About game:

The No Retreat: The Russian Front is actually a new edition of Victory Point Games 2008 wargame. It focuses on the gigantic struggle between the Nazi Germany armies and Communist Russia during WW2.

It allows you to play the whole campaign but also smaller scenarios. For the longer game, a very interesting mechanics were introduced – change of initiative, degradation of once-invincible Nazis army and steady development of USSR forces.

The game blends classical wargames mechanics – counters, hexes, combat resolution table with pretty modern solutions – cards, events, etc.  The game is very fast, has in total 70 counter – out of which 40 is needed for the particular scenarios.

So can you lead your forces to the victory and glory or will you rather focus on saving your motherland against the surprising enemy attack? Are you ready for the challenge?

Number of players: 1-2 – this is clearly classical WWII two-players wargame, one side leading the Soviet forces while the other commanding the Germany armies. However, the GMT C3i magazine brings an expansion allowing for the solitaire mode.
Playing time: The full game can easily take 6-7 hours. However, designer very cleverly supplemented the full campaign with the set of shorter scenarios – like Barbarossa, Fall Blau, 1945. They can be played in up to 2 hours, should you be limited on time.
Complexity: Medium-complex wargame with some traditional mechanics – like tokens, CRT, Zones of Control as well as completely new solutions – like initiative switch between Germany and USSR, counter-blows, etc.
What I like:
  • Rarely we see a game which so flawlessly and completely depicts – on a strategic level – whole WWII on East Front and handles initiative shift so well
  • If you do not have time for a full game (which I recommend) you have many shorter, very interesting scenarios including a special one – 1945!
  • Quality of components – GMT Games version is of a superb quality – and even in comparison to other titles from that publisher. Thick, mounted map, large tokens, special designation for armored units. That is pure delight!
  • Cards introducing very interesting events which you need to manage carefully.
  • Solitaire mode – thanks to C3i magazine expansion, we have the possibility to play very nicely designed solo mode.
What I do not like:
  • Limited but still – luck factor – well yes, you roll a dice, and usually – with so many rolls – the impact of unfavorable roll is limited. Still, it is here.
  • It happens that sometimes the game transforms into the congested blocks pushing, with very congested front and not much maneuver possibilities.
For whom? In my opinion this is a medium-complex wargame, with great educational value.  Maybe not a first choice when introducing new players to the hobby, but definitely as a follow-up after some very light wargame. Thanks to its unique initiative-switch mechanics, it will be also a great pleasure – and something new – even to the experienced players.
More about the game:

And now let us have a look at the components – all pictures from my session reports.

The board (click to enlarge in the new window)
Close-up on elements (click to enlarge in the new window)
Tokens from both sides (click to enlarge in the new window)
Cards (click to enlarge in the new window)
And actual scenario – Germans advancing on Moscow (click to enlarge in the new window)



Yes, you should by now realize that I like this game very much. It is fast, interesting, has unique mechanics for changing initiative in WWII, great components and many scenarios. I am playing it whenever I have time and more session reports for sure will follow.

Great job, thanks!

See you in another game review!