Fire in the East covers the war in the Soviet Union from the start of the Barbarossa invasion in June 1941 through the end of the Soviet winter counteroffensive in March 1942. It requires two players, with one player controlling the German and German-allied (Rumanian, Finnish, etc.) forces and the other controlling the various Soviet forces: regular troops, militia divisions,and Guards formations. The size of the game makes it well suited to team play: each side can easily be played by a team of two or three players.
Fire in the East's 6 multi-color maps stretch from Warsaw to Stalingrad, from Murmansk to Sevastopol. Terrain is analyzed in detail, with over 20 different types, including two types of rivers, forests, and mountains and four types of cities.
There are over 2500 counters each marked with its historical designation - the most accurate and detailed order of battle ever published for the Eastern Front. The counters represent divisions, and independent brigades, regiments, and battalions. Units are highly differentiated by type, from armor, infantry, and artillery to Soviet Guards, NKVD, and katyushas, German flammpanzers and railroad artillery, and Finnish ski troops. Air units vary from outmoded I-15 biplane fighters to the Me-109F, from Ju 87 Stukas and Il-2 Sturmoviks to Pe-8 long-range bombers. The capital ships of the Soviet Baltic and Black Sea fleets are also represented.
The rules include extensive armor and antitank effects, plus special capabilities for many other unit types, from assault engineers to paratroopers. Every combat arm has its own abilities and limitations, and the players must use them all to achieve victory. The air system is very detailed - almost a game in itself. Logistics rules cover the different gauges of German and Soviet rails and allow supply lines to be extended temporarily by trucks. Isolated units gradually lose their combat abiliites and then collapse, but those besieged in cities and fortresses survive longer. Other important rules cover weather effects, the unique nature of the Arctic front, the need for artillery support, the German surprise attack, doctrinal limits of Soviet mechanized units, and more.
Fire in the East is extremely challenging to both sides. German panzer spearheads can break through the front almost at will, but soon will find themselves outrunning their supply lines, infantry, and air support. Careful play and the optimum use of all arms are needed to travel the long road to Moscow. The Soviets are faced with the need to preserve their army for the final defense of major cities while delaying the German advance to make that defense possible by determined resistance and carefully chosen local counterattacks.
- six 21" x 27" maps
- over 2500 die-cut counters
- a complete set of rules
- a complete set of charts
- two dice