In a moment of enthusiasm I drew a map for the Second Battle of Kharkov at one hex per 10 km. Perfect for PanzerGruppe. I thought I’d share it, although I’m no longer sure I’ll use it.
Martin Rapier’s PanzerGruppe is a Operational level game and one of the game systems I featured in my Review of Wargaming Rules to use for the Operational Level of War. In fact it is one of a very small set of rules that are truly Operational in nature. So, superficially, it looks a good candidate for playing the Second Battle of Kharkov.
So I drew a map. The ground scale of PanzerGruppe is one hex equates to 10km. With the 4″ hexes I’m thinking about so this is a ground scale of 1:100,000 once on table and smaller on the map itself.
My starting point was the map for the Kharkov Board Game. Each hex on the board game map is 6.9km across. So I just made my hexes about 50% bigger, changed the orientation of the map, and cut the map back so the interesting bits would fit on a 6’x4′ table (with 4″ inch hexes).
I think the result looks alright.
Unfortunately, after I drew the map, I had second thoughts about using it. The problem is not the map – I quite like it. The problem is that PanzerGruppe is probably too granular to play such a large battle. Each base in PanzerGruppe is a brigade, regiment, or Weak division. So that would make 2nd Kharkov a very, very big game. The Germans had 51 divisions involved. Assume three bases (brigades or regiments) per division, that would be about 150 units on table. The Soviets would have even more. That might appeal to some folk but I think it is too big for me.
So now what? I might have a go at a map for my Tabletop Operational Wargame Inspired by Hell’s Gate. Each unit would be a division and I can imagine 51 German units on table. In this game system a hex is 20 km across. So the map would be smaller or depict a larger area – both of which would be okay by me. But I might wait until my hex mat arrives to ensure I draw the map the correct way.