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Artillery In World War III: Soviet

Artillery In World War III: Soviet

Artillery In World War III: Soviet
with John Lee

WWIII: Soviet release brings in a couple of cool new units to add to your force that can complement your artillery options you may already have.  The TOS-1 Thermobaric Rocket Launcher Battery and BM-27 Hurricane Rocket Launcher Battery not only look cool but add some real value to your force.  In this article we look at new and existing equipment, their stats, cost and compare them.

Starting with the new equipment, let us look at the TOS-1 Thermobaric Rocket Launcher first.  This unwieldy-looking vehicle is based on the T-72 tank chassis that can deliver a devastating payload against unarmoured targets within a 48” range.  Dug in infantry – no problem. With the Brutal rule they are rerolling saves and if they fail a save, they are automatically removed – no FP roll.  2+ cross checks means you can move in and out of difficult terrain with ease. Park them in the woods and use your OP to observe. If the OP is destroyed or the unit is under counterbattery fire and needs to move – no problem. FA5 and SA2 mean that you need more than an HMG to destroy them directly.  Three for 10pts or six for 20pts.

Artillery In World War III: Soviet

The BM-27 Hurricane is the replacement for the BM-21 Hail. I feel this unit is almost an auto-include in your force.  It has a 120” range with AT4 FP 3+. Can fire a smoke bombardment and can drop minelets. Even tanks need to fear this with the massive Salvo template, you can catch everything underneath it and with AT4 you can remove vehicles including tanks.  Being able to fire minelets finally gives you the same ability as NATO. Do not put them in woods though unless they are not moving as they have a 5+ cross check. They are also unarmoured so make sure you hide them.  Three for 7pts or six for 14pts.

Onto existing vehicles now and starting with the ubiquitous 2S1 Carnation. This vehicle is an option for most formations which means it can contribute to the number of units for formation break, and has a very handy AT21 in direct fire out to 24”. It has the slow firing rule for direct fire whilst moving but for a last-ditch AT defence is useful along with an MG.  It has an 88” range with AT4 FP 3+.  Very useful against all targets under the standard artillery template. It has a 3+ cross check so you can manoeuvre them through woods relatively safely. Armour FA2 and SA1. Some protection against small arms fire.  Three for 5pts or six for 10pts. These are almost an auto-include in your force.

Artillery In World War III: Soviet

Next up is the 2S3 Acacia. This is the heavy artillery version with 152mm howitzer. You want to put down concentrated firepower, this is it.  88” range with AT4 FP 2+. Anything failing it save under the template is going to be in trouble with a FP 2+. Extremely useful against all targets. 4+ cross check so is a 50/50 proposition to put in the woods.  Armour FA2 SA1 – again some protection against small arms fire. Unique to this vehicle is the Krasponol Projectile.  The Krasnopol is a howitzer-launched, laser-guided, explosive projectile. It automatically targets a point illuminated by a laser operated by an artillery observer.  Using an observer for line of sight you fire one per gun using normal shooting rules with no penalties for over 16” and attacks top armour (no increase to armour due to range).  Still AT4 vs top armour but no firepower check so an automatic bailed or destroyed result. In direct fire mode has AT14 out to 16” with an auto firepower test. Three for 5pts (7pts if adding Krasponol Projectiles) or six for 10pts (14 if adding Krasponol Projectiles).

Artillery In World War III: Soviet

Finally, we come to the reliable BM-21 Hail Rocket Launcher. The direct descendant of the famous Katyuska from World War II. It has a 120” range with AT3 FP 4+ and can fire a smoke bombardment. Not as good as the BM-27 but still a cheap salvo option to pin down and remove enemy infantry and unarmoured tank or light tank teams. The other advantage is that it is cheap, three for 4pts or six for 8pts.

The tables below do a direct comparison across each of the weapon systems and will help you determine what you might want to include in your force.

Indirect Fire:
Weapon Range Type Anti-tank Firepower Notes
2S1 Carnation 2A31 howitzer 88”/220cm ARTILLERY 4 3+ Smoke Bombardment
2S3 152mm howitzer 88”/220cm ARTILLERY  4 2+ Smoke Bombardment

2S3 152mm howitzer Krasnopol Projectiles

16”/40cm – 88”/220cm DIRECT FIRE 4 Auto Brutal, Krasnopol Projectile
BM-21 rocket launcher 96”/240cm SALVO  3 4+ Smoke Bombardment
BM-27 rocket launcher 120”/300cm SALVO 4 3+ Smoke Bombardment
TOS-1 rocket launcher 48”/120cm SALVO 2 AUTO Brutal
Direct Fire:
Weapon Range ROF Anti-tank Firepower Notes
2S1 122mm 2A31 howitzer 24”/60cm 1 21 2+ Brutal, HEAT, Slow Firing, Smoke
2S3 152mm howitzer 16”/40cm 1 14 AUTO Brutal, HEAT, Slow Firing, Smoke
Movement Stats:
Weapon Tactical Terrain Dash Cross Country Dash Road Dash Cross
2S1 Carnation 2A31 howitzer 10”/25cm 16”/40cm 24”/60cm 28”/70cm 3+
2S3 152mm howitzer 16”/40cm 16”/40cm
24”/60cm 28”/70cm 4+
BM-21 rocket launcher 8”/20cm 8”/20cm 14”/35cm 36”/90cm 4+
BM-27 rocket launcher 10”/25cm 10”/25cm 16”/40cm 32”/80cm 5+
TOS-1 rocket launcher 16”/40cm 16”/40cm 24”/60cm 28”/70cm 2+

 The last thing to discuss is using the observer.  You can only take an observer if you take at least one unit of 2S1 Carnation, 2S3 Acacia, BM-21 Hail or BM-27 Hurricane.  The advantage of taking an observer for 1pt is the ability to keep your artillery concealed out of sight and allows you to range in on a better skill.  Using an observer allows you to range in on a four instead of five.  Much better odds to range in first time to get the job done.

Artillery In World War III: Soviet

In summary, the Soviets get two new cool artillery options to complement existing weapon systems. Choose the best unit that suits your requirements and cost to fit into your force. Personally, I am excited about the new TOS-1 and BM-27 Hurricane. I am looking forward to adding both to my arsenal!