So it seems. The shrink rip was fun. The components excellent. The stickering easy (latex stickers that can be moved removed for the OCD). Now with rules read we attempt to grok this game.
First thing to note is that we skip the Logistics phase in Turn 1. CHECK!
Then we assess the board and look for cheap ways to isolate the enemy and attrit via careful attacks that allow break thru or blitz & exploit movement.
But wait. The Nazis have no air…You got to pull reinforcements to get it. two blocks in 28 are the Luftwaffen HQ.,…seriously.
I check in on BGG.
“why is air not available at start? Why is it a random draw?
I have 2 chances in 25 28 of drawing a HQ for air.
So really this is forcing you to take reinforcements impulse one…”
“That’s probably the main German concern for the first Impulse.
Historically the LF was just a bit behind the Dnieper, and had to cross it and prepare airfields before the Wehrmacht spearheads could count on the precious air support.
After seizing Smolensk, on July 16, only Guderian and Hoth were on the eastern bank and ready to push, even if short of fuel and facing serious afv breakdown issues.
They tried to close the pincer around Smolensk to trap the already beaten 16th, 19th and 20th Soviet Army, while the 4th and 9th Army were still engaged in reducing the Minsk pocket and avoiding flooding of escaping Soviet troops towards the Pripet marshes.
However, once again, there was a hole open in the east, as Guderian moved eat instead of North-east, and Hoth was forced to dispatch one of his Panzer Corps northward to seize Velikie Luki.
While some of his Generals wanted to go straight forward, Hitler was afraid of leaving too many gaps between his Army Groups, and for this reason he committed the only reserve available – the Weich’s second army – to fill the gap between AGC and AGS and wanted the 16th army to go on for Toropets (and that’s the reason we wanted this army – formerly under AGN control – in the game.
Shit…ok. Maybe I can attack without air? Was that a hint….what happens if I take reinforcements?
Doah…I got to give up the initiative disk. That is a big deal in Waterloo 200. Is it a big deal here? Surely the Russkies will want reinforcements…..? Right?
Ok here we go – Logistics Value of 8. Therefore 8 blocks are pulled for reinforcement:
Ok.. a mish mash. AND a LUFT HQ!! – Loerzer and his He 111’s.
Note the 41st and Deaths Head SS [TT] on the right- they go to the Leningrad track. I have an early theory that breaking the flanks here is going to be key. So I am glad to have Hoepner’s two of three units on turn 1. In the South we want to release /capture Kiev early also forcing supply constraints and hard play choices on the Soviets.
The setup now looks like so:
For the Soviets it is a game of hang on…hang on, trade space for time and await a stupid move. More than likely giving the Reinforcement opportunity to the Russians was a bad idea. Better to struggle without air and starve them of forces.
The Russians move back out of potential pockets in a tactical action versus taking reinforcements out of the gate.
In total the moves can be seen here – face down units moved:
More to come.