The Third World War: The Reset

Well, I went through the next several turns of my first game of “The Third World War:  Battle for Germany”.  I made lots of rules mistakes and played through them as best as I could, gradually picking up the system until I had a fairly good grip on it.  Three turns and several evenings passed by while I worked out where I had gone wrong both in terms of rules and overall Pact strategy.  During my first play, NATO had kept the Soviets pinned tightly to the East German border and three weeks of fighting ended with only a trickle of Russian armor breaking out in the south before NATO plugged the gaps.

Several mistakes I had made:
1)  Not counting movement points correctly when leaving enemy ZOCs
2)  Not advancing units correctly after forcing enemy retreats
3)  Not calculating terrain combat modifiers correctly (about half the time)

Those are some pretty big errors but pushing through the turns definitely helped to give me the chance to learn the rules better and incorporate the lessons in my next game, which I promptly set up and began again.

Here’s my turn-by-turn reports from my latest play of Third World War:  Battle for Germany, starting over from turn 1.

Turn 2 report:

Turn 3 report:

Turn 4 report:


  1. Yes thanks Brad. You have a solid future in show biz! I alos liked your Star Wars playthrough. "The smell of burning fur and shrill annoying cries fills the forest air." LOL! Did you have to buy those miniatures separately?

  2. haha Thanks Jason! I enjoyed playing both games immensely. Some of the minis came in packs while others I bought individually. I'm looking for Jar Jar Binks minis now and I want to have an entire squad of only Jar Jars fight an AT-ST. I think Star Wars fans might give me a medal? lol

  3. So this was great fun! Brad, does this now mean you are an expert and can teach me? Looks awesome. So Fulda Gap was critical and your unit placement was too light there? That and horrible weather screwed the NATO? Is that a fair summary?

  4. Thanks Kev! I'm no expert but I could give you some ideas about the game. I understand how the Pact is supposed to work – use the first echelon to smash everything and clear a path for the second echelon – rinse and repeat. I'm stymied for NATO strategies though. I can't seem to get a decent counterattack going. Yeah, that's a fair summary, I think! Fulda was definitely critical and losing a POMCUS site at the start of the game really hurt NATO's defense in that area. NATO is definitely going to take a beating on turn 1 but air power should be able to turn things around considerably if given enough favorable weather. NATO could have focused a bit better on aiming to damage or kill off non-Soviet Pact units because this eventually shakes up and demoralizes enemy nations, which leads them to withdrawing troops. I hope you get it on the table soon though I know you are also in the middle of playing through WW3 in a different game right now!

  5. So 'future past historically' 11th ACR screened Frankfurt so REFORGER units could arrive. (by theway good but outdated reads available in S&T 82 & 88 mags ( and MOVEs 59. US FIFTH Corps and specifically the 8th Mech was in that FULDA GAP area to hold, hold hold. I would imagines that unless the Soviets were disrupted to some level counter attacks are going to be challenging and expensive.
    When do reinforcements arrive!?

  6. Reinforcements arrive pretty much every turn during the movement phase of each side. The flow of the ground impulses basically goes 1.) Pact Impulse (first and second echelon) 2.) NATO Reserve Movement 3.) Pact Impulse 2 (first and second echelon 4.) NATO Impulse 5.) NATO Impulse 2. The Pact gets its reinforcements during phase 1 of each turn and NATO will get to move in its new guys on phase 2. NATO also has three POMCUS units that arrive during turns 1,3, and 4 (I believe?) . If the POMCUS sites gets taken out before the POMCUS units are due to arrive, then they don't come on the board at all! This was what happened in my game – the Soviets dropped an airmobile unit onto one of the NATO POMCUS sites and eliminated one of the big US units due to reinforce on turn 1. Counterattacks are hard to coordinate for NATO. You basically get a ton of small units trickling in (and territorials might arrive or not – you have to roll for them) and you've somehow got to move them into the weak spots and get something going with the larger units in order for it to all work out. That's one of the reasons the south of Germany got overrun so fast – British, Canadian, and US units were coming in through the ports in the north and couldn't get down to reinforce the south in time to stop the Czechs and Soviets from punching through. Also, once you have units that are isolated, it gets very tough to save them. The US Fifth Corps quickly got surrounded and cut off by the Pact forces on the first day of the war. Very tough stuff!

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