Black Turn – Operation Barbarossa 1941


Operation Barbarossa, as a historical event, should not need much of an introduction. It was the largest invasion in the history of warfare, part of the largest military confrontation of all time. The nature of the operation, and its actual historical flow, are perfectly suited for the Unity of Command system. We always knew we were going to do it eventually.

Still, it took us full two years, from the game’s original release in 2011, to complete the Eastern Front trilogy with a Barbarossa campaign. For me at least, it was worth the wait. The scenarios, designed mostly by Pieter de Jong (aka ComradeP), are some of the best in the series. The campaign is longer than “Stalingrad Campaign” and it flows more naturally from easier to harder, as the fortunes of war change for the invading Wehrmacht.


Here is a pair of quotes from German generals that give you the best indication of the shift in their mood between the summer and the winter of 1941. Will the same happen to you, in command of the virtual counterparts of these very same forces?

“It is no exaggeration to say that the Russian campaign has been won in fourteen days.”, Franz Halder, July 3, 1941.

“We have seriously underestimated the Russians, the extent of their country and the treachery of their climate. This is the revenge of reality.”, Heinz Guderian, November 9, 1941.

So, we go from the dramatic early victories all the way to ignominious defeat at the gates of Moscow? Well, yes and no. Certainly, we like to stick to history, and the first 10 scenarios of the Axis campaign take you from the violent frontier battles, through epic moments like the Kiev Encirclement, all the way to Taifun, the final German assault on Moscow.

This final historical scenario is an 18-turn, 200-unit behemoth that is rated “hard” to boot. You may as well lose here, but then, the Germans didn’t win either. In case you do manage to take Moscow however, there are two further what-if scenarios. There’s no point in spoiling this for anybody so just briefly: the what-ifs are challenging and only slightly ahistorical. We’ve also made the point of doing some novel things with the AI there, as an indication of what lies in the future for 2×2 games. 😉

The story of the 1941 campaign wouldn’t be complete without a telling of the Soviet counterblows that followed. The Moscow Offensive, in December 1941, is when the Red Army finally relieved the pressure on the capital. What followed immediately afterwards was the January Offensive (of 1942), a typically ambitious attempt to encircle and destroy most of German Army Group Center. It wasn’t a success for the Soviets, but rather a bitter and confused struggle that ultimately resulted in the creation of the famous Rzhev salient. Can you do one better for the Motherland?

Black Turn DLC is the second downloadable content pack for “Unity of Command”. It will be released on Dec 10, 2013. and available both directly from our site (where you also get a Steam key) and through our usual distributors. It will be the final Unity of Command DLC, except maybe for community content (we are ready to help in completing the map for use with community scenarios, provided there’s enough interest out there).

There’s about a month still left to go before the release. Plenty of time to dust off those old copies of Unity of Command and Red Turn, give them a spin (or ten), and make sure your command skills are in top shape on December 10th. 🙂



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13 Responses to Black Turn – Operation Barbarossa 1941

  1. Really-really looking forward, so much to the release..

    I very much like the fact of keeping as close as possible to ‘Historical Fact’, and not, some made up mumbo-jumbo.. alright, I will give you the fact you have made up a few ‘what-if’s ‘, but, I for one will keep with the facts, and nothing but the facts..

    Thank you, for ALL, the time and hard work, you have all put into this.. May you long continue with even greater success..

  2. Jimmy says:

    Awesome, can’t wait to play this. You have a fan here.

  3. Chris says:

    I’ve already started re-playing the game in anticipation. I’ll buy this here as soon as it is released. My only problem is that I’ll feel guilty playing as the Germans, but I can be redeemed by the Soviet offensive at the end. 🙂

    Interestingly, this is the second game being released later this year involving the Moscow offensive (the other being the Battle of the Bulge sequel Drive on Moscow on iOS). I’m sure I’ll enjoy both and there’s no competition here because both games run on different platforms. I wonder if you guys might engage in some useful cross-promotion?

    Anyway, thanks again, looking forward to the game!

  4. luke says:

    Its been a really enjoyable game so thank you for the efforts

    I was hoping you would design a WW2 strategic version of this game. Is that a plan you may consider?

  5. Carl Taitano says:

    Please don’t say its the last game from your company. There is still the entire Western Front and some Middle East conflicts for you to do. A fan as always.

  6. Phil - Chicago says:

    I cannot wait! My wife hates you guys though – just kidding! But seriously, I need to teach her the art of wargaming. 😉

  7. Sli-Ben says:

    Im Enjoying playing Unity of Command, glad you have stuck to the historical side of the war and havent made up your own war as you have made the game (thats what i feel makes a WW2 sticking to the history and getting the facts right WELL DONE!!!)

    Please dont let this be your last game for your Unity of Command series… What about the Western front – Landing at Normandy Attacking the Hitler Line in Italy and the Battle of the bulge….

    Keep up the good work 2×2 great game!!!

  8. Petr says:

    First, thank you very much for the game. I’m enjoying it immensly. It really is perfect. As Sli-Ben said I hope that this won’t be your last UoC game. In the WWII there were so many battles that you could add expansions forever 🙂 The mechanics of the game are perfect. However, I would welcome if you added some more info about the battles and historic background so I don’t need to visit wikipedia every time. It could be a good way to learn about WWII more.

  9. arslan says:

    i like this game

  10. Lawrence Hung says:

    Will the purchase direct from the publisher at weekend discounts eligible for a redemption in Steam? I can redeem my direct purchase of the base game in Steam before. Or should I wait until the discounts available to Steam account as well?

  11. tom says:

    Hey Lawrence, you always get a Steam key when you buy from this site, discount or no discount.


  12. Lawrence Hung says:

    Hi Tom,
    Great. I would love to support the publisher directly. One thing about the campaign in UoC that concerns me is that I have to erase in-progress or completed campaign in order to start it from the other side. Is there a way to go around that? Do Black Turn/ Red Turn link the scenarios in a campaign like the base game or do they have to be played individually? Does the campaign in the expansions have the same “erase” problem I mentioned above?

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