In this series of articles, we are looking at the best opening moves in Werwolf: Insurgency in Occupied Germany, 1945-48. This is tactical advice for the crucial first few turns of the game and will be useful for play-testers or anyone interested in the game. The images used here are prototypes and not the final product.  For this article, we are focusing on the Allies.

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As the Allies, you are playing the long game. You will not be able to play either of your key events until well into the game, and you will not be grabbing victory points every turn. What you are doing is setting a foundation by making huge areas of the map stable, free of guerrillas and firmly under your control so that you can build up loyalty in the crisis rounds.

Of course, the first turn still matters a lot! There is research up for grabs, large parts of the map are open to conquest and your morale is high, giving you the room to take some measured risks to set up your engine for the long term. On your first turn as the Allies, there are many options available to you, but here are the best ones.


There are some fantastic event cards in the deck for the Allies, and some are must-haves for the first turn or later turns.

Old Blood and Guts and Operation Effective both let you search and then assault (great way to kill Werwolves and take research) while still keeping you eligible for the next turn – a great deal.

The Bulldog and Nuremberg Trials also let you build loyalty for free – this is how you win, so the opportunity should not be passed up!

Of course, these great events are not likely to come up in the first few turns, so most of the time your opening move will be an action with special action. Here are some of the best openings.

Search + Commando Raid

This is my preferred option, as it allows you to grab a lot of research, reveal guerrillas before they can do much damage and push troops and police out into the provinces. Depending on what the other factions did – especially Edelweiss – there will be up to 6 research tokens available and the Allies can take them all.

With a search action, troops and police from West Berlin can move into Mecklenburg, troops from Sachsen-Anhalt can split up and go to Thüringen and Bundesland-Sachsen. Troops in Sud-Baden and Wurttemberg-Hohenzollern can go to Baden-Wurttemberg. Troops and police from Bonn can go to Nordrhein-Westfalen and Rhineland-Pfalz.

Search + Commando Raid

In all of these spaces, you will have grabbed research and in most of them you will have control. Finally, the commando raid can be used to either kill any Edelweiss guerrillas sitting on research in the West German provinces or kill the pesky Werwolf guerrilla in West Berlin. This is very useful to do early on, before Werwolf has a chance to do a terror action in West Berlin and shift it to neutral – this would not only hurt your victory level but open up the highest population space on the map to Werwolf and Edelweiss recruitment.

An alternative to this is a trial – this would allow you to activate the guerrilla in West Berlin (to assault later) and shift a city like Nuremberg towards Allied loyalty – always useful. An air strike is another option – but only target spaces already at active resistance so as to not give Werwolf free points. You will rarely have a chance to do this turn one, so for now stick to the plan – see above.

Reinforce + Air Lift

The Allies seem to have a lot of troops on the map at the start of the game, but they are very spread out and not well supported by police. A large round of reinforcement is very costly in terms of both morale and resources but sets up the Allies with plenty of boots on the ground for searches, patrols, assaults and, most importantly, reconstruction. It can also hurt Werwolf, who may have played The Fuhrer Lives as their opening move and are therefore ahead of their victory threshold from turn 1.

Here is how to do it: before reinforcing, air lift some spare troops (e.g. the armoured spearhead in Sachsen-Anhalt which makes the Soviets suspicious) into München. This provides control of one of the highest population cities on the map. Then, carry out a reinforce action in München, bringing in police, and follow it up with reconstruction. Spend the full 6 resources on this – it is worth it. München will now either be at passive Allied loyalty or neutral – either way this helps you and hurts Werwolf.

Reinforce + Air Lift

As well as München, there are many other Allied spaces that could use some reinforcements. Bremen, Koln and most of the provinces in West Germany have few troops and no police – reinforcing with plenty of green and blue cubes throughout these spaces opens them up for reconstruction later. If you have reinforced into a fairly central province like Rhineland-Pfalz, it may also be worth building a base. This will allow your troops to stay in the field during crisis rounds and lets you reinforce regardless of control – very handy. Just stick with 4 spaces at the maximum, otherwise this gets very costly and leaves you unable to respond throughout the first few turns. The exact spaces you choose will depend on hat the other factions have done, but this still gives you a rough idea.


Both of these opening moves will set you up well the long game. You have spent a lot of resources, but now have a strong presence on the board in terms of either research tokens or troops/police. Your next step is weathering the storm that is sure to come your way – Soviets grabbing your territory and ramping up tensions and insurgents snipping away at your soldiers with constant ambushes and assassinations. Just remember your victory conditions, focus on the timing of your key events and don’t let any other faction stay out front for too long. Good luck!

More opening strategies to come!