The Classic Introductory Wargame Reintroduced
Mr. Peabody entered the room and adjusted large, round (+20 IQ) glasses. Addressing his boy (every dog should have a boy), he said professorially, “Sherman, set the WAYBAC machine to 1986. We’re going to visit the development team for the Game Designers Workshop (GDW) introductory wargame, Battle for Moscow, which many wargamers would add to their collections next to their copy of 1975’s Strike Force One from Simulations Publications Incorporated (SPI).”
The antecedent game for the Frank Chadwick’s ETO series (of which the first volume is Thunder in the East) is a tiny introductory wargame from over 30 years ago, Battle for Moscow (B4M).
That game would spawn an expansion kit and three other sister games using its core systems from Victory Point Games, which eventually led to the current ETO series still in development – but there are other recent developments for that little introductory wargame, Battle for Moscow, that we wanted to tell you about.
The Free Computer Version
In case you were not aware, there is a free computer version of Battle for Moscow (B4M) by Olivier Berthier (he is not aware of any relation to Napoleon’s famous chief-of-staff, Marshal Louis-Alexandre Berthier)
This version of the game is available now and playable directly in your web browser. Best of all, it includes an AI player for either side (or no AI player if you wish to play both sides solitaire or via hot-seat gaming at the same computer).
You only need to click on THIS LINK to start playing. Enjoy!
Battle for Moscow II in Development
Gerald “Jay” Johnson is leading the development for a new Battle for Moscow II (B4M2) game, currently in Alpha (a.k.a., “closed” or “in house”) playtesting.
It is not an introductory game, but a lower-complexity wargame created to stairstep players up to the full ETO series of games. It is the first in a new series of smaller campaigns using its own “hybrid” Battles for Europe game engine. Each game in this series features a 12-page Standard Rules book, plus an Exclusive Rules sheet for that specific game, so a beginner really could learn it and an old hand wargamer could easily teach it to a new player.
The Battles for Europe series brings to the classic B4M introductory game’s system:
More unit variety,
Air Strike markers,
Nine Event cards (presenting simple game options and underscoring the game's narrative),
The ETO’s Combat Results Table (creating more interesting operational puzzles and possibilities),
More diverse weather.
It also has the Winter Counteroffensive expansion kit scenario baked right in and a “mini-campaign game” linking the Typhoon and Winter Counteroffensive into a continuous play experience.
Before the end of 2020, we plan to release to you a free Print-and-Playtest (PnP) download kit of B4M2. Please watch this site for announcements so you can make your own copy of the game and join us during Beta testing.