by Matt Varnish
Hey guys, Matt Varnish here with Part 3 of my Projekt DAK. Due to my being stuck in a hotel for a month with floor repairs, I am going to be talking potential lists this time around, and briefly talk about some lessons learned from an Early War game against a Panhorde (Hence the title and picture).
For those who need a refresher, in Part 1 I talked about goals and did a lot of assembly, and in Part 2 I nailed down my infantry color and basing scheme by completing an MG-34 section.
But for now, lets talk about lists!
I need to be real upfront here: I am NOT one of those guys who is constantly messing about with lists. I kinda don't like making new lists, and tend to run the same things a lot. In fact, I typically approach a list with the mantra of "I want to take something that you don't always see" which possibly explains why I own a Free French force, and picked the 'funnies' of the Late War 21. Pzr over your typical German models.
So with the DAK project in mind, I know that in the end I will want to be able to field a Kradschutzen Kompanie ( I have all the models, still in shrink-wrap) but also want to have a bread-and-butter infantry list, and a typical Panzer Kompanie that saw lots of action in the desert. I knew for my first game I wanted to run Infanterie, and as always, was looking at rarely used models. I saw the diminutive Panzerjager I, and knew I had to have some. Besides they are fun to play in the lower tiers of World of Tanks. Historically, the PzrJgr I solves a problem the Germans had with the mechanized Blitzkrieg outpacing their horse-limbered AT guns by mounting a captured Czech AT gun on an otherwise-obsolete Panzer I chassis!
Oh, another crazy admission: Until very recently I had never used Easy Army before! I had been using the web-based http://fowlists.blogspot.ca/ purely because http://www.easyarmy.com/ is blocked at my work. I threw together the following list as an Infanterie Kompanie with 2 units of PzrJgr Is. I reckon my first few games, 2 units of them would tell me whether or not I want to drop the $ on them. I feel that normally I would run 5 Pzr IIs in the second Armour slot.
If you think this list is pretty defensive, its on purpose. My eventual Kradschutzen Kompanie will be the antithesis of this list, but I really want to see if the 335 pts TD platoons are worth it to buy. The artillery battery is there since I like the German arty models a lot and see myself spending a lot of time painting them, and in Early War they make excellent AT guns, and they can drop smoke too. My air will not be a Stuka model, but will be a He-111 counts-as, since the Luftwaffe ran a LOT of He-111s in the desert. So this is a nice list to test out a few things. In the future I will likely grab 2 patrols of 8-Rads with the points saved by ditching one unit of PzrJgr Is for the Pzr IIs, and further muck around with all leg with some 88's or something.
As luck would have it, fellow Dice Devil-er Rich, aka ThunderST, was DYING to play some Early War, and obliged me with a game. It was then that I remembered something...
'Zut alors, les Allemands arrivent!'
ThunderST has a Panhorde!! Around here, Early War games are very rare, so I had heard the tales but had never even seen models of them, let alone face Panhards in battle! Lets take a quick peek at ThunderST's list, courtesy of Easyarmy:
Upon seeing this, I couldn't believe that FIVE Panhards were 165 pts! All those AT 6 guns would slice through my hulls like a hot knife through butter and a baguette or something! Plus he has 5 Somua S-35s, some smoke, a Fearless infantry unit of future Goums for sitting on an Objective and some interceptors, as the Armee de l'Aire Francaise was still going strong in 1940...
Mortars with Laffly Observer truck. Whats with the nose wheels?
Panhards deployed ahead of the AT guns
Panhards, who can Recce, on a road....
Somua S-35s.. I really had no answer to these as I was swarmed by Panhards
You can see I deployed infantry in the small woods, contesting both objectives. I felt a bit dirty, yes.
After picking off 1 unit of PzrJgr Is and my AA, he rushed one objective and assaulted with everything..
..but he bogged down so many vehicles into the woods, I fell back, and was able to bring him below half-strength with my last unit of PzrJgr's.
I really liked the performance of the PzrJgr's even if I only really used 1 unit of them, as their high AT and veteran 'shielding' and stormtrooper are a good deal at 335 pts. I didn't get a single air roll, so he couldn't use the Dewoitine 420 model I picked up for him at Historicon this summer at the Marketplace!
Since this battle, I have indeed bought 4 PanzerJager I's, and since they come 2 to a blister, they were decently priced for 4. My floors are also finished, so now I need to rebuild my hobby area and get cracking on the painting and list-making though I hear Historicon MAY be Mid-War now and not Early War.... Rettemeier-based Pzr III's might be the next list I try , who knows! Who am I kidding, it'll be the Mid War version of the Kradschutzen / Aufklarungs....
Matt Varnish, plays Flames of War up in Canada with the lads from www.dicedevils.com. Surprisingly, I don't even have a Canadian army............ yet! The upcoming Italy books may 'fix' that problem though...