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Subject: _Kael_'s longish review on 1941 rss

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M@tthijs
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Did you visit my www.kobudovenlo.nl? It has game info
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_Kael_'s longish review on 1941


Ok, this is a pretty standard old hex&counter game. So what to say about this game?...

"1941" game Theatre of Operation
First, Intro
(from the manual) "1941 is an operational/ strategic game covering the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Using one month turns and corps to army sized units, the game covers the critical period of the invasion, June through December 1941. Optional rules allow the game to be extended to cover the Soviet winter counter offensive during the first few months of 1942."
So the Theatre of Operation is the entire WW-II European Eastern front

Second, the box
I own the Game Designer's Workshop version. The first edition, apparently. The box is about half the size of your average bookcase wargame. The art work on the front looks a bit awkward. Somewhere in the middle of action and comical. It's not the prettiest box in my collection.

the map, on set up
Third, components
The game comes with one sheet with 120 counters: 48 Axis and 72 Soviet. And one six sided dice. And one map.

The map is functional. Forests, mountains, swamps, seas, lakes. And the rivers nicely following the hexsides. Railroads, towns, cities and fortifications. A terrain overview (not a terrain effects chart, mind you. That's in the manual) and a turn track. The map is mostly white. As said. Functional.

Game overview
Standard
The game is your pretty standard I go - you go (IGOUGO) type of hex and counter game. The Combat Results Chart too also looks familiar. On 1:1 odds, there's a 1/3 chance the attacker retreats, 1/3 no effect and 1/3 defender retreats. Other possible results are an exchange result and attacker or defender eliminated. There is a 8:1 column, where all results are DE (defender eliminated) and a 1:1 column with all AE results.
Units are army groups, armies or corps. The game differentiates between Armor type units (Tank, Panzer) and Infantry type units (Infantry, Mountain and Shock)
ZoCs are sticky: infantry must stop moving, but can leave (and re-enter) the next turn. Armor units can even move from one Zone of Control to another, but at the price of two additional movement points.
So far, pretty standard.

So what's not standard?
Well, my remark is not entirely true. The game is not purely IGOUGO, but more of a IGOIGO-UGOUGO
Meaning the phasing player gets a movement phase, combat phase, another full movement phase (so not 'just armor' or 'half movement point' or so) and another combat phase. Only after that, the other player can do something. This provides some great breakthrough opportunities!
Further, most units rank from (attack-move) 2-3's to 8-6's. However, the German player has 4 armor groups at his disposal: 23-6, 16-6, 15-6 and 14-6. Although they can't stack with anything (stacking is overall quite low in this game) these juggernauts sure make the Soviet player sweat. These units are quite hard to kill, cause there's an extra rule that if the strength of each attacking unit is at least three times the strength of the eliminated unit, the attacker does not eliminate any unit due to an EX result. Meaning if the 16--6 and 14-6 crush a Soviet 4-3 unit on 7:1 odds and roll an exchange result, it's a DE (defender eliminated) result in stead.

What else surprised me?
Fortifications have their own stacking, combat and supply rules, ok. But they lack a 'cancel retreat' rule, making pushing units out of a fortification a lot easier in this game than in many other Eastfront game I've played

There's some extra chrome for air units, railroads, partisans and such, but this is all pretty standard stuff.

So, verdict
This is a nice little Eastfront game. It's almost remarkable in it's unremarkableness. It's a poster game for hex&counter wargames. Still, it has a few nice twists. I don't think this is a game you'll keep on playing. But for any WW-II wargamer in general, Eastfront buff in particular, it could definitely be a game you revisit once in a while.

My rating :

edit: spelling
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Bill Eldard
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Excellent review, Kael. Thanks!
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Kim Meints
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Very good review Kael

1941 is a favorite of mine
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Robert Wesley
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Yes, as 'moi' concurs with these others upon your excellent, overall 'presentation' for this here. Does anyone recall if this had been initially published within their larger, 'zip-loc baggie'? Some of theirs, for them very first ones did, until they switched on producing the entire 'series' with your version there. Keep upon the "Good JORB!" you're creating with anything.
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Eric Lai
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GROGnads wrote:
Yes, as 'moi' concurs with these others upon your excellent, overall 'presentation' for this here. Does anyone recall if this had been initially published within their larger, 'zip-loc baggie'? Some of theirs, for them very first ones did, until they switched on producing the entire 'series' with your version there. Keep upon the "Good JORB!" you're creating with anything.


I have this series of games and the only game I've that comes in a ziplock bag is Mayday.

Great review and love the google map overlay; really puts the battle location in perspective.

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Robert Wesley
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While myself, and plenty another even, shall recall when quite a few GDW games were initially packaged within their very large, over-sized 'zip-loc baggies' on these. Right off the "tip-top of my head", then it included: Crimea, Pharsalus, The Battle of Agincourt, The Battle of Raphia, Torgau, DNO & UNT, The Battle of Guilford Courthouse, 1815: the Waterloo Campaign, almost ALL of their "Pacific Battles Campaigns" publications, and most likely more of which I haven't indicated here as thus. I'm gazing upon my copy of "The Fall of Tobruk" here, as it is displaying their early, revised 'logo' with ONLY "GD" indicating for this on the matter. So, naturally, it was my own inquisitiveness on whether of not this ONE here was ever made available initially in the 'zip-loc baggie' configuration, or not at all for that?
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Steven Goodknecht
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I don't believe this game was ever available in a zip-loc version. I think GDW was trying to compete with SPI for the retail market. SPI was putting out inexpensive smaller boxed games at this time and GDW was following suit.
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Lawrence Hung
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Garfink wrote:


Great review and love the google map overlay; really puts the battle location in perspective.



What are the names of those rivers flowing from the eastern part of the map? Seems they are not matching to the google map.

By the way, was it the source of the map one from the French?

There is a frontline in this game beginning 1941. The more modern research in the archives seems to suggest such a Soviet deployment is a fantasy. Check out the recent games like Stalin's War and No Retreat! The Russian Front which seem to have more realistic Soviet OOB and deployment on the border. I believe it was the Soviet land expanse that saves USSR, not the Front Armies.
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Kim Meints
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I think Robert was meaning the original Series 120 games started out in ziplock.

The French map is a copy of the GDW map but slightly nicer graphic's(I have both version's).
You're comparing modern day design's to something made in 1981.
1941 isn't anymore off with it's frontline deployment then AH's Stalingrad or Jedko/AH The Russian Campaign9Yes 1941 is newer than those games).

For a simple game on the campaign I play this over Stalingrad or Russian Campaign anyday.SPI's Old Barbarossa might get the nod first.1941 did what it was designed to do,be simple,fast playing and enjoyable when wanting a game on the campaign that didn't bog you down with a whole or weekend to play it in
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Steven Goodknecht
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jackiesavon wrote:
I think Robert was meaning the original Series 120 games started out in ziplock.


Yeah, I thought that was what he meant. I think all of the 120 series games were boxed. They may have been available through mail order ziplocked, I can't recall. But I think the 120 series was designed to be simpler boxed games targeting the retail market.
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Kim Meints
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Steve

The 120 games were originally offered in ziplock in the stores too.You must remember that all GDW games were at one time ziplock then they came out with the boxed versions. I have many like Citadel,Bar Lev,La Battaille de Moskava that were originally in zip then when they came out in the boxed version I sent off for the empty boxes.That was the trend with the so called 3rd World game companies which GDW was compared to giants SPI & AH.

I ended up buying all the 120 games again in their Box format.To tell the turth I sort of prefered the Ziplock on a few of them.
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Robert Wesley
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Yes, since even Task Force Games did just such 'likewise' with theirs, starting off as an inexpensive method for shipment, for example War of the Worlds. I particularly have a fond "Like" with this one-(and their 'series'), due to a Germanic-acquaintance for whom won't 'deign to lower his stature' himself, whilst being Soviets/Russians overall, as he then had the BEST *chances* at defeating 'moi' through just such!

Asides NOTE: I've also seen plenty where some BOX were just some "added expense" with theirs, and from which a 'zip-loc baggie' should suffice whence 'shipping', to SAVE US more $$$$ instead. Especially where A-L-L of their components provided shall fit decently within the GAME these belonged upon.
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