Each team was given poker chips to represent available points to choose and deploy their tanks. In this scenario, each had 25 points to choose three tanks. If a tank was destroyed, the winning team would get that many points in chips – which they could use to either upgrade a deployed tank, buy a new tank, or purchase a Bonus Card. The destroyed tank would respawn in the game. There was a river in the middle of the board, with roughly equivalent terrain on both sides of the board. I said that any tank on the opposite side of the river at the game’s end would count for two times as many points for victory. This gave each side an incentive to move forward.
For initial forces, the Germans chose two Panzer IVD’s (2 for 14 points) and a Panzer 38(t) (one for 9 points), leaving them with 2 chips extra. The Germans passed on choosing a Panzer IIC. The French chose two R35’s (2 for 14 points) and one SOMUA S35 (1 for 10 points), leaving them with one extra chip. While there were StuG IIIA and Char B1 bis vehicles in the inventories, I did not allow either to be chosen initially for reasons of play balance.
At that point the game was called. The French crossed one R35 to the other side of the river and got 14 points. The final score was France 38, Germans 12. It was a good rolling day for the French and a bad one for the Germans. The best tanks did not get to deploy, but both sides needed to use terrain well, and they did. It was nice to have some new players (Leif, Ethan, and Scott), thank you for coming. Everyone had fun, and I will run this scenario again.
French 38 chips:
1 chip left over from initial deployment (1 chip)
Two Panzer IVD’s knocked out (14 chips)
1 Panzer 38 (t) knocked out (9 chips)
1 R35 on the other side of the river at game’s end (14 points)
Germans 12 chips:
2 chips left over from initial deployment (2 chips)
1 SOMUA knocked out (10 chips)
Our next session will be on January 5th at 2 PM at 110 Pleasant Street, East Brookfield, MA. Please follow us on FaceBook at the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club.
My focus continued to be on early war vehicles. I had enough forces for an early Eastern Front game between the Axis (Germans and Italians) and the Soviets, but I wanted to have more variety in terms of tanks available. My KV-1 platoon needed some help, so I added some BT-series tanks.
My other goal was to build German and French forces for a France 1940 scenario. For the Germans I added a Panzer IIC, a Panzer IIIE, and three StuG Ausf A assault guns to my fleet. For the French, I added two Renault 35’s and three SOMUA S-35’s. All of these came from the Flames of War line from Battlefront Miniatures. I really like their tanks, even though I don’t play Flames of War! I think that I can get some crossover between the early-war German forces for such a scenario and use some on the Eastern Front. Long term, I am also planning on designing a North Africa scenario for the British and the Germans, and some of the figures I got from Battlefront will serve nicely after I paint them in desert colors.
Regarding colors, I also acquired some of the Battlefront paints so as to understand the colors that they recommend. The current Battlefront “Colours of War” line mixes sets of 20 ml and 12 ml dropper bottles, as compared with Vallejo’s 17 ml bottles. It appears that at least some of their paints may have been made by Vallejo, at least in the past. I found them to be good paints that worked well either thinned in an airbrush or a regular brush. At the end of this post, I will share the paints and materials that I used for those interested.
The two Soviet tanks that I added were the BT-5 and the BT-7. An advantage of adding these will be that they also were used against the Finns in the Winter War and against the Japanese at Nomonhan in 1939 and during the Soviet Invasion of Manchuria in 1945. So, I can use them in different scenarios for sure. I followed the same procedure to paint these as I did my previous early war Soviet tanks.
For assembly, I again chose to magnetize the turrets by drilling out the hulls and the turrets and using rare earth magnets. I weathered all of the tanks, as I prefer my tanks to be muddy. I also left the crews out, as I did not like the way they fit in the turrets. Of note, their Christie suspensions (an American invention) would be reproduced with the T-34 series.
I have always had an affinity for the French Army, as I have a French name (albeit of French-Canadian extraction), speak French, and spent time with three different Regiments du Genie (Engineer Regiments) back in the 1980’s.
SOMUA prepped for drilling and magnetizing the turrets
R-35’s in the blister – tiny 2-man tanks!
Assembling and painting these would require new uses of poster tack, plastic plates, and wood screws. This allowed me to both safely handle the tanks in production but also to get the right look of the camouflage. I decided to leave the crews out, as I had little confidence that they would survive the tabletop for very long as the models were designed.
I also got to play with some decals from Battlefront. These did require retreatment with Liquid Decal Film from Microscale Industries before I used their other products to affix their decals. I could not believe that the French roundel decal came in two pieces (the blue dot was separate and had to be affixed after and onto the red-ringed white circle). That was annoying!
For the Germans, I chose to use the Panzer IIC, the Panzer IIIE, and the Sturmgeschutz Ausf A. The Panzer II’s came in a box of 5 – but was missing one tank gun. Battlefront has promised to make this good (and I expect it soon). I chose to make one of the Panzer II’s a France 1940 candidate, saving the other four for a North African scenario that I will complete later on. The Panzer IIIE came in three separate blisters. Ironically, the Panzer IIIE was the worst of the Germans to assemble. One gun was almost split, and the turrets were nearly three different sizes. There were a lot of mold lines to correct as well, especially on the tracks.
I repaired the one gun with green stuff, and chose it for the France 1940 group, saving the other two for North Africa. Lastly, historically it seems that very few StuG III’s made it to North Africa. Therefore, I added all three of the assault guns for my France 1940 scenario.
Panzer II’s prepped.
The Panzer IIIE blisters
The StuG Ausf A box.
Assembled/repaired Pz IIIE’s
Assembled StuG IIIA.
How I mounted the turrets
Mounted turrets for painting
Pz II and III primed
StuG IIIA’s base coated
I was glad to have finished these in time for our club’s monthly session (which I will post about shortly). I will be adding more to my fleet, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoyed these. Do you have a favorite?
I appreciate hearing your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below. Thanks for looking!
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, WASHES, AND FLOCKING USED:
COMMONLY USED ON MULTIPLE TANKS:
Vallejo “Flow Improver”
Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
Battlefront “German Camo Black Brown”
Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
Vallejo Mecha Color “Green”
Battlefront German Camo Black Brown
Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
Vallejo “Light Sienna” (pigment)
Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
Vallejo “Natural Umber” (pigment)
Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Rust Wash” (weathering)