Friday, October 25, 2013

Kursk Style Game using Blitzkrieg Commander

So, this is what all that wire, trench markers, machine gun nests and minefields was leading to: a Kursk type battle - a deliberate attack on prepared defences.  Richard planned the scenario and all models and terrain are from his collection, the wire, nests and trenches are mine and sadly I was a bit short.

Looking north from the Soviet left.  Everyone is dug in and there is a belt of minefields in front.

Looking south from the Soviet right.  The Soviets have four formations deployed: left, centre, right and reserve.

A sign warning any Axis invaders that there are mines (maybe - of the 16 minefields, 6 were dummies and 2 were unmarked.

Being dug in makes you low profile and the wheat field has grown to limit visibility - something I hadn't considered.

The Soviet centre.  The Su85s are a bit advanced for 1943, but never mind that, just look at that beautiful wire entanglement.

First hit is scored by the Soviets against the Axis advancing on the right.  The longer range of the T34s allowed for some opportunity shots against the StugIIIs.

Disaster!  A massive Axis bombardment on turn 3 took out the majority of the Soviet equipment on their right.  I suppose they shouldn't be too concerned, the opening Axis bombardment on the centre had failed.  The above bombardment was concentrated and so much deadlier.  It took out the right flank commander along with the Soviet CO who had gone over to help maintain the 

And the Soviets had a concentrated bombardment of their own which slaughtered the Axis armour that had penetrated a dummy minefield and was engaging the Su85s.  The Axis commander must have known what was happening as he had previously had two command blunders - and this was only turn five!

Comments on Blitzkrieg Commander

The Soviets have trouble getting their artillery in to action.  We were trying an option to have scheduled bombardments called in with a two turn delay as we are planning to play with no fixed number of moves. 

Turns 4 and 5 for the Soviets were very short due to failures of command roles.

The Axis also failed command roles to bring in their air strikes and that Soviet bombardment has now taken out their FAO FAC.  This was after the Axis had won partial air superiority.

One annoying thing with the rules was searching for some information on indirect fire that turned out only to be detailed in the Hit Summary table on the very last page of the rules.  Only a minor criticism as the rules are comprehensive and straightforward allowing fast play, although for this game we were using a lot of features we had not previously gamed.

Another thought was rather than just a simple die roll to determine air superiority, it might be more fun to have a quick game of Wings of War or something.

The other observation is that such a big game might be better played as a series of linked actions. Something to think about.


  1. Good to see someone 4000km away trying out pretty much the same things as us albeit on the Eastern Front. Blitzkrieg Commander is a great game that we're just coming to terms with at the Wollongong Uni club. Interesting comments on scheduled bombardments. We haven't used them yet but I think they would have worked well in the El Alamein game we played last night.


    1. I would expect you would find scheduled bombardments for the attacker very successful against fixed defences.

  2. Great looking game at a high command level. Rule set strikes me as a tad capricious, though, seen from this distance. Do you get that impression? Or is it all part of the fun - coping with the chances, uncertainties and accidents of the battlefield?

    1. Thanks. I have tried to respond to your comments in my final post on the game - that's a good word "capricious".