We play a lot of Late War here at History to Wargames Podcast and we have pretty close to everything we need for great games. But we are constantly working to upgrade our troops and tables. We are also always looking to add few flavor items and troops. For instance I ordered some tram cars and I am on the lookout for 15mm wagons to use as terrain. For troops I have Volkssturum and Hitler Youth troops on deck.
Volkssturum and Hitler Youth troops are specialist troops that capture the Late War flavor. They are only available in Fall of The Reich; Volksstrum as a platoon option and the HJ as support option. You can still use Wehrmacht troops, their uniform works for just about any period of the war but the Volksstrum and HJ troops wore clothing different from the regular army. Volkssturm were in mix of civilian clothing and the HJ wore dark blue uniforms.
For these guys I decided to base the entire squad on one base
instead of on pennies and then fitting them into sabot movement trays. We have
been playing with the idea of is it better to have individually based troops
with slower movement or all the squad on one base with faster movement but more
book keeping. With the size of games that we have been playing it’s importing
to keep the pace up so we can get the game done.
Basing was done with a mix of crushed slate, some ballast and
sand with some match sticks dropped on. I used the Vallejo Ruins & Rubble
Rob recently had the opportunity while he was at Seven Years War Convention to recorded a lecture that Alex Burns gave at the 36th Annual Meeting of the Seven Years War Association. You can find more of his interviews and recordings at the History to Wargames Podcast. The lecture addressed the specious idea that eighteenth-century soldiers were machine-like, “clockwork soldiers”.
One of my recent kicks has been to try and get in two to three games with one list; swapping out commanders but leaving everything else the same. Part of this is a little laziness but most of it is to try and really play balance the game.
I think most of you know sometimes a certain army or combination of troops can really dominate a game. We called it the ‘codex’ effect, when the newest products are very powerful; but with Battlegroup I haven’t noticed that and to test that hypothesis I am running list a few times.
The latest adventure was BattleGroup Barbarossa; this was my first adventure with this period. We have played quite a few early war Western Front games and plenty of mid and late war games on the eastern front but no 1941 games.
The great thing about Russians, for the most part is you don’t have a lot of changes in uniform and company organization between 1941 to 1945. Even the venerable T-34 is an option in Early War so the same forces can be used for multiple periods. Since I had been working on T-26’s and had those finished it was time to get them out for the fist and second time.
Both games went well, and the second game was fantastic. A real nail biter to the end but I was surprised; the Reds beat the Germans in both games.
One of the nice things about having a dedicated space to game is leaving things up over a few weeks. I’m lucky enough that I can do that with our recent BattleGroup Barbarossa game.
Our most recent BG game is focused on the late fall of 1940 and uses the Barbarossa supplement. I must say, this is an under rated and under played period. With some many light tanks its easy to get a dozen or more on the table. A full company of 17 T-26’s is less than 300 points.
For the most part Soviet equipment and organization doesn’t change much from Kursk or Fall of the Reich. For the Germans there are some significant changes.
We are only a few turns in and I want to finish during our next session.; as of now everything is still in the air. The Germans have a company of Pz 38ts and supporting Pz IIs and I am courious to see how they will do against the T-26s and BT-7s.