Awakening the Bear! 2nd Edition

The year is 1941. Germany has defeated Poland, Denmark, Norway, and France with ease and turns its gaze further eastward to the USSR. In the morning hours of June 22 over 3 million German soldiers attack Soviet forces along a 1600 kilometer front, heralding the beginning of Operation Barbarossa. With this clever maneuver the Germans have achieved complete surprise, striking deep into Soviet Territory. The German High Command thinks the Soviets will fold like a house of cards; Stalin has massacred the Soviet officer cadre, training is poor, and their troop morale is low. To bolster this perception, the Soviets proceed to lose an astonishing 1.75 million men during the first two months of engagement.

The Germans are unstoppable, their Panzers push to the very gates of Moscow. Then winter hits and the bitter cold saps the Germans of their resources, strength, and morale. Seeing opportunity, the Soviets strike back and the momentum of the war begins to shift. The Soviet bear has awakened!

Awakening the Bear! is the first game in the Conflict of Heroes series. This series is a squad level combined arms training game used by history fans, universities, and military personnel throughout the world.

Awakening the Bear! has been honored to receive the following awards:
Historical Game of the Year
Charles Roberts Wargame of the Year
Winner of Best New Wargame Design
and many others since its initial publication!

Upcoming games in the series include Guadalcanal, D-Day Airborne Invasions, Modern Day Afghanistan, Invasion of France 1940, and many more!

"It is easy to see why Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear was an Origins Award Winner for Best Historical Game and this new edition makes a great game nearly perfect!"Rick, Armchair General

Awakening the Bear! - Russia 1941-42 takes you to the eastern front during Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of Russia. Many consider this time period to be the birth of modern warfare tactics that continue to be used and perfected by today's modern armies.

You command German or Soviet forces comprised of infantry squads, crewed support weapons, individual tanks, armored cars, artillery, and more.


Much effort went into distinguishing the units in the game by highlighting their historical strengths and weaknesses. For example, each tank's defense rating takes into account relative armor thickness, armor slope deflection percentage, speed, size, targeting mechanics, and crew training. All these factors are represented in an easy to learn target number system. You do not have to worry about the details; they are all built into the system! As the commander, you concentrate on tactics to execute your mission and firefight objectives.

Each firefight can be played dozens of times, exploring different tactics and use of available forces with every play-through. In Awakening the Bear, the Soviets have superior tank armor and firepower, which the Germans counter with integrated combined arms and communication nets.

The Programatic Instruction Rule Book is only 11 pages long and is taught in sections. You read a few pages, and then play two firefights. The next few pages add more advanced unit control and arms to the game and instruct you on how to play the next few firefights. As you progress through the game, you will face more challenging tactical situations. The rules do not become more difficult, but the decisions you must make do!


The included firefights, most of which you can play in about an hour, are designed to depict the pivotal points in a given battle. You can learn enough of the game to play the first scenario in 10 minutes thanks to the programmed instruction approach used in the full-color rulebook. The game also features 3 to 4 multi-player firefights and optional rules for solitaire play.


2nd Edition includes all new artwork, additional units & Firefights!

Game Contents Include:

  • 5 beautiful, highly detailed 15 x 19 inch geomorphic mounted map boards that can be integrated with the maps of other CoH games.
  • 210 LARGE 1” square die cut counters depicting rifle and SMG squads, tanks, armored cars, anti-tank guns, mortars, MGs, and many more!
  • The Firefight Book with a full historical overview and 16 Firefights.
  • Our award winning Programmed Instruction Rule Book that teaches the game in small, easy to learn steps.
  • The Action Card Deck that add a special fog of war to the game and is specially tailored to each Firefight. These Action, Weapon, and Bonus, can surprise your opponent and make the difference between victory and defeat.
  • 4 individual player track sheets.
  • 2 summary sheets.
  • 1 customized plastic counter storage tray.
  • 2 dice.

Expansions for Awakening the Bear!

Awakening the Bear Firefight Generator

Awakening the Bear Firefight Generator

The Awakening the Bear Firefight Generator expands the capabilities of Awakening the Bear by allowing players to generate their own custom Firefights which they can then play! Players alternate playing Generator Cards to choose units, Victory Point Conditions, weapons, weather conditions, and more. Players make use of strategy and cunning to outwit their opponents, creating Firefights with favorable conditions for themselves and putting their opponents at a disadvantage. The Firefight Generator allows players to create everything from small 2-player Firefights to massive, multi-map 4-Player battles!

The Awakening the Bear Firefight Generator integrates fully with the Eastern Front Solo Expansion. This allows players to create new Solo Firefights as well!

For more information on the Firefight Generator click HERE

Eastern Front Solo Expansion

Eastern Front Solo Expansion

The Eastern Front Solo Expansion allows players to test their skills against a highly reactive game AI. This AI is based on modern Emergent Behavior and Agent Based Logic systems. During play each situation is evaluated by the game AI and the best course of action is selected with consideration for available AI resources and unit assets.

For more information on the Solo Expansion click HERE

Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition Game Extras Download Page

To download the living Rule Books, Summary Sheets, Additional Firefights, Planning/Hidden Movement Maps, and Other Extras for Awakening the Bear visit the link below.
(All downloads in this section require registration to this site)

Question and Answer Forum on Board Game Geek

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Matt Thrower tells us why we should play wargames in his amazing review of Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition!

Rick takes a look at Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition over at Armchair General

Jeff with The Gaming Gang follows up their unboxing with a review of Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition!

Balena gives an overview of Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition with Wrecks and Destruction expansions.

Dr. Matt gives an overview of the Conflict of Heroes series

Balena updates his 2013 review of Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition to include the Solo Expansion and Firefight Generator! -Italian Language

Conflict of Heroes Review

"In Conflict of Heroes we have a system that can be learned once and enjoyed in a dizzying variety of places and variants." Matt Thrower on the success of Conflict of Heroes as a game system. "This wealth of opportunity almost defies belief, but it works!"


Charles S. Roberts Best Graphic Design Winner
Charles S. Roberts Best World War 2 era Board Game Winner
Golden Geek Best Wargame Nominee
Golden Geek Best 2-Player Board Game Nominee
Golden Geek Best Wargame Nominee
Origins Awards Best Historical Board Game Winner
International Gamers Award - General Strategy: Two-players
JoTa Best 2-Player Board Game Critic Award
JoTa Best Wargame Nominee


"For those who haven't gotten on board with Conflict of Heroes, the second edition of Awakening the Bear is the perfect jumping on point and ranks up there with titles which need to be on your gaming shelf."Jeff, The Gaming Gang
"It is easy to see why Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear was an Origins Award Winner for Best Historical Game and this new edition makes a great game nearly perfect!"Rick, Armchair General
"Conflict of Heroes just became a permanent fixture of my gaming arsenal. The game is easy to learn [and] fun to play!"Christopher H.

Video Reviews

SingleHandedWarefare reviews Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition

Marco reviews Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition!

Bart over at The Dice Tower walks through the differences between the 1st and 2nd Editions of Awakening the Bear!

The Gaming Gang unboxes Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition

SpieLama reviews Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition - German Language

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Add To Cart

$80.00 each
Awakening the Bear (AtB) Bundles