Part One – Plans of Action

Lee kicks off a new army project as he revisits the DAK.

Those who listen to the podcast will know that I have been brow-beaten into running a tournament for the first time in many years.  I’m still waiting for the venue (Dice Saloon) to confirm we are good to go but notionally the plan for DAK DAK Goes Fourth is:

The first “DAK! DAK! Go!” in Dice Saloon v1.

100pts Red vs Blue Tournament using Mid-War North Africa/Mediterranean forces from:

  • British Empire: Armoured Fist/Desert Rats and Red Devils
  • USA: Fighting First and All American
  • Germany: AfrikaKorps (including 90th Light Division), Iron Cross (as it does a better job of Tunisia/Siciliy Germans) and Death From Above
  • Italy: Avanti and Death From Above

Note that we will use the existing books.

There are a few restrictions in so far as the following formation cards can only be taken as a second formation:

  • British Empire: Any Armoured Car Squadron (Humber, Daimler, Mailed Fist)
  • USA: M3A1 Armoured Recon Company
  • Germany: Armored Car Company
  • Italy: AB41 Armored Car Company, L6/40 Light Tank Company

Other details will follow shortly but those are the bits that will influence the rest of that article.

Now, whilst I prefer to sit out of any tournaments I run, its handy to have a plan to fight in case I need to balance any last minute drop outs, especially when a major pandemic can ruin someone’s weekend with little notice.

My allied force was fairly easy to determine.  I was quite enamoured with the “Gazala-era” British Armour/Motor Infantry force that Martin had cooked up in a recent article and I had all the elements to do it with no new painting beyond some touching up of what is my oldest (and very “worn”) Flames of War force.  I started it back in v1 in 2006!

A small part of my British army for North Africa
Martin’s suggested “Gazala era” force.

The axis force was trickier. Slightly younger than the British force,  it mostly consisted of a Panzergrenadier company, with PaK-38, captured 6pdr and PAK-40 anti-tank guns, back up by captured 25pdr and Lorraine Schleppers.  The armoured component was a mix of PzIIIL plus PzIVF1 and F2 that didn’t make an especially compelling v4 force.

I probably could have put together a decent enough Panzergrenadier force (using Iron Cross), but decided to take the opportunity to clear some unpainted models off the shelf.  I had 15 partially assembled Plastic Soldier Company Panzer III, the same again of PzIV, plus a box of their Pz-38t to build some SdKfz 139 Marder III (7.62cm).  I also had some Battlefront Panzer II and the old metal 88’s that had been assembled on their carriages but not painted.  On paper, I could sketch out a fairly compelling list that kept the “Gazala” theme.

Panzer IIIJ make up the core of the force with their short 5cm.  This still packs a AT8 punch out to 24″, enough to deal reliably with anything up to and including a Grant as well as threaten a Sherman.  Churchill’s were another matter though.

To provide some artillery I added a PzIVF1 platoon. It’s short 7.5cm wasn’t going to worry anything heavier than a Stuart but the direct and indirect smoke and bombardment capability would deal with infantry and anti-tank guns.  The two platoons would form my reserve in most games.

Rounding out the formation was a small Panzer II platoon.  These were mostly in for the Spearhead capability, but they were also useful artillery harassers and, with top armour 1, could assault a depleted infantry platoon as well as any other tank in the force!  They also got a fifth platoon in the formation which is always good for morale!

At this point I was light on top-end anti-tank so I turned to the Marder to provide some long ranged punch.  They are (some what incredulously) cheap for mid-war and give an answer to the Churchill and Sherman the rest of the force lacks.  A quick check revealed that the first examples were in theatre for Gazala too (six in DAK HQ).  

I couldn’t *not* include an “88” as they are *the* signature gun of the desert war, especially firing from the carriage.  Whilst I had two, I decided to just field one as two have a tendency of running when one dies!  Better just to lose one and be done.

I rounded out the force with a small Panzergrenadier platoon.  They could either guard an objective or help clear infantry from my opponents.

In the next article I’ll look at December and January’s painting progress.