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Wargame Red Dragon: East Germany Guide

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Before the introduction of Yugoslavia, East Germany was the Redfor mechanized deck par excellence. And if the Proletari of Yugoslavia took some of the luster away, it’s still hard to look askance at the endless waves of Mot-Shutzen, carried to battle in hordes of BMP-1s. East Germany is the closest thing one gets to a purely mechanized deck in Wargame, optimized entirely around mechanized assets, save perhaps for the star command infantry, the LSTR. Playing as East Germany is to master the art of unstoppable waves of cheap infantry, cheap IFVs, and brutal grinding combat.

Strengths and Strategy

East Germany, or Best Germany perhaps, has key strengths that favor it, mostly as a mechanized deck.

  1. Mot-Shutzen are cheap and highly efficient anti-infantry shock infantry, the backbone of your army. They come in decent 5-point transports and a 10-point BMP-1, which marries very well to their shock status, and cheap cost, and provides integral, reasonably survival, cheap, fire support.
  2. It gets large numbers of good quality medium tanks.
  3. The commando infantry, LSTR, get an exceptionally good Vampyr anti-tank weapon with great accuracy, AP, and range, as well as a good 15 point wheeled transport.
  4. It has a good support tab, with the best anti-air options in the Eastern Bloc, MRLS, mortars, and artillery.
  5. In the air it holds its own with decent fighter, bomber, SEAD, great helicopter hunts, and admittedly a weak ATGM plane.

Weaknesses by contrast, include:

  1. There is a lack of a high end of ATGMs, making confronting enemy tanks in the open difficult.
  2. There is no superheavy, nor indeed a real heavy tank, with the peak at the T-72S which is a low level heavy tank or a heavy medium.
  3. The ATGM plane is mediocre, and cannot be relied on
  4. Unlike Eastern Bloc allies, it lacks the heavy 122mm rockets of Mi-17s, making for much less effective air support.

So you are very good at city fighting and close range engagements, but suffer greatly as the range increases. Your motorized opener isn’t terrible thanks to the LSTR and the SPW-80 transports. You suffer terribly against enemy superheavy tanks if you aren’t able to lure them to closer ranges. You are the mechanized deck par excellence, finding close range engagements, flooding the map with cheap yet cost efficient units, relying on your infantry and medium tanks to win. It isn’t an elegant strategy, but in the right terrain and context, it is very difficult to deal with.

Don't expect to win the opener automatically, and if you do lose it, don't despair. Your advantage is a steady, grinding fight. Preserve your units, seek favorable, close range engagements, and steadily build up over time, fighting an attrition battle against the enemy, moving forwards slowly.

wargame-red-dragon-east-germany-guide

Logistics

Thankfully, East Germany gets a very good logistics tab. The most special thing is that its command infantry is shock trained, which can be surprisingly useful: it is faster and can even fight off some less well armed or already-damaged enemy infantry. While it lacks for a 10 point motorized APC, there are decent helicopters, a 15 point transport, and truck options. A 150 point tank CV provides the main armored CV element you need, with 2 armor on top and reasonable armor all around. 30 point and 40 point trucks round out a healthy logistics tab picture.

Infantry

With any army, infantry is at its center, but this is doubly true for East Germany, reliant on its high performing, cost-effective, troops. Definitively the most important is the Mot-Shutzen, a 15-point, mostly mechanized shock infantry. Their weapons loud out is relatively basic, RPG-7, PMK machine gun, and AK-47 assault rifles, but they are cheap, numerous, and highly efficient against infantry. They should be the backbone of your army. You can deploy them in the SPW-50k 5-point transport (the MTLB is much worse), the BMP-1 10 point IFV, various BMP-2s, or if you want them, motorized in the SPW-80: all are decent options, but I like 2 in the SPW-50k and 1 in the BMP-1

You can get a 1990 version of this, which has the RPG-7VR. a 24 AP, 50% accuracy weapon, but which unfortunately only gets 525 meter range. If you want a forest fighting unit it is quite effective, but the heightened cost at 20 points makes it less efficient against infantry: you pay a lot for a niche anti-armor unit. I prefer the next unit on the list for bolstering infantry AT firepower.

LSTR are brutally effective commando infantry, and get one of the best AT weapons in the game, the RPG-29 Vampyr. With 875 meters range, 24 AP, and 70% accuracy (plus being on commando level training), it hits every shot with devastating power. They also have Iglas and quite deadly carbines, making them good against all targets, save for perhaps aircraft due to their 4 HE (although the 4 HE on their warheads does synergize well with 7 HE warheads from OSA AKMS or Tors). They make great opening units, seizing forward zones, and occupying buildings, or using their extended range to kill and ambush enemy tanks. A single LSTR in a good position is a very difficult unit to dig out, requiring far more resources than its own investments. They are good openers, flanking elements, and excellent at being mixed with Mot-shutzen for anti-tank firepower. They are best in SPW-80s. a good 15 point wheeled transport.

The final orthodox option is an ATGM: I like the Konkurs, the best ATGM you get, in an MTLB. This is cheap, plentiful and reasonably effective. You can also get the Fagot but you lack for high AP firepower so I prefer the Konkurs.

You have some other choices. There are the FJB who are essentially a cheaper, less performing version of the LSTR: I like the LSTR but they’re an option. There are flamethrower infantry with napalm launchers, but you already have plenty of existing anti-infantry options. Panzerjager are possible, as a slightly worse Deckengruppe, but Deckengruppe are often bought for the Marder and the East Germans already get the BMP with Mot Schutzen at a good price. Leighte Shutzen are good for opening motorized troops, but LSTR do better. LSTR cover the MANPAD role. A final possibility is the Wachsregiment which are motorized shock infantry with SMGs for city fighting. They’re perfectly decent, but at the end of the day, they are too niche between LSTR and Mot-shutzen and hard to put in.

I upvet everything, with 2 cards of Mot-Shutzen in SPW-50Ks, 1 card in BMP-1s, 1 card of LSTR in SPW-80s, and 1 card of Konkurs in MTLBs.

Support

East Germany’s support tab has a variety of older systems with a scattering of what are essentially clones of Soviet kit. Although it doesn’t get some of the best systems, it makes for arguably the strongest Eastern Bloc support tab.

The AA presents three excellent choices: the OSA-AKM, the Tor, and the Tunguska (the earlier 85 point one, with a worse infrared missile). All are perfectly viable: the plane is an excellent anti-plane and anti-helicopter unit, the Osa is less singularly effective but is faster, and the Tunguska gets infrared missiles and is brutally effective as a SPAAG.

I prefer using the OSA-AKM as the opener unit with its mobility, and the Tor as a unit later on if enemy heavy air elements show up, the OSAs are lost, or there is a need to deal with Nighthawks or Longbows. This means there is no infrared AA, so LSTR fulfill this role.

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East Germany has a good 120mm mortar, not as good as the Czech Pram but perfectly suitable otherwise. Its howitzer, the Mista, has very good protection, the 10 second aim time of advanced fire control howitzers, and good fire rate, but only mediocre accuracy. It is still worth it as a good fire support asset.

There are a wide number of MRLS, with the basic Grad, the MR-70’s HE version, and the cluster BM-27: the last one only gets 5 AP as a top attack weapon so it is mediocre as an AT unit, but it isn’t inherently bad: most NATO tanks get 3 armor on top, so it will do damage, and it has additional rockets, and it can be useful to block roads at the beginning of a match. I like the Grad as a cheap area bombardment asset, but any of them are perfectly fine.

Tanks

Tanks are one of East Germany’s greatest limitations, since it peaks at the T-72S. This isn’t a bad heavy tank: it defeats medium tanks handily since it has 18 armor and 20 Ap, and 20 AP means it 1-shots 2 armor, and it gets the Svir ATGM. Unfortunately, it still dies almost as easily against superheavies at long range. Thus you need to pursue closer range engagements. It is worth it to take the 125 point T-72S over the 120 point tank, since the Svir is well worth the extra 5 points.

The other main tank option is the T72M1M which is a reasonably cost effective 80, much better than the Czech or Polish 75 point T75M1ms who only have 16 Ap as compared to 18 AP on the German tank for just 5 points more. You get two cards of them so you can flood the battle with them, backing up your infantry and killing enemy heavy tanks at close range.

You get various T-55 variants, but none are that good. the base T-72 is a decent fire support infantry support tank, but it lacks for optics and is expensive enough to hurt to lose one, and it is completely helpless against real enemy tanks.

Reconnaissance

The star of German reconnaissance is the Specialaufklarer, the best shock reconnaissance infantry in Redfor, thanks to the RPG-7V, good anti-infantry capabilities, and the SPW-80 transport. You can also get it in helicopters like the Mi-8 or Mi-24. I prefer it over the Kampfschwimmer, a 2-man sniper team, which is more stealthy but far less effective in combat. Thus I get a downvetted Specialaufklarer in an SPW-80, to function as the main recon infantry, and upvetted one in an Mi-24 Hind as an airmobile one.

There are various fighting fighting armored recon vehicles: the BTR-40A is often underestimated but its ZPU 14.5mm machine guns are surprisingly potent against infantry and at close range light vehicles, as well as against helicopters. It is far more combat capable than the BDRM-2, which only gets a KPVT, and makes for a great forward scout, and also for guarding flanks.

There are two principal ground combat options: the PT-76, and the T-54 recon. They are unexceptional but decent at shooting up lighter vehicles from stealth. Unfortunately, they don’t get machine guns unlike some other variants. I prefer the PT-76 but it is fine to get either.

The last options are recon helicopters and exceptional optics ground vehicles. Exception optics ground vehicles are generally too niche (and East Germany’s is mediocre) and the exceptional optics helicopter costs 75 points for no other bonus, so I prefer the base Mi-2. Although unarmed it is a decent spotter.

Vehicles

Most of East Germany’s vehicles are older and cheap units, with a role in fire support or base defense. personally, I don’t find them useful since I prefer the BTR-40A for flank and base defense, so the ZSU-57-2 is not my choice: there is a napalm tank but this is generally thought of as very niche. There are also Konkurs carriers, but these are overpriced and fragile.

Helicopters

There are Mi-8 helicopters but these are pretty bad: the real options are the 80 and 95 point hinds. The 80 point one, the KHS Mi-24P, is a clone of the Soviet Mi-24V, with a fixed 30mm cannon which does take a while to aim, but is pretty good when it does open fire. It has 4 Kokon missiles, which are decent, although few in numbers, and 80mm rockets. Alternatively, the 95 point one, DHS Mi-24P, is an anti-aircraft helicopter and anti-tank helicopter, getting the Kokon-M missile with improved AP, which has significantly more anti-plane range than most anti-aircraft missiles that helicopters have. It is a more powerful and more brutla anti-aircraft helicopter compared to the Sokol, but more clumsy, less useful as a general fire support element, and more expensive: still it isn’t bad.

Aircraft

While East Germany doesn’t get a 30% availability bonus, generally necessary for most small, non-coalition nations to have a great air arm, but it does get a good aircraft line up. It gets a decent workhorse fighter, ATGM plane, SEAD, a rocket plane, bomber, a helicopter hunter, and miscellaneous cluster, rocket, and napalm planes.

The Mig-29 9-13S is the East German air superiority fighter. It isn’t that well optimized, since 2 fire and forget long range air-to-air missiles are inefficient: 3 and above are best to get good use out of them, since this is how many you will get off in a head-to-head engagement, while with SA missiles 2 are the standard number, thus you don’t really get that big of an improvement, and you get lower accuracy and cost more, as well as getting a lower veterancy for this. Thus, the Polish Mig-29 is better, but this being said the German version isn’t awful and it is perfectly decent against bombers and not too bad compared to other high tier fighters. You can get 2 of them on hardened.

The LAZUR is the other good quality fighter, but it is a helicopter hunter. It gets twin sets of infrared missiles, and while neither is that good, combined they are quite effective since they shoot simultaneously. While it will die if it is sent directly at an enemy fighter, if it gets close it is brutally effective, and it is very fast and maneuverable. If enemy planes are in your base, it is great to ambush them, and it can help buff up strike packages, alongside regular fighters. If enemy planes focus on regular fighters, the LAZURS will probably be able to get into range and wins. And of course, it is very good at hunting down helicopters.

East Germany’s prominent bomber is the MIG-25RBF, which is an OK but unexceptional bomber - it is essentially the F-111C, but with x8 500 kilogram bombs instead of x4 1,000 kilogram bombs, which makes it substantially worse, although the bomb payload is still acceptable. It’s fast, with decent ECM, albeit unarmed and expensive, and you get 2 of them, and so they’re well worth taking.

One of the big drawbacks is the ATGM plane. Given the lack of good high powered AT options, a high powered ATGM plane would be a god send to deal with super heavy tanks, but the East German option, the Su-22M4 is a letdown: it has bad ECM, mediocre speed, a mediocre SA missile, and bad performance. It’s still better than nothing, but it is a very vulnerable plane and will shot down in droves. Thankfully the SEAD plane you get it is quite good, the Su-22M4P, which gets good, reasonably long ranged anti-radiation missiles, and decent ECM, so you can at least protect your strike aircraft reasonably well.

A rocket plane is also a perfectly decent option, since the Mig-21ML is both a good rocket plane and also decent as a helicopter hunter, if not as good as the LAZUR. I actually take it over the LAZUR at times. You can also get a cluster bomber, but most of the time this is a mediocre choice, and the Mig-23BN is a bad cluster bomber, and some cheap bombers but these are a worse option than the Mig-25RBF.

I personally take a card of Mig-29 9-13S, upvetted, and the following downvetted: SU-22M4P SEAD, Mig-25RBF bomber, Mig-21ML (which I sometimes switch out with the LAZUR sometimes), and Su-22M4 ATGM plane.

Specializations

The most obvious specialization for East Germany is mechanized, which takes advantage of East Germany's extensive collection of cost effective and cheap units. Although it loses LSTR's SPW-80 options, and the 125 point T-72S and thus has to rely on a version of it without an ATGM, its Mista clone, as well as the DHS anti-helicopter helicopter, these are all not too essential and you can do without.

A motorized deck might theoretically take advantage of East Germany's strong infantry, but all ground transports cost at least 15 points, and given that the focus of its infantry is on cheapness and extensive numbers, it doesn't really work that well, especially given that it only has limited numbers of the SPW-80.

The other deck specializations are even less viable, outside of memes or jokes.

wargame-red-dragon-east-germany-guide

Motorized Deck

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East Germany is a faction where your greatest resource is your infantry, one where you have to get down and dirty with the troops. It’s a struggle on some maps, but if you can find the right scenario and play your cards, it can provide the hardened force of infantry that can destroy any foe.


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