The scenario is part of the wider battle for Warsaw in August 1920, just before Pilsudski's "Miracle on the Vistula" (not that there was anything miraculous about his victory). It is a touch more speculative than I prefer, because I have not been able to determine precisely the Soviet forces involved, but the Polish forces and maps are quite accurate and the Soviets can't have been very much different from those given.

The initial clash of a Polish regiment with a leading Soviet brigade is a "meeting engagement" of approximately equal sides without clear objectives for either party other than destruction of the enemy – the classic wargames tabletop "battle". It even occurs on relatively flat, clear terrain.

I have played it twice as a Kriegsspiel, the centre of the action occurring just to the west of Ruszkowo. The result hung in the balance both times, with the Reds having a slight advantage (though obviously this depends quite a bit on your rules and/or morale assessments of the two sides).


Umpire's notes
Umpire's map
Polish player's briefing
Soviet player's briefing
Players' map

Troop values

I used pretty standard Red Actions! values for Soviets and Poles in my games. I gave the players a QRS – especially since some had never played RA!, and so needed the help. Note that it includes many troop types not present in the scenario: the players aren't meant to know what they are facing and giving them a QRS with only the correct troops on it would be a bit of a give-away!

QRS of troop values

Table-top version

Although designed as a Kriegsspiel, the game is quite playable in the normal tabletop manner.

Converting Borkowo to a table-top game


There were several other actions around this time that can also give good games. Steve Turn, after playing the main Borkowo scenario, designed this one: which is equally playable and also provides quite a balanced game. Although it is a "what if" scenario, based on forces available, it does have the benefit of having easier terrain to model on the table.

Nasielsk scenario

Other scenarios

There are several quite game-worthy scenarios for the day after the Borkowo game, either as ordinary table-top games or as kriegsspiels.

Notes on scenarios for 15 August