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Dion's Tiger Ie

General Tactics for Taming the Big Cat, the Tiger 1E

I’ve heard a lot of talk and read a few posts on the forum where people have been having trouble with Germany’s big cat in the Mid-war scene, I’m going to attempt to reveal the cold hard truth about these lumbering monstrosities and quash the ’Tiger terror’ that many Allied players are inflicted with at some stage during their gaming career.

Most Mid-war German armies will be hard pressed to fit more than one of these beasts in, but if there are two you can at least be comforted by the fact that there will be little of anything else in the army.

When facing the Tiger the biggest asset you’ll have at a distance is smoke. Using smoke you can control what the Tiger can see in your army from one turn to the next, and more importantly you will force it to move and fire at a ROF of 1 to find a target. Being Veteran and at long range will mean you’ll need to roll a 5 or 6 to range-in on three attempts (or a 6 if the Tiger is concealed), but you don’t need to make a roll to hit the Tiger under the template, once you’ve ranged in just place the smoke.
Tiger IE
Tiger IE

The other option you have when facing the Tiger at a distance is to use terrain to your advantage, like smoke you can keep yourself hidden specifically from the Tiger forcing it to move to take a shot. This sort of avoidance will frustrate a German player to no end as their expensive Tiger spends the game looking for something to shoot at.

Using the smoke and hide tactics will either mean the Tiger spends the entire game meandering around trying to find a target and if you are lucky it will advance into your territory trying to get those targets, then the Tiger is potentially in trouble.

The closer the Tiger gets to your side of the table the more vulnerable it is, it becomes easier to get shots into the weaker side armour and infantry have a chance of getting close without being gunned down by other enemy elements.

This is when Pioneers and troops armed with sticky bombs and flame-throwers become most valuable.

This Old Tiger is broken...
I think these guys must of push this Tiger over the bank!

Even plain infantry have a chance, a single hit from a team that cannot normally hurt the Tiger will force it to make a motivation check to stay in combat, and if it fails and cannot move more than 10cm away from the assaulting platoon it becomes captured (counts as destroyed), this will work best if you can catch the Tiger in difficult going.

Getting a shot in with a weapon that can only bail a Tiger can work well to, a quick follow up with any infantry in an assault will destroy the bailed out stalking beast. This also works for flame-throwers who automatically bail the Tiger out if they pass the required skill check (and destroy it if they follow up the successful skill check with a successful firepower roll), with infantry following up for the assault.

Also remember a double bail result means a motivation check for the Tiger, a fail and it’s crew will scamper back to Germany leaving the Tiger behind as a monument to their bravery.

Another way to take out the Tiger, and a very historical way for the Tiger to lose its nine lives, is aircraft. Rockets and bombs will make short work of the Tiger, targeting it’s weakest point, the top armour.

I’ve listed below the weapons of each Allied force capable of bailing out or destroying the Tiger tank, I hope this dispels a lot of the fear that’s been associated with the Tiger.

Allied specific weapons and tactics

British and Commonwealth
Besides drowning the Crew of the Tiger in copious amounts of brewed tea the British have two guns that will be specifically useful against the big cat: the Pheasant (17/25 pdr gun) which can punch through its front and side armour at any range, a full complement of 4 of these guns will keep the Tiger at bay.

17/25 pdr gun
Crusader III The other is the faithful 25 pdr, able to drench an area in smoke. An eight gun battery firing a ’murder’ or ’stonk’ will give you a re-roll on your first ranging attempt to make sure you land the smoke and blind the purring beast.

Weapons that can bail out a Tiger 1E (direct firing)*:

Decon, Crusader III, Valentine VIII and Churchill III with OQF 6 pdr gun

OQF 6 pdr gun

Lee or Grant with M2 75mm gun (in side armour)

Autocar 75mm SP M1897 75mm gun (in side armour)

Sherman M3 75mm gun

Priest M2A1 105mm howitzer (in side armour)

Bishop OQF 25 pdr gun (in side armour)

OQF 25 pdr gun (in side armour)

Sticky bombs

Weapons that can bail out a Tiger 1E (indirect firing)*:

ML 4.2" mortar

Weapons capable of penetrating a Tiger 1E (indirect firing)*:

Priest M2A1 105mm howitzer

OQF 25 pdr gun

 

Weapons capable of penetrating a Tiger 1E (direct firing)*:

Crusader III, Valentine VIII and Churchill III with OQF 6 pdr gun  (Side armour)

OQF 6 pdr gun  (Side armour)

Sherman M3 75mm gun (in side armour, bail out only in front armour)

PIAT (in side armour, bail out only in front armour)

17/25 pdr gun (in front and side armour)

Burning Tiger
M10

USA

I think the biggest asset the Americans have to combat the Tiger is an infantry weapon, the Bazooka, which can be fielded easily in large numbers (nearly every platoon in every company type has access to these) and does not suffer the Defensive Fire Only rule that the later German Panzerfaust does.

Combined with access to M10 tank-destroyers and plenty of guns capable of firing smoke the Americans should have no trouble knocking out or blinding the big cat, rendering it almost useless.

Weapons that can bail out a Tiger 1E (direct firing)*:

M3 75mm GMC 75mm 1897 gun
(in side armour)

M3 Lee M2 75mm gun (in side armour)

T19 HMC M2 105mm howitzer (in side armour)

M7 Priest M2A1 105mm howitzer (in side armour)

M2A1 105mm howitzer (in side armour)

Weapons that can bail out a Tiger 1E (indirect firing)*:

T30 75mm HMC M1A1 75mm howitzer

M1A1 75mm pack howitzer

4.2" Chemical mortar

Weapons capable of penetrating a Tiger 1E (direct firing)*:

M3 Lee M3 75mm gun (in side armour, bail out only in front armour)

M1 57mm gun (in side armour, bail out only in front armour)

Bazooka (in side armour, bail out only in front armour)

M10 3in GMC M7 3in gun (in front and side)

Weapons capable of penetrating a Tiger 1E (indirect firing)*:

T19 105mm HMC M2 105mm howitzer

M7 Priest M2A1 105mm howitzer

M2A1 105mm howitzer

Soviets

The Soviet army has the most weapons available to combat the steel cat, and the numbers to achieve the result relatively easily compared to the other Allied forces. This more than makes up for the lack of smoke available to Soviet forces. A pair of SU-152’s hiding in ambush and waiting patiently for the prime shot will easily rip apart the heavy armour of the Tiger.

Soviet Pioneers
Cheap infantry can be thrown into combat with little care for casualties, the Tiger has got to fail a Motivation test sooner or later and elements like flame-throwers can be fielded in bulk or split between your infantry units to easily subdue the feline behemoth.

Weapons that can bail out a Tiger 1E (direct firing)*:

M3 Lee M2 75mm gun (in side armour)

T-34 76mm F-34 gun (in side armour)

76mm ZIS-3 gun (in side armour)

Weapons that can bail out a Tiger 1E (indirect firing)*:

76mm ZIS-3 gun

Weapons capable of penetrating a Tiger 1E (indirect firing)*:

122mm obr 1938 howitzer

*Note: I have not included Pioneer demolition charges in these lists, which are also quite capable of destroying a Tiger in an assault and are available to all Allied armies.

Weapons capable of penetrating a Tiger 1E (direct firing)*:

M3 Lee Long M3 75mm gun (in side armour, bail out only in front armour)

Valentine VIII OQF 6 pdr gun (in side armour, bail out only in front armour)

SU-122 122mm obr 1938 howitzer (in side armour, bail out only in front armour)

KV-2 152mm obr 1938/40 howitzer (in side armour, bail out only in front armour)

KV-85 85mm D-5T gun (in front and side)

SU-152 152mm ML-20S gun (in front and side)

57mm ZIS-2 gun (in front and side)

Tiger IE

Conclusion

I think there are enough ways in each Allied army to deal with the Tiger I, but I still think that a simple method of ignoring the beast and concentrating on destroying the rest of the army or swiftly taking an objective is the best option. Remember: If you sit there firing everything you got at the Tiger for successive turns then you have played right into the Axis players hands, that’s what a Tiger is best at, attracting fire so the rest of their army can advance unopposed.

Cheers, Dion


Last Updated On Thursday, August 20, 2009 by Wayne at Battlefront