I think different people have different definitions of "historical game". WitE in current, is a strict, determinstic historical game, intentionally tested to align the historical outcome. This cannot be blamed, it offers players a good experience of historical simulation, just as watching a WW2 movie or reading a WW2 book.
However, from game perspective, a strict, determinstic style of design also hampered the diversification, replayability and initiative. These are important features in game experience, especially in a competitive wargame often played between human opponents. Do you like to see, in every game, the Germans make stereotype offensive and Russian make stereotype sir robinovich in summer, and vice versa in winter?
I think historical game should not be focused to reproduce the outcome of history. Yes, it should simulates the historical enviroments, conditions and limitations as accurate as possible. After that, it's the players' show time, making their own strategies, testing various what ifs...to produce their own outcome based on reasonable historical limitations. This is what makes a game shine. Without initiative and achievements, what's the point of playing game? better to watch movies or read books.
Regarding to the hardcoded first winter rule, it's obviously a typical example of the deterministic design. Player always suffer the historical catastrophe even if no historical overextension and logistical negligence. In contrary, the Russian side has no hardcoded limitations to simulate Stalin's no retreat order, isn't it a bit strange?
< Message edited by jay102 -- 1/16/2011 7:28:35 PM >