Holdfast: EastFront 1941-45 by Worthington Publishing  We have another Worthington publishing game for review. T...

Holdfast: EastFront 1941-45 by Worthington Publishing Holdfast: EastFront 1941-45 by Worthington Publishing

Holdfast: EastFront 1941-45 by Worthington Publishing

Holdfast: EastFront 1941-45 by Worthington Publishing



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 We have another Worthington publishing game for review. The new game's area is more than a few thousand miles away and ninety years later than the American Civil war. This game takes you to the steppes of Russia in the Second World War. The game board is mounted, and it encompasses Berlin to Moscow and Stalingrad and a little beyond. The map is colorful, and it is easy to see the borders for the different scenarios and rivers etc. On first look, the map looks bunched up. This is because the furthest south the map goes is Sevastopol. There will be no fighting for the Caucasus in this game. This game, like the other Worthington games I have played, is a block one. The blocks represent armies on the German and Soviet side. The supply rules are also simple but effective. You must have a path of five hexes to a city controlled by your side or the west or east edge of the map. A Russian unit in a fortress city is always in supply.



 The rules take up only four pages with an extra page for the scenario setup and rules for the 1942,1943, and 1944 scenarios. The rulebook also comes with two pages of designer notes. This game system runs on 'Resource Points'. Everything a player does or can do revolves around his or her resource points. This is a list of what costs actions take in resource points:

Replace one Infantry Strength point - 1 RP
Replace one Armor SP  - 2 RP 
Replace one Eliminated Infantry Unit at 1 SP  - 2 RP
Replace on eliminated Armor Unit at 1 SP  - 3 RP
Activate a Unit for Movement - 1 RP
Activate a Unit for Rail Movement  - 2 RP
Activate Units for Combat  - 1 RP per hex Attacked

 This is a link to the rulebook:

 https://worthingtonpublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/HOLDFAST_EASTFRONT_rules_WEB.pdf




 This is the turn sequence:


A full game turn is the sequence below. After the Russian player
finishes, the turn marker is advanced one space. At the end of the
January 1943 turn, the 1941 game ends and a victor is determined.
1.
Determine resource points for each player.
2.
Roll a die to determine the weather for the turn.
3.
German player places reinforcements and replacements.
4.
German player checks supply for movement, and activates units
for movement and combat.
5.
German player checks supply for unit elimination.
6.
Russian player places reinforcements and replacements.
7.
Russian player checks supply for movement, and activates units
for movement and combat.
8.
Russian player checks supply for unit elimination.
These are the player aid cards:


 This game fits right in with the other two games I have reviewed for Worthington games. All of them have a short rulebook, and very easy to understand rules. The player is left to concentrate on his strategy, and not on how many counters he can stack before the pile falls. That is not to say that the game play is simple. It is just easy to know what a player can do. On the other hand, it is not easy to figure out what a player should do. The mechanics of the resource points makes a player feel like a beggar or a sot. He always needs just one or two more resource points each turn. In Chess, there are nine million possible moves after each player has moved three times. So you can see that the possibilities in this 'simple game' are mind boggling. Again, like the other games, this one has a small amount of counters and the map is really not that large. So, it is perfect for people with limited space for playing. The quick action also means that you can play through 1941-45 in one sitting. 




 From my play-throughs, the 1941 scenario, like in history or other games, is the easiest for the German player. With each succeeding year's scenario, it becomes  more difficult. The weather is well represented in the rules, which is good considering that it played such an important part. The weather, just like in real life, can hamstring both players. The gradual improvement of the Soviet Army is shown by the reinforcement of Guard units, which are roughly twice as strong as the original Soviet units in 1941. The 1941 scenario ends in January 1943, and the German player has to hold two out of these three cities: Moscow, Leningrad, and Stalingrad. If he doesn't, the game can continue until May 1945 and the Soviet player has to hold all three of these cities: Berlin, Warsaw, and Bucharest. 



  For gamers who want to delve into the tiniest minutae of the Eastern front, please look elsewhere. For game players who are looking for a good evening of fun, I can easily recommend this game. 

 This is the setup for the 1941 scenario:





Robert

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