3R4-THIRD REICH

Updated 090530


    1. TITLE: Third Reich
    2. PUBLISHER: The Avalon Hill Game Company (TAHGC)
    3. SCOPE: Simulation of World War II’s European Theater of Operations
    4. TAHGC CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Few wargames have maintained their popularity over the years as well as this corps-level recreation of WWII in Europe. Its unique combination of land, naval, and air forces is intertwined with the economic framework that fueled the war industries of the combatants. Three 5-hour game scenarios and a full campaign game are provided. Third Reich has many imitators but no equal.
    5. GAME BOX DESCRIPTION:
    6. YEAR PUBLISHED (EDITIONS): 1974. Four published rulebook editions. The third edition also revised the mapboard. 4th (1984); 3rd with new maps (1981); 2nd (1976); 1st (1974). A 'John Prados' THIRD REICH appeared in recent years with no commercial success. A follow-on Avalon Hill game, Advanced Third Reich (1992), introduced significant enrichments with respect to (1) diplomacy, (2) mechanics of armored warfare, (3) economics and strategic warfare, and (4) air/naval warfare in general.  Empire of the Rising Sun (1995) reused the A3R gaming system to address the World War II Pacific Theater of Operations.  ERS introduced research rules (also back-playable with A3R) which enable the players to proactively tune their economies and military to better support their game strategies.  ERS ships with rules that permit A3R and ERS to be played as a “Global War” combination.  After the demise of TAHGC, the A3R/ERS design team developed A World at War (2003) for GMT Games.  AWAW includes refinements to the A3R/ERS gaming system and tightens up the multi-theater game experience.
    7. THIRD REICH CREDITS
      • Original Research & Design: John Prados
      • AH Redesign: Don Greenwood
      • Development: Larry Bucher and Donald Greenwood
      • Production Assistant & MVP: Mark C. Nixon
      • Cover Art: Scott Moores
      • Rulebook: Illustration Rodger MacGowan
      • Mapboard: Dale Sheaffer
      • Playtesting: Bill Nightingale, Robert Cross, Sam Mustafa, Kevin Combs, Tom Becker, Charles Cottle, R. Andrew Warrner, David Smith, John Sutherland, Patrick Lucas, Dr. F. Mueller, Richard Shagrin, Marcus Watney, Michael Crane, Jim Burnett, Benjamin Hackman, Scott Swanson, Rob Beyma, Alan R. Moon, George Minde, Mark McLaughlin.
      • Printing Monarch Services, Inc.
      • Typesetting: Colonial Composition.
    8. NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-5
    9. WGA COMPLEXITY SCALE (1-10): 8
    10. TYPICAL PLAYING TIME (HOURS): 3-20 hours
    11. MAP SCALE: 65 miles per hex.
    12. UNIT SCALE: Corps, Fleets, Air Forces
    13. TIME SCALE PER TURN: One quarter (3 months)
    14. NUMBER OF GAME TURNS: Campaign, 1939, 1942,1944; A 1943 scenario is defined in another publication.
    15. PARTIAL ARTICLE LISTING: Click here
    16. GAME INVENTORY: 550 unit counters; 22" x 32" mounted mapboard; five scenario cards, 32 page rule book including designers notes and historical background.
    17. WBC & AVALONCON HISTORY: Continuous event since Avaloncon 1991.
    18. PBEM TOOLS:
      • A Java application VASSAL module, specifically for 3R4, posted on the VASSAL page under Third Reich Module. A WGA PBEM tournament is anticipated using a tournament scenario yet to be defined.
      • Todd Dunnavant has posted a Advanced Third Reich (A3R) specific module on the same site; Todd is the Trustee of the A3R module.
    19. PBEM OPPORTUNITES: Contact Wargame Academy if interested. A Boardgamer Player Association PBEM tournament can be organized. A functional VASSAL module for both 3R4 and A3R are posted on the VASSAL Engine Modules website.
    20. WARGAME ACADEMY COMMENTS: Twice awarded as 'Best Wargame of All Time". Excellent game surviving an initially flawed rules resulting in three major revisions. Last TAHGC evolution was Advanced Third Reich (A3R) which is considered separate from Third Reich 4th edition (3R4). 3R4 copies are owned by most grognards and as is a complete game less A3R enhancements, hence many did not invest the funds for A3R. TAHGC also published a DOS computer version in its late years but may experienced issues with running the application as Windows DOS (386/486) iterations beyond Windows98 did not prioritize DOS functionality. Its popularity is its continuous stream of articles in the General Magazine for over 25 years.
    21. WARGAME ACADEMY GAME TOOLS: An WGA Amplified 3R4 softcopy rulebook with integrated errata, article listing and other additions/clarifications has been generated.
    22. ACCOLADES: 1974 Charles Roberts Award Best Professional Game winner.

 

Please send comments and corrections via to Wargame Academy

Go to the Wargame Academy main page