Updated 150614

  • TITLE: Russian Front
  • PUBLISHER: The Avalon Hill Game Company (TAHGC)
  • SCOPE: (World War II) A Game of the War in the East 1941-1944
  • TAHGC CATALOG VERBAGE: The result of another major advance in the state of the art; an innovative treatment of strategic level game of warfare on the Eastern Front of WWII.
  • GAME BOX VERBAGE: Russian Front is a game that re-creates the ebb and flow of the largest, longest, and most costly military campaign of World War II. The game covers the vast theater of operations and the massive forces employed by the Soviet Union and by Nazi Germany and her allies.
  • YEAR PUBLISHED (EDITIONS): 1985. An unofficial WGA 3rd (amplified) edition (2009), with errata corrections, additional optional rules and other clarifications by the top rated players is available (440kb, pdf).
    • Research and Design: Neil Zimmerer.
    • Development and Rules: S. Craig Taylor, Jr.
    • Production Coordination: Thomas N. Shaw
    • Prep Department Coordinator: Elaine Adkins
    • Typesetting: Colonial Composition
    • Printing: Monarch Services
    • Playtesting: Joel Bonham, Mike Craighead, Bud Daunhauer, Joe Davis, Vincent Fratelli, Charles Gittings, Jon Hicks, Gary Hoover, Ken Kaufman, Wayne Lanham, Rex Martin, Neal Schlaffer and the Aberdeen Gamer's Association, Eric Schultz, Bruce Shelley, Clay Smith, Zeke Zelenevitz.
  • TYPICAL PLAYING TIME (HOURS): 2-18 hours depending on scenario or campaign game played.
  • MAP SCALE: 25 miles per hex
  • UNIT SCALE: German Corps, Russian Armies, Naval fleets, River fleets, Air Forces.
  • NUMBER OF GAME TURNS: Campaign game starting in 1941, 1942, and 1943 in addition to a Barbarossa 3 turn, 1942 -13 turn scenarios.
  • GAME INVENTORY: 518 die cut counters, four mounted maps for a 32"x22" full-color mapboards, basic game rulebook, advance game rulebook, 1 die, charts.
  • WBC & AVALONCON HISTORY: Continuous event since Avaloncon 1991 through 1997 then discontinued.
    • The WGA Java application VASSAL module for Russian Front is a benchmark module. Signup as a player on the VASSAL page under Russian Front Module. A WGA PBEM tournament is anticipated using a tournament scenario yet to be defined.
    • WGA unofficial WGA 3rd (amplified) edition (2009) rulebook is in refinement as a standardized reference for WGAtournament play.
    • There are two major rule controversies that impact organized play; segmenting the player base.
  • PBEM OPPORTUNITES: Contact Wargame Academy if interested as a tournament scenario is being defined and a PBEM tournament is planned. A Boardgamer Player Association PBEM tournament can be organized by WGA pending suitable interest using Vassal.
  • WARGAME ACADEMY COMMENTS: Plan for about 20+ hours for the campaign game. Very interesting impulse movement game allows the defender reaction movement and where battles take place in a hex negating units ZOC. This results in a front more fluid that that of other games such as THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN where fronts are created by interlocking zones of control. RFT is described as a game of 'holes'. Air and Naval battle mechanics illustrate the importance of these support units. As such the non-phasing player has decisions to make during the phasing players movement phase making remote play a bit more challenging. In most cases reaction movement is not use until the end of the phasing players turn. Both player allocate air and naval during both player turns. The game also uses hit points for multiple combat rounds. 'Damaged' units retain their offensive capability but become more brittle. Eliminated units are more expensive to replace than removing hits through replacement points. An expanded map/rules version is in design by Marty Roeckler et al. Overall, a very elegant and playable game system; one of my favorite small box Eastern Theater simulations.
  • WARGAME ACADEMY GAME TOOLS: Multiple game play copy (one unpunched), softcopy rulebooks, complete game editable multilayer map, Order of Battles, Counter library and charts in MS Word. And of course the Vassal module which is the template for score+ WGA vassal modules which followed. .

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