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Subject: Stubborn Red Army blunts Axis pitchfork rss

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Andy M
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
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Myself and erstwhile gaming partner Lewis were looking for a game to play in an evening and this one fitted the bill. It's fairly simple, easy to learn, doesn't have many bits and is a fair approximation of Barbarossa. I'd suggest it was a Russian Campaign light. Plenty to appreciate here, although the German player has most of of the fun.It played in 3 and a bit hours and presented the the usual Barbie thing of Germans crushing, killing, destroying and then seeing the Zombie Soviets rise from the dead pile.

Lewis got off to a slow start as the Germans on the limited turn 1, but on turn two started plouging through the north and centre. This was how the game was to go on, regular progress everywhere except the bane of Lewi's existence, the grim south. One of my Armour groups dawdled on the border and delayed Lewis' slow footed infantry for several turns, allowing Odessea to be reinforced to the point where Lewis was going to have a hard time taking it. Leningrad looked under threat though as Lewis pushed forward, and Moscow was in his sights too. But turn 2 and 3 see major Soviet reinforcements, plus the arrival of Soviet replacements, and there was always a roadblock. Odessa simply would not fall, the drive on Moscow faltered as Lewis peeled off Panzers to go looking for the easy picking VPs that Kharkov and Rostov appeared to offer. Taking those two cities would put the Germans on 4, enough to win even if I held Odessa. Army Group North battled their way to the gates of Leningrad before the mud turn slowed down the Panzers heading south. This allowed me to shore up Kharkov, but Lewis darted a Panzer round to Rostov on the frosty turn 6. Things were getting interesting. Odessa stubbornly held on, Lewis then thrust units in the direction of the isolated Sevastopol, but I was able to cut him off and put him out of supply to essentially save that. The driving Panzers hurtled into Kharkov, that put Lewis on 3 VPs, enough to win. Moscow was safe, only mediocre infantry were attempting to beat a path and I had handy armour units in reserve. Leningrad was another matter, Another tough panzer army was in tow, and Lewis managed to force half of the Leningrad forces out. I managed to keep the door open and supply from the East, whilst the Finns struggled to make it out of their back yard. On my turn I surrounded Kharkov and eliminated the panzer army holding out, so we were going into the snowy turn seven on 1 VP. Lewis needed one more city and to hold on to Rostov. He relieved my siege of Rostov to put it back in supply, threw everything one final time at Odessa and was repulsed, died horribly at Kharkov and Moscow, and found that going up against two 8 strength infantry units lodged in fortress Leningrad was going to be suicide. The Red Army had held strong, much reduced but the Axis spearhead was shattered. For now.
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