Friday, 19 July 2013

The Care and Nurture of Panzer IV's

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to another one of my diatribes on lists. After a brief foray into Midwar I’m now back with my Late War love. I recently picked up on Ebay 10 panzer IV’s, and I’ve been trying to find a decent list to place them into.

The Panzer IV is available in a large number of german lists, and with little modification the list can change around it very easily, but you need a starting point for your first list – this is the story of how I decided that first list.

As for the models themselves though, I picked up Panzer IV H's, I know there are some differences to the J but I really can't see them myself, so will probably use them relatively interchangeable.
The tracks are metal and are an bit of an ass to file to make sure they fit cleanly, but not too bad. The real issue is the frakking Schurzen! There is no way to describe how fiddly these are to add on, you need to affix 4 plastic brackets on each side (and more than a couple broke coming off the spru) and then fix the Schurzen on them - way too much effort to achieve this I think, especially compared to joys like the open fire StuG's.

As for painting them, they are a pleasure to paint with lots of little stowage options which you can add, and they work quite nicely when you paint camo on to break up their shapes.
I decided to make the IC stand out a bit by adding a Nazi flag, mainly so I could pick him out easily with the red!

I like the Panzer IV as tank, due to it's relative cheapness, extra MG's (compared to Stug's) and the fact you can relatively easily Spam them in a list. The downside I find is the AT 11 which often means they need a bit of heavier support.

First off what do I want my panzer 4 list to be able to do?

1)      Attack – people I play against regularly have a love of Veteran infantry so I’m going to have to attack them a lot.
2)      Recon – if I’m going to shoot these Veteran infantry then I need some recon to lift GtG
3)      Smoke – realistically to drive the infantry off any objectives I need large platoons of Panzer 4’s with smoke to minimize defensive fire.
4)      Heavy Anti Tank – Lets also not forget there is a likelihood I’ll be fighting some heavier tanks and AT11 just won’t cut it!

So that’s my initial thoughts on what I need in the list, the next section are the less important but ‘would be nice’ ideas.

Firstly with overlord out, I’m certain we’ll be doing some D-Day games so having the list in Atlantik wall or very close to a list from there is a bonus.

I also think it’ll be good to try and utilize existing units I have – I’ve built up my germans a lot this year I may as well use them!

Thirdly, I want to use Veteran Tanks, I think the quality of tanks when the front and side armour is low is really important, it means anti tank fire in assault is minimized and just adds to the survivability!

So after a brief trawl through the various LW intelligence briefings there were really 4 lists which struck me.

1)      Atlantik Wall Panzer Lehr – It’s from Atlantik wall so helps, but it also has all the bits you need to make a well rounded force – and I’ve had all the Lehr panzer grenadiers in blisters for about 9 months!
2)      Pieper – The only problem with this Devil’s charge list is he trained Panzer 4, so less keen but an option due to the spearhead mobility
3)      Panzer Company Grey Wolf – lots of options, but strangely a little bland I find.
4)      Panzers to the Meuse Lehr – Veterans and a spearhead move but little decent smoke.

So there it was my short list, and one thing struck me Lehr was there twice… And that pretty much sold me on those two lists, as I was almost able to do the same list with only small changes between them to play both in the Ardennes and in Normandy.

Due to my winter love, I’ve started with the Ardennes list, so what am I thinking of?

  • HQ Panzer 4’s – this way I can add 2 extra tanks to platoons assaulting
  • Panzer Platoon’s – 2 Platoons of 4 Panzer 4’s – they may have slow traverse but I can work with that
  • Gepanzerte Aufklarungs – To take advantage of the spearhead rules you need one of these, Due to the need to clear out infantry I've gone for full squad but not enough for the tank hunter team.
  • Tank hunter Platoon – 3 Panzer 4/70’s (V) – extra AT and relatively cheap – it was a toss up between these and a pair of Jagdpanthers
  • Panzerspah Platoon – I really love the half tracks, but the cheap of chips 8-rads are my choice here!
  • Volks rocket Launcher – 3 Nebs for smoke/pinning as required.

A nice little list I think personally, and not much needed to make a list for Atlantik wall’s Lehr either, for that I've come up with this.
  • HQ 2 Panzer 4's - again for assaulting and also making a battlegroup if needed
  • Panzer Platoon - 2 platoons of 4 Panzers, though I'm thinking of a 5 and 3 too.
  • Panther Platoon - I need some heavier AT, and the Panther is the perfect tank for this
  • Half Track panzerspah - love the models so with a points break these guys are in
  • Panzer Anti Aircraft - 2 Flakpanzer 38(t) I needed some cheap AA, and these seemed a cool looking model
  • Rocket Launcher Battery - 3 Nebs, at least these guys may unpin due to their CV nature

So there we have it two similar but different lists, hopefully both i'll get to try out soon and bring you some reports, as well as progress on this project.

More Dunkgelb!



  1. I Hate they Plastic Schurzen putting the finish touches on two right now, too many of those brackets broke I was barely able to get two per tank... If I do them again I may just glue them to the side of the tank.

  2. Nice looking Panzers, want to get some MK. IVs myself but have been concentrating on my US army. Hope we get to see the rest of the Panzer Lehr soon!

  3. Oh you will see the rest of the lehr soon Mwahaha :)

  4. So many options eh. A very versatile tank that I have started to look at too.

  5. Lehr, without doubt one of the best lists in Late War. Only problem is that they were "mullered" in Northern France and never really recovered despite being reformed, they never really got back to the Strength they had in June 1944.

    Panzer IV when fielded in numbers is pretty damn good tank.

  6. I agree the list is good but the historical background doesn't marry up with the stats!

    However it is nice to have the option of LW germans who have all the toys, and are vets

  7. Im tinkering with 17 Panzers in Peiper !!!Also if you want to go Veteran go Panzers on the Meuse.

    1. Paul mentioned how those brutalised him the other day!