Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Love of Impractical Things (STUG 33B in Bolt Action)


Well, I am back from MOAB and I have all sorts of interesting army list ideas floating around in my wee head.  As this was my first foray into the larger Bolt Action community I was keen to see what people were bringing to the table list wise and painting wise.  I have to say list wise I was very impressed! (not to say that the painting was shabby, quite the opposite)  Players were taking lists that used all levels of experience, lists that mixed experience levels within lists and themed armies that not only fit historic battles but also worked well on the table top.  In my last game I played Richard who came first overall.  He ran a KV-2 in very themed Russian list.  Now, Heavy tanks are not something that one often encounters on the BA field (at least here in Melbourne) and I was shocked at how effective this tank was.  This got me thinking after my old buddy DaveOWar dropped in the other night and helped me identify a tank I bought when I first started playing BA (cuz I thought it looked cool!).  The Stug 33b (P.S. Thanks Dave!!!)
Company B sells this big bad boy and I initially thought it was the SIG 33 based on the panzer 1 chassis but a good look on google disproved this notion.  As I could not find the tanks technical label in the German book I assumed that the writer’s of BA had left that variant of that tank out of the book.  I was wrong.  With Dave’s help we found and cross checked and sure enough…  It is the Stug 33b.  This is 310 heavy tank totes a heavy howitzer and an mmg and on paper looks remarkably like the KV-2 I played in Richard’s list.  Now… it is more expensive and lacks a turret…  which well… sucks BUT it is a MUCH cheaper version of the Sturmtiger that I have been trying to shoehorn into a list for over a year now.  True, it does not fire a 4D6 HE shot, BUT 3D6 should be enough to deal with most threats. 

Now I can hear people in internet land screaming at me from here…  DON’T DO IT!!!  HEAVY TANKS SUCK IN BOLT ACTION!!!!  I get it.  I do.  That said I think the model looks BOSS and hey…  I could say I have a finished German army because it is a heck of a point sink.  I have signed up for the BA GT in Sydney in late November and I need an army and honestly, I need a break from the Partisans and I want to take something radically different.  My Germans are modeled with city fight bases and the STUG 33b is a tank built for urban assault.  Sounds like a good match…  I think I need to trial a few lists and see where this goes…

FYI: From Wikipedia
The Sturm-Infanteriegeschütz 33B was a German self-propelled heavy infantry gun used during World War II. A new, fully enclosed, and heavily armored boxy casemate superstructure was built on the chassis of the Sturmgeschütz III. It mounted the improved sIG 33/1 infantry gun, offset to the right side and a Maschinengewehr 34 machine-gun was fitted in a ball mount on the left side of the superstructure.
The first dozen were delivered by the end of October 1942 and assigned to Sturmgeschütz-Abteilungen (Assault Gun Battalions) 177 and 244, then fighting in Stalingrad. The remaining dozen vehicles could not be delivered to Sturmgeschütz-Abteilungen 243 and 245, also fighting in Stalingrad, after the Soviets surrounded the German 6th Army on 21 November. Instead, the vehicles were formed into Sturm-Infanterie-Geschütz-Batterie/Lehr-Bataillon (Assault Infantry Gun Batterie/Demonstration Battalion) XVII. The battalion was assigned to the 22nd Panzer Division as the Germans attempted to relieve the trapped 6th Army. The Division was virtually wiped out in the fighting and the battery was assigned to the 23rd Panzer Division where it became the Sturm-Infanterie-Geschütz-Batterie/Panzer-Regiment 201 (also known as 9. Kompanie/Panzer-Regiment 201) for the rest of the war. The last strength report to mention them lists five remaining in September 1944.Only one survived at the Kubinka NIIBT Research Collection at Russia.[3]

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