Operation Barbarossa: The Struggle for Russia
by Matrix Games, 2009, $49.99 (retail), $34.99 (download)
Operation Barbarossa highlights the major Eastern Front battles during World War II. The first of the game’s three campaigns tracks the German invasion of Russia—the largest military offensive in history to that point. The second picks up with the Soviet counteroffensive from Moscow to Berlin, while the third covers Germany’s Case Blue offensive. Each comprises bite-sized missions and lasts a few hours.
Players choose from among more than 140 historically modeled units. Core units are upgradeable using points earned during missions. A combined-arms strategy utilizing a mix of armor, infantry and air units proves most effective. Railroads and bridges form natural defense lines, and your engineers can destroy or repair such infrastructure.
Operation Barbarossa is accessible to all skill levels. Though the easy learning curve can render missions simplistic or repetitive, the game’s intuitive play and great historical detail make it a worthwhile strategy game.
Originally published in the January 2010 issue of Military History. To subscribe, click here.