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Learning How to Play Wargames

It's easy to learn how to play Battle for Moscow. Print the counters, map and charts and examine them. With these at hand, print and read the rules. The rules tell you how to play the game, and they also tell you how to learn the game. Once you've read them, you're ready to play. You may not play too well first time, but keep at it. Each time you play, you become more familiar with the rules.

Now that you know how to play the game, the next step is to learn how to play it well. One of the best ways to do this is to play the game several times, trying different approaches each time until you find one that works best for you. While there's no one "best" way to win, there are several principles (similar to those that military commanders follow) to keep in mind for better play:

Always keep the objective in mind. In Battle for Moscow, the player who controls Moscow at the end of the game wins. Each player should develop his strategies with this objective in mind: the German player on how to take Moscow, and the Soviet player on how to defend Moscow or how to retake the city if he loses it. All other game strategies for both sides are means to the end and must not supplant the objective.
Campaign Plan
Formulate a general plan of what you hope to do over the course of a few turns. If you don't have a plan, you're likely to play by just responding to the immediate situation, and doing this can prove disastrous over the course of 2 or 3 turns. Follow your plan, but be prepared to abandon it and form a new one if your opponent stops you cold.
Concentraton of Forces
You can't be strong everywhere at once on the map, and trying for this will simply leave you weak everywhere. If you have a plan, then you have an idea of where to concentrate your forces so that you will have enough strength to follow through on your plan. For example, if the German player's plan is to make a double thrust on Moscow, one through Rzhev and one through Orel-Tula, then his strong forces should be concentrated on these two lines. Massing strong forces in front of Roslavl to defeat the Soviet armies there should be avoided because this doesn't advance the plan.
Maneuver and Battle
Maneuver your forces to take the best advantage of terrain and the positioning of the enemy forces; seek to increase your possible options and limit your opponent's. Engage in combat where the results (such as taking a position or causing losses to the enemy) helps you; don't waste time and resources on actions that won't improve your situation even if they succeed.
Try to anticipate your opponent's moves and your future moves. If you can foresee that your opponent is go ing to block your plan, then you can start forming a new plan immediately rather than wasting time on a dead-end plan.
One good tactic is to seek to surround (with units and their zones of control) the enemy units you plan to attack, as surrounded units which are forced to retreat are eliminated instead. In combat, select the tactics that best suit your plan and situation: strong attacks (odds of 4:1 or more) to gain ground and inflict losses on the enemy, attritional attacks (2:1 and 3:1 odds) to wear down the enemy strength (at the cost of taking losses yourself), and low-odds attacks (1:1) when the slim chance of forcing a retreat outweighs the risk of your forces taking losses. When moving your forces, use terrain and your units' zones of control to limit your opponent's response to your move .
Your Ultimate Goal
Don't forget your ultimate goal while you're playing the game. Winning is nice, but, statistically, half of all players lose. The real goal is to have fun, so make the best of everything during the game, concentrate, and, above all, have fun.

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