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The Russian Front: 1941-1945
3rd (reprint) Edition, 2016
TABLE OF CONTENTS
[1.0] INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
[9.0] RAIL MOVEMENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
[3.0] SETTING UP THE GAME. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
[11.0] MARKER / UNIT REMOVAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
[2.0] GAME EQUIPMENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
[4.0] SEQUENCE OF PLAY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
[5.0] THE CARDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
[6.0] SUPPLY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
[7.0] ORGANIZATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
[8.0] MOVEMENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
[10.0] COMBAT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
[12.0] HOW TO WIN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
[13.0] GAME TURN EVENTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
[14.0] SPECIAL UNITS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
[15.0] OPTIONAL RULES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
[16.0] COMBINED EXAMPLE OF PLAY. . . . . . . . 22
© 2011 and 2016 GMT Games, LLC • P.O. Box 1308, Hanford, CA 93232-1308 • www.GMTGames.com
© 2011 and 2016 GMT Games, LLC
No Retreat! is a two-player grand strategic level wargame
depicting the struggle between the Axis powers and the Soviet Union during World War 2 from the start of Operation
Barbarossa on June 22, 1941 (the invasion of Russia) to the
final surrender of Germany in 1945.
• one 22 x 36” mapboard
• two identical 8.5” x 11” player aid sheets
• one sheet of 88, 2-sided square units
• one sheet of 56, 2-sided round markers
• one Rule book
• one Scenario booklet
• 55 Event Cards
• Two 6-sided dice
Square (High Tide, Weather and Victory Points) and round
(Blitz!, Shock!, Disorganized, Unsupplied, Game Turn, Target, Counterblow, Support and Control) markers have also
been provided to help players remember certain information
The five counters on the next-to-last row of round game
pieces are used in the Solitaire Module published in issue
#26 of C3i Magazine, also available on this game’s topic page
Units (as opposed to markers) have information printed on
them as shown below, representing their capabilities.
German units have two ‘steps’ each and are full-strength on
their front side and reduced-strength on their reverse side.
The following abbreviations are used in these rules:
CRT: Combat Results Table
EZOC: Enemy Zone of Control
MP: Movement Point
TEC: Terrain Effects Chart
VP: Victory Point
ZOC: Zone of Control
Russian units all begin the Campaign game as one-step
units with their red side being the ‘improved’ version of
their brown sides. Later, most will upgrade to two-step
units with their red side as full-strength and brown side as
[2.0] GAME EQUIPMENT
[2.1] Game Map and Scale
The game map represents that portion of European Russia
where the major campaigns took place. A hexagonal grid has
been superimposed to regulate movement and the position
of the playing pieces. A unit must always be located in a
specific hex. Explanations of the terrain features are found
on the Terrain Effects Chart.
Each hex is equivalent to 100 kilometers from side to side.
Each turn represents two months of real time, except the first
turn (two weeks), and in 1945 (one month).
[2.2] Game Charts & Tables
Various game aids are provided for the players in order to
simplify and illustrate certain game functions. These include
the two Combat Results Tables, the Terrain Effects Chart, the
Game Turn Track, and the Victory Point Track.
[2.3] Playing Pieces
The playing pieces represent actual military units that fought
in this campaign. The numbers and symbols on them indicate
their strength and type.
The “Axis” (a.k.a. “German”) player controls the German
Army (gray/green) and Axis Allied Rumanian/Hungarian/
Italian/Finnish (blue) units. The “Soviet” (a.k.a. “Russian”)
player controls all Soviet (brown/red) units.
No Zone of
X = No Combat
Unit Type Symbols
Panzer or Tank
Combat Strength measures a unit’s value in battle as expressed in Strength Points. Some units have outlined (white)
Combat Strengths, indicating that they usually cannot attack
(but see 10.1.2).
Movement Allowance determines how far that unit can
move each turn as measured in Movement Points (MPs).
© 2011 and 2016 GMT Games, LLC
Some units have no Movement Allowance (as a reminder
that they are immobile) and their Combat Strength is in
parenthesis as a reminder that they also have no Zone of
Control (as per Rule 8.5).
Unit Size & Designation
All German and Axis units generally represent Armies of
80,000 to 120,000 men and their equipment.
Soviet Units generally represent Fronts (Army Groups) of
about 130,000 to 210,000 men and their equipment. Soviet
Tank units represent Armies plus an amalgamation of supplies and support equipment from various Fronts.
Unit Designation is the historical name of that formation
(e.g., Army or Front) and used to identify it.
The map is divided into hexagons (called “hexes” for short),
which define units’ positions just like the squares of a chessboard. The map also shows important terrain such as cities,
marshes, forests, mountains, major rivers and so forth.
The cards are a resource that can be used for many purposes
including generating Random Events, or discarded to pay
for replacements, rail moves, or launching Counterblows.
May only be
played if the
VP marker is
on its “Drang
[4.0] SEQUENCE OF PLAY
How the Turns Work: Each Game Turn consists primarily
of an Axis Player Turn followed by a Soviet Player Turn.
During each player’s turn, several Phases (e.g., movement
and combat) are conducted in a strict sequence. All actions in
one Phase must be completed before the next Phase begins.
Before both players have conducted their respective Player
Turns, a mutual Housekeeping Phase is conducted to organize things for the coming Game Turn.
My Turn; Your Turn: The player who is currently conducting
his Player Turn is called the “Phasing Player.” His opponent
is known as the “Non-Phasing Player.”
New Game Turn Housekeeping
A. Advance Game Turn Marker: Advance the Game Turn
marker on the Turn Track or, if the 28th turn was just completed (or possibly the 22nd (see 12.4), the game ends and
the winner is determined.
B. New Game Turn Events Phase: Any Event listed on the
Turn Track for the new Game Turn (i.e., the box the Game
Turn marker was just moved into) is noted and, if applicable (e.g., a unit removal or VP Event), is also applied at this
time (see 13.5 for a complete listing and explanations). Both
players get new Blitz! and Shock markers.
C. New Game Turn Victory Phase: If a red-lettered Turn
Event is listed, the Soviets immediately score one Victory
Point (1 VP).
Objective Victory is checked every turn and Sudden Death
Victory is checked on turns denoted by a skull symbol.
During this Phase of Turn 12, the Initiative shifts (12.9).
Axis Player Turn
1. Card Phase: The Phasing Player must discard down to
two cards and then draws four more cards.
2. Supply Check Phase: Unsupplied markers are placed
on both sides’ units that cannot trace a valid Supply Path
at this time.
3. Organization Phase: The Phasing Player brings on Reinforcements, takes Replacements, upgrades his units, and
returns his Shattered units to the map.
4. Movement Phase: The Phasing Player may move his units
on the map, including moving them off the map to the Rail
[3.0] SETTING UP THE GAME
Lay out the map between the players. The Axis player sits
along the south edge and the Soviet player on the north edge.
Each player takes a Combat Results Table sheet for their
side (they are also on the map). Then refer to the separate
Scenario booklet, choose a scenario, and follow its Setup and
5. Combat Phase: All Voluntary, and then all Involuntary,
Battles are declared and resolved as per the Battle Sequence
in any order the Phasing Player desires.
6. Marker/Unit Removal Phase: All units still Unsupplied,
various markers, and Surrendered Axis Allied Army units
are removed from the map.
7. Detraining Phase: The Phasing Player may put his units
in the Rail Movement Box back on the map.
© 2011 and 2016 GMT Games, LLC
Soviet Player Turn
The Soviet player becomes the “Phasing Player” and repeats
the above seven Phases, in order, that the Axis player just
[5.0] THE CARDS
Cards are drawn, one by one, during a player’s Card Phase
from a Draw Pile. After their use, played cards are placed
face-up in a Discard Pile. The Draw Pile is reshuffled when
there is only one card left in it (that card is not drawn!),
together with the discard pile; or when instructed to by the
play of certain Events. You cannot examine the Discard Pile
unless instructed to do so by an Event Card.
Events must be played when their corresponding actions are
performed according to the Sequence of Play (4.0).
EXAMPLE: You must play a card that gives you a free unit
upgrade during your own Organization Phase, not during your
opponent’s Combat Phase.
Card play itself is sequential; that is, cards are resolved in the
order that they were played unless they conflict, in which
case the card played last takes precedence.
EXAMPLE: The Axis player wins a crucial battle and plays his
“General Staff” card to add one additional (+1) hex to the Advance
After Combat of all his Attacking units. The Soviet player then
plays his “Rasputitsa” card. Now the Axis Advance After Combat
is limited to only 1 hex.
Had these cards been played in the opposite order, the Axis would
be reduced to a 1 hex Advance from the Soviet card, plus + 1 hex
for the Axis card for a total of 2 hexes. Thus, both cards are applied
in the order played.
If both players play a card at the same time, the player whose
side has the Initiative (12.9) plays first.
[5.2.1] The Two-Front War: Also, the Axis player must
discard one card of his choice at the end of the Draw Step
during Red Game Turn Events (13.4). Ex: Discard one card
on Turn #14 (Italy Invaded). As a memory aid, you can put
an Axis round control marker on the Map’s turn track on
those “Red Event” Turns.
DESIGN NOTE: During the Campaign the Western Allies
menace was becoming increasingly serious, forcing the Germans
to divert more and more resources away from the Russian Front.
The cards have text above and below a bold line. The text
above the line with the Gray headline are Events playable
by the Axis player only, while the Events below the line with
the red headline are only playable by the Soviet player. Thus,
the effect of each card is different depending upon who has
it in his hand. Once played, cards are discarded.
[5.3.1] Event Effects: Events describe their exact timing and
use on the cards themselves. When not specified, that Event
may be performed at any time.
[5.3.2] Event Precedence: When there is a conflict between
Event text and the Rules, the Event text takes precedence.
[5.3.3] Initiative Events: Events with a German cross (Balkenkreuz) symbol can only be played if the VP marker is on its
“Drang Nach Osten!” side (German initiative).
Events with a Soviet Star symbol can only be played while
the VP marker is on its “Na Berlin!” side (Soviet Initiative).
All other Events (i.e., those without either of these symbols)
may be played throughout the entire game.
[5.3.4] Movement Events: Each unit can benefit from only
one positive movement-affecting event card per player-turn
(ex: Panzerblitz! , Surprise Attack, etc).
[5.4] Other Card Uses
Once is Enough: Because cards can be retrieved from the
Discard Pile and reused, this rule applies: The exact same
Event cannot occur twice during a single Player Turn.
Besides their use in triggering Events, cards may be spent
(discarded) to pay for Replacements, additional Rail Moves,
recovery from Disorganization, and to launch Counterblows
during the Enemy Player’s Combat Phase.
[5.1] Discard Step
[5.5] 1945 Cards
The Card Phase begins by discarding. A player can only
retain two cards in his hand before drawing, so he must
discard any excess cards in his hand at this time.
[5.2] Draw Step
After discarding (if required) during the Discard Step, a
player draws four cards from the Draw Pile and adds them
to his hand. The following conditions can affect a player’s
per turn Draw Rate (DR):
–1 Soviet Card each if the Axis controls Moscow OR the
Caucasus oil field (along the southeast map edge).
–1 German Card if the Soviets control the Rumanian oil field
Fifteen cards have a Red-barred “45” number in the upper
left corner: these will be removed from the deck in 1945, and
replaced by ten Green-circled “45” cards. The Green-circled
“45” cards are not put in the deck before Turn 23, Jan 1945.
Add those cards to the deck during the Na Berlin! (On to
Berlin!) Setup Procedure:
On to Berlin! Setup Procedure
During the Housekeeping Phase at the start of Turn 23 (January, 1945), perform all of the following in order:
1. Out With the Old: Each player sorts through the cards
in his hand and the respective Draw and Discard Piles and
© 2011 and 2016 GMT Games, LLC
removes from play the fifteen Red-barred “45” cards. Set them
aside, they are no longer in play.
2. In With the New: Shuffle together the now purged Draw
Pile, Discard Pile and the ten Green-circled “45” cards to form
a new Draw Pile.
3. As You Were: Play then continues. The Axis player will
conduct a normal Card Phase at the start of his turn.
During this Phase, both players check the supply status of
each of their on-map units. The Phasing Player’s units are
checked first followed by the Non-phasing Player’s units.
The timing can be important as unsupplied units lose their ZOCs
immediately when marked; see 6.4.
[6.1] Supply Sources & Overland Supply Path
A unit is in supply if it is able to trace a valid Supply Path
to a friendly supplied City hex or to a friendly map edge. A
Supply Path is traced from the unit requiring supply no more
than four hexes in length (i.e., no more than three intervening
hexes) to the Supply Source.
Cities and Supply: A City hex is “friendly” if a friendly unit
was the last to enter or pass through it, or it began that scenario as a friendly supplied City hex. A City hex is supplied
if it is able to trace a valid Supply Path of unlimited length
from itself to a friendly map edge. A “friendly map edge” is
the west (dark gray) edge for the Axis, and the east and south
(red) edges for Russians. The path from a city must be in a
Westerly direction only for the Axis (West, Southwest and
Northwest), and an Easterly direction only for the Soviets
(East, Southeast and Northeast).
EXAMPLE OF SUPPLY: The German 16th Army can trace a valid Overland Supply Path four hexes back to Riga, an Axis-friendly
city (6.1); this Supply Path must be traced across a Prohibited
hexside at Lake Peipus, which is permitted (6.3).
The (one-step) German 18th Army can trace its Supply Path to
the 16th Army (an adjacent supplied unit is an Alternate Supply
Source if it can trace an Overland Supply Path, as per 6.2).
With Smolensk cut off from the Axis, the German 4th Panzer
Army cannot trace a valid Supply Path (as shown by the yellow
arrows) and so is tagged with an Unsupplied marker. It can’t
trace through the 18th Army in a ‘chain’ back to the 16th Army,
as the 18th Army does not, itself, have an Overland Supply Path.
The Soviet Kalinin Front can trace an Overland Supply Path
directly to the eastern map edge (denoted by the red border). Note
that the Axis Finnish Army projects no Zone of Control to hinder
that Supply Path as it is a Fortress unit.
Leningrad can also trace an Overland Supply Path: its first hex
would be through Lake Ladoga (again, a Supply Path can be traced
across and through Prohibited hexes, including this large Lake
hex), and its second hex throu