Allied Invasion of Italy, September 1943
KAMPFGRUPPE COMMANDER III Scenarios
Click on the above links to go to each Scenario Page
I’ve been a WW2 wargamer for almost thirty years and have played at various scales and operational levels. For me brigade-a-side seems to be the best way to actually fight the battles you can read about in the history books, and gives a good mix of infantry, tank, and support. By far the best rules I have found to fight this level is Kamfgruppe Commander by David Reynolds, now in it’s third edition and available from Capitan Games here.
These rules are not overall that complex and you after playing a couple games you get the hang of them. Once you do they play like no other for me in this period and handle things like troop quality, and being able to respond (or not) to the enemy extremely well. Typical games in this campaign could be resolved within a couple of hours playing time, and means you can actually get the scenario played in an evening, and they give as far as I can see plausible historical results.
I used the period British O/S 1943 1/100,000 NW Europe maps available from the WW2 Topographic Maps Series at McMaster University in Canada - you can access this online here Maps are supplied under the Creative Commons Attribution: non-commercial 2.5 CA Licence
This is a fantastic resource for wargamers and to me gives just the right amount of detail you need, whatever scale or rules you are using. If you look through this website you’ll find maps for most of Europe, incuding Italy and also Korea for post-war scenarios.
When we translate the maps to the table we generally only put main roads on, and assume the smaller roads are subsumed into Open Ground. Similarly we only portray major groups of houses and use several town blocks under the rules to do this.
I game WW2 in 10mm which for me gives the best balance of big enough infantry to use practically but small enough to use tanks en-masse. I've tried several different painting styles over the years and hope to update this site with a painting page to share my experiences, I find these helpful on other folks sites.
There are a bunch of manufacturers out there nowadays but my forces were built up primarily with Pithead Miniatures.
I also use Pendraken, Minifigs and the new Lancer miniatures. My forces are based to the blitzkreig commander rules format, with 50mmx25mm bases typically for infantry with usually 5 figures to the base. Tanks are generally on 50mmx30mm bases, assets on 25mmx25mm single models, and formation commanders on 40mmx30mm bases.
There is a wealth of information out there for the wargamer, and the challenge is to find appropriate material that can be translated to the tabletop. My main sources for the campaign have been:
Osprey Campaign no257, Salerno 1943, The Allies Invade Southern Italy by Angus Konstam.
This is an excellent book and has great maps to show the various battles. Good overview and some of the artwork is very atmospheric. Recommended.
Salerno '43, Gulf of Hell by Des Hickey & Gus Smith
This book goes into a lot of detail in places but reads more like a novel so is quite an easy read. Worthwhile.
Tug of War: The Battle For Italy: 1943-1945 by Dominick Graham and Shelford Bidwell
History of the wider Campaign by two British Army veterans of the Mediterranean theatre.