Thursday 17 October 2013

First 1941 Test

First testing for Battlegroup Barbarossa has begun, with the first army lists getting a run out. I thought BG players might like a little insight into the early working of the development process. Bear in mind this is a very early stage.

Here is the table for the first small test game, which was 450 pts meeting engagement. I kept it simple, to allow the rules to just play rather than be overly influenced by the terrain. I didn’t  take any pics of the game itself, as it was very stop-start, re-set and tinkered with throughout, so not much of a narrative to it, but a useful exercise in discovering a few early issues.

Blue arrows are the German advance, mixed Pz IIIs, infantry and a single PaK38 deployed into the farm.
Red is Russian advance, each 5 x BT-7s with infantry support.

The first issue was that the Russian have far too many Orders to issue, and I want them to struggle here, (and thus rely more on Ura! and Stal! Stal!) due to the poor command and control they had in 1941, which was big factor in their defeats. The Russian never seemed to know what the Germans, or their own forces, were up to.

The second issue was that BT-7s are very, very quick, and the Germans struggled to get deployed as they were pinned into their deployment zone by on-rushing Russian tanks which were in close range from turn 2, and running a-mock. Their 45mm guns also really hurt Pz IIIs, (this is not Kursk, those Russian tanks are faster and much harder hitting (relatively) in ‘41). This will need to reflected in their pts costs as their stats, based on the real thing, won’t be changed. BTs just got more expensive, but I had already been crushing the cost of Russian tanks to better allow them their historical numerical advantage, so I have wriggle-room.

Three. Russian artillery, which I deliberately nerfed hard, is all but ineffective. If this is to the point where Russian players ignore it, then I’ve gone too far. The Russian artillery can’t be versatile (like the Germans), but it still has to be useful. Otherwise, Russian players will just take more tanks instead, rather than a combined arms force, which should be goal - a balanced force being the most effective rather than just more tanks.

Testing will continue, in search of the right ‘feel’ for 1941 battles, and I’ll try an give little updates as I go. Oh yeah, it was pretty solid Russian win, even loosing 6 BTs to hits or breakdowns out of 10. The Germans broke after loosing 2 PzIIIs out of 3, so they put up a hell of a fight, just too many Russians in the end.

Next on my agenda is the first Hungarian Rapid Brigade list.


  1. Hi! Sounds very good! I am Hungarian, I am working on a project to build up
    Hungarian Rapid Corps army in 20mm, for Rapid Fire and Bolt Action. Probably by the time You will publish your book, I will have large enough force to try Battlegroup Barbarossa as well. :D I am also a South London Warlord. :)
    Do you know, this book? TAC Publications: Hungary’s ”Fast Corps”, 1941, probably the best source in English about the Hungarians that time. Drop me an email, if you need any help, I am in Hungary at this moment, until April and have Hungarian books about the army that time. jbalogh900 at

  2. A very informative article this is what I am looking for.
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