Spearhead in Western Europe 1944-1945

by Hans H. Johannsen

White Star Rising Cover

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
New York, March, 1997

Table of Contents

Book 1:
Bocage Aux Folles 1944

  • To the Beaches Beyond
    Panzer counterattack against the beachhead
  • The Bloody Bocage
    Early Summer slugfest in Normandy
  • Cruel Souls*
    Brits attempt to blitz through hedgerow country
  • Hide-and-Seek in the Hedgerows
    Infantry hell courtesy of SS "Hitlerjugend"
  • Push Comes to Shove
    Will this be the breakout at last?
  • Two in the Side Pocket
    Staving off encirclement

Book 2:
Off to the Races 1944

  • Next Stop, the Rhine!*
    Fluid situation after Falaise
  • Thunder in the Foothills
    Rearguard action through the Vosges
  • Unlocking the Pocket*
    Amphibious assault on the Scheldt
  • Up against the Wall
    The Big Red One cracks the Siegfried Line
  • Home by Christmas
    Holding open the corridor to Arnhem
  • Fighting for the Fatherland
    Volsgrenadiers into the breach
  • Pas de Charge
    Desperate infantry counterattack against French

Book 3:
When Only Loyalty Remains 1944

  • To Lash Out in Anger
    Blitzing through the Ardennes
  • Silent Night
    Panzers fight Americans and a fuel shortage
  • Nacht und Nebel
    Counterattack in Alsace, Operation Nordwind
  • "Either Night or the Prussians..."
    Dwindling British manpower in the Reichswald
  • A Leap of Faith
    Airborne assault over the Rhine

* Scenarios written by John Hollier


The SPEARHEAD Website is edited and maintained by John Moher. SPEARHEAD is © 1995-2000 Arty Conliffe. The contents of these pages are © 1997-2000 John Moher, Arty Conliffe, Hans Johannsen, John Kovalic, and/or the appropriate Authors and Contributors.