May 21, 2024

#UnboxingDay! Third World War by Compass Games (take 1!)

Mike Orwick, 17 February 2022 ~ #UnboxingDay

Back in 1985, at Who’s Hobby in Rapid City, SD, I purchased a game called Southern Front.  This was one of the four games making up Frank Chadwicks The Third World War series.  I never did purchase any of the others, but a high school friend had The Battle For Germany and we would combine our games and fight out the war that never happened.

A couple of years ago, Compass Games announced an update to TTWW series, being released as a single boxed game.  So, having regretted not having ever gotten the other modules to the original series, I of course went out and pre-ordered.  This was back in January of 2020.  Thanks to COVID and all of the ensuing supply disruptions, we’ve had to wait two years.  On Compass’ February 10th Townhall, it was announced that games would start shipping on the 14th.  It was hinted that Bill Thomas might start shipping a little earlier.  The next day, I received my copy.

And it has been well worth the wait.

This is a massive game.  The box is 3 inches deep.  There are six 22” x 34” maps.  Nine counters sheets, each with 117 counters.  That’s 2106 counters (some are blank, so the actual count comes down to 2052).  The rulebook is 44 pages, from cover to cover, with the back page dedicated to an index for the rules. 


click images to enlarge


A second book, the Playbook, which is 84 pages long, is also included.  This contains briefing books for each of the games four modules; Germany, Southern, Arctic, and Persian Gulf.  Scenarios and setups not only for each individual module, but four different combinations of two or more modules.


A deck of 24 diplomacy cards (11 for each side and two blank) are included, along with a small boat load of player aide sheets.  There are 10 player aides for each side.  Most are single sided and almost identical. Five Warsaw Pact, five NATO, and two Neutral setup cards allow the players to layout their counters based on the scenario being played and when they become available.





All of the player aides are of good sturdy stock.  The books are a not as heavy, but are also sturdy.


The four European maps can be overlapped to form one large map.  The two Persian Gulf maps are used together, but do not link with the European maps.  The maps are standard weight and should last for many game play throughs.




The counters are 9/16”, up from a ½” and are of standard thickness.  The two rows of counters that I removed from the sprue, required no tools, nor did I need any tools to separate them from each other.  I’ve never clipped counters, and from the few that I’ve removed at this point, don’t see a need to start now.







Thanks for joining this month’s #UnboxingDay with the Armchair Dragoons and we hope you enjoyed our recon of our recent acquisitions.  You can always leave us your feedback in our #UnboxingDay thread, or in the comment area on this article, below.
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