23 November 2013

Battlegroup Kursk

This week I had the opportunity to play Battlegroup Kursk with the Dux and Ian,and I really enjoyed it.

The fluid, escalatory nature of the game really fits my vision of WW2 combined arms action without it being formulaic.  The meeting engagements built from an empty table, starting with scouts engaging one another etc, and specific national rules make the nuances of C2 different on each side.  Clearly optimal to be played at the 15-20mm scale, it played very nicely and requires one to very carefully consider army building options - make an unbalanced force and you pay dearly by having a fragile, easily routed force which will be outmanoeuvred on the table.

In our game Ian and I commanded a 500 point German force comprising a 222 scout car, PzIVH platoon, a PzGrenadier Platoon in halftracks and a Tiger tank.  Hurtled against us was The Dux riding a company of 10(!) T-34s, some infantry and an SU122 I think it was.  The Germans moved up into the some wheat fields and commenced long range fire which turned out to be completely ineffective.  Alan in the meantime massed his armour, continuously pinned the Tiger, and rushed forward for a point blank duel, knocking out the 222 and a PzIV in exchange for a pair of T-34s as they ran through the German lines.  This seemed to galvanize the Germans who then remembered their ballistics lessons and dispatched four T-34s in quick succession the next turn, effectively breaking the Russian advance.  It was a down to the wire game and Ian and I thought we were off to the gulag until the last moment (when a pair of sequential 'box car' throws proved most timely).  Just goes to show how the tide can so quickly turn.

Tigers are clearly bollocks too - I've fielded 3 now and not scratched an enemy with any of them!  After charging in and making a T-34 crew bail out from a non penetrating flank hit, Hanomags with Pak36 'door knockers' fitted (Sd.Kfz 251/10) are obviously the secret weapon of choice!

BTW The Dux's collection of 15mm WW2 was just inspiring to play with - you can see them here but they are much, much better in real life.

The newly released rules in the series, Fall of the Reich, really interests me but the next installment covering Desert War has a great deal of appeal and is worth waiting for next year.  Its a theatre I know a bit about, but not lots.  I think I would enjoy the shift from big heavy tanks to scout cars and lighter tanks.  Plus the idea of fielding Italian tankettes really appeals to me for some masochistic reason! 

I can see an exciting new Winter '14 project on the horizon!  But for now its Bolt Action time...
Dux-Cam view of the Victors!


  1. I have only played battle group overlord solo but think it is a good system, have fun in the desert, with the tan kettles.

  2. Sounded like a great game Paul! I think one of our guys has these rules and we will be giving them a go in 20mm. Not sure when though.

  3. Sound slike an interesting ruelset