The Second World War
in Europe, 1939-1945
in 1974, Third Reich has sold well
over a quarter-million copies in several editions
over two publishers. The Avalanche Press edition,
released in 2001, brought the old game into
a new century with a complete upgrade to graphics
and game play. The result is a smooth-playing
game with a minimum of charts to consult but
a deep grounding in the historical background
of the Second World War.
Third Reich interweaves not only the land,
naval and air struggles, but also the equally important
economic and political battles. Players must guide their
nation to victory by capturing key objectives while making
sure no one else — in particular their allies —
gets there first.
Players take on the leadership of Britain, France, Italy,
Germany, the United States or the Soviet Union. Each of
these major powers, in turn, can influence smaller countires
like Turkey, Greece or Romania to join the war on their
side. They can offer bribes or territory, and sometimes
it’s more important to decrease someone else’s
influence than to build up your own.
The currency of the game is the Basic Resource Point,
or BRP. This represents the financial, industrial and
agricultural production needed to wage war. BRP’s
are used to build new units, to pay for offensives, to
replace losses suffered in battle, to bribe minor countries,
and for a host of other purposes. Each country’s
production can be affected by conquering or losing territory,
or through strategic warfare (chiefly, attacks by submarines
Once activated (usually at a cost in BRP’s), land,
naval and air units can move and attack enemy units. Combat
is resolved by rolling dice, with a result of 6 usually
equalling a hit. There are no Combat Results Tables; every
factor counts and there are no “perfect numbers”
of units to commit to battle as in some wargames. When
a land unit is hit, BRP’s can be used to absorb
some of the damage, but too many hits and it is reduced
in strength or destroyed. Naval and air units pack a greater
punch, but don’t bounce back from damage as easily.
Scenarios, or game situations, begin the game in 1938,
1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 or 1945. Political
markers are randomly chosen to determine what events might
take place outside the players’ control: Poland
might capitulate to Germany in 1939, Mussolini, Churchill
or Hitler might unleash some stupid scheme the Italian,
British or German player will have to execute, oil could
be found in Libya, the French navy could rally to the
Allies or the Axis, jets can be developed, good Germans
might kill Hitler — dozens of such events are possible.
As one of the most popular games of all time,
our edition of Third Reich has also
spawned a sequel, Great
Pacific War. The two games
can be played together or separately.
We’ve also issued Rumors of War, a book with new scenarios, strategy
hints, and variant rules with 60 new die-cut
and mounted game pieces plus a map addition to add to the fun.
You can read more about Third Reich’s
contents, and download many free variants,
Three 8.5"x22" hard-mounted boards,
840 game pieces, 20-page rule book.
Status: This game is out of print.