Friday, 19 October 2012

Continued Tales of Woe - Getting the rules right for Gepanzerte PanzerGrenadiers

Over the last year I have played this force quite extensively, and have often fallen foul of misinterpretations of the rules concerning them, basically what they can and cant do.

I put the following to the Flames of War main Forum, but thought it a good idea to keep here too as a reference.

STATUS - this platoon is essentially an infantry platoon, with its own armoured transport teams (open topped armoured; 1,0,0).

The German special rule "mounted assault" means these transports may remain on the table even when empty and fire on the enemy with their hull mounted MG.

When the transports have passenger teams, things 'get interesting':

From the German special rule "Mounted Assault" in V3:

"When carrying passengers. a Mounted Assault Transport is treated as a Tank team for everything except Platoon Morale checks. If it is carrying two or more Passenger teams, it also has Tank Escorts"

Infantry teams mount and dismount as per rules on v3 p46-7. I believe this is self explanatory.

But it should be noted that it is possible to Storm trooper out of and into transports as well. This can be useful when the transport becomes bailed or bogged down, circumstances permitting. Though see later for issues regarding 'Bailed', as there is normally something else that may then occur, such as auto remount, or halftracks Sent to Rear.

Calling half tracks forward 'from the rear' to mount troops is covered adequately in v3 p 48, but it should be noted that on the turn they are brought forward in this way, they may not shoot nor assault, though can storm trooper move.

Another point - half tracks are quick on roads; 18", but very slow through any slow going; 4", including steep hills, cornfields woods and the like. They can cross linear obstacles and require a bog check to do so.

As a tank team, for veteran troops, this gives the platoon a command range of 8" between vehicles. (This gives the platoon plenty of room to spread out to avoid template weapons). However if the platoon is also comprising dismounted infantry, or empty transport teams, then any link to an infantry or empty transport team will be at the regular 6" range for veteran troops.

Any command 'tank' team that becomes bogged down, or bailed out, may at the end of the step, take over any other 'tank' team in the platoon in command range. Any Higher command tank team may take over any 'tank' team from the company. (v3 p105)

The vehicle is fitted with a hull mounted MG ROF 3.
With one passenger team, they may also fire the 'passenger fired' AA MG, giving a further die to shooting in addition to hull MG.

With two or more passenger teams (they can carry up to 5), they then count as having 'Tank Escorts'. This means they get a further die to shooting. If one of the passengers teams has a Panzerschrek (actual Panzerschrek team or Tank Hunter team from Lehr) then this weapon can fire as the Tank Escort team, at ROF 1, with no penalty for the vehicles moving, although the Tank Hunter team which is Normally ROF1, would be at a -1 to hit, if Halftrack moves. Panzerfaust teams still cannot shoot from halftrack if halftrack moves. [v3 p 200] - the summary box on p201 stating the vehicle can move no more than 6" if the tank escort is to fire is INCORRECT.

BEING SHOT AT: [v3 p101]
If the platoon is fired upon, it will be Pinned if it suffers Five or more hits as per normal rules

In addition, if it suffers a destroyed halftrack, any passengers teams get a 5+ passenger save, any survivors "dismount under fire" [again v3 p104], and the platoon becomes Pinned.

At the end of the shooting step - If the platoon suffers any Bailed or Destroyed half tracks, the platoon must take a Motivation test.

If it fails, all half tracks are immediately sent to the rear, with teams dismounting under fire as before.
If it passes, all bailed out half tracks immediately remount, ceasing to be Bailed out.

(Tactical tip - try and deal with enemy AT weapons before advancing your half tracks as although armoured, they will suffer greatly from anything but small arms fire. Or make sure you move so as to be out of line of sight of such weapons).


The whole idea of armoured transports was getting troops 'safely' through enemy fire, as such they wont stop for artillery fire if they can still move. This is dealt with here:

Armoured transports roll saves as for normal armoured tank teams. However if they only suffer a Bailed out result - they automatically remount.
If a Transport is destroyed by artillery fire then the passengers get their 5+ passenger save and 'dismount under fire' [v3 p101], and the platoon becomes Pinned down.

(Tactical tip - this makes the platoon quite hardy to getting through light artillery fire, eg, mortars that are only FP6, especially when well spread out to minimise teams under the template. I would still be wary of heavier artillery fire - watch out for those medium/heavy artillery observers and AOPs )

This issue has caused much confusion in our past games.

From pinned [v3 p104].

Warriors (eg CiC or 2iC) cannot be pinned down in themselves and are only pinned down when they have joined a platoon that is pinned down. However, as they leave the platoon at the end of the step, they then cease to be pinned down.

When the platoon is pinned, it should be noted that dismounted infantry teams are affected as regular infantry. They may not move closer to enemy teams in LOS and may not move into LOS of other enemy teams.
(What you may be able to do with them is move them so that they can mount up into halftracks from the same platoon, that are behind them, thus moving away from the enemy)
The half tracks themselves being armoured teams, whether empty or occupied, may move freely.

So this means if your platoon is all mounted up, it can ignore being pinned for movement purposes. If it contains dismounted infantry, these may be able to remount a nearby transport and continue with the rest of the mounted platoon (see mounting up v3 p46). Or the infantry teams may be left behind as the rest of the vehicles move on (so long as platoon commander is still mounted and is moving with more than half the platoon - see command and movement v3 p66-7)

Armoured vehicles still fire at full effect whether pinned or not. There is no reduction in ROF. It is my opinion that passenger fired AA MG or Tank Escort fire would not be adversely affected by the vehicle being pinned either, as they are considered part of it (the vehicle) and not separate to it, whilst mounted.

Dismounted infantry teams would suffer adversely to their shooting for being pinned, though for MG teams (typical of panzergrenadiers) this is a drop from 3 to 2 shots per team.

(Tactical tip - even if the platoon is pinned, with a formation of half tracks and dismounted infantry, they can give out a huge volume of fire, normally sufficient to stop any infantry assault.)


The key to understanding this next section, with an eye to the German special rule "Mounted Assault" - is that once the infantry teams have mounted their transports - they effectively cease to be infantry teams in transports - the two merge to become a 'tank' team.

Consequently, as a tank team they may make an assault move as other armoured teams can do.

Now, this is the only contentious ' issue' I can find, and that is regarding whether the platoon can make an assault if it is pinned.

If a platoon contains infantry teams and it is pinned, it may not make an assault.

However as noted above, if the infantry in the GPg platoon are ALL mounted up, then the platoon does not contain Infantry teams - only Tank teams. So it should be able to ignore being pinned, and assault. (That is my opinion and understanding)

But consequently, if even one infantry team is dismounted, the platoon then also contains infantry teams and if pinned, then the whole platoon, may not assault.

It should be noted, as mentioned in the German Mounted Assault special rule, that since the vehicles are classed as open topped armoured, the platoon will be forced back by defensive fire if the platoon takes 5 hits or suffers 2 or more bailed/destroyed vehicles.

Other points to note:

As a 'Tank' team, they cause tank terror

During a counter attack the passengers may counter attack out of the halftrack, or stay in them, at the players discretion, but if they leave the half track at this point, it is Sent to the Rear.

Having Tank Escort, means they get up to two attacks per half track with two or more teams on board. Also with Tank Escorts - they can assault into difficult terrain, without having to take a bog/skill check if only the Tank escort team attacks.

Also if a half track is bogged or bailed out, the tank escort may still attack teams within 2" during the assault/counter attack.

If the platoon is all mounted up, it may break off through the enemy platoon, like a tank platoon can do.

As a final point at the end of the Assault step, any Half tracks that are Bailed out that have no passenger teams on board are immediately sent to the rear. Whereas if they are bailed out with passengers onboard they automatically remount.

Aircraft can pose a threat to your GPgs. Whilst you can hide from AT guns you can't always hide from aircraft.

Remember since they are a template weapon staying spread out can minimize their impact.

The half tracks are fitted with a passenger fired AA MG so if mounted up, each half track can fire on aircraft. The MG in the AA role has a 24" range, and a single shot per vehicle requiring a skill check (3+ for veterans), and then a firepower test to destroy a plane - requiring a 6. So with a platoon of four vehicles, even with attached elements from the GPg HQ, don't expect to shoot down too many ground attack aircraft!

Remember AOPs can be targeted by AA fire by any platoon in range of it, not just the one receiving the AOPs attention! You might just get lucky here and knock it out of the game as they don't come back once shot down.

The aircraft's air strike, if they hit the platoon, are resolved much like an artillery strike. The GPg platoon can be pinned if any half-tracks or dismounted infantry teams are hit, and the effects of pinning on the platoon have been discussed as above.

Remember the loss of the halftrack transports does not adversely affect the platoon, only the loss of infantry teams need be considered.

I hope the above proves useful, and if I have anything wrong or have missed any relevant points please shout up.

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