Today Paul brings us the next installment in his IS2 company – the versatile Shturmovye Group.
The Hero Shturmovye group consists of up to 13 stands and can be made up of a variety of different teams. As such, painting up all options is no simple matter.
I have just completed the first 8 stands. 4 compulsory and 4 more that I think I will use most of the time. More options will follow in later posts.
Shturmovye Groups or assault groups, a little like the German counterpart – Stosstrupp (Assault Troop) – were formed on a temporary basis as required for a specific circumstance. These groups were first used in Stalingrad when the army was presented with the series of unique challenges that are presented by street fighting. The groups were formed around Strelkovy companies, with heavier weapons and sappers added as required.
Following Stalingrad, more and more weapons, normally outside of an infantry commanders arsenal, were made available to the assault group. This included anti-tank guns and artillery pieces.
The tactics for the group saw the assault group form 3 teams – a leading assault group, a 2nd consolidation group that would follow the initial assault and a 3rd reserve group. The assault would be preempted by grenades followed by bursts from the sub-machine guns.
In the Game
This unit allows lots of variety. At full strength, four stands are limited to being Sub-Machine Gun (SMG) teams. The remainder can be a mix of infantry teams or gun teams. For today, I will focus on the infantry team options only and cover the gun team options in a later post.
Aside from the compolsory SMG teams, players can choose from the following infantry options; SMG pioneer, Panzerfaust SMG and MG teams. Players are limited to a maximum of 4 stands of each type (fewer for gun teams). I expect to attack with this list most of the time and will therefore likely use SMG panzerfaust and SMG pioneers. These are great on the attack against infantry with a devastating SMG shot prior to assault. Against tanks, 4 Panzerfausts and 4 pioneers should be more than enough to win the day in an assault. MG teams will be useful on the defense against a list that may have some strong infantry. For example an always attack red banner strelk. I might build these at some point in the future.
These SMG teams are from the Battlefront Su703 blister. These are lovely sculpts with a good variety of different poses, including obvious NCOs and officers. The sculpts are the old school metal figures with gray non-indented bases. There was very little flash to clear up and overall there were no problems with these figures.
However, I needed a method of distinguishing the SMG teams from the SMG pioneer teams. I wanted a simple method for my opponent and myself to pick up the difference. I decided to use barb wire sections for the pioneers. I figured this would represent the squads moving through wire after they gaped them ahead of an assault.
When it came to painting, I followed the same method that I used with the Heavy Mortar teams from the previous review.
The barbed wire sections were made up from paperclips wrapped around a pen. I simply cut them to length to fit the base. I undercoated them before a base coat of cavalry red mixed with a little black. I then drybrushed them with GW Boltgun metal mixed again with black. I didn’t mind that there is no barbs on the wire. I suspect that they would be impossible to see at 1;100 scale anyway. This is the first time I have added anything like this to a base and I think it looks good. Next time I might try some concrete tank traps.
I hope you enjoyed this article!