Saturday, 14 September 2013

Brett's Post - Fallschirmjäger... A new army!

Fallschirmjäger... A new army!

With Paul setting me up nicely in his last two posts I guess I better find the keyboard and tap out something... and here it is!

So I've been playing the gung ho yank with occasional forays with reluctant German blood guts and glory lists and decided after a year and a bit of Flames of War to try something quite different and something that I crafted from scratch. 

a reluctant trained german if ever I saw one!

The yanks were purchased off trademe so I don't feel a vested interest in what happens to them, not like Scott who wouldn't commit his panthers when he first painted them in case he got them shot. 

I decided I wanted to lavish a bit of tlc into this army and feel the pain every time one of my miniatures got popped. Or hesitate to commit them because they might get shot...

Why cool FJ's you ask...  Well the interest has been lying dormant for years, along with Rommel they always seemed to pique my interest.

The Eagle has landed was one of my favorite movies as a boy... which left me thinking Fallschirmjägers were cool and played with honor... definitely expect to throw sixes with these boys.

Finally I've been reading It never snows in September which provides the German perspective for the market garden campaign... Lots of scenario ideas and cobbled together forces with extraordinary bravery and ruthlessness from both sides.

Along came the new market garden books and as I perused the bridge by bridge book, there in all its glory was the final nail for my inspiration, von der Heydte and panzerfaust ambushes attached to fallschirmjägers.

What to collect and why
I enjoy constructing lists and pondering what to use, how they would play against different opponents and whether I could keep it within respectable historical parameters.

I don't normally graduate towards infantry, too slow, usually defending, slow, defend a lot, not very mobile...  And did I mention defending!

I tend to be a bit impatient and therefore do not develop strong defense lines and I get positively itchy if I'm dancing to someone else's tune...  I like to grab the initiative in my games and get quite possessive about keeping it.

So to my first list
Fearless veteran FJ seem pretty tough but expensive... I also felt they'd be a bit too like playing paras and Paul has that team locked up good and tight.

Also Ersatz FJ feel more in keeping with the forces and fighting mentioned in It never snows in September.  I could also expect a bit more bang for my points buck as it were.

A little platoon by platoon summary of my first list to face Paul

HQ: -  well with this I maxed out on panzerschreks - to give some anti tank punch and a couple of mortars... I figure being able to drop smoke is useful if I need to sneak up if attacking or limit shooting effectiveness, after all being trained means I'm going to be getting hit more often.  155pts gone

Von der Heydte and panzerfaust trap teams, what's not to like - four mini ambushes, in no mans land or deployment area and can assault and VdH can motivate on a 2plus. Also killing them wont impact on any platoons. They also give me something to grab initiative with if I ambush them well.  170 points

A couple of combat platoons, 1 full and 1 short. Obviously the big one to attack with and the smaller one to just hold on wherever it is put. And occasionally to ambush with the big one just to mix it up a little. 360 pts

A 2 mortar weapon platoon, give me some more smoke or some direct fire against dug in infantry if I'm attacking, and at only 55points they're a cheap extra platoon that can be kept out of harms way.

A couple of captured Russian pak36 anti tank guns give me some punch and support for FJ combat platoons. At 65 points they're also quite cheap for an added platoon.

A full strength assault gun platoon, literally the last 5 assault guns in the area and at fearless veteran they'll provide a pretty potent ambush if I'm defending. I'll also make one a stuh42 for its breakthrough gun. Gives me some much needed mobility too. A steep 545 points though.

A good artillery battery of 15cm howitzers, again AT5 is useful against clumped soviet amour and any big pussy cats playing in the backfield, and can always dump some smoke or counter battery fire if tanks are scarce. 205 points

I do like my 88's so grabbed a Luftwaffe flak platoon with 88 and two 3.7cm anti aircraft. Only reluctant trained but pretty useful with the 88 upgraded to ROF3. 110 points with some transport. I have been known to set them up then hop in the trucks and race them somewhere else!

Finally some confident trained recce, tough one this, take these for those games I attack, does give me some more mobility, and an 8th platoon, but the 85 points could be used to max out on panzerfausts in command teams and the smaller FJ combat platoon.

So there is my first list. I'll be striking out at the local forces to see how it handles different combinations and hopefully chart their journey from idea to finished army.

I've sent off an order to battlefront for a few FJ packs and tank hunters to start.

The look of the army
I think this force is going to have a mixed look, lots of thrown together kit and a mix of uniforms as men were thrown together and sent to plug the lines with whatever they could get their hands on. Hence a smattering of captured stuff will find its way into my platoons.

The reading gives a confused picture of the Germans constantly scrambling to put ad hoc formations together! And often just in time.

That seems like my kind of force, now just need to roll 4plus for those annoying storm trooper moves and save lots of hits.

I just noticed in the list I can also have some confident trained panthers... woo hoo I even have them painted so my first unit is done... wait a minute that means I'll have to change the list... :-)




  1. Excellent post Brett, nice one!

    I had wondered why the decision to go Fearless Trained, now I understand.

    Seems like a solid list that will cover many bases... I look forward to trying out my XXX Corp Tanks against them...

  2. Great introduction to your new force. I like the historical angle on the list and the decision to field Fearless Trained. I think they have enough oomph to satisfy your attacking instincts. Often a counter-attack is the last thing the attack expects!

    I'm also really looking forward to seeing the figures completed. An assortment of battered uniforms will lend some character to what can sometimes be rather bland battlefields.

    1. cheers guys, although in amongst my first fj painting, 3 brothers have crept in...

      so I'm now painting up some Brothers for the Brotherhood High Templars of Stormhold... when the muse takes you and all that... so some empire of the dead soon methinks

    2. Excellent!
      I started cutting out the mdf panels for terrace #2 today...

    3. I'm nearly half way through the Lycaons. Make sure there's a dog-door in terrace #2!

    4. LOL, I could get them a set of auto door opening dog collars ;-)

  3. Hi Brett - haven't met but I have been developing an FJ army myself. They are defensive, and I haven't mastered the art with them yet of being aggressive. I have skulking about in woods and villages down, and I like being able to throw ambushes with Von der Heydte and his bevy of independent panzerfausters. My new plan is to add snipers to them as well. I like the Bridge by Bridge lists, the Ersatz FJ list is good because it comes with the half track Recon unit, which I want to use (I think Cassino FJ list has this too). Good ideas with artillary and support platoons that I might explore a bit further.

    Paul and Scott - been head down at work recently, and with a shift to a new place on. Once I am set up in the new place, will see if we can arrange a game.

    1. I occasionally exhibit impulsive aggressive tendencies on the wargames table so will be interesting to see how forgiving the fj are when I flirt with those.

  4. Welcome to the FJ club they are a fantastic army to play and my favourite. The new BbB book is excellent but dont omit Fortress Europe as it does give you the ability to take more armour and be more offensive.

    The trap teams are damn good and you should check out the latest Lessons from the Front which clarifies their deployment rules. Basically you can now put them down on/in anything except the table cloth. They are also especially good at hunting down enemy Artillery and AT guns.

    Look forward to seeing your finished stuff..

    Always happy & keen to talk FJ tactics with you, and Bede Bailey is another FJ fan I think he won NATCON or Masters with them one year.

    "Fallschirmschützen Tretet An "

  5. It never Snows i September is a great read. FJ are m preferred German troops- solid and dependable. Not sure I'd take them trained but big platoons are pretty forgiving. FJ are a great combination of tough and flexible troops!