In the summer of 1943, the Red Army of Workers and Peasants
launched a massive offensive designed to drive the Nazi
invaders out of the Soviet Union. In Ukraine, the Dnepr
River presented a vital barrier. To defeat the invaders,
the Soviets would have to get across. Seeking a decisive
victory, they called on their airborne troops to break
this barrier and sustain the offensive.
Red Parachutes: Soviet Airborne Assault Across the
Dnepr is based on the September 1943 operation. The
Soviet player is trying to get his or her army across
the Dnepr River by any means possible. The German player
must prevent this.
As with the other games that use this game system, most
units are battalions with some companies and small regiments.
These usually belong to divisions, and they operate more
effectively together with units of the same division.
Crossing the Dnepr is the Soviet player’s objective.
Units are rated for morale, attack, defense and movement.
Superior morale will assist a unit in several game functions
but particularly in combat. Tank units are rated for armor
quality; anti-tank units have a similar rating used to
Artillery is the most powerful weapon on the battlefield.
Artillery units may support an attack or a defense; German
units are somewhat more flexible than Soviet ones thanks
to better communications. But some of the Soviet artillery
has massive firepower, especially the Guards rocket units.
Artillery must be supplied; running out of artillery ammunition
is a very bad thing, and both players must choose where
to use their shells.
Each game “day” is divided into three daylight
and one night turns. The map is divided into hexagons
(“hexes”) shows the area around the Bukrin
Bridgehead at a scale of 2 kilometers per hex.
Loading the Red Parachutists.
The Soviet player’s strength lies in his or her
rifle divisions: sixteen regular divisions, plus two more
of the more capable Guards rifle divisions. There are
also three tank corps and a cavalry corps. All of thee
are trying to fore their way over the river. Plus there
are three Guards Airborne brigades that drop behind the
German lines to try to assist the crossings.
The Germans have already been battered before the battle
opens, but have some potent formations of their own. The
best by far is the 7th Panzer Division, with excellent
morale and six tank companies (no other German division
brings more than four). There are four other panzer divisions,
one panzer grenadier division, six infantry divisions
and some independent units. The German side has a definite
edge in quality, but the German player will constantly
be moving his or her best units from one place to another
along the river line in a desperate attempt to fore back
the determined Soviet attackers.
Red Parachutes is old-fashioned wargaming at
its finest. Entire divisions disappear in a single turn
in the fierce fighting along the river line. With fearsome
tank battles and parachute landings, there’s also
exciting movement and tense decisions to be made.
- 980 counters
- One 22x34 inch map
- 16-page rules booklet
- Charts and tables card