Wargames on the Web

Kremlin logo

What Happens Next: Continuing play in Battle For Moscow

by Thomas M. Kane

IMPORTANT: you must have a copy of the map, counters and charts for the Battle for Moscow game and be familiar with the rules and play of the game. Print the extra rules on this page, which allow you to play a longer version of Battle for Moscow.

Table of Contents

Introduction (Back to Table of Contents)
". . . The next day, amid the onset of winter, the reinforced Soviets launched their winter counteroffensive. "

With these words, GDW concludes the description of how the original Battle for Moscow ended. Another battle was obviously beginning, and one which would make an interesting "mini-campaign game" variant for Battle for Moscow. This scenario gives the Soviets extra chances for revenge, and also lets the German player experiment with move conservative strategies than the mad-dash-at-all-costs approach to Moscow. Perhaps such plans which might have saved Germany from its utter defeat on the Eastern Front.

New Victory Conditions (Back to Table of Contents)
The Soviets controlled Moscow when they launched their counteroffensive, and Germany had no more hopes of taking it. Therefore, the continued campaign game rewards other objectives too. Each side receives points for accomplishing goals, and whoever has the most points when the game ends wins. There are three different ways to earn points:

  1. Each side gets 1 point per enemy unit destroyed, even if they are replaced later. A unit is not just a step, but the actual removal of an enemy piece from the board.

  2. Players receive 5 points for each city they control at the end of the game. A player controls a city if his units were the last to move through it. Moscow is worth 20 points.

  3. The Germans get 10 points if they can occupy Moscow at the end of any Soviet Player Turn, even if Russia recaptures it later.

    The player with the greatest number of Victory Points at the end Game Turn 14 is the winner.

    Winter Effects (Back to Table of Contents)
    The cold of Moscow's winter is legendary. German mess cooks cut butter with saws, and boiling soup could freeze nearly solid in the time a soldier took to retrieve a dropped spoon. Therefore, both sides suffer Winter Attrition. During each player's Replacement Phase on turns 8 through 12, each player rolls on the Winter Attrition Table. If the result is Frostbite, one unit of the player's choice is reduced by one step. A player may choose which unit to reduce, and units which are eliminated by frostbite do not yield Victory Points to the enemy.

    Winter Attrition Table
    Die Roll	Axis Player		Soviet Player
    	1	Frostbite		Frostbite
    	2	Frostbite		Frostbite
    	3	Frostbite		No Effect
    	4	Frostbite		No Effect
    	5	Frostbite		No Effect
    	6	No Effect		No Effect
    Actually, winter did not effect the armies as much as the autumn muds had, but it still slowed them down. All infantry units have one fewer movement point than normal during Snow turns (turns 8-12), while Armor units lose two movement points per Movement Phase. This is because tanks suffered special problems during the cold. (Their engines had to be run regularly to keep them warm. This resulted in severe gasoline shortages and, in spite of all precautions, batteries warped and oil congealed from the cold).

    Replacements (Back to Table of Contents)
    The Soviets had been concentrating their forces in the Moscow area all fall, and by winter they had begun to redirect their attention to the South. Therefore, beginning on turn eight, the Soviet player only gets two replacement points per turn. However, the Soviets were finally accumulating enough T-34 tanks to build an armored force.

    On turn 13, the Soviet player may designate any one army which is in communication as his Tank unit. This requires the expenditure of one replacement point. The Soviet Tank unit may move during the Rail Movement phase but need not follow any rail lines. Additionally, it receives one column shift to the right when attacking. You may wish to write "Tank" on a blank counter and stack it on top of the designated Soviet tank unit.

    New Timetable (Back to Table of Contents)
    This campaign scenario begins on Battle for Moscow's usual Game Turn 1, but lasts through turn 14, until early March. A new Turn Record Track is provided with this article.

    Turn Record Track
    1	Clear	OctI
    2	Clear	OctII
    3	Mud	OctIII/IV
    4*	Mud	NovI/II
    5	Clear	NovIII
    6	Clear	NovIV
    7	Clear	DecI
    8	Snow	DecII/III
    9	Snow	DecIV/JanI
    10	Snow	JanII/III
    11	Snow	JanIV/FebI
    12	Snow	FebII/III
    13*	Clear	MarI
    14	Clear	MarII
    Asterisked Game Turns indicate Soviet Reinforcements. Turn 4 add the 10-4 Shock Army to the replacement pool; turn 13 designate one unit the Tank Army.

    Mud Game Turns cause one hex movement per Movement Phase and all units attack at one-half strength.

    Snow Game Turns cause Winter Attrition die rolls and reduce infantry by one Movement Point and Panzers by two Movement Points

    Historical Summary (Back to Table of Contents)
    When Hitler heard of the Soviet counteroffensive, he characteristically ordered unflinching resistance without the possibility of withdrawal. This time, the policy might have been appropriate. Perhaps the Soviets could have overrun retreating armies in the cold. As it was, the offensive disappointed them, leaving the Germans exhausted but still controlling Rzhev, Vyazma and Orel. Naturally, Hitler was convinced that he had personally saved the army, and he exulted to his aides, "This little matter of operational command is something that anyone can do." But despite his confidence, Hitler had already defeated himself by attacking a country too large for any army to master.


"What Happens Next - Continuing Play in Battle for Moscow" by Thomas M. Kane originally appeared in:-

BATTLEPLAN, Issue Number 7, August/September 1988, pp10-11

The copyright of this material is owned by Decision Games. This page for recreational use only, and not for commercial or mass reproduction. All rights are reserved.

Many thanks are due to Decision Games for their kind permission to create this page!

Battle for Moscow logo
Back to Battle for Moscow home page

Please report any problems with this page (bfm/next.html).