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Duel in the North: The Leningrad Campaign, Jun-Sep 1941» Forums » Rules

Subject: Odd rules rss

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Apollo Yeh
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I like the overall game system, particularly the command chit mechanics, but I don't think that the game was very well play tested. My current interpretation of the rules results in some quirks.

Eliminated HQs automatically come back on the following turn adjacent to any subordinate formation units for Germans or adjacent to any unit for Soviets. This makes them extremely expendable, especially once they've already activated for the turn. You can deliberately place isolated HQs to block rail lines or clear terrain paths. The worst that can happen is that they get killed only to be subsequently repositioned in a more optimal location relative to their desired subordinate units.

Artillery cannot be used defensively, guaranteeing that the Soviets have little chance whatsoever to check overwhelming German force concentration and air superiority. I think that this omission stems from the desire to avoid the additional bookkeeping necessary to track how much artillery an HQ has expended per turn and the desire to avoid potential HQ subordination issues, particularly on the Soviet side.

The combination of aircraft attrition with a no effect result on the CRT seems like a way to omit dedicated anti-aircraft rules. I can respect the attempt to make the game simpler, but the rules are still unclear. I have interpreted them to mean that an attacker loses an aircraft when the CRT results in the DEFENDER suffering no effect. If aircraft were lost on any no effect result for the attack or defender, each aircraft would effectively become a single use asset.

There is no limit to how many aircraft can be used in any combat. This flexibility makes it very unlikely that a careful player will lose aircraft from the above mentioned aircraft loss rule. By committing enough aircraft at reasonable attack odds, the attacker can guarantee a high die roll result, forcing something other than "no effect" on the defender.

Dogfights occur if and only if both sides commit fighter cover. This leads to the weird case where one side, particularly the defender, can deliberately omit fighter cover to avoid any chance of losing one or more aircraft in a dogfight. It makes little sense that one side's fighter cover cannot do anything to the other side's close air support; I'd think the fighters would have a turkey shoot.

The lack of ZOCs across rivers leads to some very unusual consequences for defending a river line. You cannot prevent a direct crossing unless you occupy every hex behind the river, making the river more of a liability than a defensible position in certain cases.

Army Group North's Panzer group has two [yellow] command chits to activate its two HQs, which allows the group to activate up to twice per turn. In pursuit situations this ability isn't as powerful as one might think, because as far as I can tell, activating one HQ does not allow you to move the other HQ. Consequently, if the first activation moves subordinate units out of activation range of the second HQ, then the second HQ cannot activate those units that turn. In general, after activating the first HQ the German player wants to have as many subordinate units as possible end up in range of the second HQ to best take advantage of activating both HQs. As the German player, I did overrun attacks specifically to use the bonus movement to scurry back into the second HQ's activation range.
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