Sunday, 15 April 2012


Geheimkrieg is a fairly recent set of rules by Blease et al. from Wessex Games.  It is about a secretwar between the Western Allies and Germany at the end of WWII, a weird WWII. A large section of the rulebook is background, building up the feel for the game. It is very well researched, extrapolating from the more lunatic ideas of the Reich. I have also investigated this for a potential novel.

The rules are simple, thank God, but very well designed. I really like them. Models have three attack factors, ranged fire, infantry and armour, and close assault. Doing anything relies on activation. A player gets to activate usually a couple of 'squares' a turn to move or fire.

The player area is divided into a grid of squares for movement and combat. The system works well but will probably limit sales as area games tend not to be popular. Apart from the slightly irritating grid layout - I use coloured plastic chips - it works well.

Lets look at two small 300 pt armies.

 An Abt 848 detachment of the Waffen SS occupies a faming complex 'somewere in Western Europe'.

It is commanded by SS Sturmbanfuhrer Von Krump accompanied by his 'secretary' Fraulein Ferronicker. It's OOB is: a squad of zombies plus Abt 848 controller, a werewolf, a heavy anti-tank panzermek and a light close assault mek. A waffen SS detachment of a squad, a Panther, and a PzII recon. tank accompanies them.

 Strange radio signals have been picked up by British Army Intelligence, such as it is. A detachment of fast moving Guard vehicles commanded by Captain Roderick 'Binky' Binkinson-Turps investigates. He has an understrength mechanised platoon lavishly equipped with bren gun carriers and automatic weapons, well, sten guns. Fire support is provided by a Cromwell armed with a 95mm gun and an Achilles mounting a 17pdr, both fast vehicles.

The Tommies start in one corner with the dastardly Hun at the opposite corner. Note the square grid delineating terrain for LOS and movement.

Binky sends his armour around in a right hook while marches his dismounted infantry through the woods. The heavy mek ambushes the British armour, knocking out a carrier. Return fire from the 17pdr skewers the mek. So far so good.

The Hun counterattack, the panzers moving forward. Zombies stream out of the farmhouse and wreck the last two carriers. They cannot harm the British medium armour but in an exchange of fire the Panther take out the Achilles. This is a serious blow.

The British infantry try to assault the farmhouse and are engaged by the automatic weapons of the SS.

I have decided to draw a veil over what follows in order to spare those of a nervous disposition. Suffice it to say it was not pretty.

I was well and truly beaten by Shaun.

One excuse I will offer is that when I reread the scenario instructions I found that I should have used a 2:1 force ratio for the raid, not 1:1.

The system favours the defender, which is realistic.

I like this system, which would work well for any WWII company scale battle. It would be great for large 28 mm games at clubs or shows. Geheimkrieg deserves to be better known.


  1. I like it too! Very much on the skirmish level than the massed 28mm games

  2. Good to see those Mech Tommies in action however short it was.

    2:1 is still a pretty flimsy ratio in attack. 3:1 is twice as likely to succeed, while 5:1 is the current non COIN formula for success, counter attack and follow up operations.

    Good post.

  3. John, you make a poor games designer very happy with this! :-)

    I had thought designing Geheimkrieg with a researched dark science background of a secret war that could possibly have happened would appeal to both WW2 and alt-WW2 gamers.

    Unfortunately it seems it's not weird enough for alt-WW2 and too weird for WW2! :-)

  4. Dear Paul
    Yes, you don't need so many models to have a fun game.

  5. Dear Paul II
    Yes, in real life the defence is so much stronger than the attack that overkill is needed. This is especially true for raids.

  6. Dear Steve
    Possibly. I suspect the area terrain system puts people off. Games based on this don't seem to do as well as they should.