Game Spotlights

Published: August 4, 2022


Donnerschlag — Escape From Stalingrad

Donnerschlag — Escape from Stalingrad

Donnerschlag — Escape from Stalingrad, from publisher Vuca Simulations, is a two player game which is playable in one sitting. It is more of a game than a simulation and intended to bring high player interactivity and replayability to the tabletop.

Conflict Background

From December 12 to December 23 in 1942, Unternehmen Wintergewitter—Operation Winter Storm—was in progress. This was the code name for a relief attack by Heeresgruppe Don to free the trapped Nazi 6th Army in Stalingrad.

German tanks in action during operation winter storm
Nazi tanks in action during Operation Winter Storm

The Axis formations entered with 50,000 men and 250 tanks, while the strength of the Soviet formations was reported to be about three times that. For the enterprise to have any chance of success, the troops in the encirclement had to break out and meet the advancing Axis troops. Therefore, the breakout had to be precisely coordinated with the advance of the relief troops and was to commence on the cue “Donnerschlag.” However, the breakout was never ordered, so the troops in Stalingrad were never able to be relieved. This sealed their fate.

Soviet assault troops during Operation Winter Storm in southern Stalingrad
Soviet assault troops in southern Stalingrad

Players will be recreating this episode, with the Axis side attempting to secretly establish and reach a meeting point, thus effectively freeing the 6th Army. Meanwhile, the Soviet forces will try to impede such outcome.

The Game & Components

Donnerschlag — Escape From Stalingrad box, front and back
Donnerschlag — Escape from Stalingrad

The scale of Donnerschlag:

  • A hex represents 4 kms (2.5 miles) of terrain from side to side
  • Each turn represents a period of 1-2 days
  • Combat units are mostly Brigades & Regiments for the Soviets and Romanians, Battalions & Abteilungen for the Germans

Components included:

  • 1 Rulebook
  • 1 Mounted map
  • 184 Counters
  • 2 Player Aid charts
  • 2 Setup displays
  • 126 Cards
  • 2 Six-sided dice

Pick up a copy of Donnerschlag — Escape from Stalingrad today!

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