Based on Huda (2003) and Martin Rapier: Race for Leningrad.
This mini-campaign can be used anywhere where two friendly forces are competing to reach the same objective – the “X” of the title. The game simulates the forward elements of the offensive trying to seize important road junctions, towns, etc to keep up the momentum of the advance. It is assumed the offensive will succeed; what is at stake is which of the players will reach the target first.
The campaign is played on a very simple map. Essentially there are two routes from the Base Zone to the Objective; Player A goes down one path and Player B down the other. Whenever one player is in offensive mode, the other player controls the defensive forces, thus providing additional incentive for the defensive player to block their opponent’s efforts. Players advance by winning battles and the first player to take the objective wins the campaign.
Pre-game preparation involves identifying the full Offensive Order of Battle (Orbat) for each player, and a range of Defensive Orbats to be used as required.
The main pre-game preparation is to decide the full Offensive Orbat for each player. The composition of each player’s campaign force is fixed for the entire game, and must be determined before the game starts. The size of the full OrBat depends on the scale of the game you’re playing but it should be about 10 times the size of the smallest force you want to field on table at any one time.
The following table gives the range of force sizes. S1 is the minimum defensive force. S5 is the largest offensive force fielded at any one time, and S10 is the full Offensive Orbat. Defensive forces will vary between S1 and S4 in size depending on the circumstances, but will normally be S2. On-table offensive forces also vary depending on campaign circumstances, including losses, but will be up to S5 in size; the full Offensive Orbat (S10) is never deployed on-table at one time.
|Size||Percentage of Full Offensive Orbat||Example Force|
|S10||100%||Full Offensive Orbat|
All stands in the full Offensive Orbat must be organised into units before the campaign starts. These must generally correspond to historical organisations. Stands cannot be moved between units during the campaign.
Players must monitor losses to their Offensive force during the course of the campaign, but also have opportunities to recover those losses.
You also have to work out a variety of defensive orbats to use during the campaign. You’ll need at least one orbat equivalent to each of size S1, S2, S3 and S4. Ideally, you’ll have alternatives in each size. So assuming two alternative orbats for each size you’ll need eight defensive orbats to choose from.
You don’t have to monitor the losses taken by the defensive forces. It is assumed they can dredge up new forces to momentarily fill any new gap or to throw into a counter-attack.
Sequence of Play
The duration of a campaign turn is dependent on the context of the campaign, but could be a day, a week, or even more.
Each campaign turn goes through a serious of steps:
- Each player chooses an offensive action for the campaign turn, either Attack or Regroup.
- Player A campaign turn:
- Determine type of battle (Counter-attack, Prepared defence, Hasty defence, Meeting engagement)
- Determine the on-table forces available
- Fight battle
- Determine Battle Result, i.e. map movement
- Recover losses
- Player B campaign turn (as Player A above)
Offensive Action: Attack or Regroup
Each player chooses their offensive action for the campaign turn.
Attack: Ensures a battle, however, during an attack the Offensive player recovers less casualties. An Attack preceded by a Regroup will go in with additional troops.
Regroup: Allows the player to recover more casualties and also allows extra troops in an Attack next campaign turn. The only type of battle allowed during a regroup is a counter-attack.
Type of battle
Throw 1d6 to determine the type of battle – this is affected by the Offensive Action selected.
|2 or less||Counter-attack||Counter-attack|
|3-5||Prepared Defence||No battle|
|6-7||Hasty Defence||No battle|
|8 or more||Meeting Engagement||No battle|
+1 for each zone the offensive player advanced last campaign turn.
-1 if the offensive player retreated last campaign turn
A Counter-attack is where the defensive player attacks the offensive player in a Hasty Defence scenario.
On-table forces available
Size of offensive force
The size of the offensive force is given as a percentage of units in the full Offensive Orbat.
|Condition||Units in Attacking force|
Fighting in Base zone (i.e. Zone 1)
or if last campaign turn the Offensive Action was Regroup
|Last campaign turn advanced 1 zone, made no advance, or retreated||40%|
|Advanced 2 zones last campaign turn||30%|
There are some provisos:
- This percentage is about units, not stands. This means, for example, that a depleted platoon still counts as one unit when calculating how many units are present.
- Round down, so 50% of 19 is 9 units not 10.
- HQ units must be deployed if 50%+ of the subordinate units are deployed.
In all cases it doesn’t matter whether these units are depleted or not, they still count as a full unit. Obviously, as the campaign progresses and units take losses, a player will want to rotate the units fielded thus using those that are still full-strength.
Size of defensive force
The size of the defending players force is determined by the type of battle and the zone it is fought in
|Type of battle||Zone|
From there you have to refer to defensive orbats you made up at the start of the campaign.
Use the tactical rules of your choice. Make up the terrain any way that suits.
Make a note of the stands lost in the Offensive force, but don’t bother noting those lost in the Defensive force.
The victory points (VP) achieved by the Offensive player are calculated at the end of the game. The score can be zero or negative.
|Victory Condition||Size of campaign **|
|Control two terrain objectives||140||140||140||140|
|Control one terrain objective||-35||-35||-35||-35|
|Control neither terrain objective||-140||-140||-140||-140|
|Each fighting stand that exits the enemy base edge||12*||6*||4*||3*|
|Each of own fighting stands killed||-24||-12||-8||-6|
* VP for exiting troops are doubled if the Offensive player controls all terrain objectives at the end of the game.
** Small means Full Offensive Orbat <= 40 stands; Medium <= 80; Large <= 120; otherwise Huge.
Control of terrain objective means the player has more fighting stands in it at the end of the game than the opponent does, or if it is empty to be the the last player who had fighting stands in it.
Determine Battle Result
Throw 1d6 to determine the whether the Offensive player must advance or retreat after the battle – this depends on the Offensive Action taken. If no battle was fought then no movement is possible. Retreat is not possible if you’re already in Zone 1.
|0 or less||Retreat 1 zone||Retreat 1 zone|
|1-3||No Advance||No Advance|
|4-8||Advance 1 zone||No Advance|
|9||Advance 2 zones||No Advance|
The only modifier is based on the VP earned in the preceding battle:
|-246 or less||-4|
|-245 to -176||-3|
|-175 to -106||-2|
|-105 to -36||-1|
|-35 to 35||0|
|36 to 105||+1|
|106 to 175||+2|
|176 or more||+3|
You should keep records of the Offensive stands killed.
The Offensive player can roll to recover any stands that are still lost i.e. killed in any of the previous battles. Roll once a campaign turn for each stand that is still lost; the score required depends on the Battle Result and the Offensive Action:
|Battle Result||Offensive Action|
|No advance (or no battle)||5+||4+|
|Advance 1 zone||5+||N/A|
|Advance 2 zones||6||N/A|
So, for example, a 5+ is required to recover each lost stand if the Offensive Action was Attack and the Battle Result was Advance 1 zone.
You win the campaign if you advance from Zone 5 and if your opponent fails to do the same this campaign. The campaign is a draw if you both achieve this in the same campaign turn.
The campaign mechanisms are based on some work by Maritn Rapier as modified by Huda (2003). I have tried to make it more generic than either of the originals, and also show how to apply the mechanisms in Crossfire.
Huda, S. (2003,Spring). Race For Berlin: A WW2 Spearhead mini-campaign for Germany 1945. The Journal of the Society of 20th Century Wargamers, 47, 4-11.