Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ponyri Station MEGA GAME Project

The megalomania is in full swing as this summer draws to a close and I'm planning an ambitious mega game featuring the fighting around Ponyri Station (aka "Little Stalingrad") on the northern edge of the Kursk salient.  

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":

  1. Publish an Order of Battle and Project Timeline in order to track progress and have all of the units available for the game.
  2. Work out the reinforcement schedule and turn list.
  3. 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).
  4. 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! 


  1. Awesome! How long would it take for me to drive to your place from Newport RI do you think...

    1. Alternatively, it might be interesting to have other players develop of the force lists for BG. Then you as the tactical commander have to best use what you are given

    2. Paul,
      I just googled it. From Narragansett, RI (for some reason it wouldn't let me start at the War College) it takes 5 hours and 20 minutes to drive to my house. Game should last probably 4 to 5 hours. That's a long day! I'll let you know the date when I firm up the plan - I need commanders for both sides!

  2. Ciao Steve!How long does it take from Milano Malpensa and hopefully drop with parachute just in yourgarden?? Ohh what a great project! It would be great to live a little bit nearer..i'll follow with great interest your posts!.just for info will you use a bigger table than the usual one? Ciao Marco

    1. Thank you, Marco! If you can make the trip, you are welcome to command in the game! We were looking at alternate locations for a larger table. I need a 5 x 10 table to play the entire game in one sitting. I could break it into 2 games and play on my table, with 1 assault against point 253 and 1 assault against Ponyri itself.

  3. Replies
    1. I should hope so Paul - your Ponyri Station mega-game is the whole reason I got into this mess in the first place :)

  4. I'd love to attend but will have to settle for following it vicariously. Very interested in this project. It's inspiring to see gamers thinking big!

    1. Would love to have you command a battalion or 2, Michael! Anytime. I will hopefully be posting the OOBs very soon. Much work to do here but this project really has me excited.
      I haven't really been this motivated for a wargaming project in awhile.