At 04:40am on September 1, 1939, Luftwaffe aircraft struck airfields all across Poland. Almost simultaneously, 44 German infantry divisions and 14 armored divisions surged across the frontier catching Poland’s thirty-odd infantry and cavalry divisions completely by surprise. Without bothering with the inconvenient formality of a declaration of war, Hitler had ordered the invasion and subjugation of his smaller neighbor. Within a matter of seventeen days, Soviet troops would also cross a nearly-prostrate Poland’s eastern frontier to help the Germans with the Polish nation’s dismemberment. England and France, although incapable of providing the Poles with any immediate direct assistance, had quickly asserted their support for Poland by declaring war on Hitler’s Germany; for the second time in a generation, Europe’s Great Powers were going to war. Tragically, the Greatest War in human history, seemingly almost by accident, had begun without any of its participants understanding its future geographical reach, its ultimate magnitude, or its unbelievable human and material cost.
DESCRIPTIONCASE WHITE is an operational (division/brigade/regiment/battalion) simulation of the short, but decisive campaign that followed the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. This campaign is historically significant because it demonstrated unequivocally that the pace and tempo of warfare had completely changed in the two decades since the end of World War I; a change that was the direct result both of Nazi Germany’s large-scale expansion of its mechanized forces, and of the revolutionary new German military doctrine for wielding those forces. In Poland, speed and maneuver would again gain dominance over the battlefield, and tank time would replace railroad time in the operational decision cycles of modern generals from that moment forward. This brief, but violent campaign would also introduce a new word into the European lexicon: Blitzkrieg.
CASE WHITE is played in turns representing 3 days of real time; in addition, supplemental rules are included with the game which allow the players to fight the campaign using the standard Europa (two weeks per turn) game format. One player commands the Polish forces; the other controls the Germans (and, should Soviet intervention occur, units of the Red Army). Game length is open-ended: normal bloody play will continue until either the Poles or the Germans are defeated. Like other Europa Series games, CASE WHITE uses the familiar KURSK Game System with a few additional game subroutines added. A typical player turn will progress in the following sequence: Supply Determination Phase; Initial (Ground) Movement Phase; Air Phase; Ground Combat Phase; and the Exploitation (mechanized) Movement Phase. CASE WHITE: EUROPA VII, as anyone who is familiar with the Europa game series knows, is not a simple game. However, the turn phases are logically sequenced and, with just a little practice, players will usually find that they can master the basic game mechanics quickly. The Armored Effects, Support, and Air rules, on the other hand, will usually take a little longer to get used to. And some rules sections can be a little trickier than others: I’m not sure, for instance, that I ever really figured out how to employ the Polish river flotilla units in the game! Nonetheless, the Europa series offers, to those who are really interested, a richly textured, and very challenging game system for simulating the whole of World War II in Europe.
The Standard game in CASE WHITE is the Historical September 1, 1939 Invasion Scenario with set up instructions for both Polish and German starting forces. In addition, the game also offers six optional (what-if?) alternatives — including a Free Deployment Scenario — any of which might have significantly affected the course and outcome of the campaign.
- Time Scale: 3 days per game turn (2 weeks if utilizing standard Europa game format)
- Map Scale: 16 miles per hex
- Unit Size: division/brigade/regiment/battle group
- Unit Types: armor/panzer, light armored/leich te, mechanized infantry/panzer grenadier, motorized antitank, light motorized/motorcycle, motorized infantry, infantry, mountain infantry, cavalry, machinegun, engineer, field artillery, siege artillery, antiaircraft (flak), border, police, national guard/landwehr, parachute, marine national guard, marine, fortress units, aircraft, river flotillas, and information counters
- Number of Players: two
- Complexity: above average
- Solitaire Suitability: average
- Average Playing Time: 3-10 + hours
- Three 21½” x 28” hexagonal grid Map Sheets (Europa Maps 13, 1A and 3A)
- 480 ½” cardboard Counters
- One 8½” x 11” loose-leaf style Rules Booklet (with designers notes)
- Two 8½” x 11” copies of the back-printed Unit Identification Chart and Combat Results Table
- One 8½” x 11” combined Allied Intervention Table, Western Front Holding Box, West Wall Strength Track, and Turn Record Track
- One 8½” x 11” back-printed Terrain Key and Terrain Effects Chart
- One 8½” x 11” back-printed German OOB and Reinforcement Chart
- One 8½” x 11” back-printed Polish OOB and Reinforcement Chart
- One 8½” x 11” Soviet OOB and Reinforcement Chart
- Two 8½” x 11” Errata Sheets (Dated 15 July, 1977)
- One heavy-stock paper CASE WHITE Title Folder
- One “Zip Lock” bag (original packaging)
See my blog post Book Reviews of these titles; both of which are strongly recommended for those readers interested in further historical background.
THE WEST POINT ATLAS OF AMERICAN WARS (Complete 2-Volume Set); edited by Brigadier General Vincent J. Esposito; Frederick A. Praeger, Inc. (1959); ASIN: B000MTBTEU