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Devil's Charge

Commandos vs. Engineers: Part Two
Building Forces for Shifting Sands
with Mark Francis & Mike Haught

Mark’s Zany Kampfgruppe
My army chosen, I now needed to decide what I wanted in my list. After a quick perusal I started to get an idea of what appealed to me, such as the Ersatz Panthers—they are just fantastic models!
For the HQ I decided to put the CO in a halftrack (painted OD green with Allied stars!) so that he could jet around bolstering the force with his leadership while the 2iC would be equipped with a Panzerfaust to join in the main attack with the infantry.

I wanted to maximize my ability to use the enemy disguises rule, so I went with the SS Jaeger platoon and its ubiquitous Command SMG Panzerfaust over the larger SS Fallschirmkommando platoon as my infantry component.

Read Commandos vs. Engineers: Part One here...
Learn more about Shifting Sands 13 here...
Commandos vs. Engineers: Part Two
With the infantry sorted out, I could now take three of the excellent Ersatz Panthers. I have found that my Trained Panthers of the Panzer Brigades have been taking a beating by the new US tanks and tank destroyers, so I’m hoping that the Veteran status and enemy disguises will make them more survivable. I also plan to take some of the Ersatz StuG assault guns even though they initially started in a separate kampgruppe than the Ersatz Panthers.

One thing that I certainly wanted to make sure I had was recon. Pumas would give my force a little extra punch, but, maintaining the disguises theme, I opted to go with the captured Greyhounds instead. I figured the .50 cals could also come in very handy for knocking out tank destroyer security sections.

Commandos vs. Engineers: Part Two
At this point the force comes in at 1340 points, leaving 260 points. Of course I want to have a couple of the Skorzeny Commando teams since they were the reason I gravitated to this force in the first place. However, after several weeks of event planning, the organizer decided that the Commando teams would be Firestorm Troops, meaning I’d have to find another way to spend the last of my points. I actually think this is a fantastic idea and will fit the theme of the event very well, as long as I get a couple in my force to use at some point in the weekend!

So, back to those last 260 points. I think a second infantry platoon would be ideal to help shift those stubborn US defenders, especially in the wooded Ardennes terrain. A platoon of captured halftracks would look great on the table, but I feel that some of the poor weather rules will have these vehicles moving at a snail’s pace. I needed a platoon that could dig out the Americans from their trenches and storm any fortified positions I may face (I will be facing US Engineers after all). Pioneers fit the bill perfectly, and fortuitously, a full size platoon with a Pioneer Supply Truck comes to exactly 260 points!

~ Mark.
Commandos vs. Engineers: Part Two
Mark’s 150. Panzerbrigade Kampfgruppe
Company HQ (with Halftrack and Panzerfaust upgrade for the 2iC team)
75 points
SS-Jäger Platoon (with Command Panzerfaust upgrade)
200 points
Ersatz Panther Platoon (with 3x Ersatz Panthers)
550 points
Ersatz StuG Platoon (with 4x Ersatz StuGs) 380 points
Erstatz Panzerspäh Platoon (with 3x M8 Greyhounds)
135 points
Pioneer Platoon (with Pioneer Supply Truck)
260 points
Total Points:
1600 points
Commandos vs. Engineers: Part Two
Mike’s Damned Engineers
Firstly, thanks for adding to the conversation about my engineers over on the Army Lists forum. I got a lot of good feedback and I’ve made some adjustments to my list. I think I’ve settled on the following:

Mike's Engineer Combat Company
Company HQ (with 3x Bazookas, 1x 57mm Anti-tank Gun)
110 points
Engineer Combat Platoon (with 3x Bazookas, 1x Pioneer Supply Truck)
305 points
Engineer Combat Platoon (with no Bazookas, 1x Pioneer Supply Truck)
225 points
Improvised Reconnaissance Platoon (with 3x Jeep Patrols)
120 points
Rifle Platoon (99th Infantry Battalion, with 3x Bazookas + trucks)
220 points
Towed Tank Destroyer Platoon (Trained, with 4x 3in guns, 4x M3 half-tracks, and 4x Bazooka teams)
275 points
Field Artillery Battery (Veteran, 4x 105mm Howitzers)
185 points
Heavy Anti-aircraft Artillery Platoon (Trained, with 2x 90mm guns with extra crew)
140 points
Total Points: 1580 points
Commandos vs. Engineers: Part Two
I’ve gutted one Engineer Platoon and placed all of its bazookas in the company headquarters to give me the option to weight them to one platoon or spread them out depending on the situation. I also had 35 points left over, so I added a 57mm anti-tank gun to bolster my defences.

I’ve also removed the roadblock. The event is map-based, so depending on who wins the initiative roll, I may be asked to attack. I wouldn’t be able to efficiently use the points spent in a roadblock if I am on the move, so I figured that I needed to invest those points elsewhere.

I went with the 99th Infantry Battalion, as that was the unit defending the railway embankment and paper mill in Malmédy, along with engineers, towed 3” guns, and 90mm guns. In keeping with the historical feel, I opted for these platoons over tanks or self-propelled TDs (as much as I’d like to have them).

Commandos vs. Engineers: Part Two
So, on to painting! I’ve got a lot done for the force already, but I’ll need to paint up a fair amount in the next few weeks. So, hopefully, I’ll be able to post up some updates as I finish them up.
  • HQ 57mm Anti-tank gun.
  • Improvised Reconnaissance Platoon.
  • Rifle Platoon.
  • Field Artillery Battery.

~ Mike.

Left To Paint
  • HQ Infantry teams (2x Carbine & 3x Bazooka teams).
  • 2x Engineer Combat Platoons.
  • Towed TD Platoon (Winter).
  • Heavy Anti-aircraft Platoon.

Last Updated On Thursday, November 15, 2012 by Blake at Battlefront