial Brigades in the Bundeswehr, which was reorganised under Heeresstruktur IV (Army Structure IV ) in 1981. Ideally, their role is to defend the rear areas of the Army, in particular, to secure infrastructure, roads, ports, communication hubs, and to allow freedom of action in the rear combat zone for NATO units as they transited to the front lines. Additionally, they were to be used as a reaction force in the case of any airborne or amphibious troops managing to successfully complete a landing behind the front lines or to attempt to hold the line in the case of a breakthrough.
There were 12 HSB Brigades in total, with each of the Defence Area Commands (WBK) having two HSB Brigades allocated to them, with the 5 series Brigades (eg. 51 to 56) being partially active, and the 6 series Brigades (eg. 61 to 66) being inactive and consisting of only a few active soldiers. Of the partially active 5 series Brigades, they would typically have around 2500 active soldiers, which would be boosted up to full strength of 4500 with reservists in times of conflict, whereas the inactive 6 series Brigades would only be brought up to 2800 soldiers, with much lower capabilities and equipment. So in the case of Heimatschützbrigade 51, its sister ‘inactive’ Brigade was Heimatschützbrigade 61.
Typically each partially active Heimatschützbrigade was made up of two Jäger Battalions (with organic tank and mortar units in their heavy companies), two Panzer Battalions, and an artillery battalion. Most of these Heimatschützbrigades were only equipped with trucks and older M48A2GA2 tanks or KanonenJagdpanzers, and were typically in reserve and only called upon for training and exercises or in the case of actual war being declared. Most of their equipment would be stored in depots nearby and only mobilized if needed. But some of the Brigades, HSB 51 and HSB 56 were assigned to the Field Army almost immediately after the Heeresstruktur IV (Army Structure IV ) changes, to permanently strengthen the Divisions on the Northern and Southern Flanks, where they expected the most opposition to NATO forces.
Heimatschützbrigade 51 was closely associated with Panzergrenadierbrigade 6 (6th Panzergrenadier Brigade) in the North around the Jutland Peninsula, and was equipped with Leopard 1s in its Panzer Battalions (rather than the older M48 tanks) and even had some M113 Transports for one of its two Jäger Battalions. They would be working closely with the Dutch to hold this area, which was highlighted by a visit in 1983 from Officers of the Royal Danish Defence College, and the shared exercises with the LANDJUT Forces and the Dutch Jutland Division.
Heimatschützbrigade 56 was also particularly favoured and was assigned to the 1st Mountain Division in the south of Germany in Tilly, Oberhausen. This was to protect them from an advance of the WARSAW Pact forces through the Danube Valley, or through Austria if the Soviet forces ignored its neutrality. They also had two full Jäger Battalions, as well as two Leopard 1 Panzer Battalions and a field artillery battalion with M109Gs, as well as Jagdpanzer Jaguar 2s.
Both these units have competency levels almost on par with the Field Army forces and are represented in the book as the Heimatschützbrigade Kompanies. If you wanted to represent one of the less competent Heimatschützbrigade Kompanies, you could not include the M113 transports and Leopard I tanks that HSB 51 and HSB 56 would have been equipped with.
So what are the new additions in World War III – West Germans, that allow you to field a Heimatschützbrigade Kompanie?? Well, you now have a brand new unit of Jägers found in both the Gebirgsjäger and HSB Jäger Kompanies. The Jäger Zug blister, which contains 10 stands in total, a G3 rifle command team, 7 MG3 and G3 rifle teams with Panzerfaust 44’s, and 2 Milan teams as support AT weapons. In the Heimatschützbrigade Jäger Kompanie, you can only make use of 1 Milan team per Zug, with an HSB Jäger Zug typically containing between 5 or 7 stands, plus a Milan team. However, this is significantly more stands of infantry, than the previous Panzergrenadier Zugs, of max 5 or 6 stands. They are also cheaper but are hit on 3+ plus, instead of 4+, and with other soft stats being lower, with skill and rally of 4+, instead of 3+, as you would expect with troops who train less often than field army troops. You also have the option of giving all your Jäger Zugs, M113 transports, to give you more movement and firepower.
I for one would take the M113 upgrade for all of my Jäger Zugs, as the extra MGs can be used to drive off infantry assaults, or quickly allow you to mount up and either redeploy or even move up to take an objective!! A full Kompanie of an HQ and 3 Jäger Zugs with M113s will only set you back 19 points, that is 26 infantry stands (including 3 Milan teams), and 10 M113s, which is 9 stands more than the Marder 1 Panzergrenadier Kompanie from the previous Leopard book. However, as you are easier to hit, these Jägers should be used primarily for defence, to let the enemy come to you, and to stay concealed and gone to ground, until the enemy is in range.
You also have your organic artillery in your formation as part of your Schwere or Heavy Zug, which comes in the form of a 6 strong Jäger M113 Panzermörser Zug, armed with the M120 Mörser, 60 rounds per M113, and an AA MG3. It is cheaper than the normal Panzergrenadier Zug mortar carriers, and if taken in a smaller 3 strong M113 Zug, can be incredibly cheap!! These are excellent for pinning and killing enemy infantry, screening your forces with a smokescreen, and can also be used to take out enemy AA and artillery with a few unlucky rolls by your opponent.
But your skill, which is important for ranging in, is only 4+, so you will need a few extra prayers to the Dice gods to range in with these, but will do good work once you do, especially with a 6 strong Zug, to allow you the re-rolls To Hit for any misses of enemy teams under the artillery template. So add another 6 M113s to bring fiery shrapnel-filled gifts to express delivered onto your opponent’s head, if all else fails they can also fire their AA MGs into something, say a Hind or Frogfoot!! There is nothing more satisfying than shooting down an attacking enemy aircraft with a ROF 1, Firepower 6 pellet gun, it’s worth it just for the look of crestfallen disgust on your opponent’s face!!
Additionally, you have the option of taking the excellent Leopard 1 tank, yes it does not have the best gun or best armour, but it is cheap and has a moving ROF of 2, and AT 19, which allows you to move aggressively and flank and destroy enemy armour. This allows you to reliably destroy flanked enemy tanks, and your 2+ firepower almost always seals the deal. The laser rangefinder and stabilizers allow you to do this at long range without penalty, and move up to 14” at tactical speed with a +1 penalty To Hit, if needed. This mobility and weight of fire are what often gives the West German tanks the edge on the more clumsy Soviet armour.
They are also cheaper (but not by much) than the standard Leopard 1 tank Zug, but have the same penalties that you will see typical of these 2nd Line Troops, so 3+ To Hit, and a Skill of 4+, among other worse soft skills. You can take a single Zug of 4 Leopard 1’s, and to me, this is a no-brainer, use them to take out attacking enemy BMPs, or if there are no other targets, you can also go on one of my favourite missions in-game, the Arty and AA Hunt!!!
West German M48A2GA2
So the better equipped HSB 51 and HSB 56 would have the Leopard 1 tank, but the less well-equipped HSB Kompanies would have the mostly obsolete M48A2GA2 tank. The M48A2GA2 was an upgraded US M48 tank, improved by the West Germans and given to the Territorial forces once the Leopard 1 tank was brought into service, given the same gun as the Leopard 1, and a laser rangefinder, it would be similar to a Leopard 1, but slower, lacking a stabilizer and not have the moving RoF of 2. If you wanted to convert these up (like I have) this is a fun little conversion project, and if you are interested in finding the unofficial M48A2GA2 stats I made up, please join the official Team Yankee Facebook Group, you should be able to find these there. But I understand completely why they were not put in this book, they are simply too old, and it really is just a slower, worse Leopard 1… You could also just convert them up if you are really keen and figure substitute them as the HSB Leopard 1 Zug if you do want your M48A2GA2 fix.
The next gotta-have HSB unit is the Kanonenjagdpanzer Zug, which is really a successor to the Jagdpanther and other tank hunters from WWII. By 1985 it was obsolete, but it still has a decent 90mm gun, which was originally on the M47 Patton. Built in 1960, it was fielded by the Bundeswehr and the Belgian Army. It had a very low profile and was nimble and maneuverable for the period, but only had 50mm of sloped armour. It was relying on ambushing and quickly relocating after firing to take out opponents, something that the Germans did very well with their tank hunters in WWII. Its gun could take out older Soviet tanks like the T-55 and T-62, but by 1985 the increasingly heavy armour on Soviet main battle tanks, like the T-72 and T-80, meant they could be no longer used in front line units. 163 of the 770 Kanonenjagdpanzers produced by the West Germans were turned into the Jaguar 1 and Jaguar 2 anti-tank missile Jagdpanzers, with most of the rest being given to the Territorial Forces.
This still can be an effective ambush unit, as the gun is AT16 with a 2+ firepower, with a stationary RoF of 2 and a range of 32”, four of these can make a fair dint in a Soviet tank company if you catch them in the flank. But be aware it has the HEAT rule, so some tanks may get a higher side armour value due to the Bazooka skirts rule, etc. I think the new models for this look fantastic!! And I can see myself easily taking 4 of these, just for the rule of cool! In the Jager Kompanie, the choice is between 4 Leopard 1 tanks or 4 Kanonenjagdpanzers, but they can also be taken as a support choice, so you can take up to 8 if you want. I do think given their long-range, 2+ firepower gun, they will be very useful to use on dug-in infantry when trying to take a position. Additionally, they benefit from the Forward Defence special rule, so in missions with Deep Reserves, which you often find when defending, these can be taken in addition to the 1 FA 4 unit you are usually able to take. So as this formation is supposed to be used in defence, another good tool for you to take, and hopefully use in ambush, which will give you another advantage.
So a full Heimatschützbrigade Kompanie Formation, with a HQ, 3 full Jäger zugs, a 6 strong M113 Panzermörser zug, a 4 strong Jäger Leopard 1 zug, and 4 Kanonenjagpanzers in support, will set you back around 42 points including the M113 transports for your Kompanie. This gives you almost 60 points to flesh out a force, or spend on more support, or even take another full formation. It gives you so many options, which I think is fantastic!! I hope you can see how flexible this now makes the West Germans in Team Yankee, and how this may give the West German players a choice in how to play their force.
Previously I found you were always struggling to bring enough troops to hold an objective, but now with this option, you can take quite a large force to hold down your chosen objective, and really have your pick of what you want to take as your offensive component. I think this is great for the West Germans in Team Yankee and really have me looking at including this Formation or components of this formation in my West German forces.
I hope you found this as interesting as I did, and just wait until you see about the other West German infantry options!!
The new book includes two formations we’ve already seen in Leopard: the Panzeraufklärungs Kompanie and the Fuchs Kompanie. The exciting new recon formation is the Leopard 2 Panzeraufklärungs Kompanie. Yes, you heard right, the Leopard 2 has joined the recon units and it’s better than you think!
One of the biggest advantages of this formation is that they are extremely cheap and add optional units. Most West German formations are forced to deploy expensive compulsory units to avoid breaking formation, meaning that fewer points are available once you have completed this. Considering how expensive the highly motivated/trained West German units are, it’s definitely a mess. Contrary, all Panzeraufklärungs formations have the same characteristics with cheaper compulsory units.
For just 30 points, the Panzeraufklärungs Kompanie may deploy 6 units, including infantry support and anti-aircraft cover. That should give you a solid base to build your force, and leaves many points for other units. If you need more points you can remove other units with a minimal list of 13 points comprised of 2 + 2 Luchs and 1+2 Leopard 1s. Personally, I do not recommend this extreme approach, instead, try adding Luchs as they are good at managing both IFV and light units making the formation stronger. In the previous book, they were an auto-include unit, now with an increase to 2 points you’re forced to make a choice. The formation can also include a second Leopard 1 unit. This could be a good idea because Leopard 1s are a great tank; they have limited armour but have a lethal gun. If your plan is to include a unit like the Leopard 2A5 in support you will need to be careful of how many points you spend so you have enough leftover.
Fuchs formations may deploy 6 units for just 30 points, and as their name suggests they have an important infantry component. The Fuchs Panzeraufklärungs is not a big infantry unit with only 3 MG and 1 Milan team but remember that the Marder Panzergrenadier Zug only has one extra team (despite it being an important one!) so everything considered it isn’t that small.
They are useful at occupying territory, limiting enemy movements, and capturing objectives. They also bring Anti-tank 21 to the formation, and you can never have enough AT 21. The Leopard 1 Zug can be swapped with a third Fuchs Panzeraufklärungs if you want more infantry (or just one more Milan!). The Fuchs armoured transport is not the best transport since its armed with just an MG and can only provide some anti-infantry shots, but it can mount the Milan that is carried by infantry thanks to the Milan Mount rule. The cheapest Fuchs Panzeraufklärungs Kompanie is composed of the HQ and two Fuchs Panzeraufklärungs Zugs for just 7 points.
And this is the new formation. It’s a more interesting one due to the presence of two new units; the Marder 2 and Leopard 2A5. The Leopard 2A5 is currently the best tank in the game; it’s armed with anti-tank 22 which not the best gun, but it does have the best armour with a front armour rating of 22. It’s fast and well-skilled (skill 3+, morale 3+) so it certainly isn’t cheap! If you play at 85 points, finding enough points to deploy them can be very difficult. That’s the reason why the Leopard 2 Panzeraufklärungs Kompanie is a good choice.
The formation is composed of an HQ, which can be either a Leopard 2 or a Leopard 2A5, two Marder 2s Späh Trupps with two Marder 2s, and a Leopard 2 or Leopard 2A5 Panzer Zug. Personally, I would recommend choosing a Leopard 2A5 for the HQ, 2 Marder 2 Späh Trupps and 3 Leopard 2s. The reason being that the Leopard 2A5 can deploy with the rest of the formation, providing some support, while the Leopard 2 Zug will come in from the reserves shooting with their moving ROF of 2 and Anti-Tank 22.
With an additional point, you could choose to upgrade your Leopard 2 Zug to a Leopard 2A5 Zug with two tanks, but you lose 2 shots. Marder 2s are the other compulsory unit for this formation, the size of the unit is small consisting of only two teams but they have Scout, which should help them survive, unlike the Marder 2 IFVs of the Marder 2 Panzergrenadier Zug. Their cost isn’t too limiting but becomes important to consider if you upgrade to the 50mm gun. I wouldn’t recommend this option as the 35mm gun can manage enemy IFV and keep the formation cheap, and considering the presence of the Leopard 2/Leoapard 2A5 tanks is important. In my opinion, three Marder 2 units will provide a good number of models for formation morale.
The formation also includes an infantry option mounted in Fuchs, and a Gepard Flakpanzer Batterie to provide anti-aircraft support. Including both these units is a good idea; the Gepards are a must-have if you play big tanks as aircraft/helicopters are their main threat, whilst infantry will help the force manage enemy infantry, leaving enemy tanks to be wiped out by the West German supremacy!
Now that we have had an in-depth look at the Panzeraufklärungs, try them on the battlefield, trust me, they’re wonderfully effective formations!
Don’t forget to hit hard with your Leopard 2s!
Modern Fallschirmjager jumping from a CH-160 Transall
Apart from the Gebirgsjäger Kompanie, one of the other formations I was really looking forward to seeing in the new West German book was the Fallschirmjäger Kompanie. These iconic warriors had a huge influence in WWII and in the development of new tactics and methods of warfare, which has carried on into the more modern battlefield of the 20th Century and beyond. Although you may not see a mass unit jump again, like the Fallschirmjäger did when they bravely jumped into Eban Emael in Belgium and in the Invasion of Crete during WWII, in what was some of the first successful uses of paratroopers, it did make other nations take notice and implement their own paratrooper programs.
The hard lessons learned in airborne drops like Crete and Operation Market Garden were that you needed to be confident of quick support to the often lightly armed and isolated paratroopers and that they needed to drop with adequate equipment to be able to handle both infantry and armour. Developments of weapons like the Panzerfaust and the FG-42 Paratrooper rifles are examples of what the Germans came up with within WWII to assist the paratroopers with these problems.
The Germans actually developed several early helicopter designs in WWII and some were used in limited roles such as observation vehicles, medical evacuations, and light transport examples such as the Flettner FI 282 Kolibri, and Focke Achgelis Fa 223 Drache are noted, but extensive allied bombing prevented any widespread use of the helicopter by the Germans in WWII. The Allies were also developing their own helicopter designs during the war, like the Bell 30, and Bell 47 (which entered civilian service in 1946), and the Sikorsky R-4. Interestingly the Sikorsky R-4 was the only Allied-designed helicopter to serve in WWII, it was used primarily as a search and rescue vehicle by the USAAF 1st Air Commando Group in the remote Burmese Campaigns against the Japanese.
The introduction of the helicopter in the 50s and 60s was mostly used as either an observation vehicle or for quick medical evacuations as was seen in Korea, with the helicopters at the time being too small to carry many passengers or large weapon loads that would make them effective gunships or mass transports. It was not until the Vietnam War and the introduction of large turbine engine helicopters like the UH-1 Huey and CH-47 Chinook that you saw mass troop transport via helicopter.
German WW2 Helicopter – Focke Achgelis Fa 223 Drache
The Vietnam conflict saw whole companies carried by helicopters into battle, one of the first was the Battle of IaDrang, where the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment of the US Air Mobile Division was dropped in, one company at a time, with 16 Hueys needed to drop each Company. Airborne assault units like the 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne are now more often being delivered into combat via helicopter instead of massed paratrooper drops like in WWII.
There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the slow-moving transports needed to mass drop paratroopers at low levels as they did during WWII would now be sitting ducks for enemy anti-air weapons, so any drops close to enemy lines would be very risky. Also inserting troops via helicopter is very precise, you know exactly where you are inserting them, unlike the mass of troops being scattered across kilometres, which was what happened in WWII. Helicopter insertion can also often be done into “Hot” drop-zones with the advent of helicopter gunships. These gunships can provide massive amounts of suppressing and supporting gunfire to inserted troops.
In the Vietnam War special operations, teams like MACV-SOG, Navy SEALs, and Green Berets were often inserted via helicopter, with support from gunships. They were also often extracted under heavy fire while covered by units such as the HA(L)-3 Seawolves, and the US Army Combat Aviation regiments with heavily armed UH-1B Hogs or similar variants, or Cobra Gunships. If you want to read some stories of heroism, I strongly suggest you look up stories about MACV-SOG and the Seawolves, some of the missions they survived beg belief.
In modern conflicts, it is more common for these airborne troops to be inserted via helicopter now instead of jumping from a plane, as you saw in the Invasion of Iraq in Operation Desert Storm, with 2,000 Paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division being transported by around 400 helicopters, 155 miles behind enemy lines, in what was at the time the “deepest air assault operation in history”. So this is why in the Team Yankee period we are seeing airborne troops being transported via helicopter instead of parachuting into the action.
In the Team Yankee time period, the Fallschirmjager are part of the 1. Luftlandedivision (1st Airborne Division), which was made up of three brigades, Luftlandebrigade 25, 26, and 27. One Luftlandebrigade was assigned to each Korps and was usually stationed at the rear of each assigned area, they usually split Luftlandedivision helicopter assets between each brigade and had no specific helicopter transport units assigned to each brigade. The Luftlandedivision also had a small airlift field artillery battery attached to it, of what appears to be 6 OTO Melara M56 105mm artillery, originally designed for the Italian Army’s Aplini Brigades.
Each Luftlandebrigade was made up of three Battalions, and also had its own LuftlandepionierKompanie, and LuftlanemörserKompanie with 120mm mortars to provide direct fire support. Each Battalion was made up of two paratrooper companies, and two anti-tank companies, with each anti-tank company having a mix of TOW anti-tank missiles and 20mm rapid-firing dual purpose cannons that could be used in both anti-air and ground fire modes.
As far as transport helicopters, the Bundeswehr had either the UH-1D Huey or the larger CH-53G Sea Stallion available to ferry its Fallschirmjager into battle. Both are Vietnam-era warhorses, but still operate around the world today, with the UH-1D being able to ferry in 10 passengers, and the CH-53G has the capacity for 24 soldiers in 1985, but received upgrades in the 1990s to take 36 armed passengers. The UH-1D was used by the Bundeswehr up until 2021, and the CH-53G is still in service, but it is either in need of an upgrade or replacement to continue serving much longer.
Bundeswehr Fallschirmjäger about to board a CH-53G
A German Bundeswehr Fallschirmjager tells a tale “of sitting in the UH-1D, only a few meters above the treetops, in their “battlefield taxis”, enjoying every moment, but also thinking they will crash at any time, with the Huey pilots laughing at them…”, they also trained to jump with parachutes from the Huey, for rapid insertion where it was either too dangerous for the helicopter to land or for covert insertion. They practised both low-level and high-level insertions, as well as disaster crisis missions, armed repatriation, and evacuation of German civilians in other countries.
As far as the battlefield in WWIII, their mission, in general, would be to act as a quick reaction force, to protect against enemy breakthroughs, engage the enemy on the flanks, or quickly redeploy in areas to bolster the defence. They would also be expected to act offensively, either as an air-assault unit, disrupting enemy communications and supply lines, or harassing enemy reinforcements.
They were considered light infantry and were armed with the typical weapons for the period, so H&K G3 Rifles, MG 3 machine gun (which is basically an improved WWII MG42), and a Panzerfaust 44 anti-tank rocket launcher for use against armour within 300 meters or less. They were also armed with Milan anti-tank missiles, American TOW wire-guided anti-tank missiles, and for light armour and helicopters a Rheinmetall Mk 20 Rh-202 20mm autocannon, which is the same autocannon mounted on the Marder 1 and Luchs.
The TOW anti-tank missiles and 20mm Autocannons were originally mounted on a small military quad vehicle called a Kraka. It could either mount one TOW missile system or a single 20mm cannon with ammunition and was lightweight and small and foldable, with a top speed of 55 km/h. It could also be used as a battlefield ambulance, munitions carrier, and scout vehicle, and was very easily transported via helicopter. It was in use with the Luftlandedivisionfor for 20 years, from the early 70s to 1990, and was replaced by the Wiesel armoured weapons carrier.
The Wiesel is unique on the modern battlefield, in that it is the only true modern tankette used in Western Europe. It is a light air-transportable weapons carrier made specifically for the Bundeswehr. They saw the need for an air-transportable weapons system to effectively enable their light infantry Fallschirmjäger to successfully engage and destroy modern heavy armour like the T-72. The Kraka quad was their first attempt at this solution, the Wiesel is an evolution of this. It was developed by Porsche who made some prototypes in 1978 but was stopped due to lack of funds. Porsche continued the development due to interest from other countries, the Bundeswehr eventually ordered 343 vehicles in 1985.
A Wiesel exiting a CH-53G Sea Stallion
It can perform multiple roles, from surveillance, anti-infantry, anti-armour, with the Wiesel 1 (the Team Yankee Version) being armed with either a TOW anti-tank missile system or a dual feed Rheinmetall Mk 20 Rh-202 20mm autocannon for anti-infantry or helicopters. A later variant, the Wiesel 2 Ocelot, can mount 4 Stinger anti-air missiles, as well as a 120mm Mortar variant, Engineering Scout variant, and Command variant.
It is an excellent reconnaissance and ambush vehicle, with a very low silhouette, a height of 2 meters, can travel at speeds of up to 75 km/h, and the chassis can protect from weapons fire up to 7.62 mm rounds. It also weighs less than a US Humvee at just less than 3 tonnes and can ford water depths of up to half a meter. But most importantly it is easily air-transportable, with the CH-53G Sea Stallion being able to carry 2 Wiesel’s, and larger transports like the CH-160 Transall being able to carry 4 or more. Incidentally, the CH-160 can also drop up to 88 paratroopers if they were going to drop into combat in the more traditional role.
Personally, I think this vehicle may take over from the WWII Panzer 2 Luchs, as my favourite tiny tank… as it now comes with missiles!
So having made up a list using the new Fallschirmjager Formation, the first thing I saw was that I needed more Wiesel’s…. not just because they look awesome, but because they were a cheap way to get very mobile TOW anti-tank missiles. So with one full Fallschirmjager formation only costing 25 points without helicopter transports, I got another one with an additional Zug with the helicopter transport upgrade. This gave me 8 TOW Wiesel’s and 12 20mm Autocannon Wiesel’s in total, with the TOW Wiesel’s being able to take care of most tanks, and the 12 Autocannon Wiesel’s being able to harass enemy AA and artillery as well as enemy infantry. They also flesh out your formations to make them harder to break.
As far as your infantry goes the Fallschirmjager Zug has 5 stands plus a Milan launcher, and you only get three Fallschirmjager Zugs per formation, so two formations give you six Fallschirmjager Zugs, with six Milan launchers. Although not as good as the larger Gebirgsjager Zugs, they still have six stands in total so better than the smaller Panzergrenadier Zugs from the Leopard book. They also still have the panzerfaust 44, which does good work if you are assaulted by armour. This will give you plenty of infantry teams to either defend or push an objective, so although this is probably more of a defensive ambush list, the fact that the Wiesel’s have no armour means they do not count for deep reserves, still allowing you to play an aggressive list if you choose. Also, the Fallschirmjager Zug with the helicopter transport can be used if you want to try to grab an objective later in the game, ideally if you have taken out any nearby AA or units who will fire on it as they attempt to disembark.
In keeping with the Helicopter theme of the Fallschirmjager, I have taken two flights of 2 PAH, for their anti-tank firepower, as they are the only thing that the Fallschirmjager can take with HOT missiles for more heavily armoured tanks. Having four of them in two units should make it harder for the enemy to counter them and the Autocannon Wiesel’s should be able to support them in either taking out enemy AA or enemy helicopters.
Another great new unit which I spied in the new book is the Marder 2 Späh Trupp from the Leopard 2 Pazneraufklarungs Kompanie. I can’t believe I didn’t notice this little gem earlier. For three points you get a small 2 vehicle Marder 2 Zug, with scout and spearhead, FA 6, Side 4, and top of 1. It also has Thermal Imaging, Chobham Armour, as well as a Laser Rangefinder and Advanced Stabilizers, so much advanced tech for such a small vehicle. It comes standard with a 35mm autocannon, range 28” AT11 and 4+ firepower, which is excellent in itself, but you can upgrade one or both of them for another point, to a 50mm main gun, which has 36” of range, AT 13 and 4+ firepower. I have found my sniper unit against AA and artillery, I wish I could take more, but unless you take the Leopard 2 Pazneraufklarungs Kompanie you can only take one as a black box support option. But these will be in pretty much every list I take from now on, I think these are that good!!! I can also see the Leopard 2 Panzeraufklarungs Kompanie itself as one of the few affordable ways to run the Leopard 2 or Leopard 2A5.
As far as the rest of the units, another Zug of Luchs for extra spearhead and things to annoy enemy artillery and AA, a LARS Zug with minelets for salvos to blanket AA, arty, and infantry, and to block off enemy routes of advance. I also never leave home without the Roland, just to shoot down enemy aircraft at the range, and if my opponent does not have any, they are cheap, so no great loss. You can also put them in reserve if not needed, so win-win. Another unit I never leave home without is the Leopard 1, I still think they are the point for point best tank in the game, people may not agree, but they are usually a smoking crater after I have flanked them…
So my thoughts on the Fallschirmjager Kompanie, is that this will be a bit of a high skill base formation to play, with you really needing to understand and abuse the low West German skill roll of 3+ (or better from HQ units) and to use your movement orders to get the best out of your units. This should not be new to West German veterans, as it is something they should be used to from the previous lists, but will be a steep learning curve for a new player. I do think it will be a very enjoyable formation to play, with lots of opportunities to ambush with the TOW or 20mm Autocannon Wiesel’s or even the Marder 2 Spah Trupp. Or you could have some interesting assaults with the Fallschirmjager both in defence or attack, and once you get the hang of it even try for the Holy Grail, the Helicopter Airborne Assault!
Well I hope you give it a try, I know I will be getting some for myself, especially those Wiesel’s and Marder 2s, I do love me some light armour!
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to a symposium on the modern blitzkrieg, or more commonly known as combined arms maneuver warfare. The German army since world war two has been very good at launching combined arms blitzkriegs and with the reinvention of the modern German army, it was lucky to have General Speidel at the helm who understood combined arms maneuver warfare. So how do combined arms translate to the game? Well first off we need to look at the extended battle plan missions as this will dictate what kind of list we take. We also need to know what stance we are going to take, be it attack, maneuver or defend, then we can plan accordingly.
For example, if you want to play a defensive list and think you can hold back the hordes of mother Russian and her allies then you need to build your list accordingly, taking into account things like deep reserves which will affect certain aspects of your battlegroup like tanks and FA4 and above transports. The next part to consider is your counteroffensive ability in order to launch assaults or to quickly shift the momentum back in your favour for holding objectives by the use of a quick response force (QRF) to contest or hold objectives until a more concrete defence can be mounted. The same needs to be done for both the maneuver and attack stance as we still need to mount a solid defence while remaining in an offensive posture as we launch our “blitzkrieg” on our unsuspecting opponent.
While looking at our options for attack and maneuver we need to take into consideration the ability to change the flow of the battlespace in order to keep the enemy on the back foot by placing pressure on one point but next turn be able to change to another by exploiting gaps in their defence, forcing them to shift elements of their battlegroup to counteract your move, thus giving you the tactical initiative over your opponent so that you can dictate the battlespace to your advantage.
So for this, we are going to use the West Germans as our army (who doesn’t love new toys) as the new book gives us a lot of options to pick from to make a list for all three stances. Each list is made with a stance in mind. Now, this isn’t a foolproof guide and should not be considered as such as we will also look at all three lists individually.
First up the defensive list. Our core needs to be strong enough to hold objectives and to be able to counter assault if needed, with this in mind we have a couple of choices. Two options come to mind when considering our core; the Gebirgsjäger list with massed infantry that can hold objectives with their numbers, and Fallschirmjäger which when the need may arise can launch a counteroffensive or be utilized as a cheap QRF role with Huey transports. Both have decent infantry, however, the Fallschirmjäger do have smaller platoons which may become problematic as you start to take casualties as this diminishes your defensive capability. So for that reason, we will go with the Gebirgsjäger formation as it gives us large infantry platoons that have the staying power to defend. It also gives us access to a unit of cheap leopard 1s (Leo1) which can be used to fill that QRF role and can also be used as a deterrent for tier 1 MBTs (T80, M1 family, Challenger) from assaulting your infantry for fear of AT19 side shots.
For our defensive list at 120pts we have a Gebirgsjäger formation:
Our defensive infantry formation is only 55pts and gives us a strong core to hold objectives as you can have two platoons holding one objective each making it harder for your opponent to shift your infantry off them, as well as allowing you to use one of the platoons as a screening force similar to how a real-life company with defensive positions with a platoon in-depth for covering fire and rally point. It also gives us a cheap QRF unit in the Leo1s and some mortars for cheap arty that can if needed lay down smoke to help cover your infantry that won’t be affected by it as they have Thermal Imaging. This also takes into account the one unit that can be more than FA4 for those pesky missions that have deep reserves. So quite the bargain, however, I’m sure right now you think that this has nothing to do with a blitzkrieg. Remember, we still have 65pts to go. So knowing a strong defence is a good offence let’s look at the other half of our list. The next consideration when defending is what we have in the reserves, as at 120pts, 48pts are allocated to the reserve. So with that in mind, we need to plan accordingly, but we also need to worry about Air and pesky Spearheads which can make you lose the tactical advantage. So in this instance, it will be our Leo1 formation and Gepard’s as these will be most likely affected by the deep reserve special rule. Once our force is complete we then can look at defensive strategy and how to utilize our force. The good thing about this force is it gives us the ability to change the stance if we end up playing a different type list where a bit more aggression can be used. The reason why the Leo1s are there is that when coupled with a successful blitz move, it’s a cheap way to bring in decent fire support and gives you the mobility needed to get to the right spot. Additionally, the Leo1s will be able to go toe to toe with T55 hordes or BMP hordes as their ROF both on the move and stationary is sufficient enough to put enough shots downrange.
The three recce units also give us some flexibility to go after enemy AA and arty. The Luchs will have no change to their role in the battlespace as these units will be able to get behind enemy lines quickly and hopefully quietly enough to take care of arty that will try to pin or kill your infantry once ranged in with repeat bombardments. As for the Marder 2 recce, these nice little units of death with their 50mm 36”, ROF 3, AT 13 gun will be able to hit and run enemy units as well as provide a deterrent for assaults from enemy tanks and any that wish to be foolish enough to expose their side armour. By utilizing Blitz and Shoot and Scoot this unit can become an annoyance as their range will be long enough to become problematic. They’re also useful for supporting infantry assaults as they do have the protection of FA and SA 16 against HEAT thanks to Cobham armour. So that’s our defensive list, it has everything we need to launch a blitzkrieg if required during the last stages of your defence when you may need to shift the enemy away from the objective or to keep IFV’s in check to ensure you can hold with your infantry.
Next up will be our maneuver stance list. This is where we will see the true form of the modern blitzkrieg come in to play as this is where we can start to make those lightning strikes and shock and awe moves that put your opponent on the back foot. For the list, I have gone with a Leopard 2 Panzeraufklärungs company as this gives you plenty of mobility and the ability to reserve your forces if needed without losing too much of your force. So keeping with the 120pts we have;
Leopard 2 Panzeraufklärungs company;
This list still gives plenty of flexibility, as the leo2A5s will be our reserves if required. First is our HQ, with the Leo2A5 we have plenty of staying power and can run with the other leo2A5s to keep them in the fight with re-rolls for morale and remount which will become crucial. With three of these beasts, it should be no doubt what our shock and awe unit is just like the panzers of yesteryear. These will form the core of our maneuver stance blitzkrieg. Keeping with the theme and the stance we have rounded it out with 4 Marder 2 recon units as they have the armour, mobility, and firepower to keep up with the Leo2s by applying pressure on exposed flanks. Because these can spearhead we can start to threaten objectives early in the game if our Leo2s are not in the reserves. Who wants 3 FA 22 with SA 13 (16 against HEAT) in their face from turn 1? You can deploy 16” away using spearhead and then use the mobility and skill to get with 18” of any objective on turn 1 with any of these 5 units. We also have our combined force elements for support like our AA and arty for smoke and digging out pesky infantry. The LARS is a good arty choice as it has a good range, is a salvo with a decent FP as well as the ability to lay down a minefield if required to channel a flank or to force low skill units to go through it by dropping it on right on top of them (handy against regular soviet tanks especially T80s). Speaking of heavy armour that’s what our close air support (CAS) is for, as this will be able to make those tier 1 MBTs quake in fear if AA is not around to save them. Last is our infantry, we have two units: the Marder 2 infantry and the Gebirgsjäger platoon. The Marder 2 infantry will be able to keep up with the rest of the battlegroup, but not only will it give you some infantry to hold objectives it will also come with an extra 3 Marder 2s taking our total up to 11 giving us a combined 33 AT 13 shots a turn. Our last infantry unit is big enough to leave on our objective to secure it and defend it given it’s a 9 team stand unit. So that rounds out our list, with this stance we want to try to put pressure on the opponent and be quick enough to block or counter any move they make. As this is a quick force suited to lighting strikes, utilizing Shoot and Scoot to get back into cover to give concealment from return fire will be key.
Lastly, our attack list is designed so we get most of our battlegroup on the table. Keeping with the theme of combined arms blitzkrieg I’ve gone with a Marder 2 infantry company as this will give us enough to keep attacking and apply pressure. On to the list:
Marder 2 Infantry Company:
So this list has the infantry to hold objectives, especially the Gebirgsjäger platoon, and the Marder 2 infantry can advance and disembark once close to an objective and continue to threaten it and apply pressure so any mistake can quickly be taken advantage of. Now I’ve gone with Leo2A4s primarily because despite having less armour than the Leo2A5s it still has the same skill set and gun coupled with its TAC move that can threaten flanks and has the numbers to do so, it also has the ability to assault infantry and support your own if threatened due to its mobility.
The Marder 2s can also go hunting for tanks with flanking side shots due to their great mobility and skill. LARS and Panzermorser can lay down smoke if need to cover the assault but can also dish out the pain to dug-in infantry once ranged in – keep up those repeat bombardments. CAS will do its thing as previously stated in our maneuver list. The idea with this list is to have a locked-down flank with the Jag 1s who have the range and AT to deal with Tier 1 MBTs, then use either the Marder 2s or Leo2s to get flanking shots on them. The LARS minelets will also come in handy for this as well.
So there we have it, three lists for each of the battle mission’s stances, remembering to keep synergy with the battlegroup, as this is key in a combined arms force as each element has its part to play. Each list can choose another stance if required but do remember when choosing your stance take into account mission special rules as this may mean that you may have to place certain units in reserve like Marder 2s due to their high FA.
So I hope you enjoyed this little symposium on the combined arms utilizing the battle matrix stances, as this is an insight on how you could use these lists for each one. So good luck in your future games defending Germany.
The new World War III: West German book brings to the table another wonderful model, we are talking about the Marder 2. Despite the fact I only play East German at the moment I will be buying this model, I love it! The Marder 2 is a German-built second generation of Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and can be compared to the American Bradley or British Warrior.
The decision to develop a new APC for the West German infantry was decided in 1979 when the Leopard 2 entered service. The High Command was looking for a vehicle faster than any main battle tank, with a better gun, improved protection, and could transport 7 men. The contract was signed in the mid-1980s but field trials only began in 1991. The Marder 2 IFV planned to enter service at Bundeswehr in 1998 and replace the old Marder 1, but, with the end of the Cold War, the vehicle was no longer needed so was decommissioned due to funding problems. However, I think it’s safe to assume that things would be different if the Cold War went HOT!
Weapons and Amour
The Marder 2 was equipped with a stabilized Rheinmetall MK 35/50 Rh-503 twin-calibre automatic cannon. Curiously this gun had an interchangeable barrel mounted on a universal breach and can be fitted with either a 35mm or 50mm calibre. Thanks to the thermal channel and the laser range finder the gun would be effective both at night and at long distances. The gun could use both APFSDS-T and HE rounds with a ROF of 400-177 rounds per minute, depending on which barrel was used. The Marder 2 armour was supposed to stand a 30mm AP round from the front and 14.5mm round on its sides, this was achieved through modular passive armour bolted onto the hull. Bringing the weight of this monster to 43 tonnes, which is heavier than the initial production of the Soviet T-72! A big tank needs a big engine and the MTU MB-883 turbocharged diesel engine with 1000 hp, provided the necessary power to meet the speed objective, allowing them to run the Leopard 2 off-road.
Marder II in World Word III: Team Yankee
Here we go, guys! Let’s have a look at how Marder 2 appears on our battlefields. West German has the best NATO troops and the Marder 2 isn’t an exception. They have a wonderful hit rating of 4+ making them extremely hard to land hits on (this is probably one of the best advantages of NATO) Embarked infantry will very appreciative! They also have a 3+ Skill that almost guarantees orders like Blitz and Shoot and Scott.
The Assault and Counterattack ratings are interesting with a rating of 4+. Usually, this kind of unit is pushed back by defensive fire so attacking isn’t always the best decision. Thanks to Chobham Armour that guarantees good protection against Heat weapons the Marder 2 is different, with a side armour rating of 16, it will definitely be a challenge for infantry units to engage, especially if they have suffered some losses or are pinned down. So look carefully at the Assault and Counterattack rating. The moral is the standard West German one of 3+ except for the Remount value of 4+ that makes remounting after being bailed out slightly more difficult, however, they should be protected by their hit values. The Marder 2 still has Thermal Imaging for the night fighting and may mount an infantry-carried Milan and two infantry can mount on the vehicle (same as Marder 1).
The standard Marder 2 weapon is the 35mm gun, it’s extremely effective and has a ROF rating of 3 both stationary and moving. This is impressive especially if you have to manage a Soviet swarm like BMP and BTR.
Advanced stabilizers allow the Marder 2 to move fast until 14” and still shoot like a Leopard 2. The range is an incredible 28” that makes them effective at long range thanks to the laser range finder. If math is not an opinion you can move up to 14” and shot at 28”, which means you can hit a target within 42” from your starting position. With an anti-tank value of 11, you have enough power to properly penetrate any second-generation IFV, and any shot that penetrates enemy armour will be very effective with a firepower of 4+. If you feel that 11 is not enough for what you intended to do with your Marder 2 you could consider upgrading to either a 35mm or a 50mm gun. This gives 2 extra points of anti-tank (13) for just 1 point. No other characteristic change, just the opportunity to penetrate more armour. Speed is another important element of Marder 2. The tactical speed is 14” (the same as the Leopard 2) this means they’ll be able to follow the West German main battle tank while shooting . Terrain dash is less impressive, with 18” on the Terrain Dash, 28” on Cross-Country dash, and 32” on Road Dash the Marder 2 is a little bit slower than the leopard 2. That shouldn’t be a big problem thanks to great tactical movement and the long-range options. The Marder 2 has many advantages if compared with the Marder 1, this obviously doesn’t come for free. The same Panzergrenadier Zug with Marder 2 costs almost 50% more than one equipped with Marder 1.
A comparison between IFV
The Marder 2 is the West German version of the 2nd generation IFV. Let’s have a fast comparison between them!
Apart from skills and morale that are determinate by the nation, the first thing to note is that it has less protection than the Bradley. With the M2A2 version, the front armour is only 5 against the 6 of the Marder 2, side armour could seem the same but it’s just an appearance. Because the Bradley only has Appliqué Armour (that guarantees side armour 13 against HEAT weapon) instead of the super effective Chobham Armour (that guarantees 16). Have a look also at Assault and Counterattack values, the Bradley is not as effective while assaulting. Movement is another big difference with the American counterpart as it’s slower on tactical movement (which is the most important in my humble opinion) and similar in its dash movement. The main Bradley weapon is the 25mm Bushmaster gun, that have the same ROF (both halted and moving), but is less effective with a range of only 24”, an anti-tank of 8, and firepower of 5+.
The gun has a Stabilizer instead of an Advanced Stabilizer and lacks a laser rangefinder, at least the Bradley can shoot at a Helicopter, where the Marder 2 can’t. The advantage of the Bradley is without any doubt the TOW-2 missile with an anti-tank 23. The Marder 2 can only mount the Milan missile, which is usually quite effective.
The British Warrior appears similar to the 1st generation IFV if you compare it to the Marder 2, despite that it can carry up to three infantry bases. It lacks any sort of protection against HEAT rounds and only has Infra-Red instead of Thermal Imaging. This makes the rating of the Assault and Counterattack less attractive as any infantry will be able to push them back with defensive fire due to the poor side Armour of 2, also, the front armour isn’t impressive, it’s half of the West German one unless you pay for the unarmoured version. Tactical speed is the other big difference between the Warrior and Marder 2. The British one can only move and shoot at 6” while, as we know, the West German one can do the same things moving at 14”. The weapons are the 30mm Rarden gun which has less range, less anti-tank, and less firepower. The Anti-Tank rating is honestly quite similar to the German one but the difference of one point on firepower is very important. Like the Bradley, the Warrior lacks a laser rangefinder but can shoot at helicopters.
The comparison with the Soviet BMP-3 is the most difficult because the warfare of West German is exactly the opposite of the Soviet one. The West Germans are an elite force that must be very careful not to expose themselves to their opponent (they are so expensive!) while the Warpact plays like a swarm, with tons of tanks and infantry moving to the opponent. The IFV characteristic represents this style. The BMP-3 doesn’t have any protection on the side with a rating of 3 (however it’s enough to manage 12.7mm) and the front armour is slightly lower than the Marder 2. The speed of the BMP-3 is the most common with a rating of 10” and they have similar ratings for dash movement.
The BMP-3 has a lot of weapons, the 30mm gun is similar to the Warrior one but only has a range of 20”. At least it has a laser range finder that helps. The 100mm gun is definitely not as effective against tanks or IFV due to the poor anti-tank rating of 5 but is useful against vehicles with an armour of 0 and dug-in infantry thanks to firepower 2+. It also has Brutal which helps not only against infantry but also against unarmored vehicles. Laser rangefinder helps at long range, but don’t forget that the range is 24”. The best BMP-3 weapon is the Stabber missile that can be shot while moving. This means that they can move from a hidden place and shoot their anti-tank 21 missiles. This mix of weapons (missiles for tanks, 100mm gun for infantry, and 30mm gun for IFV) makes BMP-3 more flexible than the Marder 2, but the difference of rating and playstyle doesn’t allow us to make a real comparison.
Marder 2 in the book
In the new World War III: West German we find the new IFV can be found in the compulsory slot of Leopard 2A5 and Leopard 2. A particular Marder 2 unit can also be found in the Leopard 2 Panzerauflarungs Kompanie. Before you ask, of course, Marder 2 also has a dedicated formation in the book.
The Marder 2 Panzergrenadier Kompanie must be composed at least by a Marder 2 Panzergrenadier Kompanie HQ, a Marder 2 Panzergrenadier Zug and another platoon between Marder 2 Panzergrenadier Zug, Leopard 2A5 or Leopard 2 Panzer Zug. Curiously the HQ can be composed of a G3 Rifle Team and a Marder 2 or a G3 Rifle Team, an MG3 Team with Panzerfaust 44 anti-tank, and 2 Marder 2. This should allow the HQ to survive! The Mader 2 Panzergrenadier Zug can have 2 different sizes. As usual West Germans are not so good in numbers, the size is quite limited. The bigger Zug is composed of 3 MG3 Team with Panzerfaust 44 anti-tank and 2 Milan with 3 Marder 2, while the smaller only has respectively 2 and one of the same teams with 2 Marder 2. One of the new book additions (that is available for other infantry units) is the option to add one Carl Gustav Team and the formations still have more slots. You can add another Marder 2 Panzergrenadier Zug as well: this means you can deploy 3 -2 platoons and a Leopard 2 platoon.
The reconnaissance slots are composed of up to 2 Luch platoons, which are great to have as a cheap recon unit to make use of the spearhead movement. There are two different artillery slots in the formation. M113 Panzermorser is the cheaper option to bring on the table some smoke and an artillery template to manage red hoard. But you can also deploy something better, really better, and more effective. The M109A3G is another new entry in the book. This is a west German-made conversion of the American M109. The barrel upgrade allows it to use special ammunition variations. Yes, that means bomblets. This new version is a little bit more expensive than the older one but also has a better antitank rating of 15 at direct fire if someone comes too near. If you feel you need some more anti-tank (you never have enough) the Jaguar 1 is the best option to bring some anti-tank 23 on the table. Personally, I love them thanks to the Forward Defense special rule they can also be deployed on the table with another tank unit. The last slot is a must-have slot. Gepard is the perfect solution to manage both enemy aircraft and enemy IFV. They’re cheap and effective you can’t deploy any West German formation without them.
Last but not least the Leopard 2A5 or Leopard 2 option I have already mentioned. You can choose one of them instead of the Marder 2 Panzergrenadier Zug. Usually, it’s a good idea but they aren’t cheap and will force you to make some tough choices.
And that’s would probably be my Marder 2 formation:
The list is quite short, as expected from a West German elite formation. The infantry is supposed to sit on the objective and resist the Red Hoard thanks to the Milan and Marder 2 support. The Jaguar will wait to ambush against a heavy tank formation while the Leopard 1 stays behind as a mobile reserve against fewer armoured tanks. The Gepard could also be an option for an ambush as your opponent is playing a BTR-60 swarm. Aircraft should be properly managed by Gepard so Leopard 2A5 will dominate the field, fearing no enemy tanks on the front. Luchs will lead the spearhead in mobile battles like Counterattack, maybe followed by the Leopard 1. I would also really like to add some M109A3G but I feel that a cheap tank unit is more important for this list. However, 6 M113 Panzermorser should help against infantry, especially with the help of M113 OP.
I can’t wait to assemble the list and play it on the battlefield!