The Let's Play Archive

No Retreat! The Russian Front

by Tevery Best

Part 35: Turn 6 - March/April 1942: Foreshadowing

The West Front is sent north to reinforce the line between Moscow and Leningrad.

Meanwhile, the South Front and several divisions originally earmarked for Moscow are sent south, to Stalino. Their explicit orders are to prevent any fascists from taking the city that bears the name of Comrade Stalin. Much to the troops' chagrin, this includes the dreaded Rumanians.

With this we conclude Turn 5.

Meaningless statistics
Right now we're looking at a front line around 1800 km long. The largest distance between the current line and the pre-war border (in a straight line west) is over 800 km. This turn has seen 37 500 Axis personnel wounded and a further 15 000 killed. On the Soviet side the casualties hover around 50 000 wounded and 25 000 killed, as well as several thousand missing in action. In both cases this is but a dent in the millions of men fielded by either side.

Front line change

Blue is last turn's front line, red is current.


I know it says Sept/Oct, but I've cropped out enough images for today. Just believe me when I say that this is a Variable Weather Mud Turn.

It is now Turn 6. The turn event is Begin One Free Soviet Upgrade. This means that from this Soviet Organisation Phase onwards, the Soviets can upgrade one of their units - for free! Just one per turn, however. They can't upgrade more - even by paying.

What does it entail? It's simple, you just flip a unit over to its other side and that's it. It gives them a bunch of additional combat strength and sometimes changes their unit type as well. It does not grant them an extra step. This has two major consequences:

a) they are still Destroyed by, say, an EX result in combat,
b) if eliminated or surrendered, they return on their upgraded side.

Basically, they lose their shitty side and gain a new one, and that one is better on all or nearly all accounts.

This one free upgrade can also be used to flip a Regional Infantry Unit over to its Fortress side. This does not remove the Soviets' ability to fortify them with cards. However, you cannot pay cards to flip any units that do not become Fortresses.

I'm not going to list which Fronts upgrade to what kind of units exactly - neither here nor in the docs. This is partly because it would be tedious, partly to surprise people just that little bit. I will say, however, that the stronger a unit is on its current side, the stronger it's going to be after the upgrade - but even with the weakest units it's worth it, since they stop being pushovers at the very least.

Since it's a Sudden Death Turn, let's see the victory track.

The Axis are still at 22 VPs, three of those being Event VPs. This means they're still short of what they need to force the Soviets to bleed out some cards. Next chance: 26 VPs on Turn 9!

Oh, and one more thing. Let's take a look into the future.

This is the High Tide marker, currently resting leisurely on the Turn Track in the Turn 11 Box. It will not come into play until January/February 1943. What does it do - I won't say for now. What I will say is that the Axis kinda want to get as many VPs as they can before that time. Just a hint.

The Axis discard Stalin Orers Attack! and draw 4.

As their third card they draw Fickle Weather. This means that the Weather marker is flipped over to its Snow side. I can see the game veterans giggle in the audience.

See, the good news for the Germans is that this game does not tolerate having two Snow turns in a row. The bad news for them is that any Snow turns past the first are replaced with Long Winters.

Long Winters happen whenever two or more Snow turns happen in a row. They are really, really nasty... for the Germans. They're a bit less nasty for the Soviets.

The effects of a Long Winter turn are as follows:

- The Germans use the Soviet CRT for all their attacks.
- There is no Armour Bonus in combat.
- No multi-hex advance after combat. Attacking units can only enter the defender's hex and can go no further.
- The Axis can only use three Target markers in their Combat Phase. The Soviets can use all five.
- Movement is capped at 4 MPs for both sides.
- All non-Finnish attacks against Soviet units in the USSR suffer a -1 shift penalty.
- Rivers are still frozen and do not offer defensive shifts ok I guess that's like one thing that might somehow come in handy for the nazis once in a fucking blue moon

The TEC sums it up in an abbreviated form.

The 1st Panzer and 6th Army in Kharkov are put out of supply.

The 3rd Panzer, 8th Army, 11th Army, 16th Army and 18th Army are all eligible to be flipped over to their full-strength side at a cost of 2 cards per unit.

The Axis also receive a new unit, the 2nd Hungarian. It's a one-step Axis Minor infantry that is identical to its Rumanian counterparts in all aspects except one: if eliminated, it comes back after 2 turns, rather than 4. It has to be placed in any City in Greater Germany and assigned to an Army Group.

There are no Axis units in the Shattered, Destroyed and Surrendered Units Boxes.

I need decisions on all that from HerpicleOmnicron5. The deadline for this is Wednesday, January 8, 8 PM GMT.

Some random Romanians during the Russian winter.