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Transferring to the Eastern Front

Transferring to the Eastern Front
with Ryan Jeffares
With all the new toys coming out for the Germans in Bagration: German, you might be wondering what else is in the book apart from the shiny new Hetzers and Panzer IV/70s, well this article is here to explain how some of the existing formations have changed in Bagration and why you should consider transferring your preexisting forces to the Eastern Front to get access to some new options and gear.

Grenadier Company 
Bagration German marks a return to Late War for the Grenadier company, which was not an option in D-Day: German. Compared to its previous incarnation in Fortress Europe, the Grenadier Company has lost access to the 2.8 Anti tank rifle and now panzerfausts are a compulsory part of your platoons. However, the company now has the ability to take a unit of 12cm mortars, previously only available to Panzergrenadiers, which provide a cost effective alternative to traditional tube artillery. WIth Anti-Tank 2 and Firepower 3+, these mortars offer comparable firepower to 10.5cm Artillery or Wespes, but at a lower points cost and with the added benefit of being part of the Grenadier Company formation

Transferring to the Eastern Front

Another weapon making its way to the Grenadiers is the 2cm AA gun, which is now available in platoons of either 2 or 4 guns. With ROF 3 and AT 5 they are ideal for keeping light vehicles honest  (Especially those blasted stuarts),  providing an Anti-Aircraft umbrella or even using their high ROF to engage enemy infantry. Finally, Grenadier Companies get access to an optional infantry platoon in the form of the  Grenadier Scout Platoon. This platoon consists of either 3 or 5 teams and is armed with K98 Rifles or MP40s , with the option to take a panzerfaust. Like their name implies, these scouts have both the Scout and Spearhead rules, helping you to get your units into better positions before the game begins. Although they aren't as fast as tracked or wheeled reconaissance, as a core unit and a decently sized infantry platoon, Grenadier Scouts are a unit that can add a lot of flexibility to a Grenadier Company.

StuG Assault Battery
The StuG Assault Gun Battery in Bagration: German may seem familiar to you old hands transferring from the Western Front, as it is roughly comparable to the Fallschirmjager StuG Assault Gun Company from D-Day German. In Bagration: German, the Battery has smaller platoons, consisting of 3 rather than 4 Assault guns, with the option to replace a StuG with a StuH for added firepower and the ability to fire smoke. Furthermore, the HQ is also now only one tank strong and there is no option to take a full platoon of StuHs

Transferring to the Eastern Front

Now you might find yourself asking why you'd consider this version of the Battery and the answer is the Escort Platoon. An optional fourth platoon, the Escort Platoon is either 7 or 10 teams strong and is armed with the new StG44 Assault rifle, which provides a devastating ROF 3 at a range of 8"/20cm. In addition, they have the Tank Escorts rule, which allows them to shoot while riding on your StuGs and to dismount while assaulting, which coupled with an Assault rating of 2+ makes them ideal for clearing out infantry in rough terrain which might be risky for your StuGs to enter.

Tiger Tank Company
The Tigers themselves have remained the same loveable armoured beasts they were in earlier Late War books. Although their stats and company organisation haven't changed in Bagration: German, they have gained access to a variety of new Anti-Aircraft options at the cost of losing access to the Sd Kfz 10/4.

Transferring to the Eastern Front

The new AA options are the Wirbelwind, the Ostwind and the Mobelwagen, which are all also available as part of Panther or Panzer IV Companies and possess more armour than the anti-aircraft half tracks previously available. The Ostwind has better armour than the Mobelwagen, making it practically immune to light weaponry such as .50 cals, while both vehicles are armed with an AT 7 3.7cm cannon, which provides them an added punch against light vehicles as well as the ability to threaten the flanks of medium tanks. On the other hand, the Wirbelwind has lighter armour than the Ostwind, but it is armed with quad 2cm cannons, which give it a fearsome rate of fire of 5 shots while stationary or 3 on the move. As a result, while it can't threaten medium tanks to the same degree, the Wirbelwind is a bigger threat to infantry and the sheer number of shots these tanks can put out can even bring down light tanks

Panther Company
In addition to the aforementioned changes to the Anti-Aircraft options, Panther companies have had a number of changes to the second compulsory platoon. In Bagration: German, Panzer IVs, Panzer IV/70s and Armoured Panzergrenadiers are now available in addition to the previously available Panthers or Tigers. However, the Panther Company's optional tank platoon must consist of Panthers, although I would argue that this negative is definitely outweighed by the increased flexibility that Panzer IV/70s or Panzergrenadiers offer the formation.

Panzer IV Tank Company
Panzer IV Companies have also had some changes to the second compulsory platoon, gaining the ability to take StuGs and Armoured Panzergrenadiers in addition to the Panthers, Tigers and Panzers IVs which were previously available. This StuG platoon is different to those found in the Assault gun batteries, as it can consist of up to 5 tanks, but it lacks the option to take a StuH. Integrated StuGs provide an interesting option in a Panzer IV Company, as they trade assault ability for thicker armour, which enables them to more effectively counter enemy medium armour in a tank duel.

Transferring to the Eastern Front

Armoured Panzergrenadier and Panzergrenadier Company
Bote the Panzergrenadier Companies have only had one change to their formations, but its definitely a significant one, as the optional third Panzergrenadier platoon now has competition in the form of tanks. Move over Soviet Motor Riflemen, now German infantry get tanks in their formations too! In this slot, you can now take Panzer IVs, Panzer IV/70s, StuGs or Panthers, which serves to bring the tanks you'd probably be taking as support choices into your formation, making it much more durable. The only other change to these Companies is that both types of Panzergrenadier platoon now come with panzerfausts as standard and can only take a single panzerschreck per platoon.

Transferring to the Eastern Front

Reconnaissance Company
The Reconnaissance Company has had some minor changes, gaining the ability to take a platoon of Sd Kfz 221/222s as well as  Sd Kfz 231s, which were last available in Fortress Europe, allowing players to make use of those armoured cars which have been sitting around since Mid War. Finally, like the other German infantrymen in Bagration: German, the Reconnaissance Platoons now also come with panzerfausts as standard.

In Summary
The updated formations that in Bagration: German give us plenty of new options, some with a few minor tweaks and others like the StuG Assault Company turning into an entirely new beast, with Tigers getting access to more AA and Panthers and Panzer IVs getting an Armoured Panzergrenadier Platoon. Even if you have a completed army there's something you could find that you may want to consider adding to a force so be sure to grab the book and take a look.

Last Updated On Thursday, April 8, 2021