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Triumphant Return: The Soviet Liberation of Kiev, November 1943» Forums » Reviews

Subject: TR review rss

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sacha cauvin
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Back in the 90's i would buy any Moments in History game. i even had a small correspondance with ulrich blennemann about eastwall, another game by MIH.

So the other day for lack of a WOTR CE opponent i was looking for a wargame that would play nicely solo and dusted off Triumphant Return.

This is a classic hex and counter wargame but with a serious twist in game combat. More about this later.

The nice map by Joe Youst covers the area around Kiew where the soviets would break through in 1944.the counters represent soviet infantry corps,tank brigades and a few divisions to allow for a more fluid control of the battle front. On the german side: infantry regiments and KGs for armored units.

The game features an interesting use of reserve markers to help rush reserves to attacked hexes or to exploit after a breakthrough. This ability does have you thinking all the time. Who shall i put in reserve and where? Who shall i put in reserve to exploit? Nice.

The other twist has to do with tank combat: just before regular combat unlike in any other wargame, tank units use their tank attack value to destroy other tank units (not infantry). the higher the value the more chances you have to destroy an enemy tank unit before it can:
1- fire back at you
2- use it combat factor in regular combat

A great design twist i believe. the game system used in TR has been extanded to other games in the series: Eastwall and ring of fire.

Triumphant return features 4 scenarios all covering parts of the campaign. Personnaly i find it extremely hard to win the campaign (14 turns) for the germans.

so last week i played scenario 1 and 2 and had 2 german wins on points for holding key victory cities.

To sum up my experience this a game i'd very gladly replay, once you've understood both twists the game flows nicely. TR has only about 200 counters so it's also largely playable solo.

I've enjoyed it so much i'm getting Eastwall out tonight!
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David K
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Thanks for this review, as I've been curious about this game for a while. I have to say, though, that 14 turns seems like a short campaign. How long do you estimate it would take to play the campaign? How many turns were the scenarios you played, and how long did it take?
 
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sacha cauvin
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Each scenarios took about two hours to complete. It could have been less had the units set up list not been written that small.

Scenario 1 is 5 turns long, it's called "the breakthrough"
scenario 2 is also 5 turns long and is called "the german counter attack"
The first scenario is all about breaking the thin but heavily entrenched german line around kiew while the second sees the arrival of the heavy steel: 1st and 1st SS panzer divisions.

i believe scenario 4 "the campaign" should be played in 5-6 hours.
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sacha cauvin
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I completely agree. little forgotten gems...
 
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Richard Savage
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I have them all also, I was so sad to see that the Blenemann brothers aren't producing them anymore for Critical Hit. Eastwall is supposed to have a "glitch" where the Germans can skitter across the river and become inprengable in their fortifications, but there was talk about house rules to prevent that in the CSW forums.
 
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Ola Palmquist
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I have played this game half a dozen times and alays with the same result. The germans are destroyed and pushed of the map. The strong rifle units and the rate of replacements will kill of all german infantry eventually and then it is easy to outflank, surround and kill the armor as well. The rest of the games in the series are very good but in this game the system does not work.
 
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