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Would appreciate some advice...

 
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Would appreciate some advice... - 2/10/2013 5:18:46 PM   
TheGreatRadish

 

Posts: 59
Joined: 1/21/2006
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Hi all,

I recently posted a thread in the general discussion area asking for opinions on good, approachable, sub-WitE-level complexity operational wargames. I happened to mention that the DC series intrigues me and that I've been on the verge of buying for a while.

I like what I see and what I've read - I have absolutely no concerns over the production quality of the game, nor the content (I'm actually more inclined to go for WtP as the subject material is slightly more appealing to me, I posted here as it seems more active than the WtP forum). What's making me hesitate is the complexity level of the game, I can't quite work that out so I'd be grateful if you could help me to understand.

A little background - Lately, particularly over Xmas, I've been playing a lot of Panzer Corps, Commander The Great War and Unity of Command. All fine games but I want to take a step back up (I say back because I'm no stranger to more complex titles, I just haven't played them in a little while - more detail further below). However, I am terrified of games like WitP or WitE. I don't have the intellectual capacity or the attention span for those and I don't mind admitting it. I need games that are relatively easy to pick up and play after browsing the manual and playing through the tutorial. I can't cope with interfaces that don't have nice tooltips that explain things to me in an easy to understand way or that are cluttered with various layers of clicking to get to a simple function. However, despite giving the impression that I'm a total idiot, I'm not really . I just like to enjoy my gaming and relax and concentrate on strategy and tactics rather than battle with mechanics, overwhelming stats, too many units, complex rules and unintuitive interfaces and gameplay. It's fine, indeed better if the game is deep, so long as I don't have to use spreadsheets to play or refer to the manual time and again - complexity under the hood if you like.

For example, I have TOAW3 but, however much I tried, never cared for it much, I could just about get to grips with it but found it hard work and therefore unenjoyable. I won't be playing it again and I don't want to buy another game that leaves me feeling the same way. On the other hand, I like the Decisive Battles series and find I can play it without getting too frustrated. It just got a bit old and hurts my eyes I also enjoy the Command Ops games but at this moment in time I'm looking for hex-and-counter stuff.

So, with all this considered, would I be likely to feel at home with one of the DC titles? Is the tutorial sufficient to allow you to dive into the game? Would it be fair to put the games into the "easy to learn but hard to master" category (I'm fine with that)? Can you get on with the strat/tac side and leave most of the detail of the mechanics to the engine?

Well, that was a bit long-winded but I'm keen to frame my thoughts clearly as I really don't want to buy the game, open it up, balk at the complexity and then run away never to touch it again. In the past I would have just bought it but I've done that too often now and have a drive full of games I don't play.
Post #: 1
RE: Would appreciate some advice... - 2/10/2013 6:01:04 PM   
Bonners


Posts: 470
Joined: 8/24/2012
From: Stockport, UK
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My thoughts on the above which I hope will help. The last strategy gaming I did was 10 years ago and that involved bits of card and maps set out on tables, so this is completely new to me. I played panzer corps first (still love it) and then went looking for something a bit more in depth and decided on this title. I love it

The negatives first:

There is no undo button....I repeat there is no undo button, fine in a game vs the AI but can be painful in a PBEM game.

When moving your units you cant move them one stack at a time, so in a full scale offensive using the Soviets particularly it can take some time to move your units. All the units in a division can move together though.

The game does not use the NATO symbols in the traditional way that just about every other game uses them. Not a problem to me, but I know some people do not get on with that and it takes some getting used to.

I'm not into modding and always play the vanilla game, but from reading the modding forum I believe that the editor can be quite difficult to work out in places.

There are some decisions made from a design point of view for simplicity and playability at the expense of some historical accuracy. For instance supply runs straight from OKH/Stavka directly to the individual units, although this can be modded. Also some reinforcement schedules are simplified such as 11th army not being withdrawn after the fall of Sevastapol. Have to say I dont have a problem with this, but again if you are a stickler for historical accuracy the nit could bug you.

They are the only real negatives that seem to come up time and again in the forums, but for me I dont actually mind any of them and am happy with the way the game works. It is no WiTE as far as I can tell. I remember when I was looking for games to play and it did seem too complex for a first strategy game which is why I plumped for this. I know there are some players that do calculate everything and very carefully work out the odds for each battle, movement, supply etc... I just dont bother and try and go on intuition and general feelings as to what units can or cannot achieve. I cant remember the last time I referred to a manual and find most things can be worked out in game.

There are some really useful AARs as well, one of the very first ones in there is about the linked campaign and that was my bible when I was trying to learn the mechanics of the game. For a new player it is a steep learning curve but I'm glad I stuck with it as the game is well worth persevering with. I suspect that if you already have knowledge of these type of strategy games then the learning curve will be a lot easier though.

(in reply to TheGreatRadish)
Post #: 2
RE: Would appreciate some advice... - 2/11/2013 6:03:48 PM   
TheGreatRadish

 

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Thanks for taking the time to reply, Bonners.

Yes, I've heard about the lack of an undo button. I'm not too concerned about that. As for the inability to move stacks, that does bother me, yes, and a major reason why I haven't taken the plunge yet. Did Vic ever suggest this might be changed in the future?

I'm very close to buying but I think now but I want to see if a few more people will weigh in with their opinions here and I'm also stuck between WtP and Case Blue I like both theatres, perhaps ever so slightly the early Western Front a little more (let's say 51%-49% ). Would I be missing out if I went for WtP over CB? I see the former recieved an update to bring it near to CB standards.

Back to reading AARs.....

(in reply to Bonners)
Post #: 3
RE: Would appreciate some advice... - 2/11/2013 6:49:04 PM   
Bonners


Posts: 470
Joined: 8/24/2012
From: Stockport, UK
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I bought the first game on the back of playing Case Blue, I've only tinkered with it so far pottering around with the AI so cant really comment. However, the supply is more realistic as it flows down the chain of HQs, but because of that it takes a looooong time to upload turns.

(in reply to TheGreatRadish)
Post #: 4
RE: Would appreciate some advice... - 2/12/2013 3:54:38 PM   
TheGreatRadish

 

Posts: 59
Joined: 1/21/2006
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Given todays news I don't really have to choose now, I can just get both

Looking forward to trying the system but I will probably need to come back here for help

EDIT: The deed is done WtP installed and CB downloading. Half-pint of favourite beer chilled and poured. Hope I can handle it!

< Message edited by TheGreatRadish -- 2/12/2013 5:53:09 PM >

(in reply to Bonners)
Post #: 5
RE: Would appreciate some advice... - 2/12/2013 6:06:29 PM   
wodin


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From: England
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The is a good counter mod..well two which helps with the odd counter symbol choice..

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(in reply to TheGreatRadish)
Post #: 6
RE: Would appreciate some advice... - 2/13/2013 8:40:05 PM   
TheGreatRadish

 

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Joined: 1/21/2006
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Ok so I've been playing this afternoon and evening after the tutorial and reading the manual. Obviously, I started with the Netherlands scenario. The verdict? I'm absolutely delighted with the purchases - I really don't have a clue why I was so scared of it I should have been into this ages ago.

It's been said by many reviewers and posters but it can't be repeated enough - the interface is fantastic in this game. I'm having no trouble at all locating buttons and getting lost in detail. It just works like a proper interface should. Many thanks to Vic for this, I think for a new player like me it's so important to let me get on with playing instead of getting bogged down with interface confusion.

Gameplay itself is not at all difficult and I enjoy just doing what I feel is right with units instead of studying CRTs, terrain charts and other data in vomit-inducing depth. I'm a tactical ignoramus and I have no doubt that I'll struggle to get the job done in Holland (the clock is ticking and I'm making painfully slow progress ) but I'm still having fun here because it's all about trying to make my plan work, the game is looking after the nuts and bolts and I'm not giving them much thought. Sure, I could and I'd perform a lot better but I like that I don't have to.

I think that the battlestack rule is pretty cool and makes a lot of sense. So important to bear it in mind. The cards are just brilliant, my favourite moment so far was unleashing the 7th Flieger but I think I was too quick to do so, it's stuck in Rotterdam and surrounded now with little prospect of relief any time soon So what? It was my decision, my mistake but I had fun doing it and I'm going to have fun attempting to rectify it!

Now, don't get me wrong, the game is no picnic. There is complexity there but it's nowhere near overwhelming. My first thought was, ok, the Netherlands scenario's pretty small - let's see if I feel the same way about France. I opened up the scenario and had a look around. Yes, there are considerably greater numbers of units but now I understand the system and most of the rules I'm really looking forward to it, not dreading what I thought would be the drudgery of dealing with dozens upon dozens of units. The interface makes this pretty straightforward.

The only thing I'm not so keen on so far is the lack of stack movement (as opposed to group movement). I mentioned it above, though I would admit it's not as annoying as I thought it would be. I'd still prefer it was there though.

I've got a lot more learning to do and I'm probably going to get badly beaten up at this stage but I'm pretty sure WtP and CB are going to give me plenty of enjoyment for the forseeable future. Thanks to all who replied and also to the folks who have done such a good job with AARs, I wouldn't have bought it without your efforts to show the game in action (btw I think this was my personal favourite ).

(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 7
RE: Would appreciate some advice... - 2/13/2013 9:28:35 PM   
TheGreatRadish

 

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Joined: 1/21/2006
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I just won in the Netherlands - they surrendered due to low morale. I take it this is a common experience? I don't think I played it particuarly well, I was just fumbling around.

This is where my forces were when the game ended on May 15th:



You can probably see why I was worried that I wouldn't reach the objectives in time. In all wargames, I am a timid player and I was sure it was going to cost me again here. X Corps and XXVI Corps were attempting to converge on Rotterdam/The Hague from different directions. IXL Corps were just about ready to seize Amsetrdam (the only part of my attack that was on schedule).

Really enjoyed this, will have another go with variants in force


(in reply to TheGreatRadish)
Post #: 8
RE: Would appreciate some advice... - 2/14/2013 2:28:36 PM   
olivier34

 

Posts: 1001
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From: montpellier
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A really cool scenario that you should practice with a human opponent. A lot of fun for both sides.

(in reply to TheGreatRadish)
Post #: 9
RE: Would appreciate some advice... - 2/18/2013 9:28:38 AM   
Bonners


Posts: 470
Joined: 8/24/2012
From: Stockport, UK
Status: offline
I bought WtP after Case Blue and havent really played it yet, thanks for this update, it has inspired me to have a look at it and have a couple of games against the AI. Seems like this is a good scenario to start on.

(in reply to olivier34)
Post #: 10
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