Frontschwein and Feuerwehrmann!!!

With Adam Brooker

“So once again we are called upon to plug the gaps and put out the fires!! We are the Frontschwein and the Feuerwehrmann, the ones they call when all else have broken and fled! We will stop the Allied Advance and throw them back into the sea!”

This is the job of the SS infantryman in Normandy, they are trying to stem the advance of the Allies and give enough time for more forces to arrive from other parts of the Reich to assist in the defence.

So I’ve been asked to put together a good defensive force from the new D-Day: Waffen-SS book, and I have chosen the SS Panzergrenadier Company – an Infantry Formation. This force has all the tools to allow you to either dig-in hard like a tick on a dogs back, or with the right support counter-attack like von Manstein and secure the objectives. In V4 it’s much harder to win by just sitting back and trying to time out your opponent or to go for a draw. In fact in most missions you either win or lose, there are no draws (with the exception of time outs), and to win you need to actively clear the enemy from within 4” or 8” from the objectives.

So what is required for a good infantry formation is a flexible force, combining infantry for defence, as well as static anti-tank guns, and template weapons to take out or pin your enemies artillery, infantry and static gun teams. But additionally, you also need some mobile forces to react to enemy movement, and when the time is right, strike out and take their objectives. I could have built a purely defensive force, stacked with 8.8cm anti tank and anti aircraft guns with the Pak-Front card, but I feel that list would be too static, and really only works well in conjunction with a mobile tank Formation.  Instead I felt it would be better to represent them with the mobile forces that the Infantry companies would have available to them in defence, so Stug’s, Jagdpanzer IV, Grille, and Panzergrendiers in Sd Kfz 251 half-tracks.  You can see the list below:

Now I have to stress that this list is designed to be defensive, so you should almost always pick the Defensive Stance in the More Missions pack, or choose to be the Defender in the mission. This will allow you generally to have most if not all of your Forces on the field at the start and hopefully a unit will be able to ambush. I would usually pick the Stug to be the Ambush force, but you could also use the 7.5cm Pak40s, or Jagdpanzers. Usually the tanks are better as they can easily move if needed after the ambush is sprung.

Also, its important to look at the terrain, look at where you would attack if you were your opponent, and place your troops in response. Look at areas you can turn into choke points, and look for areas in your opponents side that you can use as cover for your Schwerpunkt (main focus) later in the game. It is very important to identify the main focus for your attack, and plan accordingly. It may not be needed to always take your opponents objective, as you can also win by breaking his formation, but this can be very hard to do, and it is good to have a plan for when you most likely will need to take them.

Also a lot of games can be lost on deployment, so make sure you put your anti tank guns in areas where they have the most fields of fire, if you place them in an area where they effectively only have one field of fire, then it is easy for your opponent to make them ineffective just by not giving them targets.

The same goes for your artillery pieces, you need to have either good fields of view so you can spot for your own fire, place your HQ units effectively for spotting, or ideally take a OP vehicle to allow you to place your artillery in places where they don’t need to expose themselves, and any return fire is concealed ( so harder to range in).

In this list I have included the Panzer III OP, as it gives you that extra spotting team, that can be put in a spot you would not normally place your own HQ or artillery, and it can be used to spot for all your artillery ( 12cm Mortars, Grille and Wespe), and is harder to kill than the Sd Kfz 250 OP. Make sure you place it in concealing terrain, and it has a good view of your enemies artillery. I would focus your opponents artillery first, to either wipe them out, of get them so low they are taking last stand rolls every turn. Then move onto the objective you are planning on taking, targeting the anti tank guns or infantry holding it.

One other unit I added in this list that I have not taken much before is the HMG teams and the Machine Gun Nests Card. This should be good on the defensive, for a few reasons, it turns each team into a static independent team, that is in concealed, bulletproof cover and the enemy requires 2 successful firepower rolls to kill, they also fire in a 360° arc. They can be placed anywhere in your deployment zone, do not need to be in command, and are placed separately, so your 4 HMG platoon turns into 4 separate units.  So these will be annoying to take out, allow you to place 24” ROF 6 machine guns to protect your gun teams from infantry, and allow you to string out your deployment in some cases so you can see where your opponent places certain units. So very useful for 6 points I feel.

The two units of Sd KFz 250 scout platoons are there also to help you in deployment, and in attack. Use them to confuse your opponent about where your Schwerpunkt is, and by pushing your scout units forward via the Spearhead rule, you also limit where he can place his Spearhead units. Additionally, you can place your infantry or attacking units forward into advantageous positions, that could allow you an easy victory. But beware of pushing some units too far forward, like anti tank guns, as they cannot easily retreat and can be overwhelmed and picked off.  In some of my first events I placed my anti tank guns too far forwards looking for good fields of fire, only to lose them in a  turn or two as they had no support and died to aggressive infantry or tanks flanking them.

If you are in a mission where you need to put forces in Reserve, then I would choose, the Stug Platoon, the Jagdpanzer Platoon and the Armoured Panzergrenadier platoon as your reserve force. As they are your most mobile forces, and in the case of scattered reserves, can quickly move to where you want them.  This is also why I take the Lucky Card ( allows a re-roll), as I often use it to re-roll my Reserve roll, which I often seem to fail and frustratingly not get any reserves until my third roll for Reserves ( where I get one unit automatically!!).  I have found many games are lost or won on reserve rolls….

One fun card I wanted to add but could not find the points was the Warrior Team – Emil Durr, you always lose a gun and sometimes all of them, but if you do, you replace the unit with a very angry Panzerfaust wielding maniac!! Which can run around and be very annoying!! This would be one card I can see finding the points to take, possibly not taking two Sd Kfz 250 scout units… I do enjoy annoying my opponents….

Additionally always make sure you read the victory conditions, so you can time your counter-attack properly. I can’t count the amount of games I have lost or won, because I or my opponent mis-remembered the victory conditions!!

So on the attack I would use your StuG, Jagdpanzers and Armoured Panzergrenadiers to push that assault, while using your artillery to either pin or destroy the defenders, especially the anti-tank guns, if they are not destroyed already (ideally they have been taken out after the enemy artillery). Don’t forget to use the smoke rounds from the Wespe to cover your advance too! Try to use cover in your advance to make it as hard as possible for the enemy to hit you. Also of note the Jagdpanzer IV has a better cross check (2+) than the StuGs (3+), so make sure you give yourself the best chance when moving through terrain.

Other units I considered were the Flame Thrower halftracks, which can be devastating, especially against infantry and gun teams, but need concealment and protection as they move up. But If I had the spare points, I would have taken them, or taken 4 instead of the Grilles. Also the 7.5cm infantry guns are for me one of the best units of Mid War and still can be useful in Late War. They have decent AT, ROF 2, and the ability to bombard and also fire direct smoke rounds to blind anything they cannot penetrate! At 10 points for 4 guns they are a great multi-purpose unit.

Well I hope this helps in fielding a good defensive infantry list. All this has got me thinking about putting together my own SS infantry force, damn….. not another army…… oh well what’s one more??


Building a Waffen-SS Puma Company

With John Lee

I love building recon Formations and with the release of D-Day: Waffen-SS, I was excited to see one of my favorite iconic vehicles – the Puma – in its own Formation.  So, let us explore how we could build a semi-competitive list with the formation.

The formation comprises the following:

  • 1 HQ Unit
  • 2-7 Puma SS Scout Troops
  • 0-1 SS Reconnaissance Platoon

We end up with a relatively strong formation with a minimum of three units and a maximum of nine units!  So, if we take five of the Puma SS Scout Troops and take the infantry platoon, we should end up with a unit count of seven – difficult to break especially if we take some Command Card upgrades.  The core scout troops have only two vehicles in each troop, so they are going to be a bit brittle and need some careful handling!  They have a 5cm gun though, so is AT9 and a big threat to light and medium armor.

Now bear in mind that everything in the Formation will be Fearless, Trained, Aggressive.  Fearless means they are more likely to stick around however they are easier to be hit on 3+ so you want to optimize the Scout attribute with the armored cars as much as you can so they are hit on 5s or 6s.

This is how I would look at building the base Formation (which you can tailor depending on points required):

This comes in at 36pts and has seven units in the Formation and five units capable of spearhead.  Giving the infantry the “Best Infantry” Command Card upgrade, they are now Fearless, Veteran, Careful.  This unit is now harder to hit, can Blitz and Stormtrooper on 3+ and being Fearless make them dangerous in assaults.

With the core Formation done, we now need to look at what support options could be taken.  With the ability to choose from either D-Day: Waffen-SS or D-Day: German black box units, you can mix and match what you want to suit your playstyle – especially when choosing between either Fearless and Confident and/or Aggressive and Careful.  Support options need to be taken from the D-Day: Waffen-SS chart.

So, let us look at what we need to consider from a support perspective for this list.  They should be supported by tanks, high end AT, artillery and what we need to cater for around reserves.  Most games are 100pts, but several tournaments are smaller in points – some one-day games have even gone to 50-60pt games to get four or five quicker fast paced games.  This is where the Puma Company lists shine – more flexibility with smaller points than other Formations.  Looking at a standard 100pt game we have 64 points left to play with.

I like to look at combining a high-end AT unit as close to 40pts as possible to have one unit in reserve – in those missions where you need them.  The Panther SS Tank Platoon is 44pts for five.  High-end AT, can assault if needed, moves easily through difficult terrain and range of the gun is 40”.   With five in the platoon, you have additional hitting power and survivability – even on 3+.

Artillery next and I am looking at the Hummel SS Artillery Battery of three for 9pts.  Fast at digging out infantry and gun teams with 2+ FP.

We should add an observer for 1pt – take your pick here of the Panzer III OP or Sd Kfz 250 OP.

We need to keep our opponent honest if our Panthers are in delayed reserve, so let us take an 8.8cm SS Heavy AA Platoon for 10pts.  You can control and deny areas of the board with these and with multiple spearhead units in certain missions expand your kill zones.  They also double as AA deterrent for planes with 3+ FP.

That makes 100pts – Here is the full list:

If you want to upgrade your 8.8cm SS Heavy AA Platoon to be Veteran Careful, then remove one Puma SS Scout Troop to pay the four points for the upgrade.

For a smaller sided game or tournament, you can change out some of the Formation units, remove some of the Command Card upgrades, change the Panthers for Panzer IVs or Stugs.

Here is an example list for a 70pt game:

This Command Card Formation can provide some interesting options and can take on the British and American recon formations with similar numbers.  I hope this has given you some food for thought.  Happy list building!


Eastern Front 20th SS Estonians using D-Day: Waffen-SS

With Wayne

A few years ago a built a small Estonian SS Grenadier company based on a downloadable Intelligence Briefing designed for 3rd Edition Flames Of War. I was quite happy with how they had turned out, but had not had much of a chance to game with them before 4th Edition Flames Of War came out. With the new D-Day: Waffen-SS releasing I thought I’d take the opportunity to field them using the SS Panzergrenadier Company.

Currently the models in my force consist of an HQ of 2x MP40 SMG teams, two SS Grenadier Platoons with 7x MG42 & K98 rifle teams, 2x 15cm Infantry guns, 3x 3.7cm AA guns (which I think I actually painted to use for 11th SS Nordwind, as the Estonians did not have any of these), and 3x 7.5cm PaK40 anti-tank guns (painted as Heer, but I did have plans to replace them with SS crewed versions). I usually filled it out to fieldable force with some StuG or Panther support from 11. SS-Panzergrenadier Division ‘Nordwind’. 

I had two Panzerschreck teams I could add to my HQ. These I have now rebased from four man teams to two man teams giving me four Panzerschreck teams.

I also used an Ost Truppen Grenadier Platoon I had as a third SS Grenadier Platoon if I needed it. This I fielded as “new recruits”, transferred from Estonian Army raised units and still in their Heer uniforms. However, the miniatures do have the wrong arm shield as I painted them for Normandy. 

So looking at what I have, here is my Force using D-Day: Waffen-SS:

I had planned to paint a machine-gun and a mortar platoon as well so that will definitely push the total beyond 100 points.


Building a Waffen SS Panzer IV Company

With John Lee

With the launch of D-Day: Waffen-SS release, I can finally look at using a massed Panzer IV force as I have 22 of them! They are Fearless, Trained, Aggressive in the Waffen-SS formations, so should be able to pack them in a 100pt list! We will also explore 80pt list versions (in New Zealand we have Flamescon later this year which is 80pts LW). I also want to see what a balanced list looks like vs a massed Panzer IV company.

The formation’s makeup:

  • 1 Panzer IV SS Tank Company HQ
  • 1-2 Panzer IV SS Tank Platoon
  • 1 Panzer IV SS Tank Platoon OR Tiger SS Tank Platoon OR Panther SS Tank Platoon
  • 0-1 Sd Kfz 10/4 SS Light AA Platoon or Sd Kfz 7/1 SS Quad AA Platoon

Looking at the Panzer IV platoons, we get three tanks for 13pts, four tanks for 18pts or five tanks for 22pts. Let us look at the 100pt lists first and what you could do to squeeze them down to 80pts if you needed to whilst keeping as many Panzer IVs as possible.

Starting off with the balanced options first we want to look at making sure we have some high-end AT, formation strength, Infantry and artillery. This list combines those options as shown here:

Five platoons for the Formation break. Ten Panzer IVs and a Warrior to lead the company. Karl-Heinz Prinz allows you to re-roll a failed Reserve roll and you will have at least two tank units in reserve so this can help expedite getting them on the table quicker where you are playing in missions with reserves.

Panthers with AT14 for heavy duty AT work. SPAA to protect your tanks against planes and great for anti-infantry work. Command cards used to upgrade them to armoured and now Careful to help them stay in the game longer. Infantry, upgraded to Careful as well to keep them in the game longer to hold an objective or support an attack. All of this rolled up together makes relatively balanced list depending on your play style.

Now to play an 80pt game and keep the Panzer IVs, we need to make a few changes including changing out the Panthers to 8.8cm guns:

So, we still have a balanced list. I kept the Infantry as Careful, but you can change that out to add a Panzerschreck instead or include the Formation warrior or upgrade the Quad AA Platoon to Careful – your personal choice.

Looking at the attacking force option now, we want to make sure we have some high-end AT, Formation strength, artillery and recon for Spearhead. This list combines those options as shown here:

Fourteen Panzer IVs! Panthers with AT14 for heavy duty AT work. Nebelwerfers with an OP to deal with infantry and gun teams before the Panzer IVs get their assaults in and armoured cars to Spearhead to get the rest of the force into an attacking position!

Now to play an 80pt game and keep the Panzer IVs, we need to make a few changes including changing out the Panthers to 8.8cm guns and losing the artillery:

So, we keep the Panzer IVs – Formation is four units strong and still fourteen Panzer IVs! Armoured cars to Spearhead, and 8.8cm guns upgraded to Careful to take care of heavy tanks. We can still make some changes here depending on your preferences. If we remove the armoured cars and downgrade the 8.8cm guns, we can purchase the “PAK Front” command card for 6pts. This gives us the ability to spread them out across our deployment area. Being nests means that your opponent needs to re-roll firepower tests to take them out and you can control or deny areas of the board if you deploy them wisely and you can focus your Panzer IV attack where you want to.

I hope this has given you some food for thought and if you like massed Panzer IVs like I do; we can run them again now in V4. Happy list building!


Wittmanns Last Day

With Chris Townley

Almost a year ago (who can believe that!) I started planning out my compact little Tiger Company, themed around the idea of building the force Michael Wittmann rolled in to battle with on the 8th of August. You can check out my original article here…. 

I’ve drawn pretty much all of my information from and if you want to know more you should check it out. According to their information Wittmann, who had borrowed another tank for the day, went in to battle with a total of seven tanks:

Tiger      Commander
007         SS-Obersturmführer Michael Wittmann
009         Signals Officer Helmut Dollinger
312         SS-Oberscharführer Peter Kisters
314         SS-Untersturmführer Willi Iriohn
304         SS-Hauptsturmführer Franz Heurich
313         SS-Hauptsturmführer Hans Höflinger
334         SS-Oberscharführer Rolf von Westernhagen

I’ve chosen to build and paint 8 Tigers as this lets me have Tiger 205, the tank he is more known for using during the Normandy campaign. It also has the benefit that when used as a Heer force I can have all 8 and some AA for 100 points!

Turning to my SS Force, this is what I am looking at:

My plan for the list is simple, use the Scout Troop to push up and pick great positions for the Tigers, whilst the Quad AA helps to keep the force on the table should something go really wrong, or drive up and spray things with 2cm cannon fire to suppress enemies. I would like to have the Wittmann Command Card in the force, but at 12 points it is either that or the other troops… Of course I have also been reading some of John’s articles and the idea of dropping a Tiger Platoon, adding a second Tiger to the HQ and wedging in a platoon of Hohenstaufen ‘Best Infantry’ in Sd Kfz 250 halftracks is VERY tempting!

Anyway… I had a cunning plan for this Live Launch to have the Tigers all built and painted but a few little technical issues meant that I am running behind schedule, but I have them so close – just a gloss varnish, wash, tidy up and done! On the good side, with any luck I might actually get them finished this weekend (after the launch sadly) and get a few pics up for people to see.

For my tank commanders I fell into a cunning plan more by luck than good planning. I was thinking about how I can make all eight a little different and interesting. Whilst tidying up I found my Otto Carius Jagdtiger box whilst tidying up I found my Otto Carius Jagdtiger box which comes with a selection of tank crew. With a few clips, filing and scraping I have eight unique looking crew.

I am super excited to get this list completed because it will be a fun self-contained force that is great when I need an easy force to take to an event, that won’t take up a lot of space!


D-Day Waffen-SS Previews

We think the new D-Day: Waffen-SS if filled with some pretty interesting (some would even say exciting) options for German players. Don’t take our word for it though, check out what everyone else is saying!

D-Day Waffen-SS Previews

No Dice, No Glory Breakthrough Assault  Blitz and Peaces

D-Day Waffen-SS Command Cards Review…

The Germans Aren’t all Heer; Waffen-SS D-Day Book Spoiled…

D-Day: Waffen SS (and Friends) Refighting Arnhem…

D-Day: Waffen-SS, An overview…

D-Day: Waffen-SS – To Waffen Panzer or Not…

 FoW D-Day Waffen-SS Review: Part 2…

FoW D-Day Waffen-SS Review: Part 1…