As part of our Chronological walk thru WWII lets stop and look at my first East Front title ever owned….The Russian Campaign. Once upon a time I had the original Jedko games version made in good ol’ Oz. Below is the Avalon Hill implementation:
Today we have the shiny, newer, bigger counters, more colorful mapped and revised and corrected rules.
Race to the gates of Moscow!
On June 22nd in 1941 the world did indeed hold its collective breath.
Hitler embarked upon his ill fated adventure in Russia. The end result is well known. Millions died in some of the most vicious no holds barred brutal fighting ever seen. This was no honourable war.
TRC, abstracts this brutality, and I think if I had known then what I do now I would have been less enamoured with the title. The game represents the blitzkrieg notions of German warfare, and the endless hordes of Soviet reinforcements as well as the brutal first winter of ’41 nicely. It feeds many of the purported myths of German ascendant capabilities, assumes the worst for the Soviets and ends up showing us the attrition based nature of the conflict.
We shall explore several titles up to and through 1941. Our initial focus will be on the Barbarossa campaign and the early German successes.
From November onward we will look at Operation Typhoon, the Soviet counter strikes and several other key campaigns and battles. Then examine the Summer offensive in ’42, the Battle for Stalingrad and the Soviet offensives in winter ’42, summer ’43.
I think that given the impact on the overall progress of the war that the East Front had we shall invest some time in exploring a number of titles at a number scales, from Operational to Strategic.
Within those title explorations we may then expand upon weapon systems, leadership, strategy and tactics. For now, let us take the venerable classic TRC for it’s ride and see where we end up.