Infantry Halftracks have three firing ports: two to the front and one to port or starboard flank. No firing ports to the rear.
I offer this configuration for your review and comment. I think it optimizes firepower, protection and tactical flexibility. I use it mid to late game like a zis ambulance. When PGs dismount for combat other infantry groups can be given a mount order. For Base Rapes change out gr43 for an additional shrek squad.
Panzer Grenadier Platoon :
motto: "Get there First with the Most"
- IHT, GR43 squad, Shrek squad both mtd.
- IHT, 2 ST44 squads one dismtd.
IHTs deployed in echelon dismtd squad reinforcing with movement order to mount. IHT-1 is nominally the lead unit. IHT-2 and dismtd PG to serve as flankers. Hopefully the correct weapon is fired by AI for lead IHT. I am thinking in terms of the AI sees all and knows all in this regard which would offer a slight advantage when facing an ambush.
Kampfgruppe suggestions: Support with any other type of half track (to maintain the same road speed).
- Close combat support and mine laying - Muni HT
- Patrol - ATHT
- Fire Mission - Mortar HT
- Recon and capping missions - Funkwagon
I think it should micro well. Regretably when I started with EF in 2011 I had one disfunctional finger on my left hand. A year later I have three disfunctional fingers on my left hand. My micro doesn't really improve over time it degrades. If you choose to use this idea let me know how it micros for you. If it doesn't work for you please let me know too.
One of the key advantages of fighting with Halftracks is your ability to reinforce right on the front lines. Using the halftracks next to/with your infantry is an essential way to use them, though keeping IHTs at range is often a better tactic because they are indeed quite fragile.
Though your plan sounds quite well thought out for a mobile attack force, I would rather get a MHT for the same fuel cost and work with it rather than risking 2 Halftracks. The MHT is a valuable unit for the Panzer Elite because it provides the much needed Indirect Fire Support that all of the other factions can easily access at one time or another, sometimes in multiple options.
I like the set up of the first one as it supports soft counters to AT and a decent anti infantry support force. However, you seem to have invested a lot of fuel into T2 units and if a tank like a T-34, M4, or Cromwell pops your forces you see heavy casualties (Even a Stuart, with it's Canister shot it will just rip your PGs apart.) You probably would want to re-think your strategy and try to at least go for a T4-ATHT to provide another small yet crucial counter to incoming armor. Then it really comes down to how your opponent is fighting you. Is he coming at you with vehicles and tanks? If so, if you have a low fuel income, invest in ATHTs, but make sure you have the munitions! If you have lots of fuel, go for Marders. If you have no fuel whatsoever, press your "Oh Shit" button and get a Hetzer. They suck, but they're at least able to go toe-to-toe with some armor in support of shrecks until you get some of the map back. If your enemy is going for a mainly infantry force, invest in ACs to harass their capping if you are low on fuel, MHTs if you have a decent income, or Panzer IVs for the sure-fire way to beat back infantry, if you have the fuel.
As for your second tactic, it sounds like you're using quite a bit of fuel here for teching. You would need a strong hold on the fuel in your map inorder to pull such a strategy off. The ATHT should also be used at range, while it is an AT unit it is the weakest (Yet, one of the most useful/powerful) AT unit in game IMO. Keep it at range until you see an enemy vehicle/tank and pop in with speed, disable it, and use your Marder/Nashorn/JP4/Hetzer to hammer it at range. Alternatively you can also use the ATHT to "Countersnipe" for 40 munitions. Though risky against blobs of rifles it gets the job done and done well, as you have an insane accuracy against infantry.
Just my take on things
Also remember that Shrecks have the same accuracy they do on the ground than when they have in the halftrack. Makes for a nice chase against enemies like M8s, Stuarts, Staghouds when they are low health or disabled, the Shrecks are fairly well protected and can still hit the allied armor hard.
I am also sorry to hear about your hand
I hope that you eventually recover.
My family has a line of nasty diseases that may eventually hit me some day.