German Light Machine Guns

Much of my reading and compared to other rules sets, Combat HQ doesn’t seem to take into account that German platoons and squads tended to have a larger number of light machine guns in their mix.

Are we just lumping the use of light machine guns such as the Bren, MG34, DMP, and BAR into the platoon?

Here are my thoughts:

Standard German infantry units can often be over-rated in games. When you look at the use of Brens, DMPs and BARs by other nationalities, there’s really not that much difference in the firepower deployed.

Small unit tactics did vary, but not significantly enough to give the Germans an advantage and so all Regular units are rated at FP 5D.

Platoons without light machine guns are rated with FP 4D to reflect their reduced firepower.

German Training

However, it can be argued that the Germans (at least until heavy casualties on the Russian Front took their toll) were better trained than other infantry and were able to make the most of their equipment.

The best way to model more efficient German infantry is to increase their training level to Veteran or War Weary Veterans. The War Weary Veteran training level can also be used to represent better-trained troops. Just rename it to Well-Trained Regulars and it’s easy to model most early war German infantry.

Unit Equipment and Statistics

Panzergrenadiers and other units with a higher proportion of LMGs are more likely to cause suppressions on the enemy. These units are given the Firepower Suppression ability which allows them to suppress their target unless it rolls more 6s than the firing unit. This nicely models the suppressive effects of the increased number of LMGs.

Panzergrenadiers with a 251/1 SPW gain Firepower Suppression plus a +1D FP from the MGs firing from the half-track. They also move faster and gain +1 RD from the half-track.

US armoured infantry have .30-cal machine guns and gain the Firepower Suppresssion ability.

When transported in M3 half-tracks the US armoured infantry move faster and gain +1 RD. If transported in M3s with a .50-cal machine guns, they gain +1D FP.

Rifle Platoons

Platoons without LMGs (rare in World War Two)

  • Range: 4/8/16
  • FP: 4D

Platoons with LMGs (Germans, Commonwealth, Italian, Soviet, etc)

  • Range: 4/8/16
  • FP: 5D

Panzergrenadiers with “extra” LMGs

  • Range: 4/8/16
  • FP: 5D
  • Notes: Firepower Suppression

Panzergrenadiers + 251/1 SPW

  • Range: 4/8/16
  • FP: 6D
  • Notes: Firepower Suppression

German Infantry with Assault Rifles (StG 44)

  • Range: 3/6/12
  • FP: 5D
  • Notes: +2D at Short Range and Close Assault

SMG Platoons

  • Range: 2/4/8
  • FP: 4D
  • Notes: +2D at Short Range and Close Assault

US Platoons (M1 carbines and BARs)

  • Range: 4/8/16
  • FP: 5D
  • Notes: +1D at Short Range and Close Assault

US Armoured Infantry (M1s and .30-cal MGs)

  • Range: 4/8/16
  • FP: 5D
  • Notes: Firepower Suppression

About Jim Bambra

Jim has designed and developed a wide variety of games such as Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Warhammer 40,000, Star Wars Miniatures, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Dungeons and Dragons, Star Frontiers, GURPS, Star Wars, and TORG. In addition to tabletop games, Jim has also developed games for PCs and consoles: Special Forces, Warzone 2100, Conflict: Desert Storm I & II, the Great Escape, Conflict: Vietnam, and Conflict: Global Storm, amongst others.

Combat HQ is his latest set of rules. It grew out of Jim’s desire to play a fast moving World War Two miniatures game that not only required him to make decisions as an army commander, but also contained sufficient detail to capture the intricacies and complexities of World War Two combat in an entertaining manner.

Jim lives in Fuerteventura where he plays a wide range of games from miniature wargames to video games. In his spare time he likes to read, teach Aikido and go walking with his dogs.

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