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User Rating Comment Status
Rusty McFisticuffs
United States
Arcata
California
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10
Aug 2015
I generally like block wargames more than hex-and-counter, but I think this game is an example of what hex-and-counter should be. I haven't gotten far enough into this game to rate it, but there's a lot to love about it:
- the core rules are simple & fast-playing, and light on status/record-keeping
- some fun optional rules (although the only one I've used is friendly fire, which I love)
- very clear & well-indexed rulebook
- 17 scenarios of varying length, including a neat little tutorial scenario for teaching the systems; most are playable in 1-2 hours
- great, great-looking map, with lots of neat little functional touches like movement costs written on hexes down the main roads
- great support on BGG from the designer
- you could beat someone to death with a rolled-up copy of the playbook; it's got 30+ pages of design notes, historical notes, & photographs
- counters are clear, readable, sensible
- interestingly asymmetrical forces, with different problems facing each player

After playing more, maybe I will feel that the map has a limited number of choke points & that most of it goes unused, or that the many scenarios will feel like variations on the same situation... but maybe not; I haven't played more than the first couple days of a 5-day campaign. I haven't even seen armor in action yet! So there's a lot more of this game for me to see.

The quality of this game made the designer's next game an auto-preorder for me.

Update: I still haven't played past the first two days of the campaign, but we were struck again tonight by how good the rulebook is, in terms of being able to find answers to your question quickly during play. I will probably come back and make this an 8 later--I mean, it's no block game--but for now, by gosh, I'm calling it a 10.
2015-08-09
Owned
Chad Marlett
United States
Plymouth
Michigan
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With no certain future, and no purpose other than to prevail
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10
Sep 2014
Played the full campaign after the tutorial, F2F. Simply perfection for a hex-and-counter wargame. Both sides play completely differently and both get to defend and attack. Lots of interesting theme, and the amount of detail in the design notes clearly indicates that the homework was done for this game.

The campaign is about 2 hours per battle day, with 5 days being the maximum length. Given the low counter density and straightforward rules, your head is in the game 100% and the tension is high; no wasted time dealing with counter stacks or rule-quests.

Now, to figure out a strategy to win.

1st campaign, Soviet capitulation just as the fog started to lift on day 4. The Finnish had just killed the rampaging T-26m31s, and Pajari was camped on the crossroads North of Kivisalmi Bridge, knocking a good deal of Soviets out-of-supply. Soviet VP was -10 due to losses, early armor entry, and only holding Hirvasvaara (OOS), Kivisalmi Bridge, and the entry road.

Brilliant design, congrats to Mr. Mokszycki!

Let me use a quote from Judd Vance on another game: "I love many games, but only a few ... are what I would call "game changers" and this is one of them, because it changed how I looked at games."
2014-09-04
Owned
John Vasilakos
United States
Annandale
Virginia
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10
May 2013
Exciting for both sides, easy rules, but very subtle strategy. Uses classic wargame elements with enough twists and chrome to make the company level combat work for me. The quick playing system simulates the actual battle very well. Additional, the graphics are great, the map is very well done and works nicely with the counters. I found the set up game very pleasing to look at.
2014-03-18
Owned
David Black
United States
APO
AE
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10
Oct 2013
This is a very, very nice game. The components are absolutely top notch and the rulebook and playbook are incredibly well put together. This is how wargames rules should be written. Clear, concise, well indexed. The playbook contains a plethora of scenarios and a wealth of information on the battle itself. An outstanding package from GMT. edit: I've upped my rating from a 9 to a 10 (only the second game I've ever given a 10). This really is just an exceptional game design. I look forward to other battles using the same system.
2013-10-23
Owned
Rob F
Wales
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion
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10
Jan 2013
Wow. Just Wow. Love it.
I think this may be my favourite wargame...
2015-03-10
Owned
Patrik Pössi
Sweden
UPPSALA
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10
Aug 2012
Simply the best Winter war game.
2012-08-05
Owned
Preordered
Che Gue
Romania
Arad
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10
Mar 2014
Very engaging and thematic; there will be hard fightings for controlling strategic positions and objectives. The game offers enough scenarios and realistic optional rules which make the game more enjoyable. Everything you want to know about this battle is covered in the best playbook I've seen so far. What a fantastic game!
2014-03-27
Owned
Bryan McNamara
United States
Delray Beach
Florida
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10
May 2013
Wow, first impressions are that this is going to stay on my table for a while. Gorgeous map, beautiful counters. The rulebook and play book are even pretty. I can't wait to learn so I can play it with others!
2013-03-05
Owned
David S
United States
Seattle
Washington
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10
Mar 2013
This is a beautiful, excellent game! Plenty of room to explore the history as well as experiment with various tactics.
2014-02-16
Owned
United States
Durango
Colorado
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10
Mar 2013
Awesome. Please see my review
Red Winter Rocks! A positive review
2014-02-22
Owned
Want To Play
Pavel Korpos
Czech Republic
Prague
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10
Jun 2013
This is how wargames should be - a well-researched complete detailed well-colored package with deep history/designer/player notes bringing you in the middle of the battle.
A lot of designers/publishers should have feel a shame for what they are delivering for a much more money.
2013-06-08
Owned
Daniel Berger
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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10
Sep 2014
Played both the tutorial scenario and the full campaign.

Excellent combination of tactical/operational mechanics. Very well researched game, with mechanics that feel both clean and accurate. The overall situation is quite interesting.

The game itself comes with a bunch of shorter scenarios and you could do in a single short session, or the whole campaign. Plus it comes with a very cool playbook, with a good set of optional rules if you want to get a bit more chromy.

The rulebook is fairly well written, though we had questions about supporting fire, which seem to pop up somewhat frequently on the forums. But that's a minor complaint.
2014-09-02
Owned
Maymi
United States
Shoreline
Washington
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10
Dec 2014
[WW2]

Gift

---

TIME SCALE: 90 Minute Game Turns
MAP SCALE: 425 yards per hex
UNIT SCALE: mostly companies; some sections and platoons
2014-12-16
Owned
Filip Labarque
Belgium
Kortrijk
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10
Sep 2013
Amazing game, a minimum of rules with many tactical possibilities. The rulebook and playbook should be seen as a benchmark for other wargames.
2013-09-14
Owned
Mike Toot
United States
Seattle
Washington
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10
May 2014
Unboxing: top-notch components, beautiful map. One of the best rule books I've ever read. Multiple smaller scenarios that can be played as a continuous campaign, plus a bunch of what-if alternate scenarios. This game is going to be a blast.
2014-05-11
Owned
Tuukka
Finland
Oulu
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9.5
Aug 2012
Only (grand) tactical game that handles the difference between Soviet and Finnish units well.

What I've read from the war diaries, this is a great simulation. Don't let the classical and , for a wargame, simple system fool you.
2015-03-26
Owned
Bruce
United States
Chagrin Falls
Ohio
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9.5
Dec 2014
So many have used the expression "labor of love" to describe Red Winter, whether referring to the thoughtfulness and clarity of the underlying ruleset, the historical chrome, the evocative map, the generousness and variety of the scenarios, the thoroughness of the designer notes and the playbook, the nice counter density, the selection of artwork, etc. It is all deserved. This is a great game, addressing an under-appreciated WWII campaign in a way that any wargamer should appreciate. And it is accessible to first-timers as well. Very nicely done.
2014-12-09
Owned
Bill the Pill
United States
Oneonta
New York
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9
Aug 2012
Has to bet the best looking game I own (or traded away) from GMT. Amazing Playbook.
Simple but not simplistic.
2012-08-12
Owned
Björn Hansson
Sweden
Bromma
Stockholm
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9
Jul 2012
The playbook alone is worth every penny.

Low counter density, intuitive and fast game system. Very interesting historical situation. Love it!
2012-09-16
Owned
Juuso Marttila
Finland
Jyväskylä
Unspecified
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9
Sep 2011
Surprisingly smooth desing for a hex-n-counter -game. Nice tensions, interesting situation at hand. One of the finest (and more importantly playable!) games of the genre.
2013-07-29
Owned
Sean McNeely
United States
Hilo
Hawaii
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9
Sep 2012
Truly a gem. Easy to pick up the rules but gameplay is rich and rewarding. Still trying to find a good way to play Soviets. If you are too lax the first couple of turns sadness will ensue as the Finns start to roll.
2013-01-18
Owned
Tom Shields
United States
Tacoma
Washington
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9
Feb 2013
Thoughtful & well produced, the whole package (the historical notes, excellent ruleset, clarity of the graphic design) give the game inertia that gets it flowing quickly. The graphic design is gorgeous as well as practical. A labor of love, excellent & impassioned writing by the designer, his design choices fully documented leading you into the gameplay understanding the remarkable story of the Winter War and the reasoning behind the particulars of the rules. A model publication.

The design favors playability. Each side in the conflict have very different strengths and opportunities to exploit. The asymetry in the doctrine, units, and rule particulars are held in a well balanced frame, a point system for controlled areas and attrition, differing by scenario.

The very cool night raid turns, the clarity of LOS, the vulnerability of the ice, supply tensions without burdening flow, the restricted artillary & positioning of mortars/field guns... all are lucid and meaningful so the story comes alive. The chrome is splendid, the field kitchen counter and optional rule just made me grin. Much thought is given to the many scenarios, and advice on how they should play help you choose them as you get to know the game. I'm learning like crazy and having a blast.

Excellent solo play. And with the scenarios that are more than learning fluff and can fit many time slots up to the 6 hour campaign.

I recommend Trotter's A Frozen Hell as a companion book. And the designer's log maintained on GMT's site is terrific and detailed, explaining his design choices and supplementing the historical notes.
2015-05-31
Owned
Micheal Spiering
Canada
St. Thomas
Ontario
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9
Sep 2012
This game is fantastic. Its so simple yet so deep. It feels very balanced in my experience. The playbook is a labour of love and it really helps you get a feel of the battle. One of my favourites. Can't wait for the next in the series.
2013-01-15
Owned
Mateusz Wilk
Poland
Warsaw
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9
May 2013
Rating after the Learning Scenario, it is possible that it will go up. Edit: up to 9 - one of my favourite tactical systems now.
2013-05-13
Owned
Keith Todd
United States
Oregon
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9
Dec 2012
rating based on play of one scenario, this could be the gem of 2012 for me at this company level size. Smooth playing and intriguing. Somewhat chess like but this gives it a good solo flavor.
2012-12-25
Gerson Monteiro Jr.
Brazil
Campo Grande-MS
BRASIL
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9
Aug 2012
Very well designed Tactical Wargame.
2015-08-11
Owned
Michael Gustavsson
Sweden
Hofors
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9
Jan 2013
One of the best games I ever played. Every time it hits my table, I have difficulties to put it away.
2013-04-15
Owned
Ellis Simpson
Israel
Ra'anana
Unspecified
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9
Sep 2012
Top (war)game of 2012 - so far. Excellent. My review is here: http://boardgamegeek.com/article/10126481

[I doubt I will ever give a game a '10'.]
2012-09-25
Owned
Wolfgang Kunz
Germany
Netphen
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I'm German. That's what we do...
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9
Jan 2013
P Jan 2013

2013
2013-05-19
Owned
Max Coffey
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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9
Dec 2013
This is really top drawer stuff. Excellent historical and designer notes. Solo learning is easy and fun.Have to say I really am emotionally connected with this game.
2013-10-16
Owned
Joe Moles
United States
Idaho Springs
Colorado
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9
Apr 2014
Very elegant design, lots of interesting chrome, but not fiddly at all. The asymmetry of the two forces is captured beautifully.
2014-04-07
Owned
Want To Play
L M
Finland
Oulu
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Roll low
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9
Jan 2013
Relatively light rules, but surprisingly deep tactics.
2013-01-21
Owned
Want To Play
Alasdair Campbell
Scotland
Isle of Skye
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9
Jan 2013
An outstanding system and rule set. Easy to pick up and play, but with enough nuances to keep you coming back. A ton of scenarios and options, despite what on first inspection appears to be a limited number of strategies for each side. The balance appears to be pretty good. Soviets have the upper hand early on, but the Finns come on strong towards the end. Really like it, despite not having much interest initially in the battle and theatre.
2013-01-09
Owned
David Ekberg
Sweden
Malmö
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9
Jun 2013
My favorite wargame. Easy to learn, fast played.
2014-06-26
Owned
Matti Viertamo
Finland
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9
Jan 2014
Very good wargame.
2014-05-14
Owned
Joshua
United States
Roseville
California
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9
Sep 2014
An elegant hex and counter wargame at the 'grand tactical' scale, which is as close-in as I like to get. Exemplary ruleset, the game is easy to learn and teach. The opposing forces play differently and yet it is balanced- truly remarkable. Also, the components are just gorgeous. A gem in my collection, a brilliantly executed design. Games like this are why I love wargames.
2014-04-22
Owned
Charlie Wilson
United Kingdom
Holmfirth
West Yorkshire
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9
Aug 2014
Superb hex and counter wargame. Rules aren't overly complicated but a bit deeper than I would usually go for. With the large number of scenarios in the playbook there's a lot to go at.
2015-01-03
Owned
Want To Play
Piotr Paweł
Poland
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9
Feb 2014
Solitare only. Secret Santa gift.
2014-02-06
Owned
Kristian
United States
Seattle
Washington
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9
Feb 2014
Great game: straight forward rules, very tense game play.

Not to mention that it has a wonderful counter density and beautiful map. The production and thought that went into this game is top notch.
2014-02-07
Owned
Ernie Blofeld
United States
Gainesville
Virginia
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8.75
Jan 2013
Unquestionably beautiful looking, this game also plays very well.

The company-level scale took me some time to get used to, it seems like all hex and counter wargames are either Squad leader tactical or Third Reich strategic/operational in scope. The ranged fire system fits in well with the conventional Combat Results Table wargaming mechanism to make the scale 'feel' right.

A very innovative and entertaining design with lots of flavor for the weather and combatants. For all the innovations, the rules are easy to understand and follow. The low counter density is a plus as well.
2013-01-08
Owned
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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8.74
Jul 2013
Very early rating. Assume it will go up after more plays.

GMT Sale 2012

Rating Potential: 9-10.
2012-12-22
Owned
Pete Henninger
United States
Katy
Texas
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8.5
Nov 2012
Extremely fun game. One of my new favorites.
2012-11-11
Owned
Doug Gries
United States
Libertyville
Illinois
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8.5
Mar 2013
This is a great game. Highly recommended - good mechanics and good flow. I appreciate a game with strategic depth that doesn't suffer from rulebook consulting the entire time.
2013-03-24
Owned
Jeb
United States
San Jose
California
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8.5
Mar 2014
Vassal Module
2013-05-16
Owned
Nik Knight
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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8.5
Oct 2013
Purchased via the GMT Twitter 50% off sale.

Played the campaign once solo. While I wasn't sure of how to play the Soviets to the best of their ability, it was still fun. The type of game that left me thinking about different tactics to try while I was daydreaming during my commute to work.

Currently on my table 1/31/14.

Edit: Great game. Need to play more but have some many unplayed games... (10/22/14)
2014-10-22
Owned
Steve Arthur
Australia
New South Wales
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8.5
Nov 2013
An excellent game on a fascinating topic. Characterised by meticulous research and an easy to understand system. Multiple scenarios of varying complexity as well as a longer Campaign Scenario. A real highlight is the HUGE booklet that includes a wealth of historical commentary. I'd love to see more games using this system.
2013-11-24
Owned
Ocean Druen
United States
Buffalo Grove
IL
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8.4
Jul 2012
An excellent tactical game that simulates winter warfare well. There are several scenarios included that make for a variety of play. The game is also very approachable for a wargame. The Finns and the Soviets need to use different strategies (or lean that way).

Anti-tank guns may be too powerful, although the Finns only have two, combined with their assault bonus Soviet Tanks have a far less effect on the battle as they historically did (IMO). - Note I was corrected on this history by the creator, so tanks are as vulnerable as they should be with AT guns being properly powered.
2012-09-10
Owned
Want To Play
Eric Normandeau
Canada
Quebec
QUEBEC
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8.3
Nov 2014
VERY nice rules, scenarios, as well as supplementary design and historical notes. Strikes a good balance between playability, rule simplicity, theme, fluidity, and eye candy! We are anxiously awaiting the second title by the same designer: Operation Dauntless, as well as Guadalcanal and other instalments.
2013-10-06
Owned
Lance G
United States
Knoxville
Tennessee
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8.25
Mar 2015
P500
2015-08-30
Preordered
Steve Pow
United States
Catonsville
Maryland
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Steve SMASH!
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8
Feb 2013
My experience here is limited, but the mechanics seem very strong, and my limited game play makes me feel like there's a lot of subtle tactics I'll need to be good at this game. I'm looking forward to getting to know it better.
2013-02-16
Owned

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