GMT is proud to present Vance von Borries’ sixth epic game in his award winning series of East Front games, Barbarossa: Crimea. This is a two-player operational level game depicting the battles in the Crimean peninsula of the Soviet Union during 1941 and 1942. Beginning in mid-October 1941 and ending in January 1942, it completes the year 1941 in this series of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. And it includes 1942 scenarios of the continued fighting in Crimea until the historical fall of the great Soviet naval fortress Sevastopol in July 1942.
In the fall of 1941 there could be no question whether the Axis would invade the Crimea. The Soviets had been using air and naval bases there to threaten German oil supplies in Romania since the start of the war. When German troops fought their way into Crimea during October they had hoped it would be a quick campaign. Instead it became protracted with a costly siege of over eight months at Sevastopol. Where the British and French had dared to challenge the Russians a century before, now it was Germany's turn. There would be new "valleys of death."
Players will find all nine scenarios challenging. Neither side fights anything approaching overwhelming superiority, and the challenge will always be to get the most possible out of the forces you have. The Axis has the superior ground army, but never enough units to get the job done quickly. The Soviets have mastery at sea, but their navy is fragile. Soviet fortifications, especially around Sevastopol, are formidable, but the Axis player can assemble an array of monster siege guns unmatched at any other time in the Second World War.
Six of the nine scenarios can be played on one or two 11 x 17 inch four color scenario cards, and the other three require just a single map. For those with play space issues, this is your game. All components, from rules to player aid cards, are in color.
#1 Learning Scenario: The Tartar Ditch. The German 11th Army has just received orders to enter the Crimea but to do so it must first clear the narrow Perekop Isthmus. This was the first battle for the Crimea. This is a small scenario but it teaches important lessons in precise game unit positioning - exactly what one would expect for historical positional warfare.
#2Odessa: HeroCity. This is a bloody example of siege warfare. The Romanian army shows exactly why it was so ill-suited for such an offensive, while the Soviets struggle to balance their forces from sector-to-sector and endure delays of reinforcements coming by sea. This rebuilds the scenario found in theArmy Group South game using new research and this game’s improved naval rules.
#3Crimea: The Road to Sevastopol. This begins in mid October 1941. The Germans almost certainly will break through the main Soviet defense line, so the Soviet player has to know when to break away from the action and run back to fresh prepared positions, a tactic typical of game play in other series games. The German player also chooses secret victory conditions. He will either drive south to Sevastopol or southeast to Kerch, forcing the Soviet to balance his defense of both.
#4Sevastopol: The First Battle. With the Germans committed to Sevastopol, can the Soviet divert enough German attention elsewhere to save the fortress? In the meantime, the deeper the German pushes into the Sevastopol inset map, the better his chances for long-term victory.
#5. Crimean Campaign. The campaign scenario puts scenarios 3 and 4 together to feature a punch and counter-punch game strategy. The Soviet player relies on his naval units to rapidly shift the threat. The German relies on his infantry to consolidate gains.
#6. Kerch: The Party Boss Attack. Ever wonder why Mandated Attacks exist in this game system? In the middle of winter 1942 one of Stalin’s cronies thought the armies holding the KerchPeninsula in the Crimea were not sufficiently motivated to defeat the fascists. He personally bullied the local Front commander into do-or-die attacks. This scenario exemplifies the insanity of political expectations trumping battlefield realities. Can you find a weakness in the Axis line?
#7. Kerch: Operation Trappenjagd. Now it is the German turn to attack in the KerchPeninsula but their champion knows how to attack. This is a brilliantly planned German attack, one that pays handsome dividends. Can you repeat Manstein’s success? As the Soviet can you defeat Manstein’s attack?
#8. Sevastopol: Operation Storfang. This is the last picture show in the Crimea and it will be bloody. Truly, the best is saved for the last as the Soviets fight for every last hill, fort, and farmhouse. They went down fighting and their sacrifice earned them great honor in the history books. It was close. The German plan of offensive was sound and it met each challenge the Soviets posed. Can you duplicate Manstein’s cold calculations and earn your marshal’s baton?
||2 days per turn
5 miles per hex; inset map 1.6+ miles per hex
||Division/Regiment; Air unit 40-80 aircraft
|NUMBER OF PLAYERS