Today I’m going to be looking at a new list I threw together for a break from larger projects. The company is one of the Clausewitz Panzerkampfgruppe taken from Nachtjager and it was quick and easy to buy, put together and paint. Adam has written a post here about night fighting lists and how he prefers the digital Berlin list so we had a long discussion about it before the new year after one of our games in Southampton. I don’t disagree with his points; I have a digital list drawn up with what might be a better list of Panthers, StuH, Tigers, AA, Recce and Smoke but this Von Benningsen list interested me.
So what’s in the list? 9 Panthers with night fighting kit, split into CiC and three platoons (one short) and each with an attached Sd Kfz 251/20 (Uhu) and rounding out the list are three platoons of armoured cars (4 Sd Kfz 221 and 2 Sd Kfz 222). So the list has 6 platoons at 1800 points (yes the old late war points total, I built this before the proposed change for 2016) all of which can spearhead / recce move if you’re attacking at night. It also means the list can capitalise on half on, half off missions as the vast majority of the points is wrapped up in the 9 Panthers!
Nachtjager comes with a good painting guide for late war German armour and what their painters used for basecoats and camouflage as they scrounged equipment. I used the same three base colours on every vehicle with a different camo pattern but used them in different combinations of base and camo coats and varied the washes used depending on the platoon. It means the army looks like an unified force but there is distinction between platoons. I often feel this is important for competitive games where platoons are going to share space and move together and will help my opponent keep track of what I’m doing.
The idea, which worked fine in a practice game is to use the speed of the army combined with night fighting spear heads and terrain to go for an objective quickly whilst killing anything that can take on the front armour of a panther. By using a forest and building to limit firing lines and keeping the panthers spread out so any templates can only pick on one at a time the AT14 FP3+ guns are pretty effective.
Stormtrooper also comes in handy. On turn one after spearheading forward into range, you can light up targets with the UHU and then stormtrooper back out of range. This only works against trained troops that you can hit at long range but it made for a frustrating first turn for a dug in infantry and gun line that lost three anti tank guns with no way to respond.
Opponents need to maintain discipline against this list with their veterans so the Panthers have to expose themselves to get kills before dawn. If this list is slowed down and dawn breaks it’s life becomes a lot harder and some of its advantages melt away. This is what the recce is partly there for as they all come with AA to limit aircraft as well as prevent ambushes and whittle down infantry platoons before assaults. On that note the one thing this list will struggle with his infantry hoards, it doesn’t have the moral or numbers to dig huge platoons off objectives.
I’m looking forward to a few more serious games with this list to play around with tactics and even if it does go wrong…. I needed nine of the model in the list for other German armies so it gives me some variety!
Hope you enjoyed a look at the army and have a go at night fighting lists one day!