MG battalions were found to be very good anti-dotes to soaking attacks although not so important with the nerfs to that tactic now. Also in the battle resolution as it goes through different ranges, the MG battalions cover the ranges that tanks are not very good at. So on the basis of unlike SUs are better than like SUs I would say MG battalions are quite a good choice for Panzer divisions. I am assuming on this turn the Axis will still have a vehicle surplus, so their motorisation will not affect movement points now?
I think it might be worth providing a background here for the new reader.
The typical ol' AH or SPI boardgame consisted of matching up combat values and achieving a 3:1 ratio for assured victory. Other odds ratios yielded various results from total elimination of the attacker to various forms of exchange ratios I might propose that many players who have never seen one of the old wargames still might think that WITE works like that .. it is more complicated.
Rather than consult a single combat results table, each element applies their multiple factors vs an element of the opposite side (no friendly fire here ) . It is a Rochambeau like match up of armor, infantry, and artillery made complex by that certain artillery is good against both armor and infantry, and well lots of combination that have advantages and disadvantages. For example, it has been discussed that 20mm quad flak is quite effective against squads of all types but obviously vulnerable to lot's of devices. The match up happens in ranges with the longest range attacking device starting first and the ranges descending with devices doing their thing against a random squad or device.
So that brings about thinking in terms of a Pareto of enemy devices and squads. For example:
A 42a Guards division consist of:
337 Rifle squads
18 engineer squads
54 SMG squads
228 Infantry AT
85 Light Mortars
30 AT Guns
16 Medium Art devices
6 Light flak
24 Light art
18 heavy mortors
12 INf Guns
233 Support Squads
10,680 men 100% TO&E.
A quick check shows that 50mm guns mounted on tanks with slow rates of fire are not as effective as say a 20mm flak device or a MG squad vs a soft target. I want high rates of fire ... and have a probability of disrupting/damaging/destroying more Soviets than Germans getting disrupted. There are lot's of choices here and variables. Assuming clear terrain and no forts maximum ROF is great. The attacker gets no terrain bonus and thus Soviets attacking Panzer divisions using infantry Corps might be best matched with MG SU's as you will disrupt the maximum number of Soviet squads at the range where the Soviet infantry are going to do their worse to your precious tanks.
The German attack vs. defensive terrain alters the calculus considerably. Here 105's mounted on Pz I's might be the ticket as your units might not make it to MG range. The goal is to disrupt as many of the defensive devices as quickly and efficiency as possible. AS the real damage is done operationally using pockets and not tactically damaging units that end up damaging your Panzers ...
Now a 42b Soviet Tank Corps has 162 tanks and 398 soft devices and squads. Given 100% TO&E that makes it 40% probable that your attacking device is going to engage a harder target. That changes the German SU needs. For example, I attach better AT and tank hunter units in this case. Given the above odds you are going to be just under 50% likely to engage a harder target than an infantry squad.
This assumes a straight up calculation. But the Soviets have reserve activation and can change the calculus tremendously. The Soviet's can bring 1000's of tubes to a fight as well as armor units etc. So a controversy of sorts trying to understand the best mix of SU's.
The attack using weaker units first to absorb ammo, supplies, and cause fatigue has been nerfed. But the Soviet player at one time could bring weak units into battle cause the above and then have an attack with strong units to push the armor around. There is a +1 MP penalty for every attack from a hex after the first attack and I think and extra die roll or CV comparison between firepower rounds. I am seeing much less action in these low odds attacks where the attacker gets off the long range shots defense fires back and after the first round the "soak off" attack stops with little casualties. The exception is if the defense passes a counterattack die roll and then the roles reverse.A lot more engagements occur at higher losses.
Hopefully that clarifies the conversation ..
"What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so"