with Lonnie Mullins
I’ve always wanted to paint up a German army for WWII but never really got around to it until Iron Cross hit my desk. I wanted something with a lot of units, not too many infantry, and the ability to kill off any Soviets that came my way. Going through both Iron Cross and Enemy at the Gates, I gambled that in most 75 to 100-point games I probably wouldn’t run into too many KV tanks (larger games would make me rethink this) and I banked on my opponents showing up with loads of T-34 and/or Valentines, or hordes of infantry. So I decided to build my army around the Panzer III.
My first unit consists of 1 up-armored company HQ (2 tanks) giving me the ability to at least penetrate both the Valentines and T-34s I was sure my opponents would field and even affect KV-1s tanks to a lesser degree. KV-1 tanks were still a concern though.
For units 2 and 3 I went with mixed platoons of 4 short and 1 long up-armored tanks. I figured I could use the Mistaken Target rule to keep my longs in the game as long as possible and my bulked up numbers (5 tanks in each platoon) ensures that I don’t go running off the board if a tank or three brew up.
My next unit is a sacrificial platoon of 4 Panzer II tanks. While all but useless as an offensive element unless my opponent brings Stuarts, I figured they’d be good at screening, sucking up damage for a turn or two but, most importantly, giving me a spearhead and allow deeper deployment of my other units.
My fifth unit is a small (2-vehicle) platoon of light AA. Honestly I don’t think that most opponents will take any aircraft in a 75 to 100-point game but one never knows. But, having the ability to throw 3-dice each against light armor and infantry made them a must for me to have.
The sixth and last unit in my army is my Artillery Battery and Panzer II OP (I had to do something with that last Panzer II). I chose the 10.5cm artillery for its range, firepower and ability to lay down a smoke screen. In my past battles I’ve used smoke to great effect in keeping the enemy from engaging and keeping my own force alive.
Painting was dead easy. After a black primer on everything, I did a quick (and thick) drybrush of Panzer grey over all of the vehicles. Normally I keep my treads separate from the hulls of my plastic tanks for ease of painting and this was no exception. A quick gunmetal drybrush did the trick and, after taking the masking tape off so I could glue the treads to the hulls, my Panzer III’s were ready for a light drybrush of dust to pick out the details even more. My 12 Panzer III’s it took me just 2 hours to completely paint. I spent another hour with the Panzer II’s and the AA with very pleasing results.
I’ve yet to start my artillery but I’ll give them a similar treatment while I’m on my 1-week holiday (between time with my son at the water park and visiting historical sites in Williamsburg). I should be fully up and running by launch day.