ASL Map Spotlight: Red Barricades

The Battle Of The Barrikady Was A Turning Point On The Eastern Front

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ASL Map Spotlight: Red Barricades
Red Barricades (AH)

Red Barricades is a historical module for the Advanced Squad Leader game system, which simulates the fierce urban combat in Stalingrad during World War II. It was released in 1989 by Avalon Hill and designed by Charles Kibler. It was the first ASL module to include a large format map and other features that became standard in later historical modules, including the campaign game structure. The map depicts the Krasnaya Barrikady (Red Barricades) ordnance factory complex and its surroundings, where Soviet and German forces fought for control in late 1942. The module contains 12 scenarios, a campaign game, and special rules for street fighting, sewers, rubble, and factory machinery. Red Barricades is widely regarded as a classic and challenging ASL module, with a high level of historical accuracy and detail.

Below is the original list of contents for this innovative historical ASL module:

    • 31″x45″ Stalingrad factory sector map (in 2 map sections)
    • 2 counter sheets (478 counters total)
    • 7 scenarios
    • Special rules (Chapter O)
    • Chapter O divider

Red Barricades was reprinted in 2020 by Multi-Man Publishing as part of the Red Factories module, which also includes the Red October factory complex. Rules were included allowing players to combine the two Stalingrad factory complexes into one mega-campaign game.

A Red Barricades Game In Progress

The module features a huge, incredibly detailed map, derived from aerial photographs, that depicts the actual terrain of the area of Stalingrad surrounding the Red Barricades factory. Three campaign games (CG) are also included. CG III links CG I and CG II into a massive 30-day battle that can take months for players to complete.

The Map

The design and development of the Red Barricades map was completed by Charles Kibler based on historically accurate aerial reconnaissance photographs from World War 2. It was the first non-geomorphic ASL board to be produced for the system.

Below is the chaotic and ruined landscape of the Stalingrad factory district in Red Barricades, circa late 1942.

Red Barricades Map (AH/MMP)

As I like to do, here’s a comparison between a historical photograph and the ASL campaign game map, sized to approximately the same scale.

Historical vs. ASL Map

When this module and map were released in 1989 it blew most ASL players away. The scale and detail were something never before seen. Even though many official (and third-party) historical modules have been released that eclipse Red Barricades by a long shot (honestly, some are probably TOO big), it’s still one of the most popular ASL campaign games published.

Battle of the Barrikady

The siege of Stalingrad and the battle of the Barrikady were among the most brutal and decisive events of World War II. The siege of Stalingrad began on August 23, 1942, when the German Army Group B, led by General Friedrich Paulus, launched an offensive to capture the city of Stalingrad, a major industrial and transportation hub on the Volga River. The city was also a symbolic target for Adolf Hitler, who wanted to destroy the city named after his enemy, Joseph Stalin.

ASL Map Spotlight: Red Barricades
Stalingrad Factory District (See Barrikady Ordnance Factory)

The Soviet defenders, commanded by General Vasily Chuikov, put up a fierce resistance, fighting for every street, building, and factory. The city was reduced to rubble by German bombing and artillery fire, but the Soviets refused to surrender. The battle turned into a bloody stalemate, with both sides suffering heavy casualties and shortages of food, ammunition, and medical supplies.

ASL Map Spotlight: Red Barricades
A German Unit Pushing Through Ruins

The battle of the Barrikady (Barricades) was a sub-battle within the siege of Stalingrad, fought between October and November 1942. It involved the German assault on the Barrikady Gun Factory, one of the three giant factories in the northern part of the city near the banks of the Volga, where the Soviets had established a strong defensive position. The factory was surrounded by trenches, barbed wire, mines, and snipers, and the Soviets defended it with machine guns, mortars, and anti-tank rifles.

ASL Map Spotlight: Red Barricades
Russian Soldiers Navigate A Trench

The Germans attacked the factory with tanks, infantry, and pioneers (engineers), supported by dive bombers and artillery. The fighting was intense and close-quarters, with hand-to-hand combat and bayonet charges. The Germans managed to capture some parts of the factory, but the Soviets counterattacked and recaptured them. The battle lasted for several weeks, with neither side gaining a decisive advantage. On November 11, 1942, the Germans launched their final attack on the Barrikady, hoping to push the Soviets into the Volga. They succeeded in capturing a small section of the coast near the factory, but they could not advance further. This was the last success of the Nazis near Stalingrad. The Battle of the Barrikady was a turning point in the siege of Stalingrad.

ASL Map Spotlight: Red Barricades
Stalingrad Ruins In The Snow

On November 19, 1942, the Soviets launched a massive counter-offensive, codenamed Operation Uranus, which encircled the German 6th Army and parts of the 4th Panzer Army in Stalingrad. The Germans were trapped and cut off from their supply lines, facing starvation, frostbite, and disease. Hitler refused to allow Paulus to break out or surrender, and ordered him to fight to the last man. The siege of Stalingrad ended on February 2, 1943, when Paulus surrendered to the Soviets, along with the remnants of his army. About 91,000 German soldiers were taken prisoner, of whom only about 6,000 survived the captivity. The total casualties of the battle are estimated to be between 1.2 and 2 million, making it one of the deadliest battles in human history.

ASL Map Spotlight: Red Barricades
German Defeat

Aftermath

As a whole the battle of Stalingrad was a turning point in the war, as it marked the first major defeat of the German army and the beginning of the Soviet advance towards Berlin. It also had a huge psychological impact on both sides, boosting the morale of the Soviets and Allies, and demoralizing the Germans and their allies. The battle of Stalingrad is considered by many historians to be the greatest battle of the 20th century, and a symbol of the Soviet resistance and sacrifice.

.END OF BRIEFING.


ASL Map Spotlights are meant to be quick history lessons on available historical Advanced Squad Leader actions. These short articles are meant to highlight both a short history of the battle portrayed for players unfamiliar with the setting, as well as show the ASL map on which it plays out.


© 2023-2024, Neal Ulen. All Rights Reserved. Please read the Copyright & Fair Use Notice.
ASL-Players.net is not affiliated with Hasbro, AH Games, Inc., or MMP, Inc. Advanced Squad Leader is a trademark of AH Games, Inc.


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