From: Denver Colorado
I bought this game in Dec 2010, and played it continuously until about two months ago. I only stopped because I've had to concentrate a lot more on RL for a variety of reasons.
The only game that comes close to the amount of time I have spent on this is the Football Manager series (which are effectively a new game every year).
Its well worth the money, but you have to put in a certian amount of effort to get the best out of the game.
Its very disappointing that a very tiny minority of posters on here appear to think its borked. They have explained their reasons at length, but its still not enough to convince the vast majority.
As the self-proclaimed champion of this so-called 'tiny minority' I can tell the original poster that there is a wide swath of players who wanted a competitive game from the German perspective that simply quit and moved on.
I can give you a couple of examples of the borked nature of the German army:
The German pays 500 percent to 750 percent more, at a minimum, to move divisions between commands compared to the Soviet.
The Soviet morale setting (and consequently the formula for gaining unit morale, which is the single most important factor in combat effectiveness) automatically goes up at certain points on the calendar regardless of what's happening in the game.
The German morale setting automatically goes down every January, regardless of casualties.
The German player is forced to remove specific divisions (often based on historic timetables that reflect actual world war 2 combats that may not have happened in game, such as Totenkopf being withdrawn after Demjansk when the latter probably won't happen). The best examples are Stalingrad, of course - you lose those units whether or not Stalingrad happens.
The German army starts out Barbarossa horribly over-burdened in command in Army Group South and Army Group Center, and there is literally no chance to sort that out even if you use every Admin Point the game gives you. Compare this to the Soviet side, which can change every division's HQ for 1 Admin Point (Germany's average is 5 to 7 points). Bear in mind that based on the fixed leadership values of the game, Germany only has a 20% superiority in command ratings than the Soviet (that's not a complaint - just explaining that the AP costs do not 'wash' with the command superiority of the Germans).
Now, meanwhile, the Soviet gets all sorts of new units and new HQs that always start attached to Stavka, so they can be switched around for free the first time (and 1 AP thereafter for the divisions). The result is that the Soviet army gets to reorganize in 1941 for free and will be organizationally superior to Germany by the middle of the summer of 1941.
This is to say nothing of the fact that no cities are worth holding for the Soviets. All that matters is the evacuation of Armament factories and tank factories. All the other factories don't matter, and Soviet players know this, so they abandon the other factories, evacuate all armaments, and then have tons of excess rail capacity (that historically would have been used by real Soviets to evacuate real factories - they didn't have the hindsight to know the US would make up for all their supply issues).
The Soviets have the ability to air-drop brigades with perfect efficiency in such a way that they can easily cut an entire army group's supply line for two weeks at a time. Partisans also have the ability to destroy an entire army group's supply based on how the rail system works.
Over and over again, this game design results in a fantastical Soviet ability to organize and fight in a way that is 50 years ahead of the tactics of the time. Meanwhile Germany is literally tied down to history in ways that defy reason. There is literally no way for a German player to improve substantially on the performance of his game army over the performance of the historical Wehrmacht. Meanwhile, with the failsafes and the gimmicks that the Soviets have, there is no way for the Soviet player to play worse than his historical predecessor.
The game is at its essence, a canned-hunt of Germany with the Soviet given free-reign to stomp the fascists and the Germans tied into a cage that shrinks every turn. I never had a German opponent (when I played Soviet) get past 1942, and I never got past that myself playing as a German. If you'd like to know more, feel free to message me, and I can put you in contact with others like myself, who think the game was a technical marvel, and a competitive mess.
This is to say nothing of the combat engine, which everyone agrees is flawed heavily. The combat engine is way over-specified, and the end result is that all types of combatants are in a rush to get to close range. This results in SMG squads out-performing MG-34 teams, and mortars slaughtering 5 times the enemy force as 150mm howitzers. In this system, where the Soviet has a fairly free ability to create support units, divisions, brigades, and corps, the Soviet player always has the ability to exploit army design. Germany has no such ability.
Those of us who felt that these decisions resulted in an anti-competitive game brought our math and our eloquence and our historical precedents of the actual war. And then we were called names by people, including the alpha and beta testers who were the de facto spokespeople for the game.
The result, as you can see and observe by yourself, is a forum that is growing quiet and increasingly more homogenous. Since I paid $90 for the game at release, I felt entitled to demand changes that reflected the actual capabilities of the armies at the time (I was really big about the admin point problem Germany faced versus the Soviet, and the morale changes being fixed on a timeline for Germany, rather than a casualty loss rate).
I'm not sure whether there will be another propaganda campaign designed to bully and intimidate people like me. Watch the tone of people who respond to me, and the absence of factual counterpoints. The last campaign succeeded, for the most part, and the community is now a closed group of people who love the Soviet game and don't recognize the biased design and anti-competitive force. You'll see there are fewer forum posts, and fewer requests for games (and everyone is looking for 'experienced' German players for some reason! Go figure!) What does that tell you?
Support for War in the East is OVER, and the developers have said that no major changes will occur. They expect to release other games now. They've gotten all the money they needed from War in the East.
If I were you, I wouldn't buy War in the East because of the problems now permanent in the game. Maybe 2by3 will in fact release a better War in the West and other products in the future, but I'll be damned if I'm an early adopter of one of their way-over-priced products again. In a world where you have a lot of options for your entertainment dollar, I would recommend you go to another product.
Spring 2018-Playing: Demyansk Shield: Frozen Fortress; Advanced Squad Leader,
Rulebooks: ASL (always ASL), Holland'44, Demyansk Shield: Frozen Fortress