Hi everybody, I haven't been here for a while. Some time ago I decided to reconsider AT support units for my Gepanzerte Panzerpioniers. Initially, I was relying on StuGs, which I really like, but they were too expensive and didn't give enough AT punch.
After a while, I decided to go with two extremes in my roster. At one side I have a King Tiger, which role is to terrify opponent's heavies like IS-2, Tigers, Panthers, etc., and on at the other side I wanted to have something cheap, with reasonable good AT capabilities that I can use in high numbers against T-34s and Shermans. Yes, I needed a regular tank hunter. At first, I thought about Hetzers. These tiny self-propelled guns are lovely. Unfortunately, they are a terrible mistake in FOW. Little bit less expensive than StuGs, but without schurzens and with this terrible overloaded feature - how to ambush anybody from the forest if you cannot move? That's why I turned into paper-thick tank hunters like Marders. I decided to take Marders III H. They have 12 AT, which is perfect in my opinion. It easily knock out medium tanks like Shermans, T-34, but can also stand against Tigers and Panthers (of course from cover).
Generally, I think that Germans in FOW really miss a good, cheap all-around tank, e.g., Panzer IV with better gun. Their 11 AT 75mm cannons are not enough, and frontal armor at the level of 6 or 7 doesn't give a reasonable protection nowadays. If you're hit by firefly, some of the new 76mm Shermans, or T-34/85 it won't be enough to survive. It will be about passing or failing the Firepower test, so why to pay for such armor?
First insights from the field
I have used the Marders at one tournament so far, and I was very pleased with their performance. What is interesting they nearly always all survived! People underestimate them and would rather focus on your other troops, while you can easily focus on eliminating your targets of choice.
Of course the tactic you have to use is hide & hit hard. They are so cheap that you can easily try to risk and rush from the cover and try to attack more expensive tanks from side at point blank range (12 AT is too much even for King Tiger).
To sum up, I really enjoy my roster right now. I have all the things inside for 1750 games: King Tiger, 4x Marders, 3x Pumas, 2x platoons of panzer pioneers, nebelwerfers, and Ju-87D. Do you need more?
I bought Marders IIIH from Battlefront. They are quite nice models, however, they could be casted better - it is quite difficult to assemble all parts together. I decided to buy an additional set of German artillery crew to make each vehicle unique.