SGS: Winter War arrives on PC

There are different kinds of strategy gamers, largely because there are different types of strategy. Personally, I prefer the “easy to learn, difficult to master” approach. I like simple rules because it makes the layers of strategy shine through (in my opinion at least).

Then you have the other end of the scale and those people who won’t say you’re playing properly unless you have a library of rule books sitting next to you. Either approach is fine; it just depends on how much time you have.

A new title hit this genre last week and it appears to be walking the tightrope between the two ends of the spectrum and this is great. It’s called SGS: Winter War and we’ve got a bit more info to help you decide whether it’s your thing.

SGS: Winter War is coming from the folk over at Avalon Digital and, as I’ve just mentioned, is available now over on Steam Early Access and the Avalon Digital website. This title focuses on the conflict between the USSR and Finland in 1939. As such, you will either take the role of the Russian forces as they attempt to achieve their goals in the Finnish peninsula or side with the defending Fins, protecting their territory against Soviet expansion.

SGS: Winter War uses a new, fast-paced, card-driven engine. Each game lasts 16 turns, each of which represents a week in the war between December 1939 and March 1940. Each side comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. The invading Soviet land and air forces are numerous but poorly led and badly organized at the beginning of the game. With these numbers, however, comes the ability to call reinforcements effectively and quickly.

The Fins are playing a waiting game against tremendous odds. They have the advantages of superior quality and a good knowledge of the land allowing for strong defensive positions. They need to hold out while Allied forces attempt to stop the efforts of the Russian bear amid threats of their own intervention.

This isn’t just a game of combat. The cards allow for great replayability as the political, diplomatic, and economic as well as military circumstances they create can greatly affect the course of the game.

History buffs should love this one. This is a lesser-known conflict in a war that is much represented in videogames. Strategy fans should also get a kick out of a strategy card game that isn’t the norm. It’s definitely worth getting your teeth into if you fall into either camp.