One of my newest aquisitons in wargames is Stalingrad ’42. I played the Case Blue scenario to get to know the game mechanics. All in all they are quite familiar to me, similar to Ukraine ’43 and Holland ’44 with minor differences and game specific rules. I like the medium complexity of the rules as they allow for a fluid fast paced game. I think this particular scenario could be played in an eveneing when you are somewhat familiar with the rules. The campaign game probabely takes an entire weekend to complete.
Incidently I came across an Audiobook Red Road From Stalingrad that I can really recommend. It is a rare personal account of a Sovjet infantryman, Mansur Abdulin, who served for a year in the front lines 1942/43. He describes his motivation as well as the gruelling facts of war. No glamour, but rather a sense of duty and sacrifice mixed with fear and the all important comradeship that supported men in the environment of death and carnage are the main themes of this book. The only other account from a Sovjet point of view I have so far come across is Marshal Georgy Zhukov’s book Memories and Reflections that off course shows a completely different perspective of the Great Patriotic War.
When studying military histrory and while playing the game we might well remind ourselves once in a while what a Step Loss in game terms actually means in the real world. Now on to the game itself.
Case Blue Scenario
The Germans don’t even get close to the 8 VP required to win. In fact, failing to take Voroshilovgrad in Turn 8 they have to be content with mere 2 VP. This would be an overwelming Sovjet victory.
The game poses several interesting challenges for both sides. The Germans attempt to break through, encircle, and destroy large numbers of Sovjet units while the Sovjets need to delay the Germans and at the same time exstricate as many units as possible from the front line to create a new defensive line further back. This presents both opposing side with an interesting operational situation. So this is an excellent game I do recommend and thus give it 8/10 on BGG.
What puzzles me though are the victory conditions that require the Germans to gain 8 VPs. I would be interested to learn what would be the strategy to achieve this in the scenario’s 8 turns.