1 , 2  Next »  

User Rating Comment Status
Colin Hunter
New Zealand
Auckland
flag msg tools
Stop the admins removing history from the Wargaming forum.
mbmbmbmbmb
10
May 2010
I am a big fan of the OCS system and this is my first foray into EFS. I loved playing this, it offered great incremental play and frankly it was fun. I think it is slightly less mind numbingly deep than OCS and as a result it is a bit easier to play. It follows very traditional hex and counter formulas, it is hard to think of anything particularly innovative about it, but it is a well crafted vehicle, one that is a pleasure to drive. It is a testament that large scale hex and counter games that are well developed are pretty much always fun to play.

Things I liked
- Incremental feel, quite a lot of certainty of position, less tension as result, so this could be viewed either way, but I liked it in this design. Strong ZoC add to this effect.
- Lots of scenarios, although the beginner ones seem not worth playing more than once unfortunately.
- Great set up cards, it feels like quite a complete game in terms of production.
- Attack supply is cool
- Air Power was a decent mechanism
- It felt simpler than OCS and less thinky, this is not always a bad thing.

Stuff I'm wondering about
- flak system is not my favourite
- CRT is ok, but is definitely not my favourite, it yields quite harsh results at times.
- Emphasis on big stacks of panzer divisions gaining lots bonuses, feels a bit heavy handed.
2010-05-29
Owned
Jerry Owens
United States
Havre de Grace
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
10
Nov 2008*
My first venture into the EFS. Used scenario 3 to learn the game mechanics, which is 1 map and 6 turns long. Finished scenario in less than 3 hours. I enjoyed the game so much that I took the plunge and purchased Army Group South from Troll and Toad. Now playing the AGS campaign game and will then link to The Kiev Pocket scenario from KtR followed by the Drive to Kharkov scenario. All three scenarios play in less than 30 turns per scenario. Many hours of gaming pleasure.


2008-10-23*
Owned
Franky B
msg tools
10
Jan 2011
Highly recommended especially in conjunction with the other linked modules in the series. Beautiful maps and rules that model the difficulties of both the Germans and Russians in 1941.
2011-01-21
Owned
Kanalja
Finland
flag msg tools
'In Russia all roads lead to Moscow. One chooses the road one wishes. Charles XII chose the road through Poltava.'
mbmbmbmbmb
10
Jul 2012
The rating is for the series.
2012-04-23
Owned
Jack Korolyov
Ukraine
Kiev
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
10
Dec 2011
Элегантный монстро-варгейм! Игра в которую я влюбился с первого взгляда! Благодаря Сикрет Санте, я заполучил эту игру к себе в коллекцию. Очень порадовала глубина стратегии, нелинейность игровых сил, влияние внешних факторов на войска, необходимость не только воевать, но снабжать свои войска. Планирую покупать Barbarossa: Crimea.
2011-12-06
Prev. Owned
しんぶん赤旗
New Zealand
Christchurch
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
10
Sep 2012
My new favourite...
2012-09-07
Owned
Konstantinos
Greece
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
9.63
Feb 2011
war
long game but good pace. You can do things as defender thus you don't fall asleep in other player turns.
Air battles aren't good simulations but they has a lot of action
2012-03-16
Owned
Rune Jorgensen
Denmark
Valby
flag msg tools
mbmb
9
Nov 2008*
Preliminary rating, based on the Rostov scenario for now
2008-11-11*
Owned
Scott Jack
Canada
London
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmb
9
Nov 2008*
Playing through a second learning scenario. Game mechanics are tough on someone like me (old school). They are clearly very realistic in addressing German logistical issues as they moved eastward.
2009-07-03
Owned
Timo Vestama
Finland
flag msg tools
9
Mar 2009*
Not played yet, but after going through box contents and some rules, the initial impression is extremely positive!
2009-03-06
Owned
M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N
Canada
flag msg tools
Mein Luftkissenfahrzeug ist voller Aale
mbmbmbmbmb
9
Jun 2010
great game. great system. A pile of awesome stuff in the box.
2012-09-27
Owned
Matt Irsik
United States
Clearfield
Utah
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
9
Apr 2010
I think the thing that impresses me most about this series is how well thought out everything is, from the rulebook to the components. The maps can be used separately with the setup info already on them, or when joined together they fit so the single scenario info is covered up. The rules, while extensive, are easy to refer to and the game flows better than it looks at first. This series gives you an entirely new outlook on WW2 East Front warfare.
2010-04-13
Owned
Joseph Radetzky
Croatia
flag msg tools
9
Sep 2013
I really love the components and the range of scenarios available (having two introductory ones on small maps is great... and may allow me to get started with this game in some business trip hotel room). Will amend this rating after I have actually played it.
2013-09-07
Owned
Clément CHAILLOU
France
CLAMART
Other (Non U.S.)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
8.5
Mar 2012
3 scénarios joués, une bonne simulation du front de l'est avec une grande diversité d'unités. Le système donne la part belle au mouvement et retranscrit bien les différences de doctrines et d'organisation entre l'Armée rouge et la wehrmacht.
2012-03-17
Owned
Angeral Peng
Taiwan
Taipei City
Wenshan District
flag msg tools
To conceal one's fame and ability
mbmbmbmbmb
8
Feb 2013
Game 5 in the East Front Series
2007-09-03*
Owned
Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
8
Dec 2008*
Coming Sept 08 from GMT. 5th epic game in East Front Series. An expensive game though.
2008-03-07*
Owned
Myk Deans
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
8
Jan 2011
Although the mechanisms seem daunting at first, they become ingrained pretty quickly. The only part I think doesn't work as smoothly is the supply, which can't make up its mind if it's trying to model actual supply or transport capacity. The earlier games in the series look quite dated compared to the most recent ones. Interesting to compare to OCS, which is at exactly the same scale. Very different games, and it's interesting where they place their focus.
2011-01-10
Owned
Peter Mc
United States
Dunkirk
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
8
Aug 2010
Haven't played it yet, but assuming it plays like the other EFS games it should be a 9 or a 10.

The physical quality of the maps, aid cards and counters is incredible. This is a fantastic wargame product.
2008-11-11*
Owned
Iain K
United States
Arvada
Colorado
flag msg tools
8
Nov 2011
While it does not dethrone AGN and AGS as my favorites, there's much here to recommend. Primary being that the game is in print and affordable.

As we've come to expect this title has a wide range of scenario sizes. At this point in the war, the Axis supply challenges become immense, while the Soviets finally start to have a serious potential for sustained counter-offenses. It's too early for Uranus, but a scaled down version becomes do-able.

Needless to say, my favorite in the mix is "To Rostov" wherein the over extended Axis must decide where to attack and where to defend. The snows come, and the Soviet player gets to make the same attack/defend decision.

Recently, I've grown to appreciate the Battle of the Azov Sea scenario as well, which again has both sides attacking, often simultaneously and in different portions of the front. My earlier forays into the scenario did not include the errata regarding the requirement for the Axis to take the Tartar ditch hexes, and it is critical for balance / enjoyment. This epiphany raise the game from an 8 to a 9

The game is also notable for having two training scenarios, one of which is a excellent little contest in-and-of itself (Sumy).

My recommendation for in-print entry points for the series.

----------------------------------------

My comments on the series in general:

You have played plenty of East Front games. When was the last time you played an EF game and bought a book because of it? When was the last time you played an EF game and said, "I didn't know that happened!" ? When was the last time you felt you gained a real appreciation for what the commanders faced 65 years ago? The risks they took, the creativity, the tenacity they displayed.

When was the last time you learned something from an EF game?

I searched and searched for a game that would satisfy my fascination with this immense struggle, and I found Vance von Burries' East Front Series.

What EFS does very well is present a ruleset that can be used to play 5 games about Barbarossa, each with 5-8 scenarios. Where it out does it's rivals, like OCS, is that the scenarios need not be monsters. At least half are 1 or 2 map affairs with 100-400 counters. I'm going to call these "vignettes".

It is in these vignettes, these snapshots of the historic struggle that EFS shines. True, if you have access to a warehouse and months of free time you could play the whole of Barbarossa, but you don't have to be living that dream to experience the beauty that EFS has to offer.

Have you ever launched an amphibious invasion as the Axis in Barbarossa? In B:AGN you try to take the Moonsund islands in the Baltic Sea. And it's not a die roll, or a rule, or a unit picked up in Gdansk and placed on a hex on the Baltic coast ... it's an 11x17 map dominated by two islands with the scenario specific rules in a side bar.

Have you launched Barbarossa, encircled and eliminated all the Soviets on the map and lost the scenario all because you needed to pull off a very precise attack, run your panzer spearheads cross the map in the first three turns, totally out of supply, without any real hope of getting back into supply, and win a couple battles on the other map edge ... out of supply ... because that's what the Germans managed to do historically?

Have you experienced the qualitative difference between the Soviets defending in the North and the South, where the integration of armor and mobile infantry into cohesive mechanized divisions had already begun?

Have you tried to take Kiev without help from AGC? Have you tried to take Moscow in September '41? Have you tried to destroy AGC two month later? Have you tried to take Rostov with exhausted panzers and supply entering the map in wagons? Have you struggled to keep moving supply into besieged Leningrad across the frozen lake while managing a supply starved offensive, had the snows turn to mud, the ice thaw, losing a convoy to the lake, while watching your opponent's brilliant but desperate counterstroke sink into that same mud?

Have you seen B:AGC sell for $262 on eBay and understood why?


EFS has obviously touched a cord with me. And I have to believe it would with you as well. I've played a lot of EF games. For my money, the venerable Russian Campaign is difficult to beat as a simple strategic treatment of the war. And I would like to play Russian Front a few more times. But my quest led me to EFS and it would be a crime if you didn't try it for yourself.

Kiev to Rostov is in print, costs a reasonable price, and is a good introduction to the series. Personally, I'd prefer B:AGN as an entry point, but you'll have to preorder the reprint or get lucky on eBay. It is a loss to our hobby that so many titles in this series are out of print.

EFS isn't perfect, but to me the greatest weaknesses are its out of print status and that it has not yet grown to encompass scenarios from later in the struggle. But it's good thing to want more of a good thing right?

--------------------

I have docked the rating of all EFS titles a point due to their cumbersome, "old school" style rules. I love the series, but the rules make it unnecessarily difficult to take the game off the shelf and convince my usual opponents or introduce newcomers to play.
2011-11-14
Owned
Ferrando Massimo
Italy
Casale Monferrato
AL
flag msg tools
8
Sep 2009*
Best game series in the russian campaign. The game system is perfect, only the road movement rule is hard to applicate for old wargamer like me. Should be a higher vote without that.
2009-09-18
Owned
Nigel Saloway
Finland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
8
Jan 2011
Great gameplay. High solitaire suitability. Nice blend of scenarios as the smallests are really small and can be played in an hour.
2011-01-15
Owned
Larz Welo
Indonesia
Kalimantan
flag msg tools
I love People!
badge
I love Wargames!
mbmbmbmbmb
8
Apr 2013
The EFS is a great system that accurately simulates the Nazi invasion of the USSR. The system has excellent rules for combat, armored exploitation, terrain, and the typical things required for a wargame. The drawbacks are that sometimes there seems to be a bit of rules bloat, in that you end up looking up a few too many obscure rules, and they aren't even chrome.

Kiev to Rostov covers the later half of the German offensive in 1941. Enough armored units to keep things pretty interesting and a lot of great scenarios of different sizes.

Traded with Agung Waspodo for After the Flood
2014-08-12
Prev. Owned
Keith Plymale
United States
Winston Salem
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
8
Jun 2011
I'm up for Vassal/Skype play.
2015-03-11
Owned
Want To Play
Ronald Carlson
United States
Austin
Washington, California, Oregon, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Colorado, Nevada, Hawaii, etc. :-)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
8
Oct 2013
W01
2013-10-27
Owned
Want To Play
gregorio avelino morin blanco
Spain
Hontanares de eresma (Segovia)
Castilla y Leon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7.75
Aug 2009*
rules in spanish
2012-05-09
Owned
Prev. Owned
Michael Stocker
Germany
flag msg tools
7.5
Apr 2010
Only played the first 3 small scenarios up to now. Rating will probably increase IF I find the time to play the Kiev pocket scenario. I like the system very much, this game however gets big really fast.
The micro scenario in Rostov is boring, the Sumy one is quite cool, the Sea of Azov scenario would be welcome as a magazine game, but doesn´t quite manage to be great.
The Rostov one mapper looks quite cool, I hope I find some time to put it on the table soon.
2010-04-07
Owned
Jeb
United States
San Jose
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7.5
Oct 2013
Vassal Module
2013-05-15
Owned
For Trade
Ubergeek
United States
Camas
Washington
flag msg tools
Be Happy in your Game!
badge
I spent 100 Geek Gold and all I got was this lousy overtext message!
mbmbmbmbmb
7.5
Jul 2014
For now, the only one I own in the East Front series. Lots of game in the box.
2014-07-17
Owned
Todd Pytel
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7
Apr 2009*
The EFS system itself is quite impressive. The rules look like they have a million moving parts, but yet when you play they all come together incredibly well and require very little effort to generate a lot of tough decisions and great historical detail.

However, the scenarios in this title were a disappointment, especially considering the reputation this series has for excellent small-to-medium scenarios. The two mini-scenarios serve their purpose well enough as trainers, but you're not likely to return to them more than once or twice. Scenario 3 (Battle on the Sea of Azov) is the perfect size for a short, single session, but the VC's don't work well, leading to highly ahistorical play. The other scenarios are all larger and harder to get to the table (though Scenario 2 looks like a blast). They also appear to have significant errata (as does Scenario 3), with more questions than answers being generated on CSW. Overall, this EFS entry just doesn't inspire a lot of confidence, in stark contrast to everything I've heard about the older games.

Production values are first-rate, at least, and hopefully a sign of what future EFS games and reprints will look like. The maps and counters are good-looking, but functional, the main 11x17 player aid manages to fit everything you generally need in one handy place, and the two training scenarios get a special letter-sized mini-map so that you can play them without taking up a whole table. Beyond just looking good, the production seems very thoughtfully designed for serious play.

Seems like this title could be a star if only the scenarios got a bit more love.
2009-04-05
Owned
Juan Diego
Spain
San Juan
Alicante
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7
Jan 2009*
Good, not too fast to play (at least until you know the rules, but not too complex
2008-11-20*
Owned
Daniel Axe / "daxelos"
Germany
Hamburg
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7
Sep 2010
I only played a introductory scenario. The rule are a bit involved for my taste, but with some effort it all works together quite nicely. Probably no problem when you play a larger scenario over a longer period of time.
2013-02-11
Owned
oscar ruiz
msg tools
7
Apr 2011
traducido
2010-02-14
Owned
Mauro Bertolino
Italy
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7
Oct 2012
The least interesting game of the series so far, for me. Apart the smaller scenarios, we played the #5 scenario, "To Kharkov". Too many troubles in the setup, not all solved by the errata. I didn't like the bridge rule, too fiddly in a game of this size. Too many supply limits. No clear final objective for the campaign (like Leningrad or Kiev).
2012-09-24
Prev. Owned
Robbo Franz
United States
Warrenton
Virginia
flag msg tools
mb
7
Feb 2012
An expansion of the venerable East Front Series; this game will frustrate the German player who is mostly out of supply for a good part of the game -- but it is EFS and one cannot do better for East Front play. Have played it entirely once via live Vassal.
2013-02-21
Owned
Marcos Molina
Spain
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7
Nov 2012
monster
2012-11-06
Owned
Chris Harding
Australia
Adelaide
South Australia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
7
Jul 2013
I like the system, its good teh game comes with some smaller scenarios, though some of them don't really show of the strengths of the system.
2013-09-18
Owned
fuad akil
Indonesia
jakarta
jakarta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7
Nov 2013
Shelved
My kinda game
2014-06-17
Owned
Mike Whittemore
United States
Coronado
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7
Mar 2015
Purchased by a patron of my play through videos. I find it too complicated for what I get out of it and the subject is not of high interest to me. Sold on eBay.
2015-08-16
Prev. Owned
Billy Baker-DiGiulio
United States
Bowdoin
Maine
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
6
Dec 2010
A truly comprehensive simulation of the theater -- but has a little too hight of a counter density for my personal liking. I enjoy the Roads to Lenigrad system a bit better
2010-12-22
Owned
Doug Cooley
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
Me rocking out with my band, which you can hear at www.raindriver.com
mbmbmbmbmb
6
Mar 2011
Great rules, great components, great research, excellent example of how to outrun your supply lines. So why a 6?

The problem is that since you use up a single MSU for every combat you take part in, you end up fighting relatively little. That means relatively few die rolls, and the ones you make *all* become critical.

I've played the two one-mapper scenarios, and run into statistical outliers both times. On the Sea of Azov, heavy arty couldn't take the ditch and the Germans lost, despite doing well to the east. In On To Rostov, AA shot down two bombers trying to interdict the critical Russian HQ, then failed on the first three combats, giving the Russians enough time to beef the lines up enough that an advance was ludicrous.

In other words, a handful of die rolls killed any competition in both scenarios for me. In the second, it took only the first half of the first turn to end the scenario, despite dry weather the second turn.

Wargames have chance elements, I get that. What I don't get is how a game with so many units and so many maps can end up focusing all of the chance into so few rolls that have such a large effect on the course of the scenario. I believe that the problem is a linear probability curve instead of a bell curve. In the end, way too much chrome and fiddliness for far too little game. If the dice roll right early, maybe these are fun, but my experience was that a handful of rolls determined the outcome of the game, and that's not something I'm going to spend my time on.

I dunno, maybe the earlier games are better (I have AGN and AGS, as well as Crimea and Typhoon, which is really more of a prototype of EFS).
2011-03-12
Owned
Francois Bruyere
Belgium
Ohain
flag msg tools
mb
6
Jun 2014
Very complex rules,Big Rulebook and unfortunately, I did not have time to play it with an opponent ( playing solitaire for the moment!)
2014-06-30
Owned
David M
United States
Huron
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
6
Nov 2014
Unfortunately, once the initial rush is over and some lines form up, the need for debilitating soak off attacks prevents the massive movement that happened historically. Just turned into a slog that wasn't much fun.
2015-05-06
Owned
For Trade
Kenneth Lury
United States
Blowing rock
NC
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
5
Aug 2012
lots to digest, but very interesting gameplay. This is not for the faint of heart or faint of mind.
Good thing I only play against myself or I would lose every time.
Well written rules. Too soon to rate, but I think it will be a winner !

I have rated an 8 after one play. Made lots of mistakes, but seems that once i get over learning curve this will be a great game.

Would like markers for supply centers and for VP hexes.

Per suggestion, I use wax pencil to mark supply centers and VP hexes.
Have played Seas of Azov twice and getting hand of the rules. Still not clear about replacements.

I think I rate almost all games that i own very high. I am just in awe of the thought and creativity that goes into producing them.

Edit-downgraded to a 5 for following reasons:
I have finished two turns of Scenario 6, "to Rostov" and gotten through the supply phase of turn 3.
Damn, there are lots of rules and loads of counters and chits. Difficult to keep them all in place. Like a game of Jenga-move one and the others fall over.

So, although I am sure I messed up some of the rules, the Germans after only two turns seem to be in a hopeless situation. Only a few units are not out of supply and more than half the motorized units are out of fuel.

The weather was snow and it has turned to mud and storms.
The attack supply units cannot get to the front fast enough and even if they do, they will either be used up getting some, but not all of the stacks in supply OR be able to remove the +2 drm for only a very few attacks using them as attack supply.

I do not see how the Germans can possibly succeed. At this point I think I will try to play out turn 3, but if the Germans do not miraculously turn things around, will probably put the game back on the shelf.

Far too much work for too little fun. For two experienced players it is probably fantastic.
2013-05-23
Owned
For Trade
Sean King
United States
Stevenson
Washington
flag msg tools
Northern Gamer Archeology
mbmbmbmbmb
5
Sep 2014
Purchased for the idea of it. Hope to get a game in eventually but not sure I will.

Think grabbed as a replacement for Total War that will never be released probably.
2014-06-17
Prev. Owned
Chad Marlett
United States
Plymouth
Michigan
flag msg tools
Wherever You Go, There You Are
badge
With no certain future, and no purpose other than to prevail
mbmbmbmbmb
4
Feb 2015
after 3.5 days of full-time playing at a convention, I would be hard-pressed to point out anything of merit that happened.

this is for the combined monster game.
2015-02-10
Kamil Klapka
Czech Republic
Praha 10
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
3
Jul 2014
not my cup of tea
2014-07-16
Prev. Owned
Davis Brasfield
United States
San Jose
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
1
Nov 2010
Was really excited to get into this series of games as Vance does really good games. Being an old gamer of more than 50 years with over 1,500 games in the attic, I look forward to this type of game. The graphics, counters, maps, charts are fantastic. The overall concepts are excellent in enhance what is a standard board game. There is some great ideas with combat, movement, turn sequencing that would seem to add up to a great game. We spent 2 half days playing the scenarios looking to bring this game to our group session. What let us down was the supply rules for the Germans in scenario 3 & 6. Half the German army is out of supply and thus can't do anything. The Russians can't win in scenario 3, did anyone play test this one? We made up a rule where supply can be traced over minor roads at the road rate of 1/2 but this is lost in Frost on Rostov. So the Rostov scenario falls apart. We have given up on this game and are moving on. I will not buy the complete series as planned. This is the 5th edition and it would seem the rules would be perfect by now. OCS continues to refine their system whenever possible. I was so hopeful this would be my OCS lite, a easily playable game with nice supply rules. If the supply rules were cleaned up and the scenario victory conditions worked for each scenario, I would surely give the game a "9" rating taking off some points for the layout of the rules and for the poor scenario play testing.
2010-12-11
Owned
Frank Kiss
Australia
Kingsley
Western Australia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
N/A
P500'ed in June 2007 ... arrived (December 2008) and have noticed Barbarossa: Crimea is to be produced as well!
2007-06-16*
Owned
Josh Luub
United States
San Jose
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
N/A
Vassal: No
Cyberboard: No
2008-02-27*
Owned
Want To Play
Scott Henshaw
United States
East Bridgewater
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
N/A
Pre-order arrived Oct. 18, 2008
2008-01-14*
Prev. Owned

1 , 2  Next »  

Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.