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Barbarossa: Kiev to Rostov

DESIGNER: Vance von Borries
DEVELOPER: Tony Curtis
COUNTER ART: Rodger B. MacGowan & Mark Simonitch
MAP ART: Todd Davis & Mark Simonitch
GAME RESEARCH: Thomas F. Burke
PRODUCERS: Tony Curtis, Mark Simonitch, Andy Lewis, Rodger MacGowan, Gene Billingsley
Price: $85.00

Five 22 x 34" full color map
1120 full-color counters
Player Aid Cards
Rule Booklet
Scenario Booklet
Set up Cards
1 ten-sided die



Customer Reviews
# of Ratings: 14
1. on 3/13/2017, said:
Love it!
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(2 people found this comment helpful, 1 did not)
2. on 12/11/2010, said:
Was really excited to get into this series of games as Vance does really good games. Being an old gamer of more than 50 years with over 1,500 games in the attic, I look forward to this type of game. The graphics, counters, maps, charts are fantastic. The overall concepts are excellent in enhance what is a standard board game. There is some great ideas with combat, movement, turn sequencing that would seem to add up to a great game. We spent 2 days playing the scenarios looking to bring this game to our group session. What let us down was the supply rules for the Germans in scenario 3 & 6. Half the German army is out of supply and thus can't do anything. The Russians can't win in scenario 3, did anyone play test this one? We made up a rule where supply can be traced over minor roads at the road rate of 1/2 but this is lost in Frost on Rostov. So the Rostov scenario falls apart. We have given up on this game and are moving on. I will not buy the complete series as planned. This is the 5th edition and it would seem the rules would flow perfectly by now. OCS continues to refine their system whenever possible. Noticed the last errata was 2008. I was so hopeful this would be my OCS lite, a easily playable game with nice supply rules. If the supply rules were cleaned up and the scenario victory conditions worked for each scenario, I would surely give the game a "5" rating taking off some points for the layout of the rules and for the poor scenario play testing.
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(19 people found this comment helpful, 5 did not)
3. on 11/23/2010, said:
Most enjoyable game system that brings some much needed life to the frequently tired 'Eastern Front' genre. Thanks for giving me a great gaming experience!
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(4 people found this comment helpful, 7 did not)
4. on 4/6/2010, said:
Best entry in the Vance's EFS series so far. And with the Series Rulebook applying to the older games too, all games benefit from current improvements. Extensive research has resulted in great detail, with unit differences even in the same catagory, i.e. not all German divisons are 6-5 counters. The changes to the air and supply rules make the game run more historically without adding complexity. The maps are very good. The player aids are best in class. I particularly like the full color setup charts. Well worth the price(can we P500 color charts for the older EFS games?). They provide a reliable setup process and allow you to inventory your units. Particularly helpful after a combined game of AGN+AGC+AGS that ran to the last minute and teardown consisted of making sure ALL units got into the same box. Then all it takes is room for 12+ setup charts, a very large table, and about two weeks of vacation time.
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(8 people found this comment helpful, 2 did not)
5. on 5/20/2009, said:
I love the Eastern Front Series of games, and in this particular space (operational WWII wargames) Vance von Borries is the best there is. I love MMP's Operational Combat Series as well, but where von Borries and GMT really score over those games is that the EFS games always have good, playable, smaller scenarios, and because EFS isn't trying to do everything the way OCS does, it ends up with much more playable supply and (especially) airpower rules. While I love OCS as a system and as a concept, only about half the entries in that series are actually playable by normal people with normal lives. EFS, on the other hand, is a good, playable, very evocative system that you can make an investment in appropriate to the time you've got available.
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(13 people found this comment helpful, 1 did not)
6. on 2/8/2009, said:
Came in this past week, and setting up scenario #1. Love the overall system, and glad you can actually play some interesting scenarios and not just the entire "monster."
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(5 people found this comment helpful, 4 did not)
7. on 12/3/2008, said:
The top of the system. And "Crimea" is still there...
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(3 people found this comment helpful, 9 did not)
8. on 11/7/2008, said:
really great.
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(0 people found this comment helpful, 14 did not)
Showing comments 1-8 of 8


GMT is proud to present the fifth epic game in its award-winning series of east front games, Barbarossa: Kiev to Rostov. This is a two-player, or two-team, operational level game depicting the battles of the southern wing of the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union during 1941. This game picks up where an earlier game in this series, Barbarossa: Army Group South, left off. It begins in mid-August and ends in December 1941, historically near the cities Kharkov and Rostov.


    This comprehensive game system was designed at a scale for divisions but it accommodates the many independent brigades, regiments, and special battalions that were also available for this campaign. These include units for rocket artillery, heavy artillery, armored trains, assault guns, engineers, Stukas, Sturmoviks, anti-aircraft guns, NKVD, Stormtroopers, militia, base units, and more. You can tailor your army to fight a lengthy campaign over variable conditions.

    Despite its size we have kept the overall rules within the context of other games in this series thereby leaving nearly all mechanics familiar to veteran East Front Series (EFS) players. Such familiar mechanics include ranged artillery, air units for close support or interdiction, Soviet HQs, retreat or stand orders, weather, reaction movement, railroad movement, strategic movement, overruns, combined arms, fortifications, special supply situations, and more. Veteran players should be able to pick up game play right away. For those who are new to the series, many examples of play will be found in the rules book as well as a Learning scenario to fully illustrate game play and some of the decision making for each battle.

    Note that all games of the Barbarossa, or EFS, series are built to fit together. If space is at a premium for you, please note that four of the eight scenarios here in this game alone require only one map or less.

    Barbarossa: Kiev to Rostov challenges you to balance your attack and defense in each sector of the game map, regardless of scenario. Neither side has sufficient resources in either troops or supplies so the key to winning will be good game play and a sound plan. Can you do better than the titans that struggled for the Ukraine in the summer and fall of 1941?


    #1 Learning Scenario: Rostov Redeemed. The German 3rd Motorized Corps has just taken Rostov and now attempts to hold it against a massive Soviet counteroffensive. This was the first in what turned out to be a series of disasters that befell the German army during the winter of 1941/42.

    #2 Kiev Pocket. In mid-August the Germans had just cleared the Uman Pocket (the last battle of the Barbarossa: Army Group South game in this series) and looked to exploit their advantage to quickly conquer the rest of the Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Soviets had built a whole new group of armies to the east of the Dnepr River. This campaign resulted in the greatest encirclement battle of the war, perhaps of all time, as the Soviets over-committed to the defense of the river. Yet this was not a sure victory. Play testers have called this scenario the best yet in the entire series of games. You simply must experience this battle, one of the decisive battles of the war in the east.

    #3 Battle on the Sea of Azov. In late September with disaster looming to the north and a German offensive building against the Crimea, the relatively untouched Soviet 9 and 18 Armies in the southern portion of the Dnepr Bend were called upon to act, this time to save their comrades defending the Crimea by striking toward the rear of the German 11th Army. While their attack made but small headway, some Romanian defenders were overwhelmed. The situation could have opened up to destroy the German rear and then threaten the rear of the rest of German Army Group South. Perhaps this offensive could as well reverse the tide of the German advance. Or was someone in the Kremlin just dreaming?

    #4 Battle of Sumy. Some small battles lend themselves wonderfully to focus treatment and this battle at the end of September near the north Ukrainian town of Sumy certainly qualifies. Handled on its own special map this becomes a contest of mobility between a German motorized corps on the one hand and a strong Soviet cavalry corps on the other, with the Soviets getting timely reinforcements from the 1 Guards Motorized Rifle Division. This very balanced situation plays quickly and perhaps is the best introduction in the series to the game system.

    #5 To Kharkov. It has become almost trite to say Russia is vast but for this scenario the German player will declare this many times. Even though the German has just won the Kiev Pocket Battle, now the great industrial city of Kharkov beckons in the distant east. The Soviets have reassembled their armed forces yet again but this time the German has sent his panzers north to Moscow and out of this game (see GMT's Typhoon! Game). German 6th Army, a true hard-luck formation, gets the honor of leading the advance and they now experience their first starvation of the war, similar to that they will suffer at Stalingrad a year later, although without the desperation of that later battle. Even so, the 6th Army is formidable; so will the arrival of mud be the only thing saving the Soviet's behind? Or, will he have finally mastered the art of war against the Nazis?

    #6 To the Don. This is the short version of the campaign game. It starts at the beginning of October to coincide with the Typhoon offensive against Moscow (see GMT's Typhoon! game). Strategically, the Soviets are presented with a dilemma; every bean and bullet sent south is one less for the do-or-die defense of Moscow. The Germans faced the same dilemma so now both players are short on troops and supplies and even short on options. The campaign now changes its character to become one of managing scarce resources over vast distances, the very statement of war in Russia.

    #7 To Rostov. The most dramatic moment of the late drive to the east was the drive to Rostov, the gateway to the Caucasus where lay the oilfields the Germans so vitally needed to run their war machine. The Germans have won victory after victory for nearly six months even though the Soviets have set successive armies in their path. Is this perhaps the Soviet last ditch and their last army? Are the Germans truly at the end of their supply line? Will winter stop the Germans? Historically in this near even contest, the panzers actually got into the streets of Rostov; can you?

    #8 Barbarossa to Rostov. This is the full campaign, mid-August through December, a very full 57 turns over vast distances. The Germans begin in supply difficulty and will have to pick a pause to advance their main bases. The Soviet player will have to take care he does not expend all his effort too far to the west, thereby leaving nothing for the final battles. Neither player has resources to do it all but it can be fun trying. The East Front experience is not complete without playing this full-size scenario.

  • TIME SCALE 2 days per turn
    5 miles per hex
    UNIT SCALE Division/Regiment; Air unit 40-80 aircraft