Unconditional Surrender: 1939 - 194? Campaign

Well, I thought I would at least give the campaign game of Unconditional Surrender!  World War 2 in Europe a shot so I've set up and started to play this weekend.  The game started in September of 1939 with a variable setup, which basically means that the German player rolls a die at the start of the game to determine where he will attack first.  In my case, I rolled a "3" and the result was that Germany was going for an East-First strategy.  I had set up the counters in their historical locations and chosen a variable entry for unit mobilization.  All that was left to do was to start moving counters.

September 1939

Germany started off by declaring war on the Soviet Union and Poland in the first turn and got the invasion underway.  After taking three cities, eliminating two Polish armies, and just barely grabbing Warsaw, the turn ended with Poland being conquered.  Hungary declared itself Pro-Axis.  During the Soviet operations phase, the army moved into Eastern Poland and took up defensive positions to protect the transport lines and cities nearest the enemy units.

"Hey guys, winter's almost here!  Time to start a war with Russia!"

In the Diplomacy Phase, the Germans pulled the Political Failure marker and the Soviet player laughed heartily.  Mussolini decided he quite liked the cut of Stalin's jib and Italy was declared as Pro-Soviet, in a move that alarmed the Germans.

Italians turn Pro-Soviet.

October 1939

October of 1939 began with Severe weather in both the Cold and Mild zone.  This would make an attack on the Soviet Union much harder but at least it would give the German Luftwaffe some time to recover from the Polish campaign.  Germany declared war on Lithuania and marched in during the Operations phase, managing a lucky roll to take the capital, Kaunus and conquer the country.  Latvia declared itself Pro-Axis and the Germans spent the rest of the turn trying to push back the Soviets in Eastern Poland with little success.

End of October 1939 turn

After the Axis finished up their operations, the East Invaded event went into effect and the Soviet Union started to wake up.  Several event markers (Partisans, etc.) were put on the turn track along with units that would be mobilized in the coming years.  With the weather the way it was and with the factories firing up, the Soviets decided to simply keep the Germans at bay in Eastern Poland.  

November 1939

The severe weather continued throughout November.  The Germans resorted to assault tactics rather than mobile attacks in order to find a breakthrough point on the eastern front.  With the weather the way it was, the war had simply bogged down at this point.  The Germans sent the 1 Pz army north into Lithuania to join up an army.  

November 1939 in Eastern Poland and USSR

The main attacking point was around Lvov, which saw the 2 Pz and two German armies being fended off by the 12th Soviet army.  Little changed this turn and even the Diplomacy markers yielded no events.  The Germans did get to mobilize a field unit this turn, which they put in Munich,   Italy still had a pro-Soviet marker on it but had not activated so the German player opted for a bit of insurance, scant though it was, near the southern border.

December 1939

The East Invaded event triggered in November, which meant that the "Russian Winter" marker sat in the December 1939 box.  This meant that the Cold weather zone was automatically Severe weather although the Soviets got to treat the weather as Poor for combat purposes.  The Germans scored a hit in the Strategic Warfare phase and moved their newly mobilized (and reduced) field unit in the Strategic Movement phase to Warsaw.

The stalemate in Eastern Poland continued as the 2 Pz and two armies took Lvov with a big assault.  Unfortunately, the Russians took it right back in their operations phase.  In the north, the Germans scored a success by taking Vilnius off the Russians, reducing their National Will by 2.  The Soviets tried a daring assault on the German army unit sitting in the middle of the line, attempting to punch through a hole back to Warsaw and thereby cut off supplies to the Germans down south.  With the Poor weather in the Mild zone, the Germans were finally able to activate their air support to help keep the Russians at bay.  Things look very dicey for both sides at this point.

End of Dec. 1939

In the Diplomacy phase, the Germans pulled a "Pro-Axis" marker and used it to heal their relationship with the Italians, who are now neutral again.  The Russians spent their production points putting a "Political Failure" marker back in the cup (along with an No Event marker).  

It was an interesting start to the war, with the Germans being left alone to attempt an invasion of Russia.  The weather was on the Russian side, however, and a stalemate threatened to destroy the German momentum early on.  If the Severe weather continued, the Russians could sit back and grow stronger as time wore on.  How much longer would the Western faction allow this to go on without intervening?  With the clock ticking,the Germans need to get back on the offensive if they hope to pull out a win here.


  1. That's a remarkably sparsely populated board! Hopefully NWS will restock it sometime soon.

    1. Thanks Aaron! It is very light on counter density, which is something I love about it. I heard it the first run sold out but a reprint is on the way! I see that Chrononauts has a copy for sale. http://www.chrononautsgames.com/

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Jason! The Germans are ultimately doomed here. The Russians, once they start mobilizing, are able to fend off the Germans quite easily as winter begins. The Germans need more time to mobilize and then really push into Russia. I'm going to try this again with a bit more finesse!

  3. Nice post. I'll try to keep up with the play through.

    1. Thanks very much Salvatore! Also, thanks for a terrific interview!


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