Tuesday, 29 October 2013

ARMY SPOTLIGHT - MID WAR OPOLCHENIYA BATALION

MID WAR OPOLCHENIYA BATALION
Soviet Militia

My force with Fortifications out front.
Another Flames of War Army spotlight to show, this time I want to share my Mid War Soviet Militia Force which I have used many times in the past and is one of my favorite Mid war forces. It was the first army of my own that I used competitively at tournaments, which I have taken to a fair few in the past including one Mid War Battlefront Grand tournaments way back in 2008. Its a somewhat forgiving force with it having rather large companies and was rather easy to learn playing with especially with rolling infantry saves, and with Andy diving into his Italians and Romanians as well at the time, it made for some interesting games on the home front.

The Militia force has its history based on the quickly raised civilian units which formed the initial defense of Stalingrad, effectively stalling the Germans before the regular Red army boys got there. So as you could expect it has a fair share of limitations placed within the army on what you can take - including limited tanks, very limited high end anti-tank and limited mortars and artillery to name a few, but what it lacks in these limitations it makes up for in lots of SMG's, anti-tank rifles, anti-aircraft guns, machine-guns and of course its large cheap Rifle platoons,

I have based all my Russian models around this force, having the majority of my models in the heart of a bombed out and wrecked city and other units setting up defenses on the edges. The cobble streets are just a poly-filler base with lines scoured through with a knife before it sets, looks good and easy enough to do.

Following some interesting history I looked up when making the army, I found that the burden of the initial defense of Stalingrad fell on the 1077th Anti-Aircraft Regiment, a unit made up mainly of young female volunteers who had no training for engaging ground targets, and with no support available from other units, the AA gunners stayed at their posts and took on the advancing panzers. The German 16th Panzer Division reportedly had to fight the 1077th's gunners "shot for shot" until all 37 anti-aircraft guns were destroyed or overrun. The Panzer Division was shocked to find that, due to Soviet manpower shortages, it had been fighting female soldiers. So with this in history in mind I did some minor work on my Anti-Aircraft platoon of 37mm obr 1939 AA gun crews, where as I sculpted them up as women, by extending their coats to look like dresses and filling out the chest area.

The sapper unit has options for unarmed teams within it, so seeing this I quickly converted some Peter Pig civilian miniatures I had so they carried shovels and picks and using hand carts, as if they were digging fortifications for the upcoming attack - very pleased with the result.

I have taken my Militia force with many different options, spanning from an offensive always attack force with a large blob of Shtraf and Flame-thrower tanks thrown in, a another variant with mass artillery batteries.

If this list was updated I would hope it would include some street barricades and trenches and other defenses, as the civilians were often put to work making these about the place. Also would like to see more options of taking unarmed teams in the rifle platoons as more often than not, the civilian units formed up with only half the men having rifles - the others would have to pick up the rifle from the fallen ones in the proceeding battle.

The best force for the Militia I took at a 1625 point army was the following and
I had placed rather well with it, being in the top quarter of the field.
All rated as Confident Conscript with all their support taken from the Red army which is rated as Fearless Conscript. All units have Kommissar teams with them except the AT-Rifle company

MID-WAR Infantry force
HQ - CO and 2IC Rifle teams with Battalion Kommissar Team

Combat - Opolcheniya Company with 2 Rifle platoons and 3 PTRD Anti-tank Rifles

Combat - Opolcheniya Company with 2 Rifle platoons and 3 PTRD Anti-tank Rifles
These form the core of the force with 18 rifle stands, commander and kommissar team and 3 AT rifles at their side.


Combat - Opolcheniya Mortar Company with 6x 82-BM-41 Mortars
These are dead useful - and six tubes for 65points are a steal, you get re-rolls or double width and if you decide to direct fire them you also get to use the volley fire rule if within 16" - so I tend to move them up behind the rifle platoons and do just that.

Weapons - Opolcheniya Anti-tank Company with 6x 45mm obr 1937 guns
These small caliber guns are the only AT asset the Militia get, but keep most light and some medium tanks at bay having ROF 3 and AT 7. They can not upgrade to 1942 model AT 8 guns.



Weapons - Opolcheniya Anti-tank Rifle Company with 12x PTRD AT Rifle teams
I usually combat attach these to the Rifle platoons and give some to the mortar platoon as well. With AT3 in assaults they comes in handy and keep little tanks at bay.



Weapons - Opolcheniya Artillery Battery with 8x 76mm ZIS 3 guns and 4x 76mm obr 1927 guns
This battery differs from the ordinary Strelkovy battery as it doesn't allow the option of taking the 122mm howitzer, switching it for the small regimental 76mm obr 1927 pop guns instead. So this means no steel wall rule either ! so the unit is rather limited, but still a good buy as it offers the long range and high AT of 9 from the ZIS-3 guns to the army. 





Support - Opolcheniya Anti-Aircraft Defense Company with 6x 37mm obr 1939 guns
I nearly always take this unit, offers good AT and high ROF and will keep all but the most determined planes away.Conversions on the skirts and chests.







Support - Sapper Company with 3 platoons - all unarmed and with supply wagon
These guys are the center piece for my army and captures the flavor of this militia force very well. Quite often get remarks "why on earth would you disarm them for... as you have to re-roll all your hits in combat" - cause it looks cool ! and it gets me the supply wagon for free. Rated as Fearless Conscripts as well.






Support - Heavy Tank Company with 3x KV-2 tanks
This is my favorite tank of WW2 - a beast with such a high and somewhat silly looking silhouette - looks awesome I think and was the main reason I take the KV-2 over others that are on offer.
Its a rubbish tank as far as FOW rules goes, with only ROF 1 and hen and chicks rule, its pretty bad, the only thing going for it is its AT 10, 1+ bunkerbuster ability. Rated as Fearless Conscripts as well.





So 9 platoons in total, but I often would of combat attached out the AT rifles so would be 8 platoons total.


some more photos of the army








5 comments:

  1. That has to be one of the most impressive armies I've ever seen. The combination of quality painting and modelling with the sheer number of stands really sets this force apart.

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  2. Stunning work! A great looking army, and an amazing work on the bases, the ground is really, really fantastic!
    Greetings,
    Phil.

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  3. Stunning work. Do you sculpt all the brickwork yourself?

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  4. Another amazing Stanton army really wish I knew how you guys manage to churn out so many fantastic looking miniatures. Basing is amazing

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  5. Thanks guys - appreciated
    The bricks are from 1:35 model brick set - I just go to town with the drimell tool and then for added looks, I apply a layer of Poly-filler to the sides so it gives it a plaster look. The ground paving is really easy to do with poly filler, but takes a fair amount of your time .

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