The game system has some unique qualities. Above all the open sequence of play within each players Operations Phase. The game system models the seven Battlefield Operating Systems (BOS) in some detail and this makes play of the game feel very different from other comparable games. During this Operations Phase you can perform Maneuver/Fire, Fire Support, Engineering, Intelligence, in any order you desire to support your plans. During the enemy player turn you have the opportunity to exercise the Air Defense OS, and during other times of the sequence of play you account for Command and Control and Combat Service Support. There is a lot here to digest and if you want to get closest to being involved in a military Command Post Exercise, this is it.
This game is going to give you a completely new appreciation for the struggles of the Gross Deutschland Division during the Citadelle offensive. The attacks timetable was disrupted early on and never got back on track. The division hit the Pena River, bounced back, slid to the right along the southern bank, and then north toward Oboyan. The sheer quantity of troops set against them is daunting to have to try and wear down. But this is the nature of the battle. And the game does a great job of presenting the situation as a real slugging match.
Game Scales are:
- Game Turns are 2 Hours of Daylight and 4 Hours of Night
- Hex Scale is 330m per Hex
- Red Army Units are Companies
- German Units are Platoons and/or Companies
Gross Deutschland was the largest German division involved in the battle and was endowed with an abundance of armor. Unfortunately it was armor (Panthers) that was still too young to work properly and caused everyone lots of headaches. For this reason it is also the largest game in the series. Gross Deutschland had the hardest mission as it moved through the center of the area of operations. Its mission was to spearhead the XLVIII PzK operation and make the main effort up the Oboyan road towards Kursk. The Division has components of all arms and is a very powerful organization, even without the Panther Battalions. It is organized the same as an SS Division. It has a Panzer Regiment with 2 Panzer Battalions (90 MkIII and MkIVs), 2 Panther Battalions (190 Panthers), 2 Panzer Grenadier Regiments each with 3 Infantry Battalions and a Combat Support Battalion, a Panzer Artillery Regiment with 3 Battalions, a Reconnaissance Battalion, PanzerJager Battalion, Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Pionere Battalion, and an Assault Gun Battalion. YOU have the ability to task organize the Division to make each Battalion a more potent combat weapon by cross-attaching infantry to the armor and vice versa, or even engineers or recon to these Battalions.
Gross Deutschland – Base Game – comes with:
- (18) Map Sections of the Pena River Area of Operations (maps B1 to B4, G1 to G4, H1 to H4, M1 to M4, N1 to N2)
- (16) Counter Sheets with over 3000 Units and Markers
- (12) Scenario Cards and a Master Reinforcement/Withdrawals Card
- (3) d10
- Master Rules
- Supplemental Rules Specific to Gross Deutschland
- Order of Battle Cards
- Task Organization Charts for Each Major German and Red Army Formation
- Command and Control Enhancement Built In (2nd edition only)
- Fire Support Enhancement Built In (2nd edition only)