It has been an incredibly challenging month with the loss of John Tiller still very raw. With that in mind we are dedicating our new Panzer Campaigns release, Kiev ’43 to John.
Despite John’s illness, work on a range of products has continued. In the words of Rich Hamilton who has partnered with John for over twenty years:
I wanted to share some thoughts of mine about John, and also what some others have said. But I first want to say that it was John’s desire that his company would press on after he departed. We will be honoring that wish and will strive to continue to bring you quality new content as well as standing behind our existing products. In fact, you will see something new in just a few days…
Panzer Campaigns Kiev ’43 is that ‘something new’. We have a decent pipeline of projects and are hopeful that we can continue to provide products at the usual JTS quality.
Panzer Campaigns Kiev ’43, like the Japan ’45 & ’46 projects had been started over ten years ago but had languished due to resource issues or subordination to other projects. Like the Japan projects, Bill Peters volunteered to shepherd the game to completion – over a decade after it was started! This is the last orphan project that we had from the Panzer Campaigns series and Bill’s future work will be brand new.
Mike Avanzini was the driving force for getting the project started and had built the initial order of battle for both October and November 1943. The Late Dave ‘Blackie’ Blackburn built the Kiev ’43 map which was essentially an adjunct to the Korsun ’44 map. The Kiev map is to the north west of the Korsun area. With the map and order of battle done, there was a need for a scenario designer – that was never forthcoming.
Bill Peters volunteered to pick up the project as he completed Panzer Campaigns Japan ’46, while Mike agreed to review the original order of battle. Ultimately, it was decided to expand the scope of the game to cover December as well October and November 1943. The post Kursk battles in the second half of 1943 have never been covered in Panzer Campaigns and Kiev ’43 may be the first of a number of titles covering this underserved period. Both sides were still equivalent and once the Dnepr was reached there was a range of set piece battles to breach it. Kiev ’43 covers the pivotal battles on the northern end of the Dnepr. There is certainly opportunity to look at the concurrent battles in the Dnepr bend/southern end of the river, sometime in the future.
The October battles are centered on the various actions at Bukrin, just after the Soviet airborne operation at Kanev in late September. The November battles are concerned with Soviet breakout from the Liutezh bridgehead north of Kiev, the subsequent fall of the city and the Russian drive to the west. Also covered is the growing German response from November 12th and the large mobile battles fought from Fastov up to Korosten.
The December operations cover the more limited German offensive to turn the Soviet flank near Korosten and preclude any further build up of Russian forces. The Soviets launched a major offensive on December 24th that pushed well to the west & south-west – that operation is not covered in this title.
All in all, there are fifty-nine scenarios and campaigns included in what should be a very fluid operation for both sides.
Following are a few screenshots from this new release:
If you would like to learn a little more about the research that has gone into this title see this previous blog post: WDS Blog Post
Till next time.