Friday, June 15, 2007

The map

I came up with this map design to give me a representational Stalingrad-like feel to it. I wanted areas outside of the city to be represented as well. I labeled points of interest as well as the factories themselves to provide a more interesting way of being able to describe the action in my After Action Reports.

Each terrain type has combat properties (such as its effect modifier vs direct fire, indirect fire), Line of Sight (such as a hinderance, blocking etc), Movement costs, and how easy it is to rubble/set on fire. Multiple leveled building hexes are designated by changing the hex center dot to a white heavy circle.

I envision a series of scenarios, each building (pun intended as this is a Stalingrad-esque game !) upon the last one, where a campaign turn is a single gaming session. Between campaign turns events happen and reinforcements are brought up. A game turn is a of variable length (generally 5-9 turns). There are 3 campaign turns per day (2 daylight, 1 nighttime). Not all turns will see action, as reinforcement points are used to purchase additional units. In general, night-time will be a general reinforement time, although Soviet counter-attacks will generally occur at this time as well.

The game kicks off with a scenario with a German Panzer Grendier Battalion with support coming up against elements of workers' militia around the area of the state farms to the top of the map (West in directional terms). Scattered amongst the defenders are the remnants of some units that were crushed in the crossing of the Don and fled to the city.

The 1st turn is where the Germans determine where their main point of attack is going to be. They don't have enough to advance on a broad front so must choose where they want to concentrate their forces.

The Left flank is somewhat open, with easier terrain, but jumping the rail line will be difficult without capturing the Grain Elevator first. The advantage is that isolating the city from this flank will cut down on reinforcement points the Soviets will otherwise put to good use.

A punch up the center comes up against the most city areas, which the Panzergrendiers (who will be withdrawn in a few campaign turns anyway to help cover the vast flanks further off-map) won't want to get into an attritional battle this will entail. As these units play an important part in helping keep the Germans from being cut off from Soviet counter-attacks offboard to the North and South (yet another scenario or two I'll "link" with this game), these forces must not suffer needless losses.

A thrust against the right flank encounters the stream and Hill 245, as well as the suburb of Spartakovka. The advantage is that getting across the rail lines into the factory complex is easier here, as is the ability to cut off reinforcement points (the road and the dock at Spartakovka).

All in all, the Germans have quite a task set before them. They'll have to make some tough choices that will have ramifications that will become apparent the further the game progresses.

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