Category: Eastern Front

During World War II the Axis powers tried and failed to defeat the Soviet Union. The Germans called this theatre the “Eastern Front Campaign” or “Russian Front Campaign” but to the Soviet citizens it was the “Great Patriotic War”. The battles on the Eastern Front constituted the largest military confrontation in history. Fighting in this theatre was characterised by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, and immense loss of life variously due to combat, starvation, exposure, disease, and massacres. Fighting lasted from the Axis invasion of the USSR (22 June 1941) to until the Soviet capture of Berlin (9 May 1945).


Tabletop Operational Wargame Inspired by Drive on Moscow

Balagan Operational Warfare Example Map 2 v2

I’m still looking at my options for Wargaming Rules to use for the Operational Level of War. This time I thought I’d have a look at the iPad wargame “Drive on Moscow” by Shenandoah Studio. It is right up my alley being an operational level warfare and on the Eastern Front. Continuing my experiment of translating other game systems to the table top, I wondered what Drive on Moscow would look like as a generic set of table top rules. I haven’t tried to follow the original game slavishly, just get something with the same flavour.

Previously I did

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Do I have enough Ruins?

I have been collecting, making, and painting Ruins for quite some time. All for my long term Stalingrad project. So I thought I’d get all my ruined buildings, rubble piles, and shell holes out and see if I had enough. What do you reckon … do I have enough ruins?

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Tabletop Operational Wargame Inspired by Hell’s Gate

Balagan Operational Warfare Example Map

During my review of operational level wargames, Martin Rapier put me onto Philip Sabin’s game “Hell’s Gate” within the book “Simulating War” (Sabin, 2012). Hell’s Gate is an operational level board game focusing on the Korsun Pocket of 24 Jan – 16 Feb 1944. I wondered what this game system would might look like as a generic set of tabletop rules for operational level warfare on the Eastern Front. As an experiment, I drafted such a set of rules. Here is what I came up with. It is my work, I have for example completely replaced the combat system, but

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SU-152s Up Close and Personal – A Crossfire Battle Report 4

SU152_093 Ineffective Stuka fly over

Chris Harrod and I played my SU-152s Up Close and Personal scenario.

Summary: Good game. Forced us both to make explicit tactical choices. I got a Soviet victory before the German reinforcements arrived.

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The Monster – A Crossfire Battle Report

Monster0-783 Monster0- table

Chris Harrod and I play tested my The Monster – A Crossfire Scenario. Twice. The first play test was over pretty quick and the Monster of the title chewed up the Germans as they appeared. A few tweaks to the scenario and we tried again … the second time we got a much better game out of it.

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What is the Operational Level of War?

Three Levels of War - Strategic, Operational, Tactical

I’m interested in operational level wargames for World War II. But my definition of “operational level” has been pretty vague. Something about campaigns and major offensives. So I thought I’d explore operational level war in more detail … and it turns out I was right. It is all about campaigns and major offensives.

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Ponyri Station – A Hit the Dirt Blast from the Past

Ponyri Station 12

I was filing old papers tonight when I found a few photos of a very early game of Crossfire. Real photos, you know, the ones on photographic paper, from a shop. It took a while but I figure the game was Ponyri Station. I thought I’d share because, aside from the fact these are the only photos I have of a game of my favourite scenario from Hit the Dirt, they also show how I started out in Crossfire – using anything I had.

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Small Threat to the Flank – A Crossfire Battle Report

STTTF01 Table

Chris Harrod and I played my Small Threat to the Flank Scenario. A good game although the map needs a bit of work.

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The “Monster” – A Crossfire Scenario

KV-2 "Monster"

A Crossfire scenario based on a Scenario in the iPad version of Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front. It is 1941 and an isolated KV-2, the “Monster”, is preventing vital supplies reaching the advancing German panzers.

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Small Threat to the Flank – A Crossfire Scenario

Threat to the Flank Map 4x4 v6

This is the small version of Scenario 2: Threat to the Flanks from “Scenarios for all Ages” (Grant & Asquith, 1996) converted to Crossfire. It follows guidelines for Crossfire Scenarios for all Ages. It is a “small” game because there is only a company defending.

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How many figures will I need to start playing Crossfire?

Typical Company in Crossfire - Red

One of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Crossfire is “How many figures will I need to start playing?” The answer is a company a side. 78 figures in total, if you follow my recommendations.

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Paper Factory – A Crossfire Battle Report from Krasny Bor

KB1R-004 Table

Jamie Wish and Chris Harrod played “Paper Factory” (KB1R), the second game of Krasny Bor, featuring the Blue Division in an epic Crossfire campaign. The Spaniards were defending the Paper Factory, in a loop of the Ishora River, against overwhelming odds. Jamie’s Soviets captured all three objectives and won.

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Advance from Ian Ishora – A Crossfire Battle Report from Krasny Bor

KB1F-05 Table

Jamie Wish and Chris Harrod played “Advance from Ian Ishora” (KB1F), the first game of my Krasny Bor Campaign featuring the Blue Division defending against overwhelming odds in an epic Crossfire campaign.

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WW2 using One Hour Wargames

OHW 102 Soviets roar towards left hand bridge

The World War II version of Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames is slightly more complicated than the Dark Age version (see 448 AD Battle Report). So Chris Harrod and I gave it a go. We played two games in an evening. I’m not a fan, of the WW2 variant and OHW in general. I tried. I really tried. We played four games in total, but I think I’ll give up on OHW now.

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Playing the Krasny Bor Crossfire Campaign with two players

Krasny Bor Campaign - Two Players

At the end of last year Jo asked if I had ever revisited my Krasny Bor Campaign for Crossfire and the Blue Division. Sadly the answer was no, but it prompted me to rectify the lapse.

I have persuaded Chris Harrod and Jamie Wish to play the campaign. This was a bit different: two players not eight; two months not two days. Here is some advice for anybody who wants to give it a go.

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