Before we get into this series of Event Card Spoilers I want to say this. Werwolf: Insurgency in Occupied Germany, 1945-1948 is not a glorification of Nazism. Nor is it an attempt to change the narrative, although this game is an alternate reality look at the occupation of Germany by the Allies immediately following the fall of Berlin and the resistance from various groups to that occupation. This game will not be for everyone and may offend some with its portrayal of the events and participants in this struggle. I would say give it a chance to develop over the next year or so as the game has just been placed on pre-order with Legion Wargames. I have long been enthralled with the COIN Series from GMT Games for its attempt to tell the less than squeaky clean side of some of the most infamous struggles in history. This game is not an official part of that series but is COIN Series inspired.
I have seen lots of information put out by the design team of Clint Warren-Davey and Ben Fiene and it appears that these two have done their homework and extrapolated some theories that may or may not have been totally 100% accurate but are based in some semblance of plans or partial historical information. I think that it is good to explore history in these type of games.
With all of that being said, we were contacted by our good friend Randy Lein from Legion Wargames a few months ago about this project and asked if we would be interested in doing some coverage through an interview and possibly some other mediums, such as our Event Card Spoilers format that we have used in other games, and we were immediately intrigued by the concept and the fact that the game uses some of the elements of one of our favorite series. I have been in communication with one of the designers Clint Warren-Davey since that time and he has shared lots of information with me, including the rules and some of their background work on this one, and I wanted to make sure we gave it some light to give you a chance to understand what the game is so that you can make an informed decision about whether you plan to order this one or not. Clint has been great to work with and has agreed to write a series of short articles on the Event Cards and their basis in history as well as how they are used in the game.
If you are interested in ordering Werwolf: Insurgency in Occupied Germany, 1945-1948, you can pre-order a copy for $72.00 from the Legion Wargames website at the following link: https://www.legionwargames.com/legion_WER.html
#73 Soviet Space Program
One of the many realms of Cold War competition was the “space race.” While the world now remembers this primarily for the image of American astronauts walking on the Moon, it was the Soviets who achieved most of the early milestones. The Soviet space program, an enormous undertaking for a country devastated by the recent war and stifled by communist bureaucracy, managed to achieve the first intercontinental ballistic missile, the first animal in space, the first man and woman in space, the first sample of lunar material brought back to Earth, the first space station and many other technical triumphs. In the 1950’s, especially with the launch of Sputnik (the first manmade satellite), the Western world was shocked by the rapid advance of Soviet technology and feared that communism would be triumphant in space. This spurred the USA to pour funding into NASA to at least get a man on the Moon before the Soviets did.
This card showcases two key aspects of the game. First, Research. The two rival superpowers are trying to grab everything that is left of Hitler’s numerous research programs – which are represented in the game as Event Cards and as Research Tokens on the map, which can be captured by any of the 4 factions. While the insurgents will sell, salvage or even use them as weapons on the battlefield (the Werwolf faction’s wunder-waffen strike ability) the Allies and Soviets are trying to send them back home to Washington or Moscow. This pilfering of Nazi scientists has a strong basis in history, particularly the case of Werner von Braun (also a card). The rival superpowers are locked in an arms race from the start of the game as they compete for nuclear and space dominance, and the “research advantage” is a zero-sum game in gaining victory points. For example, if the Soviets have 2 Research at home and the Allies have 1, the Soviets will gain +1 to their Victory Level. This card allows the Soviets to gain a full 2 free Research Tokens directly in the Soviet Union if they already have 4. This is a great way to get ahead of the Allies without having to spend resources or do anything on the map. Note also that 4 Research at home is the minimum requirement to develop nuclear weapons, represented as the card Soviet Atomic Bomb. As the Soviets, 4 Research is something you should be aiming for anyway due to the huge propaganda potential of nukes, but Soviet Space Program allows you to further build on your nuclear program with more points. It also hurts Allied Morale as the American public becomes increasingly intimidated by Soviet power.
There is a downside though, which brings us to another core part of the game – Cold War Tensions. This card will raise them by 1. As Tensions rise, both the Soviets and the Allies will treat each other as enemies for movement purposes, which as the Soviets will seriously slow down your Transport and Patrol actions. As they get higher, units in Berlin may get “frozen” in a stand-off and if they go all the way to 6 the superpowers go to war – a disaster for both of them. As such, it might be wise to avoid this card as the Soviets if tensions are too high – perhaps by using Espionage to cancel it rather than letting the insurgents play the bottom, shaded option which removes your Research. Overall, this card provides some fascinating options that tie together many of the unique mechanics in Werwolf.
If you missed the previous entries in the series, you can catch up on the posts to date by following the below links:
There will be more card spoilers to come in the near future. In the meantime, if you are interested we recently posted an interview with the designers and you can read that at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2022/06/27/interview-with-clint-warren-davey-and-ben-fiene-designers-of-werwolf-insurgency-in-occupied-germany-1945-1948-from-legion-wargames/