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Battle for Moscow - free online game - 10/1/2020 12:39:59 PM   
Neilster


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For anyone who missed this in the General Discussion forum, this is a cool, free, online game about Operation Typhoon (the German drive on Moscow in 1941).

It's a port of the classic 1986 game designed to teach wargaming and to be fun and relatively quick to play. At the moment you can only play the Germans against the AI but the developer is planning net play and a German AI, as well as other games concerning Operation Barbarossa, depending on demand.

It's at about half WiF scale, so if you have a hankering for some 1941 Eastern Front action against a Soviet AI, give it a go. It generally follows wargaming conventions and the easiest way to learn it is just to fire up a game against the AI and follow the onscreen prompts. There's no takeback function, so be careful about your moves but it's a beer and pretzels game anyway that can be played in less than an hour once you get confident with its mechanics. It has an autosave function, so you can come back to a game anytime (even if the tab was closed) and it remembers the position.

The AI is quite strong and I haven't been able to win a game yet, although I've gone close.

https://oberlabs.com/b4m/#





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< Message edited by Neilster -- 10/1/2020 10:36:19 PM >


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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 10/6/2020 10:02:05 PM   
Joseignacio


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Thanks, nice.




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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 10/6/2020 11:30:57 PM   
Neilster


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Well done. It's not an easy game to win for the Germans. I've worked out the CRT favours attacking.

In wargaming, I normally avoid attacks at odds of less than 3:1 but in this game I think you have to or you'll never take Moscow. It's a bit of a meat grinder after the initial couple of turns.


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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 10/7/2020 1:04:52 AM   
Joseignacio


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Thanks. Yes, the CRT helps attacker, however the land helps the defender, with lots of rivers in the difficult area, plus fortresses and woods, besides of the 7 turns you almost cannot move 2 of them and you get 1 replacement for their 5 per turn.

Wouldn't say attackers are the strong side, but wont complain anyway because when you switch sides it usually looks the other way round. :D Of course by now you cant, so...

< Message edited by Joseignacio -- 10/7/2020 1:05:53 AM >

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 10/31/2020 3:24:07 PM   
LossRevolutionary

 

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Now you can!

I have just pushed an update incorporating various enhancements addressing a lot of the great feedback I have received over the past few weeks. The new version includes an additional option to play against a beta German AI in addition to the existing Soviet AI, a much requested Undo feature for the movement, replacement & reinforcement phases and several bug fixes.

Please check it out and, as always, feedback is very much welcome.

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 10/31/2020 5:22:42 PM   
Neilster


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Thanks for the update. I just had a go as the Soviets and managed a win.





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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/2/2020 7:58:55 AM   
Magpius


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Games looks and plays a treat.

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/3/2020 10:57:15 AM   
Joseignacio


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I still believe the game is still rather unbalanced, favouring defense.




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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/3/2020 9:12:25 PM   
AxelNL


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Works nice, did not read the instructions and plays very easy. Missed a replacement because the redo of that did not work.

Used a flanking maneuver in the south and got 3 panzers behind Moscow that way.






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< Message edited by AxelNL -- 11/3/2020 9:13:31 PM >

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/4/2020 1:24:51 AM   
Courtenay


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I tried it. After setting up the game, the game takes you to the German combat phase. According to the rules, you should go to the German panzer movement phase
quote:

After setting up the game, the German player begins his panzer movement phase.

Was this changed in the errata somewhere? It makes a huge difference, as one German unit has already snuck through. Or did you adjust the setup so that the Germans are considered to have already moved in the panzer movement phase?

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/4/2020 2:06:13 AM   
Courtenay


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Another rules error: The Russians attacked in mud, and were not halved. All units, on both sides, are halved in mud
quote:

All units' combat strengths are halved when attacking (not when defending).


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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/4/2020 2:49:20 AM   
Courtenay


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On turn 4, the Germans made 4 attacks. In the first three, their attack strength was correctly halved. In the fourth one, it wasn't.

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/4/2020 2:57:09 AM   
Courtenay


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I tried it. I won, but the game came down to a 4-1 against Moscow on turn 7. I roll a one or a two and I lose, 3-6 and I win. My pure skill won.

The defenders let me get across the Oka at the eastern edge of the map; turn 6 I cleared the two hexes to the east of Moscow, letting me get a 5 hex attack on Moscow turn 7.

Interesting game.




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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/4/2020 11:38:36 AM   
Joseignacio


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Courtenay

I tried it. After setting up the game, the game takes you to the German combat phase. According to the rules, you should go to the German panzer movement phase
quote:

After setting up the game, the German player begins his panzer movement phase.

Was this changed in the errata somewhere? It makes a huge difference, as one German unit has already snuck through. Or did you adjust the setup so that the Germans are considered to have already moved in the panzer movement phase?



The game omits the first movement phase (armor only) the first impulse, maybe because units are already close to each other, since the early armor movement is effective mainly to reach the russian retreating units and force combat or pocket them if you are lucky.

According to the rules , after combat all german units may move, so that part is correct. I assume the game starts where the panzer have already moved, it's a way to see it.

< Message edited by Joseignacio -- 11/4/2020 6:41:01 PM >

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/4/2020 11:54:37 AM   
Joseignacio


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AxelNL

Works nice, did not read the instructions and plays very easy. Missed a replacement because the redo of that did not work.

Used a flanking maneuver in the south and got 3 panzers behind Moscow that way.




Although the rules don't state it, there must be a ruling on how you cn get replacements, because I have been several times unable to get them, usually or always when I was sorrounded (what would be OOS in wif).

Edit: the rules say it, I had only seen the excerp of the rules included in the game help.

< Message edited by Joseignacio -- 11/4/2020 6:42:19 PM >

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/4/2020 11:58:57 AM   
Joseignacio


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Courtenay

On turn 4, the Germans made 4 attacks. In the first three, their attack strength was correctly halved. In the fourth one, it wasn't.


Being German, I think this happened at least once by the Russsians. I thought it was an error of mine, that I calculated wrong.

< Message edited by Joseignacio -- 11/4/2020 6:43:04 PM >

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/4/2020 7:29:48 PM   
Courtenay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joseignacio

quote:

ORIGINAL: Courtenay

On turn 4, the Germans made 4 attacks. In the first three, their attack strength was correctly halved. In the fourth one, it wasn't.


Being German, I think this happened at least once by the Russsians. I thought it was an error of mine, that I calculated wrong.

I figured it out: The game only halves panzer attack factors in mud. Infantry is unaffected. That is not what the rules say, but is what the game does.

Other changes noted: The Russians may bring in replacements on the northeast and southeast edges of the map. The places they can do this are indicated by a red border on the map edge. Also, units may not be placed as a reinforcement on the edge of the map if they are in a ZOC

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/4/2020 7:37:08 PM   
Courtenay


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I played a game as the Russians and one more as the Germans. Playing the Russian, the Germans never came close to winning. At the end of the game there were no German units within three hexes of Moscow, and the Russians had to throw away replacements because all their units were on the map and at full strength. (Except one cut off and roaming around the west of the map.)

The second game the Germans won easily when for some reason the Russians pulled a full strength unit out of Moscow and replaced it with a half strength unit. The resulting 3-1 German attack on Moscow turn 6 had a 100% chance of taking Moscow.

I suspect that if I were to play myself solitaire, the Germans would lose.

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/4/2020 10:45:36 PM   
Joseignacio


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Courtenay


quote:

ORIGINAL: Joseignacio

quote:

ORIGINAL: Courtenay

On turn 4, the Germans made 4 attacks. In the first three, their attack strength was correctly halved. In the fourth one, it wasn't.


Being German, I think this happened at least once by the Russsians. I thought it was an error of mine, that I calculated wrong.

I figured it out: The game only halves panzer attack factors in mud. Infantry is unaffected. That is not what the rules say, but is what the game does.

Other changes noted: The Russians may bring in replacements on the northeast and southeast edges of the map. The places they can do this are indicated by a red border on the map edge. Also, units may not be placed as a reinforcement on the edge of the map if they are in a ZOC


I knew that rule, but I probably didn't when I saw this supposed flaw, earlier.

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/5/2020 1:36:29 AM   
LossRevolutionary

 

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Thank you both for your feedback.

The rules I have implemented are actually the more recent and more comprehensive ones from the Victory Point Games (VPG) and C3i editions. And I haven't updated the link in the game to point to those updated rules yet. Apologies.

They cover all the points you have raised above (no special movement phase upon the first German turn, only panzer units being halved during mud turns, all replacement rules, etc.)

In the mean time, you can find them in the excellent C3i Nr25 eBook available for free (I cannot post a link here but easy to find from the Library on the C3i Magazine website).


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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/5/2020 12:12:19 PM   
Joseignacio


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Tanks for the info and for the game.

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/6/2020 3:17:34 AM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joseignacio

Tanks for the info and for the game.
That's funny!


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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/6/2020 1:12:39 PM   
Joseignacio


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O sh*t.

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/6/2020 2:10:39 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: LossRevolutionary
The rules I have implemented are actually the more recent and more comprehensive ones from the Victory Point Games (VPG) and C3i editions. And I haven't updated the link in the game to point to those updated rules yet. Apologies.

They cover all the points you have raised above (no special movement phase upon the first German turn, only panzer units being halved during mud turns, all replacement rules, etc.)

In the mean time, you can find them in the excellent C3i Nr25 eBook available for free (I cannot post a link here but easy to find from the Library on the C3i Magazine website).


Could not find the eBook but did find Battle for Moscow 1-page summary, C3i edition at BGG

quote:


Battle for Moscow (C3i edition) v1.1

Setup: Game turn marker on Turn 1, RU 1st Shock army on Turn 4. 14 RU units at reduced strength on red stars on map, 2 units off map. GE units at full strength on black cross hexes. GE starts game with his Combat phase.

Structure: 7 game turns x 9 phases

Victory: After turn 7, GE wins if control Moscow. RU wins if control Moscow + 1 other city. Other result is a draw.

City control: Last player who entered a city has control of it. At game start, all cities are RU-controlled except those occupied by GE units.

Sequence of play: see map and 4.0

Movement:
-Stacking: max 1 unit per hex at the end of each phase.
-GE Panzer movement phase: only panzers may move.
-GE Movement phase: all GE units may move, including panzers that moved previously.
-RU Rail movement phase: RU units that start phase on rail hexes may move along rail lines for 1 MP per hex, regardless of terrain.
-RU Movement phase: all RU units may move, including units that moved in Rail phase.
-ZOCs: Must stop when entering EZOC. May freely leave EZOC and move from an EZOC to another EZOC (but must stop when entering one).

Combat:
-No mandatory attacks.
-Multiple units may attack together, but max 1 defending hex per battle. Units can attack/be attacked once per phase.
-Active player announces all his attacks, then resolve them in chosen order.
-Terrain effects are cumulative.
-Battle procedure: If Mud turn, attacking Panzers total strength is halved (retain fractions); calculate A/D odds (>6:1 becomes 6:1); apply terrain shifts (<1:1 becomes NE); roll die, apply results, resolve Advance after combat.
-Retreats: 2 hexes away from battle (attacker choice): must avoid EZOCs if possible and must end in a non-EZOC vacant hex. If retreat through an EZOC: lose 1 step. If unable to fulfill retreat requirements, unit eliminated.
-Advance after combat: if defender vacated his hex, 1 attacker may enter it.
-AL result: 1 attacking unit takes a step loss (owner choice).

Replacements:
- # replacement steps (RPs) players receive each turn is shown on Turn track.
-With each RP: may build/rebuild 1 unit at reduced strength or flip 1 unit to full strength. Cannot spend 2 RPs on same unit in same turn. RPs cannot be saved for future turns.
-RU replacements: 1) New units: a) along red border, not in EZOC; or b) in empty friendly-controlled city in communication with red border. Exception for Moscow: don't need to be in communication. 2) Restored units: must be in communication.
-GE replacements: same as RU but trace to black border map edge and no Moscow exception.
-Friendly-controlled definition: your units were the last to enter a city.
-In Communication definition: RU: Trace to red border map edge through hexes not in EZOCs nor containing enemy units. GE: same but trace to black border map edge.

Reinforcements: RU 1st Shock Army enters on turn 4 at full strength. Place along red border, not in EZOC.

Mud: Turns 3 and 4 are Mud turns. Effects: Units may move max 1 hex per phase except RU units using Rail movement. Combat: Attacking Panzer units strength is totaled then halved (retain fractions).

Game balance: To help GE: RU get only 4 RPs per turn. To help RU: 1) GE cannot replace panzer steps on consecutive game turns. 2) Halve strength of all attacking units during Mud turns.


Are these what have been implemented or are there any other differences?

Thank you for doing this. It would be great to see all of the "Campaigns in Russia" games adapted like this.

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 11/7/2020 11:34:19 AM   
npilgaard

 

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Thanks - nice game

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 2/27/2021 7:06:53 AM   
ACMW

 

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First, thanks for programming, and making available, a very nice game.

You asked for feedback.

I have played this quite a few times, and this week have been playing the physical version (C3i) for the first time. My opponent, who was playing the Russians, queried my assertion that the Russians could use rail movement in their normal movement (that is, not rail movement) phase. When we referred to the rules, we confirmed that he was correct. See also the terrain table, where it is explicit.

In the computer version, Russia IS able to use rail movement in the normal movement phase. This divergence has a minor effect in most turns (perhaps allowing an extra hex where woods are crossed), but has a much larger potential effect in the two mud turns.

Cheers, and thanks again!

Adrian

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 2/28/2021 4:39:37 PM   
paulderynck


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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 3/6/2021 4:33:20 AM   
LossRevolutionary

 

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Hi Adrian,

quote:

ORIGINAL: ACMW
In the computer version, Russia IS able to use rail movement in the normal movement phase. This divergence has a minor effect in most turns (perhaps allowing an extra hex where woods are crossed), but has a much larger potential effect in the two mud turns.


You are absolutely correct. It was an incorrect interpretation of the rule in my implementation. I have now fixed it and so no more rail movement for the Soviet army outside of their Rail Movement Phase!

Thanks for spotting this and please keep the feedback coming.

Olivier (author of the Web version of B4M)

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RE: Battle for Moscow - free online game - 3/7/2021 7:11:26 PM   
ACMW

 

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Thanks Olivier! Played it today. Changes worked well.

Cheers

Adrian

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