Purchase these Items

Products mentioned in this Article



Looking At The North Africa German Command Cards

Looking At The North Africa German Command Cards 
with John Lee

When V4 of Flames of War released, alongside the books were Unit Cards and Command Cards – this was new for the game.  The Unit Cards have all the stats as in the book and rules for that unit which meant you could refer to them more easily in the game, rather than having to flick through different sections of the Army book. The addition of the command cards allowed the army book to be streamlined with the core formations and units whilst the specialising, upgrading, downgrading, warriors and non-standard formations and units moved to the new card pack.

Each Army Book has their own set of Command Cards and for this article we are focusing on the first set that was released when V4 came out – Afrika Korps.  Please note that you find the Fallschirmjager Command Cards in the Airbourne Pack.

The Command Cards are made up of the following different types:

  • Force – Cards affecting your force overall
  • Formation (Type) – Cards affecting the selected Formation Type
  • Unit (Type) – Cards affecting the selected Unit
  • Build – Allows you to build a new Formation Type or alter an existing one
  • Limited – Only one of these cards can be in your force
  • Warrior – Adds the selected Leader or Personality to your force.  You may only ever have one Warrior in your force

Some cards are a combination of the above eg Build, Limited and there are 34 cards in the pack in total.

Starting off with the Force specific cards:

  • Pure Luck (Limited)
  • Dummy Minefield (Limited)
  • Brandenburgers (Limited)
  • Diversionary Tactics (Limited)

The most common card played if you have a spare 1pt lying about is “Pure Luck” giving you the ability to reroll any one die. Useful for that critical situation where a re-roll can change the course of a game!  “Dummy Minefield” allows you redeploy a minefield in a mission where they are used or add one if the mission does not use them for 5pts.  “Brandenburgers” automatically stops your opponent from receiving air support for the first time they turn up for 1pt.  For 1pt “Diversionary Tactics” allows you to reposition an enemy ranged in marker up to 6” away. All these cards are “Limited”, so you can only have one of each in your force.

Next up are the fifteen Formation specific cards:

  • Marksman (Limited)
  • Blitzkrieg (Limited)
  • Hidden in Plain Sight (Limited)
  • Cut Them Down (Limited)
  • Ferocious Valour (Limited)
  • Charmed (Limited)
  • Mission Tactics
  • Clever Tactics (Panzer III Tank Company)
  • Elite Crew (Panzer III Tank Company)
  • Pinpoint Accuracy (Panzer IV Tank Company)
  • Precise Gunner (Panzer IV Tank Company)
  • Pioneer Company (Africa Rifle Company)
  • Fortify the Building (Infantry Formation, Limited)
  • Captured Tank (Infantry Formation, Limited)
  • Trench Fighter (Infantry Formation, Limited)

The following cards apply to the Formation Commander. Starting with the “Marksman” card gives you the ability to only have hits the score on your opponent swapped on a 4+ instead of 3+ for 1pt.  “Blitzkrieg” is where units with their Unit Leader is within 8” of their Formation Commander can pass Blitz Movement Orders on a 2+ for a turn, for 2pts.  “Hidden in Plain Sight” for 4pts gives your HQ unit concealment when halted. “Cut Them Down” gives you the ability to reroll failed hits in Defensive Fire when assaulted for 1pt.  “Ferocious Valour” gives you TWO dice to hit during assaults for 3pts. “Charmed Life” gives the ability to automatically pass an armour or infantry save made by the Formation Commander by discarding this card for 2pts. Apply the “Mission Tactics” card to automatically pass a Unit Last Stand Test if the Unit Leader is within 8” of the Formation Commander for 3pts.

The next two cards apply to a Panzer III Formation.  The first is “Clever Tactics” which allows HQ Unit to pass Tactics tests for Movement Orders on 2+ for 4pts, and the second is “Elite Crew” giving your Formation Commander’s Panzer III a halted ROF 3 for 4pts. Combine these to get your Commander to Blitz on 2+ and then fire ROF3!

Looking At The North Africa German Command Cards

Panzer IV Formation Cards are next – two again.  “Pinpoint Accuracy” gives your HQ Unit a skill of 2+ when ranging in its own Artillery Bombardments for 1+. For 2pts, “Precision Gunner” gives your Formation Commander an ability to reroll one failed firepower test.  Again, pair these up for your HQ bombardment to get the double whammy!

One of my favourites is next – “Pioneer Company”. For +1pt, you can upgrade your Africa Rifle Company so that Infantry Teams in your formation cross minefields safely on 2+ and both Infantry and Gun Units dig in on 2+!  If you are running an Africa Rifle Company, this is a no brainer upgrade!

The final three relate to Infantry Formations.  “Fortify The Building” is exactly that!  Choose a building that Infantry from the Formation are hunkering down in, and they will have a 2+ save for the rest of the game – all for 2pts.  If you win an assault in which you destroy enemy tanks, “Captured Tank” for 1pt, can be used to add that tank to your force by removing an adjacent Infantry Team.  The tank is always hit on 2+ and add +1 to the score when trying to hit the enemy and not allowed to assault with it.  A fun card though to add some flavour to the game!  “Trench Fighter” for 2pts gives your Formation Commander the ability to hit enemy teams on 2+.  Nice!

Now onto the Unit specific cards of which there are eleven:

  • Panzer-Knacker (Africa Rifle Platoon)
  • Captured 6pdr Anti-Tank (5cm Tank-Hunter Platoon)
  • Captured 25pdr Artillery (10.5cm Artillery Battery)
  • Dead Eye (Limited, Infantry Unit)
  • Forward Scouts (Panzer II Tank Platoon)
  • Every Shot Counts (Panzer III or Panzer IV Tank Platoon)
  • Roll Over Them (Panzer III or Panzer IV Tank Platoon)
  • Deadly Gunner (Tiger Heavy Tank Platoon)
  • Rapid Fire (Tiger Heavy Tank Platoon)
  • Schnell (Tiger Heavy Tank Platoon)
  • Clever Hans (Tiger Heavy Tank Platoon)

First up is “Panzer-Knacker” which gives the infantry and gun teams in the Africa Rifle Platoon a boost to take on Armour in Assaults.  In Mid War, this is pretty much an auto-include.  Discard the card in a turn where they are in an assault to give the teams AT3 FP 1+ against Top Armour.  You now have a chance even against Top Armour 2!  

Looking At The North Africa German Command Cards

The next two cards involve captured British guns. Field the “Captured 6pdr Anti-Tank” to replace the 5cm Tank-Hunter Platoon with 6pdrs. The card itself is zero pts but you get to reduce the unit cost by 1pt per gun. If you need to shave points to spend somewhere else, then this card can help. Same AT ratings but gains No HE and worse movement stats.  “Captured 25pdr Artillery” replaces 10.5cm Artillery Battery for zero points change.  Gain ROF 2 FP 3+ direct fire and range 80” FP 4+ for bombardments plus lose Forward Firing and Slow Firing.  No longer has Brutal either but the advantages in my mind outweigh that characteristic. 

“Dead Eye” is for an Infantry Unit where you pick one Infantry team in each shooting step and may re-roll one failed To Hit roll.  If that shot hit, the target team must re-roll their save.  Pretty cool for 2pts.  “Forward Scouts” gives a Panzer II Tank Platoon Scout capability for 2pts. 

The next two cards apply to Panzer III and Panzer IV Tank Platoons.  “Every Shot Counts” allows the Unit Leader to re-roll one failed To Hit in each Shooting Step for 3pts.  “Roll Over Them” allows the Unit to Counterattack on a 3+ for 4pts.  Combine these to give your unit some extra oomph.

The final four cards apply to the Tiger Heavy Tank Platoon.  Each give a different skill – also known as Tiger Ace.  The first two apply to the Unit Leader - “Deadly Gunner” may re-roll one failed Firepower Test during the Shooting Step for 4pts, whilst “Rapid Fire” for 8pts gives Halted ROF 3.  Whilst expensive, that extra ROF can make the difference – especially with its long range.  The next two apply to the Unit.  With “Schnell”, the Unit passes Blitzes on 2+ for 4pts, whilst “Clever Hans” for 3pts allows Tanks in the Unit pass Cross Tests on 2+.  If you want that Tiger Ace, choose the one you want or a take a combo to give you that souped up Tiger Platoon!

Next up are the two Build specific cards.  “Softskin Transport” applies to an Infantry and Gun Unit for 1pt.  This gives your Gun Units in particular an option to move to other locations where needed or to come in from reserve.  If you use captured 6pdrs, you can move them to the other flank (I have done this in a tournament more than once!).  You need to be careful though as they have a Tank Save of 5+ meaning if they get hit you have 33% chance of saving the transport.  If it gets destroyed, the passengers are destroyed, and all Transports sent to the rear immediately.

The second card is the most played, loved or hated Formation in V4 Mid War.  The “Armoured Car Company” is a Limited Formation but in my experience is one of the most balanced formations that I have run successfully at tournaments since V4 was first released.  

The Formation consists of:

  • 1 Armoured Car Company HQ
  • 2-8 Sd Kfz 221 & 222 Light Scout Troop
  • 1-3 Sd Kfz 231 Heavy Scout Troop
  • 5cm Tank-Hunter Platoon
  • Africa Rifle Platoon

We can maximise this formation by taking some of the command cards mentioned earlier to provide some more flavour such as “Captured 6pdr Anti-Tank”, “Softskin Transport” for your captured 6pdrs, and “Panzer-Knacker” for your infantry.  Add in the “Erwin Rommel” warrior as well (see below) and you have the basis of your force.  Throw in the auto-include Marder (7.62cm) platoon (yes, yes, we know they are under pointed), artillery using the “Captured 25pdr Artillery” card, tank support with Panzer IIIs (with “Roll Over Them” card).

Looking At The North Africa German Command Cards

Fairly strong formation and has different tools for different tasks and lots of flavour!

Last, but not least, are they Warrior Cards and we have two to choose from.  The first is “Josef Rettemeier” for 4pts and applies to a Tank Formation.  He allows units in the formation in line of sight and within 6” to pass Shoot and Scoot tests on 2+ as well as re-rolling one failed To Hit in each Shooting Step in direct fire.

The second is “Erwin Rommel”.  That’s right – The Desert Fox for 6pts!  This card applies to the Force and for those who play in tournaments, can be a tournament winner if used right.  If you win the game, you gain one extra Victory Point but if you lose, you lose one Victory Point.  Big risk, big reward!  He also gives all your Formation Commanders a bigger Command Leadership range of 8” instead of 6”.

There you have it.  There are some flavourful cards in the pack, and you can mix and match depending on your playstyle and what you want to represent.  Enjoy!

Last Updated On Thursday, February 24, 2022 by Luke at Battlefront