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Games by Historical PeriodWorld War II (1935-1945) → No Retreat 5: The Western Front, 1944-45

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No Retreat 5: The Western Front, 1944-45

Banner designs by Rachel Billingsley

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Note: Unless otherwise noted, all samples below are from playtest graphics, not final game art. GMT Games claims no copyright on these images.




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Continuing the No Retreat! Series, where  the Russian Front of World War II was first simulated,  then taking the action to the African Front, the Italian Front , the French & Polish Fronts, game designer Carl Paradis now presents the fifth chapter: No Retreat 5: The Western Front 1944-45.


After the Fall of France in May of 1940, the Battle of Britain put a stop to Hitler’s ambitions in the West. While his attentions turned eastwards towards the vast expanses of the Soviet Union, the German Army, occupying most of Western Europe, started fortifying the coastlines to defend the Nazi dictator’s conquests against the resurgent Allied might: the vaunted “Atlantic Wall” was born. Soon, Allied troops will be knocking upon its doorstep…  




In No Retreat 5, players command the Allied or German forces, invading or defending West Europe: France, Belgium, Holland and Germany proper. Maneuvering forces over hexes that are approximately 20 kilometers across, over turns that each represent between a week to a month of real time. The No Retreat series card-assisted game system is there to create on-map puzzles around each hex, unit and battle as the tense engagements rage back-and-forth and nothing is entirely predictable, and also manages the pre-invasion “fog-of-war”.


The game is split up in two different parts.


  • The Invasion Game:  Starting in 1943.  It will consist of the preparations preceding the Allied Invasion of Western Europe, with deception, intelligence and build-up efforts being showcased. The D-Day outcome is then gamed using intense weekly turns.


  • The Front Game: After the Allies are ashore, their beachhead secure (unless they are pushed back in the English Channel!), the rest of the game consists of monthly turns simulating the War in the West, up to the bitter end and probable surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945; the longer the game lasts, the stronger the Soviets position will be in Central Europe, or perhaps Hitler will be able to stave off total defeat long enough for an armistice and negotiated outcome?


The D-Day sea invasion will be shown in great detail, the German fortified positions also, with both players having to choose where to deploy their assets, where to attack, and what kind of troops to use and request from higher command. As the German commander, will you ask the OKW for more Panzers, or more bunkers and guns; will you gain full control of your mobile troops, or will you have limited control, as historically happened? As the Allied commander, will troops fighting in Italy be released to you for an end-run South of France invasion? Or perhaps you will decide to invade the Low Countries instead, trying to capture the important port of Antwerp in a surprise operation?


A simple but effective supply system will show the constraints the victorious Allied Armies suffered for a good part of the campaign after breaking out of their invasion beachhead. Special Event cards will simulate effortlessly the events happening on the Eastern Front, the effects of the strategic bomber offensive, the political pressures put on both players’ operations by their respective leaders, etc. Will Hitler let you use the Panzer reserves in time? Will Churchill make a bit for a more upfront role for the British units? Will Heavy Bombers be released for more tactical uses? All this and more will be shown and simulated. Embark in your Landing craft, keep watch in your concrete Bunker, the Invasion is coming, and there will be No Retreat!



Western Front Scenario Listing

  • Regular Campaign Game: The Invasion Game, followed by the Front Game. Players will thus have a lot of leeway in their initial Strategic Choices. What if the Allies had invaded in le-pas-De-Calais instead of Normandy? What if the German Panzers were moved closer to the beaches?

  • Historical Campaign Game:  The Game starts with the Invasion game already pre-set, and the Normandy landings. Historical OOBs only.

  • Invasion Game Scenario: Only the first part of the game is played up to the resolution of the D-Day Invasion. Depending on its level of success, the outcome of the rest of the campaign, and victory is then determined using a set of special tables.

  • Front Game Scenario: Only the second part of the game is played, starting with the Normandy Breakout.

Components:

  • One 22x34 Mapboard (mounted and two-sided)

  • Two sheets of 88, 2-sided square units (176 Total) 

  • One sheet of 112, 2-sided round/hex markers.

  • One rule book (40 pages)

  • One Scenario Book (24 pages)

  • Six Play-aid cards

  • Two decks of 55 Event Cards

  • Two 6-sided dice


Number of Players: 2


Ages: 14 and up


Playing time:  Approximately 6-8 hours for a full campaign game, 3-4 hours for the Shorter Scenarios.


Scale: Each unit is one Division or Corps: Each hex is about 20 kilometers from side to side for the main campaign map, smaller for the Invasion map. Each turn represents a week (Invasion) to a month (Campaign) of real time.

 

Game Design: Carl Paradis