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No Retreat! The Russian Front» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Impressions after a couple of solo Barbarossa scenarios rss

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Don Smith
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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I played one game of NR:TRF FTF about a year ago and we got about 5 turns in during the evening and had lots of rules to look up but my impression was that there is a lot going on here without a lot of counters!

This week, I got the game back on the table, just as a thread on CSW came out about favourite and most disappointing GMT games - I was shocked that so many people felt disappointed with NR:TRF. Undeterred, I went through the rules again, sorted out what was 1st and 2nd edition, browsed over BGG threads with the wailing and gnashing of teeth regarding which version was best or well tested or whatever.

These are solo tests of the 5 turn Barbarossa scenario - 2nd edition rules.

First game I was able to take Leningrad on Turn 2 with a fortunate CA result and roll but got completely bogged down in front of Moscow without having done enough in Ukraine so I determined that I wasn't going to hit 23 points so I restarted.

It was during this first game that I realized that the cards are critical (duh, you say). Some of the German cards, especially the extra movement ones, if timed properly can be extremely effective. I REALLY like this. It makes the game so much different than the standard lineup of counters and ZOC's which pre-determine how far you can get each turn. Secondly, the cards which mess around with Soviet production are golden.

Anyways I had good vibes coming out of that first game and in the second test, I didn't make any progress towards Leningrad but did have enough attrition elsewhere that the front south of Moscow was pretty open other than a unit in Sevastopol and Stalino. On turn 4 (Snow) I made a fatal error as the Germans, massing two large attacks on the Forts in Moscow and Sevastopol both at 4-1 unmodified but reduced to 3-2 by weather, city, and objective shifts. They both resulted in no effect. In hindsight, I should have poured through south of Moscow and taken enough cities to reach 23 VPs (I think I was at 20-21 starting turn 4).

Lesson learned - don't bother attacking forts in the first winter. Now that I think about it, doesn't the first winter give TWO shifts against the German attacks? That would have only made it worse...

Conclusions: This is a game which I think I will come to like A LOT. The Barbarossa scenario is a nice little puzzle which first-time players can play in an evening (easily) and hone their offensive and defensive tactics as well as learning about the cards, before launching into the longer or more complex scenarios.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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A nice review and it sums up my experience well too.

The cards add fun and is a powerful tool when used correctly. The Counterblow mechanism is brilliant and I really like the CB and CA results on the CRT.

I cannot claim that I play the game well, but I have fun when I do.

And I have used the 2nd edition rules all for all my plays.

Great game, Carl.
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Carl Paradis
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montreal
Québec
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Thanks guys. This was my first ever design, and hopefully most people will like it as you did: It will make my day for years to come! If not, well, I'm still learning the ropes, so maybe my next efforts will be better...

BTW, your checks are in the mail.

Best regards.

Carl
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Russ Williams
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Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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I just played this for the first time this evening with a friend, doing the first scenario (turns 1-5). We enjoyed it (although a lot of rules checks due to some of the odd stuff like counterblows) and look forward to playing again soon, but we were struck by how easily the Germans smashed the Soviets. Then I just stumbled upon this thread, read the mention of the weather, and I realized that DOH!!!! we totally forgot that the weather changes to mud and snow after the first couple turns. We were on "auto-pilot" with the weather and just kept treating it as clear for all 5 turns... No wonder the Germans made such rapid progress.
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Gabriel Schweitzer
Brazil
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São Paulo
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Don Smith wrote:


First game I was able to take Leningrad on Turn 2 with a fortunate CA result and roll but got completely bogged down in front of Moscow without having done enough in Ukraine so I determined that I wasn't going to hit 23 points so I restarted.



Hasn't the Barbarossa scenario been errata'ed to 21 VPs for an Axis victory?
 
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Richard Feather
Japan
Washington
Dist of Columbia
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I have yet to crack the shrink wrap on this one, but after reading this I'm doing it soon. Maybe even tonight. I'm stuck playing solo at this point.
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R Larsen
Denmark
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For NR solo plays in general, remember that there are solo rules made that makes it more fun to play. Part of the solo rules can in fact be added to the 2-player game, to add some effects.
 
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J. Emmett
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russ wrote:
I just played this for the first time this evening with a friend, doing the first scenario (turns 1-5). We enjoyed it (although a lot of rules checks due to some of the odd stuff like counterblows) and look forward to playing again soon, but we were struck by how easily the Germans smashed the Soviets.


Yesterday evening I also got in my first man-vs-man (instead of man-vs-self) play of NR with a friend. We started with Barbarossa (me as Soviets, him as Axis), and decided to play the campaign and just see how many turns in we could get. In just over three hours, the Axis won the T6 sudden death victory, handily (28 VPs, so he essentially won the single scenario too—errata'd or otherwise). Only uncaught mistake was letting Leningrad fall on T4, forgetting that it can be supplied via Lake Ladoga (as of course it really was—d'oh!), though that 1 VP wasn't going to help me much.

It wasn't the greatest display of strategic play on my part (something I'm incapable of), but it was great seeing all the rules come together, especially having a live opponent with a hidden hand, seemingly constantly canceling or forcing me to discard my cards (I mean the ones I wasn't continually burning to bring my units back).
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