Russo-German War - AAR (Full Version)

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spelk -> Russo-German War - AAR (5/27/2011 5:14:07 PM)

Just started a Schwerpunkt's Russo-German War AAR on the Crimea Break-In scenario, if anyone is interested.

http://sugarfreegamer.com/?p=2598




SLAAKMAN -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (5/27/2011 5:38:54 PM)

Cool, Thanks. [:D]




hgilmer3 -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (5/27/2011 10:01:27 PM)

Whoa! They went barebones on the graphics, but hopefully the AI engine and just the overall engine is good. As we all know graphics take a back seat if the game is a great game.

Edit: Oh, it looks like an older game, so the graphics are probably pretty good for when it was released.




spelk -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (5/28/2011 6:43:47 AM)

Yeah, its 11 years old. I think the later incarnations have better map graphics, but I believe the core essentials of the games chit design is derived from their design philosophy

http://schwerpunkt.wargamer.com/Design.html

"Use graphics as a tool to enable the player to more easily understand the game, not for eye-candy. Use sparingly."

and

"Keep the computer system's configuration requirements minimal to allow wargamer's with older computers to play the games without upgrades."

"Keep the wargame play very similar to the old operational level wargames in the boardgame format to bring back old wargamers to the hobby."

If these titles were available by digital download I would have been all over them a long time ago, as it is, I had to import them and their boardgame mechanic is quite refreshing - so they're new games to me :)




sabre1 -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (5/28/2011 8:12:27 AM)

JMass made a map mod for RGW, and it is very good.




Rick -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (5/28/2011 4:07:41 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: spelk

Just started a Schwerpunkt's Russo-German War AAR on the Crimea Break-In scenario, if anyone is interested.

http://sugarfreegamer.com/?p=2598


Nicely done. I played this several years ago, but the last time I went to install it on my computer I wasn't able to find the CD. I still have the manual, but no CD. I suspect it might have ended up in laptop that has bitten the dust by now.

I recall it being quite enjoyable, once you got used to the user interface. It had a nice old style board game feel to it. That AAR report makes me want to try looking for the CD again.

thanks
rick




hgilmer3 -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (5/28/2011 6:28:32 PM)

Nothing wrong with playing older games, though. I still crank up War In Russia every now and then. It just took me by surprise.




Alan Sharif -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (5/28/2011 7:17:58 PM)

Their recent Middle East Wargame is worth checking out.




spelk -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (5/31/2011 6:54:35 PM)

Turn 2 is up
http://sugarfreegamer.com/?p=2652




spelk -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (5/31/2011 6:55:48 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: sabre1
JMass made a map mod for RGW, and it is very good.


Ah sweet, do you know where to get it?




sabre1 -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (6/1/2011 2:32:52 AM)

Spelk,

I PM'd you.




sabre1 -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (6/2/2011 5:15:58 AM)

Spelk, here is the link for the RGW map mod by JMass. It appears to still be working. Hope that helps.


http://www.mediafire.com/?2f0kbatcfj0rxdh




ilovestrategy -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (6/2/2011 6:13:30 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: hgilmer3

Nothing wrong with playing older games, though. I still crank up War In Russia every now and then. It just took me by surprise.



I still play Ascendancy, Ultima 6 and Civ II! [8D]




spelk -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (6/2/2011 7:53:38 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: sabre1
Spelk, here is the link for the RGW map mod by JMass. It appears to still be working. Hope that helps.

http://www.mediafire.com/?2f0kbatcfj0rxdh



Thanks for sourcing that for me Sabre1, much appreciated.




hgilmer3 -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (6/2/2011 12:35:56 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: ilovestrategy


quote:

ORIGINAL: hgilmer3

Nothing wrong with playing older games, though. I still crank up War In Russia every now and then. It just took me by surprise.



I still play Ascendancy, Ultima 6 and Civ II! [8D]


I'm played Aces of the Pacific just recently.




spelk -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (6/17/2011 1:49:47 PM)

Turn 3 is up
http://sugarfreegamer.com/?p=2795

and Turn 4
http://sugarfreegamer.com/?p=2862




spelk -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (6/20/2011 7:45:46 PM)

Turn 5 of the Crimean Break-in is up:
http://sugarfreegamer.com/?p=2932




spelk -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (6/27/2011 10:05:05 AM)

Turn 6 in the Crimean Break-In AAR us up, and things are getting a little exciting!
http://sugarfreegamer.com/?p=2973




sabre1 -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (6/27/2011 2:17:40 PM)

Spelk,

I remember the best I ever did on this scenario was a "C", if I remember correctly. Thanks for doing the AAR.




marjur -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (6/30/2011 5:28:41 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: hgilmer3

Whoa! They went barebones on the graphics, but hopefully the AI engine and just the overall engine is good. As we all know graphics take a back seat if the game is a great game.



As for the AI engine, it more or less the same as in other war games; however, the overall engine is absolutely abysmal.

The game is virtually unplayable, and not only by today's standards; the game mechanics were already a pain in the arse when it came out.

You really need to be a masochist to play it.





spelk -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (6/30/2011 7:42:26 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: marjur
As for the AI engine, it more or less the same as in other war games; however, the overall engine is absolutely abysmal.

The game is virtually unplayable, and not only by today's standards; the game mechanics were already a pain in the arse when it came out.

You really need to be a masochist to play it.


Wow, thats quite a harsh assessment! I'd hardly call the game unplayable. The interface takes a little getting used to, but its simply a representation of boardgame mechanics as far as I can tell. Other than the key combinations to select a particular unit on a stack, most of the right click context menus and options are straightforward enough.

I really enjoyed the games simplicity in play, yet multitude of options at the operational level. To include air CAP's and bombing raid, along with naval bombardment goes beyond a lot of state of the art wargames nowadays (I mean, even War in the East doesn't allow specific Air ops!)

The boardgame/dice based combat resolution is perhaps its biggest stumbling block in terms of PC wargaming, but as a representation of a boardgame it is spot on. I only wish there were more developers like Ron/Schwerpunkt making interesting wargame/boardgames like this on the PC.

Not sure why you think someone has to be a masochist to play this game, I found it very straightforward - and it leapt up to joint top of my operational games alongside Decisive Campaigns: Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris. Very good company indeed.

I even warmed to the idea of placing ALL the relevant unit information on the unit chit itself. It makes for a very focussed game, because you're not constantly having to check stats in a box away from the action itself. The area I think it lets itself down is having many of the additional information hidden away in status modes - such as the supply and victory point locations. You really need to see some of this stuff with the units in place.

The RGW map was quite basic, but 11 years ago it was probably a masterpiece. The AGW/MDE maps are much better realised, and a player modified the original RGW map to make it more pleasing to the eye.

I just can't understand the hostility for this title really, I suppose it depends upon where you're coming from in terms of what you're comparing it against. It would be interesting to hear what titles you consider surpass this one and why you think you need to be into masochism to enjoy it.




marjur -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (6/30/2011 10:55:16 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: spelk

The interface takes a little getting used to, . . . the key combinations to select a particular unit on a stack, . . . the right click context menus and options . . .



The interface is the most awkward, clunky, unfriendly, and unnecessarily complicated I've come across in a wargame for Windows, comparable only to equally abysmal user interfaces in the wargames produced in the DOS era. It relies on numerous pesky, totally unintuitive key combinations (e.g. including combinations with Shift, Control, Alt!!! [&:]). It's really hard to design a wargame whose interface would be more off-putting...

The producer must have forgotten they're making it for Windows, not DOS. That's really the main problem with this game. The UI screws everything else up...


quote:

ORIGINAL: spelk

The RGW map was quite basic, but 11 years ago it was probably a masterpiece.



It wasn't.

It was as lousy as it is today.

For instance, RGW was released in 2001, while in 1998 (i.e. 3 years earlier) Talonsoft had brought out TOAW, which was (and is) superior to RGW in every respect, including the quality of the maps.


quote:

ORIGINAL: spelk

I just can't understand the hostility for this title.



I's not hostility. I bought RGW, and was RALLY disappointed. I'm just voicing my opinion about this game.





spelk -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (6/30/2011 11:24:53 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: marjur
The interface is the most awkward, clunky, unfriendly, and unnecessarily complicated I've come across in a wargame for Windows, comparable only to equally abysmal user interfaces in the wargames produced in the DOS era. It relies on numerous pesky, totally unintuitive key combinations (e.g. including combinations with Shift, Control, Alt!!! [&:]). It's really hard to design a wargame whose interface would be more off-putting...

The producer must have forgotten they're making it for Windows, not DOS. That's really the main problem with this game. The UI screws everything else up...


Well, I can only speak for myself, and I've come across many more obscure UI's in wargames than RGW presents. The one example you speak of is the selection of units in a stack, and I agree this is a bit cumbersome and not ideal, but the right click context menu's are pretty much standard Windows UI basics. If you want obscure UI's look no further than the likes of other boardgame representations such as Empires in Arms. RGW is a joy to use as far as I'm concerned. Its straight forward and very newbie friendly - you right click and choose the action and place the unit. Can't get any more simpler than that.

quote:

ORIGINAL: marjur
quote:

ORIGINAL: spelk
The RGW map was quite basic, but 11 years ago it was probably a masterpiece.


It wasn't.

It was as lousy as it is today.

For instance, RGW was released in 2001, while in 1998 (i.e. 3 years earlier) Talonsoft had brought out TOAW, which was (and is) superior to RGW in every respect, including the quality of the maps.


Well, speaking as a person who has dabbled in numerous wargames and is always on the lookout of new experiences (even if they are old ones) - I can't say TOAW's UI has set my heart on fire with enthusiasm - its overly geared towards the 1990's, and has terrible unit information. Even with the new upgrade patch. I can't even get it to hold off throwing up hover boxes detailing terrain, when scrolling around the map. Movement arrows are drawn on the map as you scroll around it with a unit selected.. I've certainly found RGW easier to approach and more logical in its approach. If you're holding up TOAW as a prime example of a decent UI then we must agree to differ.

Tiller's UI is obtuse also, I found the right click context menu for RGW much more intuitive with standard Windows UI practices than Tiller's selection mechanism and right clicking to advance a unit, hex by hex (and some of the terrible zoom modes and crude simply ugly unit sprites). Or the precarious left click and drag across the map. RGW is much more straight forward in its approach.

quote:

ORIGINAL: marjur
quote:

ORIGINAL: spelk
I just can't understand the hostility for this title.

I's not hostility. I bought RGW, and was RALLY disappointed. I'm just voicing my opinion about this game.


I'm interested in your opinions, as a wargamer, but your response seemed to be pure vitriol. In my experience, I've just not seen the UI or the Map for that matter to be such a masochistic barrier to my enjoyment of the game.

I've purchased subsequent Schwerpunkt titles and AGW builds upon RGW with its interface, and the MDE game gives you a more guided UI approach. With stack selection being simply a matter of clicking the ones you want. Stack limit in MDE isn't limited to 3 also.

I think RGW stacks up, against the likes of TOAW to be honest. Its one guy, with a sterling design philosophy (results in comparison with history being a major selling point for me).

I guess the proof is in the pudding, and I'm more likely to load up RGW/AGW or MDE than I am some of Tiller's stuff or TOAW. Although rather than knocking wargames against each other, I'd rather embrace all the variety we have - I own them all - I just wanted to address your quite ascerbic comments on RGW.

Its been a trial to get hold of the games for me, having to import them. But its also been an adventure, finally finding operational wargames that I click with.

Anyway, just my two penneth.




gabeeg -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (7/1/2011 12:33:45 AM)

I am a fan of TOAW...and I still cuss at the UI quite often. If I do not play in awhile it takes getting used to everytime. Underneath that UI I quite enjoy the game. Now Tiller, I do not think Tillers games are newbie friendly (not necessarily bad UI) and it took me a couple goes at trying to get into SB Eagles Strike before I got used to it and now I am a pure unadulturated Tiller fan boy and love his games (and HPS games using the same basic UI). Even bad UI's are just a matter of getting used to IMO (there are exceptions where the UI ruins a game..but that is rare). It really makes you appreciate a game like Decisive Campaigns plays really smooth after quick tour of the interface. I do not own a Schwerpunkt game (yet) but it looks to me like there is a lot of depth to them and "playability", in my book that is of primary importance...you can learn and get used any UI...if it is worth it.

Spelk, I am really enjoying this AAR...I am sold. Schewerpunkt will be getting some money...but will it be Anglo-German or wait for WWII Europe...




Emilio -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (7/1/2011 10:23:02 AM)

IMHO RGW was the best game for playing the East Front until WitE. True, graphics are not really good today, but the game is some years old, and you can improve graphics with the JMass map, making it quite similar to the more modern AGW.

Also it gives you as much as 51 scenarios, and more that you can find in the RGW yahoo group.

Also wait for the incoming WWII-E. Basically AGW + a new revamped RGW + MDE interface + some surprises + a lot of improvements.

You should read this Design Philosophy and look if it could be suitable for you. I strongly agree with all points, specially: Keep the wargame play very similar to the old operational level wargames in the boardgame format to bring back old wargamers to the hobby.







Emilio -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (7/1/2011 10:25:16 AM)

By the way, great AAR, spelk, I'm reading if from Turn #1 [:D]




sabre1 -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (7/1/2011 12:49:35 PM)

RGW is a one man operation. Ron Dockal is wonderful to do business with (I own all 3 games).

Is RGW UI difficult? Yes, but once learned, it's not bad. With 51 scenarios of the East Front, there are not many operational games to choose from, and I actually prefer RGW over any of the current competition.

I find TOAW more difficult than RGW.

Thank goodness we have choices.

Enjoying your AAR Spelk.




marjur -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (7/1/2011 1:04:09 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Emilio

You should read this Design Philosophy and look if it could be suitable for you. I strongly agree with all points, specially: Keep the wargame play very similar to the old operational level wargames in the boardgame format to bring back old wargamers to the hobby.




Schwerpunkt's so-called "Design Philosophy" is a handful of general cliches that are equally applicable to most, if not all, companies producing wargames.

Any Matrix's flagship products, such as Close Combat, TOAW, WitE, Advanced Tactics, and so on, has probably attracted a lot more people to the genre than RGW has.

It's ironic that a company who wants to "Attract new wargamers by appealing to people who enjoy history and love a game that is fun to play AND offers a challenge." produce one of the most cumbersome wargames around...[:D]





dougb -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (7/1/2011 2:42:04 PM)

I've enjoyed RGW in the past and was thinking about the things the game system does well versus it's weaknesses.

First the problems

1) The UI is definitely cumbersome, and was cumbersome when the game was first released. There are far too many clicks and too many awkward keyboard/mouse combinations.
2) The AI really isn't that great. PBEM is good but there are a fair number of file transfers required.

Now since then I understand that the interface has been upgraded in both AGW and the new Middle East Game. That said, the interface can probably still do with some improvement. To be fair Ron Dockal has produced a number of upgrades over the years to RGW.

Now what the system does well - particularly with a mind to WITE

1) one hell of a lot of scenarios! Fantastic selection, apart from 1945 you can pretty much play a scenario on every major operation on the eastern front. In comparison how many scenarios do you get out of the box with WITE? And the inclusion of the editor is largely offset by the fact that the detail of the game requires a monumental research effort on the part of the scenario designer.
2) A design philosophy that eschews the Grigsby et al. approach of throwing in everything including the last Kitchen battalion, thereby ensuring the player is overwhelmed by micromanagement of countless units and a dizzying array of numbers. Instead of including every goddamn assault gun battalion Dockal abstracts this into support points that can be assigned by headquarters. Very nice, and to my mind a much superior method of simulation at the front or theatre level.
3) While there has been some criticism of the graphics, I have to note that for a long time there wasn't really anything in pc wargame graphics that looked more attractive or cleaner than the graphics in RGW. JMass made a lovely upgrade to the map. Now WITE does look far superior in terms of graphics - but it took a hell of a long time to get a game out there on the same subject that had a better looking map.

I agree with another individual that what Ron Dockal really needs is a developer to help ensure that the UI is redesigned so that it becomes a strength rather than weakness of the game. It's certainly playable as it stands and much improved over the initial release.

Best wishes,

Doug




marjur -> RE: Russo-German War - AAR (7/1/2011 3:03:48 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: dougb

A design philosophy that eschews the Grigsby et al. approach of throwing in everything including the last Kitchen battalion, thereby ensuring the player is overwhelmed by micromanagement of countless units and a dizzying array of numbers. Instead of including every goddamn assault gun battalion Dockal abstracts this into support points that can be assigned by headquarters. Very nice, and to my mind a much superior method of simulation at the front or theatre level.



A lot of people love the detail, and they would say something exactly opposite, i.e. that lack of such details is RGW's greatest weakness...





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