Friday, June 15, 2018

Andrew Rolph: Barbarossa - Kicking in the Door... Germany Invades The Soviet Union Wargames Campaign

Andrew Rolph: “Barbarossa – Kicking in the Door…” is a wargames campaign covering the German invasion of the Soviet Union between June and September 1941. It is designed for games in which a stand represents a platoon, such as ‘Blitzkrieg Commander’, ‘Command Decision: TOB’, ‘A Fistful of Tows’, ‘Rapid Fire’ and others, including those which wargamers may have written themselves.

The system generates 150+ hours of gaming spread over 50+ individual battles which are fought over fifteen weekly campaign turns. Bookkeeping is kept to a minimum as players take command of four of the German panzer divisions spearheading the invasion or the Soviet tank and infantry forces opposing them. Straightforward German attacks will be interspersed with Soviet counterattacks, storming city outskirts, holding bridgeheads or trying to break through the fortifications of the Stalin Line. Each type of battle has its own terrain specifications, victory conditions, set up restrictions and likely opposition. Individual battles are reinforced regimental/brigade sized, with some battalions of each division selected to fight whilst others are rested.

In addition to managing the individual battles, however, the German player also needs to manage the campaign. Ever increasing Soviet resistance needs to be curtailed by encircling their forces. Such encirclements reduce the availability of ‘mobilisation points’ which the Soviet players use as currency to ‘buy’ greater or better equipped forces and fortifications with which the slow the German advance. A rapid, deep advance, however, will exact a heavy toll in attrition. Supply will also become a problem for the German players, limiting the numbers they can commit to battle and their artillery/air support.  

The book also includes

a brief history of the campaign
background information (such as time and groundscale) useful in adapting the system to different sets of rules and some suggestions for additional optional rules
a system for generating table layouts for individual battles
a comprehensive set of Appendices covering
the Tables of Organisation and Equipment to both platoon and company level for all divisions and regiments involved
42 colour terrain squares to assist in creating the terrain for individual battles
a worked example of the terrain generation system
a Campaign Quick Reference Sheet
an example Campaign Turn
a complete set of very quick play rules
a full colour A4 Campaign Map
“Barbarossa – Kicking in the Door…” is an ideal campaign for a club (with eight of more players for twelve or more three hour sessions) or one to be organised remotely, by e-mail, with shorter options available for fewer players or those with less time available.

For those who have purchased the author’s previous book of eastern front scenarios (Grey Steel, Red Storm – available on Wargame Vault) please note that around seven pages of history and background from that book are reproduced largely unchanged in Part One of this volume.

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