Hello fellow Grognards. Roughly 6 months ago I launched an experiment where I would take people interested in military history and wargaming, but with little to no WiTE experience, and give them control of OKH in the 1941 Grand Campaign. I advertised here looking for an umpire, and the very gracious Eishen answered the call. This was the beginning of something that I found extremely enjoyable and has exceeded my expectations for success.
As we've recently completely the 10th turn, I've decided to share our particular "AAR" with you all.
Here's a bit of background information:
- I am very much a beginner at WiTE, and Eishen has taught me a lot of new concepts throughout this game. At the beginning I did not even know how to use air transfer mode! However I am a combat arms officer with staff experience IRL, so I do have a decent grasp of operations and the kinds of processes that would be necessary to make this a valuable experience.
- We are playing with peculiar rules, trying to remove the gaminess of the system as much as possible (though obviously compromises must be made). Eishen and I are not actually playing against each other, we often collaborate to figure out what Hitler, the Nazi political/military leadership and Stalin would do in certain circumstances. It's more appropriate to think of us as "co-game masters" than opponents.
- Each player plays a certain role. Each AG has a commander and a deputy. OKH has most of the important parts of a continental staff (G1, G2, G3, etc.) and a Luftwaffe liaison. Minors currently played are Finland and Rumania, but I eventually plan to add Hungary and Italy to make it more chaotic, when those countries get a bigger force. Perhaps eventually a SS commander.
- The players however do not control the tokens on the map. All moves are made by me for Germany and Eishen for the USSR. They must place themselves in the role of staff officers and army group commanders giving orders to their subordinate Army Commanders.
- We explore sometimes uncomfortable historical themes. I very sternly warned the players that Nazis and Wehraboos were not welcome, but we have explored the creation of the Minsk Ghetto and eventually the Hunger Plan, Generalplan Ost and Reichenau's Severity order will all feature as events players must wrangle with, as well as the infighting inherent to the Nazi regime.
- The turns are posted on Reddit with full operational orders for each grouping. In response to orders I make a situation report after I've run the turn, and then another once the Soviet player has moved.
Game rules/House Rules:
- Harsh blizzard
- Better CVs
- +1 Soviet Attack
- No automatic SU "drain" towards STAVKA
- No mass retreat to reserve of the VVS
- No disbanding air units (manually)
- No "evacuation towards the enemy" of factories
- No airdrops until Dec 41, needs to be within 6 hexes of a supplied land unit
- No amphib outside 41 USSR border
- All cities (within reason) will be at least minimally defended (ie: 1 combat unit)
- No mass retreat in the South
- Fortified lines in front of Moscow can be started once Smolensk is taken
- Leningrad must be held at all costs, same with the other major cities (Moscow, Rostov, Stalingrad). Kiev is subject to this, as long as it's not game ruining for the Soviet player.
- No mass bombing of German airfields.
- For Germans, we agreed not to do the Lvov pocket and not to abuse retreat manipulation.
Once that's out of the way, I'll post links to each of the turns in the post below. To understand how the game is run, it might be important to look at the supporting documents such as the game manual (a 1.1 version is in the works to portray the improvements we have made to the process).
The working OOB is maintained by the G1-G4 at OKH and is frequently in flux as reinforcements and reassignments happen.
The "Hitler Table" is a table for small random events that may impact the German team. The die is rolled once every turn. Bigger historical events can happen (you'll see in the AAR). Soviet pressure is handled behind the scenes between me and Eishen, which will become evident when you see how the game unfolds.
< Message edited by Nihilistkitten -- 4/9/2021 11:24:30 PM >