Sunday, July 8, 2012

SSU Battle Report from June 2012!

The map from Mission #4, The Crossroads, from the Operation Cyclone Dust Tactics Campaign Expansion was used for this battle, but the objective was changed to Elimination. Axis are Attacking, and SSU are Defending. The map tiles are 4 wide by 3 deep. Each player deploys along the long edge of the map, however Terrain Tiles are arranged so that there are 4 separate map sections, that all meet in the middle, hence “The Crossroads”. Both Players deploy along the long map edge, but are split up between the 2 sides and are “kitty corner” to each other. So the Attacker will deploy along the long edge on the “North-West” and “South-East” sides of the map, where the Defender deploys along the long edge on the “South-West” and “North East” sides of the map. Cover can only be placed on the center tiles and there is no turn limit.

  • Justin’s 268 point SSU Army:
    Grand’ma (KV47-B(M)) – Koshka (Captain Koshka Rudinova – Smersh) – The Medvedi (SSU Command Squad) – Fakyeli (SSU Close Combat Squad) – Frontoviki (SSU Battle Squad) – Ohotniki (SSU Rifle Squad) – Chinese Volunteers (SSU Auxiliary Attack Squad) – Nabludatyel (SSU Observer Team) – Jnetzi (SSU Sniper Team) – Natasha (KV47-B) – SSU Airborne Transport (MIL MI-45)
  • Christian’s 270 point Axis Army:
    Angela – Lara – Markus – Axis Gorillas – Axis Zombies – Heavy Flak Grenadiers – Battle Grenadiers – Sniper Grenadiers – Recon Grenadiers – Ludwig – Luther – Heinrich – Heinrich

Turn 1:
Initiative: SSU
  • The Medvedi Places and Reactivates the SSU Airborne Transport with the Get Moving You Bunch of Monkeys! Skill.
    • SSU Airborne Transport targets Angela and her Sniper Grenadiers using the Hover Skill for a Sustained Attack.
      • Quad DahK 12.7 mm rolls 6 Hits to eliminate the sniper threat early in the game.

Turn 2:
Initiative: SSU
  • Lara and the Heavy Flak Grenadiers perform an Assault Move and Attack the SSU Airborne Transport.
    • Lara’s two MG 44 zwei’s roll 1 hit on the Transport.
    • The three Fliegerfaust’s utilize their Burst Weapon Ability since the target has not moved this Turn and roll 3 hits on the Transport.
  • Koshka and her Fakyeli perform an Assault Move and Attack Lara and the Heavy Flak Grenadiers.
    • Sulfur Thrower rolls 4 hits, which are all saved by Damage Resilience.
    • Five Shotguns roll 5 hits. 2 hits are saved by Soft Cover. Damage Resilience provides no effect to reduce the remaining 3 hits.
    • Koshka’s Grenade Pistol rolls 1 hit. Damage Resilience provides no effect.
    • Lara suffers 1 hit, and the Heavy Flak Grenadiers are eliminated.
    • Close Combat:
      • Six Knife and Grenade manage 3 hits. Damage Resilience saves against 1 hit and Lara suffers an additional 2 damage.
      • Lara’s Combat Knife deals no damage to Koshka and her Fakyeli.
  • Ludwig targets the SSU Airborne Transport for a Sustained Attack.
    • MG 44 misses the SSU Helicopter!
  • Heinrich targets the Chinese Volunteers for a Sustained Attack.
    • 2 cm FlakVierling rolls 3 hits on the SSU Auxiliary Unit.
  • Grand’ma Moves and Attacks the Luther.
    • “VK-916” Howitzer rolls 1 hit on the Axis Walker.
  • Airborne Transport Attacks Lara.
    • Quad DahK 12.7 mm rolls 1 hit on Lara. Damage Resilience provides no effect and the Axis Hero is eliminated.
    • SSU Airborne Transport Moves for its second action.
  • The Medvedi successfully reactivates Ohotniki with the Get Moving You Bunch of Monkeys! Skill.
    • Ohotniki Moves and Attacks Markus and his Axis Gorillas.
      • Both Widowmaker Rifles miss their targets!
      • Three PPSh-48’s roll 2 hits. Corner Cover gives the Gorillas Soft Cover and saves against 1 hit. Markus suffers the other hit.

Turn 3:
Initiative: SSU
  • Ohotniki targets Markus and his Axis Gorillas for a Sustained Attack
    • Both Widowmaker Rifles roll 2 hits!
    • Three PPSh-48’s roll 2 hits.
    • Corner Cover gives the Gorillas Soft Cover and saves against 1 hit. Markus suffers 3 additional hits.
    • Close Combat:
      • Five Knife and Grenade manage 4 hits. Markus takes an additional wound and the other 3 hits eliminate the Axis Gorillas.
      • The Combination of Markus’ Schwer Panzer Gloves and the Axis Gorillas standard Panzer Gloves roll 9 hits to eliminate the Ohotniki!
  • Markus Charges the Chinese Volunteers!
    • Both Schwer Panzer Gloves manage 4 hits to eliminate the SSU Auxiliary Unit.
    • Two Knife and Grenade miss the Charging Gorilla Hero!
  • Frontoviki Move and Attack Markus.
    • Both DPM MG’s roll 2 hits to eliminate the Blutkreuz Ape Hero.
  • Heinrich Moves and Attacks SSU Airborne Transport.
    • 2 cm FlakVierling rolls 2 hits to eliminate the SSU Airborne Transport.
  • Natasha Moves and Attacks a Heinrich.
    • The dual 45 mm Howitzer roll 1 hit on the Light Panzer Walker.
  • A Heinrich targets Koshka and her Fakyeli in a Tank Trap for a Sustained Attack.
    • 2 cm FlakVierling rolls 2 hits, but the SSU unit is saved by the Hard Cover.
  • Luther targets Grand’ma for a Sustained Attack.
    • 5 cm FlaK 43 misses!!
  • Ludwig targets Koshka and her Fakyeli in a Tank Trap for a Sustained Attack.
    • 8.8 cm FpK zwei rolls 4 hits!! However, the Hard Cover prevents any damage to the unit!!
  • Grand’ma targets the Luther for a Sustained Attack.
    • “VK-916” Howitzer rolls 2 hits on the Medium Panzer Walker.
  • Recon Grenadiers target the Jnetzi in a Tank Trap for a Sustained Attack.
    • MG 48 rolls 3 hits
    • 4 StG 47’s roll 2 hits.
    • Hard Cover saves against 3 of the hits, but the remaining hits are enough to eliminate the SSU Sniper Team.
  • The Medvedi successfully reactivate Grand’ma with the Get Moving You Bunch of Monkeys! Skill.
    • Grand’ma Assault Moves to close the distance the Luther and Heinrich’s.

Turn 4:
Initiative: SSU
  • Grand’ma targets the Luther and a Heinrich for a Sustained Attack.
    • “VK-916” Howitzer rolls 2 hits to eliminate the Luther.
    • Sulfur Thrower misses the Heinrich!
  • A Heinrich targets Koshka and her Fakyeli in a Tank Trap for a Sustained Attack.
    • 2 cm FlakVierling rolls 5 hits. The Tank Trap saves 4 of the hits, and Koshka absorbs the remaining hit to protect the unit.
  • The other Heinrich targets Koshka and her Fakyeli in a Tank Trap for a Sustained Attack.
    • 2 cm FlakVierling rolls 3 hits, but the Hard Cover proves to be ineffective this time and the unit suffers all hits.
  • Ludwig targets Koshka and her Fakyeli in a Tank Trap for a Sustained Attack.
    • 8.8 cm FpK zwei rolls 2 hits. The Hard Cover saves against both hits.
  • Recon Grenadiers Move and Attack Grand’ma.
    • All three Panzerfausts miss their target!
  • Koshka and her Fakyeli Move and Attack the Heinrich and Recon Grenadiers
    • Four Molotov Cocktails roll 2 hits to cause 4 wounds and eliminate the Light Panzer Walker.
    • Sulfur Thrower rolls 1 hit on the Recon Grenadiers
    • Three PPSh-48s roll 2 hits, but the Soft Cover provided by the Corner of the Heinrich prevents 1 hit from reaching the Recon Grenadiers.
  • The Medvedi fail to reactivate Natasha with the Get Moving You Bunch of Monkeys! Skill.

Turn 5:
Initiative: Axis
  • The remaining Heinrich target Koshka and her Fakyeli for a Sustained Attack.
    • 2 cm FlakVierling rolls 4 hits. Koshka falls in battle and only a single Fakyeli remains after the devastation.
  • The remaining Fakyeli targets the Recon Grenadiers for a Sustained Attack.
    • Sulfur Thrower rolls 3 hits to eliminate the Axis Recon Squad.
  • Ludwig Moves and Attacks the remaining Fakyeli benefiting from Corner Cover.
    • 8.8 cm FpK zwei rolls 2 hits, which penetrate the Soft Cover to eliminate the SSU Close Combat Squad.
  • Grand’ma Attacks the Heinrich.
    • Sulfur Thrower rolls a hit, which inflicts a damage of 4 and eliminates the remaining Light Panzer Walker.
    • Grand’ma Moves for her second Action.
  • Natasha Moves and Attacks the Ludwig.
    • The dual 45 mm Howitzers utilize their All In One Skill and roll 1 hit on the Ludwig!

Turn 6:
Initiative: SSU
  • Natasha targets the Ludwig for a Sustained Attack.
    • The Dual 45 mm Howitzers roll a single hit on the Medium Panzer Walker.
  • Ludwig targets the Natasha for a Sustained Attack.
    • 8.8 cm FpK zwei rolls 5 hits to eliminate the SSU KV47.
  • Grand’ma is blocked by Tank Traps from reaching the Ludwig, so targets one of the Tank Traps for a Sustained Attack. Only the Howitzer has any effect, since Flame Weapons cannot damage the concrete of the Tank Trap.
    • “VK-916” Howitzer rolls 1 hit on the Cover Element.
  • The Medvedi fails to reactivate Grand’ma with the Get Moving You Bunch of Monkeys! Skill.

Turn 7:
Initiative: Axis
  • Ludwig targets Grand’ma for a Sustained Attack.
    • 8.8 cm FpK zwei rolls 2 hits on the Rare SSU Walker.
  • Grand’ma targets the same Tank Trap for a Sustained Attack.
    • “VK-916” Howitzer misses the Cover Element.
  • The Medvedi successfully reactivate Grand’ma with the Get Moving You Bunch of Monkeys! Skill.
    • Grand’ma targets the same Tank Trap for a Sustained Attack.
      • “VK-916” Howitzer misses the Cover Element.
Turn 8:
Initiative: SSU
  • Grand’ma targets the same Tank Trap for a Sustained Attack.
    • “VK-916” Howitzer rolls 1 hit on the Cover Element.
  • Ludwig targets Grand’ma for a Sustained Attack.
    • 8.8 cm FpK zwei rolls 4 damage to eliminate the modified KV47-B.
Turn 9:
Initiative: SSU
  • Ludwig targets the advancing Medvedi with a Sustained Attack. 
    •  The 8.8 cm FpK zwei and MG 44 roll a total of 5 hits to eliminate the SSU Command Squad.
At this point in the game the SSU had no units remaining that could damage the Ludwig Panzer Walker. The game was called as an Axis Victory!

Victory Points:
  • Christian - Axis: 244 Points 
  • Justin - SSU: 230 Points

The only limitations the Axis player was faced with were the available miniatures on hand (No Zombie Heroes, or Heavy Recon Grenadiers, etc…). The SSU player only had Grand’ma and one KV chassis utilize for walker support. The Natasha was chosen over the Natalya and Nadya due to the range of 6, The All In One Skill, and the ability for the 44 mm Howitzers to ignore cover. The Cover Elements were also placed so that range between infantry units was cut drastically short, and created a “wall” that Vehicles would have to blow their way through to reach another portion of the map. The infantry units had to try and take the Crossroads section of the map in order to maximize their effectiveness and gain range on their enemy.

The SSU Airborne Transport proved its usefulness again. Not only did the Carry Capacity allow Koshka and her Fakyeli to get a great starting position on the map, but the reactivation provided by The Medvedi opened the window for the SSU to eliminate a very deadly unit very early in the game. The Helicopter was eliminated in turn 3 since the Axis brought many anti-aircraft options, so I am starting to question the survivability of such a unit in a large engagement. It is a bit early to come to a conclusion since the Attack Helicopters are not yet released. Hopefully they will provide more of a distraction to the enemy, thereby increasing the SSU Airborne Transports effectiveness in combat.

The Chinese Volunteers weren’t too effective this time around. They did a good job of utilizing their Agility Skill to move around the map and get a good defensive position, but the Heinrich is very good at chewing up infantry units, and the follow up with Markus was just too much for the Auxiliary Unit to handle.

The Frontoviki (SSU Battle Squad) wasn’t a large part of the combat. Their inability to damage Vehicles were part of the reason the SSU player kept them tucked back and away from the Heinrich’s. A majority of the Axis infantry units were eliminated by the end of Turn 3 so the Frontoviki weren’t able to accomplish much else, other than finishing off the Blutkreuz Ape Hero. I have to stand by my original statement; 19 points is too expensive for this unit with no usable vehicle killing power and minimal firepower against Aircraft. I feel that the cost of this unit should be 16 points, maybe 17 points at the most.

The Ohotniki (SSU Rifle Squad) are a very expensive unit for what the player gets in return. There are two Widowmaker Rifles with a range of 6 in the squad, and 3 PPSh-48 SMG’s. The Widowmaker Rifles can do 1/1 against vehicles up to armor 4, and 1/1 for all Infantry Armor classes, but the soldiers using the weapons are not trained well enough to be given the Sniper Skill. The unit can start taking shots at a range of 6 with its two special weapons. 2 dice have a 55.56% of obtaining at least 1 hit, and an 11.11% chance of obtaining 2 hits. So you’ll probably hit once for each time you fire both Widowmaker Rifles, which is okay against Infantry but not very good odds when faced with unlimited range Heinrich’s, Luther’s, Ludwig’s, Lothar’s, Sturmkonig’s, Konigsluther’s, Pounder’s, Rattler’s, Punishers, and pretty much any other vehicle that can start shooting at a range comparable to 6. The Sniper ability would definitely make this unit more worthwhile to the SSU since it would force the Allied and Axis commanders to think twice before advancing on this unit. Also I feel the Widowmaker Rifle should be able to damage all vehicles with 1/1. The cost is the same of Both Hunters or Tank Killers, but the vehicle killing power is laughable when compared to the Allied and Axis equivalent. The Ohotniki seem to hold their value in very specific situations as opposed to a well-rounded unit able to handle most circumstances, such as finishing off lighter enemy vehicles that have been damaged, or harassing (not eliminating) infantry at a distance. The SSU Rifle Squad will have some power if they are within a range of 2 on armor 1 or 2 infantry, but again, that is a rather specific situation.

The Medvedi (SSU Command Squad) performed very well in this mission. The reactivations were a huge help to the SSU forces, but the SSU Player did under use the unit’s potential. Both the Natasha and Fakyeli could have been brought back to help deal with the Ludwig. At no point did the SSU Player attempt to bring any units back with the Command Squad Skills. Granted there is no guarantee that it will be successful, but a successful Field Repair or Come On Guys; We’re Going Back Out There skill roll would have changed the course of the game drastically. Instead the SSU Player charged The Medvedi in to battle with the hopes that the Mechanic would have a chance to engage and potentially eliminate the Ludwig with is Power Tool Weapon (4.53% chance of gaining 4 or more hits on an armor 4 vehicle). Also, the SSU player should have insisted on a turn limit of 8, since that would have clinched an SSU victory (The Ludwig would not have destroyed The Medvedi in round 9, and the points would have been SSU: 230 and Axis: 200).

The Nabludatyel (SSU Observer Team) were pretty much just filler to max out the number of points in the SSU army and provide a “free” activation. This unit will prove its worth once the SSU Walker Transport is released with the Airlift KV’s, since that is where the Nikita (KV47-E Aero), the SSU Artillery unit, will be made available.

The Jnetzi (SSU Sniper Team) were limited since the Tank Traps blocked much of the Line Of Sight that Sniper Teams love to use to their advantage. The smart thing may have been to focus their attacks on the Ludwig to try and wear the walker down and give the other SSU units a better chance at taking down the Axis beast of a Medium Walker.

Kohska and the Fakyeli (SSU Close Combat Squad) were definitely the MVP’s of the SSU forces. Even though the unit was eliminated in Turn 5, the combination was able to eliminate the Heavy Flak Grenadiers, a Heinrich Light Panzer Walker, a squad of Recon Grenadiers, while heavily damaging Lara before meeting their end. Plus the Cover saves really did their part in keeping this unit alive as long as possible. The Molotov Cocktails still proved very useful against the walkers, and the Sulfur Thrower was able to hit the last 3 Recon Grenadiers in a Sustained Attack. The only drawback was that Koshka was eliminated before she had a chance to take advantage of her Fighting Spirit Skill. She could have piloted Grand’ma and used her Skill to bust through those Tank Traps and give the Ludwig a run for its money.

Grand’ma (Koshka’s personal modified KV47-B) performed well against the Axis Walkers. Granted it took a little while to wear down the Luther and the Sulfur Thrower was not all that dependable, but she was able to eliminate a Luther and Heinrich Panzer Walker. Grand’ma would have been able to give the Ludwig a run for its money had the Tank Traps not been an issue with closing distance and range. This was a good performance for a Rare Unit.

Natasha (KV47-B) tried her best to help the SSU forces out in this battle. The range of 6 isn’t all that terrible, but it’s not all that great either. Plus the 45 mm Howitzer is pretty weak against armor 4 vehicles and useless against anything with a higher armor rating. This is the only KV, for the moment, with any range. But there is a complete lack of vehicle killing power. It can be a threat against armor 3 otherwise it’s better used to mop up damaged armor 4 walkers. The All In One Skill is nice and can come in handy, but that will be short lived if the dice don’t perform well (much like what happened in this game). I look forward to the Airlift KV’s. The Nikita will bring the unlimited range that the SSU sorely needs to combat infantry and vehicles with its Artillery Weapon. Plus the Nikita doesn’t need to reload the Artillery piece and it’s the only Artillery Weapon that will ignore cover provided by a structure. The Nastasia will provide excellent anti-infantry and anti-aircraft support, at a range of 6, and its damage to vehicles is comparable to the Natasha. The Nina is where the vehicle killing power lies for the SSU. Two separate RPG-47’s that can kill up to armor 5 vehicles in one shot with a range of 3. Airlifting this unit around the board will be a nightmare for the enemy and force their army to concentrate fire on the Helicopters, which exposes a weakness that the SSU will soon have the power to exploit!

This was a great battle between SSU and Axis forces. The Armor 3 Axis units proved to be tough to overcome, but the SSU was able to pull through. However this would have been a very different game had Angela and her Sniper Grenadiers survived a bit longer and took a few shots at the SSU. The Axis was able to pull through and gain the victory, but the SSU was very close to keeping the victory in their corner as well. I do have a small issue with the complete lack of well-rounded units in the SSU army. I’m sure the Drakoni will fill that role well, but at 28 points there should be more than 1 infantry unit that has a well-balanced feel. I hope we see more units announced for the SSU soon and I am curious if/when Armor 3 SSU units will become available. I do look forward to the Drakoni, but also suspect that only a few of the Commissars will really be worth their value when adding them individually to Infantry units.

We will be doing more battle reports soon and keep your eye on the upcoming Dust Fanzine for original content that you won’t find anywhere else! Future Battle Reports will contain the First Wave SSU versus the Allies, expanded SSU units versus Allies (much like this Battle Report), and much more! We just finished our Operation Blue Thunder v2.0 Campaign League Play and the final battles and league winners will be named tomorrow. Stay tuned and Good Gaming!!


  1. Great job with those battle reports! I enjoy reading them and seeing how the SSU units preform in battle. I'm on the other hand afraid that your hopes concerning Nikita may be futile. According to unofficial e-mails and FFG forums discussion based on RCS rulebook all A range weapons (but not the steel rain) have to reload after shooting even if there is no reload ability on the card.

  2. This wouldn't be the first time that FFG has majorly screwed up clarifications. I have noticed a tendency for their responses to mix the answers between Tactics and Warfare. At the moment we are only playing with the Lothar Reloading until a FAQ or new campaign is released with verifiable information. It seems a little ridiculous that some say reload and others do not, but they must reload regardless... I sometimes wish I can get a job with FFG and see what the heck is going on.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Hey Lska. I don't know what happened, but I managed to accidentally find a way to remove your comment and I can't reverse it. But I never noticed the Commissars didn't have any CC weapons... That is quite a disadvantage.