Artillery is sooo expensive in a German army.
No more! A four gun battery of self-propelled Nebelwerfer rocket launchers is only 440 points, it hits hard and looks great in support of either Tigers or Grenadiers.
The Panzerwerfer 42 was the German Army's solution to the high vulnerability of Nebelwerfers, smoke trails easily pin-pointed their location for immediate counter-bombardment (See FoW rulebook, pg 83 "Fire in the Sky"). In Flames of War if your artillery gets pinned by counter-battery fire, it cannot fire a bombardment. Of course this is a problem for all artillery, but rocket launchers with their smoke trail can be targeted without line of sight, making them far more vulnerable (Your artillery cannot fire bombardments if pinned.
FoW rulebook, pg 80).
Self propelled artillery however, not only is more survivable under bombardment, but can move off if pinned to a new location ready to fire the following turn. Of course you only have to worry about this if your opponent has taken artillery to counter-battery with and it's in range!
OK, but what's special about Panzerwerfers? Well the answer is that rocket launchers can be almost guaranteed to pin defenders as a salvo of 40 15cm rockets howls down on their positions You get three attempts to range in and an un-modified 3+ to hit what-ever is under the template. Any hit by artillery, pins the target platoon and with firepower 2+, only needs to roll 4 or more (Artillery Firepower table, FoW rulebook pg 84) to do nasty stuff to the majority of dug in or armoured targets under the template. Even dug in Veteran British infantry are going to have problems, if you get your observer within 40cm you hit him on 6's. If he opens fire, your entire army at long range, hits him on 6's in your turn and if your observer survives (ok, this might be un-likely!) your Panzerwerfers range in on 5's (hitting on 3's). Either way, the Brit's are likely pinned ready to be assaulted & over-run.
So, postives are:
~ Long 64"/140cm reach
~ Good chance of ranging in & it doesn't matter which attempt of the
~ Hitting targets under the template on un-modified 3+
~ AT vs. top armour of 2, giving a good chance of bail-outs, especially
if targeting open-top vehicles like US M10's or Self Propelled guns
~ Firepower of 2+, very nasty to infantry and anti-tank guns
~ Can move if pinned by counter-battery fire
~ Useful AAMG as a last resort weapon for fending off Aircraft & Infantry
~ Negligible armour, so keep them out of sight
~ Smoke trails, so set up out of range of enemy artillery and let
them come to you. A lot of gamers do not take artillery, making
this side effect something most cannot take advantage of.
~ Don't fire too close to your own troops! The danger zone for rockets
~ 440 points. It is a large chunk of your army. But weigh this up
against the devastation it will cause on Infantry in the open, ATG's
and open top vehicles (who likes US M10's & Scott's!).
It is flexible, as it can be used in defense or attack, almost anywhere along your front. If you have the time, several turns of preparatory fire before launching your assault can pay dividends. Not to mention putting artillery sized smoke barrages on already pinned targets just before you assault them with your Grenadiers or tanks. Nasty?
The vehicle (& model) is based on the Opel Maultier chassis, developed from the German experiences of the Russian Spring and Autumn. The battlefields and supply routes had became chocked with mud and un-passable to any but tracked vehicles. In effect, an Opel Maultier is an Opel Blitz truck with the rear wheel assembly replaced with tracks.
The obvious smoke trails from firing Nebelwerfers also became an issue as the Russian's looked upon them as priority targets. Nebelwerfers being rather nasty destroyers of Russian infantry attacks. Inexperienced Nebelwerfers crews would be caught in the open by counter-battery fire from waiting Russian heavy artillery crews.
The obvious answer was to create a self-propelled rocket launcher, and the proven Opel Maultier was chosen as the chassis. Armoured to withstand harassing fire, it became the nemises of Allied armies from 1943 onward. Clouds of screaming rockets were fired from these vehicles in batteries capable of loosing 40 15cm high explosive rockets at a time onto Allied positions, smashing entrenchments and leaving defenders dazed. Many a Panzergrenadier commander had cause to thank higher command for this support.
A battery consisted of four Panzerwerfer 42's and for those whom like the detail, a Munitionkraftswagen for each Panzerwerfer to carry extra rockets. The Munitionkraftswagen was identical to the Panzerwerfer, but without the rocket launcher.
Enjoy them! Russian, British & US armies certainly won't!