When the Germans launched Operation Barbarossa on 22 June 1941, their greatest concentration of troops was found in Army Group Center, tasked with driving eastward toward Moscow. The initial shock of the attack sent the Soviets reeling and Minsk quickly fell to the invaders. However, the Axis timetable demanded complete success during the initial months of the invasion, for only with the Red Army destroyed and Byelorussia occupied could the Soviet Union, fresh from Stalin’s purges, collapse; but anything less than total victory would mean a long and protracted war. The stakes could not be higher as the German panzers and infantry engaged Soviet armies and mechanized corps along Russia's western frontier.
The Arduous Beginning is the first new historical board game in some 15 years from renowned game designer Frank Chadwick. It is a new iteration on his classic Battle for Moscow game system that combines ease of learning and design elegance with the kind of dramatic gameplay that Frank has long been famous for.
Number of Players: 2
Ages: 12 and up
Playing Time: approximately 50 minutes
Complexity: 3 on a 9 scale
Solitaire Suitability: 7 on a 9 scale
Scale: Each unit is one German corps or Russian army, and each turn is approximately one to two weeks.
• One 6-page, color Rules booklet
• 40 color, two-sided die-cut 5/8” mounted pieces
• One 11” x 17” color game map with tables
• 1 Player Aid sheet
• Polybag packaging and component storage
Game Design: Frank Chadwick
Rules and Development: Alan Emrich
Art and Graphics: Alan Emrich
Playtesting: Terence Co, David Deitch, Lance McMillan, Kim Meints, Michael O’Brien, Carl Paradis
Proofreading: Bill Barrett