I’m an avid follower of Martin Rapier’s blog The Games We Play and when looking at his history found his battle report of Leshnov 1941. The scenario has a long history originating with Grant (1981), then Thomas (2014), Rolph (2017) before Martin’s version. The scenario is for Martin Rapier’s One Hour WW2 (6 hit) (a variant of One Hour Wargames). Unfortunately, Martin’s version of the scenario is implicit in his description of the game. Hoping to to play it myself, I’ve tried to re-engineer the scenario from his description. Rapier notes that this scenario exercises all the main game mechanisms of his One Hour WW2 (6 hit) as it includes airpower, artillery, AT guns and all the major unit types including Heavy Tanks and recce.
Okay, I’ve been obsessing about Cossacks in World War 2 lately, hence my post on Soviet Cavalry Regiments in Crossfire. So I went looking for 15mm Cossacks and found that the figures from Flames of War and from Peter Pig look totally different. I wanted to understand why and how to paint each appropriately. This post explains all about that and is a painting guide for both styles.
I’ve had a hankering to build a dismounted Cossack Cavalry Regiment for a while. For service on the Eastern Front of WW2. What has held me back was the lack of 15mm figures. Flames of War had a great set, but discontinued it. Luckily Peter Pig have brought a new Cossack range to market so now I have to figure out what I need for Crossfire.
Although there were Soviet Cavalry Divisions and Corps, the building block was the Cavalry Regiment. Zaloga and Ness (2003) describe the various TO&E for the Soviet Cavalry Regiments (p. 101-117). The regiment was about the size of an infantry battalion, so perfect for Crossfire. I’ve listed the Crossfire Orbat for the various Soviet Cavalry Regiments. Although Soviet cavalry could and did charge mounted, generally they fought dismounted and the order of battle acknowledges that.
I’ve been looking at trees. What trees to use for Operational level wargaming in my draft Deep Battle rule set. Since my Experiment on a 4 Inch Hex Grid I’ve gone for increasingly smaller terrain including Tiny Hills and Monopoly Buildings. And now I find my normal size 15mm trees are too big for the look I’m striving for, so I’ve gone for copses of small trees – trees that would normally be used for 5mm (1/300th) or 6mm (1/285th) scale wargames.
I’ve been doing some more musing on Operational level wargaming for my draft Deep Battle rule set. My Experiment on a 4 Inch Hex Grid forced me to get Tiny Hills to Fit the 4 Inch Hexes. Now I’m doing the same thing with buildings. In fact I’m using Monopoly buildings which are more like … Read more
Adam remains keen on ‘O’ Group, and has put together an Eastern Front scenario called “Collective Farm 643”. Chris took the attacking Soviets and I had the defending Germans. Adam was umpire and provide all the kit.
Summary: Over quick. The Soviets took the direct route to the objectives and got hammered.
I’ve been using flags as my terrain objective markers for a long time. And recently I made some more for New Zealand, UK/GB, India, USA, Germany (replacement), Japan, China and Australia.
Our recent experiments with ‘O’ Group have got me thinking about a similar set of rules that has been lurking on my shelves: Blitzkrieg Commander (BKC). I’ve got every edition of the rules (1 through 4), yet I have never played it because it was a bit too crunchy (concrete) for my tastes. But it is a credible alternative to ‘O’ Group, so I got it of the shelf and read through it.
I prefer scenarios over pick up battles so I’m trying to wrap my head around how to map official historical orders of battle to BKC OOBs. In this post I play around with a official Soviet historical order of battle for a infantry battalion and see what that looks like in both game scales of BKC. Not that I’m going to use an official OOB for an actual scenario, but this exercise will help me understand which bits of the historical OOB turn into BKC stands and which bits get ignored. And because BKC has two game scales – regimental where a base is a platoon and battalion scale where a base is a squad – I’m going to have to do this twice.
Adam and Chris had another go at the ‘O’ Group sample scenario transferred to the Eastern Front. As in our first play test and second play test, “Cristot” became “Kristov” and the Germans were attacking a Soviet defensive position. Adam was keen to have a go himself so took the role of the attacking Germans. Adam also provided rules knowledge, figures, most of the terrain, and narrative for the battle report. Chris was the defending Soviets. I took photos and add some extra thoughts at the end.
I’ve been looking at Mac’s Crossfire Missions and it occurred to me that the system would be good for a Three Round Campaign. I like campaigns that are short and lead to a clear result and a Three Round Campaign offers those benefits. I’ve used the missions and main force orders of battle from Mac’s Missions v3 to drive the campaign.
Jamie Wish and Chris Harrod played “The Swamp” (KB4R), the fourth game of Krasny Bor, featuring the Blue Division in an epic Crossfire campaign. The Spaniards were defending the second line – near the Leningrad-Moscow Railway line – against overwhelming odds.
Summary: I thought it would be over in 1 hour, but in an awesome David and Goliath contest Chris’s reinforced company of Spaniards held Jamie’s three battalions of Soviets for 2.5 hours of game time and 7.5 hours of real time. The Spanish defeated the first Soviet battalion but eventually the Soviets ground their way through the Blue Division lines. The time ratio, 2.5 hours of game time in 7.5 hours of real time, demonstrates how grindy it was – not for the faint hearted.
I’ve been talking to Arty Conliffe about potential Official Supplements for Crossfire. Official because they have Arty’s blessing and input. I’m thinking about both a commercial scenario book and some freebie booklets. My megalomaniac aspirations for 2022 mean I want to write one of each. There are lots of possibilities and I thought I’m share my thinking.
Chris and I had another go at ‘O’ Group sample scenario transferred to the Eastern Front. As in our first play test, “Cristot” became “Kristov” and the Germans were attacking a Soviet defensive position. Adam was umpire and provided rules knowledge, figures, most of the terrain, and narrative for the battle report. I add some extra thoughts at the end.
I’ve been reading about Soviet cavalry operations on the Eastern Front. And that, of course, has got me interested in expanding my Soviet cavalry collection. But before I invest further, I want to be really, really sure my cavalry basing is correct. The cavalry figures I already have are based on 30x30mm squares, like my infantry. But that is cramped. What to do?