Flames of War - Soviet Scout Platoon
There are many interesting tales of Soviet razvedchiki or scouts like that of Captain Kobec, and a few interesting tales about the Scout Platoons in Flames Of War. Scout platoons had many roles on the battlefield. They spent a lot of time gathering information, finding ‘tongues’ or German prisoners for SMERSH to interrogate for vital intelligence on their plans, or more conventionally prowling around investigating the enemy’s defences. When a major attack was planned, the scouts were sometimes used to find hidden routes closer to the enemy and lead troops forward to open the battle with a surprise assault. Interestingly, female soldiers were often used in scout platoons as well as sniper and machine-gun units. Many of the women in scout units were at least as clever and bloodthirsty as the men they fought with. The Scout Platoon Every Soviet rifle regiment had a scout platoon as the commander’s eyes and ears on the battlefield .The soldiers of the scout platoon were usually hand picked for their field craft and fighting ability. Officially scout platoons were 52 men strong at the start of the war on the Eastern Front, but the difficulty in finding suitable candidates and the desperate shortage of soldiers meant that the platoon quickly drooped in strength until the official complement was just over twenty scouts. 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. Many of our gamers here at Battlefront love the image of small bands of heroic scouts sneaking about doing their dastardly work, or facing off against far stronger platoons when cornered. Dion’s scouts have only three scouts in each team to create this feeling. Since Flames Of War works by teams, the actual number of models on a team’s base doesn’t really matter and Dion’s three-man teams fight just like a full-strength team. In this case, we simply assume that the three soldiers making up the team are the survivors of many battles. Being the toughest and most skilful (and luckiest) soldiers in the squad, they fight just as well as a bigger squad of less combat-hardened troops. Flames Of War Just as the scouts of history have many interesting stories, our Scout Platoon pack (SU707) also has a few. The pack contains the 21 scouts you need to make a Stalingrad Scout Platoon, but due to the self induced fatigue and hunger, we were trying to get in character with the Stalingrad soldier, whilst we were working on the book we got confused by Dion’s choice and ended up putting the smaller bases in the pack instead of the medium ones. If you have one of these packs, you have a number of choices. You can model your Scout Platoon as a small unit of hardened veterans like Dion’s and just put three models on each base using the small bases supplied. If you have a few medium bases spare from other packs, you can use those to base up a full-strength scout platoon.