Module:Death Ride Kursk: Totenkopf
|Publisher||Grognard Simulations, Inc.||Era||WWII|
|Players||2 to 2||Scale||Tactical|
|Contributors||Christopher Fasulo Sr. (Grognard Simulations, Inc.)|
The game features the Totenkopf SS Panzer Grenadier Division and some supporting IInd SS Panzer Corps units at mostly Platoon and some Company/Battery level and the Red Army (5th Guards Tank Army and 5th Guards Army) at Company/Battery level. The combat system utilizes combat enhancers that players must use correctly to have the best effect. Each hex is 330 meters. Turns are 2 hours long during the day and 4 hours at night. The rules are modeled around the seven battlefield operating systems which make them easily understood and easy to learn. This system features extensive use of obstacles (mines, wire, improved positions, and fortifications), a patrol rule, overwatch fire, air and artillery support, and reserve movement. These obstacles help channel the attack and force the Germans into kill sacks and forcing them to push through the heavy resistance to take ground. Overwatch is a type of fire that allows the player to move a short distance and then setup to fire suppressive fire at enemy units that might otherwise use opportunity fire. Reserve movement will allow a player to respond to enemy movement and move more units into a hex to strengthen it before an assault. Units are modeled to represent the 2 major types of weapons that most units have. Secondary (usually small arms) and a primary (main gun, machine guns, etc...). These weapons may fire at different targets if they want. They also effect targets differently. Suppression is also handled uniquely in this game. Units that are suppressed get a defense bonus since they take better advantage of the terrain in the hex, while at the same time they have their other factors reduced. Units are also modeled as needing transports and get the benefits of movement from them with the vulnerability that goes with it. The battle follows the divisions actions during the 5, and eventually 10 days of the battle. The game will also force players to account for Command and Control and Supply. In fact the Command and Control Enhancement included will allow for a detailed Task Organization of the Divisions and Corps at their most basic levels. Maintenance and repair are critical to both sides as this determines most of the replacements that arrive every morning. Troop replacements are generated by returning casualties to the battle. Lots of these casualties are minor in nature and both sides worked hard to get these wounded back to the front quickly. Air-Ground Attack can have a significant effect on the battle and both sides have a capability in the air to affect the battle. These divisions took a beating before being recalled to prepare to move to Western Europe due to the Allied landings in Sicily.
As so often happens, no plan survives meeting the enemy and must be adjusted. This game will be no different. Combined arms play prominently in gaining successful outcomes to engagements. This game will force the players to make big and small decisions on things such as avenues of approach, advancing through choke points, overtaking or bypassing strong points, and trying to find the operational freedom to reach Kursk and encircle the Soviets before they can launch their own counter-offensive.
Thanks to Chris Fasulo Sr. for having the ambition to create such an impressive game system and for allowing me the privilege of creating a vassal module for his game. Also thanks to Antonio Pinar for providing such a great model and inspiration with his work on the modules covering earlier games in the series. Finally thanks to all the kind individuals with previous experience with Vassal who provided guidance and suggestions that were extremely helpful to a first time Vassal module designer.
- Some Guy