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Hammer and sickle...erm anvil - playing Mid War Mixed Tankovy

So I thought I would share my experiences playing Mid War Mixed Tankovy that I gained over 5+ games. The big reason for this is the upcoming ETC which will make Mid War more popular in my area (and probably in other competitive gaming communities too).

Going through the roughly 100 lists that are available for this period, you will quickly figure out which ones clearly stand out as those worth considering for tournament play. In this group, Mixed Tankovy seems an obvious choice.

What makes it so powerful in my opinion are two main factors: firepower and survivability. With these in mind, the1650 points list that I tested contains:

6x KV1e

10x M3 Lee

8x Stuart

4x BA64 (F/T)

Sporadic Sturmovik

(Note: with the experience I have now, I would probably change the Sturmovik to I-153 and upgrade the BA 64s into BA 10Ms for more anti-tank and some more firepower against guns and infantry).

So how do I play this? I make use of deception, survivability of KVs and firepower of other elements of the battalion. Everyone I played against so far can only see one threat on the table: a huge unit of KV 1e tanks. This is my anvil. I simply roll them up right in the opponent's face and wait for their reaction. More often than not, this reaction has been to reveal their ambushes of anti-tank guns (like Pak40s) or to use tanks to destroy or scare the KVs. What is quite important is that I try to use concealment at all times - more on that later.

In the meantime, my hammer waits at a safe distance. This means 16"+ inches away from where I think the enemy can appear (a hint: when measuring distance from potential ambush sites, always consider the size of the ambushing unit's bases - this might mean an extra inch or two of range).

When the inevitable ambush hits the KVs, and they are in concealment, I normally do not need to remove more than 2 tanks from the battlefield, which means I do not have to take a morale test. For instance, an ambush of a full platoon of Pak40s scores on average 6/8 hits, 3 of which go through (assuming they catch the flanks) and gets 2 kills and 1-2 bails.

Once the enemy is revealed, it is revenge time with my M3 Lees and Stuarts.

The thing I am trying to say here, is that in this list you should not be worried if you loose a KV or two. They are here to absorb damage and expose the enemy to your glass cannons. This is your hammer and anvil tactics (pretty similar I think to the one used by the Germans in WW2).

But hammer and anvil is not the only thing to be considered. There are also several other things that I can recommend as valid advice for using this list:

1. ALWAYS try to place the objective you will be attacking in the open, with at least one route containing concealment that can take you to within 10-16" of it. This way, you make it harder for the enemy to set up their ambush properly and to feed reinforcements to the objective and lets you use the advantage of concealment until the very last moment.

2. With so many tanks on the table, you will need to bunch up. To avoid unnecessary losses due to artillery I create pairs of tanks that stand close to each other separated by 4" of space. This way, templates are not so much of a nuisance and you can still achieve a considerable force concentration.

HH    HH     HH     HH     HH     HH    - this is roughly how it looks like :)

MM     MM     MM    MM     MM     MM

       HH      HH      HH     HH       HH      - and here a staggered anti-template formation :)

3. Do not forget that your M3 Lee tanks can shoot two targets using the multiple guns rule (I always do :P ).

4. If you face Tigers, Panthers or heavy tank destroyers other than Hornisses - run or hide until your planes hopefully do their work :P In the meantime, target enemy support platoons. Maybe you can force their company morale check.

5. The biggest weakness of this list is the glass cannon component (i.e. anything that is not a KV!). Play safe with the M3 Lees and your recon element to make sure that you will never have to roll morale. The only throwaway unit you have is the Stuarts company.


So this is it - hope this will prove useful to any future Mixed Tankovy Battalion commanders. But maybe you have different experience related to this list?


  1. I checked twice but I can`t see it - were you playing trained or conscript version of the briefing?

  2. Fearless Conscript with the exception of recce. Will update the article.

  3. I played them yesterday and while KV-1e have really high survivability I must admit that as your are Conscripts:
    1) everything hits you
    2) cover is good but it is better to avoid forests - if you bog down you probably won`t unbog
    3) Stuarts are fast but weak and tend to die quickly.