The new Plastic Soldier Company heavy weapon sets are a welcome addition for the 15mm wargamer. It will not have escaped the astute reader’s attention that the proportions of kit in these boxes is wrong for the operational wargamer : 2-3 mortar crews to 1 MG crew. For operational gaming it should ideally be the other way round. All is not lost however, as the support stand is nothing more than a marker, and can really have anything on it if it is distinguishable.
Hands up if you have a 120mm mortar!
Here is a suggestion : On a scheme where 6 battalion support stands are needed and 2 regimental support stands for a division, the Germans use 4 MGs, 2 82mm crews with 2 50mm mortars captured from the Soviet set at batallion level, 2 82mm mortars at regimental level, leaving 2 spare 82mm mortars. The 4 120mm mortars can be used as independent mortar battalions, or fed into the regiments for later war use and the 8 Panzerfausts and 8 ‘shrecks can be added to rifle stands to denote that they have a late war anti-tank capability, or can be used as anti-tank stands in their own right, depending on your game preference. I know that I won’t have many spares myself, as crew figures are always in demand for the artillery in operational gaming
The Soviets have an easier time of it as they need only 1 MG, 1 82mm mortar and 1 anti-tank rifle (ATR) per regiment, giving enough to fill 4 regiments with 4 spare 50mm mortar crews and 1 independent 120mm mortar batallion of 4 tubes.
The easy way out is to say that a support stand is a support stand, and just fill it with whatever comes to hand ….. hmmm. Can’t see that being popular. The fun way is to go back to scratchbuilding to convert models that you need.
I understand that the Soviet MGs have been beefed up since the photo for the box art was taken, but I haven’t seen any myself. I’m no fan of scale creep, but feel that this is one area where Martin Goddard at Peter Pig has got it exactly right – weapons need to be fat enough not to bend. Now if we could only persuade him not to follow the FoW “pumpkin head ” fashion my happiness would be complete.