Before we get into this series of Event Card Spoilers I want to say this. Werwolf: Insurgency in Occupied Germany, 1945-1948 is not a glorification of Nazism. Nor is it an attempt to change the narrative, although this game is an alternate reality look at the occupation of Germany by the Allies immediately following the fall of Berlin and the resistance from various groups to that occupation. This game will not be for everyone and may offend some with its portrayal of the events and participants in this struggle. I would say give it a chance to develop over the next year or so as the game has just been placed on pre-order with Legion Wargames. I have long been enthralled with the COIN Series from GMT Games for its attempt to tell the less than squeaky clean side of some of the most infamous struggles in history. This game is not an official part of that series but is COIN Series inspired.
I have seen lots of information put out by the design team of Clint Warren-Davey and Ben Fiene and it appears that these two have done their homework and extrapolated some theories that may or may not have been totally 100% accurate but are based in some semblance of plans or partial historical information. I think that it is good to explore history in these type of games.
With all of that being said, we were contacted by our good friend Randy Lein from Legion Wargames a few months ago about this project and asked if we would be interested in doing some coverage through an interview and possibly some other mediums, such as our Event Card Spoilers format that we have used in other games, and we were immediately intrigued by the concept and the fact that the game uses some of the elements of one of our favorite series. I have been in communication with one of the designers Clint Warren-Davey since that time and he has shared lots of information with me, including the rules and some of their background work on this one, and I wanted to make sure we gave it some light to give you a chance to understand what the game is so that you can make an informed decision about whether you plan to order this one or not. Clint has been great to work with and has agreed to write a series of short articles on the Event Cards and their basis in history as well as how they are used in the game.
If you are interested in ordering Werwolf: Insurgency in Occupied Germany, 1945-1948, you can pre-order a copy for $72.00 from the Legion Wargames website at the following link: https://www.legionwargames.com/legion_WER.html
#93 Operation Cowboy
One of the joys of historical research is discovering events and individuals which prove the apocryphal quote that ‘fact is stranger than fiction’. One of these events is Operation Cowboy, a daring mission to rescue horses from the SS and the Soviets in the dying days of the war. While YouTube videos have familiarized many with the events of Schloss Itter, when Heer and US troops cooperated to defend against Waffen SS assaults (Werwolf also features a card on this), Operation Cowboy remains virtually unknown. So hopefully you’ll forgive a little more background detail than has been the norm with these card reveals.
The events are just waiting for a Hollywood blockbuster. It all revolves around horses, in particular the famous Lippanzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School at Vienna. Animals are often forgotten as victims of war, but they found themselves in the front lines and suffered alongside us as we blasted each other to kingdom come. It is estimated that up to 5 million horses died in the Second World War, and that coming after the loss of 8 million in the First World War.
The Lippanzaner stallions had fascinated the Nazis, and from the annexation of Austria in the Anschluss of 1938, they were the focus of investigations into the ‘Aryan Horses,’ a Nazi ideal of equine perfection. To this end, the entire school was moved to a stud at Hostau, in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia. In April 1945 the Lippanzaners and their keepers found themselves directly in the path of the Red Army troops of the 2nd Ukrainian Front. A secondary stud outside of Budapest had been overrun by the Soviets and all staff and horses were killed.
Realising the imminent danger, chief veterinarian Lt.Col. Hubert Rudofsky, and Luftwaffe intelligence officer Lt.Col. Walter Holters arranged to send a plea to the advancing troops of Patton’s 3rd Army. Holters, who had found himself at Hostau after being separated from his unit, made contact and appears to have met with Patton himself. Sharing a mutual love of horses, and fearing that a repeat of the slaughter outside Budapest, a plan was set in action. Holters would accompany the armoured cars and light tanks of the 42nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, the famous ‘Ghosts of Patton’s army’, whose audacious deep raids behind enemy lines were renowned. Together, they reached Hostau, fighting their way through remnants of 11th Panzer Division. At Hostau, a scratch force of German army veteranarians, Luftwaffe hangers on, and US Cavalry fought off multiple attacks by Waffen SS troops while the rumble of Soviet artillery drew ever closer. As the first T-34s appeared, the column cut their way back to US lines with the Lippanzaners in tow, saving the magnificent horses for posterity.
So that’s the narrative, and after running a poll on Twitter, we decided it simply had to be included in the event cards for Werwolf, a great card for the Allies or Werwolf. The top option, ‘Ghosts of Pattons Army’ enables Allies and Edelweiss to work together, striking behind Soviet lines and in the process raising allied morale and potentially seizing control of a space from the Soviets. Allies and Edelweiss remain eligible, reflecting the audacious nature of this action and their ability to out maneuver the Werwolf and Soviet players. If, however, the Soviets or Werwolf get the jump it provides an opportunity for the goals of these two factions to temporarily align. For this, I’d imagined the Werwolf selling off the Lippanzaners to the highest bidder. ‘Stolen Lippanzaners’ allows Werwolf to place underground guerrillas in a Soviet space and gain 2 resources. This represents the Nazis selling the horses to the Soviets, who in return gain 2 resources but at the cost of raising Cold War tensions.
If you missed the previous entries in the series, you can catch up on the posts to date by following the below links:
There will be more card spoilers to come in the near future. In the meantime, if you are interested we recently posted an interview with the designers and you can read that at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2022/06/27/interview-with-clint-warren-davey-and-ben-fiene-designers-of-werwolf-insurgency-in-occupied-germany-1945-1948-from-legion-wargames/