Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Strike of the Eagle - The Polish Soviet War 1919 - 1920



Rather dramatic looking box art!


Close up of a game in progress


The back of the box


What about that for a map!

I am a sucker for a bargain - especially when it is a board game that is pristine condition and covering what, for me, is a period of history that I am unfamiliar with. So it was that I spotted the above board game on jolly old Facebook marketplace for a really attractive price I thought - hello, that looks interesting…. The rest as they say, is history.

This is the opening blurb from the 8 page rule book:

“The year is 1920. WW1 has ended, but the battle for Europe has just begun. Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin plan to spread the worker’s revolution by blasting through Poland in order to support the growing communist movements in Germany, France and Britain. Only the armies of Poland stand in the way of the Bolshevik state.”

None of the Great War trench malarkey with this - we are talking huge movements from Kiev and Minsk to Warsaw and the German border - compete with tanks, armoured cars and planes as well. The game is card driven and block based with blocks representing anything from 1,500 to 8,000 men.

The production quality of this game is really high featuring a mounted map that uses linked towns and cities together with road and rail networks, numerous counters, two decks of cards controlling the opposing forces and of course the blocks (that will need stickering) representing the units and key commanders.

There is also a potted history of the war together with scenarios ranging from the start of the conflict to the end. The game is also designed for two to four players.

I have recently been reading Antony Beevor’s new book on the Russian Civil War which overlaps this conflict so having this game makes for a useful addition to the collection. I also have David Manley’s excellent Steamer Wars Russian Civil War supplement so between the two I am sure that something may arise project wise. Time and research may or may not prove otherwise!



14 comments:

rross said...

Looks very interesting. My regular gaming mate Julian has recently become very keen on this conflict - he has purchased a significant quantity of Polish figures from Siberia Miniatures (a Russian producer) and is currently busily painting them up. As we both already have decent sized RCW forces, we have plenty of Russians to pit against his Poles, when they are ready!

David Crook said...

Hello there RRoss,

I must confess that it was not a conflict I knew much about but certainly it looks right up my street! Some of my gaming cams have extensively gamed the RCW and I am finding the subject to be an interesting one. The game itself looks really good fun and I am thinking that the map could readily provide the basis for some great figure based campaigns.

Something (else!) to think about!

All the best,

DC

Jonathan Freitag said...

I picked up this game in a large, game collection liquidation. Like yours, it is unplayed but hope to see it on the table for a run-out this winter. Components are excellent and it is a handsome package. Thoughts of using this as a campaign-based battle generator entered my thoughts too.

David Crook said...

Hi Jonathan,

I also reckon the map could see some service for WW2 as well. I am rather fond of the whole ‘point to point’ concept - it feels rather less board gamey!

As you rightly say, the components are excellent and it is a handsome package for sure!

All the best,

DC

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

David,

There is an excellent film about the Battle of Warsaw (https://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.com/2013/03/battle-of-warsaw.html) that is well worth watching. I also took part in an epic refight of the battle some years ago … and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. (https://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-battle-of-warsaw-1920.html and https://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-battle-of-warsaw-1920-some.html). I commanded the Russians and almost won … but we were thrown back on the very outskirts of Warsaw.

All the best,

Bob

Steve J. said...

I read a book on the conflict from our local library some years ago and it was very informative. Aside from some of the characters ending up in the Polish government IIRC, most of what I can recall consisted of large sweeping actions of cavalry, supported by planes, trains and automobiles (well armoured cars!). Like yourself and others, I see this as a great was to generate table top action, but of course you can just play the game as is.

David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

I had a feeling that you had done something with this particular conflict - and I was not wrong! I will take a look at your blog posts and also see about watching the film as well.

Thrown back from the outskirts of Warsaw eh? So the red tide was thwarted!

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Steve J,

Needless to say my radar has been twitching at finding some written material on the war and for the reasons you mention it would be a fun proposition to game. For now though, I will stick with the board game - mainly as I need to stay focussed on the remaining ACW ships.

All the best,

DC

Scott said...

Hi David,

I've had a long interest in gaming the war board wargame wise. I played Red Star White Eagle published by GDW (Game Designers Workshop) published many years ago.

Compass Games published a revised version a few years ago. I purchased it but never played it. I traded it in to Noble Knight Games thinking I would never play it. I was in the process of thinning out my board game collection.

I think Strategy and Tactics Magazine featured a Russo-Polish wargame several years ago. I forget the name of the game and issue number. It was a small game versus Red Start/White Eagle.

Have fun playing the game.

Scott

David Crook said...

Hi Scott,

I remember Red Star White Eagle from many years ago but did not know that Compass did a revised version.

Strike of the Eagle is pitched at the right level for me in terms of complexity and I will taking a look to see if there are any solo variants around.

I have to say that the production value is outstanding.

All the best,

DC

Jonathan Freitag said...

RS/WE: I have the GDW and Compass version. The compass version is very handsome! Components are all first rate.

David Crook said...

Hi Jonathan,

I took a look at the Compass version and yes, it does look rather nice! For now though, I will stick with one I have!

All the best,

DC

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Wow!

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

Indeed - it really looks the part and I want to spend some time searching out a solo version if I can. A bit odd given that it is for 2 to 4 players but hey ho, that’s how I roll!

All the best,

DC