Year Published
# of Players
2 − 3
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 2 players
Recommended with 1–3 players
(22 voters) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
14 and up
Playing Time
60 − 3000 minutes
User Suggested Ages
12 and up
(9 voters) [poll]
Language Dependence
Moderate in-game text - needs crib sheet or paste ups
(8 voters) [poll]
(30 voters) [vote]
Primary Name
Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe
Alternate Names
Sal's World War II Game: Europe
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ObjectID: 61487
Description Edit | History

(from the designer and GMT Games website:)

Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe (USE) is a strategic level game covering the World War II European Theater. Players make the political decisions and control the military forces of the three major factions that struggled for European dominance and survival.

With its emphasis on force projection and decision making, players remain focused on the big picture of managing their front lines and political opportunities. Through simple mechanics and low on-map counter density, players easily handle the strategic action without a myriad of complicated subsystems or tall stacks of counters.

As one gamer put it, "It is a delight to be spending my limited brain power on making (or agonizing over) operational decisions that are as dependent upon guts as they are gray matter. This game is not a series of arithmetic exercises, and the only variable in these algorithms is nerve."

Though the focus is on the big picture, Unconditional Surrender! still delivers historical detail. Each country has an historical army level order of battle, and its relative economic strength and national will to fight are effectively and simply modeled. Also represented are such World War II events as airdrops, Free Forces, jets, naval evacuation, partisans, radar, railroad artillery guns, and ULTRA; all neatly woven into the game's core mechanics for ease of play

The game has many scenarios ranging from quick playing individual campaigns to longer ones covering up to the entire war.

Design Highlights

  • Scale: army, fleet, or air wing level units; 30-60 miles per hex; monthly turns
  • Players: 2-4
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes to 50 hours, depending on the scenario
  • Low On-Map Counter Density: The number of counters on the map is relatively low.
  • Simple Stacking: No more than one air, ground, convoy, or warship unit per hex.
  • No Factors on Counters: There are no combat or movement factors on counters.
  • Single Combat System: One combat resolution sequence and Combat Results Table covers all types of combat, yet the results differ for air/naval, ground, or strategic combat.
  • Integrated Movement/Combat System: Units move and fight in a combined activation.
  • "Use it or Lose it" Economic System: Simple math with minimal record keeping
  • Historical or Variable Entry: Units and events can enter play using an historical or variable time line.
  • Variable Politics: Most countries’ belligerence and faction alliance is not predetermined.
  • Solitaire Friendly: Though not designed with solitaire rules, the mechanics easily allow one player to play the game.
  • PBEM Capable: The game can be played using PBEM software, but its mechanics require frequent exchanges.

TIME SCALE: Monthly Turns
MAP SCALE: 30 to 40 miles per hex
UNIT SCALE: Army, Fleet or Wing

DESIGNER: Salvatore Vasta
MAP ART: Salvatore Vasta & Mark Simonitch
COUNTER ART: Charlie Kibler

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More Information Edit | History

Marco Arnaudo's Video Reviews

- 2014 Number 1 Wargame of the Year

2014 GrogHeads Readers’ Choice Awards winner

- Tabletop Strategy / Historical Game of the Year

- Overall Tabletop Game of the Year

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Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe
English first edition
Publisher: GMT Games
Artist: Rodger B. MacGowan, Salvatore Vasta
Year: 2014
Release Date: Apr 11, 2014
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Title | Hot | Recent
[Browse »]  [Upload File »] Language:
Pg. 1 of 3 »
14 USE Player Aid Sheet (Living Rules) Designer's version
This is the designer's version of the Player Aid Sheet. It incorporates all errata through 2015-11-21. This file had no changes since the date in the file name.
2 USE_Palybook(Chinese)
Personal partly translanted USE Playbook in Chinses which has been updated with USE_Errata-Questions_2015-07-04
3 USE Rulebook(Chinese)
Personal translanted USE Rulebook in Chinses which has been updated with USE_Errata-Questions_2015-07-04
22 Flatten the Learning Curve Rules Summary
All Case Blue rules in play-through order. Hope it proves useful in learning the Case Blue scenario and perhaps gives a gentle intro to USE. Comments/corrections welcomed.
7 USE Weather Table Alternate Format
This zip file contains two files. One file is only a Weather Table using an alternate format (designed by Jay Muchnij). You can print and paste this on your Player Aid Sheet. The other file is the Player Aid Sheet non-CRT side that uses the alternate format Weather Table. The values within the table include the errata through 2014-03-05.
8 Ground Combat DRM Table V1
Just a quick table I knocked up to get more familiar on the Ground Combat DRM, by sorting them according to Attacker and Defender and creating some logical groups. Helps as a memory aid in the beginning.
25 DRM and movement player aid
Version 2.5 It's the fantastic DRM Table by Grimbou, but since movement points are also weather dependent, i added them to the corresponding cells (small and in brackets). Movement costs and DRMs can now be read from the same table. Thanks again to Grimbou for his work and the permission to upload the file. Corrected and completed.
27 Events and Policies Player Aid
Final "final" Version (airdrops have been missing, new layout makes it more readable when printed). For Airdrops and Partisans, note that the markers are removed at the end of the action-subphase (their effect may be used more than once), like the "surprise attack" marker. If anything else changes after the next rule revision, another update will be made.
17 Die roll modifier chart
DRM short version. Land only. v2 after correction. Thanks to DominiGeek.
49 Unconditional Surrender Play Aid
I found that it was sometimes difficult to find the different combat DRM depending on the weather, so I made this chart to synthesize all. And then I also made a summary of the different actions. Hope it will help you. A big thank you to Salvatore Vasta who was kind enough to give me time to correct and improve this play aid.
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Board Game Rank: 1159
War Game Rank: 38
Num Ratings: 256
Average Rating: 8.52
Standard Deviation: 1.31
Num Views: 203194
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Guns,Dice,Butter XXII: July 4, 2014
116.55 MB
Episode 12: Interview with Sal Vasta
46.99 MB
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