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A Victory Denied (AVD)
Multiman Publishing

Designer: Adam Starkweather
Developer: Nick Richardson
Art by: Nicolas Eskubi

Number of Players: 1-2
Playing Time: 360 Minutes

Components:
1 32x22 Map
1 Counter Sheet (280 counters)
16 Page Full Color Rulebook
2 Player Aides
1 D6
1 D10

The components of AVD are of the same quality as A Victor Lost (AVL). That is to say they are excellent and top notch. The full color rulebook, which by the way is loaded with examples of play throughout, is high-end and easy to read. The rules are logically laid out and easy to reference. It should be noted that several “key rules” are repeated at various points throughout the rulebook. This serves as a reminder that these particular rules are important. One such “reminder” is the German activation chits; how they activate units on the map is referenced on more than one occasion.

As with AVL, AVD’s mechanized and motorized units have alternate silhouette counters. I personally like the silhouette counters better than the standard counters. Other than that, the counters are of the same high quality as the earlier AVL.

The one major enhancement in AVD is the inclusion of player aid cards. These cards include the combat resolution table (CRT), Minsk escape table, VP table, Hitler directive table, and special events reminders. For those familiar with AVL you will recall the CRT was included on the map. The player aid cards make combat resolution easier and faster.

Mechanics:
The mechanics of AVD are relatively simple in the grand scheme of things. For those familiar with AVL you will find that the rules while similar are a little more complex that AVL. The added complexity comes not from useless chrome thrown in, but from the need to add in certain mechanics that are in line with this particular engagement. For example, during the first four turns the Germans may release units from the Minsk Pocket, but if they do they run the risk of allowing Soviet troops to escape. The escaped Soviets are then placed on the map per the rules and are eligible to be activated when a corresponding activation chit is pulled.

Another difference from AVL is the HQ activation Sequence. In AVL, an HQ could only activate units that were within its command range. In AVD, an activated HQ can activate all units within the command range. In addition to this they also active other HQs that are within the command range. These other HQs can in turn continue to active combat units within their command range. So, in essence you could activate a good portion of the Soviet units with the pull of one activation Chit. On the German side it is a little harder to activate multiple HQs and subordinate units. This is because of how the German reinforcements and Minsk forces enter the board. They are naturally spread out. *

Another major difference between AVD and AVL is the use of Supply and reinforcement chits in the cup. The point at which supply is checked is variable every turn. Also in AVD, a unit that is Out of Supply (OoS) in the classical sense of the term is actually isolated and thus all factors are reduced by half. AVD has a special phase in the supply phase that allows the Soviet player to place OoS markers on a set number of German units, thus reducing their attack strength only. The reinforcement phase is also variable. During the reinforcement phase the Soviet player may purchase units from the “Reserves” box at specific costs. The amount of points available to spend is determined by the turn track. After turn four, when the last vestiges of the Minsk Pocket are released the German player no longer has any reinforcements available to him.

Additional new mechanics include the use of Stuka dive bombers in combat which give a 2 column shift in favor of the Germans, both attack and defense. The Germans also have a onetime use Bomber. The Stuka pool is replenished one counter at a time by the appearance of the airpower chit from the cup (one per turn). The Germans also have the Guderian chit which allows them to place it aside (when selected for the cup) and use it at anytime even to preempt another chit that was just pulled. The Guderian chit activates the 2nd Panzer Army only. The Soviets are not without their own tricks up their sleeve. They are given an artillery chit. The chit is placed in the cup every turn and thus they can make up to three 3-1 artillery attacks every turn. Also, once per game the Soviet player may, when the artillery chit is pulled, conduct a 7-1 odds rocket attack on one hex, much in the same manner as the German bomber attack.

Victory points are hidden (initially) and can change hands often depending on the ebb and flow of the game. With regard to victory points and conditions the game is programmed to end on either turn 8 or turn 10. That determination is dependent on the outcome of the Hitler Directive Table which is checked at the end of turn 6.

AVD is not without its issues. The issues however are minor errata that can be found on BGG or over at CSW.


Personal Opinion:
As a player of both AVL and AVD, I find the similarities between the two games made it easy for me to transition to AVD. I feel the chrome that has been added to the AVD rulebook is easy grasp and the experience of playing AVD is more satisfying for me than playing AVL. However, I still enjoy AVL and I would not pass up a game.

I really find the non-standard turn sequence (supply and reinforcement chits) add a lot to the game as a whole. In the real world supplies were never delivered at the same time every day, so why should supply be determined at the same point in every turn? The same can be said for reinforcements.

This game is well worth the small price tag and will be on my gaming table regularly for years to come.

* See comments below for more clarification on the activation of additional HQs.
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Good stuff.

I also want to say I just love your avatar.

I googled it up some weeks ago, and found it in high resolution.

Printed off in 8.5 X 11 paper, I have framed it.

This hangs on the wall in the War Room, and I point at it when someone starts griping about the dice, or how 'that rules sucks' or ' damn you Bill!'
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Keith Mageau
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Thanks Bill.
 
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Nice review.

I received this for my birthday from my best mate, and have so far had one solo run through. I found it to be both excellent and innovative. I look forward to getting it on the table for a proper two player session soon.

The Guderian chit can be a bitch for the Russians.

 
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So true about the Guderian chit.

The artillery chit can be a bear for Germans as well. In my solo game, last night, I lost 2 mechanized units who were alradey reduced and not able to retreat due to be ZOCed in. Where the Soviets infantry units could not take them out, the artillery did the trick. I have lost several units due to artillery attacks.
 
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Dan Conley
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Thanks for the review, Keith! I'm looking forward to this one hitting the table fairly soon.

And I'm with Bill. You have The Best Avatar Ever!!!
 
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Keith Mageau
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Glad you liked the review. I hope to review some my other games. I have a bunch I have yet to play (for now that is),

I beleive there is a AVD Vassal module out there. if anyone is interested in playing through vassal let me know.
 
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One thing that you may be doing wrong in the game...can't tell for sure from the review....but check it.

When an HQ activates, it activates any other HQ within range - but that's it. They don't daisy chain. The within range HQ that activates can't activate more HQs - just units in range.
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adamant wrote:
One thing that you may be doing wrong in the game...can't tell for sure from the review....but check it.

When an HQ activates, it activates any other HQ within range - but that's it. They don't daisy chain. The within range HQ that activates can't activate more HQs - just units in range.
I think you might be right Adam.

Here's a scenario, let me know if I am right or wrong.

The 20A chit is pulled and activated, All combat units within range are activated as well. Also 13A is in range of 20A, so then 13A also activates and all combat units within its command range. If an additional HQ is in the command range of 13A would they then activate as well, thus daisy chaining?

I have been playing that they daisy chain. I do not have the rulebook in front of me, but I will re-read that section tonight. My initial readings of the rules left me with the impression that they can and do daisy chain.
 
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Dan Cunningham
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German infantry HQ's and Soviet HQ's cannot "daisy chain".

Only the German Panzer groups can "daisy chain".

In your example, the additional HQ that is in the command range of 13A would not activate or activate in units within it's range.

Dan
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Quote:
I think you might be right Adam.
Pretty sure I know the rules to this one well.



Dan has it right. The rules say this clearly but the mind can jump to a false conclusion from how the armor units work..."activates other HQs in range" is the wording I think....but no mention of those HQs in turn activating more HQs.
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adamant wrote:
Quote:
I think you might be right Adam.
Pretty sure I know the rules to this one well.



Dan has it right. The rules say this clearly but the mind can jump to a false conclusion from how the armor units work..."activates other HQs in range" is the wording I think....but no mention of those HQs in turn activating more HQs.
Sounds good to me. I will re-read it tonight to make sure I have it clear in my mind. Thanks for clarifying that for me. I will correct my review above.

By the way, thanks for supporting and being involved in your games, both here and at CSW.
 
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Yep, that is pretty easy to mix up the first time as I was daisy-chaining the HQ's.


Another improvement from AVL and most other MMP games for that matter is a real box!!!! I know that doesn't matter for some, but the regular MMP boxes are so easily damaged, it is a relief to get a nice sturdy box for once.
 
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It's a solid game inside and out. I am glad I made this purchase.
 
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Chee wrote:
In your example, the additional HQ that is in the command range of 13A would not activate or activate in units within it's range.
The part that I always forget is how (from the example) additional HQs within command range of the 13A HQ don't get activated for movement. Luckily VASSAL handles all of these little activation details for me.
;)
 
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I need to grab that VASSAL module, I enjoyed the AVL one greatly.
 
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Quote:
The part that I always forget is how (from the example) additional HQs within command range of the 13A HQ don't get activated for movement.
Not sure I am following and apologies if I am not reading this correctly...but....

Activated HQs do get to move in the movement segment. Says so in the command example itself.

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adamant wrote:
Quote:
I think you might be right Adam.
Pretty sure I know the rules to this one well.



If you didn't we'd be in trouble!
 
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@Adam:
It was poorly stated on my part, and trying to clarify will likely make things worse. Instead, let me just say thanks for the tremendous A Victory Denied VASSAL module that ensures all correct units are activated each turn.

:D
 
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No prob...I suspected I just misunderstood.

All my thanks guys - very nice to read this review and makes me very motivated to make AVA even better.

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adamant wrote:
... makes me very motivated to make AVA even better.
And we can't wait!
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The two games - A Victory Lost and A Victory Denied are two independent games. You do not need one to play the other.

As for which game I would recommend to play first?

Well, the obvious choice would be to play A Victory Lost first. It is a little more straight forward, with a few less wrinkles thrown in. A Victory Denied is quite a bit more dynamic and free flowing - both because of the units to space ratio and because of the reinforcement, air power, and supply chits that randomize your influx of resources.

On the other hand, A Victory Denied is much more readily available. So, for the cost, I would recommend you jump right to that.... while you search around for a place to find A Victory Lost at a reasonable price...

Dan
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A Practical Review with Comparisons to A Victory Lost
What happened to our splendid blonde beast, A Victory Denied: Crisis at Smolensk, July-September, 1941? After having become A Victory Lost: Crisis in Ukraine 1942-1943 disciple, after having drooled over AVD, after having played it numerous times I have come to a sad, yet happy, realization. A Victory Lost: Crisis in Ukraine 1942-1943 is still the king.

AVD fails on several levels. Did I say "fail"? That's much to harsh a word, let's just say, she doesn't totally live up to the hype.

1.Worst or most glaring is the ease of the unhistorical plan - just blast up the Smolensk land isthmus. Do it with the panzers or do it with just the german infantry, it's a cake walk either way. That is unless the Soviet player begins building up moscow judiciously right from the beginning. Then they don't really have a chance.

2.All the stukas, artillery, bombers, rockets, timeshenko etc. turn out to be just so many bells and whistles. A Victory Lost: Crisis in Ukraine 1942-1943's no bells and whistles philosophy uses the same basic system and it works beautifully.

3.In AVL any HQ's and panzers could be grouped together. In AVD that's gone. I don't feel like Guderian, I feel like a turtle.

A Victory Denied: Crisis at Smolensk, July-September, 1941 is not a bad game, nor is it a recreation of 1941. A Victory Lost: Crisis in Ukraine 1942-1943 is still the first purchase, must buy of this series. Then again maybe it is realistic. In that case, Guderian was an idiot not to attack up the middle, but I think not.


 
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adamant wrote:
No prob...I suspected I just misunderstood.

All my thanks guys - very nice to read this review and makes me very motivated to make AVA even better.

What is AVA?
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A Victory Awaits. Barbarossa june to september. On pre-order at the MMP Site.
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