So what tank lists really do stand out in Mid War (and are usable for ETC), apart from the pretty obvious Mixed Tankovy battalion? With this question in mind I went through the available briefings and selected 3 that were of most interest to me. Below, the results of my analysis.
I really like the list and the flexibility it offers. It gives access to a decent mix of tanks of many sorts and sizes like Pz38s (which are your compulsory platoons), Panzer 2s, Panzer 3s and 4s of multiple versions. Heavy tank enthusiasts might find themselves unimpressed because of the absence of the option to field Tiger I tanks but personally, I would not cry over this fact :)
What is also important, the list can field a platoon of self-propelled tank hunters. Most of them are variations of Marders (either AT 11 or AT 12) but there is also the option to use Panzerjager Is - although from the competitive POV I feel it is completely unnecessary.
When designing my list, I picture Marders and upgraded Panzer 4s as the main source of anti-tank shots for the list.
Also, the list has access to cheap recon and smoke. The latter comes in the form of either smoke templates from Nebelwerfers or artillery or direct shots from Panzer 4s of the E/F1 version.
If you feel like spending tons of points to get access to a mobile breakthrough gun, you can also go for a platoon of StuG/StuH assault guns, but it will hurt in terms of cost...
All this is topped with the usual addition of panzergrenadiers, panzerpioniers and medium artillery.
I would say that overall this list makes a very good anti-infantry or anti-mech force, since it is based on compulsory platoons of light tanks which, in most cases, will be either hunting for recon/other light tank units or trying to get an assault in, using smoke for cover and their multiple machine guns to pin the enemy.
My favourite Czech Panzer list at this point in time would be:
HQ: 2x Pz38
Platoon 1: 4x Pz38
Platoon 2: 4x Pz38
Platoon 3: 3x Panzer F2 or G
Platoon 4: 4x Marder II (the one with an AA gun for more flexibility)
Platoon 5: 3x Panhard
Platoon 6: 3x 15cm Nebelwerfer + Pak36 with stielgranate ammo (AT 12, range 8", RoF 1)
Romanian lists are always a bit of a gamble due to their "Peasant Army" rule. This is not really helpful in designing competitive lists but I think their Mid War tank company has a decent potential nevertheless.
The basic reason for this is the relatively low cost coupled with a relatively big chance to be veteran. If you take Panzer 4 Gs for an example, they cost approximately 20% less than their German brothers but still you can expect them to be veteran in most of the games. The caveat here is that sometimes you will be a Reluctant Veteran but I think that for tanks that play the anti-tank role it is not such a big disadvantage.
Romanian tanks also have access to some relatively cheap 4/4+ artillery in the form of Skoda 100mm guns but you have to remember that the low cost is associated with the lack of smoke bombardment option (also true for Late War companies).
The rest is pretty similar to a regular German tank list, with the exception of the fact that you will not be able to field self-propelled, lightly armored tank hunters. This is a pity, since the only substitute you can use is a platoon of 4 Pak40 guns. They are not so bad themselves but in a mobile list they will sometimes become deadweight.
In any case, I think this is a fairly strong anti-tank list that can dish out a lot of AT11/AT12 fire.
The way I would build it for this anti-tank duty is presented below:
Elite (66% chance to be veteran)
HQ: Panzer 4G
Platoon 1: 3x Panzer III N
Platoon 2: 3x Panzer IV G
Platoon 3: 3x Panzer IV G
Platoon 4: 4x Pak40 + transport
Platoon 5: 1x Sd Kfz 223 + 2x Sd Kfz 222
Platoon 6: 4x Skoda 100mm + transport (so that you can also use them in a direct role vs infantry)
It is really hard to put my finger on what is so good about this list. But the best way to describe it I think would be to say that this list simply has it all. You can build any combination you want with it. You can go heavily anti-infantry, you can go for a fast flanking force or tank buster. This is why I will not even bother to put together my favorite US Tank list because there are so many possibilities.
But why do I think it has it all?
1. It has access to fast, lightly armored tanks and to their heavier, slower cousins. Both options can be used in the compulsory slots. This is like having light and regular tank company of Late War in one briefing. Also, you are only limited to one compulsory platoon matching your HQ so you can even have a mix of the two!
2. One word: stabilisers!
3. Like in Late War, your tanks have access to direct smoke.
4. You can field Tank Destroyers for extra anti-tank. These can be AT 7, 9 or 12 - up to you.
5. 105 and 155mm arty is available.
6. Jeep mobility recon is in. You can also get foot patrols with transports if you want.
7. You can go for cheap smoke templates with M2 mortar half-tracks.
8. Many others :)
Overall, I think this list will be used quite often as it can fill any gaps in ETC teams.
What are your thoughts after this lengthy article? :) What tank lists do YOU expect to see often at the ETC?