|“||Take out their recon to blind them, Joe.
- Andrew Campbell, Secret Weapons
The Broneavtomobil 11 (Russian: БА-11 or Бронеавтомобиль 11, literally meaning Armored Car Mark 11) is a relatively cheap Soviet Armored Recon available from the start of the game.
While in reality it matched a T-26 in terms of armament, in-game it has a weak machine gun, half the power of the main 45mm gun, and no HE shells, making it vulnerable to infantry rushes. This unit is the only ground recon unit available in the Soviet Union army. Only 16 were manufactured in reality.
For being a reconnaissance vehicle, it is extremely slow. Most other soviet units need to slow down to keep up the pace with the BA-11. Its armor is mediocre and also its armament, but its cost is low compared to other armored recon vehicles, such as the Panhard, SdKfz 222 and the Greyhound.
Strategy and Tactics
Alternative uses of BA-11, beyond recon, are available for creative USSR players. A couple or three BA-11, properly ambushed, is perfectly able to destroy an advance party of light tanks, regardless of their quantity (for example, Japanese Ha-Go are easy victims). BA-11 positioned in good ambushed locations, close to the enemy lines, not only play their usual recon roles, but also may crush supply vehicles. The USSR player have to balance costs and benefits, for BA-11 is cheaper than other recon and almost harmless units, but more expensive than other light ones.
The story started with the ZIS-6 high-mobility military truck, one of the mounts for Katyusha. Upon it, a heavy (cannon-armed) armored car was built. The factory in Leningrad ceased development in 1941, because the city was surrounded and besieged until 1944.
The BA-11 used the six-wheel chassis, shortened by 350 mm. Two spare tyres were mounted so that they could be used to roll over obstacles. It was not an all-wheel drive, which was the prime drawback. It, however, had heavily-sloped armor of the same thickness as the T-26, and the engine of the same power allowed twice the speed on the road. Its gearbox had 9 settings forward and 6 reverse, that allowed it to back out of the action at 90% of the top speed. That's why it had two drivers and two sets of controls, out of a four-man crew, - one to advance and one to retreat.
It had the same 45mm cannon of T-26, plus one co-axial DT machine gun and one bow-mounted.
The BA-11 proved to be a swift infantry and cavalry support vehicle on the Leningrad front, rivaling the T-26 infantry tank in every way. However, the Soviets no longer developed cannon-equipped armored cars or wheeled APCs until the recent BTR-80A with the 30-mm autocannon. Others were "limited" to the 14,5 mm KPV gun, which forced all Western light armor to be twice as heavy as the Soviet equivalents to resist that one weapon.
Pros & Cons
+Fairly cheap at 15$
+Deployed from the barracks, it doesn't stack on your armor production.
-Slowest recon in the game.
-Being slow, it will fall behind your armored units as well as the infantry on marching order. (Minus KV-1)
-It has the same gun as the T-26 but not the firepower.
-Of the vehicles available in the BA-series, they picked this one, nerfed it, made it slow and denied it HE shells.