Review of Panzer Kampfgruppe Starter set for Flames of War

Tista Minis

Posted on August 25 2021

Review of Panzer Kampfgruppe Starter set for Flames of War

Written by:

Jacob
Lack of Foresight Gaming


From 1944 onwards, most German commanders would find themselves fielding hastily assembled groups of whatever troops they could find to hand. These groups, or Kampfgruppe, would be highly adaptable formations, allowing the German commanders to put up a stiff resistance against the advancing allies on all fronts.



In the box you get:

5 Panzer IV medium tanks;

3 Stug assault guns;

2 Tiger I heavy tanks;

3 15cm Nebelwerfers;

2 of the famous 8.8cm Flak36 guns;

1 Armoured Panzergrenadier platoon and 4 Sd.Kfz. 251/1 half tracks.

And the usual assortment of decals, rules, and cards.

 

A hard-hitting, decently balanced force that will easily form the core of any D-day Germans or D-Day Waffen-SS list. A recurring theme with most of the German starters to date is their suitability for other books of the same faction, which we will touch on more in future articles, but lets take a closer look at the contents of the box.

 

The Panzer IV chassis entered service in 1939 and served right through until 1945. Seeing many upgrades from the early years, the Panzer IV H epitomized the German doctrine of mobility and firepower. While it doesn't bring anything spectacular to the table, its 7.5cm gun capable of AT of 11 with a range of 32” and armour slightly worse than the US Sherman at Front 6 and side 4, make it a reliable medium tank that can be taken in large numbers. And while it doesn't feature the useful stabilizer rule like its US counterpart, the higher skill and confidence will allow the Panzer to make better use of the game's movement orders, giving you all you need to take the fight to the enemy. 

 

The Stug G, a turretless assault gun featuring the same gun as the Panzer IV on a slightly more armoured chassis. You may initially find yourself asking why bother, why not just take more Panzer IVs, especially considering the lack of turret makes the gun limited to forward firing; front armour 7 increases your chances to save from the likes of a Sherman 76 that much more, especially if your at 16” or farther away.



 

The Tiger tank, one of the most iconic fighting vehicles of the second world war, and one of the fiercest AFV available in the D-Day supplements. Featuring front armour 9 and side 8, decent mobility for its weight, and a cannon capable of throwing AT 14 shots out to 40” away, the Tiger will give many allied commanders pause. It can as easily form the tip of your armoured thrust or sit back as long range defence, just note that you will be paying a premium for its use as you can easily fit in 4 Panzer IVs for the cost of 2 Tigers.

 

The 8.8cm Flak 36, the very gun adapted for the Tiger I chassis, but mounted on a cruciform platform to allow it to engage air targets. Don’t let this fool you however, it is still a very effective anti tank platform, maintaining the anti tank 14 with the ability to shoot up to 40” away. As a gun team however it is vulnerable to enemy infantry, featuring a 4+ infantry save against hits, i can be quickly overwhelmed by sustained fire. To counter this, try to keep the gun shield between you and the incoming fire, as that will force a firepower check on any failed saves.


The 15cm Nebelwerfer, known also as the Screaming Mimi, fills your artillery needs from this box. As a rocket artillery weapon it makes use of the salvo rule, giving you a much larger area of effect in order to hit and pin the enemy. This does, however, come with the downside of needing to be ranged farther away from friendlies than regular artillery due to the danger close rules, making it harder to capitalize on the pinning effect for use on the assault. Of note, I did find the construction of the launcher itself to be somewhat confusing at first, as it appears the sprue comes with all the options to build it as a 3.7cm Pak 36 as well, so I highly recommend making use of the assembly guide.


Lastly, the Armoured Panzergrenadiers, 7 MG teams and 4 Sd.Kfz.251/1 transports. While it does not field the same variety of firepower as the US armoured platoons, it does outmatch them in sheer machine gun fire, with each stand of infantry able to output 3 shots while stationary and for close tank defence they also can bring panzerfausts or panzerschrecks. With a max range of 4” and limited to 1 slow firing shot per turn, the Panzerfaust punches with a high AT of 12, perfect for defensive fire against an assaulting tank. The panzerschreck features a doubled range and a slightly reduced AT of 11, however depending on the unit and book you can often have 1-3 of these. 

 

The Halftracks themselves are also MG powerhouses, with a stationary or moving ROF of 4, and the option to replace one tracks MGs with a 3.7cm anti tank gun for light tank protection. The best part however is the mounted assault rule, perfecting the art of riding their tracks into close combat; the normally poor assault rating of the transport vehicle is improved depending on how many troops are currently riding in them. If carrying 2 or more stands, the Sd.Kfz. 251/1 hits on a 3+ in assault, protecting your troops from defensive fire and counter assault with its steel hull, allowing you to clear an objective with haste.


While of the models in the box are done in the usual high quality hard plastic affording excellent detail and relatively easy construction, the exception to this is the crew for the Nebelwerfers. They are done in a softer plastic that can sometimes present issues dealing with the flashing. My best advice is to carefully use a sharp knife to shave it off, taking your time to try not to damage any of the detail.

 

 

Find it here at Tistaminis

 

And save 5% of your purchase with code LFG5    

 

Box images courtesy of Battlefront Miniatures

Model photos courtesy of my wife, Breanna

 

Jacob

Lack of Foresight Gaming

More Posts

0 comments

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing