If you want to play a fun magazine game, check out an oldie but goodie from Command Magazine Issue No. 31. Budapest 45′.
Super short Intro to Budapest 45′:
The situation in Budapest in January 1945 deteriorated for both sides – The Nazi’s taking the brunt from all Theatre’s, and the Soviet’s high command hesitant of funneling a massive amount of resources into a large city, by-way West through dense forest, wet ground-near-freezing, narrow roadways with minor rivers and the Danube (major) crossings that branch out across > than 150km+ distance W-to-E of Buda.
Hitler ordered Budapest a ‘Fortress’, and with the onslaught of overwhelming forces in the north, and the south of Hungary crumbling, supplies were becoming scarce. Especially fuel*. Units were being moved from sector to sector to help support the recovery of Budapest in this fourth period of the siege.
** Wiki overview: Link** “The Fourth Period (1 January 1945 – 26 January 1945) was marked by a series of strong counter-offensives launched by German reinforcements in an attempt to relieve the siege of Budapest. Some German units managed to penetrate deep into the outskirts of the city, with the most successful ones only 25 km away from the Hungarian capital. However, the Soviets managed to withstand all the German attacks and maintain their encirclement.”
Command Magazine’s Issue Nr. 31 Budapest 45′ covers this period of the battle, which gives you command and perspective on the seesaw battle for Budapest, and coordinated Panzer Drives to relieve the fortress of Buda and Pest (Castle Hill too) as well as the Soviet elastic-defense to bleed the Nazi’s drive for Budapest.
Pro’s and Cons on the game…
- The Rules/Errata are clear and easy to pick up on. Turn sequences are somewhat asymmetrical.
- Special Rules for the Nazi’s such as Heavy Support and Surprise Attacks & for the Soviets, Artillery Bombardments makes the game pace better than I expected.
- Panzer Division Detachments are very valuable to cover ground quickly. Their significance is important in feint attacks which can throw off the Soviet Player.
- Balance: It is somewhat even keeled in terms of unit count and att/def ratios…The map terrain is the true differentiator.
- Bridges! I love destroying bridges…
- The map and counters are clear enough to enjoy the game
- Concentric attacks can be good…however, they are trite. Since this is operational, it feels like two Goliath’s are smashing each other…You’re smashing defensive lines > than 4:1 odds and with these DRMs, it is almost excessive. There is definite positives to this to..
- The Map – For the time, it is great! Today, meh, somewhat lacking in details.
- Artillery bombardments are not as effective as I expected them to be.
Overall, a fun game. Once you get through a couple turns you’re spending more time book keeping step losses than re-reading rules for clarification. It is definitely a fun game and there are assault tactics that need to be employed at the start for the Nazis, and defensive flexibility/terrain reading/planning for the Soviets. Last words: Keep moving, and you may win…Get stuck, you’re dead.