March on Leningrad
Scenario Preview

October 2013

March on Leningrad is a booklet of ten scenarios covering the early battles between the Germans and the Red Army on the roads leading to Leningrad. This book is a very nice mix of quick action and large-scale maneuver, and priced very nicely at $10.99 in the printed edition, $5.99 as a download.

A full scenario list follows below, with commentary:

Directive No. 3
25 June 1941

Gen. F.I. Kuznetsov got his orders to stop Germany’s Operation Barbarossa in the form of Directive No. 3: “While firmly holding onto the coast of the Baltic Sea, deliver a powerful blow from the Kaunas region into the flank and rear of the enemy’s Suvalki group.” Kuznetsov complied by ordering his two mechanized formations forward in hopes of stopping the rampaging Hitlerites. Soviet 28th Tank Division promptly went on the offensive upon making contact with the enemy, and from June 23rd - 25th they struggled mightily to stop the momentum of the invaders.

Note: This scenario uses maps and pieces from Eastern Front.


After three days hard fighting against Soviet defenders, German fortunes changed when unsupported Soviet tanks approached their positions. German anti-tank fire cut through Soviet armored ranks quickly, and the infantry finished the job with Teller mines. Soviet 11th Mechanized Corps lost 700 tanks in three days of fighting, with the 50 survivors retreating toward Siauliai. Lessons from this disaster were not lost on the Soviets, who would soon come to understand that only combined arms would defeat this enemy.

Commentary: This is one of those “Nobody would ever be THAT dumb!” scenarios which illustrate that historical truth really is stranger than fiction. A medium-sized formation of unsupported Soviet tanks attacks across a minor river with the intent of destroying a German infantry position. It won’t be pretty for the Soviets, but it is an excellent learning experience for new Panzer Grenadier players (as in, don't let this happen to you!).

Sol’tsy: The Prelude
13 July 1941

The vanguard of German LVI Motorized Corps met stiffening but uneven resistance as they advanced on Sol’tsy. This needed to change quickly, and Marshal Zukhov sent a letter to General P.P. Sobennikov clearly spelling out the consequences of continued ineptitude in the defense of Northwest Front. Sobennikov reacted by sending forces toward a gap that was developing between two of Germany’s advancing motorized corps. On July 13th near the town of Sitnya, the battle suddenly intensified for the men of 8th Panzer Division.

Note: This scenario uses boards and pieces from Eastern Front, and pieces from Road to Berlin and Red Warriors. Use Soviet leaders only from Eastern Front.


With surprisingly good leadership from the command staff at Sol’tsy, Soviet infantry used defensible terrain along the road to slow the German advance. Soviet armor would then eventually outflank the Germans and isolate them near Sol’tsy. This battle highlights what the Soviets could have achieved in the first year of the war with Germany with better command and control in place.

Commentary: This is the first in a series of four scenarios chronicling the encirclement and near-destruction of the 8th Panzer Division near Sol’tsy. Right away you can see the flaw in the German plan: They’re sacrificing flank support for speed. And while they’ve got a huge qualitative advantage over the Soviets, the Red Army has them outnumbered 2:1 from the very beginning and it will only get worse over time. The German player has to clear a long road and take a town at the end of it while warding off armored flanking attacks, so he needs to use every advantage he’s got to keep from being cut off. Luckily, he’s got plenty: Fast-moving motorcycle troops that can quickly block Soviet reinforcements entering the board, numerous Panzers plus two 88mm AA units that will make mincemeat out of Soviet T-60, T-26 and BT-7 tanks, and a mobile HQ for the Luftwaffe’s forward liaison officer that can spot for German air attacks and negate the need to make die rolls to see if air units hit their target hex.

Sol’tsy: Tougher Stuff
13 July 1941

Just west of Sol’tsy the Soviet 682nd Motorized Rifle Regiment was scattered to the four winds in costly fighting with the powerful Kampfgruppe Fronhöfer. As the Germans advanced toward Sol’tsy most of their fleeing enemy sought safety by joining up with their sister regiment in the village. This did not concern the Germans, who expected no trouble that couldn’t be easily overcome. First Lieutenant Fronhöfer and his men looked forward to spending the night in Sol’tsy. 682nd Motorized Rifle intended to deny them this privilege and earn some respect in the process.

Note: This scenario uses boards and pieces from Eastern Front and Road to Berlin, and pieces from Red Warriors and Sinister Forces. Use Soviet leaders only from Eastern Front and Sinister Forces.


It soon became clear that the town would be overrun by the Hitlerite hordes, but the Red Army soldiers refused to accept this and fixed bayonets, shouted a war cry and charged the startled Germans. The vaunted panzer men were pushed back over four miles, but eventually regrouped and chased the Soviets out into the countryside by nightfall. Lt. Fronhöfer was able to spend the evening in the lovely hamlet of Sol’tsy, but only after a day’s fighting that was much more difficult than he’d expected. Far worse was to come.

Commentary: In this the second Sol’tsy scenario, the Germans outgun the Soviets (whose tank support is laughable compared to the Germans) and aren’t too far below them in numbers. But the Soviets have even morale with the Germans and a big town as defensible terrain. Once again the Germans need to make the best possible use of their armor and air support to clear the roads around Sol’tsy and take enough town hexes to beat the Soviets on victory points.

Sol’tsy: Problems at Maloye Utorgosh
15 July 1941

The advancing 8th Panzer Division had been encountering increasing Soviet opposition since July 13th, and on the morning of the 15th it became a full-blown Soviet attack. Soon the panzer division was cut off and under fire from nine enemy divisions, and desperate calls for help went unanswered: 8th Panzer’s supporting division (the German 3rd Motorized) had just been hit by a Soviet pinning attack at Maloye Uturgosh. It soon became clear that at best 3rd Motorized could hold position while 8th Panzer hopefully broke out and escaped back to their lines. At worst they would be cut off themselves.

Note: This scenario uses boards and pieces from Eastern Front.


Seven times the Soviets tried to take the village, and seven times the Germans repelled them. That was the good news. The bad news was that by the end of the battle their strength was exhausted, and there was no way they could possibly assist 8th Panzer Division (which was by then fighting for its very existence).

Commentary: Here’s another short and sweet scenario where the Soviet player can get back at the Germans for beating him up in Scenario 1. Red Army human waves supported by tanks, cavalry and offboard artillery hit the German lines from two directions, giving the Germans two options: Try and hold the town, or make a run for it to join up with 8th Panzer.

Sol’tsy: Red Heat
16 July 1941

Eighth Panzer Division spent three days fighting for its life in sweltering 90-degree heat. By July 16 the Germans were encircled near Sol’tsy and the Soviets were determined to destroy them before help could arrive. With German reserve units battling through heavy resistance to reach the isolated division, the Red Army moved in for the kill.

Note: This scenario uses boards and pieces from Eastern Front and Road to Berlin, and pieces from Sinister Forces. Use Soviet leader pieces only from Eastern Front.


Eighth Panzer Division was decimated. SS Death’s Head Division finally broke the encirclement to rescue them, but it took almost a month to reorganize and re-equip 8th Panzer. This experience so unnerved German Army Group North that they spent the next three weeks cleaning up their flanks. This would prove fatal to their lunge for Leningrad, as the rainy season waits for no man. A good part of the credit for the Soviet success at Sol’tsy lay with the experienced 70th Rifle Division, which had earned the Order of Lenin for cracking the vaunted Mannerheim Line during the Winter War in Finland. Their performance at Sol’tsy put them on the road to further glory, and before long they earned the new and coveted title of 45th Guards Rifle Division.

Commentary: The final Sol’tsy scenario is the biggest one in the book. Eighth Panzer tries to break out westward through lines of Soviet forces that outnumber them and match their morale, while more Soviets chase them down from the east and massive artillery and airpowert hammer them all along the way. Eighth Panzer’s hopes rest shakily on the SS Death’s Head Division, which had been sent to the rear the week before after failing miserably in frontal assaults against the Red Army. Eighth Panzer must fight aggressively on all fronts in an effort to weaken Soviet lines enough so that when the SS men arrive, they’ll be able to break through and open a corridor that will last long enough for the Wehrmacht units to get off the board.

Mga Station: The Marshal Giveth
30 August 1941

In August the German juggernaut rolled over the Red Army at the important railroad hub of Mga. Upon hearing of this, an infuriated Marshal Voroshilov ordered the town retaken no later than September 6. General Akimon knew the town would be difficult to take and almost impossible to hold, but orders were orders. He picked the newly-formed 1st Separate Mountain Brigade to spearhead the attack.

Note: This scenario uses boards and pieces from Eastern Front, and pieces from Road to Berlin and Red Warriors. Use Soviet leaders only from Eastern Front.


Marshal Voroshilov was pleased when he heard that Mga had been retaken, but the men of 1st Separate Mountain Brigade were not. They doubted their new conquest could be held against the inevitable German counterattack, but with classic Russian stoicism they calmly prepared their defenses and awaited their tormentors.

Commentary: Here’s another scenario with the Germans trying to hold a town against overwhelming odds, but they’ve got a better chance than at Maloye Utorgosh because they get multiple waves of reinforcements. The key to success for both sides is the bridge over the Mga River, which is a major river just west of the town that can only be crossed at the bridge unless engineer units are available to make a bridgehead. German infantry must form lines screening the bridge and hold off Soviet attacks long enough for German motorcycle units to enter the board and get across the bridge to support the town.

Mga Station: The Marshal Taketh Away
31 August, 1941

The loss of Mga on the 30th did not sit well with the Germans, who knew that the town contained railroad service facilities that were vital to the Soviets. They made plans that evening to ensure that Mga would be back in German hands by the same time tomorrow.

Note: This scenario uses maps and pieces from Eastern Front and Road to Berlin. Only use Soviet leaders from Eastern Front.


Lt. General S.D. Akimon pressed his men to hold the lines, knowing there would be hell to pay if Mga had to be evacuated. His men did their best until overwhelming German firepower drove them from the town. The Germans then went about forming strongpoints to anchor their defenses and prevent a repeat of the previous day’s defeat.

Commentary: Another scenario that keeps everybody happy by giving the guy who got beat up last time a shot at revenge. Here the German player gets to try and take back the same piece of real estate he probably lost last scenario. Both sides have brought in lots of reinforcements overnight, but the Germans have armor superiority, lots of artillery support (including three 88mm AA units), and finally the Luftwaffe mobile HQ. The board is also twice as big as last scenario, so the German player can attack directly eastward across the river toward the town, or he can make a pinning attack there while sending his main force to take the bridge on the board southwest of Mga and then sweep north to strike the Soviet flank south of town.

Bol’shie Skvoritsy
8 September 1941

As the vanguard of 41st Motorized Corps, 36th Motorized Division was tasked with advancing on Leningrad as quickly as possible. This meant bypassing enemy resistance when practical, but that became impractical when they ran into a hastily-raised (and trained) Soviet militia unit at Bol’shie Skvoritsy. Soviet commitment of militia during this time dwarfed that of all other nations, who had already decided that armed civilians were nothing but cannon fodder on a modern battlefield. But though they knew they’d be short of heavy weapons and many other basic articles of war, the militiamen had readily volunteered to defend the Motherland. They now waited for their chance to repel the hated enemy.

Note: This scenario uses boards and pieces from Eastern Front and pieces from Road to Berlin and Red Warriors. Only use Soviet leaders from Eastern Front.


The militiamen showed great courage in battle but could not stop the Germans and were eventually forced to retreat. The Germans harassed the retreating militia for six miles.

Commentary: This is the first of three scenarios where huge formations of reduced INF and HMG units representing Soviet militia try to stop the cream of the Wehrmacht. It’s not pretty for the Soviet player but the bar is set high for the Germans, who have five different objectives (take the town, clear two different roads, create a seven-hex-wide corridor free of Soviet units across the board, and exit 25% of their forces off the east edge) and win or lose based on how many of them they achieve.

11 September 1941

The Leningrad Military District would eventually send ten ill-equipped militia units to the front lines a desperate attempt to stop the Germans before they reached the city gates. One such formation was the 2nd DNO, which waited for the German onslaught at the village of Dudergof together with the 500th Rifle Regiment. On September 11th, these two scratch units were all that the Soviets had to stand in the way of the crack 1st Panzer Division.

Note: This scenario uses boards and pieces from Eastern Front and Road to Berlin. Only use Soviet leaders from Eastern Front.


Once again the Soviet defenders fought stubbornly, but were eventually forced out of Dudergof. This threatened to unhinge the defense of both the Krasnoguar and Slutsk-Kolpino fortified regions. Stavka now had to answer the question of whether enough defensive assets could be salvaged from available remnants to save Leningrad, or whether the great city should be evacuated. They would receive an answer in a few days when Marshal Zukhov was dispatched to save the beleaguered city from destruction.

Commentary: This time the militia get support from a regular Red Army unit, but the Germans are much stronger than in the last scenario and have plenty of armor and artillery support plus the Luftwaffe mobile HQ. So once again it's tough for the Germans, whose objectives are clearing two different roads (and all towns they run through), killing at least 20% of all Soviet forces and exiting just under a quarter of their own forces off the north edge.

Pulkovo Heights
17 September 1941

Becoming ever more desperate, the Soviets threw into battle any available half-trained man while new vehicles were driven straight off the assembly line and into battle by factory workers. Even with these efforts the battle to save Leningrad looked hopeless. In Pulkovo and the hills beyond, the men of the barely-trained 5th Leningrad DNO awaited the advance of the unstoppable 1st Panzer Division. Marshal Zukhov’s no-retreat order meant that they would either win or die, and with little support the latter seemed all but inevitable. Their only hope was the redoubled efforts of the factory workers to get new tanks onto the battlefield.

Note: This scenario uses a board from Road to Berlin and a board and pieces from Eastern Front.


After being forced from Pulkovo the militiamen fell back to Pulkovo Heights, where they exploited the terrain masterfully. Supported by heavy tanks manned by factory workers, they halted repeated German efforts to drive them off the hills. For the moment Leningrad had a reprieve, and the brave stand on the Pulkovo Heights earned 5th DNO the respect of the Red Army, which renamed them 13th Rifle Division one week later.

Commentary: This is the smallest and shortest of the militia scenarios but also the most interesting. A third of the way into the game the Soviet player gets to roll on a table to bring factory-fresh tanks onto the board to fight the Germans. And these are no ordinary tanks: They’re KV-1 and KV-2, which will be a major surprise to the PzIII and PzIV units attacking up from the south. The Germans will need to split their forces to simultaneously take the town and the heights north of town, so when the KV tanks arrive the Germans will be in good defensible terrain and hopefully in a position to block the militia from supporting the KVs. If they can’t manage this, they’ll have a hard time achieving the four objectives the scenario sets out for them (take the town, clear the road, destroy 20% of Soviet forces and exit 25% of German forces off the north edge).

Get in formation! Order March on Leningrad now in its print edition or as a download.