With this year’s flurry of activity on Russian Scouts, including my recent game, Andrew Fisher’s Game and my musing on Reconnaissance Scenarios, I thought I’d complete my Soviet Divisional Reconnaissance Company.
What I started with
Here is the first Russian Scout Platoon with Roland’s original flocking scheme.
I used the Flames of War Soviet Scout Platoon (SU707). The pack contains 21 Scout figures. I think there are six poses in the pack. The majority are armed with a SMG but there is a sniper and one other rifle figure.
I needed 22 figures to get two platoons and company commander stand. So I used the 21 figures from the FoW pack and added an extra commander figure from a regular rifle unit as the company commander.
But two platoons wasn’t enough. Both my Russian Scouts Scenario and Russian Recce Scenario have an entire company of three platoons. I was one platoon short. In my play tests I substituted a regular Rifle Platoon but I wanted a real scout platoon to round out the company. Roland kindly painted the missing platoon.
Roland also kindly painted a replacement Company Commander figure so the entire company are in camo suits.
You’ve probably noticed that I took the opportunity of receiving the extra platoon to rebase the entire unit using my new flocking approach and with the appropriate Unit ID Labels.
Crossfire Order of Battle
The Crossfire order of battle for a Divisional Recon Company is pretty straight forward.
Soviet Divisional Reconnaissance Company
- 1 x CC (+1)
- 3 x SMG Platoons: PC (+1)1; 3 x Recon SMG Squads2
- Command & Control: Good, i.e. German3
- Morale: Regular or Veteran4
(1) Normally Russian PCs get +1 for close combat but not for rallying. I’d assume these guys are better than that so get +1 for both.
(2) In my house rules I give “Recon” troops a bonus in Recon by Fire (RBF). They reveal on 5+ rather than 6.
(3) Soviet scouts were better quality than your average and were accustomed to operating independently.
(4) I’ve been musing on Reconnaissance Scenarios including whether the recon guys should be Veteran or Regular. Veteran makes more sense, as these were elite troops, but there need to be restrictions to prevent the recon troops becoming assault troops.
What that looks like:
Having said that three squads is probably at the generous end of the spectrum. As Flames of War Soviet Scout Platoon (SU707) explains:
The detailed organisation of these units is unclear, and was probably very different between units depending on circumstances. It appears that a full strength scout platoon had two squads of nine scouts in its most common form. However, the Red Army had a policy of rebuilding entire divisions rather than feeding in replacement piecemeal, so like any unit in the Red Army, scout platoons were unlikely to remain at full strength for long.
Roland Davis painted my Russian scouts. Roland uses the Black Undercoat Method of painting.
As I said on my WW2 Painting Guide for Russian Infantry:
For Scouts in camo, Roland used the same greenish Khaki [as the regular infantry] but with dark green splotches on top. But this scheme is only one of a several used. Most scout figures wear a side cap which Roland painted normal greenish Khaki.
Have a look at the Flames of War Scouts for alternative camouflage schemes.
I based them using Sand, Flat Earth paint, and Dry Brushing.
I have used Battalion Code = “X” for the Unit ID for the reconnaissance troops of any nation. I would have liked to have used “R” for “Recon” but I use “R” for “Russian Rifles”. Or “S” might have been okay but I’m reserving that for when I get an “SS” unit. So I’ve chosen “X” for no other reason than I’ve not used it for anything else.
The Russian scouts are the first company so they are “X-1”
The third platoon is, for example, “X-1-3”:
2 thoughts on “Steven’s Soviet Divisional Reconnaissance Company”
For recon troops (and for WWI stosstruppen), we have allowed them a saving throw if they suffer a pin/ supress/ kill result during reactive fire. On a 5,6 they ignore pins, reduce supress to pin and kill to supress. This roll cannot be made when moving to melee.
If they are supposed to be pure recon troops, then during close combat, they get +1 SMG bonus, but no veteran bonus. Less likely to be used as assault troops, but still capable of holding their own.
A little like FoW, but not too cumbersome.
Interesting ideas. Is the saving throw for hits due to being superior morale or due to utilising cover more effectively? I’ve played with people who gave Recon troops one higher level of cover, i.e. Open->Cover; Cover->Bunker. We never had Recon troops inside a Bunker so never needed a rule for that. 😉 I found the “higher level of cover” house rule too generous which is why I don’t use it. Your saving throw is a more modest version of that = tempting.
+1 SMG instead of Veteran is a tidy rule. They get some benefit of being superior by having a bonus in close combat but not the rallying of Veterans. In some ways I’d prefer that flipped around, i.e. not benefit in close combat but a benefit in rally; my rationale being they were elite but used that elite-ness for sneaking/running away rather than assaulting.