The components are beautiful and the board is much like Memoir 44 - big hexes on a 9 x 11 grid and terrain tiles that can be placed wherever you like for extra replayability. All with great colour and graphics on thick, durable cardstock. The whole thing comes with two sets of terrain and the board is two sided - Summer and Winter. You even get winter and summer counter sets so they match the boards. A great touch to improve the aesthetics. You get 11 very nice Plastic minis - 2 Tigers, 8 T-34s and a Stuka. These are well detailed in 1/144 scale with rotatable turrets (a key feature for the game) and yes, painted up they look awesome.
|Not mine but you can see the quality of the cardboard components and the plastic tanks (they come unpainted)|
|A Winter scenario in progress (pic from BGG)|
Victory is such that the Germans have to kill the Soviets. The Russians get VPs for killing Germans, but get more for exiting their tanks off the other side of the board as per the strategic scenario of trying to achieve a break-through. this keeps the game pretty tense and the Germans try to rack up enough kills before the few Russians escape.
|Unit card for the powerful Tiger I|
Somehow though, its feels a little unfinished and is yearning for an expansion. More scenarios and I think some extra units like JS-2 Heavy Tanks or Panthers could be added in with little difficulty and without changing the rules. Or maybe a few German infantry tank hunter teams, or pre-arranged artillery fire. What would be really awesome though is a set of solo rules to place the Russians on automatic play. Then you could play solo, or have two German players each commanding a Tiger and see who can get the most Kill Rings - now that sounds like fun!
Overall, its a very different game with some abstractions and which applies different types of restrictions on the two sides. I've enjoyed a few solo games and am looking forward to playing the Lad next week. I recommend this game for something a bit out of the ordinary and say:
Panzers Vorward!Game entry at ZMan Games is here
PS There is a Player Aid sheet in the files section of the BGG page for this game: