Purchase these Items

Products mentioned in this Article



Panzerfausts In The Hedgerows

Panzerfausts In The Hedgerows
with Joe Saunders

With the interest in the new D-Day: Waffen-SS book there has been many good articles on the heavy hitters available such as the SS Tigers, Panthers and Armoured Panzergrenadiers.  All of which provide some exciting new options for Flames Of War. However, I feel these only shed light on part of the story.  

When one considers history, it is the ground pounding infantry that do most of the work and embody the essential characteristics that make an army’s soldiers unique.  Because of this I am going to dive in and take a closer look at the Panzergrenadier units in the D-Day: Waffen-SS book.

At first look the Waffen-SS Panzergrenadier platoons do not look very different from their Heer (army) counterparts in D-Day: Germans.  The equipment and the force organization charts are much the same.  However, there are major differences in both the stats and point costs that make the SS Panzergrenadiers work differently on the tabletop.

Panzerfausts In The Hedgerows

The SS Panzergrenadier Horde
When you look at the specifics of how the platoons are priced you quickly see that you are saving 2 points per platoon for SS infantry over their Heer counterparts.  7 stands of SS will run you 7 points (before upgrades) while the same number of stands for army Panzergrenadiers will cost you 9 points.  This discounting also applies with the non-compulsory (grey box) SS Panzergrenadier formation choices too.  Even the artillery, vehicles and anti-tank guns in the company are typically 2 points cheaper to take.  The result of this is you can have more for less.  Let’s compare a typical army Panzergrenadier formation taken from D-Day: Germans to the same formation from the D-Day: Waffen-SS.  Our example is composed of an HQ with panzerfaust, 3 Panzergrenadier platoons of 7 stands with a panzerschreck and panzerfaust each, a platoon of 4 machine guns, 4 12cm mortars and 3 7.5cm Pak 40s. This formation would be good to handle most situations with plenty of flexibility and weapons and it costs 68 points.  The same force with SS troops would run 56 points.  The difference of 12 points is significant!  With 12 points you could add 1 more Tiger (from D-Day: Germans) to your force or from the SS book, 2 Grilles and 4 Flame thrower half-tracks (to increase your formation fire power and break point).
Panzerfausts In The Hedgerows

Waffen-SS Panzergrenadiers on the Attack
Obviously with the decrease in points for the SS troops you get some downsides.  This comes in the form of the Hit On value of 3+ and Skill of 4+ (versus a Hit On of 4+ and Skill of 3+ for other non-SS German units). Don’t let this scare you though.  When you use your troops aggressively some careful thought can neutralize these drawbacks.  As always, when your SS troops are closing with the enemy you can use smoke screens (The SS have it too) to protect your troops.  Also, with the Old Hand rule, as long as the HQ of your Panzergrenadiers is moving with the troops, your Blitz or Follow Me orders will still be possible on a 3+!  Once you get into assaults however you will see where the real difference is.  SS troops still have an assault of 3+ and they outshine their army brethren with a Fearless Motivation of 3+.  When it comes to counterattack rolls in assaults, your SS troops are more likely to stick around on a 3+ when Heer troops would be running away due to their 4+ rating.  Because of this SS Panzergrenadiers practically want to be in assaults as much as possible!

Panzerfausts In The Hedgerows

Waffen-SS Panzergrenadiers on the Defense
Generally, in Flames Of War Panzergrenadiers are used more often for defense and the SS version of these soldiers can fill this role well, but a little differently.  This is where the cheaper points value really shines.  Though the SS troops will be hit easier on a 3+, the discount in points means you can have significantly more troops on the board.  Add to this the fact that infantry on the defensive are usually dug in and often gone to ground, so they will be still sticking around for a long time.  Moreover, because defensive troops rarely need to move, the 4+ skill will not be a hinderance because they won’t need special orders to move.  This brings us to how the SS Panzergrenadiers perform holding objectives.  As most players know to decisive moment for seizing objectives in Flames Of War occurs in the assault phase.  Fortunately, SS troops are particularly good at resisting attempts to take objectives from them.  For defensive fire they have the same number of shots, panzerschrecks and panzerfausts that opponents of German forces have come to fear.  More importantly, when SS Panzergrenadiers are counterattacking their 3+ Fearless Motivation will keep them in the fight making them less likely to be pushed away from the objective so the opponent can claim it.  Go ahead and put your SS Panzergrenadiers on your objectives and watch them turn into a real headache for your opponent!

SS Panzergrenadier Platoon (Plastic)
SS panzergrenadiers were heavily armed, with two MG42 machine-guns in each squad backed with plenty of guns and mortars, so their firepower (and ammunition expenditure) was immense. Fortunately, their motorised transport meant that they could bring up the required ammunition each night, ready for the next day’s battle. Their fearless determination to defend the Third Reich, and the impressive volume of fire they could generate, made them a tough nut for the Allies to crack.

Click here to check out the SS Panzergrenadier Company Spotlight...

Don't Forget about the Waffen-ss Panzergrenadiers
Next time your pour over your choices in the D-Day: Waffen-SS don’t pass by the humble Panzergrenadiers.  If you keep in mind what we discussed in this article you can use them as both a cost effective and devastating addition to any force you build.  On top of this we have not yet looked at the Command Cards available to further customize your troops!  The number of ways to customize these humble but already flexible troops is staggering and perfect for almost any battlefield role. Now all that remains is to take your SS ground pounders and get playing!

Last Updated On Friday, August 28, 2020