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How do they differ from other block games?
The main difference is the way you choose which units to move. Some of your units are headquarters; at the start of your turn, you can choose to activate any or all of them, which enables you to move all units within their command radii. However, as you use your HQs, their effectiveness decreases, and it's easy to burn your supplies faster than you can build them up. (A key part of the game is making moves which your opponent can't afford not to respond to.)
These games also feature fairly simple rules for rail, sea, and land supply; most enemy units can eventually be eliminated by cutting them off and starving them.
There are also simple weather rules which have a profound effect on play.
EuroFront also includes rules for diplomatic events such as declarations of war, alliance reactions, and off-map campaigns.
How does the first edition differ from the second?
The main difference is that the map graphics and layouts have been redone. Here are the EastFront maps side-by-side (second edition on the left):
Another comparison (second edition on the right):
For EastFront or WestFront games, you'll need a little more table; the new maps are twice the size of the old ones! (This is mostly because they include MedFront: War in North Africa 1940-43 and VolgaFront: East of EastFront 1942-43, but partially because new areas have been added to the maps.) However, for full EuroFront games, you'll need a little less table. First edition needs 4' by 7':
while second edition needs 4' by 6':
The second edition includes more map area in the mideast and northern Europe, but a little bit less Eastern Europe than VolgaFront did.
The second edition also includes a few more blocks, and the labels have been slightly improved.
A more detailed comparison between EastFront and EastFront II is here: First impressions/changes
What do I need in order to cover various parts of the war in Europe?
Eastern Front, 1941 - 1945
Western Front, 1943 - 1945
"The whole thing"
Spanish Civil War, 1936 - 1939
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