On the table, Clash of Arms‘ 1991 game Prelude to Disaster (PTD), designed by Henry Robinette – using the Winter Storm series as designed by John Schettler.
It’s a one map game at a scale of 5 miles per hex, two days per turn, and units from battalions to divisions, with some (few) corps. It deals with the time after the 1941/1942 Soviet Winter counteroffensive, before the Stalingrad campaign, in the Izyum bulge, southeast of Kharkov. The Germans wanted to attack. The Soviets beat them to it.
The game is at the upper end of the complexity scale, especially if using the optional rules. These include a command game, requiring the players to get permission from higher powers before undertaking certain events. You cannot just abandon positions in PTD…
The counters have stood up well, and the map by Rick Barber looks good. Unfortunately, the terrain differentiation – between Woods and Forest – is awful. Such a shame. However, the series has been given a good shakeout and well promoted on Consimworld by Markus Stumptner, and I am going to have a crack at it again. I have played it before, but not extensively, and need to take time getting to grips with the rules.