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The Second World War in Europe, 1939-1945
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Debuting in 1974, Third Reich has sold well over a quarter-million copies in several editions over two publishers. The Avalanche Press edition, released in 2001, brought the old game into a new century with a complete upgrade to graphics and game play. The result is a smooth-playing game with a minimum of charts to consult but a deep grounding in the historical background of the Second World War.
Third Reich interweaves not only the land, naval and air struggles, but also the equally important economic and political battles. Players must guide their nation to victory by capturing key objectives while making sure no one else — in particular their allies — gets there first.
Players take on the leadership of Britain, France, Italy, Germany, the United States or the Soviet Union. Each of these major powers, in turn, can influence smaller countires like Turkey, Greece or Romania to join the war on their side. They can offer bribes or territory, and sometimes it’s more important to decrease someone else’s influence than to build up your own.
The currency of the game is the Basic Resource Point, or BRP. This represents the financial, industrial and agricultural production needed to wage war. BRP’s are used to build new units, to pay for offensives, to replace losses suffered in battle, to bribe minor countries, and for a host of other purposes. Each country’s production can be affected by conquering or losing territory, or through strategic warfare (chiefly, attacks by submarines and bombers).
Once activated (usually at a cost in BRP’s), land, naval and air units can move and attack enemy units. Combat is resolved by rolling dice, with a result of 6 usually equalling a hit. There are no Combat Results Tables; every factor counts and there are no “perfect numbers” of units to commit to battle as in some wargames. When a land unit is hit, BRP’s can be used to absorb some of the damage, but too many hits and it is reduced in strength or destroyed. Naval and air units pack a greater punch, but don’t bounce back from damage as easily.
Scenarios, or game situations, begin the game in 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 or 1945. Political markers are randomly chosen to determine what events might take place outside the players’ control: Poland might capitulate to Germany in 1939, Mussolini, Churchill or Hitler might unleash some stupid scheme the Italian, British or German player will have to execute, oil could be found in Libya, the French navy could rally to the Allies or the Axis, jets can be developed, good Germans might kill Hitler — dozens of such events are possible.
Weight: 700 grams (estimated)
- Three 8.5"x22" hard-mounted boards
- 840 game pieces
- 20-page rule book