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SSU Rifle Squad - Sorta Useless…


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#1 Warboss Krag

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:44 PM

After playing a number of battles, I am resenting my purchase of an SSU Rifle squad. Its claim to fame is the two ATRs in it; the sad fact that they aren't Sniper or Spotter means that they miss a lot. A lot. Thus wasting a 20-point squad that could otherwise be a battle squad (much love for them! Workhorses of People's Army). And no, the fact that they might do better if using sustained fire does not help; our battlefields rarely have that long-range terrain open, and my rifle squad keeps getting hit juuuuuuust enough to suppress them, thus preventing sustained fire actions.

I believe I am going to have to retire that rifle squad and get another battle squad (or two).

Again, I do wish I could get the aero walker and the Chinese 'Volunteers' without having to buy the chopper to get 'em. Yeah, I know, the package deal on the 'Volunteers' means the chopper comes out to $20 MSRP, and the package on the aero walker makes its chopper $10 MSRP. But if I have no use for them, then that's an extra $20 and $10 respectively that I've spent to no avail.

Weak.



#2 Major Malfunction

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:08 PM

I love my Rifle Squads, especially paired up with a Commissar and joined by Nikolai. You can throw four dice, hit on misses, and with 30" range should be outside of the range of all but the longest range weapons.

Don't know why you are having such bad luck with them… maybe you are misapplying them?



#3 blkdymnd

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:06 PM

 Yeah, I've had to deal with doubled rifle squads and they are such a pain to play against.  They can just sit there and pick you off before you're able to get a bead on them.  Split them off, and suppress multiple targets from long range.  They really are a great utility squad.



#4 Warboss Krag

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:06 AM

What size games are you playing? You do realize that the unit you describe is 65 points, and comprises a support unit (replacing a walker) and a hero besides. For the same points, I can get a battle squad and a howitzer-armed KV - you know, the sort that ignores cover when it shoots? The walker alone puts out more firepower than your super-sized rifle squad, and does a better job at it; the battle squad is gravy. And since the games I play top out at 300 points, it's more valuable to have more maneuver units with more individual firepower than to super-size.



#5 blkdymnd

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:20 AM

 Comes down to personal choice I guess. We do 300 as well and I see double rifle squads still on a regular basis.



#6 Plueshpanda

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 06:44 AM

 We play usually 300-400 point games and my rifle squad was rarely wasted. we have Heavy infantry loving Axis player and he regularly loses lots of these unholy Armour 3 DR guys to SSU rifle squads. Of course you have other options, but I like my rifle squads. Would never go to battle without them.



#7 Major Malfunction

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:58 PM

Warboss Krag said:

What size games are you playing? You do realize that the unit you describe is 65 points, and comprises a support unit (replacing a walker) and a hero besides..

The combined unit does not take a support slot, it just counts as one for missions that treat support slots differently than other sections. The two squads still count as sections and contribute to your support selection options. You don't really combine the units until deployment anyway.



#8 Warboss Krag

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:42 PM

About the support, I see. Good to know, actually. They just come in with the support units in Unprepared deployment…

I still say a howitzer walker is a better deal. We use a lot of cover - without it, the heavy walkers and artillery just destroy everything - and weapons that ignore cover from 24" range, with more dice on the attack, are better than 30" weapons which do not ignore cover. Rifle squads don't get the Sniper rule, you know.



#9 Major Malfunction

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:31 AM

Yeah, the lack of the sniper rule on the Widowmaker in the rifle squad is the downside. Taking Nikolai lets you at least hit on blanks, and that helps pile suppression on the target. It's not always about killing stuff with the Rifle Squad, sometimes it's enough to put the long range suppression on a target to let the real killers get into range.



#10 ItsUncertainWho

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:02 AM

The Rifle squad is all about long range suppression. Use them so you can move your close combat units into position to do the real damage. 



#11 Warboss Krag

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:19 PM

Adding Nicolai to a rifle squad would be expensive, but useful…they could indeed function as a suppression squad then.



#12 em_en_oh_pee

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:10 AM

ItsUncertainWho said:

The Rifle squad is all about long range suppression. Use them so you can move your close combat units into position to do the real damage. 

THIS. Absolutely, this. They are not a unit meant to do as much killing as putting down Suppression. With Nik, they are nasty and had the Hero wound-sink and Suppression shake, so its worth it. Also, he saves a few points in some lists if you need to, as he is 5AP cheaper than a Command Squad.



#13 Plueshpanda

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 12:43 AM

Rifle squads don't have sniper, but the widowmaker has penetrator, which is not to be underestimated.



#14 Warboss Krag

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 09:30 AM

Yeah it is. Sniper is huge. Penetrator is wussy, particularly considering the low attack dice versus armor, and the woeful inaccuracy of the base squad. It's like having long ranged, poor anti-tank weapons that do almost no damage even if they score a hit. The anti-tank rifle is, sadly, one of the things the French designers of Tactics got right. By 1942, they were hopelessly outmoded and outclassed, reduced to being deployed in squads and sniping at German vision slits.

That's what the rifle squad is: The PTRD anti-tank rifle squad from history! Sadly, that realization increases my determination to never get any more of them; like I said, they were a waste of time after 1941, and not much use after 1937, really.

I guess I'll wait for the Guards tesla ray ATG in order to equip my Sovs with anti-tank firepower.



#15 Mike J

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:11 PM

If you want anti-tank for SSU, look no further than the Red Thunder unit, especially if combined with the commissar with the PTRS-47. 5 of those plus 6 UGLs at 12" is some of the best anti-tank support from a unit in the game.

Personally, I like the Ohotniki. But not for killing vehicles. As already said, they are designed for long range suppression.



#16 Get_Outside

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:46 PM

With the walker dissection upgrade at 3 ap's x 4 =12. Does the upgrade include infantry?

#17 PeterClark

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:42 PM

Well i'm not sure if I'm missing something, but isn't Nikolais Take Aim restricted to piloting a vehicle?

So there is no hitting on blanks for infantriy with Nikolai.



#18 Mike J

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:22 AM

Get_Outside said:

With the walker dissection upgrade at 3 ap's x 4 =12. Does the upgrade include infantry?

Unit upgrades are applied per unit and do not include the cost of the unit itself.  Upgrading an entire unit with Walker Dissection costs 3 AP in addition to the unit's base cost.



#19 Mike J

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:44 AM

PeterClark said:

Well i'm not sure if I'm missing something, but isn't Nikolais Take Aim restricted to piloting a vehicle?

So there is no hitting on blanks for infantriy with Nikolai.

There is nothing about the Pilot: keyword that restricts using the ability outside of vehicles.  Nikolai still has the Take Aim ability, which is a Shared ability.  He can use it, any unit he joins can use it (due to Shared), and any vehicle he pilots can use it (due to the Pilot: keyword).



#20 Warboss Krag

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:36 AM

Hardly worth the bother, really. The Sovs now have plenty of anti-armor firepower with the Matrioshka and the IS, thank you very much. So much so that the Germans are looking pale…except for their excellent anti-armor laser troops! Also, looking forward to seeing what the Red Guards anti-tank Tesla gun does (don't have Icarus yet).






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