The Norwegian Wolves and the Hunter

The Norwegian Wolves and the Hunter

The Norwegian Wolves and the Hunter
By Adam Brooker

Can you think of two things that go together as well as vegemite on toast? Or peanut butter and jelly?  I would have to think it has got to be G-Wagons and TOW missiles! Surely!!

With Norway being introduced as a faction in Nordic Forces, we get this fabulous mix in the form of the Feltvogn (Field wagon) and the NM142 Rakettpanserjager. The NM142 is the integral anti-tank section in either the Norwegian Leopard 1 Squadron or the M113 Storm Squadron. The NM142 is very similar to the US M901 ITV with either the improved TOW or the TOW-2 missile, and the Feltvogn is the Wolf G-Wagon a military version of the Mercedes G-Wagon 240GD. Both are part of the new model range being brought out in Nordic Forces which will be able to be used under multiple Nations in some cases.


The NM142 was a licenced M113 chassis with a TOW missile turret that was designed by Kværner Eureka, and armed with a twin Hughes BGM-71D TOW launcher, that used the improved TOW and later the TOW-2 missile. This same turret was also used on the Canadian M113 TOWs and the Swiss panzerjager Piranha vehicle. The NM142 was a much more lethal anti-tank platform than the upgraded Chaffe tank destroyer it was replacing, the NM116, and originally around 100 were ordered to beef up the Norwegian army anti-tank units. 


NM116 - Panserjager

The NM116 Panserjager was a WW2 veteran and getting long in the tooth, and its 75mm gun was no longer effective in penetrating the thick armour of Soviet tanks. Despite being upgraded with a more powerful engine, larger fuel tanks, and a 90mm low-pressure gun, among other upgrades in the 1970s it was not enough, and Norway was also struggling to find the funds to replace them. The crews also knew they were not powerful enough, and had to be used as either a reconnaissance force or harassing/delaying tactics. They would try to trick larger tanks into short-range traps, where the heavily wooded areas would prevent the larger tanks from rotating their turrets.

In 1983 the crews used a new 4-tone splinter camouflage (see above) and got very good at using ‘live camouflage’ of peat, moss, and shrubs to help hide them, even from Thermal sights. They would also work in ambush units with the newer NM142. As one tanker remembers:

“Our vehicles were almost invisible to the naked eye, and also to thermal sights [thanks to the peat and moss]. On one exercise, a Canadian Recon Patrol Unit stopped in front of my vehicle and made a brief sweep of the area. A couple of them took the chance to have a piss. Unknown to one of the Canadians, the whole time he was there, there was a very anxious gunner with a .50 calibre MG pointing at him. One of the Canadian Recon soldiers actually pissed on the vehicle’s tracks without noticing! What was more impressive, is that the Canadian Recon Patrol left our position without noticing the other 9 armoured vehicles (6 NM-116 + 3 NM-142) sat alongside us! There was hell to pay the next day…“



The NM142 was deadly in its role, but needed close protection against infantry and other light vehicles, which is why it was paired with the NM116 or other units. It had a crew of 4 with two TOW missiles in the Launcher, as well as 6 reloads carried inside the vehicle and a 7.62mm MG3 for close defence. It would generally take a crew 45 seconds to reload both missiles after firing, so would often shoot and then move position to reload.

It would usually work on troops of 2 or 4 vehicles, either in support of a Leopard 1 Squadron or an M113 Storm mechanised infantry unit. But as above they could also be part of a hunter-killer unit with the NM116 Chafee panserjager, with their main role to be harassing and delaying advancing Soviet forces, taking out the more heavily armoured Soviet vehicles with its deadly improved TOW or TOW-2 missiles.



Mercedes G-Wagon 240GD or Feltvogn

Another of these harassing units was the Mercedes G-Wagon or Wolf, which was known as a Feltvogn (Field wagon) the equivalent of a Humvee in Norwegian service. This versatile vehicle had many uses, but in this case, as a recon vehicle mounting either an MG3 (7.62mm) or a heavier 0.50 cal machine gun. It could also mount a Milan or TOW missile system to allow these light forces to take out a heavier tank or armoured vehicle. Many nations fitted these vehicles with missile systems to harass and delay stronger forces, but these were not armoured at all generally, so could not really protect from return fire.


In game, you can field these as either part of your Recon element, with one recon troop of 3 to 5 vehicles, and additionally, you can take two units of the TOW missile toting variant, each unit has 2 240GD Feltvogn armed with improved TOW missiles. So 2 boxes of miniatures should have you sorted, 5 for your Recon Troop and 4 for your Anti-tank Feltvogn. These new models also look fantastic! Hopefully, I can use them somehow in my West German Force at some point…. I hope so, they made them!


I’ve put together a Norwegian Force using all these units, I have maxed out the G-Wagon units, pew pew, woosh! Gotta have them all! I was also initially just going to max out a Leopard 1 Squadron and add an extra M113 Storm black box unit but thought it would be better to have the two Formations, for the added force resilience.

I could also have added an extra NM142 anti-tank troop, but would probably have to sacrifice a Leopard 1 unit for it (or reduce a tank from each), but I love those things, so decided to keep it as is. Also, the TOW-2 Weapons rule would mean I would have to take another unit of the more expensive NM142 (TOW2), and I’d rather have the ROF2 AT 19 flanking death dealer tank instead!

Norwegian Leopard 1 Tank Squadron

The NM142 units’ job will be to reach out and touch somebody with its wire-guided bundles of HEAT, picking out the most heavily armoured units with their TOW-2s. Similarly for the Feltvogn TOW units, their job is to annoy and harass, and their 3+ skill will more reliably allow Blitzing or Shooting and Scooting movement orders to either get them in position to shoot or quickly out of the line of fire.

The Allied US Cobra Gunships will be doing something similar, whilst keeping out of enemy AA range, and also staying close to the Air Defence Battery in case of enemy air attacks trying to knock them out of the sky. The Swedish Viggen (also another new gorgeous model) will be screaming in on an attack run, as soon as the enemy AA is neutralised. Their AT27 Mavericks will make short work of enemy tanks if given the chance.


I think if have played West Germans, you could really play the Norwegians in a very similar way, but with more anti-tank missiles available. They do lack helicopters, but allied US helicopters do the trick as well, and historically makes sense, as the NATO QRF that would have come to help the Norwegians had a US Marine expeditionary force attached, the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.


NM142 - side view with camo nets

But because they have no heavily armoured Tanks like the Challenger or M1 Abrams to absorb shots as they advance, you will need to plan your assaults well, marking the targets for your anti-tank missiles well, and dealing with them before using your M133 Storm Troops to assault positions. Also, remember to use your mortars to soften targets and screen your forces with smoke.

This is a high-skill force, but one I think would be very fun to play, and once you get the hang of it, difficult to beat. Your one big threat would be masses of air units, so if your regular opponent brings that, either beef up your AA, or bring more jets, they have cannons that work well against helicopters. Also remember that guided missiles can be used to target helicopters, at a penalty, and the NM135 Transports have Anti-helicopter cannons as well.

Other options would be to replace the aircraft, with can be unreliable sometimes, with some artillery, which will be on the board all the time, which some people like to have on the board. My only argument there is that the artillery needs to have something spotting for them and then needs to range in. Aircraft can move easily and hit vulnerable flanks, they can be less reliable but tend to give better results.

Well, hopefully, that gives you some ideas on how to use these wonderful new models in a Norwegian Force, and how to get the best from them.

Happy Gaming

~ Adam