'If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again'
Hey folks, SinSynn here.
The new Blood, Guts and Glory book for Flames of War has literally catapulted the American Tank Destroyer Company to the top of the heap, as far as Late War 'killer lists' are concerned. The recent win at the Adepticon Nationals by Task Force A, combined with a dedicated list from the new book has seen a lot of attention of late.
Dunno what the big deal about Task Force A is, since it's an older list from Turning Tide. Also, the guy who won Nationals wins ALL the FoW tournaments, ever, so whatevs (results are here, for those interested). Axis lists took three spots in the top five, and Best General was an Axis player, so I'm OK with that whole thing.
Be advised that 'sportsmanship' and 'fluffiness' comprise a large part of the overall scores at official FoW events, and the Flames tournament system is beyond awful (also be advised: my opinion), so again, whatevs.
To me, 'best general' is the Tournament winner. End of story.
I'm not particularly concerned about American TD companies, since I'm fairly sure Battlefront will be nerfing them.
Why? Using your recce move, followed by a double time to place your security section right in your opponent's face and then springing the TD's is...pretty foul, I gotta say. Not particularly game-breaking, though.
What is game-breaking is that they can still spring the TD's even if you shoot the entire security section DEAD.
That's right- Tanks Destroyers pop outta burning jeeps, can deploy six inches forward from said jeeps (ambush rules apply), and get their full Rate of Fire...with AT 13.
Excuse me while I make this face:
Please fix this, Battlefront.
No, my issues with B, G & G start with this guy:
|*Say hello to the Easy Eight. Iz magic, apparently*|
In addition to the standard three MG's that every Sherman tank enjoys (a platoon of 4 devours infantry in the open), the Easy Eight comes with so many special rules that it requires an additional line for it's Easy Army entry.
-Detroit's Finest: This tank moves 14 inches, instead of the standard 12, in open country and on roads.
-Smooth Ride: Can use Stabilizers with NO PENALTY (RoF 2) if it only moves six inches.
-Protected Ammo: Re-roll attempts to re-mount a bailed tank.
-Tank Telephones: Grants 'Eyes and Ears' to adjacent Infantry teams so they can remove Gone to Ground.
-Wide Tracks: Free a bogged-down tank immediately on a roll of 4up and continue your movement.
-Stabilizers: Fire at full RoF, with a +1 penalty to hit, after moving the full distance allowed.
Oh, and the main gun is AT 13.
For the record, the Front Armor on a Tiger Tank is 9, and a Panther is Front Armor 10.
Excuse me while I make this face:
Admittedly, this makes me a lil' sad, but just a lil.'
Whatevs, they're still FA 7, so a Panzer IV or Stug can still kill them, and they clock in at 55 points more than a standard Sherman for Confident Trained tanks, which cost 415 points for a platoon of five. This makes the final cost of an Easy Eight about 138 points.
So, kinda a lotta points to spend on a FA 7 tank. Sort of a risky investment to maybe kill a Tiger or Panther.
Or, at least it would be, if it wasn't for this guy:
|*Say hello to the M4 Jumbo. Iz sooper magic!*|
This thing comes with a special rule entitled 'Jumbos lead the way,' which means it sucks up the first hit from any enemy platoon, instead of the tank with the lowest armor rating.
The Jumbo is Front Armor 12, by the way.
At long range, a Panther can only bail it. That's IF the American player rolls a 1, AND the attacker passes his firepower test.
Americans can mix and match these tanks in their platoons. Since most medium tanks have AT 10 or 11 guns, this is a problem. A platoon of four Panzer IV's or Stugs roll up and throw four dice, needing 4's (trying to hit Trained enemies at long range).
The first hit goes on the Jumbo, and is nullified. Boooooooo!
Ah, but I hit one of the other tanks, right?
Sorry, the 1ic is in a Jumbo. He decides to join the platoon.
In most cases, a smart American player will bring two Easy Eight's, a Jumbo and a standard Sherman in their platoons. Hey, maybe you'll get lucky and kill or bail the regular Sherman if you do sneak a hit through, huh?
Are you an Axis player who liked to run a Panzer Kompanie, without paying for overpriced, under performing Panthers, Jagdpanthers, and King Tigers?
Join me in making this face:
Your medium tank list just got buried.
|*Y U NO haz AT 13, lil' Panzer IV? Oh, wait...that can only bail a Jumbo. Magic is da suck*|
The only Axis tank that can compete in the sub-185 point category (the cost of a Confident Vet Panther) is the Panzer IV/70 (A) and (B), a tank destroyer available in a specialized list in Grey Wolf.
The IV/70 (A) has Front Armor 8, the IV/70 (B) has Front Armor 9. Both come equipped with AT 14 main guns (woot!), and cost 135 points for the (A) model, and 150 points for the (B) model.
Why so cheap?
They're slow tanks (eight inch move), and they're overloaded (they bog on roll of one or two).
Sigh. I suppose it's still workable- you can pack a lotta these tanks into a list at 1500 or more points, and they have some interesting support options, like Zrinyi II assault gun.
Now, if only I liked the model for the Panzer IV/70....
|*Uh...no. They called it 'Guderian's Duck.'*|
So, since my own medium Panzer Kompanie has been wiped from the table repeatedly already, and the Ultimate Rival is bragging about being 6 and O with his new list from B, G & G, what's an Axis Tanker to do, short of bitch, moan and complain?
I mean, uh...besides bitch, moan and complain, naturally.
The Ultimate Rival's current list features two of the 'can't touch this' Jumbo/Dual Easy Eight/Sherman platoons, a platoon of 'poof! it's magic!' M10 tank destroyers, the 1ic in a Jumbo, the 2ic in an Easy Eight, and six- count 'em...SIX... M4A3 105's.
The M4A3's have Detroit's Finest, and Protected Ammo, and Breakthrough Guns, and they can Bombard (AT 4, 4+ fire power)...Six of them use the double-wide template or re-roll hits, in fact.
Must. Not. Make. That. Face. Again...
|*Special Delivery for the Ultimate Rival*|
I'm not one for the Reluctant Trained Panther list from B, G & G, to be honest. I find it hysterical that while Axis players are freaking out about the American Tank Destroyer list, the Allies are all in a tizzy about this. Neither of these lists can do much of anything but stare angrily at dug in infantry, really.
The Ultimate Rival's list utilizes all of the new B, G & G special rules and creates a perfect storm of armor. -The entire M10 platoon counts as recce, always- even after the TD's spring.
-The 105's can bombard, or run up and use the Breakthrough guns on infantry.
-Every tank in the list has an AA machine gun on it.
-Jumbos suck up hits on the two tank platoons.
-There's tons of AT 13 (M10's and Easy Eights), and a bunch of special movement and ambush rules.
...Ugh, just ugh.
Welp, after da bitching, moaning and complaining (example: the Ultimate Rival is a big ol' jerk, and his list is OP), and possibly threats (example: Oh, yeah? Well, the Battle of the Bulge book is coming! And I'm buying 10 Panthers!), Axis Tankers are gonna have to make some concessions.
- AT 14+ is now pretty much mandatory.
- More aggressive maneuver is required- Jumbos are Side Armor 8- AT 11 (Panzer IV's, Stugs) will do.
- Artillery with AT 4 or better is something to consider more seriously now. Nebs are not enough of a threat.
- The Trained lists from Grey Wolf (SS Wiking and the aforementioned Panzer IV/70's) are looking better.
- Better dust off those Hornisse models, if ya got 'em. Figure out how to keep 'em alive, too.
|*Take a giant gun. Mount on treads. Garnish with bushes*|
The new American tanks in Blood, Guts and Glory are pretty nasty, and the once-mighty Panther has been reduced to 'annoying at best,' it seems. They die from the front now, to tanks that cost less.
I'm still experimenting, but I'm leaning towards a Danish Wiking list, myself.
-1ic, 2 ic in Panthers
-4 Panzer IV's
-4 Panzer IV's
-2 AA halftracks
I hafta rely on the Panthers and Panzer IV's to stop enemy tanks, including the new Yanks. The rest will aid in dealing with Infantry/Mech lists.
I better get used to being shot on 3's.
I'm gonna make this face for a while:
*crosses fingers and hopes for upgrades in the next Late War book*
Until Next time, folks- Exit with catchphrase!