Der Kaput!

The Scarlet J and I had our second game of Jim Day’s Panzer this afternoon. As you may guess from the bad German of the post title, it was a resounding allied victory. I talked enough trash on poor old TSJ at the actual game, so I’ll be a little decorous here, and not rub it in. At least not too much.



I pursued a ‘hammer and anvil’ strategy. This is the anvil.3 Daimlers, 3 Grants, and two platoons of Shermans move down a desert track in column.


This game is the debut of the new desert mat I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. It looks ok-still needs some work. Overall it’s a bit too dark and brown. It’s a little tricky getting the right amount of grit in the caulk mixture, when you’re intending to use the mat for 1/285 gaming. Kitty litter is enormous at that scale, but playground sand is a little too fine to get excellent texture out of. I may add some grass tufts, although that might prove difficult at this scale, too. The new mat is 6’x9,’ and took around 13 tubes of acrylic caulk to coat! The tarp I used as a backing material was around $7, and the caulk was around $50. Add in miscellaneous supplies and paint, and you’re looking at around $75 to do a similar mat. Of course, the cost goes up if you’re doing something that will require flocking.


The hammer, light, agile, but hard hitting. Crusaders advance over a hill on the left flank. Erwin’s not-as-bright brother, Elwin, looks on.


More Crusaders, because they’re fun to look at.


The Scarlet J’s column of panzers. These roads need work. In fact, I may just start using some sort of fine model railroad grit for roads. I don’t think the caulk roads are ever going to look decent at this scale.


More of the allied column. The Daimlers are pulling away in the distance, trusting to their speed and agility to keep them safe. Or safe-ish.


The panzers deploy from the road, but the plucky (they’re always plucky, right?) Brits draw first blood.


But the Germans return the favor, with interest. Quickly knocking out a Crusader and a Grant.


Said knocked out Grant. But here comes trouble for the Germans.


These are the sort of angles you want. Crusaders preparing to take some side shots into the mass of German tanks.


Another view.


This little wheel measures the shot angle, and is placed on the target tank. The blue shaded areas are side shots, obviously. The Sherman is a pretty tough tank in 1942. The Germans had a very tough time penetrating her armor, particularly with any sort of oblique shot.


Things go very badly for the Germans, as the Shermans get into the action. Ironically, TSJ won the initiative at the critical moment, but at least a half-dozen hits on the Shermans pinged off into the distance, instead of causing damage.


More Crusaders, keeping watch and taking the occasional falling shot onto weak German top hull armor.


Even more damage is done to the Germans.

This game turned into a disaster for The Scarlet J. The Brits got position on him, and his Mk IIIs just couldn’t deal with the Shermans’ heavy armor. His long-barreled PZIVs were quickly knocked out by the concentrated fire of my Crusaders and Shermans. Without their hard hitting canons he didn’t stand much of a chance. Final score was two knocked out British tanks, and one disabled vs….um….all but three of the German tanks. Great fun for me!

TSJ and I haven’t played a game in quite some time. I’d like to develop a greater understanding of these rules, so we can begin to incorporate some of the more interesting elements, like force quality, morale, hidden movement, offboard artillery, AT guns, infantry, and, well, you get the idea. It’s all in there, and we will start adding the various sections of rules over time. I’ve also got a lot of work to do on terrain. I have the supplies for palm trees and some desert-appropriate buildings. I think we need to have a fight over an oasis, next, instead of these boring old crossroads!

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  • Frank  On 02/15/2015 at 6:57 pm

    Looks like a good game! Not often you see the terms “Sherman” and “heavy armor” used together…. Tell Elwin, er, TSJ “hello” for me. And congrats on the win!

    • arkiegamer  On 02/16/2015 at 9:05 am

      Heavy might be an amusing misnomer, but the Shermans seemed like tigers vs. the PZIIIs that TSJ had. I suspect it would have been a different story, had he gotten some flank shots.

      • Frank  On 02/16/2015 at 9:43 am

        Yes, in that game I can see where armor classification is relative. It really does look like these rules give a good game.

  • General Whiskers  On 02/15/2015 at 11:40 pm

    Good looking desert, but I see your problem with roads. How to get something that is mobile and flexible (but only where you want it to be) is always a problem, particularly at small scales.
    I like your tank shot wheel. I guess that comes with the rules?

    • arkiegamer  On 02/16/2015 at 9:08 am

      I have a small hand vacuum, and I think I could put out roads using model railroad grit, and then suck them back up after the game. I need to test it out.

      The tank shot wheel is a component from the game. You reference the shot angle to a chart on a tank data card, and then roll vs. the chart to determine the final hit location, and the armor value in that location. The game moves very quick, even if the data cards with their multiple columns of charts are daunting at first glance.

      I highly recommend Panzer, if you want to get ‘down in the weeds’ with armored warfare.

  • houseofqueeg  On 02/17/2015 at 12:48 am

    The Mat looks great! The texture looks good for the scale and I hope you get a solution you’re happy with for the roads. We never had flexible contours to deal with when we played micro (a few year ago lol) so things were easier ….


    • arkiegamer  On 02/17/2015 at 11:35 am

      Thank you, sir. I typically use athletic flooring under these mats, and pin them down with steel pins. Now that I’ve moved up to 6’x9′, and I need to buy more of the flooring. Never ending gushing of $$$ from my pocket!

  • daggerandbrush  On 02/17/2015 at 3:30 am

    “Papiere bitte!” Good mat indeed. Some of the pictures look like old photographs. I think the fine sand or grit solution for roads might be the way to go. Do I see right that Elwin sported a period hat?

    • arkiegamer  On 02/17/2015 at 11:48 am

      Thanks! The pictures with the cooler colors are close to reality. I really need to work on my photography skills…the colors are all over the place. Elwin is sporting a period hat, but only due to the use of Photoshop-he bears an uncanny resemblance to Erwin.

  • 40kterminatus  On 02/17/2015 at 5:43 am

    I like the mat and the colour. I also agree with Daggerandbrush about using sand or grit for your roads. You also have got to get a black leather coat for Elwin next time lol

    • arkiegamer  On 02/17/2015 at 11:48 am

      You only get the black leather trenchcoat if you pass staff college!

      • 40kterminatus  On 02/17/2015 at 12:00 pm


  • tinpotrevolutionary  On 02/28/2015 at 3:25 pm

    Fantastic looking game there Mr.Arkie! I do love seeing ittie bittie tanks fighting over vast distances.

    • arkiegamer  On 02/28/2015 at 5:18 pm

      Thank you, sir! I hope to step up the terrain game considerably, in the future.

  • Roose Bolton  On 04/03/2015 at 7:16 am

    Curious who’s models and rules you’re using for your game. Sorry if this has been asked and answered somewhere before, but I haven’t gone through all the comments yet.


    • arkiegamer  On 04/03/2015 at 9:43 am

      Hi Roose,

      We are using Jim Day’s Panzer rules. I’m enjoying them quite a bit-they’re similar in complexity to the original Squad Leader rules (NOT ASL). You can read about them here:

      They are available in PDF and print-on-demand format from Wargames Vault. There is also a board game version, in current release, by GMT. Unfortunately, to do the desert war, you’d need copies of the original game by Yaquinto, and they’re long out of print, and somewhat pricey.

      My models are all 1/285 GHQ. I think my opponent’s models are CinC, but don’t quote me on it.

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