Aufklärungs Gruppe

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    Nicholas Ellis

    Could someone please explain to me how the Aufklärungs Gruppe squad works please. Its available in the Western desert Campaign as an Armoured Car slot but the Aufklärungs Gruppe actually can consist of 3-5 cars. I’ve heard several explanations on how they would work i.e. One order dice to activate all vehicles together which remain within 3″ of each other, to each vehicle of the Gruppe actually getting a separate order dice and are free to move in whatever direction they wish. Any help/ advice would be much appreciated. Cheers


    I understand its a vehicles platoon, every unit works separattely

    Nicholas Ellis

    thx Alister


    Our group had the same question.

    Some people say they play as one slot giving you six kubels (and 6 orders) that then all can run around independently.
    When considering this does not count as an armored platoon and you can massively abuse this playing 2 platoons with well over 20 order dice while not completely crashing your points we decided to go another way.

    We interpreted (or house ruled I guess) that, the intent was to have a squad of vehicles that act together, not just a loophole to bring a bunch of buggies without counting as an armored platoon.

    We ruled the whole unit counts as 1 unit and generates 1 order dice. all cars need to be within 1″ of each other and still move like wheeled vehicles. When taking damage we simplified the process like so: penetration roll of ‘6’ murders a car (no rolls on damage results) – think veteran infantry with gun shields. you also test for critical hits/sniping and may be eligible to snipe a certain type of wagen. further more we applied morale rules to them, just like infantry being affected for taking losses.

    the one game we played this worked very well, very interesting option.

    if played as a bunch of individual cars I could see abuse lingering around every corner – maybe someone from HQ can either enlighten us, or someone who played (preferably AGAINST) this unit can give insight on how it worked as swarm of individuum’s.

    Nicholas Ellis

    Yeah I heard both sides to this. Maybe Eric Fontaine or someone else from Warlord Games might be able to help out on this matter. It’s frustrating, Western Desert Campaign has been out a while now and there are so many holes in the rules but nothing has been addressed. I prefer the Armour platoon version of the rules I must admit.
    With regards to your house rules having to keep your cars all within 1″ of each other is pretty harsh, I would say 3″ would be better (like multiple transports for an Infantry squad). If I don’t get an answer form Warlord on here I will try e-mailing direct.
    But thx for your help and input


    yeah, I’m not sure, we may have played 2″ gap, 3″ sounds good too, same principal.

    yeah an official word would be nice.

    how do you guys came to call it an armored platoon, as its just an armored car slot in selectors? (this being my main criticism about this entry too)

    Nicholas Ellis

    I havent run it yet, but an Armoured platoon fits the profile better I think. As there is a Command vehicle included in the selection to start with it makes more sense in my eyes.
    The only outher issue I have with this is the Recon Vehicle rule everyone is assuming that it means Recce? I cant see anything in the main rulebook that describes this rule.

    Stuart Harrison

    Another issue is why does it have a command vehicle? Command vehicles only provide a bonus to friendly armoured vehicles, it’s useless to the rest of the gruppe. This is one of those entries where the more you look at it, the more issues it raises.

    Nicholas Ellis

    The normal command vehicle rule only effects armoured vehicles. But in this case the Command vehicle of the Gruppe effects all units in the Aufklärungs Gruppe and the Krad motorbike units (within 12″ I think). So it is actually relevent for the unit
    After all these questions and replys I was hoping that Someone from Warlord Games would have shown an interest and given their take on things.
    Come on Warlord…..

    Eric Fontaine

    It gets one order die and works similar to a bike squad when mounted.

    Getting a half dozen order dice for less than 300 pts would heavily slant the initiative in your favor and give you a bunch of units to either hide, or zoom in an take a bunch of objectives, or rack a half dozen pins and still have a whole army to do what the opponent is struggling to do. Referencing the back of the Core rule book for units that couldn’t fit in a bren could spit across two brens to transport the unit… the two brens would share the same order die…similar concept.

    Also personal opinion, Campaign lists are not completely balanced due to weapon and unit selections when compared to lists from the Armies of books, so if playing competitively this is something a TO should consider when setting tournament restrictions or not.

    Nicholas Ellis

    Hey Eric,

    Thanks for clearing that up. Could you also clear up what the Recon Vehicle special rule is please?
    So just to confirm, one order dice for the Gruppe, all vehicles must remain within 3″ of each other like the Bren carriers transporting one infantry unit. I’m also guessing they have to fire at the same target too?

    Thanks for replying


    Thank you Eric,

    So then we played it close to intent.

    to follow up Nicholas question:
    – 3″ gap between the cars?

    – do they still move as armored cars or like infantry/motorbikes?
    – how do they take damage (see my earlier post)?
    – are they affected by exceptional damage and morale like other infantry?

    Mat Sheffield

    Sorry for being late to the party, but this is plainly a ridiculous situation, and some common sense needs to be applied. There are two issues here.

    First, in regards the number of Order Dice and how the unit(s?) works.

    Second, in regards Recce.


    The first point is easy to answer: The Aufsklarung Gruppe should run with 3-5 dice (depending on how many Kubelwagons you want). With respect to Eric, I don’t see how you can argue otherwise.

    I will give you four reasons.

    1. The first is a historical reason, which is contained within the Western Desert book itself. In the book there are 4 selectors for the DAK in 1941 and 3 selectors for the DAK in 1942. The missing selector for the latter year is the DAK Recon Platoon. The Aufklarungs Gruppe is described quite clearly as the replacement for the Recon Platoon in those later selectors, as the role and function of said platoons changed when the DAK was restructured. Rather than the dedicated platoons of armored cars with limited Infantry support, the same role was instead done with the Kubelwagons. It makes sense to think of this way in thematic terms.

    2. That’s why the Aufsklarung Gruppe has a command vehicle and looks like an armoured platoon. It’s not a squad of vehicles with an NCO at all, but actually IS an armored-platoon-in-miniature.

    It’s plainly designed to function the same way as, say, 5 tanks, but because Kubelwagons simply don’t justify an armoured selector of their own, they take up a single armored car slot instead. This is easily the most logical reading of the unit entry, surely?, even if Stuart Harrison is quite right, and technically Kublewagons aren’t “armored vehicles” at all because they’re softskins. 😉

    The point is that they’re a mini-platoon, not a squad, and like any other platoon in the game they function independently.

    3. Perhaps most critically the reason it needs more than a single dice is that if it were one squad, with one dice shared between them, then it creates a series of paradoxes and problems that the core game mechanics simply can’t deal with. A few examples include..

    A: The fact that aside from Spotters, there are no rules for multiple units sharing a single dice. Even horses and mules get their own dice. It’s the central mechanic of the game.

    B: The core rule book explicitly says all vehicles, including transports, are independent units with their own dice. You don’t need to infer it. Page 113 of the rulebook says: “Vehicle units always consist of a single model”. There is no reason to treat Aufsklarung any differently.

    C: The reason that’s the case is obvious, as what happens when one of the Kubelwagons is forced to go Down as a result of damage? Do they all go down? What happens if you immobilize one, is that specific wagon destroyed, or are all 5 immobile? How does that work?

    D: The fact that the command range is 6″, and can only affect other Kubels and Kradschutzen, plainly expects the unit to be more spread out than a unit coherence of 3″. If you take 5, a 3″ coherence around the command vehicle means they have to travel as one, rather unwieldy, blob. That’s not even touching the question of why, if they have to remain so close at all times, you’d bother having a command vehicle at all? It’s nonsense. You don’t expect other tanks in an armoured platoon to stay within the command range of the command tank at all times.

    E: How would a unit like that move when they move through different types of terrain? If one Kubelwagon is on a road, one on grass and one in a forest, what speed do they go at? What if the majority are on a road? There’s good reason vehicles are all independent.

    And there’s a whole bunch more reasons it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, work.

    You avoid all of these problems if an Aufsklarung Gruppe is treated as 5 separate units, with 5 separate dice, and that get a command bonus from being near the leader, but don’t have to be…

    Y’know, exactly like an armoured platoon…….

    And last of all on this point;

    4. There’s simply no reason to ever take them if they share a dice! They’d be terrible. Genuinely they’d be one of the worst and least useful units in the game. Around 200+ points for one target, which is a softskin vehicle that will struggle to move anywhere, that will be destroyed easily by HE, and doesn’t even do much damage with 3 MMGs and 4 rifles….

    Then we have ‘Recon Vehicle’.

    Personally, I think it should be Recce, but I also accept it clearly isn’t Recce, and that from a purely RAW perspective you don’t get it. (despite, I note, what Easy Army thinks).

    I’m inclined to agree with Eric on this point at least because, for the points, having 5 recce softskins that function independently is probably a bit too good, but I don’t think it’s game-breakingly so.

    There are plenty of other armies out there with jeeps (always jeeps!) and units like them flying all over the table with Recce, for comparable points, so why can’t Germany have a piece of the pie? It’s annoying way more than it is powerful.

    They definitely need something though.

    It’s an easy fix for warlord with one of two solutions.

    1. Give them Recce. Or, give them Recce at a minor points increase (say, 5-10 points per model?).

    2. Give them something else that makes them unique instead, so they have a distinct purpose. I was informed by people from DownOrder podcast that ‘Recon Vehicle’ was a legacy rule from the drafts of V1, and was meant to work like a less-powerful version of Recce in the V1 ruleset, which was by all accounts too powerful.

    It’s not such an issue now though.


    Mat Sheffield

    I should add that I understand it’s a campaign unit and that it doesn’t need to be balanced for tournament play. I’m not arguing that it should be amazing, simply that it reflects its historical and game purpose properly.

    As you can only take them in 1942 selectors from western desert, and of those, only one selector lets you take more than 1, I don’t think the concern of people spamming them is justified. 😉

    Mat Sheffield

    Also, the Bren Comparison doesn’t work, for three reasons.

    1. The Brens are transports, with a transport capacity, the Aufklarungs Kubelwagons aren’t.

    2. The Brens have to stay together because they are transporting a single unit, when they aren’t, they don’t, and would therefore presumably revert back to two dice..

    3. The rules for this are somewhat experimental, or unofficial, anyway…. They are in the back of the book as an idea, not a part of the core rules system. 😉

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