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Little Saturn: Death of the Armata Italiana in Russia

Little Saturn boxcover
Designer Ricchi
Game Type Expansion
Format Bound / PDF
Release Date 2011-05
Availability In Print
Scenarios 10
Counters 0
Maps 0
Immortalize yourself as the first member to complete this game!
Overall Rating, 15 votes
Expansion Rank: 24 of 74
Popularity: Ownership & Activity
Status Owned by 15% Played by 5% AAR'd by 5% Medaled by 0%
Rank 53rd of 99 59th of 93 53rd of 89 TBD
Expansion Game Requirements & Playability
10/10 Little Saturn
10/10 Fronte Russo
10/10 Eastern Front
7/10 Road to Berlin
2/10 Battle of the Bulge

Overall balance chart for Little Saturn
Side 1 4
Draw 7
Side 2 5
box back

In July 1942, Benito Mussolini scaled up the Italian participation on the Eastern Front as a show of Fascist solidarity. Seven new divisions departed for Russia, bringing the total deployed there to ten. General Italo Gariboldi took command of the newly reorganized and expanded force called the Italian Army in Russia (Armata Italiana in Russia, or ARMIR), also known as the Italian 8th Army. The ARMIR was subordinated to German General Maximilian von Weichs' Army Group B and included the 2nd "Sforzesca" Infantry Division, 3rd "Ravenna" Infantry Division, the 5th "Cosseria" Infantry Division, 156th "Vicenza" Infantry Division, 2nd "Tridentina" Alpini Division, 3rd "Julia" Alpini Division, and the 4th "Cuneense" Alpini Division. These new divisions joined the Torino, Pasubio, Prince Amedeo Duke of Aosta divisions already in Russia. The ARMIR also incorporated an aviation command from the Regia Aeronautica with a limited number of fighters, bombers, and transport aircraft.

In late autumn 1942, the ARMIR was operating on a 250-kilometer front along the Don River, covering the left flank of the German 6th Army between Hungarian and Romanian forces, and supporting the struggle for Stalingrad. Heavy snow and severe frost were hampering troop movements, and defenses were minimal.

The Soviets launched the "Operation Uranus" on 19 November 1942, aiming to encircle and isolate the German 6th Army with a double envelopment. They struck at the weak Romanian 3rd and 4th Armies to the north and south of Stalingrad, meeting successfully at Kalach four days later. To exploit this victory, the Soviet general staff planned a winter campaign of continuous and highly ambitious offensive operations, codenamed "Saturn".

German General Eric von Manstein launched Operation Winter Storm on 12 December to relieve the trapped armies at Stalingrad. The Soviets moved up their Saturn timetable (renaming it Little Saturn) and launched a counteroffensive using 2nd Guards Army to block the German advance. They then ordered Kuznetsov's 1st Guards Army and Lelyushenko's 3rd Guards Army to attack from the north, encircling and then reducing the 200,000 soldiers of the Italian 8th Army at the Don, and advancing to Millerovo. Manstein sent the 4th Panzer Army to the aid of the encircled Italian troops, but the relief effort failed, though some breakouts by the Italians were somewhat successful. In February 1943, the surviving remnants of the Italian 8th Army were disbanded by Il Duce; a quiet end for the brave men of ARMIR.

Display Scenario List (10)

Display Order of Battle

Germany Order of Battle
  • Motorized
  • Leader
  • Towed
Italy Order of Battle
Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale
Regio Esercito
  • Mechanized
  • Motorized
Soviet Union Order of Battle
Army (RKKA)
  • Motorized

Display Relevant AFV Rules

AFV Rules Pertaining to this Game's Order of Battle
  • Vulnerable to results on the Assault Combat Chart (7.25, 7.63, ACC), and may be attacked by Anti-Tank fire (11.2, DFT). Anti-Tank fire only affects the individual unit fired upon (7.62, 11.0).
  • AFV's are activated by tank leaders (3.2, 3.3, 5.42, 6.8). They may also be activated as part of an initial activating stack, but if activated in this way would need a tank leader in order to carry out combat movement.
  • AFV's do not block Direct Fire (10.1).
  • Full-strength AFV's with "armor efficiency" may make two anti-tank (AT) fire attacks per turn (either in their action segment or during opportunity fire) if they have AT fire values of 0 or more (11.2).
  • Each unit with an AT fire value of 2 or more may fire at targets at a distance of between 100% and 150% of its printed AT range. It does so at half its AT fire value. (11.3)
  • Efficient and non-efficient AFV's may conduct two opportunity fires per turn if using direct fire (7.44, 7.64). Units with both Direct and AT Fire values may use either type of fire in the same turn as their opportunity fire, but not both (7.22, 13.0). Units which can take opportunity fire twice per turn do not have to target the same unit both times (13.0).
  • Demoralized AFV's are not required to flee from units that do not have AT fire values (14.3).
  • Place a Wreck marker when an AFV is eliminated in a bridge or town hex (16.3).
  • AFV's do not benefit from Entrenchments (16.42).
  • AFV's may Dig In (16.2).
  • Open-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables, but DO take step losses from X and #X results (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT). If a "2X" or "3X" result is rolled, at least one of the step losses must be taken by an open-top AFV if present.
  • Closed-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables. Do not take step losses from Direct or Bombardment Fire. If X or #X result on Fire Table, make M morale check instead (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Provide the +1 modifier on the Assault Table when combined with infantry. (Modifier only applies to Germans in all scenarios; Soviet Guards in scenarios taking place after 1942; Polish, US and Commonwealth in scenarios taking place after 1943.) (ACC)
  • Tank: all are closed-top and provide the +1 Assault bonus, when applicable
  • APC – Armored Personnel Carrier: These are Combat Units, but stack like Transports. They can transport personnel units or towed units. They are not counted as combat units for the +1 stacking modifier on the Direct Fire and Bombardment Tables (4.4). They may be activated by regular leaders and tank leaders (1.2, 3.34, 4.3, 5.43). They do not provide the +1 Assault bonus (ACC).
  • Prime Movers: Transports which only transport towed units and/or leaders (May not carry personnel units). May or may not be armored (armored models are open-top). All are mechanized. (SB)

Display Errata (15)

15 Errata Items
Errata item for plloyd1010

German 75mm guns in Little Saturn refer to to the 75mm IG. The 75mm anti-tank guns are designated 75mmAT.

(plloyd1010 on 2011 May 19)
Errata item for plloyd1010

Italian 65mm guns in Little Saturn refer to the 65/17 gun.

(plloyd1010 on 2011 May 19)
Scen 1

All references to board 5 in the victory conditions should be board 15.

(ricer on 2011 Jun 19)
Scen 3

Ignore the 8x45mm that enter with the Italian reinforcements. Only the INF and HMG are reinforcements.

(ricer on 2011 Jun 01)
Scen 7

The boards should be switched. Rather than 19-14, it should be 14-19

(ricer on 2011 Jun 21)
Scen 7

Victory conditions: The Italian player wins if he or she controls all hexes on or adjacent to the east-west road within six hexes of the west edge of board 14 at the end of play. In this case control is given by no soviet units present on the above hexes. Of course, the hexes are Italian controlled at the beginning of the scenario.

(ricer on 2011 Jun 21)
Scen 8

The fuel shortage applies only to Italians.

(ricer on 2011 Jun 21)
Overall balance chart for 2

Two 105mms (ID#s 1204, 1205) have "16-31" fire values in black (direct fire), when they should be in white (indirect fire).

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
Overall balance chart for 20

The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Overall balance chart for 486

The Pz IVe appearing in the original Panzer Grenadier game had an Anti tank value of 4-7. As of Afrika Korps (2002), continuing onward through the 3rd and 4th edition games, the anti tank value has been 4-4.

(plloyd1010 on 2016 Jul 25)
Overall balance chart for 63

The morale and combat modifiers of German Sergeant #1614 should be "0", not "8".

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
Overall balance chart for 47

All SPW 251s have an armor value of 0.

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
Overall balance chart for 54

The movement allowance on the counters in Airborne is misprinted. It should be "3."

(rerathbun on 2012 Jan 30)
Overall balance chart for 951

The reduced direct fire value in Kursk: Burning Tigers is 4-4.

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Overall balance chart for 993

Kommissars never get morale or combat modifiers. Ignore misprints.

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)

Display Nations (3)

Nations at War - Scenario Appearance Percentages
Soviet Union
Soviet Union

Display Battle Types (8)

Display Conditions (8)

PG-HQ Library > Games > Little Saturn
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