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Panzerfausts.. My experience in CMBN/Tactics Advice


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CMBN has really changed my views and opinions of Panzerfausts. Obviously having the 60/100 meter variants later on will improve things somewhat. However I always regarded them as a more effective weapon than they actually seem to be.

The sad truth seems to be that while useful for emergencies, or if armor shows up and is about to roll over that squad, they're really not a viable AT weapon to plan your defense around. It may seem obvious to some, but Im not saying I plan defenses around Pzfaust equipped squads like they're 88s but the short range makes them near suicidal in combat, especially if your opponent has any idea of how to effectively use their tanks.

I'd like to hear peoples opinions, and tactics, see if theres something I havent heard about or didnt know.

Also, Im not debating whether this is accurate, Im talking about how it is in the game. As far as Im concerned it seems very accurately portrayed, if anything they were way too accurate and effective in previous games.

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While it is true that Panzerfausts are really only emergency weapons (as is any handheld AT weapon, even today), I think that the game poorly portraying them (or their users rather) is a big part of the problem. Too often I've seen one of my tankhunters draw his MP to shoot a couple of 9mm's at that sherman just 20m away instead of hitting it with a good old faust.

Granted, if they actually manage to not be stupid and don't get spotted by the uber tanks (and if they actually manage to spot the tank quick enough) and if they actually hit then they have quite some effect. It's just far too many "if's" for my taste. :P

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More often then not, the person who fires the Pzfaust is killed in the explosion. I have used them several times, and at the ranges I engage at, it's a crap shoot at best. 30 meters is almost too far, I prefer to use them in defense of hedgerows that tanks roll right up too. Granted, at this range my results should be expected, but the explosive force of the PzFaust is HUGE!!! Does kill any tank, no questions asked!

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Too often I've seen one of my tankhunters draw his MP to shoot a couple of 9mm's at that sherman just 20m away instead of hitting it with a good old faust.

Indeed. In my experience this is what happens at least three out of four times. I think the ´fausts are practically worthless in CMBN because of this.

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The fausts and schreck have changed in their value to me in this game compared to other games also. I think the weapons are modelled about right, but agree that the infantry using them at times do not seem to do the right thing. But most of the time if you use your infantry correctly, they will get a shot off.

But I always liked Faust over schrecks before, accuracy was never a problem, killing power better and schrecks were spotted too easy. Now in this game, I find the schreck range to be of great value, multi roundes to be able to use more than once and I seem to get away without being spotted as much as in old games. So the schreck has become my preferred weapon out of the two now. Had one team take out three enemy shermans in a PBEM game here recently. Did more than the stugs I had in the game. What Fun

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Indeed. In my experience this is what happens at least three out of four times. I think the ´fausts are pratically worthless in CMBN because of this.

+1 to that, especially since we are given a specific "Antitank" option when we split a squad. That option is so laughable because 3 out of 4 times your antitank team will engage the enemy with small arms fire or give their location away because they chose to shoot at mushrooms or somefink. :)

Hopefully this will be fixed soon so that we PBEM'ers can have some good old tank hunting fun!

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I know that AT teams were designed to use their small arms to fire at tanks in an attempt to kill exposed personnel.

Yet, if there was a choice, I would prefer that AT teams completely lost the ability to fire small arms at armour (whilst they still have AT ammo) and only use their AT weapons instead.

It would be far more preferable than the current situation where AT teams give their position away whilst out of range of their zooks or schrecks.

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To be honest I've always found it perfectly easy to use Panzerfausts effectively. I give my AT teams 31m circular cover arcs and they perform just as I'd like them to when armour breaches that arc. It helps if you can have them hide until they need to attack as well. Maybe I've just been lucky but, like I say, I simply haven't noticed any major problems with the way they operate.

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Fausts seem to be ambush-only weapons for now. A full squad with fausts is not worth it, as the unit is too visible. A Tank Hunter team will spray their MP40s around if not closely watched. Maneuvering a faust into range is suicide, unless it is from the rear of the target and there is no enemy infantry around.

Schreks are wonderful. They still have their MOUT issues, but if one is careful with hunt, hide, and arcs they are potent.

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Was their covered arc inside faust range(30m)?

If not, then the little short-bus pixeltruppen will most certainly fire upon the tank with small arms. They are after all, an anti-tank team and must accomplish their goal.

A little GIGO moment at BFC.

---

Plus, you were not exactly sneaking up on that tank. Pavement? Not exactly the concealment I would choose. :)

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There is a little back story to this sequence. To the left, and out of the frame is an abandoned Panther, whose crew had bailed-out, and are now trying to get back into the tank.

The scout car has already killed the driver of the Panther. They must have been so distracted they completely missed the German PzFaust team hiding behind the wall.

Thanks to this timely action, the Panther crew (or what was left of it) scrambled aboard, got the thing going, and almost saved the day for the Germans.

The PzFaust Team survived this encounter; however, they had been spotted by a Sherman hiding in some trees down to the right, and got taken out a few minutes later.

I've only just begun to play this game, so as far as what tactics I used, put it down as pure dumb luck. Right place, right time. Mike

PzF1.jpg

PzF2.jpg

PzF3.jpg

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More often then not, the person who fires the Pzfaust is killed in the explosion. I have used them several times, and at the ranges I engage at, it's a crap shoot at best. 30 meters is almost too far, I prefer to use them in defense of hedgerows that tanks roll right up too. Granted, at this range my results should be expected, but the explosive force of the PzFaust is HUGE!!! Does kill any tank, no questions asked!

I'm puzzled here - wasn't the Faust warhead a HEAT charge and so most of the force should be burning its way into the tank ?

My grog-index is zero, so I would be happy to be enlightened about how much "blast" goes sideways and backwards even while boring through armour.

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To be honest I've always found it perfectly easy to use Panzerfausts effectively. I give my AT teams 31m circular cover arcs and they perform just as I'd like them to when armour breaches that arc. It helps if you can have them hide until they need to attack as well. Maybe I've just been lucky but, like I say, I simply haven't noticed any major problems with the way they operate.

This is part of my rule of using them also, I keep a circular arc on them to the distance I want them to engage at all times, I also find it seems useful to if you can move them to a position that will let them see the flank or rear of the enemy tank if you can. They do better at not wanting to panic and it gives them time to fire that weapon, even after firing a pistol at exposed crew first some times. I hate that to, but I have learned to work around it, and hope they fix it some day.

Another factor to watch for is if they have bad morale, they seem prone to not use their anti tank weapon even when it should be obvious, they will coward instead. So the most important thing to do is baby those units and keep them out of the fighting until you need them to do some tank killing for you. The better their shape and morale, the better will be your success in seeing them kill tanks.

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I'm puzzled here - wasn't the Faust warhead a HEAT charge and so most of the force should be burning its way into the tank ?

My grog-index is zero, so I would be happy to be enlightened about how much "blast" goes sideways and backwards even while boring through armour.

He is likely so close to the tank that it is the tank explosion that kills him, not the weapon he is firing. I have lost men to this too, but it normally comes if the tank goes up into a huge fireball, which is common when using a faust

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With all shaped charge weapons, there's always some blast force and metal shards going to other directions. The shaped charge means that it can pierce thick steel plates, but you don't need a blast force that powerful to injure a man.

The Panzerfaust 30 warhead was armed with 800 grams of TNT-Hexogen mix. German M24 handgrenade had 164 grams TNT for a point of comparison.

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I've had the experience of small arms fire aimed at crew members give away the position of my AT team as well but I've only noticed this when the PzFaust is out of range. Generally I find that in close country panzerfausts are extremely deadly so long as the teams are positioned sensibly, target arcs help too. In fact, one of the most satisfying things in CMBN for me is sneaking a little PzFaust team through long grass or woods before popping them up and slamming a Sherman up close. Of course, I paly in RT so I don't know how easy this is in WEGO.

I've never seen one of my teams taken out by their own faust or the secondary explosion texplosion as the fausts tend be fairly accurate even at their maximum range of 30 metres. My only real gripe is that there never seems to be enough of them.

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Well, here´s a little video illustrating the problems I mentioned earlier: An AT team sneaks up on a Sherman - and engages with a rifle.

Sorry about the poor quality - it was a battle at dusk:

http://youtu.be/pDqt-KRaV0M

What's the engagement range? Hard to tell for sure, but it sure looks substantially longer than 30m... if so, that Landser couldn't possibly have engaged the 'faust. Also note that (a) the tank commander unbuttons and mans the .50 BMG a moment before the Landser shoots at him with his rifle, and (B) the Panzerfaust team is in the tank's frontal aspect.

Trying to sneak up on on a tank to within 30m in the tank's frontal aspect is suicide anyway you look at it. Even if they were in 'faust range, probably that team's best chance of survival was to try to quickly shoot the unbuttoned TC with small arms fire and shock the crew. You can't just whip out and shoot a Panzerfaust like a six-shooter in a Wild West movie; it does take some preparation. What is happening in that clip is basically a quick draw contest between the unbuttoned TC with a .50 BMG, and the German soldier with the k98. Guess who's most likely to win that fight.

To reiterate what's already been said, if you have a team armed with Panzerfausts, and you want to use them to ambush armor, you want to give them a 30m cover arc. Then, you want to put them in a good hiding place where you think enemy armor will pass within 30m, or maybe if you're very careful, you can sometimes sneak up on isolated enemy armor from the flank or rear. Never try to sneak up to within 30m of an AFV in the frontal aspect. Maybe, once in a blue moon, this might work on buttoned AFV if there is a very good covered approach and the AFV crew is Green or worse. It will never work on an unbuttoned AFV.

I do think there are still some "proud nails" in the game wrt infantry teams using small arms on tanks, but primarily with 'zook/shreck teams, and not with Panzerfaust teams. For Panzerfaust teams, slapping a 30m cover arc on the team works fine, because once something does approach to within 30m, you generally want them opening up with everything they have, no matter what the approaching enemy is:

- If the approaching enemy is unbuttoned armor, you usually want the TH team to shoot small arms first to hopefully kill the TC (which they have a very good chance of doing at 30m). This will shock the crew, and in the case of Shermans it will take the .50BMG out of action (which is the weapon on the tank that can rotate to target an enemy on the tank's flank or rear the fastest). Then the team has more time to fire the 'faust.

- If it's buttoned armor, they'll just fire the 'faust and that's fine. This is also usually what you're going for -- it's generally a good idea to get enemy armor buttoned somehow before you try close range TH ambush.

- Finally, if the TH position is approached by enemy infantry, at 30m you generally want the tank hunter team to open up in self-defense, since at this range they're probably going to get spotted any second anyway (if they haven't been spotted already). So they might as well put up whatever resistance they can.

With only a 30m range, the early Panzerfaust models are a weapon of desperation any way you look at it, and it shouldn't be all the surprising that attempting to employ them is often suicidal. To be sure, they're definitely a step up from grenade bundles and Panzerwurfminen.

I think the current lack of a Cover Armor Arc is more of an issue with the 'zook/shreck teams, because with these weapons you usually want to engage enemy armor somewhere in the 50-150m range. And you may not want them to engage infantry that wanders into a cover arc set at this range. The generic cover arc available in the game right now doesn't provide any way to do this.

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First, YES, the AT teams using small arms is a PITA. If the tank is unbuttoned, they will try to shoot the TC. Grrrr.

However, "how to use the panzerfaust against tanks" was the question. I consider them the anti-tank version of hand-grenades. Meaning, if you had nothing but hand grenades, how would you defend against enemy infantry? Well, apply similar logic with the panzerfaust vs. tanks. (Likewise, anti-tank grenades are the equivalent of bayonets.)

They are ambush weapons, to be used at very close range. Expect casualties. Hunting with panzerfaust(en?) is a difficult task. That's why guys who did it got medals. :)

Without a Cover Armor Arc, the use of tight Cover Arcs is your only choice.

Ken

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To YankeeDog (and Sgt Schultz)

I agree 100% with what you guys have said about the faust being an ambush weapon and how to use it. Therefore the issue of not having a covered arc does not really affect the game play of this unit, but that is not the issue I have with the faust teams. My problem lies with the "hide" command. I do everything that you guys describe...."put the team in an ambush position"....."give it a covered arc"...etc. etc. However, if you don't tell them to "hide" then sometimes their position is spotted by Tank Commanders who are actually Darth Vader using the Force to spot them. If you tell them to "hide" then they do exactly that, hunker down, hide and never look up and will not shoot!

Ambush Command please! for the faust

Covered Arc Command please! for the schrecks/zooks

That will make tank hunting much more fun.

Tweaking the super abilities of tanks needs to be done as well.

To Sgt Schultz: I'm playing "No Exit" and "Valley of the Shadows" and having a great time. Thanks!

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About the casualties my pixel truppen have suffered using Pzfausts, yes, I was that close when the warhead went off. Happened twice in the same scenario actually, one of the ones that came with the game, can't remember the name ATM. When the Amie's counter attacked with Shermans, I had my surviving troops in ambush at the hedges. Infantry that strayed too close got sprayed with MP40s, but then their buddies killed my AT guys. I had some enemy infantry actually pass by my AT teams and they were able to kill 2 Shermans while suffering 1 casualty on each attack. The range was such that I couldn't tell if it was the 800 g of explosive from the warhead, or the tank itself exploding.

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To YankeeDog (and Sgt Schultz)

I agree 100% with what you guys have said about the faust being an ambush weapon and how to use it. Therefore the issue of not having a covered arc does not really affect the game play of this unit, but that is not the issue I have with the faust teams. My problem lies with the "hide" command. I do everything that you guys describe...."put the team in an ambush position"....."give it a covered arc"...etc. etc. However, if you don't tell them to "hide" then sometimes their position is spotted by Tank Commanders who are actually Darth Vader using the Force to spot them. If you tell them to "hide" then they do exactly that, hunker down, hide and never look up and will not shoot!

Ambush Command please! for the faust

Covered Arc Command please! for the schrecks/zooks

That will make tank hunting much more fun.

Tweaking the super abilities of tanks needs to be done as well.

To Sgt Schultz: I'm playing "No Exit" and "Valley of the Shadows" and having a great time. Thanks!

A agree with you that perhaps an infantry stance somewhere between "Normal" (where all or nearly all men in the unit are up and looking around), and "Hide" (where everyone in the unit is focused on staying as hidden as possible, with only very limited attempts to spot anything) might be a good idea.

I also think that tank crews' spotting abilities, especially to the flank and rear of the tank when buttoned, might need to be tweaked downward a bit.

However (and I'm not necessarily accusing you of this), I have also noticed that many players seem to have an unrealistic idea of what constitutes a "good" hiding place for a TH team lying in wait to ambush a tank. It is worth remembering that there are 4-5 guys in the tank, trying very hard to spot anything or anyone trying to ambush them. You do need a good hiding place for your TH team; just some high grass in a field won't necessarily cut it. It's also worth remembering that the TC and to a lesser extent the gunner have an elevated point of view, which can reduce the concealment provided by certain types of terrain, such as a low wall.

It's also worth remembering that C2 does matter, and tanks can "talk" to other friendly units. So if your TH unit is at least partially spotted by a different enemy unit (even a "?" spot), this information may eventually be passed to the tank. If this happens, the tank crew then "knows" there is an enemy unit hiding in the general area, even if they don't have a hard contact themselves. The tank crew is MUCH more likely to spot a hiding TH team if they know generally where to look.

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