Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Grenadiers - FoW

When I ordered the German pioneer platoon I completed recently, I also ordered another grenadier platoon - the idea being to bulk out my infantry forces such that I would be able to field the full three grenadier combat platoons, the pioneers and have a platoon to use as infantry scouts, or another Regimental/Divisional infantry support platoon...

Also, some of the new Bridge by Bridge lists, that accompany the Market Garden books, have companies with a great many Ersatz and Sicherungs (replacements and security) platoons, both quite cheap in points costs, meaning large infantry forces can be fielded.

So having an extra platoon of grenadiers was bound to come in useful somewhere along the line...

Completed recently...

Late War Grenadiers

6 x Rifle/MG teams plus Command SMG/Panzerfaust

I have also been recently considering force composition from a new perspective.

My playing group are looking to embark on the Firestorm Bagration campaign set, and as the German defender on the receiving end of Soviet attacks, I figured I am going to be on the defensive and better get a grip on how best to defend against Soviets hordes, whether Infantry, Armoured or both...

One of the problems facing the defending Infantry force is that many of the defensive missions means the defender will have reserves, meaning only half your force starts on table, the rest arriving later in the game. So you have to be able to hold out with half your force deployed, against the full force of your opponent. This has altered my thinking in force composition recently. I am also exploring how best to use the German Kampfgruppe special rule... I had always dismissed this as merely a way to even out odd numbers of platoons in a company, by making a greater number of smaller platoons, which in turn makes them brittle. However I have been looking at ways to make a large Kampfgruppe, meaning a greater proportion of your force can be deployed at the start, in these defensive situations...

One of the typical German problems is small sized platoons, especially compared with Soviet Hordes and even American Rifle companies... so a large Kampfgruppe; drawing elements from combat AND weapons platoons, and combat attaching HQ elements and further combat attachments from the remaining weapons platoons,  may be one way of evening the playing field a little...

There are of course pros and cons... a single large platoon will have more staying power, in terms of morale, as casualties are inflicted, but a single artillery/air strike could pin down the whole platoon. Hopefully then, though, there would still be enough teams present to put out enough fire to throw back an assault...

I'll see how it goes...

11 comments:

  1. Nice work as always, Scott. I have to agree on the platoon sizes - Recently I played a 1,000 point Bolt Action game with about 30 or so Fallshirmjaeger against my opponents 60-odd Soviets! Best, Dean

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    1. Soviet hordes are always a terrifying prospect!

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  2. Nice work Scott. Reminds I need to work on my FJs...

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  3. Its always a tough one against the soviet hordes, which ever direction you go from my experiences.

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  4. Nice to hear your tactical views as well. I'm very much a fledgling FoW gamer so its good to get some tips as to how my grenadiers should approach things. I'm always getting roundly stomped by my regular opponents Russians/Brits/Yanks.

    Keep em coming mate!

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    1. Thanks Ste, I am far from an expert but I think if you are going to run infantry then that's what you need, plenty of them. If defending just keep their heads down and wait for reinforcements from reserve, and if attacking you'll have plenty of bodies on the ground to do the work... pick your support as appropriate... mortars are a good infantry killer, can fire smoke too both bombardment and direct, and can fire direct on the turn they arrive from reserve ( thus better than arty), PaK40s as your tank killer and support the grenadier line, use from ambush if possible, HMGs to combat attach, some kind of mobile reserve (PzIvs/Stugs/Tigers), Nebs are cheap arty for smoke and pin, Flak '88's extra long range tank killers, AAA if your opponent like to use air, scouts with assault rifles can be useful, pioneers good for a barbed wire defense and flamethrowers on the attack, they are a surprisingly versatile force, depending on how you choose to run them, but being infantry they are essentially defensive... you can read more of my Grenadiers exploits over at
      The Kapiti Fow Gamers

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  5. Sounds like you have an arms race going on there Scott. The figures look superb.
    Cheers,
    Pat.

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