Moscow ’41 is a complete game, including a large, full-color map in heavy card-stock, 64cm x 86cm.
The newly released 2021 2nd Edition includes improved rules, graphics, stickers, Players' Aid and Orders of Battle.
The units are portrayed by 120 colorful, precision-cut wooden blocks and 120 PVC stickers. Plus, there are over 100 other wooden pieces used for initiative, bombers, defensive positions, information, etc.
The game box includes 2 lightly laminated Player’s Guides and Set-up/Info guides for the full Campaign game and three shorter scenarios.
Playtime varies from 2 hours for the Campaign to 1 hour for the shortest scenario.
The game sets up easiest for two players, though three or four player combinations also work. The “Fog of War” might seem to make solitaire hard, but players tell us that the game is still very interesting solo and gives them a chance to explore different strategies.
The game situation begins just after the German spearheads have established a bridgehead across the Dnieper River and captured Smolensk. While the Soviets stagger backwards in retreat and the rapid advance has disrupted the German organization. Both armies are in chaos and the game captures this with its starting setup.
The map has positions for starting units, but in most cases, it is not completely defined which units exactly will go in a place. The easiest example is Guderian’s Armor. He has three “blocks” of units - each one a slightly different strength.
There are three different areas where these units begin the game, but which unit goes into what area is decided with a random draw. In the bigger scheme, the Soviets have a large number of independent units on the board when the game begins - some at full strength and some “remnants” are a single point of strength - but capable of being built back up to full strength later.
In a given area the Soviets will always set up one infantry and one tank.
Either could be full strength or a remnant... there could be 6 pips of strength there, or 2 pips... or 4. It’s determined randomly. The owning player will know (after set up) but his opponent will not. This means no two Campaigns will set up exactly the same way (and means there will never be a “perfect” or “optimal” first move for someone to discover and use again and again.) Likewise, most reinforcements enter the game randomly, via a pool.
Making the best out of what you have each turn is the challenge for both players!