About a month ago, I came across a new designer named Wolfgang Klein (no relation to Alexander Klein) and his upcoming Kickstarter for a tactical level wargame focused on Operation Barbarossa during World War II from June through December 1941. The game looks to be interesting and deals with this conflict in a new and exciting way. I reached out to Wolfgang for an interview and he had done a fantastic job in answering my many questions.

If you are interested, you can checkout the campaign on the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rh41/assault-red-horizon-41/?ref=kicktraq

Grant: First off Wolfgang please tell us a little about yourself. What are your hobbies? What’s your day job?

Wolfgang: Well, there are a lot of things I like. First of all, I have to mention my family. I’m 42, a father of three boys and they keep my wife and me on our toes. So that I have time for my hobbies, my wife always has my back. My most loved hobbies are of course, designing the Assault Game System and other board game ideas. Another hobby is building bows and arrows – making a bow myself from a piece of wood, e.g. yew, and shooting with it on the course is really relaxing. I also play music with my accordion
regularly, but with the pandemic less.

I am an industrial engineer by profession and work for a large electronics company. There I am
manager for Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) projects. I am not allowed to reveal more, but it is
interesting stuff.

Grant: What motivated you to break into game design? What have you enjoyed most about the experience thus far?

Wolfgang: I already made various games with my friend Erich (Leadtester) during our school days together. The wargame genre has always been the focus. From strategy to tactics, whether World War I, World War II or
completely different eras. We were constantly occupied with it. After several years in the military, we thought we should put our countless ideas into practice. That was the start of our design “career”. One point is certainly that I want to fully express my own creativity. I think that would certainly not always be easy as an employee in a publishing house. Here I can freely decide what works in the system and what doesn’t.

The most fun is when you think about new concepts together. When you try to think your way into these game situations and discuss them – sometimes spending whole evenings thinking about them and then implementing them. When you then notice that the game feeling and the situations feel right and the results in the game are plausible – for me, these are wonderful experiences during game development.
One of the best experiences, however, is that you always find nice, like-minded wargamers all over
the world who support you without any great personal demands (Lol, except cakes of course). I think
that’s the only way to make such complex games mature. Respect for all my supporters – thank you!

Grant: What designers would you save have influenced your style?

Wolfgang: First of all I want to mention Don Greenwood’s ASL Rules was a milestone. Then Mark H. Walker´s LnL Band of Heroes, a bring back from a trip to the USA. But also PC games like Gary Grigsby’s Panzer Strike or Steel Panthers with GG and Keith Brors…when I think – a lot of games I played in my life. Regardless, when I play other systems, I constantly have my own ideas about how to do things differently. That is both a curse and a blessing.

Grant: What do you find most challenging about the design process? What do you feel you do really well?

Wolfgang: The challenging thing was certainly to curb my urge to make it very realistic. As an example. The first drafts were so detailed that even each vehicle had the individual soldiers with their roles as crew. Each group actually had 10 soldiers with their individual weapons and equipment. It was not always easy for me to distance myself from this and to abstract. My friend Michael (our studied historian) always helped me to find the balance between playability and realism in many discussions. Good teamwork – Thank you Michael!

I think what is really well done is that the game and the situations that arise feel right. The players have to make difficult and tough decisions – e.g. which unit can I activate and which one must suffer casualties. Or do I sacrifice this infantry unit so that I can bring the tank to a halt – so that the enemy cannot occupy the objective field. All the way to – should I fire into close combat when enemy infantry jumps on my tank and wants to destroy it?

The game system has succeeded in reducing the moments of frustration that often occur in games. A player always has a counter-roll, so that very good dice rolls can be defused by a little luck. Even if you feel inferior with your units, this is purely a unit-technical feeling, but it has turned out that individual over-strong units have a very strong influence on a game, but do not automatically lead to victory or defeat.

Another point is certainly the modularity of the game system. Assault! is designed to be developed further relatively easily. The rules mechanics are designed in such a way that you can simulate all possible combat situations without having to write further books. This modularity is beautifully demonstrated in our dynamic campaign system. The players use the materials available to play a two-day battle as a campaign. Each battle determines the further course of the campaign. There are a total of eight different plots for how the game can be ended. We have also made sure that the replay value of the scenarios is very high. In addition, the scenarios always have a historical and an alternative history setting, and the setting varies greatly due to
different formations and free deployment zones.

Perhaps one last point in this self-praise. The game system with the unit values is very well balanced. Our unit values are based on mathematics and statistics and are comparable with each other. In this way we have ensured that in the vast majority of cases the scenarios are only decided in the last round.

Grant: What is your upcoming Assault Red Horizon 41 about?

Wolfgang: Red Horizon 41 is about fast and action-packed combat, on the smaller scale of Operation Barbarossa. I would say several groups, guns and vehicles up to company size. We deliberately limited our unit selection to the period from June to October – with this restriction we were able to create really intense game experiences for the units available at that time. We were looking for an optimal compromise between authentic representation and speedy playability, and from our point of view we found it.

Grant: What from this titanic clash on the East Front did you want to take care to model in the game?

Wolfgang: We definitely wanted to recreate the weaponry and technical conditions typical of the chosen
period. The detail, the fate of individuals is important to us. No divisions against divisions, but small
scenarios. For example, I have an original report from a German company commander. He describes
the clash between German 3.7cm antitank troops vs. Soviet KV1 tanks in July 1941. Historical readers
should know the rest of the story. That this report was top secret should be logical.
And we wanted to simulate exactly such conditions or differences and thus challenge the players to
master exciting situations through their tactics.

Grant: What do you feel this system offers that other tactical systems don’t?

Wolfgang: I don’t want to presume to know every other tactical system. I also don’t want to say that it is not
possible with other systems, but I am convinced that this system addresses the niche between an old
wargame hand and the younger casual gamers.
The Assault game system is very much geared towards game flow and little downtime. Once the
mechanics are understood, players don’t have to constantly look at flowcharts or tables to progress.
It plays very intuitively and feels right. The rules are easy to understand, well structured and very
logical.
Our dice system is extremely easy to understand. The different colours represent the potential
strength of the dice results. You can very quickly and easily assess which situation can arise in the
game when I see the dice values indicated on the unit cards.
This way we focus on the game experience, on the battlefield. And that’s where I think the focus
should be.
Perhaps a postscript to the gameplay. In the Assault System, the underlying statistics regulate all the
players’ emotional states – from the feeling of superiority to despair because an important action
went wrong and you suddenly lose the initiative.
Despite everything, games are exciting right up to the last turn.

Grant: What are the unit cards and what information is found on them? Can you show us a few examples and tell us the differences between the Russian and German forces?

Wolfgang: Yes, of course. For the explanation of the unit card I want to refer to the rulebook which is online on the KS page. In that book you can find this overview regarding the unit cards:

When creating the unit cards, we took care to take into account the historical composition and equipment of the units at that time. For example, in ’41 most German standard rifle squads consisted of 10 soldiers: 1 Gruppenführer, 1 light machine gun and 8 riflemen. The equipment was as follows: 1 MP-40 (submachinegun), 1 MG34 (light mg), 8 Karabiner 89k (bolt action rifle).

On the Russian side, there were poorly equipped rifle groups, but also well equipped groups with fully and semiautomatic weapons (submachine guns), e.g. the PPsch-41. These groups were superior to the German rifle groups at shorter distances. This fact can be seen on the unit cards (compare the dice for infantry targets):

To be able to compare the differences in firepower here are all the possible dice results:

Another example is the comparison of vehicles. While the Russians had heavy tanks, the Germans had only light and medium tanks at their disposal. The German guns had real problems stopping the Russian tanks. You can see below the values of the German 3.7cm gun of the Pz 38 (t) (top row right of the tank’s symbol) and estimate the probability of penetrating the KV-1’s frontal armor (two red and one green cube on the shield left of the tank). In contrast, it was much easier for the 7.6 cm of the KV-1 to penetrate the Pz 38(t) at his front armor.)

On the other hand, the earlier constructions of the KV-1 still had considerable difficulties with mechanics / powertrain. Many of these vehicles got stuck due to technical defects and were then also often fought by infantry units. We have represented this fact with the attribute “Error-Prone”.

An other example:

Especially at the beginning of the campaign, there are many reports about Russian tree snipers who opened fire from ambush and were thus supposed to delay the attack. We have taken this as an example and depicted a Russian sniper team. These small groups are very difficult to be cleared up and are well trained to take out their victims.

The German troops had real problems fighting the masses of medium and heavy Russian tanks due to their weaker guns. As an effective and last resort, it was often necessary to fight man against tank. That is why we created the tank hunter teams. At the beginning they combined hand grenades to „geballte Ladungen“ to stop the tanks.

One thing the Germans learned from the French campaign was that the 8.8cm FlaK could be used very well against tanks in ground combat. This fact often saved the victory of the German units and must therefore not be missing in Red Horizon 41.

On the Russian side there were tons of guns. For example, we put the 4.5cm anti-tank gun in the game. Due to its low silhouette, it is difficult for the Germans to see it for sure before it opens fire.

These were just a few examples. I could tell stories about them all day long 😉 The finished game will contain at least 32 different unit types, depending on the stretch goals achieved.

Grant: I see that the units are represented by hex shaped counters. What was the reason for this choice?

Wolfgang: A good question! These units in the hexagon have the advantage of a more precise directional representation. So it is quite easy to see where the areas of impact of the unit are. Later, with additional extensions, the hex form will become important when it comes to the representation of fortifications, for example. However, these topics are not yet included. And one important thing. The hex is part of our company’s logo. Just kidding!

Grant: What is the anatomy of these counters and can you show us a few examples?

Wolfgang: I could refer to the rulebook again. But, every Infantry, artillery and vehicles unit is represented in
Assault by a counter. These counters have a front and reverse side. Units at full strength are placed on their front side and are flipped to their reverse side when they suffer damage. These symbols are used for the different unit types.

Grant: How are units activated in the game?

Wolfgang: In general the Assault Game System offers two ways of activating units:

If players are playing with the optional rules of command points.

If players are not playing with the optional rules: Then it is easy. Each player can activate all of his units during a turn without paying a command point. If players choose to play with command points then it is getting more interesting:

Command points simulate the prioritization of orders during a scenario. In a combat situation, the company, platoon or squad leader must react decisively and doesn’t always have the time to worry about all of his subordinate units. Each turn, the player only has a certain number of command points available so it will be impossible to activate every unit that is available on the battlefield. Instead, players will assign the command points to unit cards to decide which units do activate. This is done during the planning phase.

During the planning phase, each faction has a limited number of command points and command cards at his disposal. Be aware that, generally, there will not be enough command points to activate every unit. The player will need to plan ahead and to think tactically to compensate for the shortage of command points. A unit can only be activated once per game turn. Special effects and command cards can create exceptions to this rule. Both players must take the following actions during the planning phase: draw command cards, assign all available command points to the unit cards. Not all actions require the player to use a command point. Those that don’t are called free actions. If an action is a free action that should be noted in the rules.

Grant: What aspects of tactical combat have been abstracted?

Wolfgang: One aspect is the composition of the units. This means that not every soldier is represented individually but the unit is given strength points instead. A full infantry squad, which would normally have 10 or more soldiers, has 4 strength points. An infantry team (e.g. heavy machine gun squad) with around 5 men has 2 strength points.

Another aspect is that we have not directly represented the leadership structure or military leaders, as counters in the game. Instead, we have created the command cards. These bring some of the leadership aspects into play, such as increasing morale, special abilities and so on. We do have plans for implementing more in this direction later, in future expansions, but not for the moment!

We have also abstracted the behavior of soldiers under stressful conditions. Suffering casualties or coming under fire means there is a chance they will become suppressed. This means that the combat stress caused by excessive fire, wounding and casualties has become so high that the soldiers throw themselves into the dirt and keep their heads down. This gives them a temporary advantage in defense, but also prevents them from taking any further action. If this suppressed unit is then suppressed again by another result, they start to disengage and perform a retreat. This is how we have tried to include the issue of troop morale. We are really pleased with how we have managed to incorporate the luck factor into the game. In real combat, training but also personal luck often determines whether an action is successful, and its consequences. With our dice system, we have a statistical basis for estimating results, but also a dose of luck that makes them a little harder to predict.

This luck is particularly important for players when they are presented with an unequally matched combat. In the Assault System you can theoretically fight with any unit. Even with a truck you could defend yourself against an attacker in close combat. Thus, we have simulated the two crew members in the truck. Should you want to attack a truck unit in close combat, there is a small chance that the two men (driver and passenger) will fight their way out. It is a somewhat comical situation but quite conceivable in reality. Imagine the boasting rights of players if they achieve it though! Perhaps a better example is the unequal fight of infantry against tanks. Which, by the way, was common practice on the various fronts. In the Assault System, every infantry unit has a certain number of dice against tanks. Now any unit, no matter how weak, can damage or incapacitate a tank with a certain amount of luck. We have achieved this by abstracting the targeted use of explosives, (or other objects), in such a way that it is possible to bring a tank to a halt. The player with the infantry unit can now decide whether they want to try and damage the tank generally or whether they will take a more high risk strategy and specifically aim to destroy its drive train (e.g. engine, chain, impeller,…). If they fail, they do nothing to the tank. If they succeed, they will prevent it from grabbing a victory hex or wreaking havoc on another part of the map. In the area of movement tactics, we do not have a separate action markers for each type of movement. We only distinguish between normal actions and fast actions. This helps us to make the game less cumbersome with fewer rules, and to promote an enjoyable, smooth flow.

We have limited ourselves with the different types of terrain represented in the game. There was a very long discussion about the topic of elevation levels and there were several rule changes. We did not want any ambiguities to lead to arguments between the players and thus spoil the fun of the game. Assessing things like the effects of different terrain types and hills should be able to happen quickly to keep the pace going.

Grant: Why were these chosen and what was your intent in the abstraction?

Wolfgang: Most of the abstractions are there to ensure a playing time that is realistic for players with busy lives and to provide a smooth flow to the game. If all the scenarios in the Assault Game System lasted a full day, there would be less incentive for players to try out the campaign, with a number of connected battles. It would simply take forever to progress through it. That said, there is nothing to stop players setting up a much larger game and playing all day if that’s what they want to do. The flexibility and modularity of the system makes it very easy to do this. Another reason for our abstractions was to reduce the downtime in the game. We did not want players micromanaging their units. I mentioned before that the early versions of the design had each soldier and vehicle represented individually. This would be great for the player doing it, but also
potentially boring for their opponent, as they wait for them to finish. Ultimately, our goal was to produce a game that fitted nicely into the niche between hardcore wargame and the very casual – for it to have the broadest appeal. Thus, the level of complexity and the playing times of 1-3 hours per battle (depending on the scenario) felt perfect to us.

Grant: What advantage does the use of map tiles give the game?

Wolfgang: The map tiles are geomorphic so that they can be put together in a number of ways, which adds variety to the different set ups we can make available to players. They are also deliberately designed so they can be interlocked. This has the advantage that you have continuous terrain at the map edges. In wargames with straight rectangular maps, there are hexes cut in half. Because of these half hexes, it can make the placement of units physically difficult or just confusing. How often have you seen threads on BGG or Consimworld where people ask if half hexes can be used? The half hexes can also, (in the sense of LOS), create free corridors to fire down. We wanted to prevent this and therefore have only whole hexes at the edges with the possibility of mapping the corresponding terrain there.

Grant: What role do the formation and unit cards play? Why does this make the experience better overall?

Wolfgang: There are three different categories of formation cards, one for each type of unit: infantry, artillery
and vehicles. The combined strength of all units on the individual formation cards are deliberately designed to be pretty much comparable with each other. For example, a Russian artillery formation card has the same strength points value total as a German tank formation card. This means that if you play an encounter battle with the same number of troops, both players will usually have the same number of formation cards.

The formation cards tell the players which individual units they are leading into the battle and how many of them. As well as this, the cards will indicate the experience level of these units, (recruit, regular, hardened, veteran, elite). Further information is also provided on the number of available command points, (for activation), and higher formation, (the historical name of next level of the command structure).

Each scenario specifies what type of formation cards the players are allowed to have and their setup. These formation cards are drawn randomly, to simulate that as a military leader (e.g. company commander) you cannot always choose which units you have to command. The formation cards also speed up the game because you don’t have to choose every single unit and check with the point values to check whether the game is balanced. I have already explained the unit cards themselves. Each type of unit listed on the formation card will have an equivalent unit card. Players will only need one unit card for each type of unit. Its purpose is to provide all the necessary information that the players need to know about their unit counters on the map tiles in order to play the game. This includes how they move and attack, how well protected they are when under fire, their special abilities and any attributes they have, good and bad.

Grant: How are Command Cards used in the design?

Wolfgang: The Command Cards simulate a variety of important effects for the units. This might be the competence of its commanders at a junior level, the impact of individual characters within the unit, heroic actions or some special abilities. There are three different types of Command Cards: neutral, German and Russian.

With the German and Russian Command Cards, care was taken to integrate typical characteristics of these two factions. For example, the German army at that time was very well trained and equipped with very broad capabilities. They had a good command structure. The Russian forces in 1941 were generally poorly led and poorly organized. On the other hand, the Russians were numerically superior and could be very creative in defense. The neutral Command Cards are more generic but give useful abilities that can be used by either side.

Grant: Can you show us a few examples of the cards and explain how they are used?

Wolfgang: There are three decks of Command Cards. One for each of the factions and a neutral deck. The neutral deck should be shuffled and split between the two players. Each player will then shuffle the neutral cards they have received into their own faction deck, creating a deck of Command Cards that each faction will use through the game.

Unless the scenario description states otherwise, each player draws three Command Cards. The total number of Command Cards in the player’s hand may never exceed three. These Command Cards form the player’s starting hand and are available for use during the game. No further Command Cards are drawn during the turn. This hand size limit can be changed by special rules listed in the scenario description . The rest of the faction deck stays next to the player and serves as the draw deck for Command Cards during the planning phase.

Examples for Command Cards:

This neutral (because of the soldiers on the top left rather than a faction symbol) card “Ambitious” can be played at any time (Anytime). The symbols (Infantry, Artillery and Tank) show for which unit types this card can be used. The effect of the card is a re-roll of an attack roll.

This Russian card (because of the star on the top right) “Comrade Commissar” can be played before the activation of a unit (Before
Activation – time). The symbols (Infantry) show that this card can only be used for infantry.

This German card (because of the bar cross at the top left) “Fire Training” can be played before the activation of a unit (Before Activation – time). The symbols (infantry, artillery) show that this card can only be used for infantry and artillery.

Grant: Why did you feel the Command Cards fit the system?

Wolfgang: The Command Cards add depth and chrome to the game. They are available as an optional rule and do not have to be used. But if you use them, it gives the game even more flavor. The Command Cards for each faction are different and many a wow effect takes place when the players use these cards. They also make the game less predictable because you don’t always know what else the other player has in their hand.

Grant: What are the different custom dice and how are they each used?

Wolfgang: There are four different colored dice with symbols on them. These dice are used for attack and for defense rolls. These dice are also used for special situations such as firing smoke with the mortar or triggering a special effect.

Grant: What do the different colors represent?

Wolfgang: The different colors symbolize the different strengths of the dice. This makes them easy for the players to identify. A red cube always means the highest danger for the opponent in an attack. Blue, on the other hand, is rather weak as an attack cube.

Look at the table to see the different effects of the dice:

Grant: How does combat work?

Wolfgang: In the Assault System there are two types of combat; ranged fire and close combat. Ranged fire is
split into indirect and direct fire. Indirect fire takes place in a support phase before any movement and direct fire and allows players to soften up their opponents for an attack. Indirect fire will be things like mortars and artillery. Direct fire and close combat come later in the action phase. Direct fire is between units that can directly see each other, and different modifiers will apply. Essentially all types of combat are opposed dice rolls with the attacker and defender both rolling all the dice they are entitled to and then comparing the outcome of those dice rolls. It’s very easy and quick. Once players are familiar with the different dice they get for various factors, it saves lots of time. There is no math involved!

Grant: What are the different results of combat?

Wolfgang: There are three outcomes possible from the opposed dice rolls. Damage, suppression and critical hits. Damage is compared to the strength of the unit. When it reaches half the strength of the unit it is flipped to its half-strength side. When it reaches the strength of the unit, it is eliminated. Suppression will end the actions of a unit or prevent it activating that turn. Critical hits apply damage but also have a special effect depending on the circumstances. This may be a vehicle becoming immobilized, a unit falling back and other bad stuff. It all adds to the narrative and that’s something we really wanted from this design. That players will walk away from the table talking about the memorable events that happened during the game.

Grant: What different scenarios are included?

Wolfgang: Depending on the outcome of the KS campaign, we have planned a scenario book with 12 scenarios. Included are two quick start scenarios that introduce players to the game mechanics, one for infantry and one for vehicles. Otherwise, all scenarios offered are historically based. Backers will see a
number of different types of combat covered including the classic attack vs. defense, encounter battle, delaying action, raiding patrol, ambush etc…

I would like to take the time to explain one scenario in more detail here, if I may. This is entitled: Heeresanklopfgerät – (‘army door-knocking device’) which was a nickname given by the German soldiers to the 3.7 cm anti-tank gun, after the ineffectiveness of this caliber against the heavy Russian tanks became apparent. Historically, this scenario deals with the situation of a tank destroyer section that crosses a bridge
with light ATG’s in support and runs into a counterattack of medium and heavy tanks. The Russians operate with massive superior numbers and press the German forces so hard that they can only try to delay the counterattack long enough for reinforcements to arrive. The scenario is a game of trying to create time for the German side, otherwise they will be crushed. With this scenario, we depict exactly the situation of the inferiority of the German 3.7cm ATG against the Russian tank. It must have felt like this or something similar back then on 25 July 1941 along the river Styr.

Grant: What is the Dynamic Campaign System? What advantage does it offer the tactical experience?

Wolfgang: In this campaign, the players take on the role of a company commander, each serving in the ranks of one of the two divisions that took part historically; the German 7th Infantry Division and the Soviet 13th Rifle Division. The campaign consists of four connected battles and covers the period 24-25 June. This campaign is in line with historical operations for crossing the Narew River. This crossing was important and had to be achieved quickly in order to close off the town of Bialystok and its connected basin.

We have designed a system whereby multiple scenarios can be linked with a variable starting set up. The set up in each subsequent scenario will be dependent upon how many of the victory conditions each side achieved in the previous scenario. This can be seizing key areas of the map or inflicting more losses on your opponent. This means that each battle contributes to the development of the overall situation and the achievement of the strategic goal. These results are saved in a log. The campaign includes the possibility of 8 different plot paths for a high replay value, with several ways to gain overall victory.

The players will get also core units at the start of each campaign and, depending on the scenario, some support units. These core units are available throughout the campaign and can gain experience during the battles and become more effective, (e.g. gain an additional attack die, ignore moral suppressing, etc.). One clear advantage this creates for the tactical experience is, that units gain more utility as they gain more experience. Also, units can lose their experience if they are eliminated, so players will have to adapt their tactics to try and keep their units alive and not just send the soldiers into hell. The whole campaign book is nicely embellished with thematic texts to put the players in the role of the military leader.

This is the thematic text used to introduce each player to the overall situation at the start of the campaign:

The situation of the German Wehrmacht:
June 24, 1941: Central Army Group, 4th Army, 7th Army Corps, 7th Infantry Division:

The 7th Infantry Division is located southwest of Bialystok after its initially successful battles. Together with other divisions their aim is to capture the city and destroy the opposing Soviet Army. Other German armored divisions have already reached southeast of Bialystok and are cutting off any Russian retreat. After heavy fighting clearing out bunkers at the beginning of the operation on June 22, the 61st Infantry Regiment, coming from Sniadowo, stands between Bug and Narew west of the village of Lapy. The regiment’s mission is to secure the road and bridge near Surasz, leading to the east via Lapy. This clears the way to Bialystock and the larger units can move up to take this town.

The situation of the Soviet Army:
June 24, 1941: Western Military District of the Red Army, 10th Army, 5th Infantry Corps, 13th Rifle
Division:

Parts of the division were withdrawn from the front after heavy defensive fighting since June 22. The
division’s mission is to stabilize the front west and southwest of Bialystok near the Narew River and to
delay the German Wehrmacht. The 169th Rifle Regiment, with weaker forces, is located near Surasz and prepares for defense. In an offshore position west of the Narew River stand the remains of three rifle companies with the support of a few tanks.

This is the thematic text used to introduce each player to the situation at the start of the very first
scenario:

Intro: Red Dawn
The situation in the early morning of June 24, 1941:

Command post of the 61st Infantry Regiment. Issuing orders to the company commanders:

We are prepared today to break through the main line of our enemy. To do so, we must cross the open ground as quickly as possible and then throw the enemy out of their hill positions. If we manage to break through today, we can use the momentum to drive the enemy in front of us. The 1st Company is ordered to open the battle and to clear enemy positions on the hills, lying north of the road. An infantry platoon of the neighboring company and tank support is at their disposal. The Russian defenders have to be driven off these hills that our attack does not falter. The enemy forces should be the remains of a company with infantry reinforced by anti-tank guns. We assume that further reserves of the Russian 169th Rifle Regiment are on their way from Surasz. If you clear the position quickly, the way to Lapy is clear and we can encircle the enemy from the north and south. Russian hill position west of Lapy.

The company commanders of the 5th and 3rd are on their own:

Our outposts report increased enemy activity from the west. Vehicle noise, probably tanks can be
heard. We expect the enemy to attack our positions soon. The enemy will try to break through our
line and cross the Narew. Our main combat units are still on the advance and need time. Luckily we
were able to find two anti-tank guns. Keep the front line together. Whatever it costs!
The 5th company must stop the enemy, worst case scenario delay. Our regiment needs time to
reinforce after Lapy. If we lose the position, 3rd Company in the south will be in trouble. Every hour
counts to reinforce at Lapy. If we stop the enemy here, we slow down the complete attack on
Bialystok.

Grant: How have you designed the Assault System to to emphasize game flow?

Wolfgang: We have used every opportunity to pare down the system so that game play always triumphs over
unnecessary fiddliness. The use of opposed dice for all types of combat is intuitive and allows the players to focus on their tactics not leave them with a series of mathematical calculations. The unit cards reduce clutter on the counters. The fact that we have managed to create a system where a unit will have a maximum of one information counter on it at any time, but still manages to pack in so many features of WW2 tactical combat is something we are very proud of.

Grant: What different stretch goals are offered? When do you believe the game will be fulfilled?

Wolfgang: Our current stretch goals for the KS campaign are new command cards, (neutral, Soviet, German),
new formations cards for infantry, tank and artillery units on both sides. Waffen SS and NKVD troops are also coming up. We also have some new units with unit cards and counters, but I don’t want to reveal them yet!
We believe in having a realistic plan. We would rather over deliver than over than over promise. Personally, I
have set myself the goal of delivering by autumn next year at the latest.

Thanks for this great look inside the game Wolfgang. For my money, this one seems to be a good investment and will be a game that may provide a different look at some things on the East Front and present the fighting here in a new and fresh way.

If you are interested, you can checkout the campaign on the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rh41/assault-red-horizon-41/?ref=kicktraq

-Grant