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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bolt Action - New Unit: Soviet Blocking Detachment

During the German summer offensive in 1942 Soviet leader Joseph Stalin issued Order 227. The order was as known as the “Not one step back” order. No Soviet commander was allowed to retreat under the order without expression permission to do so. Anyone who disobeyed Order 227 was subject to disciplinary action which could include anything from death to reassignment to a penal battalion. Order 227 also instructed armies to created block detachments who were instructed to shoot any troops fleeing from the front. This was not the first time blocking troops had been used by the Red Army. Order 1919, issued by Stalin in 1941, instructed the Stavka to create blocking detachments as well. These blocking detachments were under the direct control of the NKVD.

Blocking Detachment upgrade
For any additional 45 points a Commissar HQ Team may be upgraded to an inexperienced three man MMG team. Any Soviet infantry squad that fails an order test within 24” of the Block Detachment removes D3 figures and rerolls the order test at +1 moral. This ability only forces one reroll per unit per turn. When activating the Blocking Detachment can be used as an infantry team equipped with an MMG.

For an additional 5 point the Block Detachment can be upgraded to have a gun shield.
The only commercially available NKVD MMG team I am aware of is from Black Tree Designs. It would also be very easy to convert a team using head swaps with other manufactures. For example if you have extra plastic officer heads from the Warlord plastic Soviet set laying around you can switch them out for the head on the Warlord metal Soviet MMG team.

While this is not an official unit from Warlord you could easily run it if your opponent is okay with it or if you are running a themed game like a reenactment of the open scene of Enemy at the Gates.   Either way make sure you run loads of cheap inexperiences troops for added effect and fun.  


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