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Blitzkrieg Commander II – Early Russian Front 1941

We had a BKC 2 game set in 1941 Ukraine to have a go with the BKC campaign rules and see how the glorious march of the panzers / glorious defense of the motherland would go. Well, the panzers rolled over the obsolete Russian tanks.

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FoF campaign start: Enduring Oppression

We started a new Force of Force campaign yesterday: “Enduring Oppression” The Soviet experience in Afghanistan. We will be fast-forwarding through the long years of the occupation. In the beginning the Afghans will be poorly armed and disorganised, but as the game progresses they will gain experience and equipment. The Soviets will also evolve during the campaign from a strong but inflexible mechanised army to an army that is more suitable to operations in a mountainous country. We have three players in the campaign playing against the umpire (me). Janne has a platoon of VDV, Petri has Soviet motor rifle troops, and Eero plays a hard-line Khalqi platoon leader with a mixture of raw conscripts and revolutionary Sarandoy gendarmes. Each player had starting pool of points to buy their troops, and victory points gained during the game can be used to buy and upgrade troops. They also have access to scenario-specific assets (tanks, artillery, airlifts). The Soviets have to determine before each mission which of their men are sick (1-2 on d6) and the poorly motivated Afghans are prone to desertion (1-2 on d6). Most of the losses will be non-combat ones, and the Soviets will be realistically struggling to get their squads to anything resembling full strength. The campaign is set in a fictional province of six locations controlled by two dushman factions, religiously motivated tribes operating from Lah Tariq, and secular guerrillas based mostly around Bang Kaar. The six locations on the map can be pacified by winning missions there. This will lower the insurrection level in that location. Losing a mission will raise the insurrection level in that location. The first scenario was dictated by me to be the pacification of Pish Pawr, and building a fortified base there. This went well for the players, as they had access to incredible amounts of firepower. The village was pacified, unfortunately practically every house in the village was flattened by Soviet 122 mm artillery or Hind strafing runs. The camp is practically unassailable by the lightly armed dushman troops, so the second scenario was an ambush of some supply trucks, which was intended to lure a reaction force from the camp into a killing zone. Unfortunately this did not work for the dushman fighters, who lost most of their men before retreating back towards Lah Tariq. The players will now have pretty much free hand in deciding what operations to attempt next. They can move into any of the locations, even through... read more

Good Cold War Book

W. Baxter’s “Soviet Air Land Battle Tactics” from 1986 is a recommended read for any Cold War enthusiast. It offers an interesting insight into the thinking behind soviet tactics, and a wealth of examples of standard doctrine. The material in the book is gathered from published Soviet sources, military journals and other documents from the other side of the iron curtain. Particularly interesting examples are the Soviet nomograms, simple charts officers and planner can use to solve complex calculations with a ruler and pencil. For example one chart can be used to determine how long it takes for meeting battle to start, if the enemy is advancing  at 15 kmh and own forces at 20 kmh, and the enemy is not 68 km away. No need for complex computing machinery, when one can just issue a standard Soviet Space Agency pencil to the forces. The tone of the book can be summarised as “don’t think the Soviets are mindless automata piling their troops into massive breakthrough attacks. Their doctrine and thinking emphasises manoeuvre, shock and surprise. Be prepared.” I give this book Five red stars. It is available from your favourite second hand book seller through... read more

Model of the day – 1/300 Pe-8 bomber

Heroics and Ros heavy metal – Soviet long range bomber Pe-8. Famous for pressing on to bomb Berlin in August 1941 despite massive technical... read more

Model of the day – Russian Field Kitchen

Military Wheels PK-43 Field Kitchen by PetriH. Comes with two horses (not in picture), but no... read more

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