Video links to my second playthrough at the bottom.
Blood Red Snow, pt. 1 – Ryschov, by DoW Forum member oddball, is not a bad map. Many playthroughs may not be very fun for the Germans, but it’s definitely worth playing.
Koschorrek and elements of the 1st Battalion, 21st Panzer Grenadier Regiment (1/21) were deployed just outside Stalingrad, in their winter position on the open steppe, when Soviet forces broke through the Romanian lines to the north on 18 November 1942. Having just managed to escape the Russian encirclement of much of the German 6th Army in Stalingrad, remnants of 1/21 take up defensive positions around the village of Rytschov.
Their mission is to deny the two bridges across the Don to the Soviets, and defend Nishne Tschirskaya, a designated assembly area for German rear echelon supply vehicles following the Russian breakthrough.
To accomplish its mission, Koschorrek’s unit has been reinforced with pioneers [engineers], artillery and some tanks.
On 23 November, Soviet forces secure Tschir Station and make ready for their attack on Rytschov and Tschirskiy.
The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.
The Russians have a powerful attacking force, but bad luck can leave them vulnerable to casualties anywhere they attack. The Germans have moderate cover and artillery parity, but are clearly vulnerable If they can take advantage of a bad Russian hand or a big blunder on the Comissar, the Germans can scrape together a win.
However, the Russian player does have the option of playing it very, very safe. If they hold everything back, and slowly blast away with artillery and distant tanks, there is not much the Germans can do. The Russian sniper, in particular, has the potential to gut the German defensive capabilities by taking out their artillery from a distance. Given how hard it can be to kill a sniper, this is a possibility the Germans must take seriously.
We played this twice, switching sides, and I was lucky as both Germans and Russians. In the first game, I was able to fight off a major Russian assault on the center – the Reds simply couldn’t hit my infantry. In the second game, I played a moderately aggressive game, and used an excellent had to push my entire army forward, wearing down the Germans on all sides. The video below is of the second game.
General Evaluation – 3/5 – The poor options available to the German player prevent me from rating this any higher, but there’s really nothing wrong with this map.
Balance Evaluation – Russians strongly favored. It will take a lot of luck for the Germans to beat a competent Russian player.
First Turn Win Possibility – None.
Pink-Fest Danger – High. An overly cautious Russian player should be able to win this without exposing his units to danger at all.