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Jared Wilson
Canada
Port Perry
Ontario
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I've read a lot of rules in my day, but I have to say, the rules for Red Winter are some of the smoothest I've ever read. They're organized really well, and were very easy to grasp on my first read-through. And that's not usually the case with me; normally it takes several readings before I grok the rules. Bravo Mark!

And while I've only played the learning scenario, I am beginning to see how elegant this game is. It lets you focus on strategy and tactics, rather than looking up rules. I'm very impressed so far.

Couple of questions, I apologize if they've already been answered:

1) If two Finnish companies are in a hex, and the Russians use long range artillery fire on them, do the Russians get +2 (because of the two Finnish companies) to their Range fire roll? Or another modifier?

2) there are no terrain modifiers (other than all attackers/defenders being on a lake hex) in the game right?
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Pete Henninger
United States
Katy
Texas
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Those sound correct Jared.

1) Ranged Attack Modifier says "+1 per infantry company" if the Target hex contains one or more infantry companies.* The * below says "Only true infantry companies confer this bonus; MGs mortars, engineers, Finnish breakdown platoons, armored units, and the Pajari leader do not. Does not apply to Friction Fire."

2) There are terrain modifiers for movement printed on the map. Terrain modifiers for Combat are the Frozen Lake / Bridge Penalty (CS halved), Defender in frozen lake (3R), and Defender in Dug-In hex (1L)

I could be wrong, but that's the way I've been playing them so far.
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Adam Cirone
United States
Alliance
Ohio
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I agree that they are some of the best rules ever.

Regarding combat modifiers, what I think anyone playing Red Winter needs to get in his head is that difficult terrain is the standard for all the situations as opposed to clear terrain, since most of the map is forest or suo. The frozen lakes and the penalties associated with them just mean those are even worse to attack from or into.
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Jared Wilson
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That's an excellent way of putting it Adam. It helps me visualize exactly what's taking place on the map. Thanks!
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Mark Mokszycki
United States
Snohomish
Washington
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Pete and Adam's comments are accurate. Thanks for chiming in and clarifying, guys.

Keep in mind that the CRT is calibrated such that forest/suo is the norm. Otherwise, I would have made the CRT favor the attacker by a bit more (about 1 column). But then you'd have to factor in a 1L column shift for defender in forest/suo in most combats. So by calibrating to forest/suo I eliminated a step from the combat resolution (in most cases).

Thank you for your compliments on the rules. It took a long time and hundreds of revisions to get them so tight. I couldn't have done it without the generous help of Ralph Shelton, Hans Korting, Ethan McKinney, and several others. I'm pleased that errata has been so minimal.

The Op Dauntless rules are proving to be a bigger challenge. This is in part because the game itself is much more ambitious. Although it's not much more complex than Red Winter in terms of actual gameplay, it needs to simulate a much wider range of situations and combined arms tactics... and hopefully allow them to all flow together logically and seamlessly. It's a slow process, but we're slogging forward steadily. The nice thing is: Once the rules for Op D are done and polished, we'll have a rules set which effectively can cover *ANY* WWII (or even Korea) era conflict. This means that future games in the series should cruise through development much more quickly.
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Dave Langdon
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Yeah I got this for Christmas, massively impressed with all of it...beautiful map, big counters, great rules and the best play book I have ever seen.
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M Stumptner
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I found the rules seriously overwritten. Fourteen arrows to describe one counter layout with six values and one special case? Took me twice as long to work out as if it had used one counter to explain the same thing. Half a page to describe six terrain types, two of which have any effect on the game that is described on that page. Overuse of acronyms for simple terms. Arbitrary changes in terminology for well-established concepts (such as "friction fire" for opportunity or overwatch fire). Etc. But, they are very complete. I found no questions left unanswered.
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Spacegras
Canada
St. John's
NL
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Bring on the hordes, we have the sword that smote the Goblin of Gygaxnor.
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I think the rules are very good. I've only seen a few better. There's a couple of spots that I was left a bit confused, but then the example usually cleared it up.

The game is a different one for me, both in scale and mechanics. For the most part I've been playing tactical (CC:E or CoH) or Card driven (Unhappy King Charles or HiS) so the CRT is a different beast. I'm a fairly new wargamer after all.
Knowing how to deploy your units, when to attack, or when to just wait for the attack, and when to take a step loss or retreat, that's the key. And it's not easy. But it is fun.

The rules are easy to get, the game is small, when looking at number of counters, but there is a whole lot of game here.

Another small note: This game plays very well over vassal PBEM. I've been getting thrashed by an opponent who seems to have gotten the grasp of the tactics needed to win, and a large amount of patience!
declare the attacking units, declare supporting Ranged fire, then pass off the vassal log and the defender will declare his defensive support, if any, make the rolls and hand back for follow up.

Nice and easy.

Chris
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Rusty McFisticuffs
United States
Arcata
California
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tacman88 wrote:
I've read a lot of rules in my day, but I have to say, the rules for Red Winter are some of the smoothest I've ever read.

Yeah. Playing this tonight, my opponent remarked that every time we had a rules question, we were able to find the answer quickly & unambiguously.

(For the last few weeks we've been playing something else, and after every play, I would check BGG for answers to the half-dozen rules problems we'd run into that night. I feel like we only scratched the surface of what that game had to offer, but stopping the game to try to figure out how the designer intended it to be played was so unnecessarily frustrating & disruptive & disappointing that we're probably done with it, and I won't recommend that game to anyone.)

So far, Red Winter's rulebook's index hasn't left me hanging, and the clarity of the rules really helps make it fast & fun to play.
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Mark Mokszycki
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Thanks, Rusty. Glad to hear.
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Mark Mokszycki
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For what it's worth, I agree with Marcus's comment above that the rules are overwritten. I have a long-winded writing style, and I'm sure it was a real challenge for Ralph Shelton et al to "reel in" my writing by as much as they did.

I think this comes in part from years of reading Ty Bomba's editing for Command Magazine. His rules were typically twice as long as they needed to be, and often made really simple games look more complex than they actually were. I eventually discovered that I really liked Ty's writing style, for the very reasons that Rusty mentions above. I get frustrated if I have to continually hunt for answers online, or try to decipher the designer's intent. So I'd rather have a longer set of "overwritten" rules that cover (nearly) every conceivable situation. At least for me, it's the lesser of two evils.

As for Marcus's criticism of the unit graphics - I think that's entirely justified. We could have (should have) done better with that graphic. While I didn't personally create the graphics, I did proof them in detail and I should have offered an alternative to spreading the stats arrows out over 9 different unit counters. Yeah, it works, but it's clunky. I've taken this criticism to heart and I promise to do better where the Operation Dauntless rules are concerned.
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United States
Durango
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I bought this game after several (MANY!) people responded to a thread about best games of 2012 and picked Red Winter. They commented on what a simple system it was, so I was somewhat taken aback by the length of the rulebook.

But by the time I got to page 5 or so I realized that everything I was reading made perfect sense and was indeed mostly familiar. So I started skimming and that feeling of comfortable just stayed with me. I've gone back and read sections in detail now, and again, nothing surprised me or failed to make sense.

I think I prefer over-written, with lots of white space and illustrated examples and a playbook with notes and tutorials and answers from the designer on-line.... Honestly, this IS an easy system to grok and I do have confidence I can find my answers in the rules when I need them.

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Mark Mokszycki
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Thanks, Mike! If you run into a problem feel free to post here or email me at duckweedseattle@yahoo.com

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Jim P.
United States
Downers Grove
Illinois
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From the Rulebook:
Quote:
12.1 Armor20
The four armored units (also called “armor”) include three tank companies and one armored recon battalion consisting of BA-10 armored cars. Only the Soviets have armored units. They are not used in all scenarios. Armored units:

• ignore all losses from Combat and Ranged Attacks (see 12.1.1).

• are vulnerable only to Assaults (9.0), Night Raids (16.4), and AT Fire (11.0).

• have their CS halved on night turns (see 8.2, case 2).

• have a Retreat Limit of zero in Assaults (see 12.1.1).

• provide a beneficial column shift of 1L/1R (Soviet player’s favor) when contributing CS to any Combat or Assault. Only one column shift is provided, regardless of the number of armored units involved.

In your writing, Mr. Mokszycki, you like to coalesce or group important points together, and then include cited call-outs for more detailed information about each item. This emphasizes the relation between the items, and while browsing through the rules and encountering the call-outs, it is easy to recall the group it was initially presented within and the items importance as part of a whole. It is a nice style, and is used frequently in this rulebook. I hope you use it again in OpD

I hope that I am also making SENSE!
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Mark Mokszycki
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Quote:
In your writing, Mr. Mokszycki, you like to coalesce or group important points together, and then include cited call-outs for more detailed information about each item. This emphasizes the relation between the items, and while browsing through the rules and encountering the call-outs, it is easy to recall the group it was initially presented within and the items importance as part of a whole. It is a nice style, and is used frequently in this rulebook. I hope you use it again in OpD


Thanks! But it is Ralph Shelton who deserves most of the credit for what you specifically mention. Ralph became involved in the proofing fairly late in the process but he was incredibly helpful in streamlining and improving the rules in many ways. For example, Ralph made sure the bullet lists were comprehensive, needless redundancies were eliminated, and citations were including as needed.

Ralph is involved with the rules for Op Dauntless and they are benefiting greatly from his involvement - even more so than with Red Winter. And yes, they are done in a very similar style to Red Winter. We basically started with the final version of the Red Winter rules and then we changed things only as needed. Much of the wording is verbatim.

I have Mark Simonitch to thank for the lovely index (Red Winter).

Thanks again for your compliments.
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