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From the publisher:
It's the summer of 1985 and Soviet tanks stream into West Germany. Thinly spread NATO forces strive to delay the red hordes until reinforcements arrive, and the world watches anxiously, dreading the nuclear weapons held in each super power's arsenal. Welcome to the dark world of Mark H. Walker's World at War.
A platoon level simulation that stresses command, control, and war's unpredictable nature, World At War is an engaging, tactical action game. See About the Game, below to discover the unique mechanics that make this game so much fun.
World at War simulates, on a platoon-level, the war which began May 12, 1985 when Junior Lieutenant Yuri Andromnivitch's T-72 sent a 125mm HE round screaming into the guard tower on the ridge at Dankmarshausen, ripping mortar from rebar and sending head-sized chunks of concrete tumbling into the red-roofed houses below. Units activate by chit draw and formation, fire in a flurry of dice, and look good doing it. The rules cover self-propelled mortars, thin-skinned vehicles, support weapons, ranged combat, opportunity fire, ATGM depletion, assault and overrun combat. Better still, World at War is not just a game, but also a game system. Learn Eisenbach Gap, and you can play any of the follow-on modules. See About the Game , below, for more details. The game ships in a box with the following components:
One hundred twenty eight (128) gorgeous die-cut 5/8" counters.
One professionally drawn, printed, and MOUNTED 17" x 22" map.
Six scenarios, 2 players' aid cards, and 4 dice.
A 16-page rule, scenario, and chart book.
August 14th, 1985 and the Soviet 1st Tank Army enters the Eissenbach Gap, their goal to capture Wiltz and Knugen and open the way for the follow on forces.
The Defense of Klappebruck
Team Yankee was the First Battalion’s reserve. That ended on August 17th, when the Soviet 33rd Motor Rifle broke through. The Soviets wanted the bridges over the Klappebruck river. Team Yankee wanted to stop them.
By early June, the Soviet penetration into West Germany was deep, pointing like a crooked finger at the West German/Belgian border. NATO had to slow down the Soviet juggernaut in order to give the American’s time REFORGER units time to deploy. Capturing the Eissenbach Bridge would constrict the Soviet supply artery, and slow their spearhead. The First Armored Cavalry Regiment was chosen for the task, and Alpha Troop was tabbed to lead the thrust through the Warsaw Pact lines.
After the Soviet’s unexpected breakthrough east of Eissenbach caught everyone, including the Soviets off guard. The Soviet Third Shock Army was in reserve 75 kilometers north of the breakthrough, and unable to exploit due to a poor road network and incessant NATO air attacks. General Ubirek, had no choice but to commit all the units remaining in his depleted corps.
Ships in the Night
No one was really prepared for modern war’s appetite for men and material. After the first month, neither side could replace the units lost. More and more often NATO unit established hedgehogs with company-sized patrols filling the space between. The Soviets used their limited resources to penetrate the hedgehog holes. On the night of July 17th, those two conflicting strategies met in a hell of fire and light.
Much like pre-World War II America, NATO was a sleeping giant. The Politburo might be corrupted, greedy, and somewhat misinformed, but they were not stupid. They understood that to win this war, they would have to win it quick. Part of the plan to enable that quick victory was for elements of the Soviet Airborne regiments to seize critical road junctions and bridges so the troops and tanks of the Soviet ground forces could push through. At dawn on May 14th elements of the 2nd Airborne Division swept over the NATO lines, their objective the bridges and crossroads to the rear.
About the Game
Units represent platoons of vehicles, such as T-55, T-62, T-72, BTR, BMP, M-113, M-1, Chaparral, Shilka, helicopters –Cobra and Hind, and infantry armed with support weapons such as Saggers, SA-7, Dragons, etc. The system throws typical turn-based gaming out the window. The platoons are grouped into formations (companies for the American or battalions for the Soviet) and lead by a headquarters. Each unit of the formation must be within range (generous for the Yanks, less so for the Soviets) of the HQ to activate with its formation. Oh yeah, individual units might activate, and recon units can double their range from the HQ, but you’ll want to keep those formations together. The formations are activated by chit draw, and better-trained, better-led units can activate more than once in a turn, moving, shooting, and fighting in each activation. On the flip side of a coin, there is no guarantee that a formation will activate even once. The opaque container (we like to call it a cup in the rural south) into which the formation chits are placed is seeded with end turn chits. When the second end turn chit is drawn the turn ends. Doesn’t matter if a single formations has activated; the turn is over. It keeps you on your toes.
Combat. We love this combat system. When attacking each platoon rolls a number of dice equal to its firepower. Every die that equals or exceeds the “to hit” number (right superscript) hits the target. The target then rolls the number of die equal to its armor factor plus terrain advantages. Each die that equals or exceeds its armor factor negates a hit. The first hit disrupts a unit, second reduces it, the third eliminates it.
Units may also close assault, entering the opponent’s hex to either deal a death blow or force him (or her) out of valuable terrain. Same procedure, but both units use their close assault value. The side that takes the most hits must retreat from the hex. Infantry is VERY good at this, especially against armor without its own infantry support.
Game includes rules for thin-skinned vehicles, support weapons (actual counters that add to an infantry platoon’s capabilities), helicopters, chemical attacks, dual purpose conventional munitions, smoke, HE, overruns (great fun) opportunity fire, simple line of sight (bit more complex for helicopters), transporting infantry, all in ten pages of rules.
For tons of information, images, and much more, CLICK HERE to visit the Boardgamegeek.com page for this game.