WW2 has always been one of the popular periods for me. It started for me as a young kid with the old Airfix plastic figures and vehicles. We used to have large battle on the lounge floor much to the worry of our parents.
Over the years I switched to 6mm and onto a table (I don;t think my body would allow me to game on the floor any longer). Although I've tried a number of rules I have never stuck with the same rules for more than 2 games! I've also leant towards the large scale games with each base representing a battalion.
Recently I decide to try Kremlin Miniatures Hurrah Stalino rules after a recommendation. The rules as they stand are for Russian Front 1942 – 45 but I thought they would work well for N.W. Europe 44-45 by creating some stats for the Americans. The rules use a 3” grid system but I used my 4” Kallistra Hexes.
The battle was the German counter offensive along the Ardennes. The Americans had 2 mechanised infantry divisions spread along the front with an Armoured Battlegroup in reserve off the table (which they had to dice for once the Germans reached a certain point on the table). The German offensive was carried out by 1 Panzer Division, 1 Kamfgruppe, 1 x Infantry Division and 1 x Panzergrenadier Division.
The game lasted about 2 hours and both sides thoroughly enjoyed the game (interestingly there was another 6mm WW2 game on at the club that night using a set of well known rules and after 4 hours they hadn't finished).
In our battle the German offensive began swiftly and were in combat within 3 turns. The Panzer Division leading the Infantry Division on the left flank. However, the Panzer Grenadiers on the right flank became bogged down in the forest soon taking it but making no more headway due to stiff US resistance. They fought off numerous US counter-offensives, holding the edge of the forest. On the left flank the Panzer division pinned down the other US Infantry division until its own Infantry Division caught up with them. Once they arrived, the Panzer Division rushed forward toward the U.S. Supply dump at the rear.
The US reserve battle group entered on the German right flank and the Kamfgruppe took it head on and took heavy losses. It looked like trouble for the Germans.
But this was to change significantly as the German Panzer Division took the supply dump. The German right flank had ground to a halt. The US players lack of supply meant he began suffering badly in all combats. He had to divert his remaining forces to try and relieve the supply sector. Unfortunately he failed against the Panzer Division with the German Infantry who had defeated his now threatening his flank. The US player admitted defeat.
There are some nice touches to the rules. Each hex represents 1.5 to 2km and can accommodate up to 6 units. However, only 3 of them can fight. The rules pay for tank battalions to have infantry support when attacking/defending. If you lose a combat with a tank battalion as a lead unit but you have infantry supporting you can elect to lose an infantry battalion instead of a tank battalion.
Combat is resolved by throwing 2D6 for each side and then adding dice for superior combat factors, supporting units and terrain advantages. The total number of dice are rolled and the winner is the one with the highest dice (not the total dice). Powerful units can be defeated in unfavourable tactical situations and vice versa.
If you lose your supply sector you roll one dice less each time. The US player learnt a crucial lesson here and next time he said he would guard his supply dump next time now he realised the importance of it.
All in all the game moved quickly. Tactical decisions had to be made by both players continually throughout the game but the combat system felt right. It rewarded you for using the right terrain and making good tactical decisions. We will definitely being playing this again and I can see me porting this across to the Sci Fi period.