I have been working on my WW2 Soviet forces for a while now. They are in various states of…being. Few are done, but most of them are almost done. Part of the problem lies with my personal taste. I finished all but 12 soldiers from the Plastic Soldier Company box. Then by the time I got around to painting the last dozen soldiers I had lost my painting guide and the finished soldiers were boxed up and buried amongst the debris of my work area. So I went from memory and painted the dirty dozen I had left. After I finished I then dug out the rest of their comrades. This was when I discovered that my memory was faulty and I had mis-remembered the color that I had painted the uniforms. I decided to just dry brush the last bunch to help them match, and maybe look as though they were veterans with stained, discolored or otherwise dirty uniforms. Long story short, the dirty dozen ended up looking way better than the original guys and so I decided to repaint the 40 some others to match. However, I just haven’t had the energy to get around to redoing so much work, and so while they bulk of my infantry languishes on the shelf. I have working on some of the special teams that I have acquired for my Soviet forces.
So with the imminent release of more Soviet troops, this time from Wargames Factory, who’s other WW2, especially the Germans I really like, I figured I should get things moving. I know that at this point I should probably just skip the new Soviets box, but I know that I won’t. After all, the PSC models are early war, and the Wargames Factory models are late war. So clearly, I am going to NEED both sets if I am going to have enough options adequately play the Soviets, because I am going to NEED an early war force and I will NEED a late war force. Okay, now that I have rationalized that, let move on to what I have done so far.
For me one of the most interesting teams fielded by the Soviets would be the anti-tank dog teams. What’s not to love really? The testing of man and dogs status as best friends by blowing the latter to smithereens; the sheer audacity of any plan that involves strapping explosives to an animal and having any, and I mean ANY expectation that things just might go as planned; not to mention the whole thing makes the sphincters of animal lovers the world over pucker right up.
|I have a better Idea, how about you go fetch the Tiger I you crazy...|
As far as the game mechanics for this unit in Bolt Action, there is a good chance that you can unleash the dogs and nothing will happen. There is also a chance that you might blow up one of your own tanks or non-armored vehicles. Now this might bother some people, as some people just can’t seem to handle anything that does not mesh with their “Master Plan”, but it just makes me smile because I don’t have a master plan. So if I blow up my own T-34 I am just going to laugh, then hope that my opponent FUBAR’s and blows up his own Panther, or Puma.
My biggest complaint about the anti-tank teams pack that I got from Warlord Games only comes with one bomb dog and two handlers, and the unit in the Soviet Army book requires two dogs per team. So I am one dog short of a full team. Sure, I could buy another pack, and then I would have four handlers and two dogs. Though I suppose I could use the extra guys as grunts. However my plan was to acquire some dog miniatures and then make some explosive packs out of green stuff. This way I could have plenty of dogs, as well as some variety in the dogs, as I think Warlord Games just makes the one dog. So after some looking around I found some dogs at Sgt. Major Miniatures that I like, well actually some wolves but I think they would work well for this project. I am thinking to paint them up to look like Siberian Huskies. I like the Mastiff’s as well, but I am not sure that I really want to use such a big dog for this project. Given that you can take up to three anti-tank teams for each selection in the Soviet book, I am thinking I might get two packs, or try to find some more dog miniatures. Maybe somebody makes a Dachshund that I could convert into a bomb dog, death by wiener dog. Anyway, that’s the plan for building up my Anti-tank bomb dogs from this humble beginning.
These guys also came with the anti-tank team pack but they are not nearly as interesting as exploding dogs. Maybe more useful and dependable but certainly not as interesting.
The second group that I have finished are the Forward Observers. This pack contains three figures for use as spotters and observers or whatever you want to use them as. I really like the figure with the semaphore flags. The other two figures are also pretty nice. The one on the left is laying down and checking out his map before you calls in that artillery barrage. Knowing how I roll, it will probably result in the death of half of my forces. The figure on the right has a field phone and set of binoculars. The heads are inter-changeable, and can be used on any of the figures.