Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Megablitz units - Soviet Tank Corps, early 1942

In response to requests, the description of this unit will include details of the strength points (SPs) which I would allow it in a Megablitz game.  SPs vary according to the theatre of war and period, so the following comments relate to a Soviet Tank Corps as it might appear in early 1942.  This does not mean that the SPs for, say the T-34 stand, would be the same for a T-34 stand the following year.  What I am trying to say is that while the T-34/76 is decidedly better than average kit at Smolensk in 1941, by late 1942 it is merely average and by 1944 arguably yesterday's news.  Similarly the T-34/85 would be average during the advance into the Reich in 1945 but superior against the Japanese a couple of months later.  Clear?  No?  Didn't think so.

Anyway, on to the toys.  The Russians began forming Tank Corps (we decadent westerners would call them divisions) in late 1941, after their enormous but unwieldy Tank Divisions had largely disintegrated in the face of the German onslaught.  The new formations were built by grouping 3 tank and 1 motor rifle brigade, with additional supporting elements being added throughout the war.  From what I have been able to establish, no two Tank Corps shared the same composition at any given time. 

Here is the Corps assembled except for it's logistic 'tail' which unaccountably didn't make it into the photo.
Corps HQ, complete with a rather decadent looking Ford(?) Coupe.  Presumably this was 'liberated' in one of the Baltic states.  Die-cast toy by ERTL with Battlefront figures.  0-1 SP
The Armoured Car Battalion.  The BA-10 and BAI provide the authentic 1930s look. 
The BAI is a resin and metal kit by RH Models.  1SP (R)  The R denotes that this stand is armoured recce.
BA-10.  This gorgeous thing was scratch built (even the wheels!) - but not by me.  1SP (R)
AA Regiment.  he truck is a Corgi Ford Model A, which originally advertised Cadburys Chocolate.  Traces of the factory purple paint are all too evident on this photo.  Ford tooling was used to produce the GAZ AA series, so for that reason alone it's close enough!  Quad Maxim MG & gunners by Skytrex.  2SP, 2AA  This stand may be used in combats against ground or air units.
The Motor Rifle Brigade.  I generally represent this with 2 or 3 stands (a total of 6SP for the brigade), each with a truck and two infantrymen.  The trucks in the photo are more Corgi Model As.  The nearest has had it's wheels replaced by more convincing items from the spares box.  I know I should have done them all, but I have a lot of these models.  Figures by Dixon.
And now - the tank brigades.  The three tank brigades have a 'book' strength of 48 T-34, 30 KV and 60 light tanks.  Although the brigades had a mix of tanks, it is easier to represent them with a model of each type. You could either equalise the SPs across the three brigades or have heavy, medium and light brigades.  The light tanks were theoretically T-60 but in practice anything could turn up in their place.  I have used a BT-7.
Heavy tank brigade.  An old Esci KV-1 with many kilometres under it's tracks.  4-5SP
Medium tank bde.  Matchbox T-34 with Britannia commander.  Again this has been around a while.  4-5SP

Light tank bde.  This is an old Red Star BT-7.  I have always liked the look of the BT series and now have rather disturbing numbers of them.  3-4SP
And finally - at the rear with the beer* and the gear.  The logistic back-up for the Corps.  In early 1942 these would be Army assets, attached as required for particular actions.  For two days' worth of action, 2LOG in the lorry and 2POL in the tanker.  ZIS lorry by Frontline, tanker is an unknown Russian plastic kit with a fuel tank from the Airfix Bedford QL.

* I know it should be Vodka but couldn't come up with a suitable rhyme.

18 comments:

Tim Gow said...

My apologies to anyone who had trouble reading this post earlier. For some unknown reason I had a hell of a job formatting it.
Tim

Paul said...

Great Soviet Army here Tim. I am really quite jealous now. The Matchbox T34 looks a treat.

Nice conversions of the yesteryear diecasts as well.

Don M said...

Beautiful stuff Tim, I still can't get my head around how small the units are for Megablitz! When I started my collection there was a system here in the states called
Series 77 where they sold entire
units in either 1/72nd or in Roco.
You can see some examples here:
http://brazosevilempire.blogspot.com/search/label/MTOs

I picked up a few back then and from that point on built most of my forces to match, they are very
close to Chris Kemps' NQM but, they are at least twice as big as
the MTOs for Megablitz!

I guess on the bright side I can have double the number of divisions that I thought I had? ;-)

Tim Gow said...

Paul
If you are jealous then I must be doing something right!
Tim

Tim Gow said...

Don M
NQM was one of the inspirations for Megablitz. In that, and indeed in my own Brigade-level NBC game, a stand generaly represents a company. In Megablitz the player generally commands a division and the stands are battalion sized units.
Tim

Ross Mac said...

Now up from the rear, hoo-rah
Its the lads with petrol and vodka?

Interesting, How would you assign the SP to indicate 3 mixed brigades?

-Ross

Don M said...

I think I'm going to do an amalgamation of NQM & Megablitz,
there are some points I like in both systems,like I said my MTOs are bigger however I like the way
Megablitz flows and it cleans up allot of the glitches one finds
in NQM.

Bill said...

* I know it should be Vodka but couldn't come up with a suitable rhyme.

Vodka and vittles? ;-)

Don told me about your blog...very nice work Tim!

Tim Gow said...

Ross Mac
The toys are purely representational - for the 3 mixed tank bdes give them 3-5SP each, for a total of 11-14. Mine do represent mixed bdes - I just like having the variety of toys on the table!
Tim

Tim Gow said...

Don M
I look forward to hearing how you get on - I'm sure Chris does too. I designed Megablitz and NBC as there are times when I want to play a Brigade-level action with the detail that involves,and to be able to run games involving 2-3 dozen divisions where there is no time for such detail.
Tim

Tim Gow said...

Bill
Welcome to my world. 'Vodka & victuals' - I like it. I think that makes you the front runner in the slogan competition. Good hat BTW- I've been wearing mine a lot during the arctic spell here.
Tim

Bill said...

Thanks for the kind welcome, the hat has a back story, in our little world (Don & a few other mad men and myself)I run the FPPR (Free Pecos Peoples Republics)the Russians by another name. Don and myself are both retired GIs and were last stationed at Fort Hood TX, so we were intimately acquainted with Hoods training areas. So we took a standard military map of the area,
enlarged the grid to one KM and picked out our country. We each took on a fairly standard national MTO from WWII to Post Modern, the rest is history...)

Tim Gow said...

Bill
Great story. It probably indicates that you need locking up, but then don't we all!
Tim

Don M said...

Great story. It probably indicates that you need locking up, but then don't we all!

Well one can't work for the federal government for 20 plus years without it taking it's toll...)

What Bill didn't tell you is this all started because of one of his of hand jokes! we were on another forum and had mentioned I had just picked up some new APCs. Well his comment was something to the effect of "Oh great just what the Evil Empire on the Brazos needs, more armor". So I ran with it, the madness is entering it's fourth year as we speak...)

Tim Gow said...

Don
Many a wargames project has begun with such an offhand remark. We should know better than to listen to one another.
Tim

Bill said...

Many a wargames project has begun with such an offhand remark. We should know better than to listen to one another.

Yeah that going to happen Tim! ;-)

Ross Mac said...

Thanks for the answer Tim. I had picked up on the models being just for show but I noticed that you had labelled them as Heavy, Medium and Light Brigades and wondered if that was why the SP's varied. (of course when the war office finally approves the budget to buy a copy, no doubt all will be made clear not that I intend to get in WWII )
-Ross

Tim Gow said...

Ross Mac
Later Soviet formations include Heavy Tank Regiments, but from late 1942 most of the Tank Brigades were built around medium and/or light tanks. In that order.
Tim