Bagration Soviet: Using the Heavy Assault Group Army Deal

Recently Battlefront have been in the habit of releasing a big shiny box full of plastic to coincide with their new book releases, and Bagration is no exception. The Soviet Heavy Assault Group is currently available for Pre-order and includes the following:

4x IS-2 or IS-85
4x ISU-122 or ISU-152
4x SU-76
3x BA-64
4x 57mm or 76mm
9x DPMG and rifle teams
Komisar team
2x HMG teams

So much shiny plastic

This can make a legal force of between 85 and 93 points, depending how you build things.
The book contains an example list which uses the above models and an additional box of T-34s, plus a command card to flesh it out to 100pts.
The main Formation is a Heavy SP Artillery Regiments with an IS-2 as the HQ, a unit of 2 ISU-122 and a unit of 2 ISU-152. The rest is support.

Formation
Heavy SP Artillery Regiment
1x IS-2
2x ISU-122
2x ISU-152
Support
3x IS-2
Hero shock rifle company (9x DPMG and rifle teams, Komisar)
4x SU-76
3x BA-64
4x 76mm Gun
4x T-34(76)
Make you own Luck Command Card

I have to say, however, that I think this is quite a weak list.
Your formation is very fragile, having only two Formation units plus the HQ and, if your opponent has a few units with a decent AT rating, you could soon be facing a Formation break test and have your army run away. This tends not to be a good thing.
I have designed a few different lists that are slightly more robust and like the BF example list use most of the Heavy Assault Group box and add in one other tank box.

Who needs turrets?

“They can’t sneak up on us if we never go inside the hull”

This version of the Heavy SP Artillery Regiment is very similar to the example army list in the book, but drops the IS-2 company in favour of strengthening the core ISU companies.

Formation
Heavy SP Artillery Regiment
1z IS-2
5x ISU-122 + AAMG
4x ISU-122 + AAMG
Support
4x SU-76
Hero shock rifle company (9x DPMG and rifle teams, Komisar) +2x HMG
3x BA-64
4x 57mm Gun

For this army you would just need to buy the starter set and a box of ISU-122s, and would also leave you with 3 IS-2s spare. These might come in handy for playing bigger games. Build them as IS-85 and you would have nearly 125pts in total.
You don’t really lose much in this list with taking the ISU-122s over the IS-2s, seeing as the ISU-122 is the same as the IS-2 over open sights. The 76mm guns have also been swapped out for the 57mm guns, (they’re on the same sprue,) which have a little more AT and range over the 76s.
The basic plan for this list might be to have the 57mm Guns and Infantry guarding any objectives, the SU-76 providing the artillery, and have the ISU-122s as your heavy hitters.

Actually, turrets might be useful

Sorry, wrong type

Alternatively, if you would rather have some turrets in your army, this list swaps out the ISUs for more IS-2s.

Formation
IS-2 Guards Heavy Tank Regiment
1x IS-2
4x IS-2
4x IS-85
Support
4x SU-76
Hero shock rifle company (9x DPMG and rifle teams, Komisar) +1x HMG
3x BA-64
4x 76mm Gun

With this list, the IS-2s are your heavy hitters, but the IS-85s are still decent at AT 12, and with 2 shots if they stay still. The rest of the support would work as described in the ISU list.
To make this list you would need to pick up an extra box of IS-2s, and you would have the ISUs spare if you wanted to do a bigger game. Build them as ISU-152s and you would have over 125pts.

Support Buffet

I did name the section Support Buffet purely so I could use this image

But, if you don’t want an ISU or IS-2 army, the new boxset could still be useful providing lots of interesting support choices to a new or existing Soviet army. I personally have a Soviet Guards tank army with a mixture of Churchills and KV tanks in it, which are tough, but lack punch, so the ISU and IS-2 from this box would solve that problem quite easily. I also have a couple of units of SU-76, so with the addition of the SU-76s from this box I would be able to field a Light SP artillery regiment with ISUs and IS-2s in support.

The other box

If you’re new to Soviets, however, I can’t finish without mentioning the other boxset that’s coming out alongside Bagration, the T-34 tank Battalion.
This box will get you 21 T-34s, which can either be 76mm or 85mm to ram down your opponent’s throat. Add that to the Heavy Assault group and you will have a strong army with plenty of options.

That’s more tanks then some armies had in real life

For example:
Formation
T-34 Tank Battalion
1x T-34 (76)
9x T-34 (76)
9x T-34 (76)
Support
4x ISU-122
4x SU-76
Hero shock rifle company (9x DPMG and rifle teams, Komisar) +2x HMG

The ISU-122 can blow a hole in your opponent’s line for the T-34s to swarm through whilst the SU-76 pin any AT guns that might cause you problems and the infantry can follow up behind to deal with any survivors

Don’t stop me now

So, whilst the Heavy Assault Group might not make the most balanced army out of the box, the addition of one box of five tanks or self-propelled guns can turn it into a powerful army with options for further expansion. And, let’s face it, does anyone stop once they have got their first 100pts? With the addition of the Heavy Assault Group box I think I’ll be up to about 400pts!

P.S. Which way to build things?

As a side note, you may be wondering which way to build your shiny new monster tanks. I’ll tell you my preferences, but this is just my opinion and others may disagree with me.

Firstly, for the ISU, I would always choose the 122 over the 152. The 122 is 1 point per hull cheaper and has more range and AT when firing over open sights. The 152 does have a marginally better firepower rating in bombardment, but I envision these firing over open sights and leaving the bombardment to SU-76.

The IS-2 or IS-85 is a bit trickier-they both have their merits. The IS-2 has the higher AT and better firepower ratings, but it’s much worse at shooting on the move with RoF 1 and slow firing. The IS-85 is slightly more expensive, but only just, and is better at firing on the move. I’m tempted to say I prefer the IS-85 but it’s a close run thing.

Category: BattlefrontEastern FrontFlames of WarLate WarList DiscussionSovietsV4

4 comments

  1. I really like the list suggestions. Could you put a USD purchase price next to them? That’d help tremendously assessing the budget and affordability (as step by step).
    cheers!

    1. Hi ,

      Both the ISU-122 list and the IS-2 list are just the new box set and 1 extra box so

      New box set $100
      IS-2 or ISU-122 box $45

      The list with the T-34s in its uses the 2 new boxsets which are $100 each

      These are RRP prices, you should ne able to get them a bit cheaper from a gaming store

      Andy

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Article by: Andy Thompson