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World War II: Barbarossa 1941» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Operation Barbarossa: Final Impressions rss

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Chandler
Arizona (AZ)
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Gott Mit Uns!
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After playing four games of this new title from Zvezda I thought that I was now prepared to write a review (be gentle it's my first)


I. Components. The first thing that initially struck me upon opening the box was the boards. Beautiful boards, bright and vibrant, hexes size looked great ( sorry guys, big hexes look too cheesy for a serious wargame). The board, when all put together gives the players room for plenty of tactical options and is appropriately sized for the units range and abilities, the game also includes 30 terrain hexes (double sided) which players can use to change terrain on the boards (also double-sided) for a more unique experience depending on terrain. There are many types of terrain, city, town, bridge, forest, light forest, farms, etc.There are elevation hexes about have inch thick that are used for hills and mountains. My only beef with the board is the illustration used for brush, looks almost like clear terrain.yuk

Miniatures. The minis look great, they are very authentic ( the wheels on the two different nations supply trucks are even different) They may not be exact to history but they are generic in the sense that they cover the uniforms and equipment of a broad time period 1939-1941 in most cases, so if your upset that the mini for the Panzer III is not exactly like the ones you've seen them use in 1941...GO PLAY ASL!
The minis are time consuming to put together but hold up well when all is said and done. All in all I was very impressed with the minis ( Played and Painted Many Warmachine mini's)cry

The Stat Cards for each mini when first gazed upon is a little intimidating. Theres a galaxy of pictures which represent abilities and the type of orders the unit may be given. Don't give up, It's not bad at all after about 15-20 minutes of perusing the rule book and learning the abilities, the pictures began to make sense and help to remind you of the ability or order it represents. The units are unique and feel like they are designed for a specific task and not just broad categories such as Infantry, Tanks, Ordnance. "If you want to spot the German HQ, send in the reconnaissance teams comrade". If you send in your infantry they can't see the HQ unless there adjacent to it, That leaves the HQ plenty of space to call for Mortar fire, oh and if it doesn't kill your infantry in the first barrage, don't worry the HQ will adjust it's fire Oh BTW Engineers can cut down forest so you can change terrain on board mid game. NTM Build pontoon Bridges!!!

The supply system is well done and feels real. Your little truck is constantly driving around doing stuff,e.g. picking men up, dropping men off, supplying ammo to anti tank guns and squads of men, A.A. support so on and so forth. The game included battle terrain, such as dragons teeth, barbed wire, trenches, and pillbox. All well done with good rules to boot.

The Rule book is my only real con. It must be laid out for Russians because the order of the rules does not seem logical to me. The rules are however very clearly written and leave very minimal rule lawyering and if you do have a question you can go ask Zvezda, they'll usually reply within the day and be happy to do so.

While some people said the game has a learning curve, I tend to disagree. It's not very hard once you get pass the way the rules are laid out, I would say a 4-5 out of 10, 10 being the highest.( I rate SPQR and SL about a 7) But be forewarned, if your looking for a Memoir 44 or Tide of Iron Replacement this probably isn't that game for you. These games score a 1-2 on my complexity scale and are way less taxing on the brain. These games also play faster 1-2 hours usually, while OB41 plays in about 3-4. It should be noted that even though these games are over faster they do not play quicker, OB41 has no down time, no waiting for your opponent to finish his turn. IN OB41 you write all your orders down and then execute at the same time, but all combat happens before movement, This means you must be careful, of where your movement ends up, but you must do what you have written, no switching it up Willy-nilly, decisions here count for a lot! Planning is EVERYTHING


Players use a dry erase marker and write directly on the sat cards in order to annotate which orders will perform in the upcoming turn. Once all players are done the cards are revealed and the orders are acted out. It all flows seamlessly, I was worried that the aircraft rules would be limited and tacked on as an after thought, boy was I wrong, the aircraft are full featured and are a definite dimension a player must consider, failure to... could prove fatal...

Tanks and armored vehicles are powerful but not invincible, oh and a T-34 Will rip through a Panzer III head on, "be careful meine bruders"!!! The vehicles are definitely spot on. Nice work

Summary This game has been one of the best I've played in a very long time. It even managed to pull me away from Elder Scrolls 5, a hard task indeed. While I usually play games much more complex and usually on a large strategic scale, I still felt my self reaching for OB41 and slappin' it down on the table. The game is exciting the whole time and once the rules are learned it is a nail bitting, heart pounding, four hour roller coaster ride that leaves you stunned and gasping by the time it's over. The Price point for the game is great and additional unit cost about four dollars each. I would have payed 10 each and never thought twice. Another Expansion is coming out in January YAY!!Which will introduce the Romanians and adds many more unit, (Bombers, Recon Planes, and more) and mapboards, etc. Just Play it Once You'll be Happy You Did

Regards
Nick

P.S. feel free to critique the review, I welcome the chance to improve.











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Kaufschtick
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Nice review.

I just picked up this game and have begun painting the units. I picked up a bunch of the add on units off CoolStuff for $2.99 USD each, and they are indeed super.

I can't wait to get in my first game!
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