Nevsky, Teutons and Rus in Collision, 1240-1242
Levy & Campaign Series, Volume I
Latindom’s Northern Crusade on Baltic pagans would not dream of taking on the Orthodox city-state before it, a wealth so mighty that Russians called the city itself “Lord Novgorod the Great”. But then the Khan’s Golden Horde overran all Rus east of Ilmen. Teutonic and Danish Crusaders saw an opening to take on the schismatics and perhaps seize Novgorod’s trade routes to Asia....
Medieval society tightly interwove political organization with military necessity. GMT’s new Levy & Campaign Series from Volko Ruhnke immerses players in the feudal system as it mobilizes for war and shapes war's conduct. This first volume – Nevsky – unrolls the politico-military tapestry along the Baltic frontier of the 13th Century, where town councils and papal legates loomed larger than kings. Later volumes will illuminate military cultures across the breadth of the medieval world.
Levy your lords and vassals, stock their supplies and transport. Plan your campaign. Then be sure to reward your field commanders with booty, coin, and victories—lest they suddenly head home to tend their land, their obligation to you expired!
Nevskyis a board wargame about the storied clash between Latin Teutonic and Orthodox Russian powers along the Baltic frontier of the mid-13th-Century. It is the first volume in GMT Games’ Levy & Campaign Series portraying military operations in a variety of pre-industrial conflicts. In Nevsky, players raise and equip their armies, then provision and maneuver them to ravage or conquer enemy territory or defeat enemy forces in battle. Feudal politics obligate an array of lords and vassals to serve on campaign—but only for limited periods. Players must keep an eye on the calendar and reward lords to keep their armies in the field.
Nevskyis solitaire friendly or can add a rules option with screens that hide what the two players’ lords levy. A second option adds detail regarding vassal forces’ terms of service.
General Course of Play
In Nevsky, two players take the roles of “Russians” and “Teutons”, respectively. The Russians represent the wealthy city-state of Novgorod and its allies. The Teutons comprise German and Danish landholders—including the Teutonic Order—expanding a Baltic dominion.
The sides every 40 days will levy various lords and vassals and their forces, transport, and capabilities, backed by higher political authorities—a papal legate for the Teutons and Novgorod’s city council (veche) for the Russians. Each lord is rated for fealty, lordship, service, and command and lays out his forces and assets on a mat. Wooden pieces represent units of knights, mounted sergeants, light and Asiatic cavalry, men-at-arms, and unarmored serfs and militia. Assets include counters for transport such as carts, boats, and sleds; provender to feed the army; and coin to pay for longer service or booty captured by ravaging or conquering enemy regions.
The players then plan and command a campaign for that 40 days with the lords who have mustered. To represent the limits of communications on medieval operations, stacks of command cards commit players to activating lords in a sequence that may or may not meet the needs of the developing situation. Cylinder pieces on the map show the lords’ maneuvers, while markers on a feudal calendar show how much longer the lords will serve, influenced by success or failure in their campaigns. When lords clash in field battle or storming a castle, players array their lords’ mats left, right, center, and reserve and attempt to rout the enemy. Various event and capability cards reveal cultural and technological particulars that influence levy, campaign, and combat.
- A 17” x 22” mounted game board
- One wooden Legate pawn
- Fourteen wooden Lord cylinders
- A small Lords sticker sheet
- Twelve 5” x 5” cardboard Lord mats
- 50 wooden wedges (Knights, Sergeants, Light & Asiatic Horse)
- 74 wooden bars (Men-at-Arms, Militia, Serfs)
- Three sheets of markers
- Four decks of 21 each Russian and Teutonic Arts of War and Command cards
- Two 11”x17” player aid foldouts
- One 8½”x11” Arts of War decks reference sheet
- Two optional 8½”x22” 3-panel screens with Russian or Teutonic Lords reference panel
- Six 6-sided dice
- A rule book with multiple scenarios
- A background play book.
TIME SCALE: 40 days per turn
MAP SCALE: Point-to-point, 200-300 miles across
UNIT SCALE: 50-100 horse or 100-200 foot
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 1-2
Designer: Volko Ruhnke
Developer: Wendell Albright