So many games...and which ones are your favorites? For me, RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN (pick your edition) is the best game on the topic, although there are others that might qualify as the best simulation. Of course, there are a number of games that give RC a good bit of competition. L2's RUSSIA BESIEGED is one example. MMP's RED STAR RISING is another. SPI's/Decision Games's LAND WITHOUT END is worth checking out--if you enjoy Ty Bomba designs. Of course, there are those big games...WAR IN THE EAST (2nd Edition), FIRE IN THE EAST, and others. THe sheer scope and scale of this conflict boggles the imagination--and that is why we play these games. Tell us the games you love (and hate).

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Monster Russian Front games. Fortunately, there aren't that many. It started with GDW's DRANG NACH OSTEN and SPI's WAR IN THE EAST (1st Edition), soon refined into FIRE IN THE EAST (GDW) and WAR IN THE EAST (2nd Ed). Command Magazine had PROUD MONSTER. Panther Games had TRIAL OF STRENGTH, which was the best "big" Russian Front strategic game, in my opinion. Not sure whether to classify MMP's RED STAR RISING as a monster game or seems to straddle the genre--a bit too small to be considered a true monster, but bigger than anything else out there such as RUSSIA BESEIGED or LAND WITHOUT END.
When playing Russian Front do you go directly for Moscow? If so does Lenningrad fall too? What happens down south?

I have an unpunched copy of ToS

If someone is interesting them I can sale the game, so I'm not sure to play it

Ilya,  Moscow

Medium-sized games. In the beginning was Avalon Hill's hoary old STALINGRAD game. And the earth was without form, and darkness was upon the face of the waters...the game was definitely a player, but didn't resemble the War in the East that I read about. SPI came out with BARBAROSSA which was a bit too weird for me, given the scale of the game (German pieces were generally Armies!), although I did play it number of times. RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN was the first game that seemed to work for me and I reserve a special place for it, even in the face of "better" treatments like RUSSIA BESEIGED (L2). Control Box's EASTFRONT didn't do it for me, and neither did the Coatney games that I got in The Wargamer magazine. Command's BLITZKRIEG '41 (premier issue) was a pretty decent game given the magazine format. But it was Columbia's original EAST FRONT block game that gave me thrills much like I had when I first played RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN--I have yet to play the second edition. Avalon Hill's RUSSIAN FRONT looked beautiful but I was never into it as much as I was RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN, even though I wanted to be. TSR/SPI's updated BARBAROSSA was just too much and the graphics too garish to play the game. GDW's THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR was a dog IMHO and I wasn't much into the original WAR FOR THE MOTHERLAND (FGA). Clash of Arms' WAR WITHOUT MERCY is a game I've not yet played but has its fans--it's bigger than the rest of the "medium sized" games and might be considered a monster by those who have played it.
Ah, one of my favorite topics.

My list of strategic games:

AH The Russian Campaign (fun) *
AH Russian Front (fun and realistic) *
SPI War in the East (1st Edition) (fun and realistic) -> Really Operationally
SPI War in the East (2nd Edition) (fun and realistic) -> Really Operationally
SPI/TSR Barbarossa (Army/Corps level with strength markers) (fun and realistic) -> Really Operationally
GDW DNO/UNT (cool) -> Really Operationally
GDW FitE/SE (great fun) -> Really Operationally
GDW 1941 (fast fun) *
GDW Great Patriotic War (fun) *
MMP Red Star Rising (not yet tried it) *
COA War Without Mercy (not yet tried it) -> Really Operationally? * ?

Not all these are strategic in my view only the ones marked with a asterisk, of course that is subjective.
Chuck, we'd love those rules. Who knows, maybe we can convince Doc Decision to do a "Revised Edition" of the 1st Edition of WAR IN THE EAST so it would not compete with WAR IN EUROPE/WAR IN THE EAST (2nd Edition). I confess I look at the graphics to that first effort with a huge wave of nostalgia--it's like seeing all the old operational series games (KURSK, FRANCE: 1940, TURNING POINT: STALINGRAD, DESTRUCTION OF ARMY GROUP CENTER, BREAKOUT AND PURSUIT) blown up to monster size. Just begs to be played. Sounds like you've solved a major part of what eventually turned us away after repeated playings.
Yup, Don is right--it's hard to classify some of the big monster games as just strategic titles--so much of the game is operational-level/campaigning. So it's fair to say they straddle both categories.

Yes, I still think GDW's GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR was a dog, but somebody said somewhere else that they redid the rules which fixed the problems with it. I really wanted to like that game after playing their freebie BATTLE FOR MOSCOW which has a similar system and served as a nice intro to wargaming. Man, Don, you need to educate us on what you really liked about the SPI/TSR BARBAROSSA...I just got eyestrain playing it and it seemed just too convoluted for me for what I got out of it.
Barbarossa in my book and one of my friends that I play with is a great game system. A lot people either misunderstand the rules (including my friend till I wrote a clarification for it - it's up on the grognard somewhere or on my laptop somewhere) or hated the strength point system.

But to me the strength point system was the best part of the game, built in fog of war. Also, I love the fact that you have so many operational points and must spend a varying amount on doing various operations. But my favorite piece is the whole command and control thing.

A lot of people read the rules and just never progressed farther then that and likewise a lot people did not like the pastel graphics and stopped there. I have played far uglier game and less developed rules. Anyway I must have played this thing about 10 or 15 times solo until I figured it out and how to play well. When I met up with one of my gaming partners he said the same thing as you. But after I explain the rules (it took me writing up that clarification thing) he took to it. In fact if you go back on the old CSW list for that game you can see I converted another gamer into enjoying that game.

I guess you could say when I read the rules and charts I saw something hiding there and was determined to make it work. Perhaps I tweaked the rules just slightly in my head and or the suspension was held in check (if you get my meaning).

I still love that game and it would make an excellent candidate for a computerized war game.

Just my 2 cents.
Chuck I think were taking two different games here. There are 5 attack modes from the combat matrix and 7 maneuver results from the attacks.



However, per the retreat rules:

[17.32] Retreating Units can't enter a hex in an Enemy ZOC unless it contains a Friendly Unit other than a Partisan or RN.

[17.35] Units unable to retreat within the limitations of Cases 17.31 through 17.34 are eliminated along with their attached SP's in the last hex they are able to enter. They are treated as Units eliminated in combat (see Case 17.12).

This cuts both ways in this game.
More Barbarossa tid-bits.

Here is the clarifications I wrote a few years back, hopefully it sheds some type of insight.
The Great Patriotic War had to be one of the absolute worst games that I ever reviewed, dreck incarnate. As for Battle for Moscow, I never did figure out how the Soviets could lose; on the other hand, the Operation Typhoon game from Panzerschreck about five years ago built on it to become a really good game.

I have to confess that I never liked the SPI Barbarossa, though I never played the TSR version can't judge it. There is one thing that I liked about it though; the use of a leader counter to show extra offensive logistical resources. It's a terrific touch in a game that otherwise can't measure up to The Russian Campaign.

There were no leader counters in TSR Barbarossa, there were HQ.

From the rules:

[2.33] There are four types of Units in the game: Combat Units, Static Units, Headquarters (HQ) Units and Partisans.

• Combat Units represent actual corps and armies.
• Static Units are of four types: Soviet Fortified Zones (FZ's-local Workers Militias and the garrisons of fixed defenses), Soviet Resistance Networks (RN's-the command network of armed urban uprisings against the Axis), Axis Festungs (FES-local Volksturm detachments and the garrisons of fixed defenses) and Axis Entrenchments (ENT-field fortifications).
• HQ's include Axis Army HQ's and Soviet Front HQ's.
• Partisans represent rural guerrillas conducting their own war against one or both sides in the Axis-Soviet conflict.

Perhaps you thinking of TSR WWII game that had both HQ and Leader counters.

TRC is great 'fun' game but it's not an strategic/operational level game like TSR Barbarossa is.


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