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Tiger II Tiger II burning bright

Tiger II Tiger II burning bright 
with Livio Tonazzo

The Tiger is certainly one of the most iconic tanks of the Second World War, if not the most known. His big brother Tiger II is less known to the general public but much loved among enthusiasts. Finally with Bulge: German this marvelous tank returns to battle the battlefields of Flames of War!

The Profile
When the Tiger entered service in 1943 it had its frontal armor that was almost impenetrable at least for other tanks. The shock was enormous but the Allies immediately strove to find appropriate countermeasures, while in the following months they created high-speed weapons capable of penetrating the powerful armor. The American 76mm barrels mounted on the Sherman and the 85mm ones mounted on the T-34 are clearly the examples. Soon the Tiger went from being an incredible tank to being a good tank, as it will be until the end of the war. Although in a very different context from that in which the Tiger I had entered service, the first use of the Tiger II was truly Disruptive. This is a tank with practically impenetrable armor and armed with an exceptional cannon. 

Tiger II Tiger II burning bright

The Tiger II has literally impenetrable Front Amour. With its value of 16 it can withstand almost any weapon on the battlefield. With very rare exceptions nearly all shots fired at his front armor are wasted shots! This is a very important advantage as it allows the Tiger II to expose itself in full view and fire the mighty cannon without suffering the return fire. What the Tiger II needs to pay attention to is flanking. With a value of 8 it allows you to deal with the 75mm guns with some peace of mind, since they usually have an Anti-Tank value equal to 10. It is necessary to move the Tiger II with caution as it would be a waste to see it blow up because of a Chaffee that was unnoticed. The protection against bombing and air strikes did not improve in the transition from Tiger I to Tiger II. A Top Amour value of 2 is the maximum found in Flames of War. However it is a good protection even if the air attacks will certainly be more scary since they are one of the few weapons capable of destroying these tanks. 

What may surprise you is that the Tiger II has a mobility comparable to that of the Tiger I. Despite the increased armor and the improved cannon power the Tiger II moves at the Tactical Speed ​​of 10” much like the vast majority of the other German Tanks. Given the impact on the battlefield this tank can have this is a fantastic advantage. If you need to quickly reposition you can also move up to 16 " using Cross Country Dash which is a lot, especially if combined with Blitz and / or Follow Me. It means having the ability to change the direction of attack if you play offense, or reposition a defensive bulwark if playing defense. The performance in the terrain is slightly worse than that of the Tiger II. Not in terms of speed (which remains the same in Terrain Dash, 12 ”) as the value of Cross goes from a 2+ to a 3+. This is a big difference. Of course such a Front Armor allows you not to be forced to exploit the terrain to make it more difficult for the opponent to hit you however sometimes you will be forced to cross a wall or a wood. Bear in mind that one in three tanks will be stuck instead of one in six. Last but not least the Road Dash which is actually slightly penalized in the Tiger II compared to the Tiger I.

Together with the Front Armor, the main gun is the Tiger II's great highlight. Sure, the 88 gun that the Tiger powered is still more than effective in Late War, but it's no longer definitive. The Soviet IS2 and the American Pershing, not to mention the feared Crocodiles are all becoming more common place and have a fair chance of saving shots with an anti-tank value of 14. The Tiger II, on the other hand, is equipped with an 88cm long 71.2 caliber gun (pak43). which gives an anti-tank value of 17 with a range of 48 ”. Unless you have a long-range and very lucky opponent, you shouldn't have much trouble piercing any armor. They were not surprised in terms of ROF (2/1) or Firepower (3+), while you can count on two important MGs for a total of 4 shots, useful in defensive fire.

The Formations
In Bulge: German there are two Tiger II-focused formations, one for the Wehrmacht and one for the Waffen SS. These are very different formations, both in terms of training and in terms of building the formation itself. In the meantime, let's start with training: the differences are substantial. Firstly, the Wehrmacht Tiger IIs are Careful and therefore get hit at 4. When you have a Front Armor of 16 it may not seem particularly important, but it can become vital on three occasions: when you have moved the tank recklessly exposing its flanks, when undergoing an air strike and when assaulting receiving defensive fire. In these cases, being hit on a 4+ or a 3+ makes a big difference. As for the Skill, the Wehrmacht confirms the usual reliability with a value of 3+ as only the best crews have been chosen to command tanks as powerful as the Tiger II. 

Tiger II Tiger II burning bright

As for morale the Tiger IIs can count on a Remount value of 3+ and a Last Stand value of 2+, compared to an average base value of Confident 4+. These tanks are unlikely to stay bailed or fail a last stand test, but beware of assaults because 4+ isn't exactly a very reliable value and could mean you break off for failing to win an assault.

Tiger II Tiger II burning bright

Waffen SS crews are more enthusiastic but less trained. Definitely stands out a morale value equal to 2+ which is impressive. Not only do they pass the tests of Remount and Last Stand at 2+ but also in Counterattack. The SS Tiger IIs are very fearsome in assault. On the other hand, the training is not as good as it is a mediocre Trained 4+. Tackling won't be a problem but it could be hard to land hits as well as pass orders like such as the Blitz. This can be mitigated by having the unit close to Formation HQ to take advantage of the Old Hand rule and use its Veteran 3+ skill. As for the Is Hit On value it will come as no surprise to know that the SS Tiger IIs are Aggressive 3+ like many other Waffen SSs - I think you've gotten used to it by now!

The differences so far compared to determine a slight discount for the SS Tiger II and those of the Wehrmacht. This is about 2.5 points per model for a total of 5 points if we consider a unit of 2 or 6 if we consider a unit of 3. The two formations of Tiger II of Wehrmacht and Waffen SS are quite similar but have a very important difference. Both are made up of a HQ Platoon and a Tiger II Tank Platoon. In addition, both have the possibility of having an anti-aircraft platoon composed of Wirbelwind or Ostwind. The third compulsory platoon is composed in the case of the Wehrmacht by another Tiger II Tank Platoon or by a platoon of Tiger Tank Platoon, while in the case of the Waffen SS by another SS Tiger II Tank Platoon or a 1 Panther (Late) SS Tank Platoon . The biggest difference is in the last platoon, in the only non-compulsory one we’ve not mentioned yet. While in the Wehrmacht's Tiger II formation this slot consists of just another Tiger II Tank Platoon the Waffen SS have a lot of choices. These are not only tanks but also infantry. This slot can consist of Tiger II Tank Platoon, Panther (Late) SS Tank Platoon, Ardennes Fallschirmjager Platoon, Ardennes Amoured SS Panzergrenadier Platoon or SS Panzergrenadier Platoon. The addition of an infantry makes the list much more versatile and harder to break if the infantry is large.

Tiger II Tiger II burning bright

The Role
But what role should the Tiger II play? It must be premised that the minimum unit consists of two tanks and therefore the cost in points is still important, equal to at least one third of the cost of the Force. For this reason, you will hardly be able to deploy more than 2. Although in many respects Tiger II and Elefant are similar (front armor and cannon), the strength of Tiger II is the ability to play both an offensive and a defensive role. The Elefant is a very strong defensive piece, capable of solving many problems even with his presence alone. However, it is almost useless in attack due to the poor Assault and Counterattack values. The Tiger II, on the other hand can attack and assault more easily and thus playing much more aggressively. It therefore adapts both to defensive lists (which however will often have to be built to resist until they arrive from the reserves) and to offensive lists (which, however, will not be able to deploy a very high number of tanks). Whatever role you entrust to the Tiger II however it will always give you great satisfaction.

Last Updated On Thursday, July 7, 2022 by Luke at Battlefront