Schuetzen and DAK Kradschuetzen feedback

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    Hello Warlord,

    This is my feedback on the new ‘Schuetzen’ and ‘DAK Kradschuetzen’ units from the Western Desert (WD) book.

    I play early war Germans. Namely elements of ‘Schuetzenregiment 7’ from 7th Panzer Division in France 1940.

    First off Id like to elaborate the point I’m trying to make here: Historically all German infantry were called ‘Schuetzen’ until ’42 when all infantry was renamed Grenadier/Panzergrenadier. So, my ‘Schuetzenregiment 7’ is in fact composed entirely of ‘Schuetzen’.

    Now ‘Schuetzen’ are introduced in Western Desert (WD) as a ‘new type’ of infantry for the DAK and I find myself wondering – why?

    I like the fact that more units get introduced. 100%, but this one rubs me wrong:
    1.) Why bring out the ‘Schuetzen’ in strong association with the DAK, where this was never an DAK-only unit or anything close to that. I assume that this was done rules wise to introduce regular infantry able to carry 2x LMGs (an idea that I like as alternative to veterans only doing this) and is supported by infantry in the later part of the desert campaing having a lot of extra machine guns. But this leads straight up to the next point.
    2.) Why, why, why, was the first LMG for Schuetzen made a FREE upgrade? The only reason I can come up with is that this was done to sell the new DAK boxed set (which is a wonderful set, I got it myself, don’t get me wrong) – but this is very concerning to me because what this is really doing is bringing out a new boxed set, then making rules to UBER the units therin to a degree they become a mandatory choice over other options (like normal regular infantry). This is a main reason I left the WH40k scene, as they introduced the ‘book of the month’ and every new model was the hands-down best option in the game (aside from the $100 price tag). I know BA is not intended to be viewed as a competitive game, but ‘Schuetzen’ effectively made my mainstay of the force, regular infantry, a terrible choice.
    – get 6 guys + LMG for 60 pts
    – get 5 guys + LMG for 70 pts
    They both describe the exact same unit type, fill the same force-selection slot and role in games…
    – chose now.

    I think the free upgrade is entirely unnecessary and just imbalances this unit for no reason at all.
    I am considering to run all my infantry units as ‘Schuetzen’ from now on (since they were) simply to take advantage of this nonsense powercreep.


    Now to the ‘DAK’ Kradschuetzen.

    Why are the DAK kradschuetzen able to fire on the move, yet my own early war ones are not? They cost the same and have basically the same loadout. Just that one is hugely more versatile by being able to shoot their LMG’s on the advance.
    (don’t get me wrong – I think this SHOULD be the case, but for ALL sidecar-mounted machine guns (if not even ALL sidecar weapons) – so why specifically brand this towards the DAK?)

    These were the exact same machines, technology and training as the men that went to France, many were there in fact – so why the rule-change and then the strong association with the DAK? (‘DAK Kradschuetzen’)

    – Again, I am thinking to simply run all my Krads as ‘DAK’ Krads to take advantage of the way better rules.

    For both units, the only reason I can come up with why NOT to exchange the rules would be that the WD rules can be seen as campaign-only unit rules… But I’m sure the next tournament I attend people will be using WD rules left and right, so why wouldn’t I?


    My point being:
    I love new unit that introduce some new concept, without becoming the non+ultra (think Panzerjaeger infantry, Stug riders, etc)

    What I don’t like is new units taking the place of existing units, being better (or cheaper) than them without historical or game-related reason – then limiting them to your newest publishing in what looks like a forced sales-mechanism.

    I truly hope this doesn’t become a trend and that I simply missed the reasoning for the decisions made.


    Hey hey!

    First let’s start about the Schuetzen part. I agree, the free LMG is ridiculous; now you got a 6 wounds LMG that can move and fire. I assume this is more to fit into mid-war in the Desert, when the doctrine changed a little and news from other fronts on how things are being played over there.

    The only sour note (if you can call it that) that I see is that you cannot have a full 10 men squad, no AT grenades as well, which are really weak disadventage as you will cough up 14 shots downrange (10 at 36″ no less) while your standard 10men LMG squand only shoots 13 shots (with only 5 at 36′), so you win the shooting match even with having less bodies.

    Only the LMG is allowed to shoot on an advance, I suspect due to the relative flat and open ground; good luck getting a decent burst while in some French Forest. Again, you get 7 men max in the squad over the usual 9, but the squad is really the same in terms of point value. The only thing is the added rule about shooting the LMG with an Advance.
    BUT….it does say ‘DAK Kradschuetzen’ so it is not the same as your bog-standard Kradschuetzen troops. Again, I think this only has to do with the terrain and nothing else.

    Side note- MG34 LMG squads are 50 pts regular in WD, same as a MMG, but they can move and fire and loosing a single shot.
    Battle of France; same unit, this time called German LMG squad, is 35 points regular…same thing two different names…

    As for tourneys, I know at my local scene they only accept Army-book units, so no concerns about having campaign specific units suddenly beating everyone. So it depends on your local scene.

    But I agree with you, why go for worse when you get better, and get it cheaper?

    Thought I am optimist, and thinking that they are writting down theater-specific units only to be more complete in terms of what happended in say Theater of War that cheap merchantile reasons.

    I would put either units with a side note such as ‘Can only be taken as part of a Western Desert theater army selector from the campaign book or the Army Book.’

    Fred Cartwright

    North Africa isn’t flat and certainly no flatter than the Russian steppe or a French field, but Kradschutzen would stick mainly to roads anyway, which in France would be paved highways, in North Africa rough tracks.

    invisible officer

    One should not forget that the campaign books are not all written by the same persons.

    I can assure you that those that worked on the Battle of France book had no intention to allow LMG fire from moving sidecars. And added on p. 94 that the light mortar has to be dismounted.

    I can not speak for the Africa book team but think it is a mistake to allow LMG fire from moving sidecars.

    In Africa the movement of Kradschützen was often very slow, the heavy bike not being a good vehicle for soft sand.


    I need to get my hands on the Battle of France book. it seems not to be on easy army and I like some of the options I hear about it. (I’ve been using the armies of Germany generic reinforced selector and the Fall Gelb selector therein – guess I’m missing out, lol)

    and yeah, my feedback is just that.
    To me at least those two units are poorly designed (where others from the same book are great, balanced options). This also may not affect everyone, as many don’t play regular infantry or are interested in Kradschuetzen for their not-exactly-stellar point-power ratio – but to me this is something of a slap to the face. Now fielding my underpowered Krads and Schuetzen versus the somehow more powerful & mighty, thirsty, starving, ill-prepared, overstretched and exhausted make-shift-counterparts of the DAK…

    And while I totally understand that they might not be the same people writing, to me, in continuous (supplemental) rule writing it is paramount to be 100% aware of the meta and previous existing rules & (pt-)values to avoid exactly these kind of scenarios. – anything else looks like a sales-push to me.


    Hi All,
    Why, other than the effective arcs of fire, is firing from a moving sidecar any different than from any other vehicle..? Do not agree with those who say it should not be allowed..!! Obviously modifiers should be applied due to the movement, but there is no technical or in game reason as to why not provided the sidecar seat is crewed.

    If the discussion was about the pillion to a motorcycle firing any weapon other than a pistol would be more apt to be dis-allowed.

    Dr Dave

    Sidecars on bikes are notoriously unstable compared to a Sdkfz 251. Not all vehicles are the same. Plus, and this is the key point, they didn’t do it. Not in their doctrine. The mc combo was really just a mode of transport – not an infantry combat vehicle like a BMP. They binned both MC bttns in DAK by late 41 simply because the bikes were rubbish in the desert terrain anyway – and it’s not always soft sand. It’s small rocks. Not conducive to a stable ride.


    this was never meant as feedback on historic background. when I said ‘I think they should all be able to shoot from sidecars’ – that’s just my personal opinion finding the idea cool of bikes riding around and blasting from the sides.
    The historical background of Schuetzen however does bug me for mentioned reasons.

    The point is being missed I fear:

    Its all about two units filling the same description and game-roll, yet one, being the newer one, is clearly the better choice. Not an alternative, but straight up the better/wiser choice. That’s the criticism/feedback I went for here.

    /// Also I don’t mean to attack the author for his work, obviously, I have the book at home and like the scenarios, the history and most of the units – its just that I don’t want unit-development to head down the wrong path.
    Not to see next introduced:
    US “Normandie Veterans”
    4 Veteran Para’s with an NCO 65pt
    add up to 7 more Normandie Veterans for 13pts each
    add up to 4 BARs for 5 points each
    add up to 3 looted Panzerfaust for 5 points each
    The whole unit may add tough fighter for 1 point each
    special rules: Stubborn, Fanatics

    Oh, and here is a brand new boxed set for Normandie Paratroopers, 3 models for $55.

    This is way exaggerated and only meant as a bad example of sorts, lol. Cool that people still check this out, happy to see someone cared to read lol

    invisible officer

    I can just repeat: Different writing teams.

    The France team did it historical.

    Not like: It would be cool…….. .

    Mark (Author of Battle for France) is an author that likes to have it historical, not just from books but even getting the facts checked in archives in Germany and France.

    So no Kradschützen driving around with guns blazing. There was a reason why Kradschützen units got later converted to recce units with other vehicles. (Those getting Schwimmwagen still not racing around with MG blazing)

    That some units are more economic than others is historical. Even more if you compare early, mid and late war ones. They will not meet in Campaign based games.


    Just read a couple of the last replies and started laughing…

    Ok, so why have motorcycle combinations to begin with – to get around faster – agree. The number of outfits fitted with MGs before and at the start of the war was minimal, as the main use was to get around. The fact that an outfit was not a stable platform compared to a 251 – not agreed with (and that’s being nice) – the 251, kubelwagen and schwimmwagen are not stable platforms while moving either as it is the same/similar gun mounting method!! Yes, I have often driven and have been a passenger in each of these vehicle types. An outfit is just as stable when stationary and not much worse when moving than a kubelwagen. It did provide a method of transporting a section MG and a base of fire while the rest alighted from the other outfits. Fuel use from a BMW outfit is very, very low in comparison to a 251, kubel or schwim but limited to carrying only three comfortably – the reason why I know – I own and regularly drive a BMW R71 outfit in the Scottish Highlands. Plus thanks to a good friend who is a Section 5 dealer have had the pleasure of firing a live MG42 in controlled bursts (with FMJ) from my sidecar while stationary in the UK. In addition, have fired an MG34 from a moving BMW R75 outfit in the USA, while serving, thanks to some good USN buddies and the wide open spaces of the swamp lands.

    The fact that recon didn’t drive around with guns blazing is more to do with the fact they were recon and conducting the tasks of such. If fired on and a with a weapon to hand wouldn’t you use it to supress in return?? So if they were never used while fitted to the outfit, why in the tech manuals does the sidecar passenger has an ammo kasten of two 50rnd ammo drums fitted in front of the seat for operational use??? If you have never seen such look at the original outfits which were period fitted with an MG (not retro fitted or reenactor copies), the later ones also had a frame bracket for holding the passenger’s MP40 so as to facilitate full range of gun movement while seated in the car. Looking at the gun mount to the car – if it was never intended to be used, why did they have a fully lockable system across the full forward firing arc, on a 360 deg swivel and also has the option of the AA extended mounting bar? In addition, there is also the gun cup mount for fitting on to the spare wheel securing bolt for using the MG in a rear facing role while moving??? Was this all only for show or simply for carrying the MG as well? When the MG was not being transported in the ‘ready use’ position (on the sidecar) the original MG fitted outfits were often fitted with a MG transportation frame – this was mounted between the sidecar and the bike along with the ready use spare MG barrel case and cleaning rod.

    Agree the latter bike outfits were not popular in Afrika due to the extra weight, approx. 100kgs for the BMW R75 over the earlier R12, R61 and R71 outfits. Parts for the earlier units were none existent so as they broke down (1930 technology was maintenance heavy) they were cannibalised and abandoned. Plus the filters and lubrication methods were not suited to sandy/dusty conditions.

    The cost to manufacture and maintain a BMW R75 was the most prohibiting factor compared to schwimmers and kubels – plus schwimers can actually swim across still/slow moving waters.

    So to place arguments on ‘it was not in the doctrine so it never happened’ is a little like the often heard comment of Assault Stug Gun Crews never wore black panzer uniforms after the field grey ones were issued…

    Appreciate Bolt Action is only a game…

    invisible officer

    All German mot. firing tactics are based on the Schießhalt. In SPW with MG or with cannon in Panzer. The advantage in hitting was such that any theoretical gain from speed was neglectable.

    You can shoot in moving but hitting is a different story.
    Circus trick shooters (like Little sure shot A.O.) use to kill baloons riding fast. Impressive???? No, using dust shot instead of bullets. A trick.

    The MG firing from Krad was tested in pre war manoevres. And found to be useless. It looks good but did not pay.

    Sitting in an open car or on a bike is a good way to get killed in a firefight against well aiming men on the ground or in cover. Everybody able to kill a running deer with a Mauser will be able to kill the poor boys on bike. “Vorhalt” is it named in German Shooting, aiming by taking the move into account.

    In Kradschützen and lorry born German infantry tactic was like old dragoons. Dismount and let one man bring the valuable mounts out of the firing zone.

    Even in SPW firing was from standing vehicle. In 1944 the typical Panzergrenadier attack was on foot with the SPW giving covering fire from behind.
    They did it on move in breakout situations in Kesselschlacht. Not expecting to hit but to make the enemy keep the head down.



    So for you have not added anything new with the last statements other than confirming the use of firing on the move was to supress with accurate firing was while stationary – as stated above.

    As you brought up the aspect of shooting at moving targets – a test of your in depth knowledge – shooting with Mausers (K98k, 934A, 937A or G98 variants) standard production items (not those selected for sniper modification) what was the max range practiced for shooting at moving targets..? I’m looking for the max range it was practiced at after which it was considered impactable to reasonably hit a moving target with iron sights…

    invisible officer

    The K 98 had a flat trajectory. The 1903 amo with “Spitzgeschoss” was designed in a time still dreaming of cavalry charges, so it was intended to be able to meet moving mass targets up to 600 meter with good effect.

    Setting the sight at 700 meter the bullet will fly in a “curve” not going higher than 2 meter or under 1m between 50 meter and 650 meter. (But Reglement 1909 still stated starting fire at cavalry with visor set at 900 meter, Ok against the over 2m rider)

    The 2000m iron visor settings of K98 are a relic of that time. The bullet flew 4500m. Something hunters shooting around should never forget.

    In WW II that was academic. Normally fighting enemy infantry that did short rushes of a few meter before going down again. At longer distance of ca. 300 m they are fought with LMG in short bursts of 3-5 rounds. Waiting for the men to rise again. So never do the breaks between rushes the same number of seconds.

    You can hit these rushing men on foot at 300 m with K 98 but following Wehrmacht tests the chance to hit them was 9 times bigger at 100 meter. (Against an immobile target well trained hit at 300m with every round, 10 a minute)

    So the Landser was tactical trained to start firing with K98 at 100meter or less. Not wasting amo and risking to get hit by enemy attack support MG.

    That was against Western army style attacks. Against the mass attacks of Soviet soldiers, not going down, driven forward by commissars, fire was started on sight. To break them every round that could be fired counted. That explains the extreme difference between German and Soviet losses.

    K98 snap shot fire chances against running infantry in street fighting had been poor. First man crossing a street was normally safe if he was not expected. For the rest of the Gruppe it was a bit different…….


    Interesting but looks very copied from a text book and no actual experience.

    No bullet flies on a flat trajectory. This is confirmed by the text book stats quoted in the second paragraph. A 7.92mm x 57 round might theoretically travel 4500m at max distance, however the angle of offset would need to facilitate such to begin with.
    Using a K98k the magical distance is as quoted, that being 600 to 650m depending on the rifle, its wear, the charge powder and the bullet head size/weight/configuration is the distance the transonic point is reached and the MOA really starts to be amplified. In comparison the Mosin with its approx. 100m/s greater velocity stays supersonic until about 750m which is why a good Mosin 91/30 with matched (x3.5) PU optics and bracket or (x4) PEM optics was much preferred over the K98 with (x4) optics for distance work, especially amongst the Gebirgsjager community. Although the rare Zeiss x6 optics was also desirable for the K98k.
    For moving targets, it is a function of speed. For faster moving boar and deer 100m is a good rule for running/sprinting targets. For slower moving humans this is 200m; the max optimum with the actual speed being used to scale the offset to be applied as a function of body mass. The Americans call this Kentucky Windage, and the technique is still practiced at vintage service rifle shoots. Agreed accuracy at 100m is far greater than at 300m but this is to be expected.

    Static targets – hitting a full sized target at 300m with iron sights on a K98k is not a significant challenge, more a sign of competency. Hitting such at 500m is more a sign of significant skill levels, or 600m with a button hole sighted 5 or 6 groove Enfield.

    Snap shot shooting is difficult at any range against moving targets. This is usually a function of alertness and breathing preparation which is complicated by the stress of the moment. The follow and lead technique produces far greater hit chances, which is what most shooters naturally try with the second plus targets when appearing. Moral – pays to be a winner, so don’t be last…

    If you have a copy of the published photo images of the battle scenes around the first Kharkov there are some good primary images of LAH in 251/250s firing on the move, together with some PzIV doing the same – ooohhh not in accordance with the doctrine… One of the photo albums used for the krad in Russia publication sold at an Edinburgh auction house, it contained the remainder of the (now unpublished) images of the 24th PD Krad recon group in Russia. The scene showed the lead outfit (only one with an MG mounting) using its MG in a supressing role against a Soviet occupied farm at about 600 to 700m distance while the rest of the squad de-bussed into cover. Sadly the price settled to high…

    invisible officer

    Photos and Wochenschau movies are often staged. Like the MG blazing Panzer I in pre war manoevres in front of spectators and camera.

    Better are the training movies like Lehrfilm 480 from summer 1944. Panzergrenadiere in coordination with AT and artillery in counterattack. The SPW firing on the move are the flamethrower ones, driving along Soviet trenches.

    At Eastern front the wood and straw farm houses had been easy targets, easy to set on fire with tracer amo. MG fire, not expecting to hit the men inside. Targets bigger than barndoors, easy to hit even on the move.

    Suppressing fire was done a lot. And also recce by fire, trying to get green troops in ambush to fire back
    Not to forget firing to boost own moral. The guys in German SPW used to call the vehicles “Rollende Särge” / moving coffins. The rear doors had been prone to jamming and leaving over the front side was highly dangerous under fire. The SPW reduced the losses but had been no impregnable fortresses. So a bit of banging around……

    BA is a fun game and a lot of real war can’t be simulated. But that should be no excuse for things that “would be cool”. Like firing an MG from running bike against men. Hardly having effect in real world and being rarely done.

    One will find sources for many surprising events. That happened. Once or twice. Like the infantry officer on a stroll with his girlfriend in Themse area at ebb time 1940. A HE 111 circling for curiosity. The angry officer used his .380 and hit the pilot by chance through the open window . The plane went down. I hope few will claim that makes the Enfield .380 an AA weapon. 😉

    Fortunately there is no BA police. If the gaming friends like to have moving MG bikes or pink Panther tanks, why not. Have fun.

    I have some practical firing xperiance.

    I first fired a K98 on range in my early tenths. Static and moving targets. Learning from old soldiers and hunters. Hunting with older family members some years later, using Mauser system rifles among others.
    Hmm, my shotguns are British made, shame. No, just the best.

    I’m the first in family that became no soldier. But was trained as Heer guest days and nights with pistol, G3, LMG and Leo 2 120 mm gun. (Live amo, not simulator) Being professional military historian with good connections has some advantages. Like eating in officer’s mess and free sleeping in barracks in single bed room. No wake up by NCO.

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