Thursday, 12 December 2019

Bolt Action - German Panzer IV Ausf H

The Panzer IV Ausf. G evolved into the Ausf. H with the addition of a slightly improved L/46 75mm high velocity anti-tank gun. The Ausf. H would become the standard German battle tank until the final Ausf. J was developed, but this only had minor changes, such as the improvement of the gearbox and the turret's roof armour. If any tank can claim to be the standard battle tank of the German Army then it is the Panzer IV.
It was not well liked by its crews, who were often veterans and very aware of the tank's drawbacks. They nicknamed it the Sardinebuchse, "Sardine Tin" due to its relative lack of armour.
In Bolt Action, it is classed as a Medium Tank with 1 turret-mounted heavy anti-tank gun with co-axial MMG and 1 forward facing hull mounted MMG.
This Panzer IV has Schurzen Armoured Skirts fitted. These stand-off, thin armoured plates protecting a tank's turret and sides were developed  to act as additional armour against Russian anti-tank rifles. Later they became more widely used and also helped protect a tank against shaped charges by detonating the warhead  before it hit the main armour. If a German tank has Schurzen , then anti-tank rifles and shaped charges such as bazookas, PIATs, etc. never get the +1 penetration bonus for hitting the vehicle in the side.
The Ausf. G, H and J tanks all cause Tiger Fear. Such was the lethal reputation of Tiger tanks, that often Allied troops were spooked by the appearance of any German heavy armour, mistakenly thinking that any Panzer IV was a Tiger waiting in ambush. All enemy units that have line of sight to one or more German vehicles with the Tiger Fear special rule suffer from Tiger Fear. Units suffering from Tiger Fear count as having one extra pin marker on them when taking any order test, except if ordered to Fire against a vehicle causing Tiger Fear.
I decided to give my Panzer IV a mottled green and red-brown camouflage scheme over a sand base coat. It looks quite effective and I'm happy with the results.
This plastic kit is produced by Warlord Games and you have the options of making the Ausf. F, G or H variants. It went together very well and I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to add the Schurzen, which are also optional. Interestingly enough, the points costs for the inexperienced, regular and veteran crews of the Panzer IV Ausf. H are identical to the points costs for the inexperienced, regular and veteran crews of the American M41A1 Sherman 75mm tank, which is what Oddball's tank is that I showed earlier, albeit stripped of its Hollywood extras, i.e. 188 points, 235 points and 282 points respectively. This makes my only two tanks (so far) a good match in theory. I'm keen to try them out in a battle to see who is the better.

14 comments:

  1. Great looking camo pattern Bryan, can understand why the crews would want the extra armour going into battle

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    Replies
    1. Many thanks as always, Dave. Having extra armour was pretty much a no-brainer.

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  2. I have this model and it's really nice. Good job

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, Andy. Much appreciated.

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  3. Far better than the Panthers and the Tigers, and as you say this was the main battle tank and you have done a good paint job on it.
    Congratulations.

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    1. I don't think it was better than the Panthers and Tigers but it was far more common than them. However, I take your point, John.

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  4. Nice work Bryan. I think some washes along then panel lines will make them pop a bit more.

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  5. Hi Bryan - Not heard from you for a while just checking that everything is OK.
    Cheers
    John

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