Friday, 23 January 2015

Nachtjager Tale of 4 Gamers Painting Challenge

Hello All

With the new Late War book around the corner we thought it was a great chance to do every hobbyist's favourite challenge - a Tale of 4 Gamers. This will be based on Operations Varsity and Plunder with all of the armies from the new book. This also links in nicely to Ben's new years resolution.

The plan is to do three months of 600pts chunks with a legal army and games planned for month two. We will also be taking the armies to a tournament and we are looking into the possibility of a campaign as well.

Ben and Andy will be focusing on the Allies while Fez and Alex are going Axis.

So here are the guys to talk about what they are planning.

The Allies

Ben- Hi guys, I have been thinking about collecting British for a while now and when Alex
challenged me to do a New Years Resolution collecting challenge based on the new Late War book I figured it was time to get on board (the new Comet had nothing to do this, honest!).

So like a good wargamer I asked for a bucket load of British for Christmas and thanks to my wife I now own the whole army bar the new plastic British Infantry which I hope to get soon. This has left me in the slightly odd situation where I'm starting an infantry army without painting any infantry to start with.

My list focuses on the units I like the look of over "game effectiveness". That's not to say I don't think this is a good list, but more than a few toss up choices went to units you might not normally see in a tournament list.

51st Highlanders (Confident Veteran)
  • HQ + Bagpipes + Sniper
  • Full Infantry platoon with Ram Kangaroos and .50cals
  • Full Infantry platoon with Ram Kangaroos and .50cals
  • 4 Mortars
  • 3 Carriers + 3 Extra MG's
  • 3 Wasps
  • 6 6 Pounders
  • 2 Shermans and 2 Fireflies
  • 4 Archers
  • 4 Heavy Mortars
As I mentioned above my first month will not see any British Infantry (I'm hoping to get them done in month two), so I will focus on the support for my 1200pts list and paint up the Sherman/Firefly platoon, the Carrier platoon and Wasps. This, along with the second months two platoons of infantry in Rams and Mortar platoon should give me a well rounded 1200pts army for gaming with. I will probably also round out the Sherman platoon up to 6 Shermans and 4 Fireflies in month one as part of a planned Irish Guards list.

After the challenge I plan to add a Cromwell and a Comet list to bulk out the armour, I also have eyes on painting up the options to turn the infantry into a Canadian list as I don't need much more stuff, but 8 Land Mattresses might be on my painting list (yes that's right I'm going full Mattress!).

I look forward to seeing you all at the end of the first months painting.

Andy- When Ben approached me with this "Tale of 4 Games" type challenge my initial thought was great, something to get me motivated to get my US Para's done. The new book threw a slight spanner in the works as it focuses on the Rhine crossing parts of Operation Plunder rather than the airbourne assault of Operation Varsity. However after a bit of research I found this map of the operation and realised it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to substitute the 1st Commando Brigade for the 507th PIR, US 17th Airbourne .
Interestingly Capt. Lewis Nixon of the 506th PIR, 101st Airbourne (and Band of Brothers fame) jumped with the 507th having been selected by General Taylor to act as an adviser.

So my plan has changed slightly in that this is now a British Armoured Squadron but I managed to get some US Para infantry support in there and the theme for the army is still intact! My list is mainly just stuff I'd like to paint and with only a small amount of infantry to paint the timescales hopefully won't be too bad!

(Fudged) 11th Armoured (Confident Veteran)
  • HQ Comet
  • 3 Comets
  • 3 Comets
  • US 17th Airbourne Platoon (from Market Garden)
  • 4 Sextons + HQ and Sherman OP
  • 3 Stuart Jalopy's
  • 2 Bofors 40mm SP's
  • 1 AOP
So far I only have the plastic US Para's and the Sherman OP taken from the Open Fire! box so they'll be first on the painting table and I suspect the Comets may be last, so that should give me something to look forward to!

The Axis

Alex- So, another year, another painting challenge, though this time Ben has to actually finish it. Mwahahaha, I love it when a plan comes together.

So, having got a lovely sneak peak of Nachtjager I knew that I was going to be doing an Axis list, mainly because me doing a British list would involve me painting 6 comets and saying 'done'. That and there really isn't any room left for those Comets in my Late War British case and I'd have to get a new one, which I'd then need to fill.

With the choices available to the Germans in this very tasty little book, it boils down to three options, one is the Kriegsmarine deployed as Grenadiers, with Railway carriage mounted FlaK 88's, and two Nightfighting Panther lists. So, I had a little play around and came up with a list with 16 Flak 88's and a lot of artillery, which Ben said I couldn't do (presumably because he wants to do it to take to some tournament or other)

So with that ruled out, I had a look at the Panzer lists. Now I've been wanting to add some Panthers to my Germans (in order to kill T34's) and also wanting to use the Panzer IV's I got last year which have remained half basecoated for quite some time as my ADHD has taken me in different directions. I then spotted gold dust: Motorcycle Recce. I've been wanting to do a Motorcycle Recce list for ages and what could be cooler than night fighting, Infra-red equipped Panthers and Motorcycle Recce.

So I've plumped for Panzerkampfgruppe Von Benningsen and am combining Panthers, Panzer IV's and motorcycle recce in one big auto-attacking lump of aggressiveness.

Now I'm not entirely convinced that nightfighting and motorcycle recce work that well synergistically, what with the motorcycle's speed being limited by the darkness,  but whatever happens, I will be intending to get into people's faces quickly.

So the list I've come up with is:

Panzer Kampfgruppe von Benningsen (Reluctant Veteran)
HQ  - 2 Panzer IV J's
3 Panthers with IR equipment
3 Panzer IV J's
Aufklarungs platoon with 3 squads
Aufklarungs platoon with 3 squads
Aufklarungs Cannon Platoon - 4 Sd Kfz 250/8 (7.5cm)'s
3 Ostwinds

The idea is that they sneak forwards while the Panthers sit back and shoot stuff in a night attack. The Motorcycles get into position, then dismount and someone has to try an dislodge two platoons of veteran MG/Faust teams. The Panzer IV's all stick together and form an assault platoon if needed and the Cannons and Ostwinds can dig out anything annoying like infantry

Here's what I've got so far (well I actually have two boxes of Motorcycle Recce, but I binned the first lot of packaging after making them.

I'm also aware that I have made something of a rod for my own back by having to paint up both mounted and dismounted infantry, but life's not fun without a challenge.

I still think Ben will bail out.

Fez- Ever since I saw the sneak peek of Nachtjager, I knew in my heart of hearts I would be doing a British Comet list, and IR equipped Panthers. When it came to the challenge, I ended up choosing the Panther list, Kampfgroupe Wallenberg – Or Walhberg :-)

Kampfgroupe Wallenberg  (Reluctant Veteran)
·         HQ Panther w. IR Equipment
·         2 Panthers w. IR Equipment and UHU 251
·         2 Panthers w. IR Equipment and UHU 251
·         3 Stugs
·         3 Mobelwagons
·         Full Panzer Sturm platoon with IR equipment
·         Heavy Platoon – two mortar and two cannon 251's
·         Volkssturm platoon, full with mg team

After playing Reluctant Trained, defensive heavy Jagdtiger lists it’s now time to seize the initiate, and become spearheading-auto-night-attacking knife fighters! I’ve not played any army with any of these rules, so it’s going to be a fun learning experience. I’ve forfeited my usual air support, as I wouldn’t be seeing any of it for half the game, and by then I’ll be too close to actually call it in. All the IR equipped platoons gain the spearhead rule when they night attack, so I’ll be looking to have these on the board, along with the ever present Volksturm sat on an objective. That puts the heavy platoon, mobelwagons and stugs in reserve on the usual half-on-half-off missions, which should be able to respond to the enemy’s plans.
Not quite as impressive as Ben's picture....
At the moment, I only have the plastic Stugs, as the rest of the list is in the post, or not actually released yet – I’m looking forward to using the plastic panthers, and some awesome Vampir equipped Sturmgewehr 44 carrying Panzergrens. While waiting for the postman to bring me some toys, I popped down to Bovingdon Tank Museum to look at their 1945 Panther, and gain some inspiration for colour schemes:
Running out of paint, the '45 colour schemes relied heavily on the red-oxide primer
Not sure how I'll manage with the lighter-cream boundary line, but I'll try!
That said, the first month is going to be the Stugs, Heavy Platoon and the MobleWagons, joined by three Panthers and the VolksSturm in the second one, which should give me a viable 1200pt list to start playing with. I’m sure to get some proxy games in before then, as its going to take a large adjustment to my play style to figure out what works, I hope you’ll enjoy sharing the journey!

We are all quite excited so please check back in on the 8th Febuary when the first post will go up with month ones models hopefully completed.


  1. Sounds like a lot of painting for Ben lol Alex go for the 16 flak 88's think of the readers we want to see max 88 madness on trains!

  2. I think mat makes a good point alex :-)

    And yeah being the only guy doing infantry.....

  3. vallejo iraqi sand might work for the cream colored boundary paint.

    1. Indeed, it was getting s soft edged line that thin so its in scale. I've got a few test pieces in the works, I might end up making it a solid brush job.