After playing one more battle with couple of additional StuGs that I borrowed, I realized that the real fun comes from playing 1500 / 1750 battles.
I've started to look for a suitable company. In all of the computer games I've played, I tend to choose armor forces. This time I wanted to try something new, so I chose infantry. In addition, I've always preferred quality over quantity (although the history shows that the quality of quantity is usually a better option). Therefore, I ended up with two options – either to choose Fallschirmjägers or Waffen-SS.
I started from going through different rosters of paratroopers. They are really strong with all the support options they have. However, they seemed to be a one way ticket to limit all of my future choices to infantry. So I decided to choose Waffen-SS, because they offer much more flexibility. If I liked to start collecting a tank company, I would have supporting infantry platoons ready for action.
OK, but which SS division should I choose? Additional criterion was that I wanted to have at least one Panther tank. I've always admired its silhouette. However, I didn't want to go for the whole platoon of them, because it would consume too many points destroying the balance of the company by leaving infantry as a support unit for tanks. I wanted go in the opposite direction.
I found two companies that fulfilled the criteria - 2nd and 12th SS Panzer Divisions together with Ernst Barkmann and his Panther (both from Earth & Steel book). Although the special rule of 12th Division seemed more useful, I wanted to reuse my StuGs, thus I ended up with the 2nd SS.
I started from buying two boxes: a SS Panzergrenadiers Company (GBX18) and Oberscharführer Ernst Barkmann (GBX21). Together with my StuGs, they gave a quick option to man my first 1500-point company.
I played a couple of battles with my first order of battle [pdf]. After couple of months, I am still collecting new additions to the core force and adjust it a little bit. Because of that I haven't managed to finish painting all the bases (although they are all in state that enables playing).