Following on from Fred’s ETC overview, we are now at the point where lists for ETC 2023 have been submitted and the veil of secrecy can be (partially) lifted. There are quite a few members of Breakthrough Assault who are part of the ETC ‘crowd’ and we will each be doing a little overview of our force as we approach the 1 month out point.
I am returning to the ETC after a few years break. Between several deployments, a clash with a summer holiday and the challenge of newborn twins I am pleased to finally be returning. While my previous 3 outings were with Team Wales I am proud to be one of the English Lions for 2023. Alongside me is Breakthrough Assault’s own Eddie ‘Fez’ Turner.
As I started looking at forces (something I spend too much time obsessing over), I realised that I will need a force that I can play will almost no practice. Again, due to life events, before a practice weekend with the Team at the start of Jul I hadn’t played a game of FOW since Feb and I dread to think when I last played MW! Therefore I quickly decided that I needed a army that didn’t require subtly and panache. Enter stage left…Soviets.
The Soviets really did well in the Dynamic Points. Mostly the fact that KVs are now crazy cheap – hey I don’t make the points but I will sure as heck use them. I won’t be alone in this thinking and I will be surprised if we don’t see 2 Soviet armies in almost every Team and with a huge number of KVs. My list is a almost ‘in name only’ Hero Rifle Company but with a BA10 company backing it up. This exploits the double cheap mortars, which are backed up by the ‘recon by fire’ command card which means I can move my ranged in marker post deployment (take that 88s) and also delivers me the still super cheap BA10s with Spearhead and AT7 guns. At 1pt each they survived the somewhat underwhelming Dynamic point changes.
Add to this another 10 Stuart hulls and I can place 20 armoured vehicles on the table all with AT7 and bags of MGs. This then of course leads to the KVs. Much discussion and angst occured over the split of KV1s and KV8s but in the end the assault capability and AT9 of the KV1 won and I went for a 4 – 3 split. So now I have 25 hulls, 5 of which are FA9(!) with a mix of AT9 and AT7/Flamethrowers.
As you can tell this isn’t subtle, you aren’t going to dancing around scenery, marshalling forces for the right moment. When you are mainly hit on 2+ you have to go for it, and go for it in numbers. It is the old ‘Bomber always get through mentality’ if you are up on WW2 airpower references.
Match ups will be key because a lot of heavy AT and especially Elephants/Tigers could ruin my day. However I think I can roll over most infantry lists especially as many gun lines are pretty much AT9 and my KVs can just assault knowing the enemy is fishing for 1s. The lack of integrated AT such as Panzerfausts makes things very different than late war. Even the mighty ARP with 5 bazookas is a limited threat with AT10. So long as you pin them they don’t statistically have enough to really hurt 1 KV in DF let alone 7 and even if they counterattack they hit on 6s.
Modelling wise they have been great fun. The KV1s are a 3D print and the KV8s are BF plastics. The rest of the army is 3D printed even down to the rather lovely scenic bases. The infantry is actually in winter coats/uniform and were released in the recent ‘March to Hell’ Kickstarter by 3D Breed.
The infantry were painted mainly in contrast paints which made the sheer number of figures so much faster and manageable. The tanks are all done with an airbrush using a MiG modulation set for Soviet armour. A quick MiG filter, detail and pigment and I am quite pleased. As the Stuarts are US Lend Lease I did them in US modulation as the Soviets rarely repainted them.
So there you have it, a proper Soviet horde with a mighty armoured punch with 7 KVs, all backed up by a couple of platoons of infantry, double mortars and 20 other hulls. I think I shall need some burnt out/destroyed markers……