Sunday, March 31, 2013

12-y Gvardeiskoi Tankovoi Brigady

A few weeks ago I received two boxes of PSC's excellent little T-70 light tank, along with one box of four 76.2mm Zis 3 "Crash-Boom" artillery pieces.

These are very nice little kits, and I really like the tiny T-70's.  I already have two I got years ago from Skytrex, but they were really squashy little castings- these are much, much better models and better capture the shape of the actual vehicle.

Looking over the mountain of kits sitting on top of the bookshelves (and threatening to fly off in all directions come the next sizeable earth tremor), I realize now that I finally have all I need to create a Soviet 1943 Tank Brigade for Blitzkrieg Commander II, using the organizations given in Frank Chadwick's Command Decision rule set.   

BKC-II doesn't cover national formations, and if it did the book would have had to be huge!  But it does contain comprehensive stats for vehicles, artillery, and infantry for the gamer to assemble a points-based force.  

This is fine, but I've always liked basing my wargaming forces on historical orders of battleFortunatelythe BKC website has available a very useful guide on converting orders of battles for BKC-II.  So I sat down and converted the CD list for a 1943 Soviet Tank Brigade for use in BKC-II games, as you can see here.   

It is a scaled-down version to be sure, and one vehicle equals approximately five actual vehicles.  This keeps vehicle and troop numbers manageable and rationalizes some of the abstractions in the rules.  

After all, I've always done it in my horse-and-musket wargaming where painting up 36 miniatures to represent a battalion is a lot more feasible that trying to do it using 750 miniatures at a 1:1 representation! 

It does mean that players have to remind themselves during the game that this stand of figures represents a platoon, and that the tank lurking behind the dilapidated hut over there represents five actual vehicles.  The results are the outcome of combat between two bodies of troops, not individuals.  It's not a skirmish game.

I should point out that my list represents a brigade at full strength, and almost as soon as these brigades were committed to combat on the Eastern Front, the actual strength of the unit would start to diminish due to combat losses and attrition, sometimes ending up with a staggeringly few operational vehicles.  

But in gaming terms it's good for the start of a campaign, and if we are playing a points-based game it would be much more likely for a force selection to be made from an actual formation like this, rather than just to cherry-pick an ad-hoc formation from the whole range of actual vehicles and units available (German players please take note!)

My brigade will represent the 12-y Gvardeiskoi Tankovoi Brigady, or 12th Guards Tank Brigade under the command of Col. Nikolai Grigoryevich Dushak from 1943 to 1945.  This brigade was part of the 4-y Gvardeiskoi Tankovoi Korpus, the 4th Guards Tank Corps commanded by Gen-Lt. Pavel Pavlovich Poluboyarov.

Poluboyarov was one of the rising stars of the RKKA, and after the war went on to become Marshal of Armoured Forces.

Here they are in action.  Col. Dushak on the left, his boss Gen. Poluboyarov on the right, as they do their part in hurling the Fascist vipers out of the Socialist Motherland.  
At some point I will add a list for other elements of the 4th Tank Corps, including heavy tank and SPG support, a motorized rifle and motorcycle battalion, and other goodies.  

Right now I'm working on making a list for that other essential for a Soviet player, a common-and-garden infantry regiment from a Rifle Division along with it's typical support units.  Gotta love horse-drawn artillery


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