When a motorised battalion of infantry with integral transport goes into battle, one of the bases (usually a Support (S) base) can be an integral part of the transport base. In addition, the transport may carry other bases (usually Fighting (F) bases) that ‘deploy’ when the stand attacks or defends. The following scale should provide a rough guide but is not prescriptive :
No extra bases per jeep or motorcycle combo
Up to 2 bases extra per light truck or light halftrack (debusses up to 2 stands), e.g. Sd Kfz 250/251
Up to 3 bases extra per medium truck
Up to 4 bases extra per heavy truck
2 wheel trailers may carry 1 base
4 wheel trailers may carry up to 2 bases
If there are a mix of fighting and support bases in the stand, it can be given a hybrid designation, such as FS, CF, CS, or even CFS.
This is different to the case of a marching infantry unit that happens to be transported in trucks that are not a normal part of their orbat. For marching infantry, the truck(s) can be accounted for separately as a Logistic (L) stand.
In retreat, all your troops will fit onto the trucks up to a maximum of double the usual extra stands, but no support weapons, so support stands become rifle stands.
Pz Gren Bn 1 Comd Sd Kfz w 37mm PAK + 81 or 50mm Mor (CS3) which would normally travel with the Bn comd Sd Kfz, 2 x [Sd Kfz with MG + 2 Rifle bases @ (FS3)] (Rifle stands may have integral AT Rifle or Pz Faust capability).
So a panzer grenadier battalion has 3 halftracks (each CS3 or FS3 light armour with an integral machine gun or PaK 37). The 250 will always have an integral command base or may have an integral command/support base (MG or Pak), and probably also has a dismountable support base with it in the shape of a mortar. Each 251 has an integral support or gun base. Regimental gun support can be simulated by modelling the gun on the transport e.g. the Sd Kfz 250/10 or Sd Kfz 251/10, or as a towed gun, as shown in the picture above.
In total up to 6 dismountable rifle or support bases could be carried by the 3 battalion transports with their integral non-dismountable bases. You could use as few as 3 or 4 dismountable bases to reflect the often-reduced fighting strength of these heavily used units. Of course, if you are asking yourself “why bother with the dismounted bases at all?” then it is simple enough to just model a CS3 or FS3 vehicle with a few figures in the back. As long as everyone knows what is there, it doesn’t really matter.
Mot Rifle Bn 1 Comd Car + optional 81 or 50mm Mor (CS3), 1-2 [Trucks or 1/2 tracks with integral mg support stand + optional 1-2 Rifle bases (FS2-3), (Rifle stands may have integral AT Rifle or Pzfaust capability). A total of 6-9 bases per battalion including the vehicle bases, in line with infantry battalions is about right, making a total of 3 stands, as shown below.
In total up to 6 dismountable rifle or support stands can be carried by the 3 battalion transports with their integral non-dismountable stands. Any regimental guns will be towed in this orbat. If a truck does not have an integral support or fighting base because you like to show all your infantry companies as dismountable, count it as (L1) and send it to the rear into a laager.
Please note that this does not in any way seek to replicate the actual carrying capacity of these vehicles; rather it simulates the functions of a battalion, whilst still allowing a modeller to produce signature equipment in his orbat. The orbat also gives flexibility without being too prescriptive. If you disagree, run your ideas past your opponent and reach an agreement for an enjoyable game.
Postcript, May 2017:
You can just stick a few infantry onto the same base as a truck (Tim Gow has been doing this for years in Megablitz), or you can make the bases small enough to fit into the back of the truck, as Command Decision does.
- “Orbats are for Beginners” (notquitemechanised.wordpress.com)