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Ski Troops


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I have used them only a couple of times, and then only in small battles. My impression is that they are pretty much like regular infantry, but they move much more quickly over snowy ground. This is very useful for flanking or any other instance in which moving quickly and mostly out of enemy LOS is useful. One note: when you move them into a building, they lose their skis.

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Basic mechanics others have covered, how to actually use them to win fights is another matter.

Basically ski troops are "foot cavalry" in snow fights. They are up to twice as fast as ordinary infantry. The right movement order is "move". You can toss in an occasional "fast" from time to time, e.g. to cross an open patch.

The best route is through trees. It won't slow them on move and it gives concealment etc.

The Russians have 2 squad types within the ski formations - rifle and SMG. Occasionally you will also get weapons, which can also ski. Those with medium speed work best e.g. 50mm mortars, DP LMGs, later the ATRs are fine too. Snipers and THs are also reasonable add ons to a ski force.

The basic idea is to screen with the first line, while the main body shelters behind it. Then pick a point and direction of attack, ski the main body into position, and deliver it.

The screeners should be rifle infantry, LMGs, snipers, ATRs, etc. They want eye contact with the enemy. Ski within woods to their forward edge and stop inside, retaining the skis. Now just observe. Interdict open areas - men shot while in the middle of a snowy field are quite easy to panic etc, especially is the snow is deep so they can't easily get clear.

The main body should be SMG. I like adding a pair of 50mm mortars and some pioneers - it gives them options against stronger points. A single rifle platoon can go with them, going first to act as scouts etc.

The attack should be delivered if at all possible entirely through woods interiors.

The route to the enemy occupied block of woods needs to be (1) covered, by low ground or woods e.g. and (2) scouted - meaning a rifle half squad has gone first.

Once the SMGs are in the enemy body of woods, initiate contact from the other direction with ranged rifle fire and support weapons, across whatever stretches of open are available. Then the SMGs "move to contact". Once contact is made, drop the skis by using "advance". Use successive short advances to reach LOS distance of a few enemy at a time.

Done right, nobody is left standing 3 minutes later.

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