Sunday 8 September 2013
Italians in Russia: The Forgotten Army
Fellow blogger and wargamer Chris Stoesen from Wargamer's Odds and Ends has publised a few days ago a scenario book called "In the Name of Roma" covering in 30 scenarios and 6 campaigns the trip to hell of the 80º Infantry Roma Regiment of the Pasubio Division, part of the Italian Corps in Russia (CSIR).
So, what? Well, I've been following with growing interest Chris' progress of the booklet through his blogs posts but on Saturday night I had the opportunity to start reading the 200+ pages of the final work... and could not stop until finished. I was confronted by one of the most fascinating and dramatic war stories that I've read since a long time ago: from the story of the first killed in action to the desperate fights in December 1941 surrounded by overwhelming Russian forces.
Chris' book provides an excellent historical background to the campaigns played and shows that he has gone into a serious effort to learn the situation and cirumstances of the Italian Army in the campaign, which is reflected in the largely detailed scenarios written.
Only for the historical information, the bibliographic apendix and the rich detail about the Italian and Russian armies involved, OOBs, weapons tables, etc, would only justified acquiring a copy of In the Name of Rome.
But the second attraction is the six campaigns and the thirty scenarios themeselves, extending between August to December 1941 all extremely well researched on the basis of contemporary cartographic material and solid use of sources. You can download a sample scenario here.
I Ain't Been Shot Mum but can be easily adapted to any other set of rules at that game scale. Interestingly, Chris has also included some notes to scale down the games to play with Chain of Command , the recently released platoon level rules also from TooFatLardies.
Summarising, an excellent work worth having even of you are not planning to play this less known corner of the II World War. 5 out of 5 stars rating!
I also strongly reccomend reading Ray's blog comments on In the Name of Roma at Don't Throw a 1