Sunday, 5 December 2021

East Front 1943 Salkov Campaign, Mission 03. 6mm WW2 on a small table


This is mission 3 in a campaign following a Russian company in 1943.  I am using 6mm forces and playing on a 2'x2' table.


This is mission 3 in a small campaign I am doing to get in some 6mm WW2 games.  I am using a variant of Platoon Forward to generate the missions and opposing forces.  I started with a Russian green company and they are still all green. While the game narrative is all handcrafted, the mission status may seem a little dry as I am using a spreadsheet to keep track of the Company and also to generate the missions.  I used my own rules for the first game, gave Rapid Fire Reloaded a go for the second and was planning to give WRG 1925-1950 (1st edition) a go for the third game but I ended up using a mashup of the WRG and my own rules that provides single die throw resolutions.


I was looking for rules that has 3 figures to represent a section for 20mm games.  I had been using my own based on Take Cover, looked at quite a few rules such as Rapid fire Reloaded and then realised the venerable WRG 1925-1950 (the first edition) would work fine.  I planned to use them and wrote a QRS for them.  But then got cold feet on using 2 dice for combat resolution (1 dice to hit, 1 dice for damage resolution).  I really like 1d6 to resolve it all.  I then realised I had a set of rules I wrote in 2013 that combined Take Cover, Irregular Miniatures Mechanised Warfare Rules and took some elements from the WRG rules (turn sequence, spotting). I dug those out and crafted a single d6 to hit table out of them. And also used that simpler morale table rather than the WRG one.  The rules are very much WRG inspired but with various tables replaced with less complex one.  And moves are double that in WRG but the combat table has been modified to reflect that.   I did not have my 20mm easy to hand to test the rules so thought about mission 3 in this campaign.  3 bases representing a section so all 1:1 figure representation. Distance is 1:1000. With figures being 1/300 that is a ground to figure scale of 1:3.  Not too bad a difference.

While I am impressed with how it all seemed to slot into place ok, the proof will be in the playing!  Spoiler: went fine, still a bit slow moving. Changing them a little bit and hope to get out some 20mm figures for more playtesting.

Mission 3

It is 1943 and a USSR infantry force is attacking a German infantry force. The USSR mission is exploiting a successful attack.

The parent force has broken through enemy lines.  This force was held in reserve to exploit this breakthrough.

The terrain is woods with:

Open | Village |Woods

Orchard | Marsh |Crops

Crops | Brush |Road

Primary Objective Village (2).

The battlefield.

 Victory is to capture the primary objective. Lose if do not capture the objective.

Major Victory is achieved if capture objectives with minimal casualties. Minor Victory if capture objective but take major casualties.

The USSR force enters in zones 9 (the road). The German force deploys in zones 1-6.

1 German unit (1 Gruppe) are reinforcements that arrive on turn 3 at right of 3 zone with appropriate transport (truck for the infantry force).

The USSR has green morale for its eight sections and two leaders. Support includes 2xMMG + 2xAssault Tank.

Available indirect support is 2x82mm.

The German has veteran morale for its four sections and one leader. Support includes MMG, 3x37mm AT-Gun.





1 Company HQ

    Co HQ Salkov (Green)

3 Platoons of 3 sections each, except First Platoon has 2 sections

2 MMG teams

2 SU-85

Indirect support – 2 x 82mm mortars

Specific Campaign forces, leaders and morale:

1 Plt HQ Formin (Green), 1 Plt 1 Section Amelin (Green), 1 Plt 2 Section Vetrov (Green)

2 Plt HQ Shulgin (Green), 2 Plt 1 Section Zimkov (Green), 2 Plt 2 Section Bogrov (Green), 2 Plt 3 Section Letov (Green)

3 Plt HQ Tokarev (Green), 3 Plt 1 Section Milyokhin (Green), 3 Plt 2 Section Perov (Green), 3 Plt 3 Section Slobozhanin (Green)




1 Kompanie HQ

3 Gruppe

1 MMG team

3 37mm AT guns (with Stielgranate as it is 1943)

Turn 3: Gruppe and truck arrive from zone 3.


I have spread out the AT guns with good lanes of fire on the entry point for the Russians.  The MG is in the village with a good line of fire to various approaches.  Two Gruppe in the village.  One is reinforcements. Where to put the last Gruppe?  In the village as it is the objective? In the woods as a counterattack (or if the Russians move into the woods can move to the village as a second position)?  The orchard is too unsupported.  The marsh in front of the village could be an option and then fall back into the village.  I roll a d6 for location – marsh or woods or outside chance of the village.  Marsh it is.

The Russian plan needs to consider they are coming down the road into the open.  The big choice is what is the line of attack – go for the woods and then attack the village from there?  Go through the marsh?  Wide flank attack via the orchard?  Two of them, all three?  Three seems too diluted.   Infantry rifle range is effectively the entire table so need to get out of the open quick. 2nd and 3rd platoon head for the woods via the crops, 1st platoon crossfire support going via the marsh.  SU-85 at the rear as support.  82mm mortars can stay offboard and target whatever needs to be targeted!



Russians advance cautiously.  The 2nd platoon, 1st section gets to the edge of the brush and comes under fire from the Germans in the marsh.  First fire sees the section reduced and one suppressed.

First blood to the Germans.

The Russian 1st section fires back with reduced firepower and the German section is reduced (rolled a 6!)

Otherwise the Russians continue to advance.  The rest of the second platoon, including the MG move to the edge of the brush.  Hopefully enough of them survive to fire back at the Germans.

The Germans in the marsh fire at the advancing Russians but only manage to suppress the MG.

Germans fire again at the Russians in the Brush.

The MG in the village opens up at the advancing Russian 2nd platoon.  Most of the 1st section is supressed.  This causes the entire 2nd platoon to be suppressed (!)

MG fires at the 2nd platoon, suppressing it.

The Russian 1st platoon fires at the German Gruppe in the marsh.  Further reduced and suppressed.

The last of the German marsh Gruppe

3rd platoon continues moving, the German MMG fires again at 2nd platoon, supressing one element and causing the 2nd platoon to be pinned (halted so cannot advance).

One section of first platoon advances into the marsh and in a subsequent outpouring of fire by the entire 1st platoon, the last part of the marsh Gruppe routs.

The Gruppe element just before routing.

3rd platoon continues the advance up the right flank, nearly at the woods.

3rd platoon advancing

2nd platoon is fired on again by the MMG and one element is KO.

Note I have been rolling morale for the entire platoon when an element is suppressed – I should have been rolling morale for the section and only then rolling for the platoon on an adverse result. Ah well.  In this case the section is pinned so the rest of the platoon could advance and/or fire.  And I then quickly decided I am not going to roll morale every time a section is suppressed so added in infantry section effects into the single die roll.

1st platoon is advancing through the marsh.  The 37mm AT gun in the orchards in concealed and just out of spotting range so is not seen by the advancing troops.

1st platoon in the marsh

The German elements in the village will be spotted if the 1st platoon keeps advancing but may wait as fire is pretty deadly when close.

 I have forgotten about the German reinforcements – they should have come on last turn.  They are in the same woods the 3rd platoon is aiming for. The truck will not be great for moving in the woods so they come in on foot.

German reinforcements

Russians marsh units suppresses the MMG in the village. Yay!

The 3rd platoon leading section moves into the woods and spots the German reinforcement Gruppe and the 37mm ATGun hidden there.  The Russians section loses an element and is suppressed.  The entire 3rd platoon is pinned.

The woods are teeming with Germans!

The 2nd platoon advances towards the woods as well.

The 1st platoon moves a rear section forwards in the marsh and spot the 37mm AT gun.  The platoon in the marsh is only 2 sections strong and not strong enough to tackle whatever may be in the village.

Overview at mid game.

The 37mm AT fires at the section in the marsh, KOs an element, the section is suppressed and the whole platoon is pinned!  The Gruppe in the woods KOs another element of the 3rd platoon lead section but the 3rd platoon is no longer pinned.

Finally I get to try out the indirect HE rules – a few bounds ago the Company CO was successful calling the 2 82mm mortars, centred on the village MMG.  It does nothing.  Not surprising.

The Russians manage to continue to pour fire into the MMG and suppress it.  Only just – it is in a building and I am rolling really badly for the Russians.

Ok, The Russians make their charge – they advance towards the suppressed village MMG, the suppressed ATGun in the woods and the Gruppe in the woods.  Let us see how these infantry rules work!

The Russians advance.

In the woods, one section is suppressed while another element in the village opens up on the advancing 1st platoon section and suppresses it.

In return the Russians suppress the Gruppe in the woods and then move the remaining 2nd and 3rd platoon elements into the woods.

The Russians continue their advance into the woods

With most of the Germans that are in LOS suppressed, they do no damage to the Russians.  Now the Russians can fire back.  The Gruppe in the woods in down to one element, the ATGun in the orchard is gone.  It does mean I can bring on the SU-85s next turn. They are not aware of the third AT gun near the village but will assume the Russians will want to bring them on and think they will be OK.

The Russians continue to advance on the village.  The Gruppe in the woods is captured.  German elements in the village fire on the advancing Russians and cause some of them to be suppressed.

The Russians retaliate but do nothing!

Russians are closing in on the village but the defenders are well protected.

The SU-85s move to attack the village. And bang! The previously hidden 37mm ATgun opens up, fires a stick bomb at one of the tanks and KO’s it!  The range here is <250m so quite close for the stick bomb is effective.

SU-85s advance to the village.

Russians continue to advance where not suppressed.  The other SU-85 is also KO’d with the next shot by the ATGun.

Russians in the woods, two SU-85s gone.

There was another five turns of firing exchange between the Russians and the Germans – each would suppress the others and each would pass their morale tests.  1st platoon for the Russians eventually routed.   The Russians were losing elements here and there but still holding on. Eventually one Gruppe in the village was eliminated and the other Gruppe surrendered.

End game

Post-battle status

The campaign rules I am using for increasing status and replacement is based around sections.  My previous rules have 1 section = 1 base so easy to record the progress of a section and whether it routed or not.  With 3 bases to a section, it was rare in this game for a section to rout by itself (also not helped as I didn’t bother checking morale for sections).  I do like the effect of a section reducing in effectiveness as parts of it are suppressed or eliminated.  It does mean that the only actual sections that routed were all from the 1st platoon that failed a morale check.  The good news is most of the company is no longer Green.

Co HQ (Salkov) 3XP gained. New morale level is Regular.

1 Plt HQ (Formin) routed during the mission and are disbanded.

1 Plt 1 Sect (Amelin) routed during the mission and are ok to continue. 1XP gained. New morale level is Regular.

1 Plt 2 Sect (Vetrov) routed during the mission and are disbanded.

1 Plt 3 Sect (Yeltsin) was not in the battle.

2 Plt HQ (Shulgin) 2XP gained. New morale level is Regular.

2 Plt 1 Sect (Zimkov) 2XP gained.

2 Plt 2 Sect (Bogrov) 2XP gained. New morale level is Regular.

2 Plt 3 Sect (Letov) 2XP gained. New morale level is Regular.

3 Plt HQ (Tokarev) 2XP gained. New morale level is Regular.

3 Plt 1 Sect (Milyokhin) 2XP gained. New morale level is Regular.

3 Plt 2 Sect (Perov) 2XP gained. New morale level is Regular.

3 Plt 3 Sect (Slobozhanin) 2XP gained. New morale level is Regular.


I like the rules, although not as fast as I am used to.  Not a bad thing really. These are sort of WRG but some of the mechanisms streamlined, mainly the firing.  Small tweaks to the spotting table, slightly simplified movement, slightly simplified morale, indirect fire has a calling roll and direct fire is now a single 1d6 per element with a few modifiers to get a suppressed or KO result without having to roll again.

Halfway though I was finding it hard to get the player A morale-fire-move then player B morale-fight-move working in my head, especially a player B can fire during any point of the  move of player A..  I found if I start the bound with the player A move it just made a bit more sense in my head (so now a turn is player A move, player B fire player A morale, then player B move, player A fire, player B morale.  Made it easier for me to follow.  And moving units are fired at by the other player as the units move, rather than wait until all moving is done and then adjudicate fire.  I had to do this as I was coming and going to the table over a few weeks and it was easier to know where I was up to and who had moved or fired or not. I also did start to lose track of which element belonged to which section that belong to each platoon.  Mainly as they were all in the woods and I am playing in a small space.

I also thought the game went on for ages with a lot of suppression lifting suppression, suppression, lift and putting it back on. Especially at the fight for the village. Just like it probably was in real life and a reflection that the game took longer than my own rules that play faster.  The WRG rules have no special close combat rules – MG and rifle fire is simply at lost more deadly at close ranges I am tempted to have a second suppression on an element (not a unit i.e. 1/3 of a section) equal a KO. This is to make up for the fact I am not checking morale at a section level.  Or maybe I should think of it as close combat and just move into contact so I could keep track of the different units.  Or extend the deadly close range a little further. I don’t think it was helped by continually passing platoon morale tests either.  Such high rolls!

I will reserve rules changes until another game.  This was a test of the rules as my 20mm forces were not with me but they are back so if I can find the time I will give the rules a go as I want to with 20mm and 3 figures representing one section.  It will be easier to discern units as the figures are taller and can group them close and use similar figures poses for each section.

Final word: And it is a few months since I played this game and I have changed the rules after all and created a mashup of these rules and my rules to hopefully have a faster game.  Planning is underway for multiple 20mm figure games over the Christmas holidays.


  1. Still the case of a lot of game coming out of a compact space. Company with support is a sweet spot for WWII and it is good to hear that WRG is still having a strong influence.

    There is a boardgame called Panzergrenadier and it has the same ‘problem’ the units continually yoyo back and forth between the various stages of good order to disruption. From a game perspective it can feel tedious, but from a sim point of view, I agree with you, that it is probably representing the sort of hit / recovery that takes place over longer firefights. The boardgame is often simulating a 6 hour battle.

  2. Thanks Norm. I used to play a lot of battalion sized games but could not reconcile the figure to distance scale in my head. S I have moved to company on a table which as you say is the sweet spot. One day I may get back to battalion, and I have O Group so I have no excuse not to give them a go.

    Long periods of disruption/recovery may be fine in a two player game with all the nail biting going on, but I find in solo play is just drags on. At least for me anyway - I want to know the outcome! I would have thought it could be tense solo as well but turned out not to be the case for me.

  3. Once again great to see that you can cram a lot of action into a relatively small space:). I prefer Battalion level games using BKCII, but have played it at a smaller level with a reinforced company on a 2' x 2' table. The latter certainly does give a different game dynamic. I like my games to be fairly quick, ie around 2 hours, and fought to a conclusion if at all possible. BKCII allows for this. Also maybe the sort of scenarios I play naturally fit into this time frame and don't allow for lots of yoyoing back and forth.

    1. Thanks Steve - hoping for 20mm on a larger table in a few weeks.

      I have BKCI (that I played a few times a long time ago) and BKC IV. I do like the way the rules play but just haven't find the time to get around to playing BKC again. I like my game quick too - solo I like it under an hour! The game above probably took a little over that but was hoping for about 40 minutes. FTF can be a long as it takes.

  4. I recall from the original WRG rules, there was an awful lot of suppression in infantry combat. Tbh, the rules worked much better for tanks, at least for impatient teenage minds :) We used to end up with a tank battalion supported by at most a rifle company as infantry combat was so boring!

    1. Thanks Martin. I can imagine the original rules would produce lots of suppression - infantry do not get KOd except at close ranges or by very big calibre guns. Easy to suppress though! Infantry combat is more tedious than I expected, but have changed the dynamic in my latest version to be quicker.

  5. This has really inspired me to work on my own 6 mm skirmish games. I really like the easier representation of terrain at this scale. Of course I would be using a hex or square grid. 🙂

    1. Yes, the setup of larger tables often takes as long as my games. You will be interested to know I revised my ancients rules that require a hex grid, used them a few times virtually, made a hex grid for my 15mm figures but then went free measurement as soon as I put the units on the table :-) At least I tried :-) This is all documented for a future blog post.