I just want to add a few comments:
I) I just bought in spite of the pricing. Reasons, ordered by declining relevance:
a) I want to keep Matrix in business, they provide good games for a niche market and I really can't buy any of those space games to do so... not my genre, sorry. Actually, my main motivation here is that I want Matrix to be around long enough to provide WitP III in time for my retirement some 25 years from now . I calculated that some of my current AE PBEMs are likely to end by that point of time.
b) I want to keep SSG in business. They have been providing nice war games, and there are not many quality providers in this genre.
c) ATD was the best game/scenario of the entire series. I played it more than any of its successors including Kharkov, so it may be interesting. (Frankly, though, it is not likely I will play it much. I even deinstalled Kharkov ever since AE is out, because that eats all my playing time).
II) The problem with the pricing of this product (apart from the communication disaster) is that it forces you to own Kharkov in order to run ATD, so you have paid for the new engine, while reusing part of the work done for ATD (actually, without having looked at the product I cannot say to how big an extent), which owners of the old expansion clearly have paid for. So yes, clearly if you own the old expansion you are made to repay for parts of what you have paid for. There was a similar problem with WitP AE, and I think the decision made there was the correct way to proceed. For future releases, please stick to that approach (i.e. standalone with rebate for owners of the original product, which in this case would be Kharkov, for which none of the technical problems recited exists).
III) (A bit tongue in cheek in order to finish this with a light note and, of course, promoting my favourite horse in the Matrix stable - sorry Gregor, I hope you understand Erik )
The scenario is huge and the consequences of a single decision, especially for the Russians, can be catastrophic, so the game demands concentration. At the current price it is still some of the best value for money for an entertainment dollar that you are going to find anywhere in the world.
If this is what you are after, the best you can buy for your money is AE. Go, get it now (or after your next paycheck) !!!
< Message edited by hartwig.modrow -- 4/6/2010 9:14:00 AM >