Continuing on from Tom's first part posted earlier.
The 38t is pretty much useless against other tanks. By mid war AT 6 is a mere pop gun. However you can get a lot of 38ts which are still really good at machine-gunning infantry, assaulting dug in troops, and blowing up guns. The trick with this list is to increase the number of support tanks to deal with enemy armor, without ending up with too few 38Ts for use against infantry.
|A Lot of Tanks|
In good news, by Mid War the Germans have a wide selection of awesome anti-tank vehicles. My favorite is the Panzer IV f2. It combines decent armor, FA 5, with a superior AT 11 gun. A Panzer IV f2 standing at long range and cover, properly handled, can destroy an almost infinite number of opposing Shermans or Soviet T-34s. Panzer IVf2s are expensive, though. So I usually take three and a second unit of something else cheaper, like Marders.
I took this list to either guns of August or the Williamsburg muster last year. (I can't remember which.) It performed quite well against infantry lists, but against a Tankovy list of mostly T-34s, my support tanks were simply overwhelmed.
|3||Panzer IV F2 or G||435|
More Easy Army!
Late war returns us to more familiar and more effective territory for the German tank swarm. The price to performance ratio of a Panzer IVH to a Panther or Tiger is almost exactly the same as that a Panzer IIC and a Panzer IVD.
In late war natural mainstay tank is the Panzer 4-H. You could also use the Stug or perhaps mix in some Panzer threes. The Panzer 4-H and the Stug are to my mind interchangeable: the Panzer IV sports an extra machine gun and a turret, the Stug has a fixed gun but slightly better armor. Six of one, half-dozen of the other. The important thing is to get a critical mass of AT11 guns, at long-range undercover so that the enemy will need 6s to hit them, if they can see them at all.
In most builds you will end up with around a dozen mainstay tanks. 15 or so is a more desirable number but often hard to squeeze in once you have purchased your support vehicles. I prefer to keep my tanks in large platoons of 4 or five and only Kampfgroup them if I need to reach an even number of platoons. If you attach your headquarters tanks to an already large platoon of five, you get a really beefy assault unit.
In late war the Germans are spoiled for choice of support units. Against the Western Allies, I usually take two Tiger ones. The Tigers main gun can punch through almost any Allied armor. (Except for Churchill variants.) Their top armor of two grants them extra protection against plentiful, nasty Allied artillery. I'm not even sure the Tigers are necessary; you could just take more mainstay tanks instead.
Against Soviets, I prefer the Panther or its variants. Ideally the German tank swarm will stay at range against a foe, and the mainstay tanks will protect the flanks of the snipers. Therefore the Panthers heavier from armor and slightly more powerful gun render it a better choice for destroying Soviet heavies. Sometimes I take two Jägdpanthers. They cost slightly less than three Panthers, and they have a ludicrously powerful gun for destroying IS-2s and the like.
You really want to smoke for this Army. In Late War, the Allies can outnumber you with some pretty good tanks. Smoke blocking line of sight can cut the enemy numbers into smaller segments for you to concentrate fire.
The Late War German tank swarm usually plays more cautiously than its early war or mid war counterpart. It's mainstay tanks have a longer range and there are usually fewer of them in the Army. Infantry anti-tank weapons can be markedly more plentiful than in earlier eras, especially you are facing Americans. Ideally you want to play all of your tanks as long-range snipers, closing with the enemy only when you need flanks shots or enemy ranged antitank capacity has been neutralized. This, of course, is easier said than done.
|2||Panzer IV H||190|
|5||Panzer IV H||475|
|5||Panzer IV H||475|
|Cmd SMG team|
Observer Rifle team
Yet More Easy Army
The German tank swarm maximizes inexpensive tanks and mixes them with a few heavy hitters. I find them quite enjoyable lists to play; each move you make with such a highly mobile army has a powerful effect on whether you win or lose. Unlike with an infantry Army where you spend a lot of time dug into a hole, you feel in charge of your own battlefield destiny. Unlike with an elite tank army, you have enough numbers to make a few mistakes or suffer some bad luck and still come out on top.