We play tested the latest version of my Panzerleiter rules for epic battles in World War II last night at the club, as I put on a refight of the Battle of Stalingrad using my collection of 2mm figures.
The films Stalingrad (dir. Joseph Vilsmaier, 1993), Enemy at the Gates (dir. Jean-Jacques Annaud, 2001), and the Antony Beevor book Stalingrad (1999) were my main inspirations for refighting this decisive five-month meatgrinder on the Eastern Front.
Because only three people showed up for the game (possibly owing to the World Cup match between England and USA), we played only the southern sector of the battle, with Doug on the Soviet side and Theo on the German (Phil observing the game).
The objectives were to take/hold the Grain Silo, Stalingrad main station, and the Ferry Port. The Soviets received reinforcements and could place a barricade in the city each turn. The Germans had air superiority as well as numerical advantage.
Theo advanced on the city, destroying Doug’s recce units, and making good use of German artillery. Both sides relied on their artillery to pummel the opposition, as well as on their aircraft. Doug garrisoned the city in depth, but Theo managed to line up concerted attacks and take the Grain Silo among other sectors by end of play – though not the other two main objectives.
My rules are simple and straightforward and seem to have been enjoyable to play. While 2mm is an acquired taste, it can be an effective and visually satisfying – as well as cheap and practical – scale in which to wargame. Beyond a few minor tweaks, I think I have now reached my objective of devising rules which are both playable and sufficiently comprehensive to refight large historical battles on the tabletop in a reasonable timeframe.