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Subject: "Alan Sharif" REVIEW of "Zitadelle: Duel for Kursk" rss

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From the "grognard.com" LINK here: http://www.grognard.com/reviews/zitadell.txt
as well with being presented below "just in case".

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This review first appeared in IPW, the newsletter for all discount games club members. Contact colin@allusedgames.demon.co.uk for details.

ZITADELLE - Duel for Kursk

Board Wargame - 3W

Kursk was the greatest tank battle in history. The Germans gathered their finest divisions in an enormous concentration of men and armour for a massive offensive. However, forewarned is forearmed and that's precisely what the Soviets were, thanks to their excellent spy ring. Their antidote to the German blitzkrieg was three fortified belts totalling 25 miles in depth, covered by 20,000 guns and corsetted by dense minefields. An apparently unstoppable force was about to meet a genuinely immovable object. Zitadelle simulates this fascinating situation.

Prior to the battle, Hitler remarked, 'Whenever I think of this attack, my stomach turns over'. He'd obviously been studying the map to this game. A wealth of entrenchments and improved positions, soon to be occupied by masses of Soviet units. The map and counters are particularly well done and a great incentive to start playing the game.

A game turn starts with the German Air Allocation phase. Level bombers attack Soviet formations - if successful, lowering their morale whilst dive bombers target individual units. This all involves rolling a few dice. Next, German anti-tank followed by Soviet anti-tank fire phases; this involves rolling a lot of dice. Then onto the assault phase - more dice. Combat results lead to morale checks and, if you have not guessed already, that means more die rolling.

Movement, I'm afraid, does require the occasional roll of the odd die, simulating cost to German units of leaving Soviet entrenchment hexes and the mechanical troubles of the new 'Panther' and 'Elephant' models of tank.

Finally comes disruption removal which, mercifully, does not involve rolling dice. Then the non-phasing player does it all again. If you have some type of fetish for die rolling, look no further because this is the game for you. If not, read on.

The map, as was the battle, is split into two sectors, North and South. Each sector of the battle plays differently. In the South, the Germans are in with a chance. A breakthrough is achieved after a couple of turns and, despite losses, a fairly mobile battle can develop for victory hexes beyond the Soviet front line. Indeed, the Soviets even have some enticement to go over to the offensive themselves in the guise of victory points for liberating Belgorod, only just behind the German front line. This sector of the battle, despite the dice rolling, is quite enjoyable as the German player can see he's getting results. The same cannot be said of the Northern sector.

In the North, the German player is banging his head against a brick wall. Minor territorial gains are achieved at great cost and constant dice rolling wears down the resolve of all but the most ardent players. Indeed, you may soon suffer the ravages of wargamers wrist, the equivalent of tennis elbow, brought on by constant dice rolling. Perhaps the game should carry a Government Health Warning?

Whilst playable as a solo, two players is definitely recommended, for obvious reasons.

In the Southern sector, the game plays quite well and I can only conclude that, whilst the system works, the battle chosen to simulate with this system does not.

Alan Sharif

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*Personal Note* Indeed, Alan, then it does seem to portray somewhat accurately, upon the futility inherent with going ahead for any 'Plans' as initially conceived, despite those having then being 'discovered' and thus rendered "obsolete". There are possibly many viable reasons or considerations indicated, that had they conducted sufficient "Reconnoiter" in advance and in as little with a few days before this did commence, then it may have become altered altogether for some better expectation. Luckily, then Hitler hadn't aborted this in the manner of when the 1940 'Plans' were compromised, and then HE goes with the alternate sort of which turned out for the best during such! Had this also taken place as a result, then it certainly wouldn't have turned events totally around to his likings, since eventual 'Plans' of theirs couldn't hold back the inevitable hordes of the Soviets gathering around them from ALL other "Areas of Operations" to boot. At the very least, it might have staved OFF the Soviet's intents and purposes slightly, yet that most definitely wouldn't keep them AWAY for good, with what did transpire in the "End of the Iron Dream".

"GROGnads"
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