Hero IS2 Company – Heavy Mortar Review.



Avid readers will recall my 1st Breakthrough Assault post covered my plans for a new Hero IS2 company. I shared some of my motivation for building this new army and wrote up two lists for the most popular point levels in my area. You can find that post here


Soviet 160mm mortar beside a Soviet 120mm Mortar

In this 2nd post, I share the first of my units to roll off the production line.

A view of the 160mm mortar showing the mechanism to raise and lower the barrel



Following on from the initial Barbarossa campaign, the Soviets needed a cost effective method of increasing it’s high explosive bombardments against prepared positions. Traditionally this role would be serviced by howitzers and heavy artillery. As a cheaper alternative, the Soviets developed a larger scale, 160mm mortar based on the design of the earlier 120mm mortar.

160mm mortar limbered

The 120mm mortar was a very successful piece of Soviet equipment largely due to the simplicity of design. It could be easily manufactured and was relatively easy to use in the field. However, a new Mortar design taller than a man and weighing in at more than a tonne would present a new set of challenges. Engineers now had to work out, how a muzzle-loaded shell could be dropped into a mortar tube more than 3m long? The answer? Simple – Don’t. The design featured a breach loading point. The barrel was hinged and the shell was loaded into the bottom half before being closed again. Additionally due to the recoil of the huge round firing, a new suspension system was installed. Finally, to enable the weapon to be maneuvered on the field, wheels were added.

View of Mortar base plate and recoil suspension.

These new heavy caliber mortars served the Soviet Union’s war machine from 1943 until the end of the war.



Battlefront blister SU752 contains 4 x 160mm mortars, each with 5 crew, a command team of 3 and a spotter stand with 2 figs. My blister was complete. Each mortar is made up of a barrel piece, a lower frame piece, a base plate, and 2 wheels. Upon cleanup I noticed that the connection to attach the barrel piece to the frame piece was very thin. 2 of my mortars were also slightly mis-cast. The connections were thinner than they should have been and had too much flash on them. I am sure that had I contacted Battlefront customer service, these pieces would have been replaced. However, I was in the mood to paint up these mortars so glued them in as best I could. Two of the four mortars are therefore on more of a horizontal angle than they should be. No biggie!


Mortars assembled.

These mortars also use the new brown bases with figure holes. I quite like these as the bases don’t stick out as far as they did with the old gray bases. I used less filler to build up the base levels.


In the Game:

In my list, these mortars are rated fearless trained. They should therefore be able to unpin in most instances. They would normally hit on a skill test of 4+, being hero though, this becomes a 3+. Very handy indeed. In the 1750 point list I will use 6 of these mortars. This will either allow a double wide template or a single template with a re-roll to hit.


The Bombardment stats are really where this mortar excels. 160mm mortars are AT 4 and firepower 2+. This is better than the majority of most artillery. Against infantry and gun-teams, fire power of 2+ will dig out teams really quickly. Once enemy teams fail their saves, these mortars will destroy teams 83% of the time. 105mm arttilery with a firepower of 4+ will only destroy enemy teams 50% of the time. Against tanks, At 4 is every bit as good as most 100mm plus artillery but with a superior firepower.


I hope you enjoyed this review. Please stay tuned for the next post.