What figures do\would you use?

Moderators: Vis Bellica, Laffe

Post Reply
User avatar
Greg Bradfield
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:09 am

What figures do\would you use?

Post by Greg Bradfield » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:54 am

In a section you have a rifle team which is made up of well guys with rifles so all figures would have rifles but for the mg team say with mg34 with three crew I would think to use a figure with an mg34 and one loading or one supporting the weapon over the shoulder or one carrying ammo box as his second but what for the third? could I use a guy with a smg as the weapon does not make any difference to the teams firing.

The reason I ask is I game with plastic and they don't always have dedicated support members and I am always left with a boat load of smg I don't use and was thinking of using them in these support roles.

Do you only use dedicated figures or would you use smg to fill the ranks of such said teams?

Cheers
GReg

User avatar
remgain
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:23 pm
Location: Milano, Italia

Re: What figures do\would you use?

Post by remgain » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:06 am

Greg,

I play in 28mm and usually modify some plastic figure just to do additional mg crews.
An ammunition box or an ammo belt will suffice.

I suggest to use whatever spare you have. It's important that your opponent is informed about who is who.

Marco

Ps one mg, three crew means one chap with the mg and two guys with ammo etc... ;)
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

George Bernard Shaw

User avatar
Seret
Posts: 3526
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:45 pm
Location: Kent UK
Contact:

Re: What figures do\would you use?

Post by Seret » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:35 am

Greg Bradfield wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:54 am
could I use a guy with a smg as the weapon does not make any difference to the teams firing.
Well, you could. Personally I would always stick to what weapons the squad was actually issued in real life.

Assuming you're talking specifically about Germans, from about '43 there was actually a second SMG issued to the squad in infantry units so you could include a second guy with an MP40 and not only is it historically plausible but it won't even affect the rules, as like you say he's part of the gun team. In practice I suspect the other SMG went to the squad 2ic, who would normally be with the rifle group, not the gun.

If you want to be really spot on historically you probably shouldn't have a third man in the gun team after 1943 either. He was dropped in the same reorganisation that added the extra SMG.

You mention MG34s, so if you're talking about early war then no you wouldn't have had a second SMG in the squad. At the start of the war they didn't even have one, the squad leader carried a rifle.

gebhk
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:21 am

Re: What figures do\would you use?

Post by gebhk » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:39 am

Personally I try to stick to historical and/or TOE allocations of weapons (they are not necessarily the same!).

In principle the job of the 'others' was to keep the LMG going (schlepping ammo into combat and, in combat, traipsing back and forth between the gun and the platoon transport fetching more ammo as it was used up). They did not need their weapons for the routine firefight unless the LMG itself was attacked from close quarters. Rifles were not ideal for this role, what was needed were handy weapons that were convenient to carry by a man schlepping a ton of ammo and equipment and which pumped out a lot of bullets quickly at close range.

If you take the Germans as an example, the LMG team started the war with 4 men, 3 of whom were armed with pistols and one with a rifle. Fairly soon (whether this had happened by 1940 at all or completely is, I believe, still a matter of debate) the 4th man in the team (armed with a pistol) was dropped (he carried an AA tripod and other similar clobber which was found to be more hindrance than help to the rifle squad at the sharp end). This left the gunner and loader (who also characteristically carried the spare barrel case) armed with pistols and one remaining dedicated ammo schlepper armed with a rifle. For obvious reasons, no doubt this chap would be quite happy to swop his rifle for an MPi if the opportunity presented itself. In the fullness of time, as availability of MPis increased, this became part of the TOE. In the meantime however, as the war progressed and units started taking on a variegated veteran look (as opposed to the new and shiny regulation look at the start of business), no doubt people helped themselves to whatever they could lay their hands on that best suited their needs. In the German case this also meant varying numbers of Hiwis to fulfil the schlepping role in LMG teams.

The conclusion of this ramble is that you need to decide whether you can justify to yourself how you kit the team out. The upshot in the specific case of a 1940 German team would be that although no one can prove that it couldn't happen/never happened, given the relative low availability of MPis, it is unlikely in the extreme that a lowly stubble hopper ammo carrier should be so lucky. But ultimately it's your decision.

Regards
K
Last edited by gebhk on Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

gebhk
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:21 am

Re: What figures do\would you use?

Post by gebhk » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:56 am

In practice I suspect the other SMG went to the squad 2ic, who would normally be with the rifle group, not the gun.
Fair point apart from that the 1943 NA TOEs did not include formally a squad second in command nor does there appear to be a formal division of the squad into LMG and rifle teams as there was at the start of the war (this idea appears to have been dropped by 1941). In any event, while indeed formally, the team gets reduced to two men in 1943, ammo was spread around the squad and in the earlier versions of the 1943 TOE, two men among the schutzen (as opposed to the MG schutzen) were responsible for dragging an ammo cart around - which in the main would have been for the LMG. The nice distinctions seen at the start of the war become very blurred as things progress and were further complicated by the presence of Hiwis, frequently roped in to serve as 'ammo donkeys' for the LMGs.

Bestest
K

Archdukek
Posts: 3789
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:49 pm
Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: What figures do\would you use?

Post by Archdukek » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:17 pm

Greg,
I just add a standard infantryman usually placed to the rear of the 2 man LMG crew who is removed as the first casualty to the Team. I don't worry what he is armed with though it's usually a rifle. Never been a problem.

John

Contrarius
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:35 pm

Re: What figures do\would you use?

Post by Contrarius » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:28 am

I tend to have two basic men per MG34:
No 1. Gunner - holding the MG,
No 2. Loader - feeding the ammo-belt into the MG,
These are fixed permanently to the figure base as it's impractical getting the ammo-belt to line up otherwise.

For my No 3. - what gebhk aptly calls a Schlepper - I use a man lugging two boxes of spare ammo, one in each hand. I don't worry too much about any visible firearms, though I avoid SMGs (MP38s) as these were very scarce in Poland, which is the main campaign I play (hope to move on to France 1940 some day, eventually). This guy just tags on behind the main LMG base, and is obviously the first to be removed as a casualty.

Now since Early War German squads are pretty large I frequently attach a second or even third Schlepper to the MG team, using more of those ammo-laden figures or ordinary riflemen taken from the infantry section that the MG team is part of. Any in excess of the three basic crew get to fire as riflemen, until they almost invariably get removed as casualties.

I don't know how available these Schleppers are in 28mm, but many 1/72 scale packs, for example Revell's Panzer Grenadiers, include a fair number of them.

Just as an aside, I wonder can you choose to deploy your MG team onto the table already with more than the statuory three crew, or does this have to be done when actually on the table, using Jr Leader activations to transfer men between the rifle section and its attached MG team? If I'm playing someone for the first time would he object to me bring on my MGs with three Schleppers right from the start? Or would I have to prewarn him?

Archdukek
Posts: 3789
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:49 pm
Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: What figures do\would you use?

Post by Archdukek » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:28 am

I would say that you should always pre-warn your opponent if you are fielding a Platoon whose structure differs from the norm in the Army List. It's both courteous and avoids debate later when they appear.

If you are playing an ATSE based campaign or PSC it is often necessary to restructure the squads in a platoon following casualties and you are free to do so. If you dig around on Lard Island News you will find an example where Rich reorganised his British Desert platoon to combine the Bren Teams under the Platoon Sergeant to form a base of fire while the Platoon Lieutenant took charge of the Rifle Teams as a large manoeuvre element to outflank the enemy.

John

gebhk
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:21 am

Re: What figures do\would you use?

Post by gebhk » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:37 pm

Though shouldn't the norm be 4 men in a SAW team in the early stages of the war (and not so early for many nations)? That was the usual configuration in most armies of the period eg German, Soviet, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Italian. The French had 5 and the Danes 9 - but then again the entire Danish infantry squad was a LMG squad and there were no rifle squads so this is a misleading example, but I digress.

As far as i can recall only the US and ? Britain had a 3-man infantry SAW team. Don't know about the Japanese.

Bestest
K

Post Reply