Tuesday, July 2, 2019


As promised (and better late than never) here are my concepts for field-expedient markers for IRON CROSS.  I am going to make a handful of these suckers and try them out with a small scenario from Norm's Tigers at Minsk.

My idea is pretty simple and subtle - a counter behind the unit that lays flat on the table.  The number touching the base or facing towards the unit is the corresponding number of command tokens that have been spent.  My thoughts are both sides are marked with 1 through 4 on the front side, and 5 through 8 on the other.

This SS squad has spent 3 command tokens already!

This MERDC painted M551 Sheridan has spent 2 command tokens in Seven Days to the Rhine!
I think the only part that makes this difficult is you'll still have to track your "actual" tokens spent in a pile, somewhere as it will get tedious to constantly count pips.

Otherwise, I'm on kid duty all this week but I've been able to squeeze in time for painting.  I took this time to re-start the micro TEAM YANKEE American project.  You may or may not remember last year when I messed up all of my MERDC painted micro armor.  So I sprayed all of it in field drab and am completely starting over now with my US forces...

M163 Vulcan Air Defense System (VADS) platoon in summer verdant MERDC all WIP and unbased.
I am working on the core of an American infantry company, and 2 armor companies, an M1 company and an M60 company.  With 3 infantry platoons, i'll be able to field both an armor-heavy and an infantry-heavy company team in Team Yankee (and all the support goodies that accompany them like howitzers, ITVs, air defence, rotary wing attack aviation, and of course A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, which will always be known affectionately as the WARTHOG on this blog!)

M113 gaggle.  An infantry platoon, mortar platoon, and VADs, all still WIP.
 Like my micro armor projects this past fall/winter (the epic Christmas Offensive of 2018 featuring the Yom Kippur war!) these units will all be based on 3mm thick MDF small Flames of War bases.

More gear

ITV platoon

M60 platoon - the GHQ models are beautiful.

Abrams platoon.  The tank that needs no introduction.

M109 howitzers.

Lots of tanks to paint still!
Other projects include finishing off the damned SS company that I've been working on since February.  2 squads left, or 4 fireteams if you will.  Also finishing up my Soviet supports including a 122mm howitzer battery, and a 57mm AT gun battery.

Game Models 122mm resin howitzers - the Russian God of War.  I like them alot but am in the process of painting them vallejo green-olive.

Note the long-barrel AT guns also getting their paint job!

Some gratuitous pics of my SS company that will hopefully motivate me to get the darn thing finished!

Missing 4 stands 

Mix of BF and Command Decision minis for the command stand.

So here are some questions for everyone to ponder - I am looking at project planning for this year's CHRISTMAS OFFENSIVE MEGA GAME and am looking at my options which I thought I'd lay out for you all now.  What is everyone thinking?  So far I'm brainstorming and have come up with the following short but ambitious list:

  • Aspern Essling 10mm (probably with the Blucher rules)
  • Gettysburg 15mm (with either Neil Thomas' ACW rules or the whole battle with Altar of Freedom)
  • Fulda Gap 1984 1/285 set at company level 
  • Ponyri Station 1/285 set at company or battalion level
  • Stalingrad 15mm set at battalion level
  • Seven Years War 15mm battle 

Let me know what everyone thinks?  I need to start painting!


  1. All nice stuff Steve. The markers on the coins are used in some boardgames as strength markers, which are marked 1 - 4 on one side (against the flat edges) and 5 - 8 on the other. I seem to recall that they were called 'Poulter' markers after the designer of a game that they first appeared in.

    I have three suggestions for a Christmas project, Aspern Essling 10mm, Aspern Essling 10mm, Aspern Essling 10mm:-)

    1. THanks, Norm! So that's 3 votes for Aspern-Essling :)

      Appreciate the insight on the markers. I feel like I'm going to start mass-producing them on pennies.

  2. Nicely done, impressive collection of tanks and beautiful army!

  3. Steve,

    The tokens seem reasonable and effective, but gotta tell ya, 'regular' MERDC looks better than verdant, it's classic! ;) Just kidding, it all looks great, and that's a lot of Red arty.


    1. Jack, I completely agree with you. It's what everyone thinks of when they think of MERDC.

      THe Arty is the last of my 'uge Game Models order from Christmas. I still have the German howitzers and nebelwerfers to paint, too! Then there's the crews!

  4. Sorry, I didn't hear about a MERDC emergency previously. Glad it is all getting worked out, the army looks amazing.

    I have a couple of different ideas, but _to me_ a Christmas game should be themed around a Christmas battle, and I'd like to have some white felt scattered around the table, etc., and a tiny manger set up somewhere, etc.
    - The battle of the Bulge in 15mm I have several great books on it, featuring George B. MacDonald.
    - the battle of the Bulge 1980, featuring the notorious winter surprise offensive by the Godless Communist Hordes thru the Fulda Gap on Dec 16.
    - Trenton / Princeton AWI
    - a WWII variation of Trenton / Princeton in 15mm WWII, featuring a surprise attack by the US 28ID against Hesse Landsers, and their immediate counter-attack to secure their horde of Nazi gold from "les amis".

    Hope those are interesting thoughts.

    For rules I still want to try Iron Cross [your recommendation] but I still have a soft spot for Neil Thomas "Introduction..." WWII rules, which I am going to simplify a bit. I think it'd make a great grid game, also. Which reminds me we haven't replayed Norm's WWII rules in a while, which were also enjoyable.

  5. Another vote for Aspern-Essling here (no surprise that, eh?).

  6. Excellent idea with the markers - I will be stealing ;)
    I vote Fulda Gap (of course)