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The D-Day German book: what an Allied commander needs to fear
« on: September 07, 2019, 02:36:28 PM »
The D-Day German book: what an Allied commander needs to fear
September 6, 2019 | Paolo Paglianti

The Late War books are a welcomed breath of fresh air after a couple of years of V4 Mid War. As we already noted, a new balance in the point system with tanks costing a third of what they used to in Desert and Russian 1943 fronts is really changing the “meta” game and the armies we’re going to field.

Traditionally, I play only with Allied armies. I began with the British 8th army and added some US troops to use as an ally in my fight against the Mid war Axis. So I naturally moved on to Late war sticking to Allied, adding some new troops to my existing pool of units.

I already discussed the list I’m going to use in the next games and tournaments: it will be a Churchill Company with two Churchill platoons, two Shermans + Firefly platoons, a single Stuart to boost the Company morale and avoid a collapse in case the opponent kills too many tanks. As Support, I’ll use the unstoppable M10 Achilles, some Priest to deliver Artillery barrages where it hurts more, an infantry platoon to assault or defend an objective, and some Bofors – the best AA unit in the game, in my opinion, and now really useful considering the nasty surprise coming from the air, especially from Moscow

My US list is similar, albeit I haven’t finished painting it: it has a Sherman Company with Veteran platoons (both  4 tanks, with a 76 one to improve my chance to kill some Tiger). To boost the morale, the same Stuart platoon and a M4 Mortar, allowing me have some artillery hits on enemy infantries, a single US infantry armoured platoon with their deadly 5 bazookas (Uncle Sam is really prodigal with his foot troops), and the UK Shermans + Firefly platoon, with improved AT 14 guns.

To fill up to 110 points (the point level we’re going to use in Italy in the next Championship) I’ll add support troops like the M15 gun section, and a P47 wing, to inflict some punishment from the air over the battlefield. If I can spare two points, I’d also surely use the Grasshopper. Perhaps you think an AOP is not important with an Army able to range in with any unit leader, but the plane can stay aloft and see enemy batteries out of the sight from the ground. The enemy will need to choose to direct its AA units at the Grasshopper or on P47.

A possible variation is to use the M10 company, but for the moment I find the Sherman 76 more interesting.

What do you mean, “I forget the bazookas at home”, Jim? Nazis are coming, and we need some serious flank antitank to welcome them!

Anyway, these lists are really similar and have a common tactic: hunt and kill. The German armies I saw around from Fortress Europe are still frontally stronger. Their tanks have better armour, but they normally succumb under multiple AT12 and AT14 hits. Sooner or later, the Allied guns will score some successful hits, and the German player will lose those costly and lonely Tigers and Panthers. The Ferdinand can’t be frontally killed, so I need to get on the flanks: but with all those US or UK Shermans roaming on the table, it will happen easily.

When I received the D-Day German book, I read it with the opponent eye. I’m not going to paint a German army in the next future, so I focused on what I could meet in future games.  The D-Day list is really different from the usual “elite” situation with the Germans we saw in Mid War. The ’42 and ’43 Wehrmacht was an aggressive and superior force, while the Atlantic Wall troops had a defensive stance, with demoralized or spent units on the wall, waiting for thousands of Allied ship to start the Invasion.


Too many, too strong. Attacking a defensive position held by this force will be really hard


Is this good news for the Allied player? Not at all. On the contrary, this is the worst we can face, my friends. Our German opponents will be able to field almost the same, powerful lists we saw in Fortress Europe (with no Ferdinands, Marders, and Stukas, however), but also they have the opportunity to go Skaven. If you played, as I bet, Games Workshop’s Warhammer, you will immediately understand what I mean.

A German player can now field Beach Defence Grenadier Company with teams costing *half a point*. They shoot exactly the same as the Fortress Europe’s Grenadier, but cost half of them – and they also have the option to upgrade to “only M42s” with a ROF 3/2. A machine gun section, able to unleash a devastating 24 shoots each fire phase and each time they are assaulted, costs 3 points. The accompanying Tank Hunter section costs 5 points for three guns with AT 9 or 8 points for the new AT12 option. Now, just linger on how much we spend for our Sherman 76 to have the same punch.

Theoretically, a German player can field a full Company – and they are immense, up to 10 platoons – for less than 40 points. This means more than 30 bases to kill, probably dug in from the start of the game – and other 70 points to spend for the army. There is full space for a tank company and extraordinary supports.

You can easily deploy more than 30 bases with the Beach Defence Company: low skill and low morale, but if you keep them dug in the holes, they are like to best German units.

So, you could face a Defence Company holding indefinitely the objectives, where their Achilles’ heel is the morale and skill, and they will never need to test it except if you kill 90% of their bases. In return, you still need to face 70 points of hard German Steel coming directly to your objectives with AT11 or better.

And the German player can still field a formidable infantry, with the new Fallschirmjagger Division. I’m no German list builder expert, but I’d go for a Stug Company, to concentrate on a single enemy objective, with the support of a killer FSJ infantry to assault it, with their Assault/Counterassault value of 3+/3+. A very good addition is to use the 88 battery with the absurdly cheap card (1 point) to morph it into a double feature weapon, hitting hard (AT17) with direct fire or shooting artillery barrages to infantry or guns when the enemy tanks wisely flee away from sight.

Our friends Mattia Sandrini and Simone Marcone tried this list: Germans were unamovable even for a US force full of artillery batteries

Fighting a force like this (total 110 pt):

Beach Defence Grenadier Company (26 pt)

HQ (2 bases) 2 pt

BD Grenadier Platoon (5 bases + SMG 34 + PanzerShreck) 5 pt

BD Grenadier Platoon (5 bases + SMG 34 + PanzerShreck) 5 pt

BD Grenadier Platoon (only MG42) (5 bases + SMG 34 + PanzerShreck) 6 pt

SMG 34 Gun Platoon (4 bases) 3 pt

5cm Tank Hunter (3 guns) 5 pt


Stug Assault Company (49 pt)

Stug HQ 6 pt

Stug Platoon (3 tanks) 17 pt

StuH Platoon (3 tanks) 15 pt

Fallschirmjager Infantry Platoon (7 bases + Panzerfaust) 11 pt


Support (35 pt)

JagdPanzer IV Platoon (2 tanks) 11 pt

88 Tank Hunter (3 guns)  + 8.8 cm Tank Hunter card 14

SD KFZ 10/4 AA (4 tanks) 6

Puma (2 tanks) 4


Punching an Anvil

Trying to shatter the sample force above, by working on the morale, is pointless, with two such big companies. The Beach infantry can keep two objectives, protected by the AA and the 8.8. If the enemy moves the infantry toward the Beach Defence’s positions, they can hammer with artillery (Stuh and 8.8 with cards) and kill them easily, otherwise they are effective to hit enemy artilleries – the only weapon able to worry your morale 5 infantry.

Otherwise, can effectively attack with the StuG Company and the FSJ platoon, crushing everything in its path. And the cheap, powerful Jagpanzer can be position in the rearguard to fill any gap and shoot anyone who dares to come in sight. The Puma will stay out of trouble, with the low morale of 5+, but can help with their scout and spearhead on deployment phase.

Clearly, this list is really good against “historical” enemies: nine tanks with AT 10 or 11 are totally effective against Shermans and M10s. If I’d to take it to an open tournament, I’d carve out some more points for a two-tank Tiger platoon, to be sure to have some more 8.8 cm guns to kill off other Tigers.

I doubt the horde style German force will be used often. German players normally want to use the elite troops. They want to be High Elves, not Skaven. But if I’d ever encounter such a composition, it would be a really tough battle.

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