Today Mark continues his look at the new Soviet infantry and focuses on the Hero Infantry.
Heroes one and all
In my previous article I talked about the two flavours of infantry in the new Enemy at the Gates book, and how we now had the generic conscript ‘red wave’ type infantry with their 4+ save and also the Hero infantry. These soldiers have survived the initial battles and learned the hard way what basic training taught the Western and German forces. Lessons are hard won in the heat of battle and these soldiers no longer feel invincible and are more cautious; therefore they regain the 3+ standard infantry save but become reluctant with a 5+ motivation. However, the handy Kommisar is also present to ensure these more careful veterans don’t forget that they need to advance for the glory of the Soviet Union; therefore the Kommisar raises morale to a 4+.
The force below is based on the idea of a veteran force fighting in and around Stalingrad. Its designed to be able to deal with most thing and get the best out of what the Russians can bring to the MW.
For Mother Russia
Below is the formation we will be working off. As you can see you have tons of options so your core strength is likely to be very high.
We are going to start with two Hero Companies and the HQ. Each company is eleven teams strong and capable of being boosted to a very respectable 18 teams. For my platoons, I am going to go with 15 stands adding two PTRD teams and a flamethrower in the first, and 14 in the other by dropping the flamethrower.
So we have two super flexible platoons with the lovely 3+ save and as long as the Kommisar stays alive they will be able to be used offensively. With 16 AT5 shots those armoured car companies which are all the rage at the moment better watch out!
The next unit is something really cool. Proper ‘fearless veterans’. One of your rifle companies can be a Storm Group.
Yes, you have read it right, these boys have a 2+ assault! They are the hammer of my army; their aim is to close with and kill the enemy! For this, they get two Flame Throwers. A very pricey unit but also the best infantry unit in the game thus far IMHO. With that 4+ to hit they can also weather bombardments when holding an objective, something the rest of the Soviets struggle with.
We are now up to just under half our 100pts but we have a super respectable 43 stands with 13 veterans.
Next up we need some mortars and, just like with the normal infantry, I am going big with the 120mm guys. Its hard to range in so when they do, I want the enemy to go splat! I’ll take six of them with FP3+, thank you very much.
The army is certainly lacking some armour and also AT so I’m going to address this with a mighty TEN Valentines. Yes, you heard me right, ten. With FA6, these bad boys will weather most storms, making up for their 2+ to hit. What I need to watch out for is those pesky Marders! I truly think with Soviets you have to go full strength with these medium tanks as you will take losses. Plus you need those extra shots to make up for the overworked rule.
Next up, two batteries of Zis3s is always worth it. Bombardment or ROF 2 AT9? yup I’ll take that twice. Brilliant on the defence and a total of three templates for the army on the attack. Of note you can take the AT version as core, trading the bombardment and 2pts more for a 3+ save. However, in my opinion, we should adopt the quantity over quality aspect here!
A platoon of two BA10s is a cheap way to get Spearhead which will be a great way to get those Valentines and Storm Group closer to the enemy line and hopefully make meeting engagements more in my favour.
Finally, I polish off the list with my favourite aircraft, the IL2. While I don’t expect much of the bombs with a skill of 5+ it does no harm to have an AT5 template in your back pocket to keep those enemy tanks spread out and for a Hail Mary vs. Tigers (which nothing else is going to deal with) and Churchills (also a problem). The main function in my army is Marder and Lancia hunting thus allowing my Valentines to support my infantry attack.
This is a sharper spear than my attempt at the basic Soviet infantry. While the infantry mass is less, it is more capable, those 3+ (and 4+) saves make a huge difference, although the more reluctant nature of the heroes makes them less reliable. They are still green so if they don’t unpin when stuck in the open it will really hurt.
The Storm Group has an answer to pretty much everything, while they can quite literally storm objectives they can be relied upon to sit on and hold your objective should be facing a tank army.
I love having so many FA6 tanks, although I have to remember a 2+ to hit makes them very different to my British ones. Key to the battle will be dealing with AT12 either via the IL2 or bombardment (hey 3 templates!) so that they can get stuck in. The SA6 means they can mix it up with medium armour spam and while the AT7 gun will struggle vs German Tanks they won’t have many especially if upgraded to long barrels.
As will be a recurring theme with the Russians their Achilles heel is high end AT. You can take Zis2s (57mm) at AT11, however, they are very expensive and I just can’t find room for them. Perhaps after experiencing fighting something like the Death or Glory boys or lots of FA6 Pz3s I may think differently!