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Kanev: Parachutes Across the Dnepr, September 23-26, 1943» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Release the Parachutes! rss

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The play's the thing ...
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Going thirty-eight, Dan, chill the f*** out. Mow your damn lawn and sit the hell down.
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The wargame Kanev: Parachutes across the Dnieper, September 1943 was designed by John Prados and can be found in Strategy & Tactics #115. Suited to a magazine game with its small map and 200 counters it promises quick play of an interesting situation. The map and counters are clear but nothing special with grey and dark grey representing the Germans, and pink and magenta representing the Soviets. I was actually surprised by how small the map actually was with most of the space taken up by charts and tables and a generous holding area for the Russian airborne forces.

The rules are quite straight forward and the turn structure is really a Igo-Ugo procedure with a few twists. The main twist is the way units designated reserve by the player can move during the player’s and opponent’s turns. Units that are marked reserve can move up to half their movement factor and stay in reserve, also after combat if the result is either ‘Breakthrough’ or ‘Attacker retreats’ then a designated reserve unit or stack is allowed to use exploitation movement.

Enemy ZOCs halt movement, and all units must attack if there are enemy units in their ZOC. There are also rules for supply, leaders who can influence combat, bridgeheads, air support and as you would expect Soviet airborne operations.

Air support is determined by a die roll, the higher roll winning and that player gets the sum of the two dice as air support points. While a simple method it feels a little random, though I can understand not wanting to have complex air support rules it just feels gamey.

The airborne rules are probably the longest in the rule set but are by no means complicated, and most of them deal with landing the troops. A substantial part of the Soviet forces are the airborne troops, so players will need to throw them into the battle at some point if they hope to win.

So onto the game itself. My main problem is the small map. There is no room for manoeuvre because of its size, and the battle becomes a straight up slug fest because of this. Also the small map means the soviet player will use his airborne forces in a very similar way to the historical plan, not because you think it’s the best plan but because there is no room to try something different. It would have been nice to be able to try a few things instead of the small range of options you are given.

The game plays quickly and can be finished in one sitting, and as I said before I feel it’s lacking somewhat in terms of space to try different things. Probably one for the trade pile.
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usrlocal wrote:
Thanks for your informative review. I knew that this was published by People's Wargames, but I didn't know that it was reprinted in S&T. Looks like even the PWG copies are cheap, so maybe I'll pick it up.
It is my understanding the PWG version has some serious counter omission errors; the version to own is the S&T one.
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Paul Brown
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Well, not too sure about that...the S&T version has its issues too.

There are 3 units missing from the PWG edn but grognard.com has the errata for these as a 'print and play' file. Either that or hand edit some blanks to create the missing mech battalions.

I like the S&T map but if you can pick up the PWG edn cheap then it is eminently playable.

//Dotar
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Bryan Felsher
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I have the PWG edition and there looked to be quite a bit of errata and this kept the game shelved for quite a long time. Tonite, I finally sat down and went over it all. I basically had to write in about 4 sentences in the rule book, take a blue marker to draw in a lake on the map (which I did quite well, I might add), and pencil out an asterisk mark on the terrain effects chart. Tomorrow I will make up the 3 missing counters using Paint. These could also be replaced with extra breakdown counters or I could just as easily make some by hand on some extra blank counters but I already tossed them.

In other words, the errata is about on par with most of my other war games. I'm looking forward to playing it.
 
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Paul Brown
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Cool. Let us know how you get on.

I have enjoyed each of the few sessions I have solo'd this game...not sure exactly why...but I think it is to with playability (not too much rules overhead) and the contrast between the two sides...viz the Soviets have the numbers and a bit of a punch if they can keep the mech corps together whilst the Germans live or die on how well their Panzer Divisions come up with the goods. Oh and it is soooo much fun to send Nehring and his HQ hunting for the red parachutes...I probably should use him more to shore up the bridgehead defence.

Rambling on because I actually have an earlier Prados design 'Panzerkrieg' by OSG on the table and there are some common design features between the two that shows Kanev's lineage.
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Bryan Felsher
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Thanks Paul.

Panzerkrieg is a great game. Half the fun is setting up your units for the perfect attack and defense. I have the COSI version. The 6 angles version looks incredible. I had played it recently as well.

I did set up (or try to) set up Kanev last night, but I'm having trouble. I have been up and down through the rulebook and I cannot figure out where to set up the German 112 division! I'm fairly sure it must be a reinforcement, but I don't know when or where it comes in. There are a number of extra counters in this division. I looked through some AAR's and see that people have them on the map...so somehow, some people have figured it out...but I'm lost.

HELP ME PLEASE!!! Thanks.
 
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Bryan Felsher
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Nevermind....I found it. I am blind. They enter Turn 2 like the 10th Pz Gren Division. No idea why I couldn't find it. Will set up and play tonite!
 
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