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What Happens Next: Continuing play in Battle For Moscow
by Thomas M. Kane
IMPORTANT: you must have a copy of the map, counters and charts for the Battle for Moscow
game and be familiar with the rules and play of the game. Print the extra rules on this
page, which allow you to play a longer version of Battle for Moscow.
Table of Contents
- Introduction (Back to Table of Contents)
". . . The next day, amid the onset of winter, the reinforced Soviets
launched their winter counteroffensive. "
With these words, GDW concludes the description
of how the original Battle for Moscow ended. Another battle was obviously beginning, and one
which would make an interesting "mini-campaign game" variant for
Battle for Moscow. This scenario gives the Soviets extra chances for revenge,
and also lets the German player experiment with move conservative
strategies than the mad-dash-at-all-costs approach to Moscow. Perhaps
such plans which might have saved Germany from its utter defeat on the
New Victory Conditions (Back to Table of Contents)
The Soviets controlled Moscow when they launched their counteroffensive,
and Germany had no more hopes of taking it. Therefore, the continued
campaign game rewards other objectives too. Each side receives points
for accomplishing goals, and whoever has the most points when the game
ends wins. There are three different ways to earn points:
Each side gets 1 point per enemy unit destroyed, even if they are
replaced later. A unit is not just a step, but the actual removal of an
enemy piece from the board.
Players receive 5 points for each city they control at the end of
the game. A player controls a city if his units were the last to move
through it. Moscow is worth 20 points.
The Germans get 10 points if they can occupy Moscow at the end of
any Soviet Player Turn, even if Russia recaptures it later.
The player with the greatest number of Victory Points at the end Game
Turn 14 is the winner.
Winter Effects (Back to Table of Contents)
The cold of Moscow's winter is legendary. German mess cooks cut butter
with saws, and boiling soup could freeze nearly solid in the time a
soldier took to retrieve a dropped spoon. Therefore, both sides suffer
Winter Attrition. During each player's Replacement Phase on turns 8
through 12, each player rolls on the Winter Attrition Table. If the
result is Frostbite, one unit of the player's choice is reduced by one
step. A player may choose which unit to reduce, and units which are
eliminated by frostbite do not yield Victory Points to the enemy.
Winter Attrition Table
Die Roll Axis Player Soviet Player
1 Frostbite Frostbite
2 Frostbite Frostbite
3 Frostbite No Effect
4 Frostbite No Effect
5 Frostbite No Effect
6 No Effect No Effect
Actually, winter did not effect the armies as much as the autumn muds
had, but it still slowed them down. All infantry units have one fewer
movement point than normal during Snow turns (turns 8-12), while Armor
units lose two movement points per Movement Phase. This is because tanks
suffered special problems during the cold. (Their engines had to be run
regularly to keep them warm. This resulted in severe gasoline shortages
and, in spite of all precautions, batteries warped and oil congealed
from the cold).
Replacements (Back to Table of Contents)
The Soviets had been concentrating their forces in the Moscow area all
fall, and by winter they had begun to redirect their attention to the
South. Therefore, beginning on turn eight, the Soviet player only gets
two replacement points per turn. However, the Soviets were finally
accumulating enough T-34 tanks to build an armored force.
On turn 13, the Soviet player may designate any one army which is in
communication as his Tank unit. This requires the expenditure of one
replacement point. The Soviet Tank unit may move during the Rail
Movement phase but need not follow any rail lines. Additionally, it
receives one column shift to the right when attacking. You may wish to
write "Tank" on a blank counter and stack it on top of the designated
Soviet tank unit.
New Timetable (Back to Table of Contents)
This campaign scenario begins on Battle for Moscow's usual Game Turn 1,
but lasts through turn 14, until early March. A new Turn Record Track is
provided with this article.
Turn Record Track
1 Clear OctI
2 Clear OctII
3 Mud OctIII/IV
4* Mud NovI/II
5 Clear NovIII
6 Clear NovIV
7 Clear DecI
8 Snow DecII/III
9 Snow DecIV/JanI
10 Snow JanII/III
11 Snow JanIV/FebI
12 Snow FebII/III
13* Clear MarI
14 Clear MarII
Asterisked Game Turns indicate Soviet Reinforcements. Turn 4 add the
10-4 Shock Army to the replacement pool; turn 13 designate one unit the
Mud Game Turns cause one hex movement per Movement Phase and all units
attack at one-half strength.
Snow Game Turns cause Winter Attrition die rolls and reduce infantry by
one Movement Point and Panzers by two Movement Points
Historical Summary (Back to Table of Contents)
When Hitler heard of the Soviet counteroffensive, he characteristically
ordered unflinching resistance without the possibility of withdrawal.
This time, the policy might have been appropriate. Perhaps the Soviets
could have overrun retreating armies in the cold. As it was, the
offensive disappointed them, leaving the Germans exhausted but still
controlling Rzhev, Vyazma and Orel. Naturally, Hitler was convinced that
he had personally saved the army, and he exulted to his aides, "This
little matter of operational command is something that anyone can do."
But despite his confidence, Hitler had already defeated himself by
attacking a country too large for any army to master.
"What Happens Next - Continuing Play in Battle for Moscow"
by Thomas M. Kane
originally appeared in:-
BATTLEPLAN, Issue Number 7, August/September 1988, pp10-11
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