Thursday, 5 September 2013

In the name of Roma - WWII Scenarios for Winter 1941 - A Personal review




Last month I was asked by fellow blogger Chris Stoeson from Wargamer's Odds and Ends to review his soon to be released PDF set of WWII scenarios based on the actions of the 80th Roma Infantry Regiment on the Eastern Front from August to December 1941.
The scenarios are designed to be used for three sets of rules the TwoFatLardies ruleset "I Ain't Been Shot Mum 3rd edition, Troops Weapons and Tactics and also Chain of Command.




Now I don't claim to be a WWII expert at all, if anything I've only a basic historical knowledge, but I had no clue whatsoever that the Italian army fought the Russians in Russia during WWII.

Chris on the other hand did, he has produced a string of fascinating facts about the CSIR or the Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia. From the 10th of July 1941 when they were first mobilized until around the 12th December when winter weather forced them and the Germans to halt their attacks.

These facts include the story of the Italian hero, Santino Lutri, who advanced forward on the town of Pokrovskoje on his motorbike along with his compatriot Germano Narduzzi. Unfortunately their bikes became bogged down in mud along the road while trying to free them they came under Soviet fire from machine-guns, anti tank guns, artillery, small arms and even seven tanks! Lutri and Narduzzi were both wounded but remained exposed to gather information as to the positions of the Soviet armour and weapons, only after he was sure the intelligence was correct did Lutri manage to return to headquarters to report his findings, he also insisted that his partner Narduzzi's wounds to be attended to first even though he had a serious chest wound. This concern for his fellow soldier cost Lutri his life. For his actions he was awarded the first "Medaglia d'oro al valor militare" The Gold Bravery Military Medal of the Eastern Front. He became the first Italian casualty in the East.





The booklet runs a full 152 pages and includes optional rule amendments for the three sets already mentioned including a Padre Card which is very similar to the Big Man card in IABSM and the Avanti! card which can only be used by aggressive troops, much like the Uhraah! card.

Chris also included detailed information on the composition of both the Italian and Russian armies including support, weapons and armour.

But the main focus should be on the 6 Campaigns. Each Campaign has between 4 and 6 scenarios in them including detailed maps of the terrain for the gamer to layout on their tabletop, all in all there are 30 scenarios, including the great named Cabbages and Wells. These campaign's will run you through the trials and tribulations of the Italian and Russian forces during their bitter fight for survival.

Here's the Soviet Briefing for scenario 4 in Campaign 4 - Cabbages and Wells

"Your men are exhausted. Your battalion has been relocating peasants further back East. Your men have been under orders to burn these small villages, poison wells and make sure nothing is left behind for the fascists. Your company commander nearly broke down when he stooped to pick up a small child’s doll that was left in front of the smoldering ruins of the last village. The lives that are being ruined are beginning to get to all of you. One more village lies ahead. You have been promised that you will be taken to the rear after this."

Objective
Burn the town. Poison the well. Deny the town to the enemy. The 3rd squad has a cart with
combustibles for the houses and poison for the well.

and the Italian
"As the column continues grinding forward, your platoon has led the way. You are moving rapidly from village to village to reach the next objective. So far, you have passed through a hellish landscape. The villages you have found recently have been burned ruins. The harvests have been either burned in place or removed. You see a thin column of smoke on the horizon. What you assumed was another burned out and destroyed village turned out to be smoke from a chimney. It looks like this town has not faced the ravages of the Soviets. Best to seize this before it is destroyed. Besides a good night sleep in a building would be welcome. Last night you were strapped to a tree to avoid sliding under the mud."

Objective
Take the village before it is destroyed.





So if your interested in WWII and if you fancy something a little different from the more well known theatres of the war,  for the measly sum of US $11, you can purchase this fine piece of work.
To buy the PDF file all you have to do is send Chris a Paypal payment of $11 to     cstoesen@corecard.com, then he will email it back to you asap. 

For a FREE sample of the rules click the following LINK

Even if WWII's not really your thing or you've no interest in fighting the Italian-Russian campaign in 1941, you could modify the scenarios to any period and or any rule set you prefer. I've got my eye on the Cabbages and Wells scenario for a FIW game already!!!


Ray




54 comments:

  1. nothing strange, allies often attacked allies in WW2. My own capital city was bombed and pretty much destroyed by allied bombing in the first days of WW2 even though we sided against the Nazis...

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    1. War's a strange thing Dez, that's for sure!

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  2. I didn't know that about the Italians. Sad how little of that great war is taught these days. Most kids don't even know the significance of December 7.

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    1. Its the same over here in England, kids aren't taught history proper, my daughters history project was on Jack the Ripper, ok its interesting but, its not what kids should be taught????

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  3. Thanks for this review. I was planning to buy the book, but now even more after reading this post

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    1. Glad you liked it, but not as much as Chris did!

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  4. Italians and Rumanians were protecting the flanks at Stalingrad - it's where soviet Uranus pushed through. As I'm being a smartass...Croats were the only non german troops fighting in the city (with germans).

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  5. This sounds like a good one as it's not your typical WWII battle. Now this is one I know nothing about either. What may come as a shock to the whole gaming community is that when I paint I do so whilst watching WWII documentaries. Every single night I watch hours and hours of WWII. I may not be as dumb as I act:)

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    1. That's neat that you do that, Anne. I watch coupon shows sometimes when I cut coupons at home. Not the same thing, but still fun.

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    2. Very impressed Anne! They have coupon shows in the States, Whisk???

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  6. Nice one ray I really like the fact that it has such a tight focus. A few months in action within Operation Barbarosa (Red Beard).. Whislt I would be reluctant to start another new project at this time I will bear it in mind for the future without doubt.

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    1. Its worth it, just for the scenario ideas Clint!

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  7. Nice review. It looks like a top notch product. I'm afraid it's not the scale for my WW II gaming though.

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  8. That's a pretty fair review Ray. Bit of a ringer for the Peninsular War or, in fact quite a few conflicts - even Vietnam. It's worth putting on my shopping list.

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    1. In reading them, they opened my eyes to a conflict I knew nothing about, but like you said its quite reminiscent of other campaigns in history.

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  9. Very good and honest review Ray. I am not starting anything else for now but it has put this on my radar for other periods.

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  10. Really interesting Ray, there is a lot of scope for wargaming tge German allies in Russia. My favourite are the Hungarians with their own home produced vehicles and the fight for Hungary itself is very interesting to.
    Cheers
    Paul

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    1. Chris does mention the Hungarians in the PDF, apparently their was a bit of friendly fire between them and the Italians along the river banks.

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  11. Good review Ray. Very interesting topic.

    Cheers
    Stefan

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    1. It was a very interesting read Stefan.

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  12. Excellent review Ray. That sounds like an excellent supplement, with loads of great ideas!

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  13. Very cool Ray, thanks for the review.

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  14. Huh, Italians in Russia. I must confess I had no idea. But it sounds like a great reason to jump into another period! Ack!

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  15. "Now I don't claim to be a WWII expert at all", truest thing you ever posted!

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  16. As everyone else has said, good review!

    To be honest, a good test of anything must be to get somebody who knows nothing about what they are reviewing to do it, it doesn't come more unbiased than that really.

    Nice one!

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  17. Hmm, interesting. Iwonder if it could be adapted to VCBW. I think it could.

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  18. A good review Ray and very interesting, thanks for sharing.
    Pat.

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    1. No probs Pat, I was just glad to help Chris out.

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  19. If the idea of Italians fighting in Russia was an eye-opener look up the Spanish Blue Division, also the Brazilian Expeditionary Force's exploits in Italy! It was truly a global war.

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    1. I have read about the Brazilian's in Italy, but didn't know about the Spanish, I'll have to look that one up!

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  20. That is an interesting fact about the Italians in Russia - never knew that either. Nice review, and those shots make me feel the Russian winter. Best, Dean

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  21. I'm afraid I'm a bit late but...good looking review, interesting subject, and very nice second pic in the snow...
    All the best,
    Phil.

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  22. A really interesting subject indeed (I'm Italian so I'm a little biased!! ;P). The Italians in the second world war is a really interesting subject, unfortunately, it's difficult to find a really unbiased book on this subject, particularly in English literature. It would look like that when something was done good it was thanks to the German prowess, when something was done badly, it was because of italian "cowardice" or ineptitude... Let me say that it wasn't that way at all but, you all knows too well that history isn't written by who lose.. If you're interested in something fancy about Italians in Russia, read about the Savoia Cavalleria charge at Isbuscenskij, the last succesful Cavalry charge of history. From July 1941 to March 1943, more than 230.000 italian soldiers fought on the russian front, more than 114.520 never come back... In my opinion, the worst thing was that, after our civil war (started 8 September 1943, 70 years ago today) Italy tried to "forget" everything that was done under the Fascism and the veterans, survivors and ex-pows where looked almost as pariahs in the after war... Not the right way to honour some poor guys who certainly didn't wanted to go in a war that they didn't understood...
    Sorry if I hijacked your post Ray, but this is an important subject for me and my family...

    Speaking about the review, it's a pity I don't play IABSM but it seems a really good work... Nice models and table btw!! :)

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    1. The Italian's do seem to get a rough ride concerning WWII in this country I'd agree with you on that. I knew nothing of the Savoia Cavalry charge, I've just read about it online, fascinating stuff!!! I totalling understand your point of view about the Italian veterans and war heroes, its not right to forget about or brush aside the Fascist part of Italian history, it happened, whether it was good or bad people still need to be remembered. A couple of years ago, myself, Fran and a few other Rejects went over to Flanders to visit Ypres. We also visited a Commonwealth wargrave, it was a very moving experience and made me feel quite proud. We also visited a German wargrave, they were so different, the Commonwealth graves were bright and seemed strangely full of life while the German one was very sombre and depressing. We all felt we needed to visit both sides to pay our respects, it didn't matter what side they were on.
      Hijack all you want Gnotta, its great that you feel that way about Italy's heroes, you've every right to feel the pride that certainly every Italian should.

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  23. Great review, thanks Ray. It's a bit spooky as I'm currently working on Italian figures (painted up as the 9th 'Pasubio' Division) for my brother for use with the Bolt Action rules. This book should be very useful.

    Regards,
    Matt

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  24. You are all a bunch of pimps. You pimp ignorance, bigotry and complete disassociation from any understanding of war. Yet you play it like dumb children. Many, even more ignorant children eat your balls of shit. Damn you sloppy, anti-intellectual africanized imbeciles.

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    1. I think I speak for everyone here when I say Go Fuck Yourself! And what does africanized have to do with it you racist asshole!

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