Today, new writer Paul looks at Hero Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy Polk (Guards)
What a mouthful. I am going to use the names IS2 company or Hero Heavy Tankovy from this point on.
One of the things I like most about FOW is the ability to run a wide variety of different armies. When you start on a nationality, there is always another list you can build. Another thing I like about FOW is that you can make a playable list from just about any book and any nationality. Sure some lists have better combinations than others and some lists have limited options, but in the majority of instances, you can make a list that can hold it’s own.
This post is the first of a series where I work on expanding my soviet forces to create a new list – Hero Heavy Tanks from Berlin.
The IS2 has had a bad wrap and many think it is overpriced. This is possibly true. However the IS2 has access to a combination of abilities and armaments that make it stand out from the crowd. I hope that even an IS2 company can make a solid list. Lets start by taking a look under the bonnet of the IS2.
The IS2 1943 is a Heavy, slow tank with an armour profile of 10 – 8 – 2. This is the same side and top as a King Tiger or Jagtiger. The front armour is the low point. In LW where AT 16 platforms are prevalent, FA 10 means that you will need to be careful of deployment and movement. The IS2 1944 has the same stats as a 1943 model but has a FA of 11. This make it a little more resilient than it’s older brother.
The IS2 has a 122mm gun with a range of 32 inches, ROF 1, AT 15 and FP 2. It is also a breakthrough gun. This gun can punch through just about anything short of a King Tiger or Jagtiger. The breakthrough gun also means that infantry and gun teams don’t get a save when hit. The only downside of this weapon is the ROF 1. I don’t want to under play this. ROF 1 in FOW is a massive disadvantage. The also comes with a co-ax MG and a optional 50cal MG.
However where this tank really excels is in close-combat. It comes with a ‘Turret rear machine gun’. This forces opponents to re-roll successful hits in combat. You can also take ‘Tank riders’; this gives the tank an additional swing in combat and allows the riders to attack troops in rough terrain without entering the terrain itself. Finally the tank can be fitted with bed spring armour that provides a 4+ save against weapons firing on the side armour with a FP of 5 or 6. I.E Bazookas, Piats, Panzer Fausts and Schrecks. Add these elements together and you have a hand to hand monster.
So we have kicked the tires of the IS2. Lets work on making up some lists. My aim is to build 2 lists that can cover the 2 most popular LW point levels in Australia.
I have sung the praises of the IS2, lets take 2 platoons of 2 and a 1ic. These are expensive so I will start with the minimum.
Next, this list will be attacking most of the time so recce is required. I will take a short Spetznaz platoon. This will provide FV recce but also an infiltrate.
The IS2 have some high-end AT but I will need more than 5 x ROF1 guns to keep medium tanks at bay. Lets take 4 x 57mm ZIS-2 guns. These are ROF 3, AT 11 with volley fire.
Next I want some of the new 160mm mortars. These are hero so roll skill checks on a 3+. They are AT 4 and FP2. Lets take 6 of these to allow either a double wide template or a re-roll to hit.
160mm Mortar. Picture from www.wikipedia.com.
Finally, I want to take a 13 stand, full strength storm group. Yes, these are 420 points but they are FV and the 9 storm teams can be a deployed as a variety of different troop types at deployment. The list of options is too numerous to list here but they can be equipped with a variety of AT guns, machine guns, hand to hand weapon and ranged weapons.
This list is not designed to be subtle.; It will not win a game by manoeuvre. This is a sledgehammer. It will be pointed at one point in the enemy line and will hit that point with 5 IS2s and the Hero Storm group after being softened up by the mortars. Well that is the theory anyway!
At the reduced point level, I really need to make compromises. I have a lot of expensive units and I need to cut somewhere. The storm group is the most expensive so it is reduced to 9 stands. There is not a lot of other options. Changing anything else will weaken the balance of the list or see a unit dropped.
As I said earlier, I am expanding an existing army. Therefore I have some of the units for this force already. I have most of the storm group painted already. I also have the 1ic and the Spetznaz painted.
I have virtually all the figures for the rest of this army. One of the storm group options is for Panzerfausts. I will need to pick up a pack of these at some point. Otherwise, I will post as I paint up each unit.