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The Siege of Leningrad» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Review: Siege of Leningrad (Jagdpanther Games) rss

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Brett Drake

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Got to play “Siege of Leningrad” which I bought at an old games liquidation, Jagdpanther games 1976. Kind of halfway between an SPI game and GEV in size. Simulates every major battle near Leningrad (41-44). Did the first scenario, where the Germans approach and make initial attacks on LG. Took about 2 hrs, would have taken about 90m if I had known the rules.

Some interesting rules I hadn’t seen before:
1: You can’t move next to enemy units unless they are across a river, or you already have an adjacent unit you are moving on top of or your moving stack is equal to or greater (in combat strength) to the unit you are moving next to. This means that Russian infantry divisions, say, cannot move around and “mob” a Panzer division. This rule never applies to the Germans, unless you are attacking a Soviet corps level unit, so basically it does two things: (1) keeps the ants off your Panzer spearheads during deep penetrations and (2) gives the Germans more tactical movement ability than the soviets.
2: For +5MP you can ignore ZOC if you are Mech. The German Pz Divs (16-10) can therefore move into ZOC (1mp), “slide” thru Zoc (6mp) and then have 3 MP left to cause mayhem (ZOC blocks retreat) behind Sov lines. The Sov armored Divs (3-6) or Corps (12-6) can still use the rule, but they can only “slide” once (sliding one hex costs 6MP), and that if they do no other movement. This means that, again, tactical movement for the Germans is far better. The game does have 2 movement phases for mech units, meaning that effectively Sov Mech moves 12, Sov Inf moves 6, Germ Mech moves 20 and Germ Inf moves 7.
3: the CRT is almost unnecessary. The most common attacks have like 5/6 chance of causing a retreat – often a 6/6 chance. You often just don’t roll. This provides a somewhat “chess” feel to the game. Not sure if I like this or not, mainly it is just different and kind of fun. Since you can only kill enemy units through a string of tactically coordinated attacks forcing retreat into ZOC, it kind of makes sense.
4: The CRT doesn’t kill things, blocking retreat kills things. This means that tactical maneuver is very, very important, multiplying the benefit of the German tactical maneuver.
5: Air can either shift combat one column (not too valuable) or it can “interdict” the hex it is in. That causes the hex to act as if it is German ZOC (blocks retreat and stops movement). You can, for example, use 3 air (75% of the Luftwaffe in scenario 1) to interdict the three hexes behind a soviet unit, making it possible to auto-kill it when a retreat is called for from a single attacking stack.
6: Germs can recombine (Div/Regt) at will. Sovs can never do that (Corps/Div). Again, a nice way to make the Sovs clunkier.

Overall, the game gets a high grade from me for several reasons:
1) The clumsiness of the soviets is done very well.
2) The Germans work historically. You can easily end up sending your Panzers 100 miles deeper than the foot, who are struggling to keep up, and it works, so long as you do it responsibly. It almost has a North Africa/Naval game feel during the initial turns of the 1941 invasion.
3) The first scenario basically has 5 turns of “broken field running/delay action” then 3 turns of siege warfare – a fun mid-game switch.
4) Overall, it just feels right.
5) The scenarios are *very* different (German breakthrough, German Pocket, Soviet Breakthrough, Balanced)

Compared to the SPI game on Leningrad (which I also like), the JP game is simply better. The mech/inf differences are much stronger in the JP game, and the SPI game tends to feel like all the other SPI east front games.

The game is being reworked with permission by ComsimWorld.
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Kim Meints
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Brett,

Nice review

This has been a favorite of mine since my Jagdpanther subscription days(oh heavens is that a long time ago)

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alex w
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Thanks for an insightful review. Will play my only Leningrad game I have. By Decision games. As an inspiration.
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Lou Coatney
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I did the Richard Berg's Review Of Games review for it ... and I can't remember much of what I said.

I know I enjoy Perry Moore's 3W Assault on Leningrad a lot.

I have 2 copies of the JP game and should retry it at the Oslo wargames club.

I had the research and order of battle for my own little Leningrad game and then lost it in the move over here.

Losing work is really upsetting.
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Thomas Stevenson
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I did a computer conversion of the game with Steve Cole's permission. Its available from wargamedownloads for $15. A free demo version is also availble which allows play of the first 2 turns of any of the 6 scenarios or all of "Operation Spark". The map, unit strengths, and rules have all been revised.
For Windows 95 and later.
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Edmond
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tas1624 wrote:
I did a computer conversion of the game with Steve Cole's permission. Its available from wargamedownloads for $15.

Now 10$
http://wargamedownloads.com/item.php?item=1030
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