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Europe Aflame
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Europe Aflame

Europe Aflame is a scenario designed by Mark Stevens and myself for Talonsoft great computer wargamer The Operational Art of War.

Specifically for the Wargame of the Year Edition and/or Century of Warfare edition. This page contains screenshots, game reports and an extensive player briefing for this scenario.Much of the discussion on the message Board concerns the scenario as well.In all modesty it is an attempt to create the ultimate PBM all World War II scenario for TOAW.

The scenario is based on an original design by Trey Marshal. Once again thanks, Trey

Version 1.5 of the .SCE file for Wargame of the Year Edition always be found at

Version 1.8 of the .SCE file for Century of Warfare edition can always be found at

Full Brifing can be found here

New: Brian King, a dedicated player, have made his own homepage with a replay.


New in Version 1.7(f)


Sea Supply Roads from the mainland to Sardinia, Crete and Cyprus, and changed the Allied units there from Guerillas to Garrisons as they're now supplied

Moved an Axis Supply Point from Benghazi to Alexandria: it was the major port in the Eastern Mediterranean

Put some delay turns into surrenders, except for Vichy France and the USSR (too complicated)

Stopped the 'French Reorg' Formation from reconstituting

Moved the German bonus units for the capture of Gibraltar from Madrid to Gibraltar

SS 'Wotan' is now triggered by the capture of Baku

Corrected a Vichy French unit deployment from Turn 207 to Event 207

Corrected the deployment of NKVD and Bulgarian units that were scheduled to appear in Warsaw and Turkey respectively

Corrected the deployment of a British coastal gun from Dundee to Dover

Moved the deployment of the early Free Polish unit from France to the UK

Corrected the colouring and proficiencies of the Italian Malta and Gibraltar bonus coastal guns

Added some MMGs for the Iraqis and other Axis 'what-if' units

Added slots for HR AT squads to the German OOB 1

Added some AT squads to fill the German Reserve Units' slots

Moved the deployment of the Italian Supply column from mainland Italy to North Africa

Added some Porter Squads to replace Axis losses

Changed the two trigger hexes for the Western Allies to enter the war in an Eastern Crusade game to 20 from Michurinsk (144,77)

- 20 is the maximum, so we couldn't use the 26 from Omsk - and 6 from 141,57 (an airfield in the north of the USSR) - I'd very much appreciate experienced players' comments on this - it's hard to get it right, and it still won't stop an artificial halt by a gamey Axis Player, but the suggestion about using timed Events after the Germans invade will require several Events, and we've found that they always tend to trigger at the earlier of the possible ranges.

The game will now end when (if) the Allies enter Berlin - I needed an Event, and a three turn delay before Germany formally surrenders doesn't seem particularly meaningful

A few other points.  The Germans have six, and the Russians ten, Replacement Units that dump masses of reinforcement squads and equipment in the pool, plus some other similar bonus units for taking Baku, etc., so just looking at the fixed replacement schedule doesn't give the full picture of what's coming on.  We've thought about whether to trigger 'Barbarossa' at the same time as the Germans cross the USSR border, but I'm certain that very few Russian players will be waiting there to be destroyed in good historical fashion, so I believe it's best to allow the Axis Player to trigger it at his option, presumably when he reaches the main Russian defensive line.  Someone made the point that the Katyusha replacement schedule's far too high,so there'll be "10,000" launchers in store as soon as they come on - I couldn't see that, but would be grateful for a clarification.   

I know this doesn't begin to address all the concerns that have been raised, so I'd appreciate any feedback, especially on the placing of the Western Allied trigger hexes when the Axis invades the USSR.  I do think the basic structure of the game's OK, and I'm particularly reluctant to tiddle with the Event Engine, as it's now such a complicated, closely interlinked beast."

Still going strong!!!  The latest is version (f) - fixes the Ukrainian
Partisan deployment bug, makes Lend - Lease compulsory, not an Option, adds
Mussolini being rescued and setting up the Italian Social Republic, and ties
the French Reorg Formation to the attack on France itself, not the Low

New in version 1.7

We've made a number of changes from 1.6 to 1.7: 1.6 was an over-hasty response to some comments on 1.5 and, I'm ashamed to say, was released without adequate playtesting.  Apologies to anyone who suddenly found that the Spanish failed to mobilise as planned!

Map - the major change has been to extend the exclusion zone to allow Russian units to enter Persia from the start.  There will be some minor Persian resistance.  Several Players complained that it was too easy to trans-ship Axis units through the (captured) Middle East, or Vichy Syria, and cand straight onto Stalingrad.  The change allows the Allied Player to establish a defensive line much further to the south-west if it looks as though the Axis Player is lining up a mass of units in this area.  Historically, Iran was partitioned between Britain and the USSR in September 1941 following the Axis attempt to foment a revolt in British-controlled Iraq, and attempted intervention in Vichy Syria earlier that year.

We've also made a few improvements to the map; escarpments in North Africa, less hills in Yugoslavia, Greece and Turkey, added cropland around major cities and river valleys, and all ports dependent upon sea supply roads can now be sea assaulted from at least one all-sea hex: no more failed invasions 'disembarking' in the sea!

Units - mainly renaming and re-iconing where appropriate.  This is mainly for colour (e.g. all the SS anti-partisan 'security units' now have historical designations) although in some cases it makes a real difference.  Added French, British and Russian marines.  Historical guerillas now appear when their country falls, rather than when it's merely invaded (except the British Home Guard and the Russian Partisan forces).  Bolstered the (unhistorically) weak Allied position in the Middle East by strengthening the Army of the Nile, adding the Arab Legion in Jordan and introducing 'Habforce' and an Indian Expeditionary Force IF the Axis try an 'Iraqi Coup' Option.  The 'Free Russia' Army will now appear on the Urals if Moscow and Stalingrad are lost and the Red Army collapses, rather than in the UK.  

Navies - now reconstitute near their home ports: our thanks to James for solving this long-running question.  It greatly improves the war at sea.  Split the starting French Navy into Mediterranean and Atlantic units. 

Formations - spread the heavier units around formations so that they can be split to use limited shipping capability.  This does mean that some look a little odd (USA Corps in the Canadian OOB and worst) but short of rewriting the entire OOB - which in turn means rewriting the entire Event List - it provides a solution to "My British Corps is stuck in the UK when I want to ship it to North Africa." or "I can't get the Italian Armoured Corps to Libya."

Events - corrected the mistakes from 1.6; Spanish not mobilising, Italians in the Horn of Africa not surrending on the fall of Addis Ababa, Vichy French not disbanding if Hitler gives French North Africa to Franco to bring Spain into the war, Lend-Lease and other purely replacement units not disbanding as scheduled, Belgians not resisting if the Allies declare war on the country, altered the Axis supply loss from the Hungarian oil fields to the Rumanian ones at Ploesti, added an ULTRA theatre reconnaisance bonus to the Allies from mid-1943.

Generally cleaned up and clarified the News Strings, although depending upon the order in which Options are chosen and other Events triggered, some may still appear slightly out of sequence.    

Rewritten both the Scenario and Full Briefings.

Tried, as far as is possible in a scenario designed to last over 300 turns, to playtest the whole scenario far more thoroughly than before.  We've also asked for help and comments from other Players.  Do let us know ( or ) if you do spot anything else.

It defies belief, with all the improvements in PC games over the last few years, that this scenario, originally designed by Trey Marshall in 1999 (?) still attracts a hard core of enthusiastic Players: we appreciate their advice, criticism and support.

Ulver Nielsen

Mark Stevens


April 2002

In response to some of the initial comments on version 1.7, and as a result of further research, we've made some further - minor - changes to the scenario.  Map: added much more detail to Scandinavia in particular; islands off of Estonia and Sweden, and many more terrain details.  We'd like to tmp on the Russian's southern border just waiting for the start of 'Barbarossa' to storm into Baku.  A Thank Pelle Holman for his information and advice, but any errors remain Mark's.  We're told by the trolls who inhabit those parts that the entire peninsula is not in fact evenly divided between hills and marsh, and a glance at the atlas appears to confirm this astonishing fact. However, the terrain is very unsuited to campaigning, with thick forests, hills and mountains, large rivers (some leading to swampy ground) and long fjords, and other areas of very rough ground, often severely limiting movement off of the (very sparse) road network.  While it may now appear that a small dog has vomited on the area around Murmansk in particular, we're assured that this more accurately
represents the problems of manouevering in that part of the world. We've also cut down on the hills in the Balkans and Turkey: reading of the Wehrmacht's plan to invade Yugoslavia by flinging armoured columns down the extensive river valleys, we suddenly realised that it would have had a problem on our map, where the whole of Yugoslavia was basically a great big hill, even the Danube and Save valleys.  In Turkey there are also some extensive areas of low-lying ground, especially
around some of the large cities.  Most of the Ebro in Spain is now a super river.  Some of the thicker forest in Scandinavia and the USSR is now 'jungle'.  Forces: largely unchanged, except that the Turks (both Allied and Axis) now have small, largely obsolete, air forces.  We've
beefed up the Spanish Army.  At the end of the Civil War in early 1939. the victorious Nationalists had a paper strength of one million men under arms: this was reduced by two-thirds over the next few years, but they would have been far more formidable, particularly with German help, than the original scenarios suggested.  The 'Army of Africa', consisting of the Spanish Foreign Legion and Moorish 'Regulares' had formed whole army corps, and were considered elite infantry formations.  The Axis Player may now consider hard - as Hitler did - whether the sacrifice of the half-hearted support of Vichy France would justify the gain from Spanish entry into the war.  To improve the Winter War we've made more small gaps in the pre-'Barbarossa' northern exclusion zone, and added the North Finnish Army that defended the area.  As Sweden will mobilise if the Axis take Leningrad, but not if Helsinki has previously fallen, it may encourage the prosecution of the Winter War by Stalin, if the Axis takes the historical path of clearing Poland and the West first. The Swedes no longer disappear from the map with the fall of Helsinki, but neither will they mobilise unless directly attacked (and surrender if Stockholm falls).  In order to model Allied intervention in Iran, and the historical reason for it, Persia will mobilise some time after the Iraqi Revolt (although the latter itself is dependent upon the Axis reaching El Alamein).  (Only) if this happens a small Indian Expeditionary Corps will land at Abadan: historically this linked up with the invading Red Army from the north around Tehran. Mark's personally playtested all of these Swedish and Iranian events and they definitely work, at least in the sequence he unrolled them!  Provided no bugs emerge we very much hope this will be the final change to the scenario for a long period, although we've been caught out before."

What's new in version 1.5

With a certain reluctance, Ulver and I have felt it appropriate to produce another version of this scenario - Number 1.5 - to take into account both our own experiences, and the comments we've had from a great number of fellow players.  With such a large and complex scenario as this it's proving very difficult to produce a definitive version: we very much hope that this is the last revision for some time!

(i) All supply has been increased by a flat 5% across the board

(ii) Any units starting in their capital are set on 'Ignore Losses' and 'Fortified', and the hex itself is an entrenchment.  This is to discourage desparate paratroop assaults which, if successful, cause the surrender of the entire country, and to reflect the extra determination of troops garrisoning their own capital.

(iii) We've pushed the Option for the Soviet Union to declare war on Germany to between turns 100-150  In our earlier version this could occur as early as turn 50, and was felt to prevent the Axis having enough opportunity to launch 'Operation Barbarossa', arguably the central most important event of World War II in the European Theatre.

(iv) Allied Light Rifle Squads do not appear from the start of the game: these were largely intended to flesh out Soviet border formations and starting infantry corps, but were making them too strong, too early.

(v) The News String now has letters ('a', 'b', etc.) which correspond to the Events in the Full Briefing, and which identify particular shock and supply effects. If Players have the Briefing open in a window, they can switch to it from the game to check these effects as they are shown on the News String.

(vi) Altered the Allied Naval Air units so that they are compatible with Talonsoft's new compilation CD 'Century of Warfare'.

(vii) Cleaned up the Option List so that they appear and disappear on the correct turns.

(viii) Moved various Allied Supply Points from off-map areas to the mainland, to facilitate reentry to the Continent: in compensation, a Sea Supply Road now links Basra to Cape Town, allowing Allied supply to the Horn of Africa.

(ix) One German Pre-War Build, the Waffen SS paratroop unit, proved to be a bit contentious.  Although it's historically possible, as Himmler tried to form an independent SS air arm before the war - Goering squashed that one pretty quickly - it was felt to be too strong (see [ii] above), so we've reduced its starting strength.     

(x) Took advantage of the expanded database in Century of Warfare edition to add some German Wünderwaffen. Specifically v-1 and v-2 counters using scuds.

We really hope that this latest revision will prove both accurate and challenging for either side: but any comments or suggestions will be very welcome.  And our thanks to everyone who's bothered contacting us with ideas so far.

We've had very positive feedback on our work. Thanks to everybody who has tried out the scenario. Especially to those who took the time and effort to mail their comments and suggestions back to us.

Mark Stevens

July. 2001

Other minor changes from 'orginal' version 1.4

Leningrad now adjacent to Baltic
Sea supply to South Africa and India
German Marine Corps conditional upon winning battle of Britain – not just initiating it.
Some German reinforcements now conditional on control of Warsaw
Some Danish units will resist invasion
A few heavy rail guns added to Soviet OOB
Some minors receive reinforcements later if not attacked early (Poland, Belgium, Yugoslavia)
German Costal Guns added to Calais and Cherbourg
St. Nazaire is now a port
Soviet option for war pushed back to turn 80-120
Slight increase in Axis Heavy Rifle Squad replacements

Why a Scenario webpage?

This page has only come about because of you. Many of you wrote such insightful comments we thought you might as well share them with each other, hence the message board.

We fairly often discover small bugs we correct right away. No significant enough to justify a new upload to the gamers net but if you are beginning a new game you might as well play with as few spelling errors on the map as possible.This site will always have the newest version of the scenario for download. Incidentally, this also goes for errors in the scenario briefing. The most updated version can always be found here.

Over time we've answered quite a few questions. Both about gameplay and the design decisions we made. We'd have like to put much of this in the full player briefing but it was already getting very lengthy. We've be putting up a FAQ shortly with some more details.

So far there is not much here but hopefully that will change. We'd really like to put up any essays, replays, screenshots, girly pictures or anything else people who've played Europe Aflame might think relevant.

What's new in version 1.4?

One problem with designing as large and complex a scenario as this is that, despite our very best efforts over many months, it really was impossible to fully playtest it to the same standards as a commercial game.  Consequently we are still at a stage where it seems that every time we play, we find something that cries out for improvement.  We've also had a few suggestions from some of the 800 players who've downloaded the scenario: if anyone does have suggestions or comments we'd welcome them on Message Board or by e-mail

Something that has been a constant irritant is the overall tempo of the game - too fast by far - although the original movement rates were based on realistic figures. There was really no incentive for the strategic pauses that armies historically required after a major campaign.  It was entirely feasible for the Germans to launch a major offensive (e.g. against the United Kingdom, or into the Balkans) immediately after defeating France. Many of the changes in our updates have been efforts to address this particular issue, without unduly restricting the freedom of the players to pursuit alternative strategies.

With the release of Talonsoft's version 1.2 patch for TOAW~WotY, designers have been given better tools to customize their forces. We've used these tools to achieve an across-the-board reduction in movement rates by 40% for all units.  This sounds dramatic, but we believe that it will reduce the dynamics of the game to a more satisfactory pace.  In the same vein we've reduced the rail transport capacity, making the large-scale redeployment of major forces from one end of the Continent to the other take longer than a fortnight! The internal supply distribution of most formations has been halved to make resupply slower.  Hopefully this will force realistic pauses in offensives.

Another problem is game balance.  No matter who played what side, the Axis seemed to end up with Europe in chains (or is that Flames, haha?). We've never got more than about two years into the game before the Soviet Union surrenders, whatever the overall strategy.  Accordingly we've allowed the Allies to receive Light Rifle Squads from turn 10 (instead of 90). This will improve the staying power of the Red Army enormously, and should produce the never-ending masses of peasant riflemen that dogged the actual German advance during the early stages of the Russian Campaign.

The Axis 'Barbarossa' Option is lost if the Soviet Union declares war on Germany (as opposed to the other way around).  This can only happen as a result of decisions made by the Axis Player, such as invading the UK, or choosing not to attack the USSR within ......???..... months of the historical date.  We consider that this represents a conscious Axis decision to devote its major military efforts to Western Europe and the Mediterranean.  Assuming this to be the case, and to maintain game balance, the Germans receive various extra reinforcements and fortifications along the German-Polish border (plus a few in Rumania) if the Soviets do get the opportunity to declare war first.  In reality, the Soviet forces suffered so very badly in the early stages of the invasion - the effect of our 'Barbarossa' Option - because they were deployed offensively, with their armour and air forces too far forward.  By definition, they would have been better prepared to launch an offensive themselves.

The French motorised forces in the north, representing the Seventh Army, are now set to 'Local reserve', meaning that they will move to support the Belgians following a German invasion: Gamelin's "Plan D".

Mark has corrected and jazzed up the news string. Hopefully you will now be spared the bulk of Ulver's interesting spelling and punctuation, or lack thereof.

We've done more research on the naval forces to better reflect historical strengths, and where possible added even the smallest fleets.  Although TOAW-WotY does not - and was not designed to - model strategic naval combat very well, the starting strengths of the various fleets are accurate. The Allies will receive more reinforcements than the Axis during the scenario. Fleets which are completely destroyed may reconstitute in odd places: this is a weakness of the game engine.  Players should do their best to withdraw badly damaged fleets to supplied, friendly ports to avoid this problem.  By using different colour schemes for the naval units of minor powers we've allowed them to fight on after their homelands surrender.  (The naval forces of German-occupied minor countries tended to fight on with the governments in exile, having transported them to safety in the first place.)  We've also added a few destroyers to the Axis replacements when the Danish coastal artillery arrives. Historically the Germans confiscated the small Danish fleet at the same time they began building major coastal fortifications in the country.

Greece (instead of Turkey) will now enter the war (along with Yugoslavia) if Italy declares war on the Allies before Axis forces are within two hexes of Paris.  This makes more sense politically, and fits better into the overall framework of the game.

We have made some minor adjustments in the reinforcement schedule to make it more historically accurate - in particular British Colonial forces to better defend the Middle East - and added a few dedicated anti-aircraft units to the Allied set-up.

Some corrections to the map: the Don/Volga area around Stalingrad has been improved.  An off-map Siberia/Soviet Far East line of hexes has been introduced to improve supply and rail transport.The Nile delta now actually looks like the Nile delta.

Another serious problem that reared its ugly head was that several US motorized corps were stuck in North America. They were too heavy to move and they couldn't be divided. Took us a while to figure out why: There were no empty slots in the formation. We solved to problem by moving US airborne forces to a separate formation. All US corps can now be divided.

We have increased the allied sea transport capacity to 10500 for the first boost and to 15000 after Overlord.

We had hoped to avoid "Welcome to Europe Aflame version 9,999.9", but would like to end up with something that feels right. 


Oh yes, do mail me your comments at