In our 1st Action Point covering the solitaire game Pavlov’s House: The Battle of Stalingrad from Dan Verssen Games, we took a look at the Volga River operational-level board to understand how those actions hinder or help the defenders in Pavlov’s House. In Action Point 2, we took a closer look at the 9 January Square portion of the board and how the Wehrmacht Cards work. In Action Point 3, we took a look at the inside of Pavlov’s House and how the player can use the Soviet counters to ward off the Germans.
In this 4th and final Action Point, we will examine the special Resupply/Storm Group Cards and understand how you score victory points.
Included in the Wehrmacht Card deck are Special Cards that affect the Soviet Counters in Pavlov’s House. These cards are the Resupply/Storm Group Cards and when drawn play as one of the three cards in that Wehrmacht Card Phase.
The Resupply Cards represent the difficulty that the Soviet’s had in providing food, water, ammunition and medical supplies to the defenders over the extended siege. The Wehrmacht Card deck is seeded with one Resupply Card that is placed at the end of the #1 cards, #2 cards, and #3 cards. These cards are drawn randomly from a stack of 6 different cards so will create variation from game to game.
On the fronts of these cards are the Resupply section which is identical for each. When drawn, the player must discard enough food and water resource tokens from the Supplies section of the Pavlov’s House board to feed all counters located inside Pavlov’s House. One counter represents enough food and water for 5 defenders or counters. The counters that must be fed, include not only the men, but also the weapons as they needed supply and ammunition to continue working. After resolving the Resupply side of the card, it will be flipped over to the Storm Group side.
In the picture below, you will notice that there are only 2 food and water tokens available to the Soviets with 12 total counters that need to be “fed” (the MG and Anti-tank rifle counters count in the total). This will mean that the Soviet player will have to choose and remove 2 counters as casualties during this Resupply Phase.
Storm Group Cards
Storm Group Cards are an opportunity for the defending Soviets to initiate a Storm Group Assault against a nearby German strongpoint that will score victory points. When a Storm Group Card is played, the player will place it in the Storm Group Box in Pavlov’s House.
The player can then take a 62nd Army Command Post Action during the next Soviet Card Phase to initiate a Storm Group Assault. You will notice on the Storm Group Cards is a colored box relating to the appropriate assault track, the Defense Value of the Group in a shield and the victory points that are granted to the player.
In order to attack the Storm Group card in play there needs to be no German counters on the identified assault track. This can be tricky and hard to accomplish but you have to do your best to keep those lanes clear in order to score VP’s.
To perform a Storm Group Assault, the player can choose any Soviet counters located in the house in Combat Positions or in the Reserves Box as long as they are not exhausted or have a Disruption Token on them. These units then are moved to below the Storm Group card and each unit will get to roll one six sided die. If the unit has the “S” special Attribute, that unit will get to roll an additional 2d6 in the Assault. Once all dice are rolled, you simply total the rolls and compare them to the Defense Value of the Storm Group Card. If you have matched or exceeded the Defense Value, the player has successfully executed the assault and the Storm Group Card will be set aside so that its Victory Points can be added to your total at game’s end.
But it’s not over yet! Now you have to do a casualty check for each unit in the assault. This is accomplished by rolling 1d6 for each participating unit. On a roll of 1-4, the unit is a casualty and will be removed from the game. But there is hope…in the form of a First Aid Token in the Supply Box. This token can be discarded to stop any one single unit from dying, due to any cause such as a Sniper Attack, starvation due to lack of supplies or as a casualty in an assault. I like to have at least a few First Aid Tokens in my Supplies Box at all times for that peace of mind. Easier said than done though as supplies can be tricky to get consistently.
Once this phase is completed, all surviving participating units will be moved to the Reserves Box where they can move out the next round as a part of normal movement (only 3 unit’s can move each turn).
Scoring Victory Points
VP’s are very hard to come by. As seen by the chart below, any score above zero is considered a Minor Victory. VP’s come from the Storm Group Cards you defeat, or from Operational Cards that you have completed (we didn’t cover this part of the game…sorry!). You also will get 1VP from each Soviet Counter that is alive in Pavlov’s House in either a Combat Position or the Reserves Box. For each Wehrmacht Counter located in one of the spaces on the assault tracks, you will subtract 3 points from your score.
My personal best score is 23 VP’s. I know that doesn’t sound great but this game is a challenge, and I like a challenge.
I hope that you have enjoyed these Action Points and have had your interest in this great game piqued. I think this system can be used in a multitude of scenarios and I know the designer David Thompson has already started work on at least two other games; one covering Castle Itter and the other called Soldiers in Postmen’s Uniforms (defense of the Polish Post Office in Danzig) during 1939. Look for a future written review on the game.