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.
Setting: Leshnov, Ukraine, 26 June 1941
Four days into Operation Barbarossa and the German Panzer Divisions of Army Group South’s 1st Panzer Group are well ahead of the rest of the Army Group. The Soviets have seen an opportunity and are attacking the flanks of the panzer spearheads. Lieutenant-General Ryabyshev’s 8th Mechanised Corps forms part of the southern pincer driving north into the 57th Infantry Division. They crashed into a single battalion of the 57th which calls for assistance from 11th Panzer Division.
In the scenario the Soviet 8th Mechanised Corps enters from the road at the south table edge and is trying to cut off 1st Panzer Group, somewhere to the east. To do that the Soviets need to get four units off the northern road.
With my 8cm wide Big Bases the table is 2’x2′. If you are using normal OHW base sizes then scale up to a 3’x3′ OHW table.
Key features are:
- Village of Leshnov
- North-south road
- Gentle hill in the south-east
- Woods in the east; impassable to vehicles
Soviets get a single preparatory bombardment against the dug in Germans in Leshnov of 4d6. This is harassing fire so can only cause a disorder.
German Player (Defending)
Destroy all Soviet units.
The Germans have a single infantry battalion defending Leshnov. This has local armoured and anti-tank (Flak) support. In addition they have artillery support.
Defender Order of Battle
- 1/179th infantry battalion, 57th Infantry Division with StuGs and Flak guns (Heavy Infantry; AT guns; 2d6; 6 Hits)
- Artillery Regiment (2d6; 3 Missions)
Deploys first. The infantry are dug in within Leshnov (they count as in “Cover and dug in”). The artillery deploys on the table edge.
The 11th Panzer Division turns up to help. The reinforcements arrive on different game turns and in different locations. The Luftwaffe is busy bombing the Russian approach routes, but so they get only one airstrike on table.
- Turn 2: 2 units appear near the hill in the south-west
- 231st Recce Battalion (Aufklärungs-Abteilung), 11th Panzer Division (Heavy Recce; 2d6; Average 6 Hits)
- 61st Motorcycle Battalion (Kradschützen-Battalion), 11th Panzer Division (Light Recce; 1d6; Average 6 Hits)
- Turn 4: 2 units arrive from the south-eastern table edge, south of the woods
- 1/33rd Panzer Battalion, 11th Panzer Division (Tank; Fire 2d6, Assault 3d6; Elite 7 Hits)
- 2/33rd Panzer Battalion, 11th Panzer Division (Tank; Fire 2d6, Assault 3d6; Elite 7 Hits)
- Turn 6: 1 unit appears from the northern edge; Luftwaffe also turns up
- 2/179th infantry battalion, 57th Infantry Division with AT guns (Infantry; AT guns; 2d6; Average 6 Hits)
- Luftwaffe Airstrike (2d6; 1 Mission)
Soviet Player (Attacking)
Begins scenario with initiative.
You are to drive your entire mechanised corps through the weakly defended flank of an advancing Panzer Division.
You have the 8th Mechanised Corps with three tank divisions in total (12th, 15th, 34th), although these are roughly at 25% strength due to breakdowns and the Luftwaffe. Each tank regiment represents 80-100 runners and the tanks are a mix of BTs, T26s, T34s, KVs, and T35s. The infantry regiments are three very weak battalions and they are on foot having lost their transport.
The 12th Tank Division arrives on Turn 1 with others arriving as reinforcements.
Attacker Order of Battle (in march order)
- Turn 1: 12th Tank Division
- 12th Tank Division with a mix of T26s and T34s (Tank; Fire 2d6, Assault 3d6; Poor 5 Hits)
- 12th Motorised Rifle Regiment with artillery support (Heavy Infantry; 3d6; Average 6 Hits)
- Artillery Regiment (2d6; 1 Mission)
- Soviet Airstrike (2d6; 1 Mission)
All Soviets arrive on the southern table edge. Units arrive in march order. Units can only enter if there is room on table for the entire unit. If they cannot enter in a turn, the unit will wait to enter on the next turn.
The rest of 8th Mechanised Corps arrives on Turn 2 and 3. Again they enter from the southern table edge in march order.
Attacker Reinforcements (in march order)
- Turn 2: 15th Tank Division
- 15th Tank Division with a mix of T28s and T26s (Tank; Fire 2d6, Assault 3d6; Poor 5 Hits)
- 15th Motorised Rifle Regiment (Infantry; 2d6; Average 6 Hits)
- Turn 3: 34th Tank Division
- 34th Light Tank Regiment, 34th Tank Division with BT-7s (Fast Tank; Fire 2d6, Assault 3d6; Poor 5 Hits)
- 34th Heavy Tank Regiment, 34th Tank Division with a mix of T34s, KVs, and T35s (Heavy Tank; 3d6; Poor 5 Hits)
- 34th Motorised Rifle Regiment (Infantry; 2d6; Average 6 Hits)
The game is 15 turns long (or 1 hour 45 minutes real time). Soviets win by exiting four units from the table, via road on the northern table edge. Failure to do so results in a German victory.
Scenario Special Rules
Exiting the table: Only Soviet units may exit the table and only via road on the northern table edge.
This scenario is based on several others. Or more accurately it is an evolution of several others. The original inspiration is Charles Grant’s “Breakout” scenario in “Scenarios for Wargamers” (Grant, 1981, p. 30-31). Neil Thomas simplified this for “Scenario 13: Escape” in his “One Hour Wargames” book (Thomas, p. 90-91). Separately Andrew Rolph wrote “Scenario Two – The (Red) Empire Strikes Back – Leshnov, Ukraine, 26 June 1941” in his book “Grey Steel, Red Storm” (Rolph, 2017).
But my main inspiration is Martin Rapier’s Leshnov 1941. For this game, Martin combined Thomas’s “Escape” with Rolph’s “The (Red) Empire Strikes Back”. Martin had to scale up from Rolph’s stand equals a platoon to his higher level scale of a stand is a German battalion or Soviet Regiment. Subsequently Martin played the scenario a second time One Hour WW2 at COW 2023.
- Review of Martin Rapier’s One Hour WW2 (6 hit)
- Base Width measurements in One Hour Wargames WW2
- Using my Big Bases with Neil Thomas’s One-Hour Wargames
|Firing Unit||Combat Dice|
|Infantry, Heavy Recce||2d6|
|Heavy Infantry, Heavy Tanks||3d6|
|Artillery (1 x D6 per Bn)||2d6|
|Tanks||Hull Down Tanks||Others in open||Cover or dug in||Cover and dug in|
Grant, C. S. (1981). Scenarios for Wargamers. Wargames Research Group.
Rapier, M. (n.d.). One Hour WW2 (6 hit) V2. The Games We Play.
Rapier, M. (2021). Leshnov 1941. The Games We Play.
Rapier, M. (2023). One Hour WW2 at COW 2023. The Games We Play.
Rolph, A. (2017). Grey Steel, Red Storm: Regimental Wargaming Scenarios in the Soviet Union 1941-1943. Author.
Thomas, N. (2014). One-Hour Wargames: Practical tabletop battls for those with limited time and space. Pen and Sword.