Thursday, August 28, 2014

Panzer Lehr for Attack-X

Over the last year I have been slowly building a German Panzer company for Flames of War. In two weeks I will be attending Attack-X; a convention in Kamloops, BC with a five game Flames of War tournament. For a while my goal has been to field a German panzer company for this tournament. Unfortunately, I have not done much painting over the summer so I am frantically painting everything at the last moment! In this post I'll show you my list, my progress, and explain a little how I hope the list to play.



Company list from Easy Army.
The List
After lots of time spent on Easy Army, I eventually settled on the list pictured above. I really wanted to include some Panthers, but couldn't make them fit at 1650 points. The list has 10 Panzer IV Js and a full Aufklarungs platoon that can make Spearhead moves along with a Puma platoon with a recce move. The main core of the company is very fast with spearhead and stormtrooper. The Aufklarungs platoon provides some bodies for assaulting infantry on objectives and is capable of holding an objective on defence (although with Always Attack that should be rare...). The Panzer IV/70s are there as a bit of high anti-tank that can also serve as a bit of an area denial weapon against tanks. Unfortunately they become nice looking paper weights/really expensive and slow tanks against infantry armies. The nebelwerfers are a really cheap smoke template. Being reluctant trained they are unlikely to do much else.

So far I have played four games with this list. All of the games have been against tanks so far. I lost 3-4 to a Russian tank horde. I defeated a 7th Armoured Division Sherman/Jumbo/Easy 8 list 6-1 (no Patton so I got to attack). I lost 3-4 to a Cromwell horde and then defeated the Cromwell horde 6-1 in the next game against it. I think that this list really excels are massing armour and quickly overloading an objective. Where it seems to suffer is in battles of attrition as the fragile Panzer IVs can be whittled down quite quickly. The Panzer IV/70s have been great against enemy tanks so far (I have lost 1 Panzer IV/70 in one game, they have destroyed lots of enemies). They seem to excel at staying at long range and taking pot shots at targets trying to reach my Panzer IV spearhead. I'm still trying to figure out how to make half-tracks work. So far I just drive them up and deposit my infantry near an objective. The Pumas have been amazing so far. They are great at getting into the flanks of things and are great for pushing back ambushes and opponent recce moves with their jeep movement. We will see how the list fares over a five game tournament though.
Watch out for the spearheading Panzers! This commander is missing in action. He fell off my game table and got lost somewhere...

The Painting
Astute readers may surmise that I have been playing with some unpainted models to be able to field this company in games so far. I am ashamed. I need to finish the company so I am not playing with unpainted models at the tournament. If I don't finish the Nebelwerfers I might have to put some Panthers in my list or replace the Nebs with Mobelwagens (although then I have to change the Pumas to 234/1s which is sad).
A Draxian painting chart. Green is finished, yellow is in progress, and pink is just assembled.

I don't know why I stopped at this step. Reluctance to edge highlight?

So far, I have 15 of the 31 models completely painted (3 of those just this week!). The Panzer IV Js and Pumas I almost finished in March before completely stalling. I just need to add edge highlights (my least favourite part for some reason), weathering, and dirt before they are totally done. The three panzergrenadier stands need the flesh highlighted, some insignia added, and a few missed details to be finished. The Nebelwerfers need the most work. The crew are all unpainted. I did most of the basing today. The Nebs are the platoon that I am really worried I won't finish.
Work in progress. These were bare plastic and metal on Monday...

Can you tell the basing theme?

I also need to finish my display board. I have started a display board I am very excited about. If it matches my imagination it should be quite exciting when it is finished. Right now it is built and basecoated. It needs quite a bit more love.

Sneak peak at the 1iC.
So this all leaves me with two weeks to finish painting this company. A little pressure is a good thing or I would paint lots of random models and never finish a company. I will be glad to get everything done (hopefully!) for Attack-X. Unfortunately it means I won't have time to paint any other individual models for the painting competition. Stay tuned and I will hopefully have lots of pictures of finished models over the coming weeks!

15 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. I'm hoping it all looks nice and cohesive when it is finished...

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  2. Good luck: with the competition and the painting rush!

    CdlT

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    1. Thanks! It isn't easy for me to paint fast. I am a bit slow at painting by nature.

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  3. Looking great so far, good luck getting it finished! I like the look of your list, in fact I'm having similar thoughts with some German stuff I've just acquired. Sounds like you have some sound tactical insights, and your practice results are quite encouraging. Best of luck with the tournament :-)

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    1. I've only played a few games, but I think it is a pretty solid list. The spearhead and always attack is really useful. With the spearhead you are mitigating a turn of artillery, shooting and planes against you. I'm not totally sold on the Panzer IV/70s. In some ways I think another platoon of Panzer IVs might be better. I wanted something to threaten heavier tanks with though. We will see after the tournament. I'll put up an AAR post with some thoughts on the list too.

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  4. If it's an open tournament, you'll be glad you brought those iv/70's. With the Remagen book, there are some scary Reluctant Jagdtiger and King Tigers popping up.

    The latest tanks look great. Love the different commanders you've chosen. Think when I get started on my own Germans, I'll be using alternate commander models cut down for their tank officers too.

    Basing on the infantry is very nice - all custom, or are some resin efforts available for purchase? (I'm planning urban basing for my own Germans too.)

    Good luck on getting all this done. I think you can do it, you paint at a far faster speed than I. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Dai.

      The IV/70s seem to excel against medium tanks. Their AT 14 and slow movement doesn't really help against the super heavy tanks unfortunately. They are an option against Jumbos, Pershings, Panthers, and the Soviet heavy tanks though. We will see how they do. Maybe I will keep a little stats sheet for them.

      I've been using a variety of different commanders. Fortunately, Battlefront is now selling the new German plastic tank commander sprue separately (I bought 3!). The guy on the 1iC is from the new panzergrenadier command sprue. His jacket was just too cool to pass up.

      The basing is all custom work. There are some similar resin ones around but I really enjoy making my own bases. I'll look forward to seeing your urban Germans when they come. If you like urban, I think you will like my display base when it is finished :-).

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks. Painted panzers are better for blowing up Hungarian tanks I have heard... :-)

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  6. "Eat, sleep, paint, repeat. Eat, sleep, paint repeat....." Only funny if you have heard the fatboy slim song.

    Good luck getting everything done! My nebs are taking forever to finish and with the coming school year I don't think their situation is going to improve.

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    1. I got a big chunk of the Nebs done on Friday night while watching movies. If I didn't do so many highlights they would actually be done! Gun teams take me forever. Large base diorama + gun (like painting a tank) + an infantry stand = 1 gun.

      I will have everything playable at least, if not perfectly painted and finished.

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  7. Lookin nice, and answered pretty much everything I asked in da shoutbox. Keep it up, I'll be following. :) Cheers, Mikko

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    Replies
    1. Ah, von Richtofen's lounge. Took me a minute. The list has been decent so far. We will see after the tournament. It has the elements to be successful. The Panzer IVs are a bit more subtle and require more finesse than the Shermans I was using before.

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    2. Yep, tried out something like 2 +4 pzIV, 3 panthers, full aufkl plus schreck, möbels, 234/1s and nebs at 1650 once. Nebs are good, but fragile, if loosing points is an issue, thought about having a second recon for them.

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