Sword of Stalingrad Arrives!

I was pleasantly surprised to find a Days of Wonder package in my mailbox (don’t hate me!). They had sent me a copy of the Sword of Stalingrad Battle map and the Vercors Campaign for review (Thanks Eric!). I should certainly get some plays in this weekend and will be posting AAR’s but in the meantime, I thought I would share some initial impressions on the package.

It was nice to see that the campaign system has been carried on with the Vercors campaign. There has been a bit of grumbling about it being offered as a ‘free’ inclusion. For the completist, I guess this is an issue but my understanding is that it will be widely available even without purchase.

The campaign itself looks interesting. It is based entirely on French resistance forces (which are always interesting to play). No guns or tanks in any of the scenarios will no doubt make for a different sort of battle. 5 scenarios in length make it one of the longer campaigns. The board varies in terms of labouring to light setup with mountains being predominant throughout so the Terrain Pack will be required. It is suggested that the Air Pack be used but only for the airfield tiles in one of the scenarios otherwise it is not required (in fact, it is set aside). I’m a little concerned about the victory conditions to units on the board ratio but it might play out otherwise. Either way, it looks like a job well done from Jacques David.

The Battle Map package itself is all about Stalingrad. Two standard scenarios and two Overlords with a new Combat deck will no doubt demand table time.

The Combat deck is an interesting addition to the game system as a whole. You can find the rules for this at the DoW site so I won’t take much time examining them, but I am very interested in seeing how they actually play out.

The Overlord maps I haven’t had much of a chance to explore but will likely play those first so I’ll report back more on those at that time.

In looking at the two regular scenarios that came in the pack, these two look like big battles but on the single board. Mamayev Kurgan is a hill that overlooks Stalingrad which was historically a see saw battle for the heights. This one plays to 8 medals but majority control of the heights will be worth 3 of those medals.

The other scenario, Pavlov – Hero of the Soviet Union is also a major clash. This scenario makes use of the new Combat deck. The setup for this one is a little daunting but looks to be a wildly entertaining battle with no less than 9 medals for victory! Something that caught me as a little odd is the number of road hexes (30!) but the special rule that negates the road bonus. I guess they are there for aesthetics? I’ll have to set aside some time for this one as it looks to be a titanic struggle.

It’s about time some M’44 hit the table. Will report back soon.

(ps – The pencil sketch cover begs to be colored in! Time to get my crayons out. LOL!)

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2 Responses to “Sword of Stalingrad Arrives!”

  1. Jim Says:

    Just wondering if Memoir 44 on Vassal will be updated to include the Combat Cards

  2. Brummbär Says:

    Not sure. I haven’t been involved in Vassal for some time now.

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