This is English rules of "Rattenkrieg Stalingrad", a free postcard game presented by Command Magazine Japan Edition (CMJ) in 2008 and republished by Banner of War Studio (China) in 2017. Original webpage is here.
This game reproduces the offensive to Stalingrad by the German 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army. This game is played by 2 players. One takes charge of the German Army, and another one takes charge of the Soviet Army.
The map is generally divided into "German Rear", "Russian Rear" and "Stalingrad". In addition, "Stalingrad" is subdivided into 12 Areas in total. Areas with a gray name are Normal Areas. Areas with a red name are City Areas.
[2.2] There is not the upper limit of units which may enter into 1 Area.
[2.3] Playing Pieces (Units)
Unit name and combat strength are printed on the Unit.
[2.4] Playing Cards
Please prepare 52 pieces of cards except the joker.
To a person who does not have the game (postcard):
Please download the game from the following, print it, and use it. In addition, there is a module for the people using VASSAL.
Game download (3.6MB)
Module download (358KB)
About downloading Play Aid Sheets:
You can download PDF files of Play Aid Sheets from the following. Please print them out, and make use of them for the play.
Play Aid Sheet (German) (58KB)
Play Aid Sheet (Soviet) (79KB)
[3.1] Setup of the Soviet Army
The Soviet player places the Soviet "Rifle" on every Normal Area one by one, "13Gds" on Russian Rear and "T-34" on "Tractor Works".
[3.2] Setup of the German Army
The German player places the German 6 units except "16Pz" and "100J" on German Rear.
Some player shuffles playing cards and deals them to each unit as the following. The player must clarify which card was dealt to which unit. Each player may watch only friendly units' cards. These cards are called "steps" after that.
German Panzer Division......4
German Motorized Infantry......3
Soviet Guards Division......3
German Infantry Division......2 (only 100J is 1)
Soviet Infantry (Rifle) Division......1
The Soviet player is dealt 4 cards. The German player is dealt 3 cards. The remaining cards are the deck. When the deck was used up, the player shuffles the discards at that point and makes a new deck.
[3.5] Rear Area
Both sides may not enter into the enemy's Rear Area. The Soviet Rear Area is adjacent to 3 Areas that are connected by the arrows.
At the beginning of the game, all 12 Areas of Stalingrad are controlled by the Soviet Army. If there is only either one's unit in an Area, the Area is controlled by the Army of the unit. When the player judges the control of the Area, isolated units (see 8.10) are considered to be absent.
If the German Army controls all 3 Areas connecting with the Soviet Rear Area at the end of Turn 6, the German player wins. Otherwise, the Soviet player wins.
1. Reinforcement Phase (only Turn 2 and 3)
2. The German Player Turn
3. The Soviet Player Turn
Both players repeat 2 and 3 until both players pass successively.
4. Both Sides Recruiting Phase
[6.1] The German Army Reinforcements
2 German Army units enter into the German Rear Area in Turn 2. And the German Player is received prescribed steps from the deck.
[6.2] The Soviet Army Reinforcements
"39Gds" enters into the Soviet Rear Area in Turn 3. And the Soviet Player is received prescribed steps from the deck.
If the Soviet Army controls "Tractor Works", moreover, T-34 was eliminated in the previous Turn, T-34 revives in "Tractor Works" Area.
[7.1] Each player designates 1 friendly unit to take action in friendly Player Turn and executes an operation. The kinds of the operation are the following:
During the action of the unit, the player may execute the operation again and again as far as there is a card.
[7.2] Movement to Friendly Controlled Area
If the unit moves to a friendly controlled Area, the unit may may move endlessly.
[7.3] Movement to Enemy Controlled Area
In case the unit moves to an enemy controlled area:
• If there is not an enemy unit in the area, the player discards 1 card of the hand or 1 step of acting unit.
• If there is an enemy unit in the area, the combat (see 8.0) occurs immediately.
If the player does nothing for example, there is not a usable card, the player declares "pass" and flips the unit to its back side to show that the action was finished. The reversed unit may not take action during this Turn again.
The player may recruit 1 step of the unit which is in the friendly Rear Area. To recruit it, the player designates 1 unit which is in the friendly Rear Area, flips it to its back side without taking action, and recruits 1 step from the deck. The player may not recruit the step of the unit which has already been back side. In addition, the player may not recruit above the original number of the step. The unit may be received recruitment even if it is isolated (see 8.10).
Optional Rule: If it is sensed that the German Army is advantageous, please change the rule into that only the Soviet Army may recruit.
[8.1] The combat occurs between the units fighting against each other in the same Area. A unit which entered into an enemy controlled Area where there is an enemy unit must take combat. The player of the Player Turn is the attacker. The other is the defender.
[8.2] The Unit Which Participates in a Combat
The combat is always fought with 1 to 1. The attacker takes combat with the acting unit. If there are multiple defender units in the Area, the defender chooses 1 unit among them. The player may not change the unit which takes combat in the middle of the combat.
[8.3] Combat Resolution Procedure
One combat is resolved in the following procedure:
1. Declaration of the Attack
2. Declaration of the Defence
4. Judgement of the Combat Result
[8.4] Declaration of the Attack
The attacking player puts 1 piece of hand or 1 piece of the step of the attacking unit in a reversed state. The player may put the card which does not hit to use it as a "bluff". The face card is usually used as an Event, but it is usable as a bluff (however, it never hits).
[8.5] Declaration of the Defence
The defending player decides whether to take the attack on or to sustain damage (see 8.9). If the player takes the attack on, the player also puts 1 piece of hand or 1 piece of the step of the defending unit in a reversed state. The player may put the card which does not hit to use it as a "bluff", but the step is usable to absorb the damage, the defending player should not use the step as a bluff.
If the defender put the card, the attacker may put a different card to fight back, but the card which was put before is not returned, and it is lost after combat result. If the attacker takes a raise, the defender may take a raise too.
[8.7] Judgement of the Combat Result
Both players reveal each card and decide the winner of the combat.
1. The player who put the card of which the number is equal to combat strength or less wins.
2. If both players meet the requirement of 1, the German Army who put a black card or the Soviet Army who put a red card wins.
3. If both players meet the requirement of 2 or neither does it, the player who put the card of smaller number wins.
4. If, under requirements mentioned above, the winner is not yet decided, both players discard each card which was used by this combat and take combat resolution procedure again.
5. If both players make a bluff, the defender wins.
[8.8] Revision of Combat Strength
The combat strength of the unit is revised as the following:
The Infantry to defend in the City Area (both Armies)......+2
The Panzer Division to defend in the City Area (only the German Army)......-2
The combat strength of the Motorized Infantry Division is not revised.
The player which lost the combat chooses any of the following:
1. Retreating the unit into an adjacent friendly controlled Area. Whether the attacker or the defender, the unit which retreated is flipped to its back side.
2. Losing 1 step.
3. The unit has neither the area that may retreat into nor the step is eliminated.
4. The Soviet unit may not retreat into the Rear Area.
If the defender has multiple units and the defending unit which took the combat was eliminated or retreated, the defender chooses any of the following:
1. Retreating the remaining unit(s) into an adjacent friendly controlled Area. The unit which retreated is flipped to its back side.
2. Isolating the remaining unit(s). If there is not the Area where the unit may retreat into, the unit is isolated automatically.
The player may not move the isolated unit, may not use the hand in the combat, may use only the step of the unit. And the player may not retreat the isolated unit in the combat. If the Area becomes friendly controlled, the isolation of the unit is canceled immediately.
[8.11] Continuation of the Combat
If the attacker retreats, the unit is flipped to its back side and may no longer take the action. As a result of combat, both units remain in the same Area, the attacker must decide whether to take the attack again or to retreat. If the player decides to retreat, the unit which retreated is flipped to its back side.
T-34 has no step. If it takes a combat, the player may use only the hand, but if the other Soviet Army unit in the same Area takes a combat, the player may add the combat strength of T-34. In addition, if the other Soviet Army unit moves, T-34 which is not flipped to its back side may move together. If the Soviet Army lost in the combat that T-34 participated in, the player may eliminate T-34 instead of the retreat or losing the step.
[9.1] The face cards are used as event cards. The content of the event is different as the following on both sides:
• German Army
[spades, clubs] J...Air force support Q...Assault gun K...Combat engineer
[diamonds, hearts] J,Q,K...Bombardment
• Soviet Army
[diamonds, hearts] J...Sniper Q...Molotov cocktail K...General Chuikov
[spades, clubs] J,Q,K...Bombardment
The player appoints 1 enemy unit which is in an area same as an acting unit or the adjacent area and bombards it. The player draws a card from the deck. If the number of the card is equal or more than combat strength after the revision, the target is damaged. In the case of the bombardment by the army occupying "Mamayev Kurgan", the face card is automatically considered to be a hit, otherwise it is automatically considered to be a miss. Both sides may not bombard the enemy Rear Area. And the German Army may not bombard the Soviet T-34.
[9.3] Air Force Support
It is the same as bombardment, but the combat strength of the target unit is not revised by the terrain. And the face card is automatically considered to be a miss regardless of the occupation of "Mamayev Kurgan". Unlike the bombardment, the German Army may target T-34.
[9.4] Assault Gun
The acting German Army unit increases 2 in combat strength until it finishes the action (except the Panzer Division).
[9.5] Combat Engineer
In the next combat of acting German Army unit, it may invalidate the terrain effect of the City Area.
The Soviet player may discard 1 card of the German hand. The Soviet player decides 1 card to discard at random.
[9.7] Molotov Cocktail
In the next combat of acting Soviet Army unit, it may increase 2 in combat strength.
[9.8] General Chuikov
In the next combat of acting Soviet Army unit, the German player puts the card earlier. The Soviet player may put the card after having confirmed the contents of the German card. Or the Soviet player may flip any Soviet unit to its front side by discarding this card.
[10.1] Both sides may discard any hand in the Recruiting Phase. Afterwards, if the hand is less than 3 cards, the player may supply the hand from the deck until the hand become 3 cards.
[10.2] Mamayev Kurgan
The player occupying "Mamayev Kurgan" may have 4 cards of the hand.
[10.3] Reversed Unit
Both sides flip all units to their front side.