Barbarossa Mini-campaign: Battle No.1 : Control the river

Finally – and slightly over a week later than expected – I began fighting the Barbarossa Mini-campaign I planned to fight to celebrate my sixty fifth birthday.

The organisation of the campaign was ‘stolen’ from the NUMBERS, WARGAMES AND ARSING ABOUT blog that is written by Old Trousers, and used a number of scenarios from Neil Thomas’s ONE-HOUR WARGAMES. All the battles were fought on Hexon II terrain set up on my new wargaming board, and the rules were a concoction of my own that use the combat system from Richard Borg‘s MEMOIR ’44 rules and my playing card-driven unit activation system.

Control the riverThis battle used Scenario 3 from Neil Thomas’s ONE-HOUR WARGAMES. Both sides had six units available to take part in the battle.

The invading Germans had:

  • Four Infantry Units (= 16 Strength Points)
  • One Artillery Unit (= 2 Strength Points)
  • One Machine Gun Unit (= 4 Strength Points)

Note: The German will become exhausted when they have lost 11 Strength Points.

The defending Russians had:

  • Three Infantry Units (= 12 Strength Points)
  • One Artillery Unit (= 2 Strength Points)
  • One Anti-tank Gun Unit (= 2 Strength Points)
  • One Machine Gun Unit (= 4 Strength Points)

Note: The Russians will become exhausted when they have lost 10 Strength Points.

The terrain looked like this:

The Germans were advancing from the side of the wargaming board nearest the camera and the Russians entered the battlefield from the edge furthest away.

The battle began with both sides sending troops forward to seize the bridges.

Supporting troops were then brought forward …

… and fighting broke out for control of one of the bridges.

One Russian Infantry Unit raced across the bridge, forcing one of the German Infantry Units to fall back …

… but at the cost of 75% casualties!

The Germans fought back with considerable ferocity, destroying the Russian Infantry Unit and forcing the Russian Machine Gun Unit to fall back.

Luck seemed to favour the Germans, who were able to bring their fire to bear on the foremost Russian Units, destroying a further Infantry Unit and forcing the Russian Machine Gun Unit to withdraw.

The Russians fought back …

… but to little avail, and the tide of battle seemed to be moving inexorably against them.

The fighting continued for some time, but eventually the Russians became exhausted and withdrew …

… leaving the Germans in control of the river!

This was a really fun little battle that took longer to write up that it did to fight. The size of the board and the number of units per side produced a fast but balanced game, and throughly vindicated my decision to follow the example set by ‘Norm‘ of BATTLEFIELDS & WARRIORS blog and to convert the whiteboard into a wargaming board for use with my Hexon II terrain.

Roll on the next battle in this mini-campaign!


12 Comments on “Barbarossa Mini-campaign: Battle No.1 : Control the river”

  1. Martin says:

    Hi Bob,

    “Stolen” is such a harsh word. Let's say “I borrowed the idea with no intention of returning it.” instead!)
    The battlefield and troops looked good, and more importantly, you had fun. I'm looking forward to the next chapter of the campaign.


    P.S. Good to see that your severe case of the galloping epizootics is over as well.

  2. Sounds like this was just what the docter ordered.

    I've always though that recognizing and acknowledging someone else's good idea was as admirable as having one.

  3. Martin,

    I like to give credit where it is due … and I did copy the idea wholesale.

    The whole battle was great fun, and it gave me the opportunity to use some figures that had not been out of their storage for some time. With luck the next battle should take place later this week.

    All the best,


    PS. My wife and I are still suffering from the virus we have had for over a week, but we are both slowly getting better.

  4. Ross Mac,

    Starting this mini-campaign certainly raised my spirits … and I am already looking forward to the next battle.

    An idea one uses is always worth acknowledging and crediting, especially when it is such a good one.

    All the best,


  5. Very nice, nice to see the hex layout as well

  6. Pete. says:

    Great report Bob- just goes to show that masses of space and toys aren't needed to get make a decent game.

    Roll on game 2.



  7. Loki Greathall,

    I am very pleased with the way the Hexon II terrain looks on my new wargaming board.

    All the best,


  8. Pete,

    I was pleased with the way in which the whole thing seemed to come together … and you are quite right; you don't need a huge table and lots of figures to have a fun and enjoyable wargame.

    I have already set up the terrain for the next battle, and it should take place at some time over the next few days.

    All the best,


  9. Pete. says:

    That's another advantage Bob, a small table like that is small and unobstructive enough to be left out- unlike my 6 by 4 foot skirmish set up.

    Looks like small is beautiful in this case.



  10. The OHW scenarios are designed for a square board. Was there a particular reason you opted to play down the axis of a rectangular one (with an off-centre river as well :))?

  11. Pete,

    This battle fitted on one half of the unextended (3' x 4') table in my toy/wargames room, and it could have been moved very easily if the need has arisen.

    Small is certainly convenient.

    All the best,


  12. Kaptain Kobold,

    The answer is very simple … my new wargaming board – which I wanted to try out – holds a 6 x 8 grid of Hexon II hexes. I therefore adapted the scenario accordingly so that I could fight it along the long axis of the board. I don't think that the change affected the outcome of the battle.

    All the best,


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