Horse Crazy – Cossack Cavalry – Part 1 – Getting started.

I don’t know how it works for you guys, but for me the hobby year is often split in two. It normally takes me half a year to assemble an army, make the bases and not only paint it, but also find the motivation to start on a new project.

Army selection and model finding.

The first half of 2023 and a couple of months of 2022 was dedicated to my Gebirgsjager project which will reach its culmination in August with a big Italy game in the Barn on Mike Everest’s fantastic Italy table. So with that project all but done, it is time to find another project for the next 6+ months. Having seen Martin’s Hungarian Cavalry and chatted with Richard about Soviets in WW2 my interest was sparked when Battlefront re-released the mounted Cossack platoons and the mounted HMG’s Tachanka.

Battlefront Cossacks and Tachanka

Now Cavalry is neither the cheapest or best force to play in flames of war. Not only do you need all the mounted teams, you also need them dismounted, meaning double the models to buy and double the models to paint. Making it even worse, Battlefront decided not to re-release the dismounted Cossacks, meaning I had to find them elsewhere. I managed to find one company’s worth of old BF metal models on different swap sites, but I couldn’t find enough BF models for the second company, luckily Peter Pig have a extensive catalog and just released some lovely dismounted Cossacks that allowed me to buy the remaining models.

Peter Pig Cossacks, mounted and dismounted.

The Force

The foundation of my force is, 2x HQ teams mounted and dismounted. 24 teams of 4 models mounted and dismounted and 2x Kommissar teams and 2x unit leaders also mounted and dismounted. Then I have 6x HMG teams and 6x Tachanka teams. In addition to this I also bought 4x Cossack guncrew teams. These basic elements of the army cost a total of 271 euro’s. With Battlefronts Army Deals costing 100 euro for around 100pt, paying 270 euro for 37pt puts it in the expensive end of the scale.

The Troops

So what do I get for all my hard earned money gamewise? Will they be an unstoppable force on the table?

Cossacks in V4 is just a standard Hero Shock Rifle Battalion as you can see on the cards, with the exception that you can’t field 120mm mortars or Storm Groups. What you get it greater range when dashing and a 5cm/2″ additional range when assaulting, but this comes at the cost of 1+ to hit when shooting, cannot hit armoured tanks in assault, can’t be concealed, can’t occupy foxholes or buildings, go from AUTO to 2+ Cross and can’t be shot over as normal infantry and what I find most important, you can’t dismount and then mount again later.

In my book, all the negatrades far out ways the extra assault range and dash range, but BF feels otherwise, so 2pt per Unit you want mounted on horses. I will have my HQ, 2x Hero Shock Companies and the Maksim MG Company mounted so 7pt for the horses thanks to the Maksim Company only cost 1pt to mount.

Command Card to mount the HMG’s

Then why ohh why?

Now the obvious question to ask is, why on earth would I then want to build a Cossack army. It is expensive and won’t perform any better than most other available Soviet infantry formations . The answer is the look. The unique uniforms of the Cossacks and of cause the horses. Once done it will hopefully be a spectacular looking force on the table. Blue pants, fur caps with white crosses and colourful stripes down the legs. The horses alone would make a wonderful sight, a lot different from the dunkelgelb or Olive Drab vehicles, with horses coming in white, grey, black, red and all sorts of brown shades, with white and black socks and white colour marking on the foreheads. This alone will fill a part, but more on that in the future.

That’s it for now, until then have fun doing hobby stuff.


One thought on “Horse Crazy – Cossack Cavalry – Part 1 – Getting started.

  1. I wrote a book on Soviet Cavalry and over the past five years I have played Cossacks regularly. Normally a cavalry regiment is combined with a tank battalion or forward detachment. I win more games then I lose. The key is combined arms. I fielded small cavalry regiment with a T-34/85 forward detachment during the 2023 LVO…use as mounted infantry.

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