I've had this game called 'No Retreat' from GMT sitting on the shelf for a while now. I've pulled it down and set it up a couple of times, but although the rules are supposed to be quite simple the game suffers from the 'nicely printed colour rulebook which came with the game contains so many mistakes that it's pretty much useless' syndrome.
This syndrome (common though it is!) still annoys me enough to take a while to get over it, but somewhere in the vicinity of three years later I've at last printed out the living rules and got cracking on it.
The campaign game starts off with Barbarossa and continues up until the fall of Berlin. There are shorter scenarios as well, but the idea is for people to be able to play through the Russian campaign in a sitting, using reasonably simple rules that encourage innovative game play.
The game is hex-and-counter, but has a small number of counters (by normal hex-and-counter standards), and is played on an attractive map with large hexes and good production values.
The rules are not too different from earlier classic board wargames except that this game uses cards to add in another layer of decision-making. The cards can be used as events (Soviets must make three attacks this turn; Germans can advance an extra hex after combat, etc...) or to do bonus actions (move by rail; force an enemy unit to attack; bring on a replacement unit, and so on). This means that there are a lot of options in play and many different tactics to try, depending on how you use your cards.
My game is of course solo - there are solitaire rules, but I'm not using them because I want to learn the two-player game - but I can see how this style of game would be a real winner if you were lucky enough to have a player of roughly equal skill and enthusiasm not too far down the road.
Despite it taking me a while to work into it, I think this will be a keeper. For the record, the Germans got off to a fast start and have taken Leningrad early. The Russians are up against it, but have a huge whack of reinforcements and replacements to bring on (when they have the cards) so it will be interesting to see whether they can take advantage of the stretched German line.
|After German turn, Sep/Oct 1941|
You know, with the GMT sale now on, I may even grab another game or two in this series. They have the North African Campaign and the Italian Campaign - both of which are of interest to a New Zealander!