Since it publication in September 2020 I am playing White Eagle Defiant on a pretty regular basis. The game is fantastic both as a 2-players wargame but also as a solitaire challenge. To prolong its longevity and fun steaming from it I also created set of fan-made scenarios. Not so long time ago I had a possibility to work with the game designer – Ryan Heilman – on a Vassal module to the game. It is already published (see here: VASSAL Module) and incorporates also the mentioned 4 hypothetical scenarios.

Today I would like to present the session report from 3 of our games using that moule – I hope you will appreciate how nicely it is designed and developed. That will be also occasion to look into some of the fictional scenarios. But before this, couple of words about the game itself for those who have not played it yet.

Other articles on my blog connected to the game:
White Eagle Defiant – what is in the box?
White Eagle Defiant – first impressions
White Eagle Defiant – fan-made scenarios, Part 1
White Eagle Defiant – fan-made scenarios, Part 2
White Eagle Defiant during ACDC Digital Convention

The Game

Game box cover

So the White Eagle Defiant recreates the German, Slovak and Soviet invasion of Poland in September and October 1939 that marked the beginning of the Second World War. Germany and its Slovakian ally began the invasion on September 1, 1939; the Soviet Union followed suit on the 17th.

In this game one player controls the Germans, Slovaks and Soviets while the other commands the Poles. The German objective is to gain control of Warsaw and other designated Victory cities while preventing Polish forces from destroying their forts in East Prussia and recapturing Victory cities. If the German player does so in less time than the historical campaign, they win the game. Anything less is a draw or a win for the Polish player.

The title employ one of my favorite mechanics – point-to-point map and a chit pull mechanism to simulate the campaign and uncertainty of action. On top of this, random event chits are included to add variety to the game, reflecting the weapons (such as armored trains and aerial bombardment) used at the beginning of World War II. We also have specialized units, like German Panzers (which can roll two dice instead of one) and cavalry for the Poles (which can roll a “first shot” at the beginning of a combat round).

A Victory Point track allows for variable entry of Soviet forces (depending on the success of the German player in capturing Victory cities), as well as the possibility of the Allies launching an attack in the West (if the German player fails to do well in capturing Victory cities). Finally, a “blitzkrieg breakdown” track is used by the German player; if the turn ends before both German army group chits are pulled, the German player may elect to activate a group, but possibly suffer a “breakdown” while doing so – and if five such breakdowns occur, the German player automatically loses the game.

Base Set-up

I was playing with my fellow wargaming buddy, Marcin. For the starters we took the basic set-up, as it is depicted in main rules and which reflects historical disposition of the forces. As always, I am of opinion that picture is worth a thousand worlds so below richly illustrated campaign. PS. You can click on each and every screenshot below to enlarge it.

Set-up – everything just like in the main rules
Turn 3 – first 3 turns are very tough for Marin/Poles. South is completely destroyed, Gdynia and Posnan falls. Rarely I saw such a successful beginning for Germans.
Turn 6 – after such a beginning, next 3 turns were a formality. Soviets entered, Warsaw was overrun and even the counter-attack on East Prussia Forts did not help.

Scenario 1 – Full mobilization

Scenario background:

Despite the Western Allies urges to delay the mobilization, Polish government decided it was a high time to be prepared for inevitable Nazi invasion once the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact was signed. On top of this, instead of defending the “polish corridor” and being spread thin at the borders, the leadership decided to concentrate the defense in couple of strategically important and well-fortified places. That hypothetical scenario tries to answer the question how campaign would run in such a set-up. Enjoy!

Will such a set-up – with all Polish units prepared – give them more chances? Let us see!

Set-up – Polish forces are full-strength and better located
Turn 2 – the better disposition of forces pays-out. Katowice holds (see large battle above), Gdynia resist, German gains are minimal.
Turn 6 – the German attack in North completely collapses, one of the forts falls. But the Southern German Army breaks the Polish defense in the end.
Turn 8 – Marcin still hold on. He repels continuous attacks on Warsaw, takes back Posnan and keeps Gdynia fort intact.
Turn 9 – in the end concentrated German attack on Warsaw succeeded which allowed Soviets to enter. That meant – in game terms but also historically – end of Polish resistance. Still, the result was very good (I think more a draw then a German victory)

Scenario 1 – Full mobilization.pdf – a pdf version of scenario, ready to download and print; BGG access required.

Scenario 2 – The other way around

Scenario background:

Both Hitler and Stalin were cunning and seasoned politicians. Their alliance via Ribbentrop-Molotov pact was not a coincidence and partition of Poland – a well thought endeavor. Historically, Soviets were delaying invasion of Poland until Wehrmacht tied and blooded Polish forces, only to join on September 17th 1939. But what if the Hitler would trick Stalin into attacking first? This scenario tries to answer that hypothetical question. Enjoy!

That one is really interesting and I was eager to play it finally with live opponent (so far, only solo). And it roved to be an enjoyable variation to regular game.

Set-up seems the same as base game, but these are Germans who can potentially join war in Turn 5.
Turn 2 – my two mistakes in first two turn costed me three units, still, the Soviet advance stopped at Vistula river.
Turn 4 – Army South clashed with Ukrainian front, bleeding both sides. But what is important – a concentrated attack from Bialystok took Warsaw!
Turn 6 – fall of Warsaw allowed for German entry but I did not give up! Warsaw was again Polish and my forts in Torun and Gdynia held off enemy!
Turn 8- the Warsaw had to be conquered by Russian two more times before game ended. Almost all my forces were gone by then but result was pretty satisfactory.

Scenario 2 – The other way around.pdf – a pdf version of scenario, ready to download and print; BGG access required.


White Eagle Defiant is great game to play and its Vassal module – really well developed. I had very good time with it and – maybe not being very modest, but well – it become even more re-playable with fan-made scenarios. I hope you will try it!