Kiev '43


After the debacle at Kursk in July of 1943, the Russians followed up their victory with a series of campaigns to drive the Germans out of Russia. The first of these was Operation Kutuzov, lasting from 14 July to 14 August, where the Axis forces tried to hold a line at Bryansk but failed. After this the Russians kicked off Operation Rumiantsev, from 3 - 24 August, where the Soviets captured Kharkov and liberated the eastern Ukraine. The next major objective on their list was to cross the Dnepr River line and liberate Kiev, the third largest city in the Soviet Union.

Facing the Soviet Union's forces to defend Kiev were the depleted 4th Panzerarmee and the 8th Army forces. Hitler's vaunted "East Wall" relied very much upon the Dnepr River to hold back the advancing Russian armies. The failure to properly fortify this line meant that the German soldiers would be fighting in trenches rather than bunkers. Following a series of river crossings in locations north and south of Kiev, the Russians finally broke through the Germans lines north of Kiev and captured the Ukrainian capital by the 6th of November. What followed after this was a swift pursuit of the German forces only to be checked by the arrival of armored reserves. What followed was a classic pitched battle where the Wehrmacht and SS forces tried to smash the Russians and retake Kiev.

In Kiev '43, as the commander of the Russian 1st Ukrainian Front, you have several armies at your disposal to defeat the vaunted German Wehrmacht. As the German commander you will have at your disposal the powerful panzer forces able to wreck havoc upon their Soviet foes. Included are scenarios that let you recreate all four phases of the campaign from the battle in the Bukrin bridgehead to the final battle near Korosten where the Germans made one last attempt to destroy the Russian forces and roll on to victory. The stage is set! All that is lacking is for you to kick off one of the most whirlwind campaigns on the Eastern Front!

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Panzer Campaigns: Kiev '43 covers all of the major operations of the battles for the Central Ukraine around Kiev:

  • The Bukrin Bridgehead: October 12-15
  • The Breakout, Capture of Kiev and Pursuit of the German forces: November 3 - 12
  • The First German Counterattack: November 15-26
  • The Second German Counterattack: December 6-22

The 59 scenarios range from "The Brusilov Kessel: Attack of the SS" (18 turns) to the mammoth "#43_1103_01: Kiev November Operations" (234 turns) covering all of the operations in November 1943. The wide variety of scenario length and size will give the players a sense of the scope of the campaign. Weather conditions range from normal to snow. The game map includes all of the operational area where the titanic struggle for Kiev took place.

Get the Scenario List here.

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Game features include:

  • Game scale is 1 hex = 1 km, 1 turn = 2 hours, with battalion and company size units.
  • 59 Scenarios – covering all sizes and situations, including a solo tutorial scenario plus specialized versions for both head to head play and vs. the computer AI.
  • The master map (75,044 hexes) covers the entire area from Zhitomir and Korosten in the west to Kiev and beyond the Dnepr River.
  • The order of battle file covers the Axis and Allied forces that participated in the campaign with other formations added in for hypothetical situations.
  • Order-of-Battle, Parameter Data and Scenario Editors which allow players to customize the game.
  • Sub-map feature allows the main map to be subdivided into smaller segments for custom scenario creation.
  • All new images for unit art on both sides, including guns, infantry and vehicles covering all of the forces of the Allied and Axis armies involved in the operation.
  • Design notes which cover or include the production of the game, campaign notes and a bibliography that includes the sources used by the Wargame Design Studio team to produce this simulation game.

Kiev '43 provides multiple play options including play against the computer AI, Play by E-mail (PBEM), LAN & Internet "live" play as well as two player hot seat.

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File Previews

Here are some files from the game:

Also, an AAR posted at Grogheads.

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  • Project Coordinator: David Freer
  • Scenario Design: David Freer, Bill Peters
  • Order of Battle: Mike Avanzini, David Freer
  • Research: Mike Avanzini, Nick Bell, David Freer & Bill Peters
  • Game Map: Mike Avanzini, Dave "Blackie" Blackburn, David Freer, Bill Peters
  • Graphics: David Freer
  • Situation Maps: Bill Peters
  • Game Tutorial & Quality Control: Rick Bancroft
  • Playtesters: Rick Bancroft, Nick Bell, Dan Constant, Harry Haines, Kevin Hankins, Bob Hughes, Joao Lima, Jeff McEvilly, Mark Nelms, Dennis Suttman, David Yomtov

System Requirements

Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 10
Processor: 1 GHz
Disk Space: 1 GB
Memory: 1 GB
Video Memory: 512 MB

This wargame is for sale at The John Tiller Software Store