WWII Eastern Front
Master Fenrir Introduction
WWII Eastern Front is a medium-sized map containing 44 total regions. There are 7 total bonus zones, including the "Hold All Stars" capital bonus. With 44 regions, this map is comparable to the Classic Map (42 regions) in terms of standard games. Six-player, escalating, and chained or unlimited reinforcements are the best settings for standard, terminator, and assassin games. In terms of team games, this map is best suited for doubles and triples, being just a tad too small for a good quadruples game. The best settings for each team game will be discussed at length in the Team Games section.
Bonuses: Balanced Complexity: Easy Features CAPITALS: A specific form of double dipping that appears as a single or a group of single strategic regions. Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad are the capital regions of their respective bonus zones. If one player successfully holds all three capital regions for one round, that player receives an additional 3 troops. STARTING NEUTRALS: This map contains specific regions that always start with neutral armies. The capitals all begin the game as neutral regions. How to play WWII Eastern Front
show: Two Player
In a two player standard game, each player will begin the game with 13 regions. This means that including the capitals, a total of 18 regions, almost half of the map, will begin the game as neutral regions. Overall, the large amount of starting neutral regions makes WWII Eastern Front a poor map for playing 1 vs. 1 standard games.
By beginning the game with 13 regions, the first player to move will have 4 troops to deploy. If the first player can successfully conquer two regions from the second player in order to reduce them to 11 regions, the first player can reduce the second player's deployment from 4 troops to 3 troops. The best way to do this will be based upon the initial troop drop. The first player should consider the best way to achieve this: either dropping all 4 troops upon a single region to assault the second player with a 7 troop stack, or dropping 1 troop on 4 regions to assault the second player with four 4 troop stacks. Upon first glance, the "Hold All Stars" troops, a 3-region bonus, may appear to be the easiest bonus zone to hold. However, this is a fool's errand. The capitals all start the game as neutral regions. You must successfully assault 9 neutral troops instead of your opponent just to acquire this bonus zone. Once acquired, if your opponent conquers any of the 3 capitals from you from the 6 adjacent regions (Narva and Novgorod being adjacent to Leningrad, Rzhev and Mozhaysk being adjacent to Moscow, and Don and Stavropol being adjacent to Stalingrad), your bonus zone will be broken and you will not receive the additional troops. Do not attempt to take the Hold All Stars bonus. A good opponent will destroy you while you waste your resources. The best, easiest, and only bonus zone you should attempt to acquire without an unusually favorable initial troop in a different bonus zone is the von Leeb Army. You must occupy 5 regions and successfully defend the two entrances, Tallin and Belostok, to receive an additional 2 troops. How you choose to defend is up to you, whether it be the actual regions, or those outside. However, if too many regions begin the game as neutral regions, it may be best to play out the game as a slug-fest, or stack troops and wait for your opponent to weaken him or herself assaulting the neutral regions, and then swoop in. The presence of so many neutral regions (18) makes the decision for which settings to use for you. You will want spoils, either flat or escalating, to help break through the neutrals to hunt down your opponent. Unlimited reinforcements will prove the most useful in getting some decent-sized troop stacks to break through the neutral regions; however, this will give further advantage to the player who moves first. Playing with fog of war cuts down on your vision due to the neutral regions, so you will not want to play this map with fog of war.
There are several regions that have more reach than others. Smolensk is the only region on the entire map that is adjacent to 7 other regions. Isthmus of Perekop, Mozhaysk, and Stavropol are each adjacent to 6 other regions. Rostov, Poltava, Oryol, and Velikiye Luki are each adjacent to 5. These regions give you the most assault options and are good spots to place a troop stack.
There are several regions that act as bottlenecks. These regions are mostly indicated by the arrows on the map and they are Belostok, Tallin, Narva, Smolensk, Poltava, Kharkov, Don, Rostov, Donets, Sevastopol, and Novorosslysk. Keep in mind that none of these regions are true bottlenecks. They separate the bonus zones, but don't block them off completely. There is at least one alternate route into each zone, but if you can control sets of them such as Belostok and Tallin, you can lock off entire zones. The only dead end on the entire map is the Sarema region in the Northwest corner of the map. This region can only be accessed via Riga. In an escalating game, these two regions will be slightly more important than others. If you own Sarema, it would be a good idea to build a troop stack there. Doing so will make yourself more difficult to eliminate. If you own Riga, you should build a troop stack there. You lock Sarema behind you, making the player there more difficult for the other players to eliminate, while giving you the best chance. Large escalating games (6-8 players) have the potential to be good games on WWII Eastern Front if played correctly. However, the competence of the other players is important in 7 or 8 player games. Starting with a mere 5 regions could mean a quick elimination for you if an opponent starts hitting your 3-troop stacks. This holds especially true for Terminator games. If you happen to fall down to 4 or even 3 regions, your points take on the smell of blood in the water. My recommendation is to stick with 6 player escalating games, and only play 7 or 8-player games with experienced players. With only the one dead end at Sarema, and numerous regions that are adjacent to at least 4 others, this map plays well with fog of war. A fair number of regions will be lost in the fog, but the regions won't be completely lost when it comes time for a large run.
show: Flat Rate, No Spoils, and Nuclear Spoils
The easiest bonus to capture and hold in all instances is the von Leeb Army bonus zone, as stated in previous sections. However, if you are working for the von Leeb Army bonus zone, keep your eyes on the other players. As is typical with flat rate and no spoils standard games, if other players see you spending all of your resources in one area of the map, they will often focus elsewhere and take their own bonus.
Games using nuclear spoils should be played much the same as a no spoils game. However, one strategy should be mentioned. Early on in the game, should you earn a spoil for one of the border regions of the von Leeb Army bonus zone, you may consider letting your opponents take the line. For example, say your first turn you earn the spoil for Belostok or Tallin and your opponent has most of von Leeb. You could build a troop stack nearby, waiting until your opponent has defensively placed a large troop stack on Belostok or Tallin, and then cash the spoil when able, nuking away several troops.
show: Team Games
Doubles and Triples: In doubles, each player starts with 10 regions, and in triples, each player starts with 6. As such, region bonuses are not an immediate concern. With this in mind, there are two ways to go about playing doubles and triples. The first is the good, old-fashioned slugfest: smart deployments, assaults, and reinforcements until the game is over. However, this rarely happens. The quickest way to gain a deployment advantage over your opponents is to acquire a bonus zone, which will invariably be von Leeb Army, as it contains just 5 regions with two points of defense. You will experience a grind for this zone even more so than Oceania on the Classic map. All troops in the first round should be spent in this zone, even in flat rate and escalating games. In a no spoils doubles or triples game, successfully holding von Leeb Army for two turns will almost always guarantee you the win. Flat rate and escalating games are slightly less predictable, but if the bonus zone can be acquired in the first few rounds of the game, it will usually be too early for the spoil cashes to matter. Quadruples: Unlike doubles or triples, in quad games, the game is all about eliminating players and not as much about bonuses. In a quads game on WWII Eastern Front, each player begins the game with 5 regions, so eliminations will come quickly if you and your team are organized. There are two ways to go about going for the first elimination. The first way is based on turn sequence. For example, if you are on Team 1 and Red is the first player to move, it means that Grey/Silver will be the last player to take his or her turn. That player will be your target, as (s)he will be the last player to deploy troops to stop your attempt at an elimination. The second way, is based on proximity analysis. Look at the initial troops drop. Which player on the other team is most adjacent to your team's players? That player should be your target for the first elimination.
show: Additional Notes
Starting Regions: 2 Players: 13 3 Players: 13 4 Players: 10 5 Players: 8 6 Players: 6 7 Players: 5 8 Players: 5 Bonus Zone Characteristics: Nuclear Quads: Be cautious about playing a game with these settings. Your teammates will become endangered quickly. You don't want to find yourself in the position where you have to nuke a teammate's last region. Related links