Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Axis & Allies Miniatures: Mosin-Nagant

I'll be posting, on an occasional basis, musings about particular pieces in the Axis & Allies series of miniatures.

Like the basic infantrymen of all countries in the Axis & Allies: Miniatures system, the Soviet rifleman is identified by his trusty long arm, in this case the Mosin-Nagant rifle. Like the Russian soldier the Mosin-Nagant was reliable, simple and rugged . It;s collector No. 5/48 in the Base Set and 21/60 in the 1939-45 set.

Base set


Rarity: Common
Speed: 1
Defense: 4/4
Cost: 3

Attacks vs troops at short-medium-long ranges: 8 -6 -0
Attacks vs vehicles at short-medium-long ranges: 2-0-0

Special abilities: Command Dependent, Close Assault 8

1939-45 set

Historical text
Soviet rifleman carried the Mosin-Nagant 1891/30, known in the Soviet Union as simply the "vintovka mosina," or Mosin rifle. This cheap, simple and rugged weapon was of somewhat poorer quality than more modern rifles.

The unit in history: The Soviet Union suffered horrendous losses during World War II, with the bulk of its 10 million battle losses occurring among the infantrymen. Ill-trained by Western standards, sparingly equipped and often poorly led, the Soviet rifleman was known for being tenacious in defense of Mother Russia. While not a match for his German counterpart on a man-for-man basis, the Soviet soldiers eventually prevailed.

The unit in the game: The Mosin-Nagant generally has the same stats found of the standard rifleman in most AAM armies. What makes it interesting and unusual are its two special abilities. Command Dependent could more properly be called a special disability, because it makes the Soviet infantry challenging to use offensively. Any Soviet force will probably have to have more than the usual number of leaders in order to move and those leaders will be drawing a lot of fire. The need to stay adjacent to leaders will often mean that Soviet riflemen can't take full advantage of available cover. On the other hand, this special disability buys a very powerful anti-tank capability for a 3-point unit. Indeed, the Mosin-Nagant's Close Assault 8 ability is at a level otherwise generally seen with elite and specialized anti-tank troops that cost considerably more. What this means is that Axis armor must always be cautious in the vicinity of Soviet infantry, because rolling 8 dice against the rear armor without a chance for a cover roll is nothing to sneeze at, even for a Tiger tank.

1 comment:

  1. I daresay there are still some M91/30s in use in Afghanistan!