Sunday, 6 October 2019

Race to the Rhine

Thanks to my friend Ian I’m currently enjoying a boardgame bonanza. My penultimate experience was Race to the Rhine by Jaro Andruszkiewicz and Waldek Gumienny, a game of resource management in which you compete against other Allied players to be first across the Rhine.

In a two-player game one player always takes the central command, Bradley, while the other plays Montgomery (along the coast) or Patton (to the right). I was advised that Patton was the easiest option so that's what I chose.

There are just three resources: fuel, ammo and food. You have to get these to your forces at the front via chains of supply lorries, but you also have to contend with a buildup of German forces blocking your path or cutting your supply lines. Germans pop up when you attempt to occupy a new town or courtesy of rival players.

Despite going through a very weak phase during which one of my corps was isolated, another had run out of food and my supply lines were constantly being cut, I just managed to pull it off.

The game is very cleverly designed. It has a certain 'unity of design' which gives it a convincing feel, and I imagine it has great replay and solo value.
Patton's Corps are in blue. One is awkwardly
placed behind Bradley and needs to backtrack
before going anywhere.
Making good time. Patton's command enjoys
additional minor supply points on the edge
of the board, so you don't have to bring
everything up from the start position.
Accross the Rhine (bottom right) but cut off.
The supply line is restored and the game won,
although the leading unit is out of food.

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