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WHITE STAR RISING
Spearhead in Western Europe 1944-1945
by Hans H. Johannsen
WHITE STAR RISING is a companion piece (don't dare call it a sequel!) to my previous collection of scenarios, WHERE THE IRON CROSSES GROW. As with the previous work, these scenarios were specifically geared to SPEARHEAD but can, with just a bit of alteration, be used with any set of rules which uses the platoon as the smallest represented unit and the battalion as the organization of fighting and maneuver.
Like IRON CROSSES, this book is divided into three chapters covering the salient points of the late war in the west. As before, a chronological playing of the scenarios is certainly not necessary but, in my view, will produce a satisfying whole. Personally, I do not care for "campaigns" for the simple reason that they rarely produce interesting or playable games. These scenarios played in sequence can give you a similar flavor though, admittedly, you don't get to change history. Even if you throw the invasion back into the sea, you'll still end up fighting on the Rhine!
Book 1, "Bocage aux Folles" covers the period from the day of the landings at Normandy through the closing of the Falaise pocket. Players will quickly become familiar with the German doctrine that defense consists of local counterattacks as well as the joy or frustration, depending on which side you are playing, of "cab ranks" of fighter-bombers.
Book 2, "Off to the Races" takes up the story from the Allied break out to closing up along the German border. These scenarios tend to be on the smaller side in terms of units under command but have some of the more tactically interesting situations - for both sides. Once again, the Germans are no mere passive spectators and the Allied player will have to think on his feet.
Book 3, "When Only Loyalty Remains" begins with the Battle of the Bulge and ends with the large-scale crossing of the Rhine by Montgomery's Army Group. After that event, a skirmish-level game would be more suitable to show what happened next. The Bulge takes a disproportionate share of this book but, judging by the number of books and games devoted to it, I believe there is enough interest in that battle that I don't need to apologize for giving it two scenarios. As the German, you'll probably end up tearing your hair out and as the American - just don't get cocky!
As in IRON CROSSES, I've used the same scenario boards that we use at NYWA and, again, they are not meant to be the last word. If you can approximate the terrain on your table, it should work just fine. Again, remember that each board or "sector" is 30" square.
Hans H. Johannsen
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