Avalon Hill had Advanced Third Reich and Empire of the Rising Sun. These were excellent strategic games that could be linked together and played as "Global War 2000," which was an amazingly poor choice of names. (Actually, GWY2K wasn't a formal game, but rather the system developed by players to link the two games and play be email.) A3R is still one of the best games I've ever played. ERS was also very good, though probably not as good as A3R. Both games had a research system that was fabulous.
I still have nearly mint condition copies of A3R and ERS, plus Victory Games War in the Pacific. Sometimes I take them out just to admire the maps and counters. :)
I was a play tester for the Computer A3R, but thats another subject.
ERS was in fact a horrible game. Japan couldnt lose, and I said as much. I was asked to submit an article for the General explaining why I felt this way and what I felt were the shortcomings and my strat (the designers were dead set to prove me wrong). I wrote a very detailed set of instructions on how Japan could win the game every time.
It really wasnt that difficult. You simply did nothing as Japan. You could do limited attacks in China if you wanted, but the key was the American activation table. If Japan did nothing to raise the tension level (like conducting offensives, building carriers, fortifying islands, ect) the earliest the USA could enter the war was the Spring 44 turn. This gave the US at best 6 turns to build their force pool. As it took 4 turns to build a naval unit, this effectively gave the US 2 turns to "beat" Japan, which couldnt be done. A couple of months after I wrote that article (which needless to say was never published), AH released a modified tension table in the General. Never played that version of the game.
IMHO Advanced Third Reich (without the Pacific additional game) was probably the single best game ever made. It certainly was the one I played the most. The computer version was probably in the top 10 of the worst games I ever played lol.
< Message edited by CV 2 -- 9/2/2012 8:44:11 AM >