Battlelines: Operation Uranus
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The Battlelines series of card games allow players to recreate the epic struggles of World War II. Each player uses a deck of cards to represent the troops of an historical formation about the size of a division. A third deck, the Operation deck, is used to create a series of battles using Mission and Location cards. Points are scored for achieving Mission objectives and destroying enemy troops. A typical 100 point Operation can be played in about an hour. The game can also be played by teams of up to three players on each side.
This set in the Battlelines Series World War II card game includes Units and Operations from the Soviet counter-attack during the Battle of Stalingrad.
Zhukov's Kettle was the name the troops gave to Operation Uranus. The slow steady buildup of men and material came to an end as divisions of Soviet artillery and thousands of tanks attacked the exposed flanks of Army Group B. Zhukov's plan for the encirclement of 6th Army was a master stroke of planning and logistics given the situation in 1942. But the self imposed blindness by the Germans was not shared by the Rumanian Army. The German High Command had been notified of the build up by Rumanian, Hungarian and Italian forces holding the shoulders of the salient leading to Stalingrad, but those warnings were dismissed as being the jitters of un-blooded troops. More as a political action than a military one, the 48th Panzer Corps was formed with Rumania's own 1st Panzer Division as the central combat power to provide a mobile reserve intended to counter the Russians should they attack. The 48th Panzer Corps had over two hundred tanks of which almost all of them were antiquated R2 Rumanian tanks. Just a week before Zhukov’s offensive the Germans had conducted a firing test of the R2 tank versus the T34 and KV1 tanks. The results were chilling to the Rumanians since the R2 could not penetrate the Soviet tanks even at point blank range.
The expected attack came with a violence that shocked and soon destroyed the Rumanian 3rd Army and tore a hundred mile hole in the northern flank of Army Group B. Into that breach flowed over 1200 tanks, thousands of guns and hundreds of thousands of men. Believing the breakthrough could be stopped, the 48th Panzer Corps was ordered to counter-attack and close the breach. Both of the German panzer divisions assigned to the 48th Panzer Korps were out of fuel, had few operating machines and had troops that were not ready to engage and destroy the juggernaut that was upon them.
The 1st Rumanian Panzer Division finding a gap in the front was able to smash the Russian 8th Cavalry Corps against the remains of the 11th Panzer Division and destroy it. The victory was bitter sweet since the 1st Rumanian Panzer was surrounded and destroyed soon thereafter.
Battlelines: Operation Uranus is the third game in the Stalingrad campaign. The 1st Rumanian Panzer Division is pitted against the Soviet 4th Cavalry Corps. Both unit decks rely heavily on the forces comprising the Operation Deck's reinforcements. This operation is a bloody and dangerous fight by doctrinally simple, courageous opponents in a snow bound landscape.