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Subject: Playtester's review rss

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Paul Lucuski
United States
Trenton
New Jersey
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I have been playtesting this game for about 2 weeks and want to leave a brief review of what I think will be a fantastic game. Understand that the rules and components are being tested and are subject to change.

Overview: The game is a simulation of the German drive on Moscow in the fall of 1941 called Operation Typhoon. There are also scenarios for the Russian counterattack and a combined campaign game. Since I have only been testing Operation Typhoon I won't comment on the other 2 scenarios.

Components: These are some of the best components that I have seen in a wargame. There is a 2 piece map sizing at 22" by 17" with large 1" hexes.
The maps contain a turn record/reinforcement chart, air power chart, breakdown and build up chart, and force pools. The counters come in 3 different sizes indication large, medium and small size units. The starting units are medium which can be broken down or enlarged under certain conditions. The air units also come in different sizes depending whether they are fighters or bombers. There are a large number on information counters. One idea that I really like is that there are odds markers in the shape of arrows. Since the player must designate all combat before rolling the die these are useful for reminding the player his attacks. When these markers are placed they look like a situation map.

Game turns: In Operation Typhoon the game lasts 7 turns with the following sequence of play
1.Reinforcement step: in the game only the Russian player has them
2.Replacement step: Each player receives manpower and materiel points which can be used to purchase replacement steps, change headquarters mode, or restore air power
3. Players can build up their medium sized army units into larger units if they are stacked. This doubles firepower but loses a movement point.
4. Supply step: the player determines the supply status of his opponent
5. Special movement step: certain unis cam move part of their movement allowance
6.Theater reserve step: Headquarters can deploy reserve units
7. Air recovery step: the player readies his aircraft
8. Battle step: The player declares his attacks. The opponent can add air power then the player can intercept with his fighters.
9. Regular movement: normal movement for all a player's units.

Winning the game. The German has to take Moscow and hold at the end of the game. The Russian must hold Moscow and 1 other city beyond the start line. Any other is a draw.

Wargame concepts. The following would be familiar to any wargamer: movement, zones of control, terrain effects, and combat odds and combat determination. There are several different concepts in the game. Air power is almost a minigame in itself. Air units can give close support, bomb, airfield attack, strike attack, escort, intercept and air transport.

Headquarters can be in one of 2 modes. Balanced gives the player a longer supply radius while attack increases the odds at a cost on a material point and a shorter supply radius.

Theater reserves: Headquarters can put units into and bring out of reserve which can be useful to fill in holes in the line.

Stacking; stacking depends upon the size of the unit but only 1 large or medium unit can attack out of a hex. The advantage of a large unit for example is combining 2 12-9-6 armor units into a 24-18-5 large unit has double the attack strength.

Opinions of the game: It took me several playings to become comfortable with the system. It is not hard, just a little different from other wargames. I don't think that a beginner would pick it up easily but for a seasoned wargamer there would be no problem. I have got my playing time down to about 90 minutes. It is a good solo game as they only part that you have to fool yourself is with air interception. With the great components, short playtime and interesting take on the Russian campaign I would recommend this game to any wargamer.
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Lance McMillan
United States
Lakebay
Washington
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norun wrote:
Theater reserves: Headquarters can put units into and bring out of reserve which can be useful to fill in holes in the line.


There's one other important thing that reserves can be used for: conducting "surprise" attacks. Units can be deployed out of theater reserves directly into the front lines and attack in unexpected locations. For example, the Soviets can flip their HQ to "offensive" mode, immediately bring a full-strength Shock Army out of their reserves and place it into a section of the line currently held by a depleted Soviet unit that the Germans weren't worried about, and launch a devastating unexpected attack.

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olivier neuvecelle
Switzerland
avusy
geneve
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Lance,

Hum, sure looks exciting but IMO be careful with this kind of rule. You are talking about whole army here that are not identified by the other side. Ok this thing happened historically but not that often in the end. I guess you should put something that clearly limit this.
Historically even for the Bagration offensive, German troops at the front knew almost exactly what was in front of them. The German high command didn't want to believe or whatever, but the front soldier knew.
To hide a whole army especially a tank army was very difficult.

Otherwise looking forward to reading more about this game
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olivier neuvecelle
Switzerland
avusy
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Quote:
Air power is almost a minigame in itself. Air units can give close support, bomb, airfield attack, strike attack, escort, intercept and air transport.


Hum, remind me of OCS... Be careful with the air game. East front game has to be a ground system game, if the air part of the game is too detailed that could ruine the game. The air part must be a support of what happen on the battlefield in the easiest possible way.

Reading at your playtest session, I have the feeling this game goes very much on OCS path.
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