Soviet Tankovy (15mm)

Soviet Tankovy


Source: Fortress Europe (FE2) (EDIT: This list was done for FoW v2)


  • HQ: 1 T-34/85 with Cupola
  • Combat 1: 5 T-34/85 with Cupola
  • Combat 2: 5 T-34/76
  • Support 1: 4 IS-2 with 0.5cal AA MG
  • Support 2: 4 SU-122

1500 points.


Last Updated: 11 Jan 2009 (Original Text, then updated with IS-2 pics)


The background of this army is very simple. I needed a LGS army for display and local gaming/ demonstration purposes, and didn’t want to use my existing armies (British/ German). I settled on a Russian Tankovy for 2 reasons: It’s a distinctive army, and it’s easy to paint (relatively speaking). The fact that it’s 19 tanks seemed to have slipped my notice…


As mentioned, the intent is to create a LGS army that’s distinctive. It’s also to demonstrate that you can build an effective force with minimum purchases, to convince shoppers of the ease of entry. The list content also has to be flexible from 600 points up to 1500 points.

The core of the army came from the following 600 point list:

  • HQ: 1 T-34/85 with Cupola (75)
  • Combat 1: 5 T-34/85 with Cupola (350)
  • Support 1: 4 SU-122 (165)

590 points.

As can be seen, the SU-122 started as part of the force. My intent is to demonstrate to interested people how you can organically grow a force upwards.

As per initial objective, the purchases required was one box and 5 blisters, which isn’t too hefty a startup, and 10 tanks is definitely paintable within a month or so. In terms of competitiveness, a platoon of T-34/85 is a solid choice, and SU-122s act as anti-infantry/ anti-gun teams. This was before FE2 came out with the Volley Fire rule, which made the SU-122s a tad bit better.

The next incarnation was at 1000 points. This meant the adding of a second Combat platoon.

  • HQ: 1 T-34/85 with Cupola (75)
  • Combat 1: 5 T-34/85 with Cupola (350)
  • Combat 2: 5 T-34/76 (265)
  • Support 1: 4 SU-122 (165)

855 points

This stumped me for quite some time, as I couldn’t quite figured out what to take for the remaining 145 points. I considered more T-34/76s, or Transporter platoons, or armoured cars, but all didn’t really fit well or that I didn’t want to paint infantry for this force. I’ll get to how I solved this later.

Then finally, at 1500 points:

  • HQ: 1 T-34/85 with Cupola (75)
  • Combat 1: 5 T-34/85 with Cupola (350)
  • Combat 2: 5 T-34/76 (265)
  • Support 1: 4 IS-2 with 0.5cal AA MG (645)
  • Support 2: 4 SU-122 (165)

I just added the massive IS-2s (size, weight AND point cost!). Primarily because they are very distinctive Soviet tanks, but it sort of tilted the list more towards anti-infantry. Also, I wasn’t too keen on painting more T-34s, so I needed a points soaker. Worked out fairly well, as my original intention was to use T-34/76 with cupolas, but dropping that gave me enough points for 0.5cal AAs for the IS-2s.

Unit History

None. This list wasn’t built to cater to specific historical elements.


The original intention was really for the T-34/76s to act as scouts, drawing fire and revealing ambushes for the follow up T-34/85s and IS-2s to work on. The SU-122s are to engage “soft” targets, preferably enemy infantry and gun positions, thus freeing up the tanks to do other things. The IS-2s aren’t expected to do much, except to hold the opponent’s attention while the T-34/85s sneak around the sides to do damage.

It worked fairly well, except that the T-34/76s really need more numbers to survive the inevitable hail of fire. It still worked decently though, so I’m not changing it at the moment.

The SU-122s were fairly useful, and I realized I could easily use them to hunt artillery parks etc. while the enemy was focussed on the tanks. I like them and would continue to use them.

The IS-2s do what they are supposed to do well enough, which was to attract attention. Attrition is rather quick but good enough to last 2 to 3 turns, which is typically enough for the battle to be decided one way or another.

The T-34/85s were a bit disappointing, as in all the outings under my generalship so far they have not done much. To be fair, it was more my waffling with them as my company reserves; they get committed to one side, only to hoof it to the other to react to enemy actions. Their threat however is often sufficient to keep opponents at bay, so good enough — thus far.

Combat Record

This army had went on three outings so far:

First was helmed by my LGS owner, who was a FoW newbie. He opened my eyes — literally — to the Soviet Tank Rush, charging the T-34/76s over 32″ into my lines. (No, they didn’t last.) The force gave a spirited fight but was ultimately overwhelmed by concentrated firepower from my 7AD battlegroup.

Second was helmed by me, against mhemy. He kicked my behind solidly, though my SU-122s claimed one Panzer IV platoon. IS-2s faced off against Tigers for the first time, and if it weren’t for the dud ammo, I would have some Tiger skin for show… This was an important battle, for it showed some areas of improvements and highlighted how ineffective I was using my T-34/85s.

Third battle was helmed by me, against my LGS co-owner, again a FoW newbie, using German Gepanzerte Panzergrenadiers. Went roughly according to plan, though at the end I lost 14 tanks (and 1 platoon!) to his artillery and his Panthers. However, it was a dud game as I totally forgot Hens and Chicks, but served well to introduce the game and to refine tactics. More or less worked as planned, but again my T-34/85s were waffling in the center — and paid for it.


The second battle this battlegroup was involved in highlighted to me the great need to have indirect fire to deal with gun nests. In that game, mhemy’s PAK 40 was able to keep my T-34/76s and SU-122s at bay simply because of the threat of the guns. Had I had some indirect fire, I would have been able to advance and deal with the threat more succiently.

As such, I will be getting the following:

  • Support: Heavy Mortar (2 Platoons, with Observer) (145 points)

This will fit into my 1000 point list, but I’m not sure how I’ll work this in for the 1500 points. I’ll need to consider it more as I get more games in.

Also, as stated, I’m considering more T-34/76s for my “recon” forces. Having the survivability as a unit is important, and I might drop an IS-2 for a few more T-34/76s, but at the moment I’m not very keen as I’m quite tired of painting Russian Green.. maybe in the future.


It’s a Russian Tank Horde. What do you expect? Too much Russian Green, it was surprisingly monotonous to do yet simple; you have to give it to the Russkies, their tanks are really no frills, and hence easy to paint.

I deviated from war practice by giving most of the tanks Soviet Red Stars. This is add visual clutter and reference, highlighting the distinction and getting more attention. I also added slogans (hand-written for the CO, decal for the IS-2 Company Commander) to again highlight the “Sovietness” of the force.

The painting was done over a period of about 4 to 6 weeks, and was all hand-done except for varnishing; even some of the varnishing was also done by hand. This is the first time I’m also dealing with decals, which proved to be simple and straight forward on the flat surfaces of Soviet tanks.

I hand-wrote the numberings on the T-34/85s but used decals on the IS-2s to emphasize the difference in status between the Guards and the everyday Soviet tanker. I reasoned that the IS-2s are better equipped and treated, whereas the average tanker is left to his own devices. There weren’t more slogans in the force because apparently painting of slogans was controlled by the political officers in the unit, so it shouldn’t be too common — the CO of the force and the Guards commander should be about the extent IMO.

The force could do with a bit more weathering (i.e., mud), but I figured I can get around to it later. No need to overcomplicate things at the start. 😀


In production shot of the T-34s while they were being painted:


The T-34/85s lined up for transport to the LGS!


Rough shot of the CO and his inscription:


The T-34/76s as they were initially finished:


Closeup of the T-34/76 Command Team as he waves his little flags:


Closeup of the Officers:


The IS-2s are also done, but the images didn’t turn out that good. Still:


I have still to work on the SU-122s, but as unturreted tanks, they are straight forward to do.

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