Europa Games and Military History

Category: Europa (Page 1 of 14)

Hungarian Order of Battle for Barbarossa (inofficial)

Note to reader: this Order of Battle accompanies a series of esssys by Jason Long about the Axis Allies during Barbarossa and is not official)

Initial Forces



Jul I 41

2x 4-3-8* mot Inf X                1, 2
1x 5-4-8* Cav X                      1
1x 3-4-8* Mtn X                     1
1x 1-2-8* Bdr X                       8
1x 1-8 Bicycle X                      1 Hdsg
1x 1-8 Art X                             Karpat
1x 0-1-8 Eng II                         Karpat
1x 1-8 mot light AA X AA=3  Karpat

Sep I 41

2x 1-5 Sec X                             121, 124
Replace: 1x 1-8 Bicycle X        1 Hdsg

Nov I 41

2x 1-5 Sec X                               105, 108
1x 0-1-8 mot lt AA II AA=1       MC

Nov II 41

Return all initial forces to Hungary

Dec I 41

1x 1-5 Sec X                                102

Replacement Rate:

No replacement points are received. Special replacements generated by the loss of any initial force units are retained in Hungary itself and are unavailable to the Axis player. Special replacements for the units of the occupation force, namely the security brigades and the AA battalion, are handled normally

Special Rules

Only the motorized infantry brigades, the cavalry brigade, and the bicycle brigade of the initial forces may move east of the Dneister or north of the 3C:02xx hexrow (exclusive). Other units may move freely in weather zones C and D.

  • The cavalry and motorized infantry brigades have ZOCs.
  • With the exception of the bicycle brigade, the initial forces are fragile and may not be replaced in the context of Total War.

Designers Notes:

I decided against treating the cavalry and motorized infantry brigades as divisions based on the treatment of the Poles in FtF. A Hungarian cavalry brigade is actually marginally larger than their Polish or Romanian counterparts, but was not reclassified as a division, unlike the latter. These units are larger than normal brigades, but smaller than most divisions and you can justifiably argue in support of either classification.

Stacking in Europa

In this article we wil take a look at just how the stacking rules have changed over time.

Drang Nach Osten/Unentschieden [1973]

The very first two games in the Europa series introduced the first version of stacking rules. These rules were significantly different from most other Wargames available at the time – revolutionary in fact. Remember that at the time, most games just used a system in which you could stack 1, 2 or 3 units in a hex – regardless of the size of those units. So a Corps could take up as much hex “space” as a Battalion. Obviously, this was a very simplistic approach and DNO/Unt used a significantly different set of rules.

First of all, we have to introduce the concept of Stacking Points [SP]. While these are used for some other purposes, we’ll just look at SP with respect to stacking.  In the main, you can think of SPs as largely equating to Regimental Equivalents [Res].

Each side has different maximum totals of SP which can stack in a hex, and for both sides these maximum totals change over time. I won’t be addressing stacking in the Arctic since it is based partially on values printed right on the maps for cities north of the A weather line, and otherwise is just one SP or one unit per hex for both sides, for the entire game.

For the Axis side, from Jun II 41 until Jun I 43, they can stack 10 Stacking Points per hex; from Jun II 43 until the end of the game, they can stack 11 Stacking Points per hex.

SP values for German [not Axis-Allied] units;

  • 0 SP Railway Artillery
  • 0.5 SP Battalions [totals for Battalions round DOWN, so 3x Battalions = 1 SP, etc.
  • 1 SP Kampfgruppen [what would later be termed Cadres], Headquarters, Brigades, Regiments
  • 2 SP Motorized XXs w/fewer than 10 combat factors, Mountain & Jaeger XXs
  • 3 SP All other XXs.

SP values for Axis-Allied units:

  • 0.5SP Battalions [see note above re: German battalions]
  • 1 SP Headquarters, Brigades, Regiments, Finnish Ski Patrols
  • 2 SP All XXs which are NOT Hungarian or Romanian Infantry XXs
  • 3 SP Hungarian & Romanian Infantry XXs

For the Soviets, they have four different maximum SP per hex, as well as exceptions based on on-map city size.

  • Jun II 41 – Sep II 41 6 SPs
  • Oct I 41 – Sep II 42 7 SPs
  • Oct I 42 – Jun II 43 8 SPs
  • Jul I 43 –  End 9 SPs

Note that the Soviet player can stack up to 10 SPs in any Full hex city and up to 8 SPs [9 after Jul I 43] in any Partial hex city or printed fortification.

SP values for Soviet units:

  • 0 SP Railway Artillery, Partisans
  • 0.5 SP Battalions [see note for German battalions] [I’m not sure that they HAD any battalions, but…]
  • 1 SP Headquarters, Brigades, Regiments
  • 2 SP All XXs OTHER THAN Artillery, Rocket & Antiaircraft XXs [So Rifle, Cavalry, etc]
  • 3 SP Tank XXXs, Artillery, Rocket & Antiaircraft XXs
  • 4 SP Mechanized XXXs [Sov may always stack 1x Mech XXX w/ 2x Tank Corps as the only 3 units in a hex, otherwise normal stacking limitations apply]

All in all a pretty comprehensive, but perhaps overly complicated system with too many sets of values and time-dependent special cases to be playable. The designers must have thought that this level of detail and complexity was more trouble than it was worth, since they abandoned this system with the very next game using standardized stacking rules in the series,  Case White. [We can skip over both Narvik (I) and Their Finest Hour (I) since both used game specific stacking rules, due to alterations in time scale for both, and for TFH (I) alterations in map scale as well.

Case White [1977]

Starting with Case White, the SP system was dropped and a much simpler stacking rule was implemented. This system differentiated units by whether or not they were Divisions, non-Divisional non-Artillery units or non-Divisional Artillery units – so only three categories to remember, rather than the many categories to remember in DNO/Unt.

Regular Stacking Up to 6 units, no more than 3 of which may be divisional units, plus 2 Artillery units.

Note that you could legally stack 3x XXs + 3x non-division units + 2x non-divisional Artillery units, regardless of the size of those non-divisional units and/or non-divisional Artillery units. So a battalion would count as one unit for stacking purposes. So 6x battalions + 2x Artillery battalions would be maximum stacking in a hex. Moreover, 3x battalions would count as 3x non-divisional units, even though battalions are at most only half of the size of your average Brigade/Regt.

Note also that Railway Artillery now have unit sizes [they didn’t in DNO/Unt] and count for stacking as a non-divisional Artillery unit.

Marita-Merkur [1979]

This system would be modified in Marita-Merkur with the addition of a special case to the rules with regards to stacking in Mountain hexes.  Also the phrasing of the stacking rule would be tweaked from what it had been in previous games, although this tweak was absent from subsequent games in the series.

Regular stacking Up to 3x XXs, up to 3x non-XXs plus up to 2x Art units.
Mountain stacking Up to 2x XXs, up to 2x non-XXs plus up to 1 Artillery unit.

A big change here was the change in phrasing in that you no longer can stack up to 6 units, no more than 3 of which may be XXs, but instead have in effect two stacking “slots” which you can fill up with the specific units listed.  So for example, if you don’t have any XXs in a hex, you would be limited to ONLY up to 3 non-divisional units plus up to 2x Artillery units, for regular stacking. So while in CW you could stack up to 6x non-divisional, non-Artillery units in a non-Mtn hex if you had no divisions present, in M-M you could only stack 3x non-divisional units in that hex if you had no divisions present. In this stacking system, one could consider a Divisions-Gruppe [DG} or Cadre to be a divisional unit OR a non-divisional unit, at player’s choice.

Thus, in CW a stack of 6x Brigades/Regt [ignoring Art units here] would be a legal stack while it would NOT be a legal stack in M-M. For a side with relatively few divisions, this change could have pretty significant consequences.

The wording of the stacking rules would change back to what they were in CW, when FoF was published in 1981, with the addition of rules for Mountain stacking as well. Thus;

Regular hexes Up to 6 units, no more than 3 of which may be divisional units, plus up to 2x Artillery units.
Mountain hexes Up to 4 units, no more than 2 of which may be divisional units, plus 1 Artillery unit.

Note for FoF and all subsequent games, a Cadre/DG is considered to be a non-divisional unit for stacking purposes – it may not be treated as a divisional unit as in M-M, but then there is no reason to do so under any other stacking system.

Fire in the East/Scorched Earth [1984]

This system, would remain standard Europa for TFH (II) and WD, until Fire in the East/Scorched Earth were published in 1984.  The big change here was that the game had to account for hexes in the Arctic, on or north of the A weather line. Note that mountain hexes in the Arctic use Arctic stacking and NOT Mtn stacking limits.

A new category of units was mentioned in FitE/SE which had been missing from the system since DNO/Unt, the Artillery division. These had to be accounted for re: the stacking rules since they couldn’t count the same as non-divisional Artillery units for stacking, although technically they were “Artillery units”. So the wording for the Regular stacking category had to be changed to account for Artillery divisions. No change was needed for Mtn and/or Arctic stacking since Artillery divisions could NOT be used in place of 1x Artillery units in either Mtn or Arctic hexes.

A new unit size was also introduced in FitE/SE, the Corps [XXX]. This is a real unit with Corps as its size and not the non-unit stacking aid, the Corps counter. Units with a unit size of XXX are treated for all game purposes as a division, so in effect there are no needed changes to the stacking rules to incorporate Corps sized units, other than noting that they stack like a division.

  • Regular Hexes Up to 6 units, no more than 3 of which may be divisions, plus 2 Artillery units or 1 Artillery division.
  • Mountain hexes Up to 4 units, no more than 2 of which may be divisions, plus 2 Artillery non- divisional units.
  • Arctic hexes Up to 2 units, no more than 1 of which may be a division, plus 1 Artillery non- divisional units.

Another change in FitE/SE was that for the first time, the number of units which could attack a particular hex were limited by the terrain of the hex they were attacking. So one was limited to Mtn stacking when attacking a Mtn hex, regardless of the hex that the attacking units occupied. So each hex from which attacking units were attacking units in a Mtn hex would be limited to Mtn stacking with regards to how many units could attack that Mtn hex from any adjacent hexes. For example if attacking units were attacking from one hex into an adjacent Mtn hex, then no more units than are allowed for Mountain stacking could participate from that hex.

The same applies to attacking into a hex in the Arctic, except that in that case the attacker is limited to the Arctic stacking limits, rather than the Mountain stacking limits.

Obviously, this made attacking into either Mtn or Arctic terrain more difficult even when attacking from non-Mtn and/or non-Arctic hexes, than it had been previously. This limitation on stacking for attacking units, based on the terrain occupied by the defender would remain as part of the rules for all subsequent games with such terrain.

Balkan Front [1990]

1990 saw the publication of Balkan Front [the Marita-Merkur re-issue] and more changes to the stacking rules. Now the wording had been changed to;

  • Regular hexes 3 units of any type & size + 3 non-divisional units + 2 Artillery units
  • Mountain hexes 2 units of any type & size + 2 non-divisional units + 1 Artillery unit

This change doesn’t so much change the actual stacking in a hex, vice FoF et al, rather the change clarifies the rule and makes it clearer in its intent. Note how the wording is similar to that present in M-M but also radically different in effect – You are not limited to only up to 3x Divisions, but rather to up to 3x units of ANY size & type. So as with FoF et al, you can stack up to 6x non-divisional units in a hex, rather than M-M’s limitation of only 3x non-divisional units, in cases when you have no Divisions present.

A Winter War [1992]

A Winter War had to account for Mountain stacking [referred to as “Reduced” stacking in game], Arctic stacking and the re-appearance of Artillery divisions.

  • Regular hexes 3 units of any type & size + 3 non-divisional units + 2 non-divisional Artillery units OR 1 Artillery division
  • Reduced stacking 2 units of any type & size + 2 non-divisional units + 1 non-divisional Artillery unit
  • Arctic hexes 1 unit of any type & size + 1 non-divisional unit + 1 non-divisional Artillery unit

For AWW, “Reduced stacking” applied both to Mountain hexes [as per normal] but it also applied to all Soviet stacks, unless in the Arctic, to show Soviet ineptitude from various causes, from the start of the game. As the game progressed, the Soviets would get a growing number of Army counters with which they could stack normally. Thus they gradually get more competent and better able to form regular stacks.

Note also that Artillery units now have to be specified as “non-divisional” or “divisional”, to account for the sole Soviet Artillery division, which doesn’t get to stack the same as what used to be called just an Artillery unit.

Second Front [1994]

Second Front, published in 1994, made a small but important tweak to the stacking rules. For the first time, the concept of Regimental Equivalents [REs] became important for stacking in the same way that SPs had been used for stacking in DNO/Unt. Note also that Artillery divisions return and have to be accounted for in the stacking rules. Thus;

  • Regular hexes Up to 3 units of any type & size + up to 3 REs of non-divisional units + up to 2 REs of Artillery units OR 1 Artillery division
  • Mountain hexesUp to 2 units of any type & size + up to 2 REs of non-divisional units + up to 1 RE of Artillery units

The main influence of this change in wording is that now Battalions, which are only ½ RE in size, count, in effect, as only half a unit when judging non-divisional unit stacking.  Whereas in BF, 3x Battalions would “fill up” your 3x non-divisional units “slot” for stacking, now 6 Battalions would equal 3 REs of non-divisional units.  This change made Battalion sized units much more efficient in play and easier to use. Note however that for the first “slot” stacking is still based upon “units”, rather than REs, so for that “slot” 1 Battalion would stack the same as 1 Division.

Thus, as a fairly ridiculous example, if you wanted to make a maximum stack and had NOTHING but battalions with which to do so, you could stack up to 3x Battalions + 3 REs of Battalions, i.e. 6 Battalions + 2 REs of Artillery units, or 4 Battalions of Artillery.  If you ever actually find a reason to do this in an actual game, please let me know!

The Introduction of Overstacking

Overstacking appears under the Advanced Rules section, rule 43.C.2 in Second Front. [Note that Advanced Rules are not Optional rules and as per JMA instructions, should be used by experienced players.] In an overstacked hex, a player may have up to normal stacking present in the hex, but may also have an unlimited number of units which are considered to be in the overstack.

An overstacked condition can be declared by a player regardless of whether or not normal stacking in a hex are violated. A player can create an overstack while advancing after combat, or while retreating after combat. [This replaces the normal requirement that retreating units continue to retreat until they would no longer be in violation of normal stacking; an overstack is formed involuntarily in this case.]

While units which are NOT in overstack while in the overstacked hex can operate normally, units which ARE in an overstacked condition in the overstacked hex suffer from a number of limitations. Units in an overstacked condition can do NOTHING other than trace supply and spend 2 MPs to leave the overstack. Thus they can not voluntarily participate in combat, i.e. they may not attack. When defending, they suffer the results of that combat but contribute no strength to the defense and are not counted for exchange losses. They do not contribute anything towards AEC/ATEC calculations when defending. Further they can not fire AA strength and may not perform any construction tasks. [note that as an exception to the rules, 0 movement and rail-only movement units may leave an overstack at no MP cost]

Overstacking is present, IMO, to solve one issue which while it comes up rarely, is still very important. This is the situation during Allied amphibious landings. To account for the large numbers of units which the Allies were historically able to deploy into their beachheads, some alteration to the normal stacking rules is absolutely necessary. While the utility of overstacking in normal circumstances is limited, the situation during and following amphibious invasions, like the historical D-Day for example, is very different and the need for the overstacking rule is self evident.

Games released after Second Front

With regards to published games, there have been no changes to the stacking rules since SF in 1994. So For Whom The Bell Tolls, War in the Desert, Storm over Scandinavia [non-Narvik scenarios] and Wavell’s War all use the same system as in SF.  For those who have learned the Europa system with any of these games, using this stacking system in older, pre-SF games keeps you from having to learn a new system and shouldn’t  cause any problems while playing.

Personally, I hate having to “unlearn” a newer rule and relearn an older rule just to play an older game, so I always use the most up to date rules where applicable. Stacking is certainly a rule where I would choose, unofficially, to use the SF rule regardless of game I’m playing. Officially, however, you are supposed to use the rules provided for each game, without “mixing & matching”.

In the draft rules for Barbarossa Unleashed, one seemingly small change to the stacking rules could have a big impact in certain situations.  For Regular stacking, the rule changes “3 REs of non-divisional units of any type” to   ‘3 REs of units of any type”.  That means that a 3 RE division could stack in what used to be the “non-divisional stacking slot”.  So you could legally stack 4 divisions + 2 REs of Artillery units [or 1 Artillery division] in a single hex, under normal circumstances.

I doubt if this change would have a big impact on most games but it does seem to me that it could help out the Soviet player early on in BU, what with them having a great many divisions, relatively fewer non-divisional units and of those non-divisional units, most are very weak.  So rather than stacking 3x divisions and 3x weak, 1 strength non-divisional units, it might well be a better trade off to stack 4 divisions in a hex.  As stronger divisions AND non-divisional units become more available to the Soviets, I imagine the utility of this rule will be reduced, but early on it could make a real difference.

It also might be useful later in the game when the Soviets have their stronger versions of Tank and Mech Corps, i.e. stacking 4 of these together might be better than what they can manage using non-divisional units, but that’s very speculative. More playtesting needed!

Printing Errors

Please note that some Europa game charts were printed with incorrect values for the “Units (any)” column intersecting with the “Regular hex type” row – some charts say that the value here should be “6”, when in fact it should be “3” instead. If you have any misprinted charts, please amend them to the correct values. A value of “3” here is correct and will insure that the chart is in accordance with the rules.

The Asturian Gambit

Editors Note:
This article was originally published in El Miliciano, nr. 5 (1996). It has been translated from Spanish by Wolf Broszies (with a little bit of google help)

The Fate of the Republic is decided in the North

Several games  demonstrated the crucial importance of the North Front for any war game concerned with the Spanish Civil War. In For WHom the Bell Tolls, the rules governing the political impact of the northern regions that remained loyal to the Republic vastly overstate their importance to the Loyalist cause. One point is the real potential of the Santander Army Corps as compared to the OOB in FQtBT.

For example, at the beginning of the Battle of Vizcaya on March 31st, 1937, the Basque Army was not yet even organized in Brigades, but employed about 40 maneuver batallions organized into several sectors of varied size, composition and capabilities. It took until the end of April for the need of higher echolons to finally be recognized. A total of 18 brigades were created and grouped into four dividions over the next months, with a fifth added on May 17th.

In total there were about 70 Basque battalions, although of very diverse structure and history. In FWBT however, the scenario of Mediated War starting April I 37 the Basque Army Corps deploys up to 6 divisions and 8 other brigades, as well as a regiment of light tanks, two of artillery, two of engineers and two of construction. This is opbviously a more powerful force than the historical one.

Jul I 36

For this reason the player on the Nationalist side decided to concentrate on the North Front, even at the cost of sacrificing greater achievements in other sectors. The turn of July II 36 began by placing the two brigades of requetés that enter reinforcement in Pamplona and Vitoria to support the attack on San Sebastián. Because of the Rise and Revolution rule [37.C], the first two first turns are special. All the units are supplied and do not have to check their isolation situation, but also on the turn of July II 36 the metropolitan units can only move one hex and can not attack, can not use rail movement, air units can not perform intercept, patrol or CAP missions, amphibious landings can not be made (although they can be planned for later turns), both fleets can not provide naval support and the Republican Fleet can not go to sea. Only African Army units can move up to half their movement capacity and can attack.

In this first turn, the national player initiated the airlift by moving the battalions of African Hunters 4th and 5th as well as the 3rd regiment of Regulares to Cádiz. In this city also landed the 2nd Tercio de la Legión and the Oriental artillery group. Units that attacked together Jerez de la Frontera to occupy this way, the aerodrome of this town. While, in Asturias, the two units of Oviedo occupy Avilés with its important port and the hexagon 1107 with what cuts the withdrawal to the units of Gijón. The republican subturno is fast. In the center, different columns depart from Madrid towards Toledo, Talavera and Somosierra. In Catalonia, the ideological purification of its cities prevents the large number of units present from marching on Aragon.

July II

On the turn of July II 36, restrictions remain for metropolitan units. While those of the African Army can move and attack freely, the remaining ones can only move half of their movement capacity, although they can attack. This turn begins with the placement of reinforcements. Between them arrive two important units of Italian submarines that are immediately placed in front of Cartagena in order to block the Republican fleet of cruisers anchored there.

The national player decides to put into practice his plan to occupy Gijón and thus leave, outside the war, all of Asturias and its bellicose militiamen. For this purpose, your Fleet escorts the transports that are going to land in Avilés the 2nd Tercio de la Legión and the Oriental artillery group. This fleet travels its last ten hexagons at night to hinder the interception by the republican fleet located in Santander. This one, in its attempt fails, reason why the two regiments disembark in Avilés without more setbacks. Once there, next to the two units of Oviedo, arrivals by rail and Leon, prepare to attack Gijón. The Asturian brigades pass the militia check so the attack reaches a 3: 1 without modifiers. A four in the dice means the withdrawal of the Asturians, their elimination to withdraw by Zone of enemy Control and the fall of Gijón. The importance of this fact is reflected in the fact that if it is not reconquered in the immediate death of the Republican Asturias, it will collapse and its troops will be definitively eliminated from the game. The strength of the national units that defend the two cities of the Principality, Oviedo and Gijón, makes their reconquest unlikely. This maneuver, the disembarkation of two of the best units of the Army of Africa in Avilés, baptized already as the ” Gambito Asturiano “, has a key importance. Even supposing that the republican player does everything possible to avoid it from the beginning of the game, the fall of Asturias is very likely. Let’s see why.

Aug I 36

In the turn of August I 36, only the republican fleet that starts the game in Santander has the possibility of intercepting the national fleet. The probabilities of doing so are 2/6, and in the event that it is achieved, a combat would start with an enemy force of the same potential as his (3) and, consequently, an uncertain outcome that will depend on chance. Assuming that the transported force disembarks without setbacks in the Asturian port, it will be found that the maximum republican forces capable of defending Gijón are three brigades, one regiment and the intrinsic defense of this city, with a total of 7 combat points without support, what in fact are 3’5 points. The national player, after placing the 32nd Rto in the previous turn. in hexagon 1107 you can bring 3 points by rail in addition to the unit that starts in Leon. In total, he will attack Gijón with 11 combat points, which gives him a 3: 1 ratio. With this table, Gijón is only saved if a combat comes out 1. Of course, if the republican units fail the militia check (what happens by taking a 1 on the die) its value will be 1.75 points, so the proportion will increase to 6: 1 and the fall of Gijón will be inevitable.

The republican player can move his aviation to Asturias at the cost of unprotecting other sectors. In total and through DAS missions, it is a battle point to add to the defense of Gijón, which reduces the proportion to 2: 1 (5: 1 in case the militia check fails), since the support of the National aircraft is insufficient to counteract Republican aviation. A 2: 1 attack is risky for the national because if a 1 comes out, the result is AR and would have to retire unprotecting Oviedo. It should be borne in mind that, if rule 45.B is used, the incremental Combat Table, by which the fractions of the proportion are rounded to the nearest column by means of a percentile roll, it is possible to reach 3: 1 again. although it is still as risky to not be able to cancel the attack if this new roll fails.

In turn, the national player has the possibility of counteracting the Republican air support by transferring the combat TF to Avilés without escorting the transports and having it in that hex during the last three steps of the naval movement preparing the artillery support. In this way, just adding 2 support points (3 in the case that the national aircraft could not support) would again reach the 3: 1 ratio. The transports would arrive without escort taking advantage of the rule of Protected Waters (those own coastal hexagons in which it can not be intercepted by the movement of reaction of the enemy fleet). A problem arises in this respect, and that is that according to the rules, the hexagons to be their own must either be occupied by their own chips or submitted to their Control Zone. This implies that those on the coast between El Ferrol and Avilés could not be considered as the national player’s own hexagons at the time of the naval movement since no unit of their own could pass through that area. In addition, for subsequent turns, the unit that is awarded the only mission to travel this coast to turn it into its own hexagons will have to move through hexagons “rough” which will greatly slow down its progress. If this function is already somewhat absurd, it is even more so when we know that there existed (and exists) a coastal road not reflected in the map, whose importance is reflected by the fundamental use made of it by the Galician columns that marched to the command of Colonel Martín Alonso to free Oviedo. In this regard, I suggest that some flexibility be applied and that the condition of own hexes or enemies be made according to the situation of the fronts. Especially when taking the exhaustive control of all the hexes of the map in a game like this one of the Civil War forces to mark each and every one of them. The only exception is the railway lines, which must be marked as they take possession of them because of the great importance they have during the first shifts.

In the Republican subturno, if you still have the city, this player will place the Asturian reinforcements and the brigades that activate the garrison in Gijón, which will raise up to 11 combat points for those defending Gijón. In addition, through the half point of replacement of artillery produced by the Gijon factory in this turn, and another half point landed as reinforcement (the national naval interdiction will prevent taking 4, 5 or 6 in the corresponding roll, although the Republican may try it until four times), the republican player will have been able to replace an artillery regiment 1-6 with which their units will have support. Apart from those that defend Gijón, other units may move to other hexagons.

The situation will have precipitated in Asturias and with prospects of stagnation before the enormous number of defending units. Even, the national player can try the attack 2: 1, because, they are a 50% chance to take Gijón and destroy the defending units. The risk lies in the 16% chance of AR leaving and having to withdraw. Even in this case, Oviedo would be defended by a maximum of 4’5 points (5 with DAS), which seems sufficient to stop the Republican counterattack.

Returning to the game described, the national player isolated San Sebastian with its Navarrese columns, reached the heights of Somosierra and in the south, taking advantage of the fact that the republican units of Malaga have advanced to the important hexagon 3723 -communication center-, units from Cordoba, Granada and Seville attacked those units. When carrying out the militia check, the Bda. Anarchist “RIM” obtained a result “Rout” with which the entire stack had to retreat, victims panic militants. The naval transports returned to Africa while continuing the airlift.

During the republican subturno, this player continues in Catalonia the ideological purification. The isolated troops of the area of ​​Malaga are concentrated in the city. There are three republican regiments along with three anarchist units, so it is very feasible a new rout at the time of the check of militias. The cities of Toledo and Teruel are occupied by militia columns after being abandoned by their defenders. In the north, Santander troops prepare to defend their region before the national troops that advance from Asturias. At the same time, the Basque troops entrenched themselves in Bilbao and San Sebastián.

August II 1936

In the turn August II 36, new reinforcements from Africa disembark in the port of Gijón and together with the units already present in Asturias attack the three Santander brigades that located in the 1205 hexagon defend the coast. A new failed militia check, causes its combat factors to be worth half. The attack is an 8: 1 and the result is an Eliminated Defender. The fall of Santander is only a matter of time. In the south, the advance on Malaga continues. For the attack on this city, the national player deploys the Italian Fleet, which he can use once a year. With its 18 naval support points, it reaches a 3: 1 ratio. In the air, the republican Nieuport 51 brings down the Breguet XIX in combat. And this time, all the units pass the militia check. Only a 1 in the dice will prevent Malaga from falling. Not so, a DR means that national troops enter Malaga while in their withdrawal, the six Republican units are eliminated by doing so through enemy Zones of Control.

This last action has ended by demoralizing the Republican player. With an army still dispersed, with all the troops of Catalonia occupied in the pacification of this region, with a North Front whose end is a matter of few turns and without real forces with which to counterattack in Andalusia, the republican player decides to capitulate. The fall of Asturias, and consequently that of the entire Republican North, greatly imbalances the game, and as has been shown, this is difficult to avoid.


Revised OB for the Basqe Forces in FWtBT

Editors Note:
This corrected OB is the result of historical research by its Author, Carlos Perez, as well as an imbalance in FWtBT as published, wehre the nothern goubernitos are vulnerable to the “Asturian Gambit”, in which the Insurgent Player, guided by the hindsight knowledge that the Loyalist Forces have limited mobility and capabilities in the first turns of the game, tries to knock out the northern goubernitos before they finish mobilisation. In the confused and chaotic first weeks of the Insurgency such a strategy would have bordered on the lunatic, since all sides were squarely concentrated on taking or holding Madrid as the center of political power. While this making sense in terms of a struggle both players know will most likely take years to resolve, and legal according to the rules, it is nevertheless a strategy not available to the historical actors. Should these OB variations not resolve the issue, a Grest War “Plan XVII”-rule should be considered.
This article appeared in the bulletin
El Miliciano , nr. 5 (1996)


Regular reinforcements


Bilbao (23A: 1701) or San Sebastián (33: 1932):
2x 1-2-4 Inf X 1, 2 (Bas)

AUG I 36

Bilbao (23A: 1701) or San Sebastián (33: 1932):
1x 0-1-4 Cons X 1 (Bas)
1x 1-pt Task Force LtTF-1 (Bas)

Garrison of Euskadi, available:
2x 1-4 Inf X 3, 4 (Bas)
1x 0-1-4 Cons X 2 (Bas)

Join the General Section of Reem installments:
1x 0-1-6 Mortar III Ortiz (Bas)

SEP I 36

Garrison of Euskadi, activate:
2x 1-4 Inf X 3, 4 (Bas)

Garrison of Euskadi, available:
4x 1-2-4 Inf X 5, 6, 7, 8 (Bas)

OCT I 36

Bilbao (23A: 1701) or San Sebastián (33: 1932):
1x 1-6 Eng III 1 (Bas)

Garrison of Euskadi, activate:
2x 1-2-4 Inf X 5, 6 (Bas)
1x 0-1-4 Cons X 2 (Bas)

Garrison of Euskadi, available:
3x 1-2-4 Inf X 9, 10, 11 (Bas)
1x 1-4 Inf X 12 (Bas)

Join the General Replacement Section:
1x 1-8 Tank II N (Bas)
1x 1-6 Art III 14 (Bas)

NOV I 36

Bilbao (23A: 1701) or San Sebastián (33: 1932):
1x 1-6 Eng III 2 (Bas)

Garrison of Euskadi, activate:
2x 1-2-4 Inf X 7, 8 (Bas)

Garrison of Euskadi, available:
3x 2-4 Inf X 13, 14, 15 (Bas)

DEC I 36

Garrison of Euskadi, activate:
2x 1-2-4 Inf X 9, 10 (Bas)

Garrison of Euskadi, available:
1x 1-4 Inf X 16 (Bas)

Garrison of Euskadi, form:
2x 3-4-4 * Inf XX 3, 4 (Bas)
2x 2-3-4 * Inf XX 1, 2 (Bas)

Join the General Replacement Section:
1x 1-6 Art III 17 (Bas)

JAN I 37

Bilbao (23A: 1701):
1x 1-6 lt Tank III CAO (Bas)

Garrison of Euskadi, activate:
1x 2-4 Inf X 13 (Bas)
1x 1-2-4 Inf X 11 (Bas)
1x 1-4 Inf X 12 (Bas)

Garrison of Euskadi, form:
1x 2-3-4 * Inf XX 5 (Bas)

FEB I 37

Garrison of Euskadi, activate:
2x 2-4 Inf X 14, 15 (Bas)
1x 1-4 Inf X 16 (Bas)

MAR I 37

Garrison of Euskadi, activate:
2x 3-4-4 * Inf XX 3, 4 (Bas)
2x 2-3-4 * Inf XX 1, 2 (Bas)

Garrison of Euskadi, available:
1x 2-4º Inf XX 6 (Bas)

APR I 37

Bilbao (23A: 1701) or San Sebastián (33: 1932)
1x 1-8 Pole III Ert (Bas)

MAY I 37

Garrison of Euskadi, activate:
1x 2-3-4 * Inf XX 5 (Bas)

JUN I 37

Garrison of Euskadi, activate:
1x 2-3-4 * Inf XX 6 (Bas)


Active Army

Army of the North

Anywhere in Euskadi:
9x 1-2-4 Inf X 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (Bas)

4x 1-4 Inf X 5, 6, 7, 8 (Bas)
1x 1-8 Police III Ert (Bas)


Regular reinforcements


Gijón (23A: 1006) or Oviedo (23A: 1007):
2x 1-2-4 Inf X 1, 2 (Ast)
1x 1-4 Inf X 3 (Ast)

AUG I 36

Gijón (23A: 1006) or Oviedo (23A: 1007):
1x 1-2-4 Inf X Di (Ast)
1x 0-1-4 Cons X 1 (Ast)

Garrison of Asturias, available:
8x 1-4 Inf X 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (Ast)

Join the General Replacement Section:
1x 1-6 Art III AD (Ast)

SEP I 36

Garrison of Asturias, activate:
4x 1-4 Inf X 4, 5, 6, 7 (Ast)

Garrison of Asturias, available:
1x 1-6 Eng X 1 (Ast)

OCT I 36

Garrison of Asturias, activate:
4x 1-4 Inf X 8, 9, 10, 11 (Ast)

Garrison of Asturias, available:
1x 1-4 Inf X 12 (Ast)
1x 0-1-4 Cons X 2 (Ast)

NOV I 36

Garrison of Asturias, activate:
1x 1-6 Eng III 1 (Ast)

Garrison of Asturias, available:
2x 1-2-4 Inf X 13, 14 (Ast)
1x 1-6 Inf X 1 Exp (Ast)
1x 1-6 Eng III 2 (Ast)

Join the General Replacement Section:
1x 1-6 Art III 16 (Ast)

DEC I 36

Garrison of Asturias, activate:
1x 1-4 Inf X 12 (Ast)

Garrison of Asturias, form:
1x 3-4-4 * Inf XX 3 (Ast)
3x 2-3-4 * Inf XX 1, 2, 4 (Ast)

JAN I 37

Garrison of Asturias, activate:
1x 3-4-4 * Inf XX 3 (Ast)
3x 2-3-4 * Inf XX 1, 2, 4 (Ast)
2x 1-2-4 Inf X 13, 14 (Ast)
1x 1-6 Eng III 2 (Ast)
1x 0-1-4 Cons X 2 (Ast)

Garrison of Asturias, available:
1x 3-4 º Inf XX 5 (Ast)
1x 1-6 Inf X 2 Exp (Ast)

FEB I 37

Garrison of Asturias, activate:
1x 3-4-4 * Inf XX 5 (Ast)

Garrison of Asturias, available:
2x 2-4º Inf XX 6, 7 (Ast)
2x 1-6 Inf X 3 Exp, 4 Exp (Ast)

MAR I 37

Garrison of Asturias, activate:
2x 2-3 4 * Inf XX 6, 7 (Ast)

APR I 37

Garrison of Asturias, activate:
4x 1-6 Inf X 1 Exp, 2 Exp, 3 Exp, 4 Exp (Ast)

Collapse of Fascism: Alternate rules for Italian Surrender in Second Front

In the RAW rules, a crafty Axis player can not only delay any Italian surrender check for an extended length of time, the Axis player can also control when that check is made to a much greater degree than would seem appropriate given the historical situation and record. This Fascist Collapse rule attempts to address both of these concerns.

Basically, the rule assumes that Allied ownership of Sicily is enough to trigger the sequence of events which lead to the overthrow of the Fascist regime in Italy. Once the Allies control Sicily [in game terms, once they own all ports and cities on Sicily and there are no Axis units there in regular supply] the Allied player may check for the collapse of Fascism in Italy at the END of any Allied player turn in which Sicily is controlled by the Allies.

At the end of each Allied player turn in which Sicily is Allied controlled the Allied player rolls a die, modifies it as appropriate and if the die roll is six [6] or greater, then Fascism has collapsed in Italy. The effect of this Fascist collapse is that the Capital of Italy is treated as having been captured by the Allied player – note that this is a Surrender condition and is treated, for the purposes of this rule [only] exactly as if the Allies had captured the Italian capital. Note that since Allied Control of Sicily is also a surrender condition [and must have occurred for this special house rule to have been implemented], if the Allies control Sicily AND have caused the collapse of Fascism in Italy then a surrender check will be made during the next Axis initial phase.

Note that this house rule ONLY affects Rule 38.B.2 and is not considered for purposes of Rules 37.G or 38.B.1. The effects of a capital being captured by the enemy player, such as morale, do not apply due to the collapse of Fascism.

There are two possible modifiers to the die roll for the collapse of Fascism in Italy:

each turn following the first turn that Fascism could collapse in Italy, a cumulative +1 DRM is applied to the die roll. So during Fascist Collapse 1 [i.e. the player first turn in which the Allies control Sicily] will have no DRM. During Fascist Collapse Turn 2, a +1 DRM would be applied, during Fascist Collapse Turn 3; a +2 DRM would be applied, and so on.
during any Allied player turn in which the Allies have more than 3 REs of units in regular supply in Mainland Italy, a +1 DRM is applied to the Collapse of Fascism die roll.

Example of play: The Allies control Sicily by the end of their Aug II player turn but have no units in regular supply in mainland Italy. This allows the Allies to check for the Collapse of Fascism at the end of their Aug II player turn. This is Fascist Collapse Turn 1. Since there are no Allied units in regular supply in mainland Italy, no DRM’s apply to this die roll and Fascism in Italy would collapse on a die roll of six [6]. The Allied player rolls a 3 and Fascism in Italy does not collapse. Assuming that the Allies still control Sicily and still have 3 or fewer REs of units in regular supply in mainland Italy, Sep I will be Fascist Collapse Turn 2, and a +1 DRM will be applied to the Allied player’s die roll at the end of their Sep I player turn. Thus Fascism in Italy will collapse on a die roll of five [5] or six [6] due to this turn’s automatic DRM of +1. The Allies roll a one [1] and Fascist Collapse in Italy does not occur. Still assuming Allied control of Sicily and insufficient Allied units in supply in mainland Italy, Oct I will be Fascist Collapse 3 [and there will be a +2 DRM to the Fascist Collapse die roll, Oct II would be Fascist Collapse 4 [with a +3 DRM] and so on.

In this example note that Fascism in Italy would collapse automatically during the Axis Nov II initial phase, since there would be a +5 DRM – even a die roll of one [1], in this case, would be modified to a six [6] due to the automatic +5 DRM. The historical situation would be that the Allies control Sicily by the end of their Aug II player turn. Thus Aug II is Fascist Collapse Turn 1 and the Allies are lucky enough to roll a six [6] and Fascism Collapses in Italy. The Axis would be forced to check for Italian surrender during their Sep I initial phase, since the Allies have fulfilled two surrender conditions, namely control of Sicily and having forced the collapse of Fascism in Italy. The Allied player rolls the die to check for Italian Surrender [as per Rule 38.B.2], rolls a three [3] and Italy surrenders.

The intent of the rule is to add another random factor into the procedure for modeling Italian Surrender. The Axis player should not be allowed to control when Italian surrender occurs [as he can now, to a large degree] and further, he should not know precisely when a surrender check will have to be made. The Allied player is rewarded for attempting to capture Sicily [as was historical] but he is also not overly penalized for not taking Sardinia and Corsica. As the RAW stands now, the Axis player can easily protect the Italian Army enough such that they will not suffer 50 REs of losses [a surrender condition] until after the Allies take Sardinia and Corsica – this pretty much insures that the first surrender check will be triggered not by Allied control of Sicily and 50 REs of Italian losses [as was historic] but rather will be delayed until the Allies control Sicily AND Sardinia & Corsica.

This sequence of events serves to severely distort the game as it stands now – the Allied player, knowing that he will not be able to inflict 50 REs of losses on the Italians in any sort of reasonable amount of time, is forced to invade and control both Sardinia and Corsica before any surrender check can be made. Corsica, in particular, can be a very hard nut to crack due to the broken terrain there, but the Allies have no real alternative other than conducting a campaign there. Historically, neither Corsica or Sardinia were taken before Italian surrender so it seems to me that we have to provide some mechanism for a possible Italian surrender that does not depend so completely upon the capture by the Allies of Corsica/Sardinia.

The house rule also makes a wholesale Sicilian Runaway defense less attractive to the Axis, since the loss of Sicily will not only be a surrender condition [as it is under RAW] but will also lead, ultimately, to the collapse of Fascism in Italy and thus another surrender condition. Thus abandoning Sicily without a fight is not quite the “no brainier” tactic that it is now.

The overall effect of the rule will be, I hope; that Corsica and Sardinia will no longer be the main focus once Sicily is Allied Control, abandoning Sicily will be less attractive as an Axis option, Italian Surrender will be somewhat more randomized and that the current situation where the Axis player can, in effect, control when Italian surrender occurs will be altered in the Allied player’s favor. Italy had historically suffered huge manpower and territorial losses by the time frame of the game and were certainly well on the road to collapse, if not teetering on the edge of surrender by Summer ’43. Mussolini was, after all, overthrown before the end of July and Fascism was on its last legs at this time. The rule assumes that Mussolini is deposed pretty much as happened historically[which happened due to the Allies successfully LANDING on Sicily, not controlling it…] and that Fascism does not long survive his fall.

The Grenadier 35

The Grenadier # 35 - Cover

The Grenadier # 35 – Cover

published February 1990
Pages: 60
Dimensions: 8.5x11x.2″


  • Editorial: Generally Speaking by Jeffry Tibbetts
  • Advanced Squad Leader: Part Two Game Mechanics – review by James M. Collier
  • Back to Basics: A dissenter’s thoughts on Advanced Squad Leader by John T. O’Toole
  • Dragen Slayer: Balloon Buster review and a Variant by Eric F. Lawson
  • Competition and Confrontation: Europe and the Middle East – a review of GDW’s The Third World War Series by James C. Gordon
  • Pass in Review: books of interest to the military hobbyist
  • By Chance… or By Design: What’s Wrong with Game Reviews? by Jon Southard
  • CRT [computer wargame review column] by Bill Nichols
    • Dreadnoughts by The Avalon Hill Game Company
    • Napoleon at Waterloo by Krentek
  • Europa Notes: RIP? by Jeffry Tibbetts
  • Short Arms – Reviews in Brief
    • Tokyo Express by Victory Games
    • 13: The Colonies in Revolt by Dragon Publishing in Strategy & Tactics 104
    • Clash of Empires – Battles in the Bohemian Mountains by Total Fighting Power Games
    • Monty’s D-Day by Dragon Publishing in Strategy & Tactics 102
    • Against the Reich by West End Games
    • Raid on St Nazaire by The Avalon HiIl Game Company
    • Malaya and Burma by Hobby Japan Company
    • Fireteam: Modern Squad Level Command by West End Games
    • Soldiers by West End Games
    • St Lo by West End Games
    • 7th Fleet by Victory Games, Inc
    • 2nd Fleet by Victory Games, Inc

The Grenadier 34

The Grenadier # 34 - Cover

The Grenadier # 34 – Cover

Published October 1988
Pages: 60
Dimensions: 8.5x11x.25″


  • Editorial: Generally Speaking by Jeffry Tibbetts
  • Advanced Squad Leader: Part One The Phenomenon – review by James M. Collier
  • Watchdogs of the Empire: His Majesty’s African Troops in WW II – historical article by John Gee
  • The Cabinet War Rooms – Britain’s Newest Tourist Mecca by Alvin T. Guthertz
  • Central America: A Game Review and Commentary by John D. Burtt and Joseph Miranda
  • CRT [computer wargame review column] by Bill Nichols
    • Battalion Commander by SSI
    • Kampfgruppe Scenario Disk I by SSI
    • War in the South Pacific by SSI
    • Gunship by Microprose
  • Europa Notes: Total War in Baltimore by Andy Nunez
  • 9:00 by Jack Radey
  • Pass in Review: books of interest to the military hobbyist
  • A Company on Parade: Changes at DTI, 3W, West End and GAMA by Wallace Poulter and Jeffry Tibbetts
  • Short Arms – Reviews in Brief
    • Drive on Frankfurt by Pacific Rim Publishing
    • Knights of Justice by 3-W in The Wargamer 50
    • Hastings 1066 by Dragon Publishing in Strategy & Tactics 110
    • End of the Iron Dream by 3-W in The Wargamer 42
    • Mission: Grenada by Close Simulations
    • Anvil-Dragoon by 3-W in The Wargamer 60
    • Line of Battle: Tactical Capital Ship Combat 1914-1924 by Simulations Canada
    • Battleship: Tactical Capital Ship Combat 1925-1945 by Simulations Canada
    • France 1944 by Victory Games
    • Clash of Empires by 3-W in The Wargamer 58
    • Fallen Eagle: the Battle of Khe Sahn by 3-W in The Wargamer 62

[Previous] [Grenadi

The Grenadier 33

The Grenadier # 33 - Cover

The Grenadier # 33 – Cover

Published March 1988
Pages: 60
Dimensions: 8.5x11x.2″


  • Editorial: Generally Speaking by Jeffry Tibbetts
  • Assault: The System – review by James T. Naughton
  • Soviet Offensive Doctrine – analysis by James T. Naughton
  • Origins ’87: Fire in the Streets (of Baltimore) by Terry Alan Baney
  • Terrible Swift Sword: A System in Evolution by David S. Bieksza
  • A Wargamer’s Guide to Civil War Battlefields by David S. Bieksza
  • CRT [computer wargame review column] by Bill Nichols
    • Operation Overlord by Simulations Canada
    • Kursk Campaign by Simulations Canada
  • 9:00 by Jack Radey
  • Europa Notes: Operation Exporter – the invasion of Vichy Syria for Europa by Harold Andrews
  • Pass in Review: books of interest to the military hobbyist
  • Short Arms – Reviews in Brief
    • Bloody Keren by 3-W in The Wargamer 59
    • Aegean Strike by Victory Games
    • Duel in the Desert by 3-W in The Wargamer 51
    • Leopard II by Tsukada Hobby Company
    • The African Campaign (2nd Edition) by Jedko Games
    • Napoleon and the Archduke Charles by 3-W in The Wargamer 49
    • Okinawa by 3-W in The Wargamer 55
    • Knights of the Air by The Avalon Hill Game Company
    • Panzer Command by Victory Games
    • Air and Armor by West End Games

The Grenadier 32

The Grenadier # 32 - Cover

The Grenadier # 32 – Cover

Publish Date: 1987
Pages: 60
Dimensions: 8.5x11x.2″


  • Editorial: Generally Speaking by Jeffry Tibbetts
  • Yonder: The Wild Blue – a discussion of aerial wargames by John Prados
  • Watchdogs of the Empire: The British Army’s Participation in World War Two by John Gee
  • Game Designers Census by Bill Stone
  • Figures Don’t Lie: World War Two Casualty Comparisons by Suzanne Sobel
  • 9:00 by Jack Radey
  • By Chance …or By Design: By Design or by Development by Jonathan Southard
  • Europa Notes: Optional Rules for Fire in the East by Paul X. F. Dunnigan
  • CRT [computer wargame review column] by Bill Nichols
    • Playability versus Reality: Warship by SSI
  • Short Arms – Reviews in Brief
    • Rommel’s War by Quarterdeck Games
    • Hellfire Pass by 3-W in The Wargamer 39
    • O’Connor’s Offensive by 3-W in The Wargamer 41
    • Norseman by Simulations Canada
    • McArthur: The Road to Bataan by 3-W in The Wargamer 44
    • Remember the Maine! The Spanish-American War, 1898 by Dragon Publishing in Strategy & Tactics Magazine 108
    • Dynamo: Dunkirk 1940 by 3-W in The Wargamer 53
    • Terrible Swift Sword – Battle of Gettysburg 2nd Edition by SPI [TSR]
    • Air Superiority by Game Designers Workshop

The Grenadier 31

The Grenadier # 31 - Cover

The Grenadier # 31 – Cover

Published February 1987
60 pages
Dimensions: 8.5x11x.2″


  • Editorial: Generally Speaking by Jeffry Tibbetts
  • Solitaire Gaming: The Closet Erupts – overview by Terry Baney
  • Ambush! review by John Jorgensen
  • RAF: So Few and So Much – review by James C. Gordon
  • Stoking Your Fire in the East Advanced Variants by Charles Sharp
  • Russia x 3 – a discussion of Stalingrad, Russian Campaign, and Russian Front by Andy Nunez
  • By Chance …or By Design: The Problems of Solitaire by Jonathan Southard
  • Europa Notes by John M. Astell
  • 9:00 by Jack Radey
  • CRT [computer wargame review column] by Bill Nichols
    • Patton vs Rommel by Electronic Arts
    • Carriers at War by SSG
    • Field of Fire by SSI
  • Pass in Review – books of interest to the military hobbyist
  • Short Arms – Reviews in Brief
    • Bitter End by Hobby Japan Company
    • Khyber Rifles by 3-W in The Wargamer 40
    • The Great Invasion: The Gettysburg Campaign June 24 – July 3, 1863 by Clash of Arms Games
    • Ruweisat Ridge: The First Battle of El Alamein by Dragon Publishing in Strategy & Tactics Magazine 101
    • Fight on the Beaches by 3-W in The Wargamer 34
    • Cromwell’s Victory by Dragon Publishing in Strategy & Tactics Magazine 105
    • War to End Wars by 3-W
    • Paratrooper, The Normandy Airborne Invasion, June 6-8, 1944 for Advanced Squad Leader by The Avalon Hill Game Company
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