The main protagonists being the German 86th and 292nd Infanterie Divisions, squaring off against the Soviet 307th Rifle Division and reinforced by the 4th Guards Airborne and 129th Tank Brigade. Ponyri Station proved to be too much for General Model and the northern pincer at Kursk.
While a big departure from some of my recent gaming adventures in 1:1 scale (Battlegroup: Kursk, Bolt Action, etc) this game will be fought with a platoon-scale game like GHQ, Spearhead, FFT, or even BKC.
I have played a large Ponyri Station scenario before using Battlegroup: Kursk rules however this game will feature both the fighting around Point 253 (257?) and the fighting around Ponyri in either 2 smaller, linked games or 1 large game complete with all of the artillery and air support!
It's interesting to note that the Soviet 307th Rifle Division received more tube and rocket artillery support during the fighting at Ponyri than any other Soviet Division during the entire war.
My inspiration for fighting this huge battle comes not only from intense personal interest around the Battle of Kursk, but also from "Plastic Warrior" Paul's awe-inspiring series of posts around the battle. You can read about Paul & Company's epic Ponyri Station Command Decision III Fight here.
Meanwhile, much in the way of scenario support and wargaming material already exists for this mega-game project. Bob Mackenzie's excellent wargaming page has a Command Decision scenario already built which, I believe, are easily transferred to other 1:4 platoon level games.
Frank Chadwick has an excellent Ponyri Station scenario in his "Blood & Thunder" "First Battle" series boardgame. Between all these resources, I should be able to put together a first-class game, even if I'm not playing and serving as the umpire.
So here is a list of all of the things I'm going to have to do in order to get ready for this "mega game":
- Publish an Order of Battle and Project Timeline in order to track progress and have all of the units available for the game.
- Work out the reinforcement schedule and turn list.
- Complete painting and assemble all of the units that will participate in the battle. I already have most of the units, with new, special units on-order from "Game Models." I just completed an order with them that will complete my specialist units tally (Brumbars, Air Defense Units, ZIS Guns). (more later when I publish the OOB).
- Complete the Fire Support Matrix to include air power available to the protagonists. (that also reminds me - finish the damn planes too! Already have all the Stuka's, IL's etc just need to finish painting them and make the bases.)
I'm shooting for September or October timeframe. I'm thinking that should give me enough time to get everything ready for the battle.
Watch this space!