Saturday, 9 June 2018

Kicking in the door: An Operation Barbarossa Campaign System by Andrew Rolph

A few days ago Andrew Rolph – a wargamer who has written numerous very interesting articles that have been published in MINIATURE WARGAMES – sent me a link so that I could download a PDF copy of his latest book, BARBAROSSA: KICKING IN THE DOOR ... .

The book explains how to fight a wargames campaign that covers Operation Barbarossa (the German invasion of the Soviet Union) from June until September 1941. It is designed to work with rules in which a stand represents a platoon, but it seems to me that the basic system will work with most rules that cover World War II, including my own PORTABLE WARGAME rules.

The campaign map uses point-to-point movement, with each node on the map generating a potential battle between the Axis forces and the Russians.

The book contains:
  • A short history of the campaign (this has also been published in Andrew Rolph's earlier book GREY STEEL, RED STORM – REGIMENTAL SCENARIOS IN THE SOVIET UNION 1941-1943);
  • Background information (including time scale, ground scale, and suggestions for additional/optional rules) that will help wargamers adapt the system so that it will work with a particular set of rules;
  • A system for generating tabletop terrain for individual battles;
  • Numerous Appendices that cover:
    • Platoon and Company-level Tables of Organisation and Equipment for the divisions and regiments involved in the campaign;
    • Forty-two coloured terrain squares that can be used with the tabletop terrain generation system;
    • An example of how the tabletop terrain generation system works;
    • A Campaign Quick Reference Sheet;
    • An example of a Campaign Turn;
    • A set of suitable quick-play rules for use with the campaign system;
    • A full colour A4-sized Campaign Map.
Andrew sent the link to me because he knows that I have had plans to re-fight Operation Barbarossa for a very long time, and having read it, I can see the potential his campaign system has in helping me achieve my ambition.

BARBAROSSA: KICKING IN THE DOOR ... is written and published by Andrew Rolph. It is available from the Wargames Vault as a watermarked PDF ($4.95) or as a softback book with coloured illustrations ($9.95) or as a combined purchase of PDF and book (usually $14.90 but currently on sale at the discounted price $9.95).


  1. Thanks for the heads up, Bob. I've ordered the PDF and hard copy :-)

    1. Blaxkleric,

      It was my pleasure to review and recommend this book by Andrew Rolph. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have.

      All the best,


  2. Bob
    Thanks for the publicity and I trust it's a useful resource for your own campaign. if any COW attendees are thinking of getting a hard copy, it is worth holding off as I will be bringing a few copies and can save you £5 of postage.

    PS and thanks to Blaxkleric for buying a copy - hope you like it

    1. Rumblestrip (Andrew),

      Thank you for sending me the link. I think that it will serve my purposes very well indeed.

      I'll certainly buy a hard copy of the book if you bring one to COW for me. I was going to order one from Wargames Vault, but I'm all in favour of saing on the postage cost.

      All the best,


  3. Interesting! It LOOKS a bit like the way the campaign system for the old Europe in Flames: East Front goes. There you start out as a battalion commander, Wehrmacht or SS, infantry or Panzer. Losses accumulate from battle to battle; but you do get some replacements, and you may get promoted and or get added responsibilities (e.g command of a regiment).

    Not having nuch in the way of 1941 kit, I'm thinking of trying something beginning, say, with Operation Uranus, though that campaign has yet to find its way to the drawing board...

    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      I've never seen EUROPE IN FLAMES: EAST FRONT so I regret that I cannot compare the two approaches. I like the point-to-point campaign map, and I am likely to adopt it ... or something very like it.

      Most of my painted kit is late war, but I do have earlier stuff waiting to be assembled, pointed, and based. Completing these will be the starting point for my project.

      All the best,



Thank you for leaving a comment. Please note that any comments that are spam or contain phishing messages or that come from Google Accounts that are 'Unknown' will be deleted.