Machinegun Artillery (Pulyemyetno-artillyeriyskiy) Platoon

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    Paul Nettle

    I posted about the Soviet Machinegun Artillery Platoon back in 2017, on the previous forum, but I thought it might interest new forum members.  An unreinforced Machinegun Artillery Platoon only had 13 men in it, and it works a bit different from ‘normal’ platoons.  I hope you enjoy it!


    Fortified regions (ukreplinnyie rajony) played an important part in securing victory for the Red Army in the Russian Civil War.  This influenced inter-war thinking, and by 1928 the Soviets had started constructing four fortified regions.  Another 17 fortified regions were added before 1941.  The idea of a fortified region was that few troops could occupy a large area.

    Whilst some parts of fortified regions had lavish over-lapping bunkers linked by underground passages, the bulk of the fortified region consisted of field works, trenches and obstacles.  To man the defences, special units were created which consisted primarily of manned heavy weapons.  Each Fortified Battalion held an oval shaped area 1.5-3km deep and 3-6km wide, called a “Battalion Defence Region” (batal’onnye raiony oborony).  Each Battalion Defence Region had three or four Fortified Companies which held Company Defence Regions (rotnyi rayon oborony) which were also oval in shape.

    Often Battalion Defence Regions were placed in front of the main defence lines, in a checkerboard manner 5-8km apart, to slow and channel attackers.  Famously these units were given no transport – they were expected to fight where they were and conquer or die!

    New Unit: Machinegun Artillery Section

    A Machinegun Artillery Section consists of:

    One Maxim MMG.  As per “Armies of the Soviet Union”.

    One LMG Team.  An LMG team costs the same as an MMG team, and consists of three crew members.  It is Team weapon, but is not Fixed.

    0-1 piece of Hard Cover at 10 points.

    Before the start of the game, two Machinegun Artillery Sections may exchange weapons so that one has two MMG and the other two LMG teams.  This is how the platoon operated historically.


    The following list is based on a reinforced Machinegun Artillery Platoon which may have defended the borders in 1941.  It could also be used at Sevastopol, or to defend any of the old, dismantled fortified regions that were hurriedly re-manned as the Germans advanced.  It would be ideal to supplement the “Barbarossa” list on page 62 of “Armies of the Soviet Union”, or “Siege of Sevastopol” list on page 66 of “Armies of the Soviet Union”.

    No units may be Veteran.

    One Lieutenant- Junior or Senior

    Two Machinegun Artillery Sections


    0-1 Captain or Major

    0-1 Forward Artillery Observer

    0-1 Commissar

    0-1 Medic


    0-4 Machinegun Artillery Sections


    0-1 Anti-Tank Rifle Team.  The only “Extra selection” that may be taken is anti-tank rifle teams.

    0-2 Gun from Light Anti-Tank Gun

    0-2 Mortar, Light or Medium


    0-1 Dragons Teeth at 10 points.

    0-2 Minefield at 50 points.

    0-2 Sections of barbed wire at 10 points.

    0-1 Pillbox at 55 points.  The pillbox may contain one MMG or one Anti-tank gun.

    0-1 Hard Cover for each Gun or Mortar team at 10 points per piece.


    Special Rules:

    “Quantity has a Quality all of its own” does not apply.

    Defensive: This Platoon always defends.  In scenarios where no troops are set up on table at the start of the game, this platoon may always deploy up to half their units (rounding down), and any fortifications, up to 6″ onto the table.  Units deployed this way may not move on Turn 1.

    Resolute: Machinegun Artillery Platoons were expected to fight to the death.  If a Machinegun Artillery unit counts as ‘in cover’ (or behind cover) when enemy fire causes enough casualties to cause a moral check then the unit benefits from a +1 modifier for the check.

    Maskirovka: All teams that start the game on the table in or behind cover count as using Hidden Set-up, even if the scenario does not allow this.


    So there it is, lots of weapons, field works and obstacles, but no infantry or vehicles to be found.  Please let me know what you think.

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