Berlin 1961 Map
This map is based on historical crisis of 1961 year in Berlin. The Berlin Crisis of 1961 (4 June – 9 November 1961) was the last major politico-military European incident of the Cold War about the occupational status of the German capital city, Berlin, and of post–World War II Germany. The U.S.S.R. provoked the Berlin Crisis with an ultimatum demanding the withdrawal of Western armed forces from West Berlin — culminating with the city's de facto partition with the East German erection of the Berlin Wall.
This map has 40 regions.
4 regions begin neutral: those holding the airfields and the artillery.
There are 3 kinds of bonuses on this map:
Auto-deploy bonuses: Airfields
Normal bonuses: Western checkpoints and Russian checkpoints
Collection bonuses: any other sector
I recommend playing this map with 4-6 players, preferably team games. A favorite setting of mine is Doubles, Escalating spoils, Chained reinforcements and no Fog of war.
Bonuses: Medium size. Complexity: Easy to understand but the map has a lot of tricks in gameplay. Features Auto-deploy - One troop is automatically placed on airfields regions ( Tegel, Gatow, Tempelhof) if the player owns them at the start of his turn. Bombardments - Eastern tank ( Hohenshonhausen) bombard instead of assault. After the attacker wins in a bombardment the defending region is reduced to a single neutral troop and the attacker cannot advance there. Collections - Unlike bonus zones, these only require a specific amount of the designated regions to gain a bonus. Starting Neutrals - This map contains specific regions ( Tegel, Gatow, Tempelhof, Hohenshonhausen) that always start with neutral troops. Double Dipping - Regions show up in multiple bonus zones (western and eastern checkpoints). Note Implicit borders - Some of the regions border each other on the map but in fact they are not accessible from each other. There are 2 bold separators on this map - the river (colored in dark-brown) and the wall (colored in light beige) that connect regions by bridges only, ignoring the actual region border ( Treptow and Neukolen - false border, Moabit and Wedding - actual border, Moabit and Siemenstadt - false border). How to play Berlin 1961
show: Two Player
Each player starts with 12 regions, so there is a huge advantage to the first to play. You need to take only 1 territory to get a big advantage on this map. The easiest bonus zone to hold should be either French or British sector because they have less borders than the other bonus zones and they can be protected more efficiently. Try not to go for the big bonus zones on the first few turns - usually it doesn't pay off. Checkpoints bonuses are hard to protect (3 bordering regions for +2 bonus only), Airfields start with neutral troops. It is best to figure out which bonuses are most protected by neutrals or bottlenecks regions according to your drop. Most of the players start from French sector and advance into British sector. However it might happen that it is better to start from American sector if you dropped most of your troops there and your opponent is locked in the other sectors. Playing it 1v1 is straightforward - lower your opponent to 11 regions (so they cannot acquire a region accumulation bonus), stay above 12 regions (so you can acquire higher region accumulation bonuses), try to secure the bonus, reinforce your troops forward to the enemy lines.
If you add spoils to 1v1 game, Flat Rate can become unpredictable. Nuclear doesn't make much difference, and Escalating is in favor of the 1st player again - because your opponent will have a much easier time to get spoils. Reinforcements don't matter much on this map. The map is small and even with adjacent reinforcements it will be easy to play it because many regions have 3 or more borders. It takes a while to plan your attacks and reinforcements but the map doesn't differ from any other small map. Most popular choice for this map is Chained reinforcements. Choose fog of war only if you are comfortable with checking the game progress after each move and remembering what has happened before. it is easy to spot whether someone aquired a bonus zone, but sometimes you can sneak into having a big bonus zone without opponents noticing it. But I must say that fog of war doesn't bring much difference into gameplay for 1v1.
In escalating, it would be wise to keep 1 stack of troops in major crossing and 1-2 minor stacks of troops in closed regions.
Most of the regions in Berlin 1961 have 4-5 borders, but the most important ones are Charlottenburg (British sector) and Friedrichshain (Russian sector). Minor troop stacks should be placed in French sector (anywhere, but Reinickdorf seems best) and some deep place in Russian sector like Kopenick. It is also useful to get dead-end regions like Nikolasee, Kreuzberg/ Neukolen and Steglitz. It is easy to trap an opponent there but you need to remember that neutral Airfields can be used as a route too. If you happen to enter 5-8 players escalating game you just follow the usual escalating games patterns - share regions for spoils, do not take bonus zones and put up a block so your opponents cannot eliminate someone before you do. Terminator doesn't differ from escalating. Fog of war will turn the game into hide and seek - and the map is not that big for that so it will be kind of easy to navigate in fog. Well, you can use it to your advantage anyway .
show: Flat Rate And No Spoils
Flat rate games will mostly come to fast elimination or the lucky contest in who gets a mixed set first (+10 troops). Easiest to hold is French sector - but it gives +1 only, so sometimes it is unwise to break the bonus zone straight away. Sometimes it is wiser to let your opponents lock their troops on borders so you can expand your influence on the other side of the map. British and American sectors have a high bonus for holding them, but they are hard to protect unless you own half of the map which is hard to get. Do not try to go for Russian sector when there are enemies troops in it. There is a trick in Russian sector when you can have 8 regions with 2 borders only. You need to conquer the bottom regions of the sector and put a block at
Lichtenberg and Treptow. But try not to focus on that too much if you failed to do the trick from the start - usually it is better to leave them alone for a while and change the center of the battle to some other place.
show: Team Games
The potential of the map really opens and flourishes only in team games, because in Berlin 1961 you don't need to hold the whole sector to get a bonus (most of the sector are a collections - see map features). That means, your teammate can stay in the sector and protect your regions, while you will get a bonus for holding enough of them. It is an art of balance to move your troops and calculate odds to get a bonus. In team games, it is relatively easy to hold American or Russian sectors, because it is easier for your teammate to share regions or troops with you and still take part in the border protection. Also, since this map is small, spoils can result in an easy kill in early rounds. You just need correct timing to cash and eliminate your opponent. But sometimes it is possible to win 1v2 - you need to choose your target wisely. Again, do not rush to break an opponent's +1 French sector. +1 is nothing, when both team receive 6 troops per round. Six or 7 troops doesn't make much difference, but if you delay your bonus breaking, then it will start to matter (1 round means 1 troop difference, but 5 rounds are 5 troops!).
Fog of war works very well in team games, but you really need to follow the game, move by move. If you miscalculate an opponent's regions and they "accidentally" get the Russian sector bonus, for example, it just might be the end of the game. Also, since the map is small, it is better to play Doubles here. However, you can try Triples if your team is good at reinforcing each other in order to accumulate forces. Quads will be a bit chaotic and it will be hard to move around strategically, so it isn't worth it (unless you prefer luck-dependent games more).
show: Additional Notes
Few notes about playing Assassin games. Fog of war is strongly advised and optimal settings could be Escalating or Flat Rate spoils. Somehow, people are not paying attention for bonuses in Assassin games - "why do I need to break him if he is not my target?". So if you know who is your killer - build a small bonus (checkpoints or French sector) far away from your killer and most likely no one else will break your bonus zone. And +2 troops can make a huge difference, allowing to eliminate your target and win the game.
Manual is very, very interesting on this map. There are a lot of options of where to deploy your troops and every option will bring a different aspect into gameplay. The way you put your armies, the bonus you choose and will follow - will decide the winner of the game. I think most interesting will be Manual Doubles here, but it will be very tricky game to play. Manual games are more like Chess - you need to think about your opponent's deploy and counter it with your strategic moves. I suggest not to start in the French sector (+1 troop bonus is not that much) but to target more valuable regions like American sector. Sometimes it is better to deploy even in Russian sector because you can have 2 borders there and get the +5 troops bonus. Playing this map with Nuclear spoils is easier than the other maps. There is no static bonus zone, so having 2-3 additional regions in your sector will help you survive the nuke and still hold the bonus zone. Other related strategy guides