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Mid War Closes

Mid War Closes – Ukraine late 1943
With Lucas Watson

On the Eastern front of WW2 the mid war period contains some of the most exciting operational clashes of the entire conflict. With one of the contenders for the war’s turning point, Stalingrad, and one of the greatest armoured clashes in history, Kursk.

However with focus turning to late war in June for many players, myself and good friend Peter decided to see how we could end Mid War in style and look into playing the fairly uncovered period between the aftermath of Kursk and the start of operation Bagration, the close of 1943. Below is some historical context, links to the historical scenarios with special rules, and a short AAR of our battle for the recapture Kiev by the Soviets.

To begin we looked at maps of the strategic situation after the Soviet Kursk counterattack and the start of Bagration, noticing that the Soviets had retaken vast tracts of land, especially in Ukraine between August 1943 and June 1944.  With some research we found the battles from October to December 1943 in Ukraine and the capture of Kiev as well as a brutal German counter attack, these battles were perfect to recreate in Flames Of War featuring interesting historical units and forces which allowed for special rules to enhance historical flair.

The scenarios cover the battle for Kiev itself and then the more mobile battles around the city as the Germans respond to the Soviet drive and push back. I will now go on to cover our battle for Kiev, but the two other scenarios and rulesets to form a mini historical campaign to see out Mid War and discover the brutal fighting which was the prelude to the Soviet hammer blow in 1944.

Mid War Closes

The battle of Kiev saw 2 depleted German infantry divisions attempting to hold off several corps from the Soviet 38th Army. Included in this attacking force was the 1st Czechoslovak Independent Brigade, the Soviet armed unit representing the Czechoslovak government in exile. In the first rules pack you will find our take on this unique unit with special rules based on their history as well as rules for the embattled defenders and the city itself. For example, the Rusyn Ukrainian members of the Czechoslovak brigade fighting hard for their homeland with an improved ‘Follow Me’ tactics roll.

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In our game below I fielded a Hero motor rifle battalion from Red Banner whilst Peter used a German grenadier company as suggested in our scenario. As per the rules pack the mission was a city fight and both sides took armour in support which was historically present in the city alongside the Czechoslovakians and the German defenders. We played 80pts and the mission we rolled was ‘the House’ with my Czechoslovak (Soviet) troops attacking.

With my deployment zone literally full, the bulk of my infantry moved to attack Peter’s grenadiers, holding one of the buildings, alongside his company CO and 5cm anti-tank gun platoon holding the other. The 5cms immediately lose two guns as the hero motor rifles assault with their great 2+ to hit however the grenadiers easily stymie the assault from my other unit with weight of fire. The German CO seeks to oust my riflemen but is killed after a foolhardy assault is counterattacked by them, again hitting on the outstanding 2+.

With a crash of guns the T-34 unit arrives but my infantry fails to unpin and the Soviets take a turn of withering fire from the Germans, now backed up by Peter’s own StuG battery which unluckily fail to destroy a Russian tank. Subsequently my battered infantry manage to unpin and prepare for another assault, this time against pinned grenadiers and backed up by my battalion commander.

Mid War Closes

Mid War Closes

The grenadiers are wiped out in the left building because of this and the last 5cm guns are also destroyed after failing cross checks to move back a room as my incredibly battered two remaining motor rifle stands on the right pass their last stand check and survive defensive fire to assault. Overall resulting in a broken German force, despite the arrival of the second grenadiers, and victory to the Czechoslovakians (Soviets).

This game was a lot of fun and offered a snapshot into the real reconquest of Kiev, following broadly historical lines as the Czechoslovakians were very successful. The next two scenarios focus on the German counterattack against the overextended Red Army however, including famous units such as 1st SS Panzer Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, with special rules for SS big cats! Me and Peter hope you enjoy them as well as the Kiev scenario and that all the scenarios show the fun that can be had with a relatively light historical framework added to bring greater depth to games. Thanks for reading and enjoy.


The first of Lucas and Peter's scenarios will appear in next week's update.

Mid War Closes

Last Updated On Friday, May 10, 2019 by Alexander at Battlefront