Homebrew unit: Volksturm Panzerfaust Squad

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  • #188077
    Nanashi
    Participant

    I found it weird this wasn’t already a thing, so I had a quick go at homebrewing it. Any comments on it?

    Volksturm Panzerfaust Squad
    The cheap and easily manufactured nature of the Panzerfaust resulted in many Volksturm receiving one as their primary or sole armament. A Panzerfaust Squad counts as an Anti-Tank Team, Panzerschreck team, Goliath Team, and/or Panzer-Zestorer Truppen in any platoon set after August 1943 that can include Volkstrum.
    Cost: 27pts (Inexperienced), 36pts (Regular)
    Team: 1 NCO and 2 men
    Weapons: Pistols and one Panzerfaust each
    Options: Add up to 7 additional soldiers with a Pistol and a Panzerfaust for 9pts (Inexperienced) or 12pts (Regular) each.
    Edit: If pistols are -2 instead of -3 (books apparently vary on this), the price is 30pts (Inexperienced), 39pts (Regular) for the base and 10pts (Inexperienced) or 13pts (Regular) for each extra man.

    One subtle thing in the design is what it counts as. Generic Reinforced Platoon can field one, Last Levy and Holding the West Wall can field two while Extended Last Levy can field three. I would have gone with Panzerfaust only, but the “when a unit fires every model that can shoot must shoot” rule doesn’t really play nice with units being armed exclusively with One-Shot weapons, and Pistols generally cost the same as unarmed for some reason.

    • This topic was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Nanashi. Reason: pistol price
    #188078
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    Pistols usually cost one point (except in Armies of France and the Allies for some ridiculous reason) + 1 point is generous considering it’s the same as tough fighter plus a ranged attack.

    #188079
    Nanashi
    Participant

    AoFatA was where I derived pistol prices from, but can you point to any examples of them being -2/+1 point over unarmed though? All the unit with pistols that don’t have “free” weapons (HQ unit) and are not from AoFatA I’m aware of are the British Home Guard (clearly overpriced by either since it’s +2 over unarmed), the Late War Paracadutisti from the errata document (-3), Guerilla Cell from Empire in Flames (-3), and the Guerrilla/Partisan Cells from Korea (-3), so I don’t see the evidence for -2.

    #188081
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    Go to Campaign Sea Lion and the General cost for pistols is +2 points as an optional improvement over ‘improvised handweapons’, with the exception of the Royal Navy Section, cost is 55 points for NCO and 4 men (11 points each), weapon is ‘pistols’ – 2 points less than normal rifle armed veterans

    As well as those examples you’ve already mentioned, there are examples where pistols are an additional weapon – ie: Late War US Marines pay 1 point to add a pistol.  US sniper team costs 52 points compared to the usual 50 points, the extra points being for pistols for both sniper and spotter – the spotter was previously unarmed in most entries.  This would reflect that you are only gaining the benefit of tough fighter if you already have a ranged weapon, not tough fighter AND a ranged attack.

    If there’s any costing that’s hard to justify, it’s the 3 point discount – that’s appropriate for a model that’s actually unarmed and can’t even fight in close quarters, even Japanese Bamboo Spears are 5 points/man, no tough fighter, no ranged attack, just the ability to fight in close quarters.

    #188090
    invisible officer
    Participant

    Hmmm, sorry to say but that Volkssturm pistol stuff is historical fantasy.

     

    Being an old professional historian and worse, from Berlin, I spoke for museum with many former Volkssturm men and former boys.  Pistols had been relatively rare and got used by NCO and officers and MG teams as secondary arms.

    The pics showing organised Volkssturm with Panzerfaust only are from march trainings, not fighting.   There had been many captured rifles from all over Europe, so no need to send the men to the fighting without.

    A ypical unit defended Rathaus Tiergarten against the Soviets.  That Volkssturm unit was a mix of Old men and HJ kids.  They got Italian Carcano guns and a Panzerfaust for each two men team.  In Rathaus a team per cellar  room.  The rifle amo was in a cardboard box that one carried, the other the Panzerfaust.

    Typical training was bad.  A T 34 passed and was shot at by a lad from a cellar window.  Next came the horrible cries of the badly burned two, nobody made clar to them that the backblast would return from the wall behind them.  The two HJ in next room bolted and that was the right thing, so one could tell to me. Next T 34 saw the fumes  from Panzerfaust coming out of window and put a grenade into the window, putting an end to the agony of the burned there. Then all other windows got a round too.

    The two threw away the Carcanos and  became POW and put in a cellar room with a steel door.  The Soviets did not bother to have a look inside before, so the two escaped through the blown away backwall and went home.

    I never spoke to true organised Volkssturm infantry OR  that had just a pistol. Those with pistol ever had to serve something or had a special job.  Only some MG men, some artillery and medics had them. (Eastern front medics often wore firearms for good reasons) And leaders.

    There had been situations of men without rifles, formed into Heldenklau units made up from stragglers.  With some NCO behind them with SMG or Sturmgewehr to prevent them from running again.  In these a Panzerfaust man might have no firearm.  But that is not Volkssturm.

    #188099
    Nanashi
    Participant

    I’m aware, but as mentioned a unit armed with one-shot weapons only doesn’t work within the rules since all models in a squad must shoot if one shoots. I could not figure out a way to write an exception as a special rule without it being extremely ineloquent. If someone can come up with a eloquent ruling for a special rule, please tell me.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Nanashi.
    #188107
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    “I’m aware, but as mentioned a unit armed with one-shot weapons only doesn’t work within the rules since all models in a squad must shoot if one shoots. I could not figure out a way to write an exception as a special rule without it being extremely ineloquent. If someone can come up with a eloquent ruling for a special rule, please tell me.”

    With the info provided by IO, why persist with them being unarmed/pistols to prevent removal?

    From IO’s comment:  “The pics showing organised Volkssturm with Panzerfaust only are from march trainings, not fighting.   There had been many captured rifles from all over Europe, so no need to send the men to the fighting without.”

    That contradicts your main rationale for the unit:

    “The cheap and easily manufactured nature of the Panzerfaust resulted in many Volksturm receiving one as their primary or sole armament. ”

    If it wasn’t ‘a thing’ in reality, why try and make it one in Bolt Action?

    #188108
    Nanashi
    Participant

    I was referred to the “Volkssturm pistol stuff is historical fantasy.” Pistols are only included because weird game mechanic interactions. I’d ditch it if I could figure out a way to make it play nicely with all units needing to fire if one does that doesn’t sound terrible.

    As for the panzerfaust only: Even taking the claim photos showing it are just from practice sessions as true.

    1: Armies of Germany references it happening.
    2: Bolt Action has many rules for things that are outright documented to be myths, often even acknowledging in the book some game mechanics reflect popular perception over history. Sherman’s flammability is a prime example.
    3: There’s two models in the Last Levy model set that only have panzerfaust.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Nanashi.
    #188110
    Nat
    Participant

    @Nanashi – one shot (or limited number of shot) weapons dont have to be used when a unit fires, nor do they have to fire at the same target….

    From the ONE SHOT rules.  (sorry cant give a pg ref)
    “If a unit of infantry includes a proportion of men armed with one-shot weapons, then each of these models is allowed to direct its fire against a separate enemy unit, regardless of the target
    chosen by the other models in their unit. This enables a unit to split its fire between two or more different enemy units and is therefore an exception to the rule that normally prevents this. Note that you do not have to fire all of a unit’s one-shot weapons in the same turn; some can be kept for use in further turns.”

    #188111
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    Nat, that clause allows a unit with multiple fausts to spread them over multiple turns of firing and works in that case as each man with a faust has another weapon to use.  It doesn’t provide any explicit exception to the ‘withholding fire’ clause in the shooting general rules.

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