EFCO Platoons: Charge of the Pioneers Is Available For Download

German soldiers advancing through Stalingrad.
My basic version of a Platoon level game for Command Ops is now available for download.  My "Charge of the Pioneers" scenario covers the first hours of Operation Hubertus, the German attempt to eliminate the remaining pockets of Soviet resistance inside Stalingrad.

As the German commander you are in control of a reinforced battalion, comprised of German Pioneers and infantry as well as two StuG III platoons.

As the Soviet commander you are in control of the remnants of two Soviet Rifle regiments, supported by static T-34 tanks and some static Workers militia sections that are still holding portions of the Red October and Lazur factories.

You can download the game folder here: http://bit.ly/1ph2QzM

A few thoughts about the game:

- The map is a trace of a Google Earth shot of the battlefield.  The location of buildings isn't 100% based on their 1942 positions, as things have been rebuilt, but the scale is right and the Red October and Lazur factories are still there where they stood over 70 years ago.

- This is my equivalent of an alpha run through of a game. I am the only one that's played it and I am sure there are things that need to be tweaked.

- The battle gets ugly quickly.  Time seems to flow much faster than a normal CO game as the distances these units need to cover is slight.   Ten hours of fighting at this scale is a long time and a lot can happen.

- I think that the reinforcement schedule needs work.  With so much happening so fast, it would be interesting to have the same amount of reinforcements arrive in a more staggered schedule.  A HMG section or a platoon's arrival can have a definite impact.

- From their observation posts on Hill 102 (Mamaev Kurgan), the Germans have pinpointed every Soviet formation.  The intelligence display reflects this.

- I think the terrain layers hold up well for this scenario but I am tweaking them more for the next Platoon level scenario I am working on set in Sicily.

- I think the unit movement speed is wrong and needs to be tweaked, which is something I am working on.

Anyway I had fun doing this and I hope you have fun playing it.  I look forward to the real game coming out at this scale, Legends of the Blitzkrieg, from Panther Games (TBD release date).


JC said…
Hi Chris,

I'm looking forward to play this one too (currently playing the other two Riga scenarios of yours).

I wonder how the platoon scale of the scenario works out for you. IIRC, the CO engine has a tendency to make platoons too tough to kill/surrender.


Chris said…
Hi JC thanks for the comment! I hope you enjoy the Riga ones. The map is huge but the scenarios are smaller by comparison to my other Eastern Front ones.

As for the platoon scale I've read about the issues people have had playing the scenarios, where 2 and 3 soldiers hold up company level forces from their objectives.

So far, I've not seen that. Perhaps because the other units are all the same scale and everyone lasts about the same amount of time it has been less noticeable. I also have been creating shorter scenarios where fatigue is less of a factor.

I like the shorter scenarios for this scale because the distances are in kms and meters not tens of kilometers.

I have seen units surrender, be destroyed, disband and merge together but as I said I've only tried this scale for short 10-15 hour windows with forces all around the same size.

I did have one weird playtest where my German side had about 170 men surrender (about one quarter of the force). I was kind of running that play through with minimal interference so I missed what happened.

I have another Platoon level scenario I am working on in Sicily along the Furiano river along the road to Messina. That map is bigger (50 sq km) so I am going to do a 24 hour+ scenario for it. We might see the engine warts appear in that one!