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FOR GLORY FROM SPIELCRAFT GAMES FOR GLORY TO RETURN Just an announcement to keep alert for a new launch later this year of a great deck bui...

FOR GLORY FOR GLORY

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

May 2021

FOR GLORY

FOR GLORY


FROM

SPIELCRAFT GAMES


FOR GLORY TO RETURN

Just an announcement to keep alert for a new launch later this year of a great deck builder that appeared in the States last year.  Here's your chance to run a gladiatorial school all in preparation for that final showdown in the arena.  Be a colossus in the colosseum!

Here's a sneak peak at the game set up



LOOK FORWARD TO AN IN-DEPTH REVIEW HERE WITH THE KICKSTARTER LAUNCH

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  Rostov '41 Race to the Don by Multi-Man Publishing, The Gamers  Field Marshal von Rundstedt, in command of Army Group South, had the t...

Rostov '41 Race to the Don by Multi-Man Publishing, The Gamers Rostov '41 Race to the Don by Multi-Man Publishing, The Gamers

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

May 2021

Rostov '41 Race to the Don by Multi-Man Publishing, The Gamers




 Rostov '41


Race to the Don


by


Multi-Man Publishing, The Gamers





 Field Marshal von Rundstedt, in command of Army Group South, had the toughest assignment of the three Army groups in Operation Barbarossa. To Hitler he also had the most important assignment. Army Group South was supposed to capture the Ukraine and especially the Donbass. Then it was to capture the Soviet oilfields in the Caucasus. It didn't help that the Soviets that were fighting Army Group South were the most numerous and best equipped German opponents at the time of the attack: June 22nd,1941. The actual 'largest tank battle in WWII' had taken place at Dubno early in the campaign for Southern Russia. 

 The game comes with:

Standard Combat Series (SCS) rulebook (version 1.8)

Rostov ‘41 game-specific rulebook

One full color 22" x 34" map

280 counters

4 Scenarios

Box and dice




 This is the first part of the SCS Rulebook. It not only explains the games, but informs you on how to treat your opponent if need be:

"This series was designed for two reasons. First, it was meant to offset our other series which, by an order of magnitude, are much more complicated than the SCS. Second, it was designed to be a basic—read FUN—game which can be played at times when the others seem like too much of a good thing. These games are made for the “break out the beer and pretzels, and here we go” type of evening. While none of our games are designed with the beginner as their raison d’être, the SCS was designed as something the beginner would be able to was designed as something the beginner would be able to handle—as opposed to being devoured by. 

 I want to make the reasons behind a few things in this series known. First of all is our standard rounding rule. I have been forever pained by the “11 to 6? Oh, I’m so sorry, that’s only a 1 to 1 attack.” More importantly, watching players scrounge the map looking for a strength point or two to “make the odds break” is downright embarrassing. By making the “table break” happen at the 1/2 value, I hope to make players spend less time pre-calculating and more time just shooting from the hip. Its the shoot from the hip gun fight that is fun in wargaming, not the ravings of the accountant gone mad looking for each individual strength point. If your opponent starts to pre-calculate combats in this system (even after making it tougher on him), feel free to slap him silly! Sure, he can start scrounging for enough points to make that last 0.5, but only if you let him dodge around the Fog of War rule!"



 The map is fully functional and utilitarian in look. This is keeping with the whole SCS series. The games were meant to be easy to play and simple to figure out. It also helps that the terrain in the area is mostly steppe. The counters complement the map. They are 1/2" in size, and use the standard NATO symbols. The symbols are a bit small, but the numbers are easy to read.  The counters are the regulation Soviet brown and German gray and black (SS). Both of the Rulebooks are in black & white. The Series Rulebook is only eight pages long, while the Rostov '41Rulebook is also eight pages long. However, only three pages are for the actual Rostov '41 rules and the next four are the setup instructions for the four scenarios/campaign. The last page has the Terrain Effects Chart and the Combat Table Chart. All of the components match the style and price of the games in the SCS series.  



 You can play these four scenarios:

Fritz on the Don (Campaign), 14 Turns

Fritz on the Mius, 4 turns

Fritz Grabs Rostov, 7 turns

Soviet Counterpunch, 4 turns




 This is the Sequence of Play:

Initiative Player Turn

Reinforcement Phase
German Barrage Phase
Movement Phase
Barrage Phase
Combat Phase
Exploitation Phase
Supply Phase
Clean Up Phase

Non-Initiative Player Turn
The non-Initiative Player now repeats
the steps in order above.

Turn End
Advance to the next turn or end the game
if last turn of scenario.




There are also rules for:

Zones of Control
Stacking
Reinforcements
Retreats
Terrain Effects
Unit Reconstruction
Disorganized Units (DG)

 The game plays as a free-wheeling affair. It is a standard size map, but the counter density is extremely low. The Series Rule that does not allow for your opponent to inspect your stack is a nice touch for some Fog-of-war. The Standard Combat Series was the brain-child of Dean Essig, and there are now over twenty games in the series. Rostov '41 was designed by Ray Weiss. The rules have no ambiguity in them at all. They are a model of rules for wargames, in both their being easy to understand, and their terseness. The Barrage rules (both Artillery and Air Strikes), are some of the most interesting ones in the game. The Soviet player can only use a barrage during the Barrage Phase. The German player can use his artillery in the German Barrage phase and the Barrage Phase. The German Air Strikes can be carries out in either Barrage Phase, but also in the Movement or Exploitation Phase. The German players' Air Strikes take precedent over anything else. This means that if the Soviet player is going to conduct a Barrage or Movement, the German player can interrupt him and use an Air Strike before the Soviet player makes his move or Barrage. The roll for Initiative decides how many Air Strikes each player has each turn. Each player rolls a six sided die (+1 to the Germans in a clear weather turn), and this decides who has the Initiative, The difference between each side's die roll is the number of Air Strikes the player with initiative receives.

 The game plays just like in any other Eastern Front game in 1941-42. The Soviet player must decide when to hold 'em, and when to fold 'em. He must try and stop the German motorized troops from shredding and then encircling his front. Some cardboard sacrifices will have to be made. The German player does not have time on his side. First the Rasputitsa (mud season), and then the winter will throw a monkey wrench into his plans. The campaign game has only fourteen turns for the German player to take as many Victory Hexes as possible. He needs at least twenty-two+ to get a Decisive Victory. In this game the five hexes of Rostov are worth fifteen points, so the German player does not have to occupy too many others. However, leaving supplied Soviet forces behind him will cost him dearly in taken away Victory Points. 

 In summary, this is a great game with excellent rules. Thank you multi-Man Publishing for letting me review this game. I have a few other games in the Standard Combat Series that I have not given the time they deserve judging by Rostov '41.

 Robert


Rostov '41 Race to the Don:


Other Multi-Man Publishing reviews.

Monty's Gamble: Market Garden review:

Monty's Gamble: Market Garden by Multi-Man Publishing - A Wargamers Needful Things

Last Stand: The battle for Moscow 1941-42 review:

The Last Stand : The Battle for Moscow 1941-42 by Multi-Man Publishing - A Wargamers Needful Things

Baptism by Fire review:

Baptism by Fire by Multi-Man Publishing - A Wargamers Needful Things





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  St-Lo: Normandy 1944 The Breakout Begins by War Drum Games & Quarterdeck International  Once again with a wargame, I find my history s...

St-Lo: Normandy 1944 The Breakout Begins by War Drum Games & Quarterdeck International St-Lo: Normandy 1944 The Breakout Begins by War Drum Games & Quarterdeck International

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

May 2021

St-Lo: Normandy 1944 The Breakout Begins by War Drum Games & Quarterdeck International





 St-Lo: Normandy 1944 The Breakout Begins


by


War Drum Games & Quarterdeck International





 Once again with a wargame, I find my history synapses at a loss. I was always more interested in the fighting for Caen during the Normandy Campaign. Oh, I have played many tactical battles about the American Hedgerow Campaign, but I have to admit I only know the history of the actual American breakout and and end run at a cursory level. This is, however, a very good thing. I would be very surprised if many grognards are not like me in this aspect. We acquire or get ready to play a game about a period or campaign that our knowledge is not up to snuff on. Then we grab every resource we can get our hands on to read up on it. This does not mean that we watch certain TV channels about it. One of them is a fanciful landing spot for aliens. The other should change its name to the Nazi memorabilia channel, but I digress. This is one of the salient points about wargames, even if we do not play them. They give us a chance to see exactly what the forces of both sides were faced with at the moment. In truth though, a wargame is a game/simulation and was meant to be played. So let us see how St. Lo measures up on both the game and historical levels. This is what comes with the game:

One 22" x 34" Mounted Map
400 die-cut playing pieces
One US Division Display Sheet
One US Artillery Display Sheet
One German Division Display Sheet
One German Artillery Display Sheet
Rules Book
Charts and Tables
One six-sided die





 The first thing we have to describe is the map. It is mounted, but that just tells half the story. It seems to be twice the thickness of other mounted maps. It will be able to deal with years of gaming. The terrain on the map is mostly the same. This is not the map's fault. This is hedgerow hell. There are a few villages throughout the map, but the most important features are the higher terrain. The higher terrain allows either side to use its artillery. The colors of the map fit the area nicely. The counters are large at 9/16" and come pre-rounded. So, you counter clippers can have a break with these. The Rule Book is twenty-eight pages long. All of the headings for the rules 1.0 or 5.0 etc. have excellent little historical reports and information at the start of them. For the history lover these little blurbs are worth the cost of the game alone. The Rule Book is in full color. It also comes with examples of play. The six Player Aid sheets are laminated. This is a great touch. I do not let food or anything near my games, but some people like to live life dangerously. The information on the sheets are pretty much self-explanatory. All of the Player Aid sheets are in English. The game pieces have been manufactured to the highest standard. 


The English version of the game is in full English




 The Sequence of Play is:

Weather Phase
Reinforcement Phase
Initiative Phase
Asset Phase (Does not take place on Turn 1)
Operations Phase
Recovery Phase
Artillery Rally Phase
Headquarters Phase




 The Player Notes and Historical notes are both well worth the read. The Player Notes start out as this for both sides:

German

 "You must except that the Americans assault will push you back. But remember, the American victory objectives are far behind your initial line., and the victory conditions require only that you hold those objectives for eight days. So you must plan to trade space for time. Back up and build strongholds. and cause the Americans as much frustration as you can. The game system offers you a number of subtle ways to do so."

American

"Tactically, try to drive deep and fragment the German Line. Your artillery, if it has good observation can be a shocking deadly weapon against retreating German units. Beware of letting small German units slip behind your lines. Usually, the best attack procedure is first to pin or disrupt the defender with barrage fire, and then to hit him with a deliberate or intensive attack. If you have achieved a high combat ratio, you can save time and also surprise the German player by omitting the barrage."

 The game is full of tactical flavor and rules representing:

Barrage Fire
Hasty attack
Engineers
Headquarters
Pin
Rally
Recon (US)
Entrenching
Zones of Control

 The game is different than most other wargames on this scale, especially in the way that it handles Assets.



 
 The game play for both sides is as historic as it comes. The high ground on the map (which there isn't much of), becomes the main area of fighting between the Germans and the Americans. The high ground in this game, like reality, means that you can see the enemy and use your artillery and other assets against the enemy. Historically the American artillery was its premier force in WWII. It was able to rain death and destruction upon the Axis forces whenever given the chance. The Germans in the game are as usual for 1944-45 goal is to hang on longer than they did in reality. Playing as the Germans, you will be ground down turn after turn. You will need to play the game like you are playing Poker and know when to cut and run. The American forces will grind you down. Playing as the Americans, do exactly as was done in 1944 in this battle. Use your artillery to smash the Germans into a pulp, instead of charging headlong and losing your infantry in a blood bath. Playing as the Americans, you only have eight turns to win the game. There are no German Victory Points. Victory is determined by how many Victory Points the American player can amass. The American player gets eight points for having a unit with a line of supply in one of the St-Lo hexes. He must also try to capture as many German Depot hexes on the East side of the map as he can. Three of the Depot hexes are on the map edge one or two hexes from St-Lo, and are worth two points apiece. The others are spread out over the map, and are worth one point  apiece. In the games that I have played, victory has come down to the wire. Twenty-one or higher points means a Decisive US victory. Eight to ten points gives you a marginal German victory. The German player has to fight like Jersey Joe Walcott. Always retreat, but make the other player pay for each hex, and hit back hard when the opportunity arises.


 In summary, this is an absolutely great game that plays very historically, and the components are first rate. Thank you very much Quarterdeck International for letting me review this game. Apparently, Compass Games is now selling St-Lo instead of Quarterdeck International. Please check out the other many fine products on QI's site. They carry a great assortment of hard to find European and Asian wargames. Also look at the great line of games that Compass Games is now selling.

Robert

Quarterdeck International:

Compass Games:

St-Lo: Normandy 1944 The Breakout Begins:

 

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