Berlin – Soviets The Command Cards

Today Martin picks out a few of the Command Cards to look out for in the Berlin-Soviets release.

My first comment is that this is quite a small deck at only 34 cards and, after taking out all the obvious duplicates such as Lucky, Softskin Transport, etc, we are left with just 18 truly new cards, the remainder are repeats of Bagration cards or the same card but with a modified unit name, such as the Sappers card which is now Guards Hero Sappers but it is exactly the same as the previous card; in effect it just applies the previous effect to the new formation name in the book. Other cards that have been carried through from Bagration are those you might expect like Under Cover of Smoke, Unditching Logs and Make Your Own Luck. So these I am not going to bother much with talking about these and am going to concentrate on the what’s actually new.

As always the cards fall in to all the usual categories so lets start with the Hero’s of the Soviet Union, quite often the under appreciated cards in the deck.
The deck contains six of these cards, for your Emcha units you can take Dmitriy Loza (probably the most famous Soviet tanker of WW2) and Pavel Voronin both giving your Emcha platoon leader rerolls when shooting, Loza also enables his unit to Spearhead whilst Voronin’s unit rerolls skill (or Tactics) rolls and is probably the more useful of the two.

We have a pair of Warriors for your IS-2 units, which again provide rerolls to shooting and come with either a Remount boost to 2+ or ignore the slow firing penalty. However, as both of these cost nearly as much as another IS-2 tank at 6 and 7 points respectively, I don’t see them being particularly heavily used.

The last two are Pytor Vasilevsky to lead your Red Banner Storm Group giving them a Rally and Counter Attack rating of 2+. At 4pts he’s a bit pricey but if you are going all out on a Red Banner Storm Group he could get some use. The last is Dimitry Babanov who is probably the best overall being a Formation effect card meaning you can boost your entire formations Rally rating to 2+ which, if you are playing defensively, is more than handy and at 3pts he is well worth thinking about for a Red Banner Rifle Regiment.

Next up we have additional vehicles and equipment.
Whilst I said I wouldn’t cover the repeats, I will, however, point out a subtle change to the RPG-6 Card for Berlin-Soviets; this has an extra restriction placed on it preventing players combining RPG-6 grenades with Panzerfausts so where you have Limited (1) Panzerfausts for units the RPG-6 Grenades might be a better/cheaper option to add some anti-tank capability. However, where you are Limited (2) Panzerfaust or more then that’s the better option. This makes the RPG-6 card less of an auto include than in the Bagration book now.

Next up we have the SU-57 Light SP Tank-Killer Company. This is the American Lend Lease T48 SP 57mm half-track and can replace in Formation 45mm anti-tank guns which is a nice AT uplift option.

There’s the obligatory SU-76M Formation and even a card to swap your ZSU M17 Anti-aircraft half-tracks for DSHK AA MG unarmoured tanks handy for the historically minded out there or those who want to keep to Soviet made kit.

The next vehicle card I’ll mention is an upgrade for the Scout Platoon. These can now be mounted in captured German half-tracks, much like the Rota, making them a lot better.
It’s a Title card which is interesting in how it will affect some of the other new options but is well worth taking as a full sized platoon gains five MG armed transports for just 2pts making them much more mobile and providing some longer ranged fire power, making them a lot tougher to deal with.

The last equipment card I’ll mention is the BM-31-12 heavy Rocket Launcher. It costs a little more and, like the Nebelwerfer 3cm upgrade, is limited to firing just three Artillery Bombardments per game, but they are AT3+ FP3+.

Now we are getting towards the more interesting and unique cards, so lets start with not one card but a pair as they must be taken together; Night Attack and Searchlights.

One allows the Soviet Force to utilise the Night Attack rule the other means they can use the normal visibility rules so can utilise their artillery much more easily at night. It’s a bit of a situational card but is a great option for all you historically minded players out there.

Next up and in a similar vein we have a return of the PT Mine-roller so you can equip your T-34 76mm tanks to clear minefields assuming they don’t die getting into them in the first place!
Whilst we are talking tanks, there are a couple more useful ones providing Bedsping Armour to all you Berlin Tanks and another to update your Bagration T-34 Tank units (handy as they aren’t in the Berlin book outside of the Forward Detachment formation). On the historical theme you can field a Red Banner Colour Party which can score you an extra VP in victory and reduce your opponets by one (useful in Tournaments and Leagues) but, more usefull,y the platoon always counts as large so even when you have just a few teams left your opponent still needs 8 hits to pin them with direct fire which is handy when you are storming the Reichstag.

Overall there is a bit of everything and something for everyone, the only thing you may consider as an auto include card is Bedspring Armour as it only adds +1 point to overall the platoon cost and is well worth having when going aggressive with you tanks.

8 thoughts on “Berlin – Soviets The Command Cards

  1. Decent cards, curious if you answer the following: will the SU-57 Light SP be 4 or 5 in the platoon? And what will be the hq unit of the SU-57 formation?

  2. You write SU-76M formation but the book only shows SU-76. Are they 2 different tanks or just a typo?

    1. Hi Balaz,
      its neither really there is only one set of rules for the vehivle and Formation, the unit is called “SU-76 Light SP Battery” whilst the Formation Card is “Hero Light SP Artillery Regiment” but is described in the text as SU-76M light assault gun which is the correct name for the main production model (Feb 43 onward), the “M” was commonly dropped off of contemporary texts and only the initial production of 500 or so of the 13,500 manufactured were offically classified named SU-76.

      1. Ah clear, thanks!
        On another note, does the SU-57 formation have the same tanks (stat wise) as the card in the article?

  3. Hi Martin, I was really pleased when I heard that the Soviets had an option to night attack but having now had the chance to read that card and the accompanying search lights card I’m not so sure. As with the British night attack rule, only 6 of the 20 missions have minefields which triggers the night attack. 4 points are quite expensive and the searchlights card provides a significant disadvantage to the attacker. In 2 of the 6 missions the illumination only reaches into the defender’s deployment area 4” and yet all the attacker’s units are themselves illuminated, being within 40” of the attacker’s baseline. Nicely historical for the Oder Offensive but for a wargame, that’s not terrific. Cheers Keith Fisher

    1. Hi Keith,

      you raise a good point here, the card would help the Attacker a lot more if the distance was measured from the Defenders table edge, the searchlights definately only seem to really help the Defender who can use all their assets easily to target the Attackers force.

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