This splendid little game pits two players against each other to determine the fate of Moscow in 1941. Originally published by GDW in 1986 as a “giveaway” game at conventions to draw new players into the hobby, it was later slightly updated and reprinted in 2009 by Victory Point Games. In 2011, GMT Games, working closely with Victory Point Games republished it in their c3i magazine. the latest printing from GMT has much-improved components.
The game features a simple design with easy to learn rules but gives player’s some depth with the strategic options through they can win. With four pages of rules, there is little in the way of complexity to be had in this game. The most complex thing about the game is learning the turn sequence and even that is very intuitive. Strategy, on the other hand, is something that has to be refined through playing the game. There are several ways in which either player can obtain their required victory condition by the end of the turn 7 when the game ends.
The German player needs to learn to exploit their armor and make continuous breakthroughs as the Russians are forced to pull back from the front to defend Moscow. The Russians on the other hand, need to exploit the fact that they have an overwhelming number of replacement points from which they can rebuild or replenish existing units. Additionally, the Russian player needs to take advantage of the two mud turns as a way of slowing the German onslaught.
Small format (travels well!)
Low counter density
Simple rules lack the chrome of larger games
Some players may find the strategy feels like chess from time to time
This small format game (11×17 map) is a great introductory game for new players, adults and children alike. It is well suited for traveling and coffee houses too! I recommend you find any of the three available versions of the game and give a whirl. My 14-year-old son and I have found the game to be a great experience, not only in terms of exercising our gray matter but also in quality father-son time.