Panzerschreck Design Studio

Journey of a Wargamer – Comments welcomed

OMG! LOLZ! Pete's playing something to do with Kursk! Hell has officially frozen over.

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2007, March 17

Hell’s Bridgehead: Clash along the Psel River. July 1943It had to happen, after years of avoiding Kursk as a subject to bother with (overrun as it is with the SS fanboys), I’ve finally bitten the bullet and grabbed Critical Hit’s Hell’s Bridgehead module and volume 6/4 that focuses on it. I think I may well have just put the game on the shelf as a conversation piece and not even thought about playing it until I actually read the designer’s notes and most importantly Kurt Martin’s irreverent and amusing piece on the playtest. Sure it was written back in 2002 but it’s the type of off the wall commentary style that works for me, and I love the reference to the “Kursk Blues Cafe”. I can see why HB has garnered so much praise and positive feedback and I’m glad I made the decision to buy it and the relevant issue. The best thing is that what map and rules errata has been corrected in the 2nd Edition and the new map style is ver’ pretty indeed:

Hell's Bridgehead Kursk Map 1

The scenarios are a good mix, not too small, not too big with at least three proper CGs. Plus there are the scenarios in the magazine that use the K2 map which is almost as pretty (no pic of K2 sorry). There’s so much material here for great ASL games (especially once I look at playing some of the Schelling mini-CGs from the ASL journal on different aspects of Kursk. Thankfully I doubt I’ll be spending gratuitous amounts on supplementary reading (mostly the KOSAVE , Glantz and Zetterling books) but I think I’ve found the necessary inspiration to actually do that Mid war Soviet army for Flames that I’ve been holding off on. Not sure I really want to build an army that has anything to do with Totenkopf or Das Reich however.

Lots of reading in 6/4 to take note of and some interesting additional scenarios outside the focus on Kursk – including a look at the Japanese airborne assault on Palembang airfield. Now to sort through all the existing errata and check 7/3 for additional material using the Kursk maps or even Tigers to the Front. The K2 mapsheet could well be used as the basis for some more non-HASL designs.

I’m glad in a way I took such a long time to look at CH stuff again – I’d lost the most severe of the negative pre-conceptions and so I’ve been very pleased with the advances in presentation and general feel. I may have to invest in a few destroyed tiggers and panthers for the tabletop anyway.



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