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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Army Spotlight: Soviet Forward Detachment

I'm a big fan of the Soviet Forward Detachment in Red Bear.  I always like being the attacker in Flames of War, and I like that this list minimizes the difficulty of getting the most out of your combat platoons.  Plus, the list is so flexible, you can make a boat load of combinations that all play totally differently!

With that in mind, I am going to approach this article a little differently- rather than build one list, I am going to build three and talk about the pros and cons of each.  Because this list is so flexible, this is highly opinion-based!  So sound off in the comments and let us know what Forward Detachment has worked for you, or what you'd like to give a shot!

All images of the army lists are generated from Easy Army.  If you haven't tried it yet- change that RIGHT NOW!  We'll still be here when you get back... in a few hours.

LIST ONE: FOR THE SWARM


This list is meant to strike hard and fast.  21 tanks with an infiltration-capable recon unit, auto attack.  I've loaded up with 11 T-34/85s to deal with enemy armor, and 10 cheapo T-34s for exploitation/infantry assaults.  This list would be strong in any half-on engagement since the two beefy tank units would allow you to front load 1300 points or so.  Versus enemy armor, all of your eggs are in one basket.  Lose those 11 T-34/85s and you are in for a world of hurt!  The idea is you overwhelm your enemy fast, and push them off an objective early.  Buying tank riders for your standard T-34 company would be a solid buy as well- you'd need to drop all of the cupola upgrades, both HMGs in the motorstrelk, and both Komissars.

LIST TWO: PURPOSEFUL ASSAULT
This iteration of the list is far more plodding.  This would be more of an ideal choice for assaulting a fortified company.  The assault guns can clear bunkers and buildings, your infantry can clear fortifications and your tanks can breakthrough when the opportunity presents itself!  I ran a very similar list to this in an almost ideal situation.  I had no idea I'd be facing fortifications, but we rolled off and got "The Big Push".  The list performed well.

Where this list lacks in speed compared to the first one, it makes up in firepower.  Decoy Panthers have yet to truly impress me, but their price is right and I've seen them used to great effect.


LIST THREE: THE KITCHEN SINK
This is probably my least favorite of the lists, but it is flexible.  As usual, when you make a Jack of all trades list you are a master of none.  This is a bit light on the anti tank, but against an infantry heavy force I think it could really shine.  But it does a good job of illustrating just how drastically you can change the nature of the force.

Emchas- I've been sold on the usefulness of the Emchas 76s recently, and think a Forward Detachment is a great fit for them.  Unfortunately, I don't have any Soviet shermans yet so I can't speak to them personally.  For +5 points/tank to gain protected ammo, you effectively ignore 1/3 of all incoming shots from Panthers and Tigers when you're fearless with re-rolls to remount!  I'll have to give them a shot.

I really like the Forward Detachment for its flexibility.  I've used it quite a bit and plan to revisit it in our Firestorm Campaign game once we fire up Turn 2.

12 comments:

Neal Smith said...

I like it! :)

I think in V3, you might see more of a trend towards the third list being more useful, but it will take a while before enough people start switching from the "pure" tank armies.

I like decoy Panthers too. The Spetsnaz just look cool... :)

lap1964 said...

Hi Indie,
Ref 1st list,i don't think you can mix those tank types ? See the rule box on page77 in RB.
I think the same will apply with mixing 75mm and 76mm armed Emchas
Nice article anyways.
LES

Bcorpswriter said...

I love the forward detachment too. Curious as to why you chose the motostrelk over the tankrider company? The TRs are less points and have a 3+ save while mounted on the tanks IIRC.

indierockclimber said...

@lap- you might be right I'll need to double check, but I didn't think it applied to the FD.

@B- I liked the extra team in the motorstrelk, plus in all 3 lists I wanted to infiltrate my armor!

Tyler said...

Here's a question:
Are you allowed to infiltrate/spearhead a platoon if it has infantry riding on it as tank riders? I would probably guess not but it would be cool.

indierockclimber said...

Negative- it would be awesome though!

makes a nice case for tank escorts.

SinSynn said...

I just got a chill up my spine.....
Prolly cuz I play Axis, and these lists are...oof.
Lol.

indierockclimber said...

@Lap just re-read it, it clearly says you can mix T-34/85s and T-34s!

lap1964 said...

@indie thats in Tankovy Companies,but if you take Gvardeyskyiy Tankovy Company with T-34/85' s you can't mix them then ? Don't worry its catching quite a few out.
LES

indierockclimber said...

The more I read that rule, the less sense it makes! haha

The wording is "Any tanks in your (forward detachment) HQ, Combat, and Weapons Companies must be equipped with the same type of tank. However, Tankovy Companies may be equipped with a mix of T-34/76 and T-34/85."

I don't think the first list violates that. in the Guards Tanks and Tankovy by the letter of that rule.

HOWEVER, if you really wanted to be pedantic, I think that rule almost states that you can't use any of the assault guns available in the weapons platoons! Since they're tanks and they can never be equipped with the same tanks :P

Personally, I think the rule is to disallow the mixing of Emchas and T-34s and that's it.

Tyler said...

I agree with Steve. I always thought that it was meant to prevent mixing lend lease and T-34s.

Hammerpaints said...

LOL yer wow this was a rule i was ceratin on ... but reading this i had to go back and re read a few times to make sure and the one thing that is tripping me up on this also is that On pg 22 of the red bear book you can pay for 5 t34/85s upgrade with in a tankovy company.... so Iam reading this rule now that a Gvardeyskiy Tankovy company cant be Mix with A standard Tankovy company.......I also have been playing this the same as steve does but now iam really confused about it.

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