Red Vengeance: 1945, The Destruction of Nazi Germany
Games You Can Play! series
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By the summer of 1944, the peoples of the Soviet Union had suffered incredible hardships. Three years of war had wrecked the economy, destroyed countless cities, and brought the murders of at least 10 million civilians.
But through massive efforts, the Red Army had not only held but greatly strengthened itself with new weapons and tactics. The time had come for the great counter-offensive. Operation Bagration opened in June 1944. The Germans reeled back until finally losing Berlin itself.
Red Vengeance is a sequel to Defiant Russia. Like that game, it is designed to be easy to learn and fun. The map portrays the western Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, Romania and eastern Germany, with parts of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria as well.
Players control the actual units that fought in this campaign. Axis units mostly represent army corps. These include German, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Romanian units; the latter two will eventually switch sides. The Axis player actually starts the game with more tank units, the real striking power in this game, than the Soviets. But as they're lost they are difficult to replace, while Soviet power just keeps surging.
Soviets are generally armies. Unlike Defiant Russia, the typical Soviet unit is as good as the typical German unit, and many of them are better. The Soviet player's goals are very simple: drive directly for the heart of Nazi power. The Axis player can't simply hold back on defense, but must counterattack judiciously.
Like Defiant Russia, Red Vengeance isn't a very large game. The 17x22-inch map fits easily on a small table. There are 140 playing pieces, and it comes in a small box that's easy to store. The game plays very quickly, concluding in about 90 minutes, with a minimum of charts and tables to consult. It's suitable for ages 10 and up.