Heroes of the Soviet Union
As in desperate measures the “Heros of the Soviet Union” have the same rules representing battle worn and experienced troops who have seen combat and learned a thing or two. The following units get these special rules
When a CiC or 2iC Warrior team is destroyed, your opponent must roll a 5+ instead of 4+ up to eliminate the leader.
Hero companies pass skill tests on 3+ instead of 4+ - this goes for bombarding artillery as well.
Hero companies do not use Hen and Chicks……..(Massive win!!!) death to hated Hen and chicks!
During an Assault, a platoon with these can make any number of teams non-assaulting teams and makes skill check. If any team passes this check, the assaulting platoon (company) is considered Concealed.
Bed Spring Armor
Schurtzen for Soviets. (of note- this gets the 4+ schurzen save which is slightly better than the 5+ of improvised armor!)
Sapper Body Armor
6+ save for a team when killed in an Assault. This still counts as a hit for purposes of continuing the Assault.
This is for the 203mm obr 1931 howitzers only. When this gun hits a building with multiple rooms, it hits everything in the room, plus everything above, below and adjacent as well. Stay out of buildings, for sure!
Same as before. Semi-Indirect Fire for SU-100s. Re-roll misses when not moving and shooting over 16”.
Hero Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy (Fearless Trained)The Guards Heavy Tank Regiments are the pinnacle of Soviet armor with the heavy IS-2 obr 1944 available to the list at 150 points a vehicle. This beast is armor 11 front, side 8 and top 2- combine that with the Bedspring Armor for 5 points (Germans Schurzen rule) and you have a vehicle to be reckoned with. With this kind of armor those panzerfaust wielding hordes of conscripts better look out. The force organization allows for 3 Platoons of 3 tanks of IS-2. You can get the 1943 version for roughly 10 points cheaper as well in the list. This makes 3 IS-2 1943 415 points and IS-2 1944 450 points. The gun stats did not change: AT15 2+FP and the terrible ROF 1. As always the Guards can have tankriders for 10 points per tanks. The support options are pretty good as well: Guards ISU platoons, Hero Tank, Hero Flame Tanks for more armor choices. The infantry choices are plentiful with even a Hero Flame Thrower platoon. Ouch! Two artillery boxes of towed guns and one of rockets rounds out the list with AAA platoon and air support as well.
Hero Tyazhelyy Samokhodnoartillyeriyskiy Polk (Fearless Trained)
The Hero Heavy Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment. Besides their name being a mouth-full, it's a good list. These are our old favorites: the ISU-122 and ISU-152 in tank platoons of 3 vehicles along with an HQ tank that is an IS-2. Not much has changed with the stats of these guys, which means they still have the volley gun rule (which is why almost everyone plays these instead of IS-2s!). The ROF 1 is just a killer combined with the fact that you can cheap out with your mandatory platoons by buying ISU-152 at 315 points for 3 which is still great tank to have to kill bunkers and infantry. The support choices in this list are identical to the IS-2 company with the exception being HHSPAR can get a platoon of IS-2. So it is possible to get 4 IS-2, 3 ISU-122 and 3 ISU-152 which is why I think this list is so much more flexible than the IS-2 list.
Hero Strelkovy Polk (Fearless or Confident Trained)
Red Banner rules: Before we can get into the Soviet infantry forces we have to mention the new “Red Banner command team” that you can buy one of for your army at 50 points. This team replaces the company command team in one Strelk, Storm Groups, or Scout unit. Everything cool hinges off these:
To Victory: A force that includes a Red Banner Team Always attacks.
Za Rodinu: The Soviet company with a Red Banner team gets mission tactics and always has Quantity of Quality no matter how many teams are left! (yikes always 10 hits to pin!)
The World is Watching: Slightly weird rule where the game can not end if the Red Banner unit is within 4” of the enemy objective even if the enemy has taken the Soviet objective. In addition if a Red Banner loses you lose one point, 0-7 game if the win they gain one point 7-0.
The Red Banner command team is a MUST buy every time. (side note: the names are off one command level to represent the beat up nature of these units Companies are named Battalion and the Battalion is named Regiment, try not to let it confuse you like it does me!)
With that out of the way, we can get to the meat of the list that will go with your RBT. The Hero Rifle Regiment comes as Guards (Fearless trained) or Red Army (Confident Trained). Both have the standard 3 company organization with two mandatory companies of one Hero Storm group or two Strelk companies. The HQ has very little in it other than a Kommisar team. The Hero Strelkovy Battalion (really a platoon) has 13 rifle/mg stands with an option to buy an HMG for 25 points. You can switch four teams to SMG at no cost and can upgrade to 3 panzerfaust smg teams for 10 points each- pretty damn salty! The storm group has 3 SMG teams and six "choice" boxes for 300 or 255 points respectively for Guards (Fearless Veteran) and Red Army(Fearless Tranined). The choices for the boxes are: SMG, Pioneer SMG, Panzerfaust SMG, MG team, ATR, HMG, Mortar, 45mm ATG, 76mm howitzer, and the real kickers: the 76mm Crashboom for two slots or 203mm obr 1934 w/ Stalinet Tractor for 3 slots. This big beast has the building destroyer special rule.
That is it for the core platoons, so lets get into the weapons company support options like Hero Flame-thrower platoons (which hit on 3s since they are hero!) with four stand for 200 points. Hero scout platoons have infiltration and panzerfausts- 165 points for full 5 stands. Hero mortar platoons of six guns and Hero SMG platoons if you want more infantry. You get two tank slots, two artillery, ATG, Sapper, One rocket, AAA, and Air support choices for your Hero Strelk. All kinds of good combinations as you will see in the Hero Corp support section.
Hero Corp Support:
Hero Tankovy Company: (Fearless or Confident trained)
Here are the T-34s and Sherman choices without the dreaded Hen and chicks. The T-34s 76mm and 85mm options can get bedspring armor which is nice The guards can get Sherman 76mm and M4s and all can get tank escorts. These are only 4 tank platoons maximum but some really nice options you need.
Hero Assault Tank Company:(Fearless Trained)
If you didn’t have enough interesting options already here is another unique tank choice for the soviets. A combo of two T-34/85s and two ISU-152s for 395 points- talk about a nice combination of helping each others weakness.
Hero Flame-Tank Company:(Fearless or Confident trained)
Good old OT-34 and OT-34/85 tanks flamers with a purpose! Did I mention these are Hero and they hit on 3 up! I can find a use for these in my list.
Hero Assault Gun Company: (Fearless or Confident trained)
Buried in the depths of the list are the platoons of 3 SU-100s and their cat killing goodness. More options include SU-76s which, if you only have 80 points left, might be an option.
Hero Tank Destruction Company:(fearless Veteran)
For some reason these guys are Veterans. I guess it's the only way to make them better. Four good gun options here: 45mm, 57mm, 76mm and 100mm. All nice options depending on your force structure.
Hero Sapper Company:(Fearless or Confident trained)
If for some reason you wanted a pioneer supply wagon here is where you get it. You can also get PzFaust for the these guys as well.
Hero Inzhenerno-Saperniy Company:(Fearless Veterans)
Veteran Infantry! And in numbers for the Soviets! 13 stands with body armor (6 up save) for 445 points- ouch! Not sure it's worth it but these guys are vets now with the usual Inzhenerno-Saperniy trade out options of ATR, HMG Mortars and Panzerfausts. Still have the smoke pot rule which I have never seen work.
Hero 160mm Mortar Battalion:(Fearless or Confident trained)
What the heck a new mortar! The 160mm stats are 56” range with AT 4 and 2 FP- nice. The price seems reasonable as well; 8 gun battery for 220 points and don't forget these are hero so they hit as vets.
One of the great things about being a Hero is the skill test bump to vet. Nothing gets more value out of that than your template weapons, and these lists have plenty of options. Its the usual suspects of 122mm, 152mm and 203mm guns. Plus the Katysusha truck park of death with the super heavy rockets we have seen before. All great options under the Hero banner.
Hero AAA platoons:(Fearless or Confident trained)
A couple of good cheap AAA options are available to the list: the 3 DShk AA truck platoon is still soldiering on, which has not changed since 1941. The new ZSU is good option for infantry forces and not just for mech anymore. 37mm AA guns round out the list with a 6 gun option at 160 points. All these will be getting the Hero skill boost so you can’t go wrong if you need them.
My conclusion is I think it will be hard to make a bad list out of these three, but the Strelk is the strongest list in all of the Berlin book. The Tank and Infantry options are phenomenal paired with great Hero special rules and Red Banner Command team to make an unstoppable 3+ killing machines. The trained status is always what winds up getting shot up, and was what always held the Udarny back. With a Red Banner team you can get around this problem of getting pinned. Seriously you will be seeing these guys in the very near future.