The KV-47 is the workhorse of the SSU with nearly a full alphabet of variants including the new Vehicle 2 (V2) models as well as the Air Assault models. However, in this article, I will only be talking about the earliest models of the KV-47A “Nadya”, KV-47N “Natasha”, and KV-47C “Natalya”.
Common Attributes of the KV-47A, B, and C
Each of the these walkers have the Air Mobile skill which allows them to be transported by “Carrier” helicopter very similarly like a Passenger. This is a funny thing as these KV-47s are typically better choices, especially the Nadya and Natalya, to be choppered across the table than the Air Assault models which make much better use of helicopters. At the same time, these KV-47s can also be placed in Koshka’s SMERSH Platoon for practically the same cost of the transport helicopter if you taking 2 of them anyways. All you need to pay for is Koshka which over all is still a better deal in my opinion. Sure, you don’t get the full table to choose a landing zone, but you are far less likely to have your helicopter blown up while your KV-47 is still attached taking its action, suppressing it, and possibly damaging it.
KV-47s, like many SSU vehicles, have Damage Resilience. This makes these Vehicle 3 (V3) units feel like they are far tougher sometimes remaining when Vehicle (V7) units would have been destroyed. As V3 units they are just armored enough to avoid many of the higher to hit dice rolling weapons as well as having enough Damage Capacity that they should survive a single hit normally lethal hit. As a player that has faced a number of KV-47s, I have to say this skill is one of the most frustrating elements to this unit (and the SSU in general).
Smoke Launchers are also equipped standard with Kv-47s. I haven’t seen a player make use of this ability once since I started playing Dust Battlefield a year ago. I think it is far too easy to find cover or just rely on the vehicle’s Damage Resilience than waste an action to give itself cover.
The Move of KV-47 is slightly faster than average. I often have found myself surprised by this as the models themselves have stumpy little legs which out all the blocs you would think they would be the least likely to have increased speed. I also think they got the best Move bonus of the other blocs. The Axis received Scout for their light walkers which is okay but does always guarantee you have a target in range to shoot at. The Allies have a both a fast Move and March Move for their light walkers, but they only have a faster March Move for their Medium Walkers where I think a faster Move is more useful.
Overall, I think that despite KV-47s being V3 units and priced as such, they are far more effective than their point cost indicates. To the point that Allied and Axis players that purchase a captured Natasha for the extra couple points are going feel like that should be the standard cost of these walkers.
This is the Sulfur Jet version of the KV-47. It is also the one I have seen the least on the table. Even myself finds that even when I consider fielding it, I decide on the other two (Natalya, Natasha) instead. The Nadya is between the other two KV-47s being primarily an anti-infantry walker like the Natasha but armed with a short ranged weapon like the Natalya. Sure it can damage any level of armor, but once past V3 it certainly can’t destroy a vehicle in a single attack where a Natalya could. Even against infantry you give up considerable range to completely rid your target of any save where the Natasha has already removed any chance of a Cover Save. The only thing left is that Flame weapons automatically suppress which just isn’t enough for this walker to win out over her sisters.
As some one who has played against the SSU numerous times, I hate this walker. It chews up infantry like mad. Armed with howitzers that roll dice dice per model and has the Grenade special ability it is almost guaranteed to cripple an infantry unit even with just an Attack action even if the squad is in cover. Fortunately, it is almost worthless to anything above a Vehicle 4 (V4). However, with damage Resilience it can take far longer to destroy than you have if it is supported by a good anti-armor unit.
This is the KV-47 close combat option at the Natalya is armed with a pair of chainsaws. While I would consider it primarily an anti-armor unit, it is also good against infantry so long as the target infantry does have a good close combat weapon of their own. The chainsaws can make use of the unit’s Charge and Cutting special abilities which make a better choice in terms of damage compared to the Nadya with little to no lose of range since the Natalya can March Move and still attack.
It also has the Engineer Vehicle skill which I have never seen in use by any unit ever. However, our tables are never designed in such a way as to required this skill or even give that player any meaningful advantage. Much like the Amphibious skill.
These KV-47s have a couple of choices in which platoon they might be used to create. The first is the Wolf Pack Platoon. This platoon allows use Reaction actions to Move provided another KV-47 has LOS to it. I think I saw a player use this platoon once in the early days of playing Dust Battlefield. Since then I don’t think anyone in our group has tried it again. For good reason, reactions are far from a sure thing in the first place and I only attempt them when I sure something is going to be desultory or I have Advance Reactive Fire and pretty sure I can destroy the target even with just a shoot action. While allowing a Move action is decent, I don’t necessarily need it it for KV-47s, and you need at least 4 of them to take the platoon. I generally only want 2 to 3.
The other platoon is Koshka’s SMERSH Platoon. Which I remember quite well the first time I encountered it. It was before the maximum distance from objectives were included. The game was literally I activate a unit, the SSU player airdrops a KV-47 next to that unit. I activate a unit to counter that Kv-47. The SSU player drops another KV-47 to counter that unit. And so on. Even with objective distance restriction, I think this is a very powerful platoon especially when combined with Carrier helicopters loaded with Air Assault walkers. I pretty sure a SSU player could win a fairly easy one round 1 using this stratagem of dumping KV-47s on an objective in numbers higher than an opponent can destroy them.
To be honest, I think that KV-47s are overpowered for their point cost. Maybe not all of them, like the Nadya, but certainly the Natasha. I think players easily would get their points out of it even if it was 11 points. KV-47s might be V3 but they take damage like they are V4 or even V5. They might only have one weapon but those weapons are very effective against the target they were designed for. It is very easy for a SSU player to make use of KV-47s to break through an opponent’s infantry. These walkers can draw a good amount shots which further allows SSU infantry to advance unmolested since enemy infantry aren’t very effective and enemy armor may require a couple of attack to put it down all the while the SSU can be shooting them with their heavy anti-armor assets.