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From the publisher webpage:

Roads to Moscow is a two-player game depicting battles in the Soviet Union during the drive on Moscow in October
1941.  The two separate battles shown in this game are named for the main objective city on each map, Mozhaysk to
the west of Moscow, and Mtsensk to the south. Perhaps the most dramatic of the many desperate battles fought in
front of Moscow, these two battles combined all the elements of the great struggle. The Germans have an excellent
fighting machine but are short on fuel and time. They must capture their objectives on a tight schedule or snow and
mud will end their offensive. The Soviets are down to the rearward remnants of their once immense armies. If the
Soviets can avoid being encircled by the fast moving German forces, high quality reinforcements from the Far East
may finally allow them to stop the German advance.

Historically, the Soviets stood fast at Mozhaysk, fighting heavily even on the old Napoleonic battlefield of Borodino.
Like Napoleon, the Germans eventually took the field, but at great cost in time and manpower. Near Mtsensk Guderian’s
Panzer spearhead advancing north from Orel was ambushed by the Soviets thereby disrupting the German timetable.
This gave the Soviet 6th Guards Rifle Division time to dig-in on the heights above Mtsensk thereby barring the way to
Tula and Moscow.

Roads to Moscow uses the same mechanics found in the acclaimed Roads to Leningrad game, featuring a chit draw for
activation of formations. Both players quickly learn how to use their motorized units effectively for overruns, combined
arms, and movementof reserves. The game includes special rules for Soviet rocket artillery, NKVD, and self-propelled
gun units, and fuel supply shortages,and much more, all without overwhelming play of the game.

COMPONENTS ONLINE RESOURCES
PUBLISHED: 2013   DESIGNER: Vance von Borries   DEVELOPER: Mark Guttag                   
PRODUCERS: Gene Billingsley, Tony Curtis, Andy Lewis, Rodger MacGowan, Mark Simonitch 
MAP & COUNTER ART: Charles Kibler   ART DIRECTOR: Rodger B. MacGowan

 

This is a 2-player historical wargame with one controlling the German Army advancing into the Soviet Union
and the other player controlling the defending  Russian forces. Each player has a command of quality card counters
that carry all the information required at a glance. It took us a while to remember that the Efficiency rating value on
the Air Unit counters is the Bottom right number whereas on the other Unit counters the Efficiency rating is on the
right edge centre (as near as can be due to the illustrations) position of the values on that edge. Actually there are a
few other rules anomalies for which you can find answers on BoardGameGeek.com which has several question and
correction forums on them.

I think that all Players should learn the Unit Values - I don't mean the numerical values but the positions of them on the
counters. Just take a look at this list. Obviously not every one of these values is on each separate counter, but for speedy
counter recognition during play you should at least know where to look to be able to identify the necessary values for the
current situation. Okay, that sounded better in my head than it looks on screen (nearly said paper) but I'm sure you know
what I mean. 

Unit Designation, Formation, Efficiency Rating, Stacking Value, Attack Strength, Defense Strength, Unit Size, Unit Type,
Movement Allowance, Range, Support Strength, No ZOC Band, Command Points, Formation I.D., Combination Value,
Aircraft Type, CAS Rating,  I.D. and Fuel Point.


Unit counters also have different sides which tell you the current state of the unit. the different counter sides are: Fired and
Unfired, Depleted and Undepleted, Flown and Unspent, and Being Spent and Unspent
. You need to be able to recognise
these at a glance if you don't want to be continually checking and rechecking your options.

Playing tabletop wargames fairly regularly means you get to know generic abbreviations used when reading the reference
sheets, such as VPs (Victory Points) ZOC (Zone of Control) CRT (Combat Results Table) and LOS (Line of Sight). This
game uses the  majority of those plus many others, such as AM, CAB, CAS, DRM, ER, HQ, MA, MP and TEC.

              

Like most tabletop wargames ROADS to MOSCOW is played in turns, each composed of several different phases (segments).
Turns begin with the Strategic Segment which includes the Weather, Reinforcements, Supply Status, Readiness and Initiative.
Then there is the Operations Segment where the first player draws one Activation Marker and conducts one of three possible
actions. These markers are drawn randomly from separate - generally tea-cups are the best reciptacles available. After the first
player there is the second player's Operations Sequence and so on alternatively until all Formations have been activated. This
is followed by the Reorganising Segment which has four distinct phases.

Units need to stay in supply which as usual means you have to be able to trace a contiguous (invisible) line of friendly hexes
from the Supply Source to the Unit; Fuel is a separate supply - you may need to spend Fuel points on a Formation depending
on the scenario. A Fuel unit on the edge of the board can also supply reinforcement units.

The back pages (inside back and actual back) of the rules booklet have expanded sequence of play sheets which are repeated on
pages 30-31 in the Playbook. This is ideal as each player has continual access to the necessary information on these two pages.

Roads to Moscow is designed by the same Vance von Borries who created the Roads to Leningrad game for GMT. The Eastern
Front of WWII has been covered and covered and re-covered in part and full several times, but by selecting these specific battles
GMT have given the players a new look - two new looks if you consider there are a few noticeable differences between the two
Roads games - at the Eastern Front confrontations.

The Playbook has 4 scenarios: Drive on Mtensk, Battle of Mtsensk, The Tank Brigades and the Battle of Mozhaysk. It also has fine
Notes sections by both the designer (Vance von Borries) and the developer (Mark Guttag) that explains the inspiration, research and
reasoning behind the game and the battles themselves. Pages 13 to 26 of the Playbook have an extended example of play complete
with maps in greyscale. Once you know the counters, symbols and basic rules you can learn how to play from this excellent example.
As a game the Eastern Front (WWII) is usually found as a campaign setting but the Roads series relate to smaller single Battles that
were as important to the whole campaign without being particularly well recognised or remembered. Because of this the 4 battles that
make up ROADS to MOSCOW are in my opinion far more personal and challenging as you are not looking at the big picture, just the
opposition directly in front of you.

 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015