Hobby League: German

with Andrew Haught

V4 Late War is here with loads of ways to get into playing Flames Of War— so where do you start? Well, if you want to just get a feel for the rules the FURY is an amazing box set for you, or if you want to get into the game with a friend, Hit the Beach gives you two awesome armies to play against each other. If you have some idea of what force you want to run, then picking up the corresponding Starter Force box set is what you want to do.

This German Box gives you a lot of stuff to play around with right away, like all the V4 boxsets you get a lot for your money. The German Starter Force has a total of 14 vehicles, 2 big 8.8 AA guns, a rocket artillery battery and a full Grenadier platoon, with the whole army adding up to 95 points using the German D-Day book. On top of models you will get a complete A5 rulebook, a Start Here booklet, and your Unit cards, so you can start playing games as soon as you’re done building your force.

In The Box
Panzer IV Tank Company HQ with 2x Panzer IV (7.5cm) Tanks (11 Points)

Panzer IV Tank Platoon with 3x Panzer IV (7.5cm) Tanks (16 Points)

Tiger Tank Platoon with 2x Tiger (8.8cm) Tanks (24 points)

Armoured Panzergrenadier Platoon at Full Strength (12 Points)

Fallschirmjäger Stug Assault Gun Platoon with 3x StuG (7.5cm) Assault Guns (17 Points)

15cm Nebelwerfer Rocket  Battery with 3x 15cm Nebelwerfer Rocket Launchers (9 Points)

8.8 Heavy AA Platoon with 2x 8.8cm AA Guns (6 Points)

Total 95 Points

Creating a 100 Point List
This box gives almost a full 100 point list, only 5 points shy, so there is not much you need to add to make it a full 100 point list. I think after playing around with your Starter force you may get a good feel for what you want to add but for those who want to start off with a full 100 points I would simply add a Puma Scout Platoon, this only gets us to 99 points, so adding a 1 point Command Card (starting with D-Day: German) gets us to a total of 100 points. So to get to 100 points all you need to add is the following,

Puma Scout Platoon with 2x Puma (5cm) Tanks (4 Points)  

Lucky Command Card (1 Point)

Total 5 Points

Army Tactics
This army is well rounded with artillery, infantry, heavy anti-tank guns, and a great selection of tanks. With the core of your force I would recommend attacking with this force. Your mix of tanks gives you loads of good options to knock out your opponent’s tanks. The Tigers being some of your best anti-tank should focus more on your opponents heavy armour, supported by the 8.8 AA guns. Use your artillery to soften your opponent’s defences and use your German Halftrack infantry and Tanks to assault their objectives and to win the game.

Hobby League


If you are looking to get in on the Hobby League at your local store or club the Starter Forces are ideal starting armies for the league. If you add the units I talked about before in the Creating a 100 Point List section you can easily use it for the hobby league.

If you do not know what the hobby league is or want to learn more check out our video about the Hobby League above.

The main goal of the Hobby league is to create a Flames Of War community where players can come together to play games and work on their armies. To this end players are rewarded for hitting certain painting goals throughout the league. The first month players aim to paint 50 points, at the end of the second month players will aim to finish another 25 points and at the end of the third month players aim to finish their final 25 points and end the League with a fully painted 100 point army. The League also feeds into the upcoming TableTopGaming Global campaign, so if you finish painting your army for the League you will be ready to participate in the Global Campaign.

Month 1 has a 50 point goal; it also ends in a 50 point tournament, so you will want to focus on your core formation to make sure you have a legal list to run in the tournament.  For this I would paint the following units first,

Panzer IV Tank Company HQ with 2x Panzer IV (7.5cm) Tanks (11 Points)

Panzer IV Tank Platoon with 3x Panzer IV (7.5cm) Tanks (16 Points)

Tiger Tank Platoon with 2x Tiger (8.8cm) Tanks (24 points)

 

Strictly-speaking, this is 51 points but fine enough for the 50 point tournament as it is close enough, it will be up to your event organizer to make the final call on these things but all the core set 50 point armies listed in these articles are fine to run in the Hobby league 50 point tournament.

Month 2 you are looking to paint another 25 points, you just painted core so let’s work on some more support and some Recon,

  • Armoured Panzer Grenadier Platoon at Full Strength (12 Points)
  • 15cm Nebelwerfer Rocket  Battery with 3x 15cm Nebelwerfer Rocket Launchers (9 Points)
  • Puma Scout Platoon with 2x Puma (5cm) Tanks (4 Points)  

For the Final month I would focus  on the last bits, tactically you can add your 1 point command card here to your list’s HQ, and this will round out your 100 point list,

  • Fallschirmjäge Stug Assault Gun Platoon with 3x StuG (7.5cm) Assault Guns (17 Points)
  • 8.8 Heavy AA Platoon with 2x 8.8cm AA Guns (6 Points)
  • Lucky Command Card (1 Point)

Now at the end of month three you have another tournament this time it’s a 100 point tournament so you will get to use your full army and get used to how it works in games. After that the Global TableTopGames Campaign begins having you and your friends fighting over Europe, you club or store with the rest of the world will be sending in their game results to contribute on the global scale making this one of the biggest campaigns you will ever participate in.

My final word of advice is to take time to enjoy painting your models your way and to learn as much as you can from others in the league to get the most out of the Flames Of War community.

 

Currahee!

with Chris Potter, BF UK

For me nothing typifies Late War like the Normandy invasion. The largest seaborne invasion in history? Check. The largest airborne drop of troops to date? Check. And all this against a dug in and entrenched foe, led by none other than the Desert Fox himself: Erwin Rommel.

When the Late War journey was announced and the information about the books started to come to fruition, I was in my element like a kid in a sweet shop. I was at the front of the queue when we had the Late War sale clutching my list of ‘must haves’ begging the boss to let me get my blisters and box sets. Like a lot of others, I had to wait my turn, much to the better half’s relief as my list far outweighed my wages.

But boy did the factory deliver. I managed to bag myself two boxes of US Parachute Infantry, to get my Band of Brothers Airborne fix, as well as a box of 29th Infantry for the all important beach landings. This would be the start of my D-Day Force. Because on the horizon I was being tempted by the new plastic Airborne sprues and some rather tasty kit in the form of new plastic jeeps and rumours of 80mm mortars to rain fire on the enemy.

However, Matt managed to bring me back to the present as he reminded me that we needed to put together forces for Fortress Europe before I got carried away with the US D-Day book. Sorry boys of the 29th and 101st, you will have to wait whilst the glory boys of the 3rd Armored have their time in the spotlight.

I don’t want to reiterate what has already been said by a thousand others, but nothing screams US dominance on the Western Front like the wonderful Sherman tank. Whatever version of Sherman, you see a group of these coming, and you know that the rest of the US forces are not far behind. They are the breakthrough, the reason that prior to D-Day in 1944 the plucky Brits designed a Duplex Drive (DD) system to allow them to ‘swim’ up the beach to smash the enemy. They even fitted them with canvas flotation devices to literally float them through the surf.

From Omaha to Caen, throughout Market Garden to the German homeland, Detroit’s finest were leading the way and looking good doing it!

So when I saw that the new US Combat Command contained no less than 5 Shermans, which when combined with the 8 found in the Hit The Beach starter set, meant I had the solid core needed for a Fortress Europe Armoured Company. Add into that, the Priests for some artillery support and the M10 Tank Destroyers for some long range AT, all I need is some Armoured Rifles to take and hold objectives.

I am really excited to field Americans in Late War for V4. At heart this is all about getting as many models onto the table all at once. My usual modus operandi is to get what looks cool, then play a few games and work out the weaknesses before changing up the army composition. This time will be no different. My first game is against Gareth’s Germans. Let’s see how the Combined Arms list compares and performs!

Hobby League: British

with Andrew Haught

V4 Late War is here with loads of ways to get into playing Flames Of War— so where do you start? Well, if you want to just get a feel for the rules the FURY is an amazing box set for you, or if you want to get into the game with a friend, Hit the Beach gives you two awesome armies to play against each other. If you have some idea of what force you want to run, then picking up the corresponding Starter Force box set is what you want to do. This article covers the British Starter Force but if you want to learn about the other three Starter Forces, there will be more info to come.

This Starter Force gives you a lot of stuff to play around with right away, and like all the V4 boxsets you get a lot for your money. The British Starter Force has a total 17 armoured vehicles, a full 4-gun artillery battery, and an infantry platoon, with the whole army adding up to 82 points using the Fortress Europe book, the box can also be used for the upcoming D-Day: British book so it’s a great core set to pick up for players who want to play the British throughout the V4 journey. On top of models you will get a complete A5 rulebook. A Start Here booklet, and your Unit cards, so you can start playing games as soon as you’re done building your force.

In The Box
Sherman Armoured Squadron HQ With 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks (8 Points)
Sherman Armoured Troop with 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks and 1x Firefly Tank (13 Points)
Stuart Recce Patrol with 3x Stuart (37mm) Tanks (8 Points)
Churchill Armoured Troop with 3x Churchill (6pdr) Tanks (12 Points)
Motor Platoon at Full Strength (7 Points)
Universal Carrier Patrol with 3x Universal Carrier (MG) Tanks (2 Points)
25 pdr Field Troop with 4x 25pdr Guns (14 Points)
M10 SP Anti-Tank Platoon with 4x M10 (17pdr) Tanks (18 Points)

Total 82 Points

Creating a 100 Point List
This box gives you a lot of what you need but you will still need to pick up a few things to get a 100 points, but not much. After playing around with your Starter force you may get a good feel for what you want to add but for those who want to start off with a full 100 points I would pick up a few more Shermans and a Firefly and you will be good to go. To get to a 100 points you just need to add the following

Sherman Armoured Troop with 3 Sherman (75mm) Tanks and one Firefly Tank (17 Points)
1 Sherman OP Observation Post with one Sherman OP Tank (1 point)

Total 18 Points

Army Tactics
This army is pretty Armour heavy, so you want to move fast and hit hard, use your Fireflies and M10 (17pdrs) to hunt your opponent’s heavy tanks while your Churchills and Shermans rush the objective. Your artillery and infantry can be left to hold your objectives or secure your flank, while the Universal Carriers and Stuarts help spear head your army forward and hit advancing enemy troops.

This list is well rounded but prefers to be on the attack, so when picking your battle plans it’s a good idea to pick attack with this army.

The Hobby League


If you are looking to get in on the Hobby League at your local store or club the Starter Forces are ideal starting armies for the league. If you add the units I talked about before in the Creating a 100 Point List section you can easily use it for the hobby league.

If you do not know what the hobby league is or want to learn more check out our video about the Hobby League above.

The main goal of the Hobby league is to create a Flames Of War community where players can come together to play games and work on their armies. To this end players are rewarded for hitting certain painting goals throughout the league. The first month players aim to paint 50 points, at the end of the second month players will aim to finish another 25 points and at the end of the third month players aim to finish their final 25 points and end the League with a fully painted 100 point army. The League also feeds into the upcoming TableTopGaming Global campaign, so if you finish painting your army for the League you will be ready to participate in the Global Campaign.

Painting Goals
Having painting goals can be daunting, but luckily the League makes it easier by creating a community of painters helping each other out and supporting one another during the process. Painting an army is rewarding and is a fun relaxing thing to do, whether you are alone or with a group of friends. To help those trying to figure out how to break up your 100 point army for the League I put together my guide on what I would paint to reach each month’s goals.

Month 1 has a 50 point goal; it also ends in a 50 point tournament, so you will want to focus on your core formation to make sure you have a legal list to run in the tournament. For this I would paint the following units first,

Sherman Armoured Squadron HQ With 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks (8 Points)
Sherman Armoured Troop with 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks and 1x Firefly Tank (13 Points)
Start Recce Patrol with 3x Stuart (37mm) Tanks (8 Points)
Universal Carrier Patrol with 3x Universal Carrier (MG) Tanks (2 Points)
M10 SP Anti-Tank Platoon with 4x M10 (17pdr) Tanks (18 Points)
1 Sherman OP Observation Post with one Sherman OP Tank (1 point)

Month 2 you are looking to paint another 25 points, you just painted the tanks up so let’s work on some infantry and gun teams. This is what I would paint up for month 2,

Motor Platoon at Full Strength (7 Points)
25 pdr Field Troop with 4x 25pdr Guns (14 Points)
A spare Sherman to add to your Sherman Armoured Troop (4 Points)

For the Final month I am keeping it simple, this time you just have to paint up six tanks. This is what I am planning on painting for the last month,

Sherman Armoured Troop with 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks and 1x Firefly Tank (13 Points)
Churchill Armoured Troop with 3x Churchill (6pdr) Tanks (12 Points)

Now at the end of month three you have another tournament this time it’s a 100 point tournament so you will get to use your full army and get used to how it works in games. After that the Global TableTopGames Campaign begins having you and your friends fighting over Europe, you club or store with the rest of the world will be sending in their game results to contribute on the global scale making this one of the biggest campaigns you will ever participate in.

My final word of advice is to take time to enjoy painting your models your way and to learn as much as you can from others in the league to get the most out of the Flames Of War community.

Historical Forces in Fortress Europe

with Phil Yates

Flames Of War is a varied hobby with many players with a wide variety of interests. Some are avid historians and others more interested in playing the game as a game. This article explores how you can research and create historical forces using Fortress Europe.

If you choose to go down this path, but don’t have a deep knowledge of history yet, the most important thing to note is that by and large most forces that you can make from Fortress Europe won’t be far off some historical unit somewhere. There are some notable exceptions where you could cross the wires, and I’ll look at them later, but mostly, if you build a force, it will probably be historical!

Start with a Loose Thread
The first step with building any historical force is deciding which bit of history you want to recreate. Start by grabbing some inspiration: a piece of equipment that you love, a battle that you find interesting, a unit that an ancestor fought in, or a historical figure that you have come across. Take hold of this thread and follow it, seeing what happens as you unravel the history behind it.

Hit the Books
With your loose thread firmly in hand, start looking for more information. Search the internet. Find a Wikipedia article on the subject (and if it is about a foreign unit, use Google Translate to read the Wikipedia article in that language too — it’s often very interesting to see both sides of the story!). Go to your local library and see what they have on the matter. There are lots of places to start looking for more threads to unravel.

As you dig, you’ll start refining what the force you want to field looks like. You’ll find references to units and equipment that will give you the basics. Add in information on the state of the troops, their strength and experience, and you’ll be in a position to choose between green troops and veterans, or between full-strength and weakened by previous casualties.

Make a Force
At this point, start building your force using what you have found. You’ll probably come up with more questions as you go along, things like ‘Was this division supported by these?’. If you can’t find an answer, ask around. It’s likely that someone on a forum will know. If you still can’t find the answer, the good news is that it is difficult for anyone to say you’re wrong!

 

Play Games
The ultimate goal is of course to play games, so get out there and enjoy the fruits of your labour, pitting your new force against others on the tabletop. Learn its strengths and weaknesses and see if you can recreate some of your unit’s battlefield exploits.

Don’t worry if your force doesn’t have the things that the ‘experts’ are saying are ‘essential’ in every force, trust me, they’re not. Every force has its capabilities and shortcomings. If you play to your strengths and mitigate your vulnerabilities, you can be successful, regardless of your force.

Making Unhistorical Forces
If you are using Fortress Europe, it’s not that easy to actually make an unhistorical force unless you start adding some constraints such as it has to be in 1944, or it has to be in Normandy. The best (only?) way of building an unhistorical force is putting things that really weren’t at the same place and time together.

Churchills in Italy
One example of this can be found in the Churchill Italy Armoured Squadron. If you just build a force with Churchill tanks and a Stuart recce patrol, you’re pretty much spot on for a Churchill squadron in Italy. However, some regiments wanted 75mm guns for better firepower, and were less worried about armour as there weren’t so many German tanks in Italy. As a result, they fielded mixed squadrons with both Churchill and Sherman troops. So far, so good. The Churchill Italy Armoured Squadron allows you to do that too. If you want to take it beyond history, the only way to do that is to put Fireflies in your Sherman troops. This is because, while Sherman armoured squadrons had Fireflies, the Churchill squadrons didn’t since by the time the Firefly came along, they had replaced their Shermans with 75mm-armed Churchills (you’ll have to wait for D-Day: British for that option though).

But you say, I want 17 pdr guns to give my Churchills some better anti-tank capability. No problem, the Churchill crews wanted that too. They often had M10 self-propelled guns attached for anti-tank support (although they weren’t armed with 17 pdr guns at this stage, just their original 3-inch guns). So now we have two ways we could make our Churchills unhistorical, and a solution. Which way you go is up to you.

The Eastern Front
OK, you say, that’s pretty specific, but what other unhistorical forces can I build? Well, if you want to fight in Normandy or Italy rather than on the Eastern Front, you could take German aircraft! If you are fighting in Normandy, you could field Panzer III tanks and flame-thrower tanks, or Hornisse or Ferdinand tank-hunters. But those same forces wouldn’t be unhistorical on the Eastern Front.

If you are playing a Soviet force and wanted to push the bounds of history, you could field KV-1, Churchill, or M3 Lee tanks as part of a tank or motor rifle force, since by this time they were obsolete and relegated to infantry support on quiet sectors of the front (not that Stavka let any sector remain quiet for long!).

As you can see, it’s not that easy to stray too far outside the bounds of history with Fortress Europe. Remember though, if you really don’t care about the history side of things, there’s no reason at all that you shouldn’t build an interesting force that recombines elements of history in new and wonderful ways!

Alex’s Hit The Beach Germans

                with Alexander Nebesky

Way back in the distant days of this time-mid 2018, myself and a friend split the very last copy of Battlefront’s Open Fire! Two-player box set from our local game store in Hamilton, an hour-and-a-half south of Auckland. My first foray into building and painting yielded a passably painted grenadier company, a V1 flying bomb that now sits on my desk, and a trio of StuGs that have fallen victim to a continuous cycle of stripping and repainting.

Now that I’m on the other side of the curtain as it were, I’m given the chance to expand on or replace my first starter set with our brand new one. To that end, I’m freshening up, repainting, and adding to Hit the Beach to see if I can’t put together a better force than I did last time around.

Grenadiers in Early Morning Fog
The first step is to replace the Grenadiers form my initial run at Open Fire! With a fresh pair of platoons. I’m not too disappointed with my initial work, but I did spray varnish the grenadiers in less than ideal conditions leaving them with a cloudy film over them, as if they were out on a foggy winter morning between 6 and 11 am. It’s not such a bad thing if I decide to pretend they have been standing out on a football pitch all morning, but I want to replace them anyway with a fresh pair of Hit the Beach platoons. Besides, if I need to I can always add one of the foggy platoons to my grenadier formation to give me even more bodies to man the defences.

The plan, based on what one gets in the Hit the Beach is to run with the Grenadier Company. I like painting up infantry, and Fortress Europe gives me the classic and robust Grenadier Company to field.

Each of my Grenadier platoons will carry the Panzerfaust rule for +2 points a platoon, allowing one of my teams to fire as a Panzerfaust team each firing step. I’m also going to attach a Panzerschreck team to each of my platoons to up my anti-tank for +2 points each.

My two Grenadier platoons from Hit the Beach will require some heavier weapons to fill out the roster, so I’ll add 4 sMG34 HMG teams at 6 points and 6 8cm Mortar teams for 9 points.

I’m also going to add the two Hit the Beach 7.5cm Tank-Hunter teams to my surviving Open Fire! Guns to give me a four-gun strong platoon for 15 points.

I’ve opted for a generic green plants and brown earth basing style because I have neither the skill nor inclination to faithfully reproduce a slice of beach or French countryside on teeny bases.

Fortress Europe Grenadier Company

Grenadier Company HQ- 2 pts
            +Paunzerfaust- 2 pts

Grenadier Platoon- 7 pts
+Panzerfaust- 2 pts
           +Panzerschreck- 2 pts

Grenadier Platoon- 7 pts
           +Panzerfaust- 2 pts
           +Panzerschreck- 2 pts

sMG34 Machine-Gun Platoon- 6 pts
8cm Mortar Platoon- 9 pts
7.5cm Tank-Hunter Platoon- 15 pts

FORMATION TOTAL—  56 pts

Guns That Are Bigger Than a Regular Sized Gun
My Grenadier company has plenty of gnarly small arms and infantry support weapons but I just can’t help but feel I need something a little gnarlier to get my point across. Now, when I started buying and painting Flames Of War models I obviously bought a box of Tiger Tanks so I could tear through my enemies with reckless abandon, and that’s very much an option for me currently.

I could add a three-tank Tiger Tank Platoon to my force, bringing the total up to 92 points and giving me 8 spare points to goof around with- a pair of HS 129s or a JU 87 Stuka Dive Bomber Flight would both fit into that setup. However, I do have a four-gun strong 10.5cm Artillery Battery left over from this force’s previous iteration, and that’ll set me back 14 points. I could take them as a 7 point pair and keep the Tigers, but I kind of feel like I don’t want to be re-rolling hits with only two guns and having such fragile artillery support so that’s not a particularly appealing proposition. 

Instead, I could take two Tiger Tanks for 24 points and all four of my 10.5cm Guns for a total of 94 points, with 6 to play with, but I think given that Hit The Beach generously comes with three Panzer IVs, there’s a better option on offer.

What I’ll do is add two Panzer IVs to the three already in Hit The Beach and field a five-tank strong Panzer IV Mixed Tank Platoon as Formation Support for 28 points, and keep all four of my 10.5cm Guns. That’s 98 points, plus one for a dinky little Panzer II OP Observation Post bringing my total to 99 points.

I had a gander at some of the Panzer IV Normandy camouflage schemes on the Flames Of War website and found a few options. I put the choice to a few friends, and they unanimously voted that the top scheme was the best, and that I should in no uncertain terms, avoid the middle scheme. So I painted my Panzer IVs in a general approximation the top scheme, and of course took the middle scheme as inspiration for my Panzer II’s camo.

Panzer IV H in Normandy, France 1944. Base Colour: Dunkelgelb (Dark Yellow). Camouflage: Olivgrün (Olive Green) and Rotbraun (Red Brown).
Panzer IV H in Normandy, France 1944. Base Colour: Dunkelgelb (Dark Yellow). Camouflage: Olivgrün (Olive Green) and Rotbraun (Red Brown).
Panzer IV H in Normandy, France 1944. Base Colour: Dunkelgelb (Dark Yellow). Camouflage: Olivgrün (Olive Green) and Rotbraun (Red Brown).|

Fortress Europe Grenadier Company

Grenadier Company HQ- 2 pts
            +Paunzerfaust- 2 pts

Grenadier Platoon- 7 pts
+Panzerfaust- 2 pts
           +Panzerschreck- 2 pts

Grenadier Platoon- 7 pts
           +Panzerfaust- 2 pts
           +Panzerschreck- 2 pts

sMG34 Machine-Gun Platoon- 6 pts
8cm Mortar Platoon- 9 pts
7.5cm Tank-Hunter Platoon- 15 pts

FORMATION TOTAL—  56 pts

Support
Panzer IV Mixed Tank Platoon- 28 pts
10.5cm Artillery Battery- 14 pts
Panzer II OP Observation Post- 1 pts

SUPPORT TOTAL— 43 pts
GRAND TOTAL— 99 pts

So, assuming a friend and I decided to split two Hit The Beach boxes, and my friend took the US forces and I took the Germans, all I’ve added here is a few guns and some infantry weapons to give me a full army.

Not a bad force, and I’m looking forward to pitting it against another studio army.

Fortress Europe: Late War Additions

with Alexander Nebesky

When Fortress Europe arrives in June, Flames Of War players will be able to bring forward their Mid War forces to the Late War battlefields with a collection of formations comprising largely of units already existent in our Mid War range.

While most every Unit entry in Fortress Europe corresponds with a unit already available for purchase for Mid War, some units have a few alterations required to bring them up to speed with combat in Late War. I’ve written this handy list to give you an idea of what you can add to your units to give them all the options available to them in Fortress Europe.

M5 Stuart- The M5 Stuart is listed as an option for both British and American forces in Fortress Europe. Our brand new plastic M5 Stuart sprue is part of both our American and British Starter Forces and will be available as part of our July D-Day: American releases, so until then, grab a Starter Force or proxy in your Mid War M3 Stuarts. [UBX56]

StuG: The StuG in Fortress Europe is the same kit as the StuG (Late)  from Ghost Panzers, not the StuG (Early) from Iron Cross. [GBX123]

Panzerfaust: Although the new Panzerfausts special rule doesn’t require you to actually model any specific bases with Panzerfausts on them, we do like to do it for the look of it all. If you also want to sprinkle your Grenadier and Panzergrenadier platoons with Panzerfausts you can pick up [GSO113] from the web store.

Panzerschreck: The Fortress Europe Grenadier platoon can take a Panzerschreck anti-tank weapon for 2 points. If you want to add a Panzerschreck team to your platoon you’ll need [GSO112] from the online store.

Piat: The British Motor and Rifle platoons both receive an upgrade in anti-tank capability with the welcome addition of the Piat. To add a Piat to your Mid War British Desert infantry use [BSO103], a Piat team dressed in uniforms for the Italian theatre to match your Eighth Army figures, which you can pick up from the online store.

British Rifle: If you want to run a European theatre British infantry army in battle-dress brown, pick up a few sprues of [BSO197], two of which make a full Motor or Rifle platoon dressed and ready to storm the beaches.

Phil’s Move to Late War

with Phil Yates

I’m looking forward to the new late war books and trying out my various armies to see how they perform. I have nine mid and late-war forces that I could use, so let’s see how they go.

Late War British
Let’s start with my biggest collection, the Desert Rats in Normandy. I have a Motor Company and a Cromwell Armoured Squadron.

The Motor Company is fairly straightforward and can easily be built from Fortress Europe, although I’ll have to wait for the D-Day: British book next year for the specifically Desert Rats version with slightly different ratings and the command cards for their transport vehicles. My company has:

  • Motor Company HQ
  • 3-inch Mortar Section
  • 3x Motor Platoons
  • 3x Carrier Patrols
  • Vickers MG Platoon
  • 2x 6 pdr Anti-tank Platoon
  • 2x M10C 17 pdr SP Platoon

In Fortress Europe that comes to 94 points, so there’s room to add my Typhoons (using the Kittyhawk card for the moment) to take it to a round 100 points. For comparison, the same force from the old Overlord book comes to 1610 points* without the Typhoons.

With my Cromwell Armoured Squadron, I have two choices: field them as Shermans in the meantime, or wait for the D-Day: British book. I’d rather get them onto the table and have a few games, even if my Cromwells won’t be as fast as I’d like (but then again, the extra speed will be an exciting bonus when the Cromwell arrives!).

  • Sherman Armoured Squadron
  • 4x Sherman Armoured Troop
  • Stuart Recce Patrol
  • Motor Platoon

That comes to 97 points, so I might take the opportunity to throw in a Daimler armoured car troop as well.

Late War German
My German forces are a bit smaller with a very small Tiger SS Tank Company and a FHH Panzergrenadier Company.

My Tiger SS Tank Company is normally commanded by Michael Wittmann for a tiny, but elite force. Using Fortress Europe, I can field this six-tank company without Wittmann (I’ll have to wait for D-Day: Waffen-SS to add him). The company has:

  • Tiger Tank Company HQ
  • 2x Tiger Tank Platoons

Six tanks for 72 points, so that’s a better deal than before (it would have been 1300 points previously*). To bring the force up to 100 points, I could add a Panzergrenadier Platoon from my FHH Panzergrenadier Company and finally get around to adding some Sd Kfz 7/1 quad 20mm AA to my collection (although I could use some of my single 2cm AA from FHH in the meanwhile..

It will be a while before we get to the Lorraine battles where the Feldherrnhalle (FHH) panzer brigade fought, so meanwhile I’ll just field them as a normal Panzergrenadier Company. It would have:

  • Panzergrenadier Company HQ
  • 2x Panzergrenadier Platoon
  • Light AA Platoon (using my Sd Kfz 251/21 AA half-tracks)
  • Armoured 8cm Mortar Platoon (using my 12cm mortar platoon)
  • Armoured 7.5cm Gun Platoon
  • Armoured Flame-thrower Platoon
  • 2x StuG Assault Gun Platoons (using my Panzer IV/70)

That comes out at 96 points in Fortress Europe, so that’s pretty good. I’ll have to ponder what I might add to use those last four points.

So far then, it’s looking good for a conversion across from the old books to the new. I’ll have to wait a little for a perfect translation for a couple of my forces, but they’ll be fun to play in the meanwhile.

Mid War Forces
So what about my Mid-War forces? How will they fare? I have a Grant Armoured Squadron, a Panzer III Tank Company, and two variants of Soviet Tank Battalions.

My Enemy At the Gates Soviet mixed tank battalion isn’t really a good fit for Late War as both the KV-1 and T-60 are pretty much long gone by then (there were apparently a handful of KV-1 still fighting around Leningrad though!), although if I used the T-60s as T-70s and ignored the odd organisation, I could probably make a small 60-point force.

On the other hand, the Red Banner version transfers over nicely (especially if I get that SMG Company painted!).

  • T-34 Tank Battalion HQ
  • T-34 Tank Company
  • Valentine Tank Company
  • T-70 Tank Company

That all comes in at 51 points under Fortress Europe, so I might need to invest in another T-34 company to replace the T-70s, and possibly model some of the new tanks as up-gunned T-34/85. That would give me 28 tanks for 100 points!

My Grant Armoured Squadron really doesn’t cross over to Late War. The Grant was already on its way out at the Battle of El Alamein where my force fought, so it would be optimistic to expect to see it in battles nearly two years later. On the other hand, if I didn’t already have a late war armoured squadron and I wanted to give a mate a game, I’d probably consider fielding them as Shermans while I worked on a new Late-War force.

My Panzer III Tank Company would translate across a bit better as Fortress Europe has a Mixed Panzer III & IV Tank Company. My models are much earlier marks than you’d find in early 1944, and are painted in desert sand camouflage, but they’d do at a pinch, but it would have to be a small game as my whole force wouldn’t be much over 60 points – even proxying them as later model Panzers!

All-in-all though, if I didn’t have any Late-War forces and wanted to give it a go, I could certainly try out a few games using my Mid-War forces while I built up my Late-War collection.

What About the Romanians?
I also have a Late-War Romanian Panzer IV Tank Company. If I field it using the German Panzer IV Tank Company formation, it gets a bit of a skill and reliability upgrade, but works fine. Just focussing on the tanks, I’d have:

  • Panzer IV Tank Company HQ
  • 5x Panzer IV Tank Platoon (3 tanks each)
  • Grenadier Platoon

Since they are relatively better, and hence more expensive, I’d need to drop some tanks to get my 100mm howitzers in there, and even more to field a small infantry company. Or, looking at it from the bright side, I can field nearly 150 points for a really big game!

And the Score is…
Well, out of nine forces, five transfer over almost without a hitch, although I would need another ten T-34s to get to 100 points with my Soviets. Of the other four, I’ll need to proxy my Cromwells as Shermans to make that one work, and the other three Mid-War forces could be transferred across in some form, even though they are 1942 forces, but since I already have Late-War forces, I don’t think I’ll bother.

All-in-all, transferring over to Late War using the new books looks like it will be fairly straightforward for me..   

*The old books used a different points scale with typical forces being 1500 to 1750 points rather than 100 points.

Wayne’s StuG Force

with Wayne Turner

I’ve decided to put together a StuG Assault Gun Company for the Kursk period from Ghost Panzers. By June 1943 many Assault Gun Battalions (Sturmgeschütz Abteilungen) had started to be equipped with the latest version of the StuG assault gun, the StuG III G armed with the long 7.5cm StuK40 gun. The 301. Panzer Battalion chosen as the theme unit in Ghost Panzers is a radio control unit that also contains Borgward demolition carriers, but by not taking the Borgward options it can also be used to represent any of the Assault Gun Companies or Batteries that served on the eastern front.

At Kursk in particular there are a number of Assault Gun Battalion or Brigades involved in the operations. Sturmgeschütz Abteilungen 904 (31 x StuG III) and 245 (22 x StuG III and 9 x StuH 42) served with XXXXVII Panzer Korps on the north side of the salient. Sturmgeschütz Abteilungen 177 (22 x StuG III and 9 x StuH 42) and 244 (22 x StuG III and 9 x StuH 42) served under command of XXXXI. Panzerkorps.

In addition a number of divisions had their own assault gun units. 78. Sturm Division had Sturmgeschütz Abteilung 189, Panzergrenadierdivision ‘Grossdeutchland’ had Sturmgeschütz Abteilung ‘Grossdeutchland’, 7. Infanteriedivision’s Panzerjäger Abteilung 7 contained one company equipped with StuG III, and 6. Infanteriedivision’s Panzerjäger Abteilung 6 contained one company equipped with StuG III.

To be a bit different I’m going to base my StuG force on 6. Infanteriedivision, representing the Sturmgeschütz Kompanie (Assault Gun Company) of Panzerjäger Abteilung 6 (6th Tank-hunter Detachment/Battalion). 6. Infanteriedivision fought in the middle of the 9thArmy’s attack on the north of the Kursk Salient and pushed as far as Olkhovatka during the battle along with the Panzertruppen. During the fighting the divisions also has the 1st and 2nd Companies of Heavy Panzer Battalion 505 (Tiger IE heavy tanks) and Panzerkompanie (Fkl) 312 attached.

My Force

13 pts StuG (Late) Assault Gun Company HQ, 1x StuG (late 7.5cm)

39 pts StuG (Late) Assault Gun Platoon, 3x StuG (late 7.5cm)

39 pts StuG (Late) Assault Gun Platoon, 3x StuG (late 7.5cm)

That’s 91 points. I’ll make this up to 100 points, but I haven’t decided what to spend my last 9 points on as yet.

 

50 Shades of Feldgrau

with Mike Haught

The centerpiece battle in Iron Cross is Stalingrad. This battle is accurately characterized as an infantryman’s fight, with over 15 German and 25 Soviet infantry divisions present. The difficult terrain of city fighting kept tanks and assault guns in a supporting role, leaving the heavy lifting to the foot soldiers. Within all of these infantry divisions there was also a lot of variety, with specialist troops on both sides brought in to deal with the challenges of urban fighting.

The infantry formation options in Iron Cross and its command card deck give you lots of options to explore the variety of infantry forces fighting in Stalingrad and across the whole Eastern Front. Let’s have a look at the grenadiers in Iron Cross.

Infantry Formations from Iron Cross
Iron Cross features three infantry formations: motorised infantry that would become panzergrenadiers, the regular infantry known later as grenadiers, and the lethal troops of the assault pioneer battalions. These three forces set the standard for the bulk of German infantry forces in Stalingrad, but there were more… lots more!

Infantry Formations from Command Cards
To cover as many infantry variants as possible, we’ve added several new command cards that converts your standard Grenadier company into a special unit. You can easily change the flavour of your units just by using one of these cards and adding or removing a few small things here and there. Each variant has its own set of advantages and challenges to explore, giving you many hours of entertainment.

Croatian Rifle Company
The 369th Croatian Reinforced Infantry Regiment fought in Stalingrad as a part of the 100th Jӓger Division. The regiment was oversized with reinforcements raised from Croatia. Loyal and determined to prove themselves, the Croatians fought hard in particularly difficult fights, such as the battle for the Red October Factory. During this fight, they worked closely with an storm group of the 179th Engineer Battalion.
The German pioneers spoke highly of the Croatians, noting their steadfast determination to finish their assaults. This gives the Units of your Grenadier formation a better Counterattack rating, going from the usual 4+ to a 3+ to continue fighting assault combat.

Fast Company
Infantry divisions tended not to be at the spearpoint of the German blitzkrieg on the Eastern Front. This was usually left to the highly mobile panzer divisions, but it sometimes happened that the infantry had to lead the way. To do this, they would form Schnell, or Fast, squadrons by pooling whatever armoured cars, tanks, trucks, and anti-tank guns the division could spare and attaching them to an infantry unit. This ad-hoc unit would speed ahead and secure critical objectives for the division. In effect, the unit tried to exploit weaknesses in the enemy’s lines, grab an objective, and then sit on it with plenty of heavy weapons until relieved by the rest of the division.

The Fast Company command card lets you create one of these vanguard units. You will have some infantry and armoured cars to race ahead and secure the objective as well as a high concentration of anti-tank guns, including the formidable 7.5cm PaK40. If you pair this card with the Softskin Transport upgrade card for your foot-mounted troops, you will have tremendous mobility to grab the best ground on the battlefield well ahead of slower enemy infantry.

Gebirgsjager Company
The Gebirgsjäger were specialist mountain troops that fought primarily in the Trans Caucasian Mountains in the far south of Operation Blue. To operate in the mountains, the Gebirgsjäger relied on extensive mountain training to get places usually not accessible by normal grenadier forces. This gives them the Mountaineers special ability to scale cliffs and mountains that are impassable to other types of teams. This means that you can exploit these sorts of terrain to put your enemy on their back foot.

Gebirgsjäger give up their heavy equipment in order to free up their supply lines and make it easier to get into battle. To that end, they replaced the typical 10.5cm artillery their own 7.5cm guns that they could break down and carry by mule through the difficult mountain terrain. You can field these guns using the Mountain Artillery command card to replace your 10.5 leFH18 guns with a battery of smaller 7.5cm guns.

Jager Company
The 100th Jäger Division was similar to the Gebirgsjäger in their training to operate in difficult terrain. However, their focus was working swiftly in bad terrain, drawing on the long-standing German tradition of Jäger (hunter) troops. This training served them well in Stalingrad where they were able to maneuver more easily and be where they were needed the most to meet a threat or launch an attack.

The Jäger Company command card gives your Grenadier HQ and Grenadier Platoon Units a Terrain Dash bonus of +2”/5cm, allowing you to get your combat troops to where they are needed more quickly, especially through a ruined cityscape.

Luftwaffe Field Company
In 1942, Hermann Göring, leader of the German Luftwaffe (air force) raised 20 field divisions of infantry from spare personnel. These were well equipped with the latest weapons, including the new MG42 machine-gun to replace the older MG34, and 5cm PaK38 guns instead of the more typical 3.7cm PaK36 in infantry forces. East Front veterans would comment on just how keen and green these troops were marching into their first battle, only to see them shattered and broken hours later in the crucible of war.
You can field one of Göring’s companies using the Luftwaffe Field Company card. You’ll see a sharp increase in the motivation of your troops but at the cost of training.

Pioneer Company
Engineer units were essential to the success of blitzkrieg operations. They secured bridges, swept minefields, and gapped obstacles for the assault forces to press the attack. In Stalingrad and other city fights, the pioneers were called on to storm buildings, but these sorts of units are represented in the Assault Pioneer formation.

This command card focus more on the operational pioneer units where their job was more about clearing mines and digging in to hold a critical objective.

SS-Grenadier Company
Waffen-SS infantry units were not fighting in Stalingrad, however they were still heavily engaged in similar places like Kharkov. During 1942, these units were still SS-Infantry divisions, but, by being fiercely politically loyal, they were heavily reinforced with tanks and were generally well armed. Similarly, the Heer (Army) also had it’s premiere unit, Infantry Division Großdeutschland.

Both the SS and Großdeutschland were well supplied, highly motivated, and considered elite, so the SS-Grenadier Company command card can be used to give both units a solid 3+ Fearless Motivation rating.

The Iron Cross Command Card Pack comes with 48 Command Cards. Not all of them are Formation Build cards like the ones shown above.

If you want to find out more about the cards included in the Iron Cross Command Card Pack you can click here…

~Mike