This page was last updated on 1 Janaury 1998.

Jerry Taylor's EastFront Strategy Tips

by Jerry Taylor (c)1997 Permission granted to copy for non-commercial use.

Germany rarely gets the kill in '41 (anything beyond a bare marginal is virtually impossible against a skilled Russian), but he can sure kick the living hell out of the Red Army and set up the win in the summer of '42.

The key is to concentrate 3 of your 4 HQs (preferably all 3 3-steppers, but the less daring use 2 3-steppers and the 2 pointer) and activate only one a turn, "leapfrogging" each other. Your army must be centralized around each HQ to get maximum punch and drive. Judiciously blitz; there will be months when you need to blitz each of the two turns, so when little combat or no encirclement will result from the blitz, resist the temptation and just activate normally. You'd be surprised how flexible your army is in this formation; even concentrated, that much logistical support in one play can drive the central Wehrmacht hammer all over the map, so the Ruskies can't depend on you simply hitting the closest part of the front.

The Reds will make your job easier if they stand and fight. Most Russians make this mistake; they get hypnotized by the River line running from Kiev to Gomel to Schmolensk with a one-hex gap and into the Dvina. The right Red manner of play is to RUN! Give up ground and make a stand only in July at that line (sans the River outside Riga; just too damned close to the German infantry). Unless the Germans are really playing slowpoke, the Red's should bug from the line in the first turn of August and continue fading. The idea is to always stay three hexes away from the German infantry; for the Wehrmacht to hit you primarily with armor and without infantry support whenever possible. Most Germans will tire of chasing you and through the Panzers out there alone...a mistake because, without infantry there to absorb hits, the armor will get banged up pretty quick, will not have enough support to draw any kind of large-scale noose around breaks in the line, and are vulnerable to supply-cutting counterattacks by weasally Reds.

But few Russians will do this, and the Germans should just kick the shit out of anything they can catch with infantry. But be careful of just hammering a dug in Red Army (even if depleted) head-on; German replacement points are always scarce, and senseless violence will eventually take its toll. Instead, work to break a hole by concentrating your attacks and then encircle pockets of resistance.

If all goes according to plan, the Reds should lose either Leningrad and the Finish exit hex, Moscow and the immediately surrounding cities, or the knot of Ukrainian production (including -- and this is important -- Rostov). If the Germans cannot accomplish any of the above three, they simply will not win this game absent a miracle. If they can accomplish 2 of 3, the Wehrmacht probably has the game sewn up. If only one of three, then it will go into '42 even.

The Germans have to be careful of the winter, however, as the Red army can pack one hell of a punch in the snow even if they've been slapped around a lot in the dry months. The Germans should begin planning a defensive line in October (make sure that it's no closer than 3 hexes to Red positions if at all possible, as the Russian infantry and guards can only move one hex per turn and this way you'll have plenty of warning about where the attack is coming). The Germans should give ground during the winter if necessary; the Russians CAN cripple the Germans significantly if the German is careless and even turn a draw (see the definition of that above) into a win then and there. German armor losses are particularly devastating (well, HQs are even more devastating, but that's understood), as Hitler rarely has the luxury of spending to bring them back.

Granted, the Russians have the edge in this game, but the Germans are not nearly as difficult to win with as a lot of people assume. If you want to tweak the game to better play balance, I would suggest stipulating that Russian units cannot move east in June of '41 and/or that HQs stay disrupted in the first turn of July as well.

I think there's also a strategy post on this game in Web-Grognards, but I haven't read it thoroughly so I can't vouch for it. In case it makes any difference, I hold the official but generally worthless title of "EastFront National Champion."

Good luck...let me know if you put any of this to good use!