Cossacks in Flames of War

Hello All

Today we have a guest post from Christian – a Beyond the Foxholes fan all the way from Germany! I have been chatting to him about Cossacks, an army I keep almost collecting. He sent me his thoughts on the army and I thought they were too goo not to post on here. Anyway thats enough from me, here’s Christian.

Here are my ideas and experiences concerning Soviet Cavalry, I will first go over the rules first and then move onto the individual lists in the different eras. The disadvantages, most of these are actually of no concern, and advantages of the Cavalry rules:

1. You need to build and paint the models!!! Yes, this is really the only bad thing, as you need the mounted and dismounted versions. If you already own Soviet infantry paint the Cavalry uniforms the exact same… then u wont need to do them again. To make a playable list you only “need” about 3 packs of Cav and two more command bases.

2. Footage: Cavalry units are large on the table, max. possible is something like 36 Bases (31 large + 5 medium). Will we ever really want to field such a unit?

3. Cannot Assault Tanks: Actually the rules say cannot target Top Armour 1 or 2. You can kill the passengers, but since while mounted you cannot use your special equipment you don’t want to attack tanks anyway. Also remember that Inf. Companies can only have one fully armored platoon on the table.

4. Can only shoot 4 inches: That’s why you always take the 4 SMGs if u can, but most of the time you will want to move, that’s why you play this mobile Infantry.

5. Cannot go to ground: Unimportant, you want to move, if you need to hold ground, dismount. Important note is that Cautious Movement still works as you only count as GtG in cover.

6. Cannot enter buildings: Makes sense, if you are close enough, dismount and enter on foot or assault the targets inside, which you can do after dismounting!

7. No shooting over Cavalry: not really a problem, but remember this, this is why having the Tachanka HMG carts with the mounted unit is not a bad idea, helps with pinning.

1. Counts as Infantry: This is important and the greatest advantage of cavalry, especially the
movement and the 3+ save.

2. 10 inch movement: You’re fast, faster than tanks in terrain and you do not need to make any bog checks.

3. Advance at the gallop: Since shooting is mostly ineffective you will always want to do. You can assault targets up to 18 inches away!!!

4. Reroll from pinned down: Useful to keep moving and after an assault.

5. Ride them down: This is the main advantage you have, lethal against gun teams and artillery batteries, you can even try to assault more than one unit at once with a large Cavalry unit.

6. Dismount and Mounting: The rules for this are very simple and give you a lot of freedom. The only thing to remember is that you cannot assault after remounting. You must do this 1 turn in advance!

7. Start dismounted: you can do this if you are defending, and remount later, why it says in some briefings you may permanently dismount I do not know, since the rules allow you to recall your horses.

The Cossack Lists: 
Basics: Consider the Cossacks to be an elite force, don’t try to get QoQ, they are too expensive point wise, to do this. With the dismounted Infantry is an option though. Since Cav. is infantry the HQ support weapons can be attached out very freely if you buy the Mounted Version as they are Infantry, not Guns! You are a Mech Company, build the list with this in consideration. You have access to a lot of Tank support, use it, but be aware that the divisional support has the same rating as the company, you can get e.g. FT T34 in the Red Bear List!

Most of the time it is a good idea to get 1 Mounted unit to assault, and 1 Dismounted to mop up. I have had the most success with this, you cannot really attack over a really large front anyway. Do not make them too large… if like 9-13 teams cannot handle the target more will not really help as the enemy will just focus that unit then. Always take the HQ pioneers and add them to a dismounted unit so that they have some sort of AT. The HQ Support Teams do not use the exact same rules for attaching as Combat attaching!

You will attack a lot, build your list in order to do this. You will need something to pin your target as Cav. can mostly not do this by itself.

I don’t like the Rising sun list, the only cool thing as you can get BT tanks with your troops, but: youre Conscript and have to pay to be Rifle/MG teams, your support is also not that good.

The digital Barbarossa List: I like this list, but take the FC version, you will need the Rating. Your Cav are only Rifle teams and the units are bigger, but still cheaper. You get all the crazy Soviet Tanks in EW and the Rocket arty is actually really good. I do not have a lot of experience with this list, still trying to make it work. It is only Mech, not Auto Attack. Maybe taking more AT Guns or even Sturmoviks will help.

The interesting thing is that the ATRs are bought as Mounted, so you can attach both to the same unit, and then dismount them during deployment: You can get 4 45mm Atguns, 4 Pioneers Teams with Supply cart and 2 ATRs in 1 unit (AT Gun unit from the Weapons section!).

This is where the fun begins and suddenly we run out of points faster than we can think of! You can get huge units, try it if you like, using them is hard. You are FT, remember this, not FC! Always buy the Light Mortars for your units, they are cheaper and smaller and just as effective! ATRs are also a good cheap option.

Always always take the scouts and make the unit large… they are FV and you will often use them to attack than to lift GtG! 5 FV Reccon Cav. is a really good Assault unit to overrun Guns (looking at Nebs or 155mm guns!). The infiltraton is key, too.

For tanks be careful to find the right balance what you need. Your army is Auto Attack, you need to win fast, I cannot really give you much advice on this, just that holding back will not get you anywhere. The best thing about this list is, that you have so many options, can ca field really crazy funny stuff: My favorite fun list has Cossaks, Kataushas, KV2s and T34s!!!!

The Red Bear Cossak list is good, especially as you can get 10 T34/76 with tank riders as FT, not just
CT! Your basic list will most likely have, 1mounted unit, 1 dismounted, Scouts, 2 units of Armor and something to pin the target! Don’t expect to get more than 6 platoons… so move up and charge them.
You have access to all the nice units, pick the correct ones for your style but remember: Your Cossaks del with Infantry and guns real nicely, the rest of the army is there to make sure they can get the job done. A side note: the Hero is a two edged sword, he basically makes sure you can get the charge in, but your losses will be high! This is the one time a really large and expensive unit is worth it, but… it comes at a price.

In EW I somehow end up defending a lot… so maybe take 2 supply trucks, lots of guns… but then I could just take the Strelk list! Still working on this. The basic “trick”: Your scouts will Infiltrate and take either the Mounted or dismounted platoon with you (as I see it, you buy mounted Scouts but then deploy them dismounted to Infiltrate the dismounted unit). That is 16 inch Infiltration, 10 move, 4 gallop, 4 charge… and everything in 8 inches dies! So, if your opponent has but some arty in 30-34 inches of your deployment area you can kill that on turn 1! All you have to do is try and kill his command teams so that he has to break off, and since guns fight or die you capture the whole battery. Do not forget that your Scouts can also attack another target. You will need something to pin the target though or attack a small unit that has no real defensive fire. In LW a lot of players do not have many HMGs as this is the only real defense.

This works best against Guns, against Infantry this does not work that well, that is where your Tanks and other units are going to help. Your movement will get u into position faster, and safer… you do not have a transport!! The whole army is not the blunt Soviet Hammer!!! Pick a point and attack that and only that! Then hold off the counter!

 Fearless    Trained   Gvardeyskiy Kazachiy Polk (Guards)
Guard Cossack Regiment
Soviet Late-War
Mechanised Company
Platoon Qty Unit Points
Gvardeyskiy Kazachiy Polk HQ  p.115
Cmd Cavalry Rifle team
Cavalry Komissar team
Cavalry Pioneer Rifle team
Combat Companies
Mounted Gvardeyskiy Kazachiy Company  p.116
Cmd Cavalry Rifle/MG team
Cavalry Rifle/MG team
Cavalry SMG team
Mounted Gvardeyskiy Kazachiy Company  p.116
Cmd Cavalry Rifle/MG team
Cavalry Rifle/MG team
Cavalry SMG team
Weapons Companies
Gvardeyskiy Kazachiy Scout Platoon  Fearless  Veteran   p.117
Cmd Cavalry SMG team
Cavalry SMG team
Corps Support Companies
Tankovy Company  Confident  Trained   p.22
T-34 obr 1942
SMG Tank Escort
Tank Killer Company (Guards)  p.148
4 SU-100 345
Guards Rocket Mortar Battalion  p.154
Cmd Rifle team
Observer Rifle team
BM-13 Katyusha (5+ crew)
37mm obr 1939 gun
Company Points: 1845 Source document: Red Bear (Revised)

You most likely have almost all the units anyway. You see, it gets pricy very fast, but his list works quite well, but heavy tanks are a problem, but not a US arty List: Thing that happened, opponent put down 3 arty batteries, 1 Rifle platoon and had tanks in ambush. Infiltration worked fine and the Cav charged and killed all 3 batteries on turn 1, his turn 1 he failed company morale! Only ever works once though as then they really pay attention to deployment.

The Hero Version I think is going to get very interesting. Look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes and greetings from Germany

2 thoughts on “Cossacks in Flames of War

  1. hi. well if you havent QoQ its easy stop you 😀 (I am playing soviets 😉 ) germans has mg team so its 12 +1 smg if they are pin 😀 + some tank, HMG or another inf. I think if you play for soviets you must have QoQ 😀

  2. Hi Interesting article, having played the Cossacks for a few years (and won the odd comp with them ) I would add the following points
    1,) I find QoQ is essential. Yes you only get one big company (plt) but if it is attacking in your face or entrenched across the table you have to deal with it and it either wins you the game or you are out of time.anyway.
    2.) You are missing one of the best units esp in MW the 45mm guns (and sometimes 76mm at low points) – horse guns that can be attached full ROF and VF on dismount in MW
    3.) You need to keep enemy Medium and light armour at bay – the heavies you dismount and use you attached HQ pioneers and QoQ to take them out.
    4.) You still need something to pin the enemy and I find the 120mm mortars best as they can also hurt light and medium armour and can dig in.
    5,) In MW I take Valentines and Stuarts or sometimes KV-85 to tie up the enemy armour in LW ISU-122 is hard to go past.
    6.) I agree with the mounted ATR and Lt Mortars very handy as the light mortars are on a medium base when mounted and are good to put at the point of the spear

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