Tag Archives: Russia

La Berezina 1812 (A Video Review)

La Bérézina 1812

The Berezina 1812 focus on the batlles fought by the remnants of Napoleon “Grande Armée” against several Russian armies, in order to cross Berezina river between Borissov and Velesovo, at Stoudenka.

The Berezina 1812 is the 35th battle of the Jours de Gloire series.

Napoléon, Ney, Oudinot and Victor are at the head of the French. Tchitchagov, Wittgenstein, Ermolov, Lambert and Phalen are the mains Russians leaders.

The French player has to build bridge and cross the river under the pressure of the Russian player.

The game features special rules around “trainards” (stragglers) and building bridges. The game includes 5 one day scenarios and 1 two days secanrio, from November 21 to November 29 1812.

~ Canons en Carton


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Pax Baltica (Video Review)

Pax Baltica


It is 1700, and a youthful Karl XII has recently come to power as King of Sweden. Rivals around the Baltic Sea seize the opportunity to get their hands on Swedish territory. An alliance is struck between Denmark, Saxony-Poland, and Russia, the last under the vibrant leadership of Tsar Pyotr. This coalition mobilizes to take advantage of the untried King, and break Swedish dominance in the Baltics forever… Thus opened the Great Northern War, ravaging Northern and Eastern Europe for over two decades at the beginning of the eighteenth century. By the end of the war, one nation would lose its status as a Great Power, while another would rise to dominate the region for centuries onward.

PAX BALTICA is a two-player wargame covering the entire Great Northern War (1700-1721). Published first as a limited “guerilla” edition in 2009 by Three Crowns Game Productions of Sweden, this new enhanced edition has been revised and upgraded by GMT Games in conjunction with the original designers.

Over twenty years of fighting span the map from Norway to Turkey, Saxony to Finland. Units are represented by labeled wooden blocks, which are stood upright to conceal their identity and strength from the enemy, allowing players to dupe and outfox each other on campaign. Action points are spent to maneuver on the map, but also for reconnaissance, replacements, or a roll on the treacherous but lucrative National Politics Table. Straightforward rules account for lines of communication and forage, as well as time-consuming sieges, adding to the period flavor. The fast-paced and exciting combat system captures the aggressive “charge with cold steel” tactics that Sweden used to defeat her enemies in succession at the start of the war.

Players are subject to a host of influences and distractions that will hinder their plans at every turn. An elaborate plan will be at the mercy of a poor action roll or sudden plague, while other events shape strategy with historical motivations and deterrents. Players must prepare for the worst, but be open to fleeting opportunities.

Special rules capture simply the unique events and circumstances of the Great Northern War, including:
• Russian army reforms
• Ukrainian Cossack uprisings
• Intervention by the Ottoman Empire
• Polish royal politics
• Attrition of Swedish manpower
• Founding of Sankt-Peterburg


Four scenarios are included with the game: a short tournament scenario covering the Swedish invasion of Russia that led to the Battle of Poltáva; two scenarios that simulate the first and last half of the war; and a “grand campaign” scenario that refights the entirety of the Great Northern War, a first in wargame publishing. Turns typically take no more than a couple of minutes, ensuring a fast pace of play. Swings of fortune ensure that no two games will turn out the same.

Can you save Sweden’s empire? Or ensure Russia’s rise to prominence? You make the choices that will determine who reigns over the PAX BALTICA.

• 1 Map (22” x 34”)
• 1 Rulebook (16 pages)
• 1 Playbook (32 pages)
• 65 wooden blocks (units) in five colors
• 1 sticker sheet for mounting on blocks
• 51 wooden cubes (control markers, etc.) in six colors
• 8 dice, 4 blue and 4 green

Game Design: Stefan Ekström and Göran Björkman
Development for GMT: Scott Muldoon
Complexity: 4
Solitaire Suitability: 3
Scale: Strategic. 1 turn = one season; units are armies, regiments, and fleets; 1 strength step = approx. 1500 troops or 6-8 fighting ships
Players: 2
Time to Play: 1-2 hours for the shortest scenario, 7-14 hours for the grand campaign


Original Three Crowns edition:

Great Northern war, a 21-year long war lasted from 1700 to 1721 and ended Sweden’s period as a major power in northern Europe and started Russia’s domination of Eastern Europe. An intriguing conflict that is often considered a side-show of the War of Spanish succession. Nevertheless the former had probably greater impact of the developments in Europe during the 100 years to come than the latter. The effects of the war are in fact still seen today.

Pax Baltica. Probably the first board game ever covering the entire Great Northern War. The game includes five different scenarios with a varying playtime between two hours and a day. The units in the game are blocks which give a great flexibility in taking steps and differentiate the quality and strength of the troops. The high quality map is divided into provinces which you have to conquer in order to take control over a country. This dynamic conflict covers large parts of northern and eastern Europe. From Bremen in the West to Smolensk in the East. From Trondheim in the North to Bender in the South.
Playable nations are Sweden, Russia, Turkey, Denmark and Saxony. Other countries represented as minors are: Great Britain, Poland, Ukraine, Prussia and Hanover. The game, packed in a book case, includes a A2 full color map, 60 high quality wooden blocks, 4 dice, various markers and rules including 5 scenarios.

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Conflict of Heroes Awakening the Bear (2nd Ed.) Video review

Conflict of Heroes is a fast-paced tactical board game series that follows the development of modern day squad and platoon level tactics, starting with World War II and continuing all the way through modern day Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The first game in the series, Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-1942, takes you to the eastern front during Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of Russia. Many consider this time period to be the birth of modern warfare tactics that continue to be used and perfected by today’s modern armies.

Conflict of Heroes merges the elegance of streamlined Eurogame rules with deep strategic wargames. The series was designed to create a tense and highly interactive game play experience. You must manage multiple command resources to move, attack, and take other actions with your units. This gives you great flexibility in executing your battle plans, but makes constant caution necessary as unit activations on either side can happen at any time.

Much effort went into distinguishing the units in the game by highlighting their historical strengths and weaknesses. For example, each tank defense rating takes into account relative armor thickness, armor slope deflection percentage, speed, size, targeting mechanics, and crew training. All these factors are represented in an easy to learn target number system.

The included firefights, most of which you can play in about an hour, are designed to depict the pivotal points in a given battle. You can learn enough of the game to play the first scenario in ten minutes thanks to the programmed instruction approach used in the full-color rulebook.

The game also features three- and four-player firefights and optional rules for solitaire play.

~ Academy Games

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Red Winter (A Video Review)

Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland, December 8-12, 1939

It is the winter of 1939 and the Soviet Union has just declared war on Finland. Bombers unleash a downpour of destruction on the Finnish capital of Helsinki. In the David and Goliath struggle that follows, the Russians
swarm across the border and push back the Finns in victory after victory. The future appears grim for Finnish independence.

Nowhere is the danger greater than in the central sector, where a Russian breakthrough would threaten the strongpoints of the Mannerheim Line. Newly assigned to the sector, the Finnish Colonel Paavo Talvela surveys the terrain and chooses the place to make a stand: a lake called Tolvajärvi. The weary and demoralized Finnish ski troops have mere hours to recover a semblance of order before the Russian juggernaut smashes into them yet again. Over the next five days, the world watches in awe as the Finns manage to halt the Russian advance through sheer heroic determination. Then, miraculously, the Finns launch a successful counterattack…

Red Winter is a two player historical game which simulates the unusual battle at Tolvajärvi at a rarely gamed scale: company sized combat units and 90 minute game turns. Players assume the roles of the Russian and Finnish commanders, controlling the actions of Finnish ski infantry, Russian heavy machine gun companies, mortars, tanks, anti-tank guns, and other combat units. A desperate battle for territory and survival is about to be waged across a bleak and snowy landscape of forests, swamps, and frozen lakes.

The game utilizes many tried-and-true “classic” wargame mechanics in combination with novel and well-integrated systems for ranged attacks, unit recovery, Finnish night raids, attrition losses from sub-zero weather conditions, and more. The design focuses foremost on playability, with low counter density, concise rules, and sleek, simple mechanics that combine to allow each player the luxury of completing his turn in about five minutes. This means the full 40 turn campaign game is playable in a single afternoon. The large 5/8 inch counters and oversized hexes further increase playability. And the illustrated examples make it easy to jump right into the action.

TIME SCALE: 90 Minute Game Turns
MAP SCALE: 425 yards per hex
UNIT SCALE: mostly companies; some sections and platoons
Playing Time: 20 minutes to 12 hours, depending on scenario


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Conflict of Heroes: Price of Honour – Poland 1939 (A Video Review)

“Peace is a precious and a desirable thing. Our generation, bloodied in wars, certainly deserves peace. But peace, like almost all things of this world, has its price, a high but a measurable one. We in Poland do not know the concept of peace at any price. There is only one thing in the lives of men, nations and countries that is without price. That thing is honour.” – Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Józef Beck, 5th of May, 1939

September 1st, 1939. Germany invades Poland in the early morning hours. The Germans employ highly mobile massed tank formations, closely supported by mobile artillery and their airforce – the Luftwaffe. The world would come to know this warfare as the “Blitzkrieg”. As the Polish forces are being driven back, they are ordered to mass together near the Romanian border, where they will try to hold out until the Allies invade Germany from the West. But then the Soviets surprise attack the Poles from the East, cutting through their weakly defended border and fullfilling their secret pact with Germany to split Poland between their two nations.

Price of Honour, is an expansion game which requires either of the award winning games – Awakening the Bear! and/or Storms of Steel!
Players are presented with the same tactical dilemmas and decisions that commanders faced during some of the most ferocious engagements of WWII.
Conflict of Heroes (CoH) follows the evolution of modern tactics, from WWII to the present. CoH features a fast and fluid system that is easy to learn, but realistic for every unique theater of battles portrayed.

• Fun: Quick simultaneous play allows players to interact without waiting.
• Easy: Teach a new player how to play in under 5 minutes. No charts!
• Historically Accurate: Portrays realistic forces and tactics.
• Units: Depict individual vehicles, airplanes, boats, guns and squads.
• Consistent: Each game in the series uses the same rule system.

The Price of Honour expansion includes:
2 – 15×19 inch geomorphic mounted map boards that integrate with the maps of all other CoH games.
210 – LARGE 1” square early war units including armored cars, tankettes, pioneers, cavalry, bi-planes, anti-tank guns, early war MGs and many more.
2 – player summary sheets, customized plastic counter storage tray,
32 page firefight book with a full historical overview and 16 firefights, 12 of which can be played with Awakening the Bear! and 12 with Storms of Steel!
A rule book summarizing all Conflict of Heroes Eastern Front units from 1939-43.

~ Academy Games

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