Review: Battlegroup – Fall of the Reich

Rating: 4 stars

Battlegroup Fall of the Reich (FotR) is the third volume of the Battlegroup Kursk WWII rules that were released in 2012 by Iron Fist Publishing. As you might expect, Battlegroup Fall of the Reich looks at the last months of the war, as the Allies marched into Germany on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. The timeline for the forces in the rules runs from January 1945 to the end of the war in the May of that same year.

JS122 copyAs with Battlegroup Overlord before it, FotR is simply a campaign expansion to the original Battlegroup Kursk book, and so does not contain the main Battlegroup rules in its 196 pages, rather only specific new rules pertaining to the particular campaign. Whilst there are several minor rule changes covering such things as the use of extra armour by US Tankers and a change to the suspension of the Sherman, the two most notable additions to the rules are for Street Fighting and Night Fighting. The book also has a new counter set, which better represents fighting with an increasingly desperate German Army.

The book, in common with the previous volumes in the series, is split into several parts. The first gives and historical overview of the fighting in the British, American and Russian sectors between January and May 1945.

The second section covers all the new rules included in the book. Next are the four army lists: a single one for Germany, plus Russian, British and American Battlegroups.

The book also features 4 new generic scenarios: Delaying Action, in which Allied forces are pursuing the Germans across the board, Die Hexenkessel, which sees a German force surrounded on three sides, End of the Rat Race, which represents an Allied recon force running into a German road block, and re-enforcements then arriving, and finally Urban Assault, which represents fighting in the streets of a German town or city.

Following this section the painting guides make a welcome return, with detailed step-by-step guides to painting a T34/85 and an M5A1 (including a conversion of the kit to a Recce ‘Jalopy’ version)

10-11-page-001 PROOF

Next is a narrative campaign “Breakthrough to Berlin” which has six linked scenarios set in mid-April 1945 during the Russian Offensive across the Oder River. Most of these battles are company-sized, and need at least a platoon of T34s for each game. The last scenario is likely to become a classic. Entitled “Last Stand at Jahnsfelde”, it pits five German 88mm guns against a sea of Russian T-34s (up to 20 in number) in a fight to the death

Finally, a set of appendixes features all the new vehicle stats for the rules, and these are followed by a page of designer’s notes.<

As with the previous volumes, Fall of the Reich covers its subject fairly comprehensively, and gives players everything they need to fight the last days of World War II in Europe. For fans of the Battlegroup rules, or the war in Europe, this book is a great resource.

Battlegroup: Fall of the Reich is available from Plastic Soldier Company for £25

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