Category: Stalingrad 1942-43

Alexander V. Suvorov, the best Russian prior to WW2 and probably of all time, said:

To surprise is to conquer

The Russians took this to heart when, between Aug 1942 and Feb 1943, the Germans and Soviets slugged it out in Stalingrad, Stalin’s modern city on the Volga. It was brutal and nasty. Both sides took enormous casualties in the street fighting. The Soviets referred to Stalingrad as the “Academy of Street Fighting” to reflect the new ways of fighting they had to develop. In the long term the Soviets came out the winners when their carefully prepared offensive crashed into the formations on the flanks of the Sixth Army.


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Balagan Site Stats

I started this blog on 21 Feb 2001 and then Migrated Balagan to WordPress on 15 Sep 2013. So, roughly 4.5 years ago. One of the great things about WordPress, compared to the hand crafted HTML site I had before, is that I get statistics on page views. Apparently I’ve had 1,176,779 views since I migrated and 1,125 comments. My biggest day (23 Feb 2018) brought 2,420 views – this was because Reddit got hold of my Academy of Street Fighting: Tactics during the Battle of Stalingrad post. Today is a typical day with 750 views.

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2018 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac

My inner megalomaniac is back. This post is a follow on from my 2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian. The previous post was a retrospective of the last 23 months, which means pointing out my successes. This post is the (overly ambitious) list of what I’d like to get done in the coming year. It is the more embarrassing part. The confession. Bear in mind these are more or less active projects.

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2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2017

I have noticed that my The Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian of 2015 was literally a confession, describing my overly inflated ambitions and incomplete projects. But the 2016 edition was more a reflection on my progress against those goals. It has been a 23 months since the 2016 edition and it is time to revisit. But I’m going to split the reflection aspect from the confessions bit. So this is my reflection on the 23 months from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2017.

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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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Crossfiregrad – A Battle Report of the Crossfire Scenario by Doctor Phalanx

Crossfiregrad 39 - Gigantic Field of Ruins

Chris Harrod, Jamie Wish and I played Crossfiregrad by Doctor Phalanx. Three times in fact. “Cracking” is how Jamie described it. I’d say “Ripping”. We will definitely play this again.

We managed three games in one evening because each game takes only 45-50 minutes with a theoretical hard limit of 60 minutes. The game represents a German company-level attack on Soviet positions. The map is “a very crude attempt to bathtub the whole of Stalingrad” and turns into a table only 3′ x 2′ 3″ given the size of my building sectors.

We had a fantastic time but

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Stalingrad – Lonely 15mm Chimneys from Ironclad Miniatures

Stalingrad - Chimneys in the south 3

Some of my projects take a long time to come to maturity. Inspired by the Stalingrad terrain of Battlefront Miniatures, I asked John Lowen from Ironclad Miniatures to make some of the chimneys that featured in the south, John made some beautiful models, and I painted them. You’ll see the photos below. Unfortunately the last step took 10 years and it seems Ironclad no longer stock the chimneys. Perhaps this post will inspire folk to ask John to reissue them.

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2016 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac surveying all those unfinished wargaming projects in 2016

It has been a year since my Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian so definitely time for the 2016 update. I figured that, by sharing what I’m working on (far too much) and where I was up to with it (not far enough), I’d feel bad enough about my lack of progress to limit my work in progress and get some projects finished. Well, it worked, but only partly. I still worked on seven projects this year and finished none.

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How to Make Your Own Rubble Material for Stalingrad

Making rubble - tools

My big Crossfire game set in Stalingrad is going to require a lot of rubble. Although I’m happy with the sand I use for flocking, it isn’t chunky enough to be rubble. I needed something grittier. So I made my own. It is pretty simple. Brute force simple.

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Stalingrad Ruins from Warbases are Great Value

WarBases Stalingrad Ruins 5

Every time I order anything from Warbases I order a set of their 15mm Stalingrad Buildings. They are great value. For £7 I get two buildings that are robust, can be assembled in two configurations and, when used en-masse, give me variety of town layouts.

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Large Ruined Factory For Crossfire – Now Painted

Painted WT Ruined Factory - Config a - 3

After some discussion of How to Use a Big Ruined Factory Feature For Crossfire I’ve gone ahead and painted it. Actually it comprises the two ruined factory features from Wargames Tournaments and a lot of rubble that I added.

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How to Use a Big Ruined Factory Feature For Crossfire?

WT Ruined Factory Front

I picked up a 15mm Ruined Factory feature from Wargames Tournaments. Perfect for snipers perched on an upper floor. The trouble is that Crossfire demands that building are made up of regular shaped building sectors. Mine are usually 3″ x 3″. So what should I do? How can I use that big feature in Crossfire?

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Stalingrad – A Crossfire Battle Report

Stalingrad Table BW

Chris Harrod and I played the Stalingrad Scenario from the the Crossfire rules a couple of times.

Summary: Fast and brutal. Plan to play it 2 or 3 times in an evening. We managed two games in 1 hour 30 minutes.

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Ruin Painting Style – Brick or Black?

Ruin painting styles - Brick v Black - Top

I made up some ruined buildings for Crossfire. Initially I painted the ground quite dark but a feature of Stalingrad was the brick dust, making everything pink. So I tried one of those. Which do you think is better? Pink or black?

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Storm Group Stalingrad – A Crossfire Scenario

Storm Group Stalingrad Map

This Crossfire scenario is based on Plate C “Red Army ‘Storm Group’ Stalingrad autumn 1942” in “World War II Street-Fighting Tactics” (Bull, 2008). It simulates a Soviet Storm Group attacking German held buildings.

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Stalingrad – A Crossfire Scenario

Crossfire Stalingrad Map

The Crossfire rules includes a Stalingrad scenario. I’ve reproduced it here mainly because I wanted a map that was scaled to match my 3″x3″ Generic Building Sectors rather than the 4″x4″ sectors of the original. I’ve taken the liberty to embellish the scenario a bit.

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