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Subject: The End Game in Berlin rss

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John
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Masspequa
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Pretty quiet forum for this game,thought I would get things going with a review of Race to the Reichstag.

Overview
RttR is a low to intermediate complexity two player game based on the April-May 1945 Battle for Berlin. Each player commands a Soviet Front, either the 1st Byelorussian, 1BF, or the 1st Ukrainian, 1UF. In addition, the 1BF player controls the German defenders facing the 1UF player while the 1BF player commands the German forces trying to hold off the 1UF player.

Players attempt to slice through the German troops defending Berlin and capture the hex containing the Reichstag.Along the way each player tries to control key hexes designated as Objective hexes and Strategic marker counters, examples of objectives hexes include the Herman Goring barracks,SS Headquarters,German Army Headquarters, and the Reich Chancellery.

The three Strategic markers are Chemical Weapons, Fuhrer Bunker and Atomic Research. Objective hexes are each worth 5 VPs, Strategic Markers 10 each and the Reichstag hex yields 30 VPs. If by the end of the last turn the Reichstag has not been captured both players lose the game.


Disclosure
I have been playing Wargames for about 3 years and have played RttR solitaire twice.

A word about historical accuracy. I am a life long reader of military history, This game could have done a better job however IMHO does not impact the quality of the play.

Scale
Each Hex represents .85 clicks/1/2 a mile from side to side. Each turn is one day.

Components
Overall it's what you would expect from a magazine game. I think the map is very good with pretty big hexes. The counters are pretty basic, containing unit size,NATO symbols and combat factor. The 1BF controls a far greater share of the frontage compared to the 1UF.

Breakdown of the forces

Soviet

There is a huge disparity between the two Soviet Fronts, Zuhkov's Byelorussian Front contains about 60 counters while Marshal Koniev leads a First Ukrainian Front of about 25 counters.This is somewhat addressed by the placement and number of units each sector face.
The Soviet force is mostly corp and divisions with some brigades and regiments.

German

The German counter mix represents the Berlin Garrision, the 56th Panzer corp, and static units with no movement factor and in general low combat factors. The static units represent the odds and sods bottom of the barrel force of Hitler Youth, SS police units, ulcer battalions and the Volkssturm

The Static units also employ several Flak Towers which provide some hitting power to the German defense force. Also among the static units are immobile dug in Panzers, snipers, HQ and supple units.

The static units in each sector are picked randomly by the opposing fronts and placed face down in their respective sectors.

Game Turn
Begins April 23th ends after the completion of May 2nd, ten turns.

Movement
Movement is not printed on the counters Soviet units receive six movement factors for each unit and German movement is determined by die roll by the opposing commanders.

Stavka Points
These points are expended for operational advantages such as artillery, air strikes,replacements, forced march, maximum effort. The cost is deducted from your final victory points.They can only be used by the Soviet Fronts.

CRT
There are two used in the game a basic one and a more bloody assault version which is sometimes mandatory.

Fatigue
As the battles progresses each front needs to roll for fatigue, basically, fatigue makes the Stavka Points more expensive. Once in fatigue your stuck there for the duration. German forces cannot become fatigued.


Turn Sequence
1BF
reinforcement,barrage,movement,combat,fatigue check
1UF conducts the German sequence
Repeated for the 1UF with the 1BF playing the German

Optional Rules
Hitler Fantasy - German forces move to relieve Berlin vigorously and attack the Soviets on the flanks. German receives 20th corp and Army detachment Steiner.

Me-262 Aircraft - When the German rolls for reinforcements he receives one jet airstrike.


German prepare and coordinate their defenses better - receive additional forces at the start of the game.

Conclusion
I am really enjoying this game and think it contains some replay value. I think that your opponent controling the forces against you is a cool mechanic and adds flavor to the game. I also believe it's possible to play with three players, adding a player to control the Germans. It also works well solo.







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Lawrence Hung
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Wan Chai
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Quote:
A word about historical accuracy. I am a life long reader of military history, This game could have done a better job however IMHO does not impact the quality of the play.


Thanks really for the quick and concise review on this new game. The static units are quite nice to portray the immobility of the garrison units.

Besides, in what way the job could have been done better in your opinion?

Have you played Race for Berlin: The Final Struggle in Battles magazine? It is at a different scale but I am interested in a comparison with this game if you have played it.
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John
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In all honesty, I was reading through the rules and setting up Winter Storm, the relief of Stalingrad by the same designer and simply confused the two games. I have not played Race for Berlin but will check it out when I can.
Thanks for the kind words
 
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