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White Eagle Defiant: Poland 1939
White Eagle Defiant: Poland 1939
by Hollandspiele (2020)
Player Count
1 to 2

Playing Time
1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Wargame
  • World War II
  • Designers
  • Dave Shaw (II)
  • Ryan Heilman
  • Mechanisms
  • Chit-Pull System
  • Simulation
  • Dice Rolling
  • Point to Point Movement
  • Artists
  • Mark Mahaffey
  • Tom Russell
  • Family
  • Country: Poland
  • History: World War II (Poland 1939)
  • Rating: 10/10 from 1 users


    White Eagle Defiant, the follow-up game to the bestselling Brave Little Belgium, 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. Known in Poland as the September Campaign and in Germany by the codename Fall Weiss (Case White), the campaign ended on October 6, 1939 with Germany and the Soviet Union splitting the country in two.

    In White Eagle Defiant, one player controls the Germans, Slovaks and Soviets (simplified as the Germans in the game) while the other player 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.

    This quick-playing wargame employs very similar mechanics as Brave Little Belgium, but with a modest increase in complexity. The game uses a point-to-point map and a chit pull mechanism to simulate the campaign, with each turn representing four days. Random event chits are included to add variety and excitement to the game, reflecting the weapons (such as armored trains and aerial bombardment) used at the beginning of World War II. The combat system, while still simple, is enhanced to better simulate mechanized warfare, as well as the use of combined forces (players can bring forces from adjacent spaces into an attack, creating primary and secondary combat groups).

    Other new features in White Eagle Defiant include Panzers for the Germans (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.

    Players who enjoyed Brave Little Belgium will find that White Eagle Defiant offers the same tense play for both sides, while presenting new challenges that reflect the dawn of the blitzkrieg era.

    —description from the designer

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