The game features the 3rd Panzer Division and some supporting XLVIII Panzer Corps units at mostly Platoon and some Company/Battery level and the Red Army (10th Tank Corps, and other rifle and supporting elements) at Company/Battery level. The combat system utilizes combat multipliers that players must use correctly to have the best effect. Each hex is 330 meters. Turns are 2 hours long during the day and 4 hours at night. The rules are modeled around the seven battlefield operating systems which make them easily understood and easy to learn. (4) 11" x 17" game maps of the Kursk area that extends the DRK-GD map in the top left (north west) corner
This system features extensive use of obstacles (mines, wire, improved positions, and fortifications), a patrol rule, overwatch fire, air and artillery support, and reserve movement. These obstacles help channel the attack and force the Germans into kill sacks and forcing them to push through the heavy resistance to take ground. Overwatch is a type of fire that allows the player to move a short distance and then setup to fire suppressive fire at enemy units that might otherwise use opportunity fire. Reserve movement will allow a player to respond to enemy movement and move more units into a hex to strengthen it before an assault.
Units are modeled to represent the 2 major types of weapons that most units have. Secondary (usually small arms) and a primary (main gun, machine guns, etc...). These weapons may fire at different targets if they want. They also effect targets differently. Suppression is also handled uniquely in this game. Units that are suppressed get a defense bonus since they take better advantage of the terrain in the hex, while at the same time they have their other factors reduced. Units are also modeled as needing transports and get the benefits of movement from them with the vulnerability that goes with it. The battle follows the divisions actions during the 10 days of the battle. The division operated on the left flank of the Gross Deutschland Division.
The additional armor in this game makes play extremely fun and intense and they include Panzer Regiment 6 (90 MkIII and IV tanks) and 10th Tank Corps 3 Tank Brigades (120 T34 and 60 T70 tanks). 3rd Panzer has its 2 Infantry Regiments and supporting elements. The game will also force players to account for Command and Control and Supply.
Maintenance and repair are critical to both sides as this determines most of the replacements that arrive every morning. Troop replacements are generated by returning casualties to the battle. Lots of these casualties are minor in nature and both sides worked hard to get these wounded back to the front quickly. Air-Ground Attack can have a significant effect on the battle and both sides have a capability in the air to affect the battle. The Germans were eventually bled white and forced to suspend Citadel.
This 3rd Panzer division game fits into the DRK-GD game framework by being primarily a reinforcement in that game and replacing the 3rd Panzer battalion counters that simply fill the void and help cover the extended left flank of GD.
As so often happens, no plan survives meeting the enemy and must be adjusted. This game will be no different. Combined arms play prominently in gaining successful outcomes to engagements. This game will force the players to make big and small decisions on things such as avenues of approach, advancing through choke points, overtaking or bypassing strong points, and trying to find the operational freedom to reach Kursk and encircle the Soviets before they can launch their own counter-offensive. Especially important are decisions on when to opportunity fire, what weapons to engage with, at what range should a fire attack be made, and how best to cover a minefield or wire breach operation.
(2) Full Color Order of Battle Charts
Combat Charts and Tables
Special scenario modifications
Approximately 600 Die Cut Unit Counters and Markers
Germans at platoon and company/battery level, Red Army at company/battery level
Highly detailed without overbearing rules
Excellent Solitaire Play