Grenadier: Sinister Forces
The four years of brutal warfare on the
Eastern Front brought the political troops
of both sides into front-line fighting. Formed
to control civilians rather than fight armed
enemies, the Soviet NKVD and the much larger
German Waffen SS each committed mass murders
in the name of ideology and from simple animal
barbarism. Knowing their well-deserved fate
if captured, they often fought with suicidal
Sinister Forces brings background articles
and scenarios covering these troops and their
battles to the Panzer Grenadier game system.
It is not playable by itself, but requires
Front to play most of the scenarios,
Korps or Desert
Rats to play all of them. This is
a book supplement complete with a full set
of die-cut and mounted counters.
Scenarios take place on the Eastern Front.
The SS troops are of generally lower quality
than the corresponding German Army pieces
of Eastern Front, reflecting the lower
standards of training and recruitment for
these political formations. Background articles
place the scenarios in the full context of
the war in Russia.
New weapons also appear. The SS wield huge
220mm mortars seized from the French army
in 1940, French-made B1 heavy tanks, B1 tanks
converted to carry flamethrowers, Soviet-made
T-34 tanks, and new forms of transport: light
SPW 250 half-tracks and fast Volkswagen personnel
carriers, the famous Kubelwagen.
There are SS units included of high combat
value: special pieces and scenarios for the
Norwegian ski battalion and for the Finnish
By contrast, the NKVD troops are of generally
higher quality than the Red Army’s rank-and-file.
Though used like the SS to murder the regime’s
opponents, its suspected opponents, and other
people for no particular reason, NKVD troopers
served longer than their army counterparts
and had more training behind them. They usually
fought well when deployed against the Germans,
but lacked artillery, tanks and heavy weapons.
scholar Greg Guerrero, an expert on the Soviet
military, provides the background commentary
for Stalin’s political army. Both the
NKVD “field army” and the elite
commandos of OMBSON are covered as is the
Soviet partisan movement, with new counters
for Partisans and scenarios for their use.
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