08 March 2017

Flames of War V4 - Review: Afrika Korps

- with Greg

First up in our force briefing reviews is the new book for the Afrika Korps. Now, the AK has a special place in my heart. I remember very vividly my old man painting 1/72 scale AK figures and vehicles in the late 80's for use on the tabletop battlefield.

My first foray into Flames of War was also with a German desert force, but I went for the FJ instead of the AK but my heart was still there.

So, with the new version hitting the world in the next couple of days, I thought I'd take a look at what the new intel briefing holds for us...

So Afrika Korps gives you the option to field three different formations.

Panzer III Tank Company

For this formation, you're going to have to field a Panzer III HQ consisting of 1-2 Pz III in either the short 5cm or the 7.5cm versions or the uparmoured version (armed with the long 5cm gun) with varying point costs as a result.

From there, you can either field 2 Panzer III tank platoons (with the same variations as the HQ) or a single Pz III platoon with a Pz IV platoon as well. These are your compulsory choices but you can also add up to 2 additional Pz III platoons and an Pz II platoon in your formation to bulk it out a little. With the new plastic Pz III and Pz IV models being released, this one could be a heap of fun and very cost effective to get on the table.

Panzer IV Tank Company

Much like its lighter cousins, there is a heap of choice with the Pz IV Company. Once again, you must take a Pz IV HQ with 1 or 2 Pz IV short 7.5cm but these can be upgraded to the long 7.5cm gun for additional points.

You must take at least 2 Panzer IV platoons consisting of 2 - 4 Pz IV short 7.5cm in each. Again, you can upgrade them to the long 7.5 as well. Once these are bought, if you want to bolster your formation, you can add an additional Pz IV platoon and also a Pz II platoon.

Afrika Rifle Company

Lastly, the ever important Rifle Company! So, for the Afrika Rifle Company, you're required to take your HQ unit which consists of 2 SMG teams. From there, you once again have some compulsory platoons.

You must take 2 Afrika Rifle platoons which you can run as short with only 3 x MG34 teams and an Anti-tank rifle team or as a full platoon with 4 x MG34 teams and the ATR. You also have the option of adding a little more heavy support in the form of an HMG team and a mortar team for a few additional points.

As well as the Rifle platoons, you must also have a 5cm Tank Hunter Platoon in your formation. You can field this with either 2 or 3 PaK38 guns.

Once you've bought these, once again you can bolster your ranks with another Afrika Rifle Platoon, 2 more Tank Hunter Platoons or a Light AA Platoon. Here, you get to field the Sd Kfz 10/4 with a 2cm AA gun mounted on it. You can have 2 - 4 of these in the platoon.

Now, because the rules have changed for V4, you can choose to have more than one of these formations in your force, meaning you could have both an Afrika Rifle Company and a Panzer III Company alongside each other, which is great for combined arms!

Support Options

Backing up your formations are your support platoons. And boy, do you have some choices to make! You can choose one of each from the following:

Tiger Heavy Tank Platoon: The massive Tiger showed up in Tunisia much to the dismay of allied tankers. These beasts are going to cost you a pretty penny though and can be fielded as a single tank or up to 2 tanks, if you have the points!

Marder (7.62cm) Tank Hunter Platoon: 2 - 4 of the Panzer 38(t) chassis-mounted AT guns are available to you. While lightly armoured, they pack a punch!

8.8cm Heavy AA Platoon: The fabled 88, you can get 1 - 4 of these tank killers as AT support for your Afrika platoons. They are able to take out even the most heavily armoured British tanks at long range.

Sd Kfz 221 & 222 Light Scout Troop: The Germans learned quickly that being able to scout ahead and spy on the British positions would be invaluable. The nimble 221 and 222 scout cars were perfect for the role.

Sd Kfz 231 Heavy Scout Troop: And sometimes, you just want something a little heavier to scout in! And that's where the mighty 231 8-wheeler comes in!

10.5cm Artillery Battery: Digging out the dug-in British positions required serious artillery support and the Afrika Korps has that in the massive 10.5cm gun! You can field a 2 or 4 gun battery here.

15cm (sf) Lorraine Schlepper Battery: And if you need a little more firepower, well call on Lorraine! The massive 15cm gun certainly packs a punch!

Ju 87 Stuka: What Afrika force wouldn't be complete with the mighty Stuka screaming in to drop death on the British forces?!

So there we have it! While there aren't all the choices in terms of formations as yet, these are coming in the future. What you do have here in Afrika Korps is a great start for a journey into the desert!

Next up, we'll be having a look at Desert Rats, but until then....


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