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Endangered But Dangerous: The Jagdtiger

Endangered But Dangerous: The Jagdtiger
with Luke Glover, NZ Battlefront Office

By most standards the Jagdtiger was a very rare vehicle. Designed and eventually produced, it only made it to the battlefield in small numbers in select units. This Tank-hunter however was in a near complete class of its own. Equipped with one of the most powerful anti-tank guns and sporting more, and heavier, armour than nearly any other German tank produced. The Stats in Flames Of War reflect this and in some cases rivals those of tanks that would be produced in the 1980s! With all this it’s hard not to take a look at what it would take to make a German army based around the biggest and rarest of the German “Cats”.

The Jagdtiger
Before building a list I tend to focus on the key units I'll take( in this case the Jagdtiger) and what sort of strengths it hasand what sort of challenges I can expect using them. Looking at the Jagdtiger Tank-hunter we can see some fairly vicious standouts. The front armour is 17, even higher than the Tiger II. The side armour however is the same as both the Tiger and Tiger II making it far more vulnerable to anti-tank from the sides and when it goes into assault. The top armour is 2 which is in line with most other German tanks making air attacks something that I’ll have to consider. I’ve also got the 4+ hit on rating which is going to be reducing the amount of hits I take in the rare case that things can even damage them.

Endangered But Dangerous: The Jagdtiger

The gun is an impressive Anti-Tank 18 with Fire-power of 2+ and Brutal, making it even better than the Tiger II and almost certain to destroy nearly everything it hits. Aside from another Jagdtiger there just isn’t much in the game that can truly threaten the presence of a Jagdtiger from the front. There are draw backs of course, the slow tactical of 8”, the main gun is also Slow Firing and a cross value of 3+ mean that manoeuvring will be tough and I’m sure to thwarted by streams yet again! Thankfully speed isn’t something I’m used to since my usual army consists of Churchills. If you take nothing but Jagdtigers in formations as well, this will be an expensive formation with even the bare minimum taking well over half your points in a typical 100-point match.

The Jagdtiger lends itself to being a solid firebase of nearly invulnerable (from the front) tank fire. They have 3 MG shots each (one less than most turreted tanks) and certain infantry and guns can threaten them in an assault. My plan at this stage is to play to those strengths, engage armour on my terms and build the rest of my force around aggressively manoeuvring to prevent as many flank shots as possible while hopefully covering some of the things I’ll struggle with the most.

Endangered But Dangerous: The Jagdtiger

Building the Army
With enemy tanks answered for it’s time to look at the rest of the force. With Jagdtigers being so expensive and my resolve to play them carefully I’ll be turning to the Bulge: German Command Cards for a little bit of help.

The 512th Heavy Panzerjäger Battalion 2nd Company is a formation card that changes stats on our Jagdtigers in exchange of course, we get a points discount. -2 per Jagdtiger and -1 for the formation AA tanks. The Motivation stats all drop making counterattack and Last Stand both worse but the discounts I feel will work to my plan. I’ll be relying on a combination of the sheer defensive stats and conservative deployment.

The HQ can lend a re-roll for those times that Last Stand or even bails happen. Hopefully though those will be fairly rare. Also, to strengthen the formation and protect the Jagdtigers from air power I’ll be taking 3 Ostwinds. If  the opponent has planes they will be discouraging Aircraft attacks on the Jagdtigers, otherwise they have a flexible role with light anti-tank/infantry shots they can lend elsewhere. They also get a discount which is a nice bonus.

Endangered But Dangerous: The Jagdtiger

With Jagdtigers and my primary formation all sorted it’s time to look at what points I’ve left to work with and my first stop is infantry. Infantry in Bulge: German can be built in a number of ways. My recent game with Ryan has inspired me to look towards the Brigades. The Assault Panzergrenadiers to be exact. Sporting the StG44 assault rifle and Limited 2 Panzerfausts, all tucked inside Sd Kfz 251 transports, they’re a mobile assault force keen to get stuck in with the other infantry. They’re Aggressive and thus hit on 3+ (along with their transports) but trained and capable of riding their transports into an assault with enemy infantry. The short range and high fire rate of the StG44 ensures that you get close, pin down the enemy and take the least amount of defensive fire you can. With the points I’ve got left over I can make this into a full formation. With the HQ and my choice of a Sd Kfz FlaK platoon. Heck I have the spare points to take two separate platoons!

With this in mind I’ll also be adding 6 of each of the new Sd Kfz 251 FlaKs. My first choice is the Tripple 15mm FlaK Platoon which sports a triple 15mm gun that was originally produced for aircraft. The high fire rate and surprisingly high power of 5+ means it can pull double duty as light armour hunting and absolutely lay down the hits on infantry, maybe even digging a few of them out if I’m lucky. With a platoon of six of them if they are stationary can put out 5 shots each. That is a heck of a lot of machine-gun fire! The 2cm FlaK platoon has similar fire-power and anti-tank but a reduced rate of fire compared to the Tripple 15mm. They are however cheaper and that means I can have room for a little bit more and so I’ve opted for the 12cm Mortar platoon to finish off my points giving me some artillery to put down range and pin some additional infantry. 

Endangered But Dangerous: The Jagdtiger

Also worth mentioning is that all the new Sd Kfz 251s are Dedicated AA of course. With the Allies largely owning the sky at this stage in the war and given how even losing a single Jagdtiger could be fatal if needed a unit could hang back to make sure that they covered in the case of an aircraft attack. The sheer number of shots put out will hopefully destroy or at the very least deter them. If the enemy hasn’t brought any aircraft, I’ve got a hefty amount of machine-gun fire to really push out. All of this rounds out perfectly to a 100-point list.

Endangered But Dangerous: The Jagdtiger

With the full army list in mind my general plan will be to have the Jagdtigers take a defensive and overlooking position with as much line of sight as possible Movement will essentially be relegated to Shoot and Scoot Chances are they won't even be set up in cover unless I feel the absolute need to do so thanks to air threats and flanks. With missions that have reinforcements and ambushes the plan will be to wait it out and see where major anti-tank threats show up and force the opponent to dedicate to responding to the rest of the force. Once enemy armour is on the table I can use my big guns and heavy armour to bully them as needed. With how slow the Jagdtigers I'll have to make early decisions about if I want them to push onto an objective if that is an option at the time.

Endangered But Dangerous: The Jagdtiger

The Assault Panzergrenadiers will move up and try not to take too many risks. If there’s a vulnerable objective being held by infantry the plan will be to push on them but otherwise, they’ll be mobile and able to respond to certain threats as needed. They can also dig in on an objective and go to ground if I need to and rely on the transports MGs and FlaK platoons to lay down the fire. I have a lot of mobility on this wing so if an opponent has ambushes, I’ll be using this to flush them out and force them to deal with a platoon of armoured infantry. I imagine I’ll have some very close and narrow games with mad scrambles to get on the objective.

If I end up taking casualties early in the game it’s going to really hurt so it’s going to be a fun challenge to really balance the need to be aggressive and the not take too many losses too early. My lowish morale on the Jagdtigers, the easy to hit infantry and half-tracks make me vulnerable to mistakes but no list is perfect and these are the drawbacks that make a game fun for the opponent. Despite the cost it's still got diversity of models too along with a low paint count. 

Hopefully you’ve also been somewhat inspired to take a look at the Jagdtiger.  You can build the formation itself in a number of ways taking instead of a 2nd Jagdtiger Platoon with a Panzer IV or StuG and of course there is loads of units and formations you can look at to help you make the most of this powerful tank-hunter.

Last Updated On Friday, July 8, 2022