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    No Retreat The Russian Front

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    No Retreat!

    3rd Edition

    The Russian Front: 1941-1945

    3rd (reprint) Edition, 2016

    [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!


    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.

    Parts Inventory

    • 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

    3rd Edition

    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
    during play.
    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
    on www.gmtgames.com.

    Sample Units

    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

    Setup or



    [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.



    White =
    Cannot Attack

    Parenthesis =
    No Zone of

    X = No Combat

    Unit Type Symbols




    Panzergrenadier or
    Mechanized Infantry

    Panzer or Tank

    Armor Type

    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

    No Retreat!
    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

    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

    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.

    in 1945

    Axis Event
    May only be
    played if the
    VP marker is
    on its “Drang
    Nach Osten!”
    side (5.3.3)


    3rd Edition



    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
    Movement Box.


    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
    Special Instructions.

    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


    No Retreat!

    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.

    Appropriate Timing

    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.

    3rd Edition

    [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.

    [5.3] Events

    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
    (near Bucharest).

    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

    No Retreat!

    3rd Edition


    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.

    [6.0] SUPPLY

    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