Review of Panther Kampfgruppe starter set for Flames of War

Tista Minis

Posted on September 21 2021

Review of Panther Kampfgruppe starter set for Flames of War

Review of Panther Kampfgruppe starter set for Flames of War

Written By Jacob Hopkins

 

 
The Waffen-SS fielded some of Germany's most fanatical troops during the second world war. Paired with some of the best the equipment that German industry could provide, the Waffen-SS quickly became some of the most feared combat troops of the third reich. However, this reputation didn’t always live up to the reality, much of the SS divisions present during the invasion of Normandy were refitting or training fresh troops.

In the box you get;
5 Panther tanks
2 Tiger tanks
2 Pume 5cm scout cars
3 Sd.Kfz 250 scout cars
2 Pak 43 8.8cm guns
1 Armoured reconnaissance platoon
with 5 Sd.Kfz 250 halftracks

This set is perfect for representing troops from the defense of Italy, to the Invasion of Normandy, and all the way out to the Eastern front!

The premier German medium tank of the second world war, the Panther. Featuring excellent front armour, high powered gun, and decent mobility now that the early production teething problems have been worked out. How does this look in game? Well in D-Day Waffen SS, the panther comes in at front armour 9, side armour 5, and AT 14, all packed into a decently fast chassis that crosses on a 2+. You won't struggle to get these where they need to go, but you will have trouble fitting enough into a list at the points as 5 aggressive fearless SS ones will set you back 44 points!
 
As in the Panzer Kampfgruppe, the Tiger is the top of the line German heavy tank in the D-day books.There is not a Lot to add about them here, same excellent kit with great detail. What I will point out is that for a negligible points increase, the waffen-ss tigers are rated Fearless, veteran, careful over their D-day German counterparts so may well be the hard hitting punch one needs.


The Sd.Kfz 234, sometimes called the Puma, is one of the most iconic German scout cars in the game. Featuring the speed, but limited cross country abilities of a wheeled platform, but sporting a decent weapons selection with either the rapid fire 2cm cannon, or the medium AT of the 5cm cannon. However, these are not the real selling point, these are simply bonuses on top of the spearhead rule which allows you, in many missions, the ability to greatly expand your deployment area.


As to the model kit itself, you will see that there are three different ways to build this kit. First as either the 2cm or 5cm scout car variant, and secondly as the 7.5cm gun carriage, which is an excellent boost to a recon sections anti tank capabilities with its HEAT cannon hitting our to 24’ with AT 9 and ignoring the drop in AT at range.
 

The Sd.Kf 250 scout section, which can be used alongside the Pumas as a second formation support choice. Like the Pumas, these are reliable, mobile gun platforms with a high ROF, sacrificing some of the raw speed of the puma for increased cross country performance. Also like the puma, the main reason you want to take these, is likely the spearhead rule, but don’t count them out after that, the 2cm cannon has good ROF at 3 halted, 2 on the move; pared with firepower 5+ these can be a useful tool to shift dug in infantry.
 

One of the big differences between this set and the Panzer set (aside from the Panthers of course) is that this set doesn't come with Artillery. Rather you get the Pak 43 with its long barreled 8.8cm gun as used on the Konigstiger (hopefully coming soon!). For the cost of 9 points, you get 2 gun teams that have 4+ saves, bulletproof cover from the front thanks to the gun shields special rule, and a gun that hits at a whopping AT 17 out to 48”. There are not many vehicles on the table that can stand up to that, even the soviet IS-2 will be hard pressed at long range and will have to risk being ripped apart to get close enough to take you out.
 
Much like the armoured panzergrenadier platoon of the Panzer Kampfgruppe, this squad of infantry is pure MG teams mounted in excellent German halftracks. However it is a smaller overall size, coming in at only 5 MG teams total, with no optional Panzershrek; at first glance one might question why you would want these over the panzergrenadiers. The selling point is that unlike the panzergrenadiers, which come 2 teams to a halftrack, the recon grenadiers are mounted one squad to a halftrack, granting you overall more MG fire as each track brings 4 shots total. With the command track having the usual option of a 3.7cm anti tank gun, these smaller tracks can be a deadly wall of fire whether on the offensive or dug in defending.
 
So, what does this leave the player with? A hard hitting and fairly mobile force capable of engaging and defeating most allied armour. But it also is a small and fragile core that may struggle to deal with defensive infantry forces as it lacks dedicated artillery. This starter set works best as a second purchase to a set like the D-Day Panzer Kampgruppe or the Bagration Tank-hunter set, however if your dead set on making this your first purchase, I would highly suggest picking up at least a unit of artillery, and or another infantry unit of either the armoured panzer grenadier or the recon grenadier; As this will allow you to field the core of the army being an armoured infantry formation backed up by the heavy hitting tanks, allowing you to have a more resilient core formation.

Find it here at Tistaminis
And save 5% with code LFG5
Box images courtesy of Battlefront Miniatures
Model photos courtesy of my wife, Breanna
 
Jacob
Lack of Foresight Gaming

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