Played - but in excellent condition!
Army Group Center: The Opening Blitz on Minsk, June 22-28, 1941 is an operational level game of the German Blitzkrieg Campaign of June 22, 1941 against the Soviet Union.
Specifically, the game covers the attempt by German Army Group Center to encircle the Soviet Forces deployed on the front ar Belorussia, centered on the city of Minsk. The surprise attack was executed as planning by two Panzer groups, commanded by Colonel Generals Hoth and Guderian. The Soviet commander of the Western Front forces, General Pavlov, was taken completely by surprise, and, by order of the Soviet Supreme Command, dispatched his mobile forces directly into the German pincers. Most of the Soviet forces, including the mobile reserves, were thrown into disarray by the German first strike and were eliminated piecemeal.
On June 28 the Germans closed their first major pocket of the war in the east. It extended from Belostok (Bialystok) to Minsk. 287,000 Soviet troops surrendered in this pocket, and in addition 2585 tanks and 1449 guns were captured. By July 3 the German forces had swept Belorussia of Soviet resistance with the single exception of the garrison at the fortress at Brest. From there they drove on to their next objectives of Smolensk and the Dnieper River, and from there towards Moscow.
Army Group Center is a two player game in which one player controls the German forces, the other the Soviet.
The game is presented in three separate scenarios, the first historical, the second and third hypothetical. The historical scenario is largely a one-sided affair and should be played by those wishing to glean the historical lessons of the German blitzkrieg campaign. For those wishing more balanced play, the second and third scenarios are recommended in which a hypothetical situation is postulated where the Soviets were aware of the German invasion plans and had prepared accordingly.
Army Group Center was published by 3W in 1993. The Japanese edition is published by Masahiro Yamazaki with improved components; both of counters and game-map. The English edition for the revised edition is provided and may be downloaded.
Game Turn: 12 hours
Hex: 6.25 miles / 10 kilometers
Units: Regiment to Division
Game Inventory (3W):
One 22 x 34" full color mapsheet
Three dual-side printed countersheets (500 1/2" counters)
One 20-page Army Group Center rulebook
Four Player Aid charts
One 10-sided die
Solitaire Playability: High
Complexity Level: Medium-High
Players: 2 or more
Playing Time: 5 hours