Apocalypse: Earth AAR – The Battle Of Kubica Pass (Pt. 1 – Deployment & Strategy)

Buffalo 2-7 patrolled into the deep dark wood.

They deployed into cover and the cover was good.

Up on point was stealth sniper team Ghost 7.

They counted Soviet tanks, all the way up to 11.

But then something mighty shook the ground below –

Oh Help! Oh No! It’s Stompy Uncle Joe!

Stompy Uncle Joe? Who’s Stompy Uncle Joe?

Stompy Uncle Joe? Why, didn’t you know?

He’s fifty feet tall, with a terrible roar

And a terrible flamethrower on his terrible claw

He can fire lightning into the air – his antiaircraft machine guns have our Rocketeers scared!

Where his he headed? He’s on our left flank – 

AND HIS FAVOURITE FOOD IS CENTURION TANK!!!!!

(thank you Julia Donaldson)

It’s time.

New board. New terrain. New and improved armies. After a summer of repainting and terrain building, Dan and I are champing at the bit to get this game underway and try out all our new toys, and this is going to be a BIG post. So big, in fact, we’ve decided to split it into two parts. This week, we’ll cover the army lists, deployment and strategies, and once the dust has settled and the empties cleared away, we’ll take a look at how the battle unfolded.

We decided to flip the narrative for once – the Atlantic Alliance would be the attacking party, striking deep into formerly Polish territory to try and secure the strategically vital village of Kubica Pass (yes, named for the racing driver.. we’re both rooting for you and hope to see you back on the F1 grid in 2018!) while the Holy Soviet Army would be trying to hold them back and protect this newly acquired slice of Motherland.

There were six objectives on the board, each worth 30VPs each – the central gulley and various hills and buildings around the battlefield. We reckoned each force chimed in at roughly 3000 points, so it should give us a good balance of manoeuvre and flat out slaughter!

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The board (Soviets nearest the bottom) – objective 1 just out of shot extreme left Soviet flank, objective 2 the rocky hill next to it, objective 3 the central gulley, objective 4 the ruined department store to it’s right, objective 5 the hill near the Allies, objective 6 the ruined church

Army Lists:

Holy Soviet Army – Task Force Polikarpov, 63rd Guards Tank Division

Command  –

Platoon Headquarters : Lt, Commissar, RTO, Standard Bearer, 3 x Riflemen

Line

Rifle Squad (No. 1)

Rifle Squad (No. 2)

Rifle Squad (No. 3) – Flamethrower replaces Light Machine Gun

Heavy Weapon Squad (No. 4) – reinforced with Lightning Launcher

Support

Strong Men (Sil’nyye muzhchiny) Close Assault Squad

Lightning Storm (Ataka grozy) Attack Squad

Artillery Observation Team

Special –

Noble Sniper (Blagorodnyy Snayper)

Holy Mystic (Svyataya Misticheskaya) & Entourage

Vehicles

T-48 Platoon (4 x T-48 including 1 command tank)

SU-152 Assault Gun

IS-6 Rampager

“Inferna” variant T-48

“Elektra” variant T-48

Kolossus Super Heavy Mech

Shock Drone section (2x Shock Drones)

 

Atlantic Alliance – Buffalo 2-7, VII Corps

Command  –

Platoon Headquarters : Lt, Platoon Sergeant, RTO, Medic

Line (each squad split into 2-man fireteams)

Rifle Squad (Alfa)

Rifle Squad (Bravo) + M85 support bot w/ assault saw, flamethrower

Missile Squad (Charlie) + M85 support ‘bot w/ Stinger/TOW launcher

Light Machinegun Squad (Delta) + M85 support ‘bot w/ LMG & HMG

Support

Dreadnaught power armoured infantry

Rocketeer squad (Warhawk 4-9)

Stealth squad (Ghost 7)

 

Vehicles

M60A3 Platoon (3 x M60A3 including 1 command tank)

M42 Stealth Tank

Humvee – Minigun

Humvee – Railgun, targeter

Humvee – Stinger/TOW launcher

M113 – HMG, 2x LMG

M113 – Light Autocannon, 2x LMG

M113 – Automatic Grenade Launcher, 2 x LMG

Avrocar squadron – 2 x Avrocar Silverbugs w/ 2x Stinger/TOW launchers, targeter and Avenger cannon

Pregame – 

Soviets:

Trying to read the terrain to best advantage, I stuck the SU-152 on the far left with the Artillery Observation team, with the intent of capturing and securing Objective 1, which looked safe enough and would also function well as a firebase with cover and plenty of views over the battlefield. Over on the right, I anchored the superheavies – the IS-6 Rampager and Stompy Uncle Joe, the Colossus, as they could command the open ground and the layout of the village streets gave the Rampager crew a nice field of fire for their twin 140mm cannons…

Objective 2 looked within reach and would provide a nice firebase, so I earmarked No. 4 (Support) squad to take that, and they would be led over the top by the T-48 platoon as I suspected we  might see some allied vehicle activity in that area of the table. Once it was secure, No. 4 squad could sit on 30 VPs of territory, sweep the board with heavy machinegun fire and lightning blasts, as well as dropping mortars wherever we felt like.

Objective 5 looked safely in the Allied zone so I decided to focus on 3 and 4 – this would be the main body of the infantry assault who would use the buildings for cover and get close enough to flush out any deployed Allied infantry with Molotov cocktails and vodka fuelled violence! I deployed the Siberians, Elektra and Inferna to support the HQ and squads 1, 2 & 3 in the centre. This would be my hammer blow, and the Shock Drones went with them to soften up anything foolish enough to get in their way.

By this point I was running out of space in my deployment zone! Vasily the sniper took up position in the ruined tenement block and the Lightnng Storm squad took Uncle Joe’s back as these slow moving but rugged troops would cause carnage when they got in range.. finally, the Holy Mystic and his bodyguard found themselves a nice little ruined shop to take refuge in and plot their evil deeds…

The stage was set. Za Rodina!

Atlantic Alliance:

I found myself with a bit of a mental block trying to form a plan, so I decided to deploy my most powerful assets first and build around them. First up was the flight of Avrocar Silverbug gunships – these chaps packed a pair of Stinger/TOW launchers each as well as a potent rapid fire Avenger cannon (essentially an A-10 in B-movie sci-fi clothing). I stuck them out on the far left where I could see the opportunity to pull off a flanking manouevre and quickly secure Objective 6.

The Stealth Tank simply HAD to go in the woods where he would best be able to utilise his ability to transform into a tree, so that solved that conundrum, and I decided that since that looked like a good area of tank country, most of my anti-tank units would go there – Charlie Squad, two of the Humvees and the Dreadnaughts all took position.

The Rocketeers would be a mobile fire brigade, so I kept them fairly central with the intent of having them close up and slaughter vulnerable Soviet infantry, and hopefully the Mystic, and the main grunt of the armour went where I figured the Soviet armour wouldn’t be – the Holy Soviet Empire has little conventional antitank capability, preferring to drown the enemy in T-48s and if that fails get their Mystic to start chucking tanks around like tennis balls. This meand that if you catch them out, they have no answer to the powerful Allied main battle tank. So, 3 M60A3s and 3 M113s formed the central punch, supported by Alfa, Bravo and Delta squads, as well as platoon HQ in order to ensure unit coherency. We would punch through the gulley and secure Objective 3, maybe 4 too. Ghost 7 deployed forward onto Objective 5, the craggy hilltop giving a fine view of the battlefield.

That was the plan. Now to see if the enemy would co operate…

 

 

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Soviet right flank – superheavies take position amongst the ruins
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Left to right in the Soviet centre – Siberians (behind the building), Elektra, Inferna, rifle squads, BTR -152 APC
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T-48 platoon and No. 4 Squad ready to take Objective 2
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SU-152 surveys the scene – it’s first deployment, the crew rueing the fate of all newly painted models…
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The Red Horde!
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Allied right flank – M42 Stealth Tank, Dreadnaught Squad, anti-tank missile and railgun equipped Humvees, Rocketeers and M85 combat support ‘bot
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Air Cav! Rocketeers at the ready
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The Allied centre, deployed in the woods behind Objective 3 – M60A3 Centurions, M113s, grunts and ‘bots
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Charlie squad survey the target rich environment
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Allied left flank – Avrocar Silverbug gunships anchor the far left, then Alfa and Bravo squads with associated support ‘bot
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Silverbug gunship flight.. How will these lads fare in their first battle?
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Noble Sniper Vasily takes position on the tenement block
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His opposite number, Ghost 7, deploy forward onto Objective 5
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Siberian Strong Men lick their lips at the scent of so much decadent capitalist blood to spill.. but will they make it to the fight this time?

Next time out – battle is joined! How will all our new toys acquit themselves? Stay tuned, stay thrifty, see you soon 😉

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Armies On Parade – the (NEW) Holy Soviet Army

Right, then, here we go! So, after Jim’s revamp of his decadent capitalist lackeys, I decided my righteous warriors of the proletariat needed a bit of a sprucing up. Rebased the infantry and tarted up the tanks, along with some new mechs and toys.

So, here they are – Task Force Polikarpov:

Rampager super heavy tank with twin 140mm cannons (scratchbuild)

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Mecha – Kolossus super heavy (Stompy Uncle Joe) and Shock Drones , all scratchbuilds

Armour platoon – four T-48s, three scratchbuilds and one T-54 from 4D models.. see if you can spot which is which!

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Heavy transport – BTR – 152 APC (scracthbuild papercraft from Landships II)

T-48 Inferna variant mounting heavy flamethrower and assault saw! (scratchbuild)

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Elektra – T-48 chassis and turret swapping 100mm cannon for Tesla Lightning Launcher (scratchbuild)
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Artillery support – SU-152 assault gun (4D miniatures kit)
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Strong Men (Sil’nyye muzhchiny) Siberian Close Assault Squad. Note the shotgun carried by the sergeant. (Conversions from Caesar miniatures)

Lightning Storm (Ataka grozy) Attack Squad – power armour infantry with Tesla Lightning Launchers (greenstuff conversions)

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Holy Mystic and bodyguard
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HQ – Lt. Polikarpov, Comissar Kuryakin, RTO, standard bearer and riflemen
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Grunts! No. 1 (Rifle) squad
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No. 2 (Rifle) squad
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No. 3 (Rifle) squad with flamethrower
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Artillery Observation Team

No. 4 (Heavy Weapons) squad – reinforced with Lightning Launcher team

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Noble Sniper Vasily Zaitsev

…..and some shots of the entire force in parade ground formation! I’ve detailed the armour painting scheme in a previous post, and the infantry scheme in another one.

Command  –

Platoon Headquarters : Lt, Commissar, RTO, Standard Bearer, 3 x Riflemen

Line

Rifle Squad (No. 1)

Rifle Squad (No. 2)

Rifle Squad (No. 3) – Flamethrower replaces Light Machine Gun

Heavy Weapon Squad (No. 4) – reinforced with Lightning Launcher

Support

Strong Men (Sil’nyye muzhchiny) Close Assault Squad

Lightning Storm (Ataka grozy) Attack Squad

Artillery Observation Team

Special –

Noble Sniper (Blagorodnyy Snayper)

Holy Mystic (Svyataya Misticheskaya) & Entourage

Vehicles

T-48 Platoon (4 x T-48 including 1 command tank)

SU-152 Assault Gun

IS-6 Rampager

“Inferna” variant T-48

“Elektra” variant T-48

Kolossus Super Heavy Mech

Shock Drone section (2x Shock Drones)

 

Overall, this force represents the slow, impregnable, shockingly violent rolling firestorm that the Holy Soviet Army should be in Apocalypse: Earth – a crushing hammer blow instead of the rapier pin pricks of the Atlantic Alliance nemesis! Always fun to roll these guys out, and this time, this time, Jim – I’ll ‘ave yer!!

Cheap ‘n’ Simple Scratchbuild – Holy Soviet Empire Shock Drones DIY Miniatures

How do – Dan here again. After Jim’s revamp of his decadent Western capitalist imperialist helots (which included a reinforcement with a dastardly M42 Stealth Tank and a close air support flight of Avrocar flying saucer tankbusters), I’ve had to up the game for my Holy Soviet Army in the hope of Lt. Polikarpov finally getting a victory for the workers.

This started with the BEHEMOTH mech I showed you last time, but seeing as we got such a positive response I thought I’d share these little critters with you – a pair of Shock Drones. Now, these are inspired by and similar to (but definitely not the same as) the notorious Terror Drones from Red Alert 2, and function in a similar way – basically fast moving close combat killers with limited AI and rigged to self-destruct when they hit Allied lines!

So – the build. For materials, you’ll need a few wee tiny offcuts of foamboard, some cocktail sticks, some glue that isn’t superglue, some glue that is superglue, some bits of sprue, some wee little bits of cardboard, and some disused guitar strings or bits of wire.

Step 1:

Foamboard. Take a rectangle of foamboard, 20mm x 15mm, and trim it at the edges. Count 5mm in each side and trim off. This gives you an octagonal shape which is the main body of the droid.

Step 2:

Glue a bit of sprue on top. Two if you’re really enthusiastic. These are the sensor superstructures on top of the droid.

Step 3:

Legs. You’ll need two cocktail sticks. Chop them in half, and then score each half a stick in the middle. Break the stick along that line but leave it in one piece and bend it at an angle. You then soak it with superglue to stiffen that joint. It will harden and actually be more solid than you might expect. Then you cut a V-shaped piece of cardboard, score it along the middle and fold it, and glue those to the “shins” of the legs (it doesn’t matter which way round you do it, but I had the sharp bits of the cocktail sticks as the feet). The other end of the cocktail stick gets dunked in glue (NOT SUPERGLUE – that will melt the foam) and pushed into the foam on the edges.

Tell you what, here’s a picture:

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Step 4: Attack cables

Guitar strings (or wire) wound up around a screwdriver, dunked in glue and pushed into the foam.

Step 5: Painting

This is exactly the same as the paint scheme for Stompy Uncle Joe, with one MAJOR difference – DON’T USE SPRAY PAINT! Spray paint has a chemical in it that melts foam. Your model is largely made from foam.

Some close ups of the finished articles:

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This is a dead easy build, and the little fellas actually do look quite nice in situ:

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Seen here about to rip apart an M60A3 Centurion..

They’ll certainly be a valuable addition to the rolling firestorm that is the Holy Soviet Army, skittering ahead to attack whatever enemy unit registers on their crude but effective sensor arrays. They also represent a potent, if somewhat unconventional anti-tank capability – admittedly the Holy Soviet Army likes to deal with tanks by using LOTS MORE TANKS (and occasionally the Holy Mystic to chuck them about).

We’re going with Armour Rating 12, Speed 24cm, CCR8 but no ranged weapons. A rugged Soviet construction method means the first hit penetrating the armour won’t destroy them, just halve their stats – the second takes them down, and when they go, they explode like a frag grenade!

And of course, there’s no way they could get hacked and go haywire. Is there, Jim?