Thursday, 22 December 2016

BKC II - Down By The Sea

Scenario 3 of the series, Fighting the Great Patriotic War one battle at a time, written by Andrew Rolph and recently published by Miniature Wargames with Battlegames.

Rules used are Blitzkrieg Commander II by Specialist Military Publishing.
Notes on BKC II Optional Rules and Scenario Rules used are at the end of this Post.

Most figures and models are Pendraken.

I should say straight away this didn’t work out very well for the Soviets. I tried a few options for the Soviet attacks but they were very fragmented and all crossing open ground against dug-in Germans. There was a lot of artillery which was fine at the beginning when the Soviets were bombarding the German positions, but very messy when the German FAOs were able to bring their artillery to bear on the Russians in the open.
So, with that in mind, I’ll keep this fairly short.

It’s early in 1942 and the Soviets are trying a counter-offensive on the Crimean coastline

This scenario features an assortment of Soviet forces trying to combine arms in an attack against a mixed German Battlegroup defending a coastal position.

The initial layout.
The table is just 4ft square including the coastal area.

The Soviets are attacking from the east (this end), and the south (the coast) and … oh yes … and they have a paratroop drop.

Victory Points are awarded for each town sector or airfield installation held – five in total. So really the Russians have to take the town to stand any chance of winning.

Details are in the downloads mentioned in my previous Post - Blitzkrieg Commander II revival.

1/10th Infantry Battalion
10th Regimental HQ
3 x PzIII of 1/17th Pz btn
2 x Coastal Defence Teams
Small Airfield defence group.
Ad Hoc Battalion forms in the town
3 x 105mm off-table artillery with 4 turns of ammo each – FAOs attached to various units.

50th Independent Tank Battalion
1/11th Cavalry Battalion (dismounted in this game)
1/29th Paras (landing from turn 3)
1/62nd Naval Rifle Battalion in two waves
4 x 152mm off-table Artillery with five turns of fire each.
Naval Support with five turns of fire

I deployed the Germans defending the sectors their names suggests with the 1/10th Infantry and PzIIIs defending the front line.

The Soviets have various forces turning up in various places.
There are the land based forces approaching from the east trying to break through the wire and anti-tank ditch. A Naval Rifle Battalion is making an amphibious landing, and there Paras dropping behind German defences.

The Game
In this game I made the Soviet artillery plan after deploying the Germans to give them the best chance I could. The Naval bombardment landed on the village and the artillery along the German defensive positions.

The Soviet bombardment began with no Soviet forces coming on in the first turn. Casualties amongst the dug-in Germans were low.

Turn 2 and the only Soviets to arrive were the first wave of the Naval Rife Battalion who make an amphibious landing at a deep flank in the south west to avoid the worst of the German defensive fire. Even so, they got a frosty reception from German artillery and one of the Coastal Defence Teams and were wiped out before the land based Soviet forces arrived in the east.

In fact it wasn’t till turn 5 before the land based Russian forces arrived in the east, by which time the second wave of the amphibious landing had arrived and the Soviet Paratroopers had landed behind the far Coastal Defense Team.

The Russian paras and the second wave of the Naval Rifle Battalion did eventually overcome the Coastal Defence Team but the Naval Rifle Battalion was broken.

The German artillery turned on the dismounted 1/11th Cavalry and, along with more fire from dug-in infantry on the hills, made a mess of them.

Meanwhile, the Soviet tanks had been making slow progress against the German held hills which were defended by 1/10th Infantry battalion and a few PzIIIs.

The remnants of the Soviet 1/11th Cavalry caused some casualties on the defending Germans but soon routed leaving just a few Russian tanks attacking the hills and the Paras attacking the village and airfield.

The tanks got bogged down in small attritional fights and for a short time the Paras contested the village. The Paras then failed the next two Command Rolls, and only passed once in the next turn. That spelt the end for them and for any hope of the Soviets winning.

Winners and Losers
The Germans won. The Russian Paras temporarily held one village sector, but that was all.
Both sides took high casualties, largely as a result of artillery fire.

It was fun trying various forms of Soviet attack. I tried to make them work but failed to find a plan that worked. Perhaps someone else will do better.

In this third article I found the rules these scenarios are written for are Spearhead, which I’ve never played. They might give a different game as visibility and firing ranges are much shorter.

The next scenario is A Nasty Encounter and having a quick look at the rather empty map I'll probably add more terrain for that one to counter the relatively long firing ranges in BKC II.


  1. Hmmm, the Soviets did get a bit of a kicking, didn't they:(. I used to play the Soviets a lot and they're great when defending, but damned useless when attacking, especially Early and Mid-War due to their poor Command values.

    I don't have the scenarios to hand, but sometimes other rulesets don't translate well to BKCII, for some of the reasons you've mentioned. Still good to see you playing more games:).

    1. With my experience in BKC II I should have known better than to have the Soviet deployment zones so small and open. I could have put some rocky outcrops on the beach and some scrub on the overland approach. Not much I could do with the Paras; they needed an open area to land and they had to take their chances.
      Now I've had a few games to get back to grips with the rules, next time I'll modify the scenario to suit BKC II more.

  2. Colin
    Nice to see the scenarios being played, although you seem to have stalled somewhat.

    Sorry this one didn't turn out so well for you but I'm afraid producing generic scenarios for all possible rulesets is a bit hit and miss. Having said that I am not sure why the Soviet eastern front assault took so long to enter the table in this game as (in the original scenario) they are not restricted by die roll (in contrast with the paras and amphibious assault). Perhaps that was a repeated BKII command roll failure?

    Anyway, nice to see someone get some use out of the articles. All too often it feels like they're read (at best) and ignored.


    Andrew (who wrote them)

    1. Great to hear from you Andrew. I really enjoyed your scenarios and as I said in the beginning it got me back into playing Blitzkrieg Commander which I had hardly played for ages. I've never tried Spearhead but I can see there are fundamental differences that would give a rather different game.
      You are right that I have stalled. In fact that applies to most of my wargaming activities and various other aspects of life due to ill health this year.
      In fact I did complete the scenarios and I do have pictures of two of the games. I will try to complete the write-ups soon.
      Yes, the BKC command system had a lot to answer for in delays in the Russian attack, especially with my dice throwing.
      I noted that you were hoping to publish more follow-up scenarios which I would be very interested in, but with the new Miniature Wargames editor I'm not sure that will happen. It would be great to get my later-war heavies in action so good luck with that.

    2. I'd like to see a couple more write ups - just to see how they went.
      I made mention of the fact that I had more scenarios if there was call for them. However, so far all has been silence so I don't see much chance of them appearing in MW. I am not sure the new editor is quite as convinced about the stuff I write as Henry Hyde was, so I suspect my writing career is over!

      However if you are interested in further scenarios I can recommend The Journal of Twentieth Century Wargamers. The magazine is basically dying so this is likely to be the last subscription (six 32 page colour magazines) but within it you will find six further eastern front scenarios in (basically) the same format as the MW ones. They cover the same years I'm afraid (post Kursk doesn't do it for me) and are specifically written for Spearhead but you should be able to adapt them straightforwardly using the notes from the MW ones.

      A PDF sub is available for £7 here (, so that's just over £1 a scenario at worst, even if you are not interested in the rest of the content. It will also give you access to around 40 back issues at something ridiculous like £1 for six PDFs and those issues contain further scenarios (most not by me, but some are and are considerably bigger than the MW ones).

      Alternatively you can buy a hard copy sub for £14 by emailing the Treasurer at membership@sotcwdotcodotuk.

      Currently the fifth issue is out with the sixth due at the end of September (I think)- so you would get five magazines immediately if you subscribed now.


      PS I am sub editor of the magazine but I make no money from sales - just in case you're wondering about the shameless plug.

    3. Thanks for this info. I have bought the latest PDF subscription of The Journal and downloaded the last 5 issues. Not had a chance to look at them yet.
      I'm working on the write-ups of the last couple of games from the MW series.

    4. You're welcome. Looking forward to seeing how the other scenarios went.