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Russia Besieged» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A fun first game, but it didn’t play out at all historically rss

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Lowell Drake
United States
Meridian
Idaho
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Yesterday I finished my first play of Russia Besieged, with Chris playing the Germans and I the Russians. Chris is a tough opponent - he wins more often than I do - but this time I trounced him soundly.

Chris and I are both old Russian Campaign veterans, and in that game we learned that the Germans should force as many Russian units as possible to surrender so they can’t return. This was one of Chris’s major strategies for yesterday’s game. Thus, at the end of 1941 he’d forced thirteen of my units to surrender, from feeble 3-6s to 6-4s. Just like it’s forebear, TRC, the Russians were taking a pounding and it was very difficult to make any kind of defense. It’s very bleak for the Russian player in 1941. But then came the snow, and I was able to surround two of his out-of-combat-supply 7-8 units (stacked together), got an EX2 and they were forced to retreat, so I bagged them both. But still, by the end of ’41 his losses were fairly minimal.

In 1942 the entire game changed direction, and it no longer played like TRC. I was putting more and more units into play, and Chris hadn’t taken much territory. Since Chris had focused on forcing Russian units to surrender, I hadn’t lost as many units as otherwise might have been the case, so I was able to empty my replacement pool and bring all of them into play by the time spring came in ’42. Besides that, on two turns I didn’t have enough armor in my replacement pool to use all my Oil points. I had a solid defensive line along the Dnepr River, and the Germans weren’t even close to Moscow or Leningrad. In the Spring the Germans were killing scores of Russians again, and my replacement pool was filling up, but by then my replacement level was up to 19 a turn BEFORE I rolled for Lend Lease. Chris made a mighty push to take Saratov, Kharkov and Rostov, but I had a strong in-depth defense, and it was obvious that even if he could push far enough to attack the city of Saratov he wouldn’t be able to enter it, and of course in my turn I could push in another two 6-4 units.

Chris made a good effort to get the required 16 Major cities to avoid the Immediate Russian Victory, but just couldn’t get there. He ended up, at the end of October, 1942, with 13 Major cities, but the weather wasn’t going to favor him grabbing the other 3 he needed to stay in the game, so he surrendered.

I send this not only as a brief Session Report but also to ask those of you who have a few plays of this under your belts, do you find the Russians too strong, or do the Germans ever pull off a win? Was Chris’s strategy to force the surrender of Russians the crux of his failure, or is it just really hard for the Germans to win this game?


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John Corlett
United Kingdom
Doncaster
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I have played this game a good few times, and occasionally this happens, but as you say, there is a balance for the Germans in taking territory and surrounding units, it is easier to destroy them.
In our games the main problems for the Russians has been taking Berlin in time, so still a German win. I think we have only had the Germans win the early war twice.
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Lowell Drake
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Thank you, John, for the reply. It gives me hope for future games. I was worried it was broken.
 
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Jim Eliason
United States
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Russia Besieged » Forums » Sessions
Re: A fun first game, but it didn’t play out at all historically
The Germans need to advance rapidly. Take out as many war economy units as possible. Surrendering units is nice, but killing them is much more important. Use just a few AVs to open up lanes to advance through. Two 5-1 (+1) odds attacks are usually much better than one 10-1. Taking 16 major cities isn't easy, but gaining lots of territory often sets up surrounded attacks on Russians that can't run away fast enough to form a good line in front of the Axis advance.
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