In response to the guy who PM'd Mo Reb
He stated that it might not be as good as many think it is.
Well that is his opinion - if people think it’s good then to them it’s good
As far as his comments about the game are concerned I will caveat the following by saying I have not played the Final Edition rules - but played 5th Edition with all the add-ons that were available in 1996 - i.e. Ships In Flames, Planes In Flames, Asia and Africa in Flames and Mech In Flames. So I played the same version as the guy who PM'd Mo Reb.
1. Physical Size of Game: It's too big to play unless you have a very large playing area. The main ET and PT maps are each 44 x 34 inches. Supplements add even more real estate.
There is no denying this is a huge game, and the size is one of the reasons I had to stop playing the game – a new family meant there was no longer the room available. This is not peculiar to WIF of course. It’s a monster game just like the Europa series, AH’s Longest Day etc (iirc). This is the reason I have been desperate for MWIF – because I cannot see a situation where I will be able to play the board game version anymore.
2. Unnecessary Complexity: It seems to me as if the designers set about making their game as big as they could, and then designed the combat systems. Each type of combat (land, air, naval, sub, anti-sub, anti-air, etc.) requires a different resolution mechanic. IMO, the designers could have developed more realistic and smoother rules. Had they done so, it would be more playable.
This probably comes back to my point in post no.4 about different people having different levels of comfort / patience with different levels of complexity. However, to my mind the accusation of unnecessary complexity is NOT something that can be thrown at WIF. For such a large game, its playability was one of its biggest plusses.
3. It's a monster game. Takes forever to play. The expansions (ships in flames, planes in flames, jeeps in flames, etc.) only make it that much more complex and unwieldy. Now, if you can set up 2 or 3 44 x 34 inch maps for a year while you play one turn a night once a week (avg. wargame group), and you like monster games, it's probably okay.
Yep, it can take a long time – and this point is allied to the size of the game. But the time to play is in proportion to its size and what it is trying to achieve.
4. For all of its complexity, it's not particularly realistic.
This point of course is not peculiar to WIF. Look at the WITPAE, WITE, CTGW forums in fact just about every game!! There will always be people who gripe at what can/can’t be done compared to what really happened. WIF is a strategic level game that has just a few set rules that provide the game with its historical WWII framework e.g. Germany invades Poland, France and the Commonwealth invade Germany etc etc. It gives each player the feel for the country(ies) he/she plays and the problems they faced during WWII – the Commonwealth with its large, over-worked navy, a reasonable sized, modern air force and a small army that must not be frittered away. Thereafter, and subject to a few more hard and fast do’s and don’ts, each player can explore a variety of strategies. Is it realistic that Sweden is invaded in WWII? No – it didn’t happen. Can it happen in WIF? Yes.
5. For at least five editions, the rules were just plain broken at several levels (can't remember details, only remember the frustrations of contradictory rules and in some cases, missing rules). I presume that the Internet has allowed them to address this problem to an extent.
Name me a complex war game - board or computer – that hasn’t come with a string of patches / errata sheets. I was lucky enough to play WIF for over 2 years solidly. Were there house rules employed? Yes. Did we play some rules different to other groups? Yes. But let me make clear. THE GAME WAS NOT BROKEN.
Moving to a more tactical level:
1. Ground combat is very odd for the scale. They have an impulse system that governs all their game impulses, but it makes the entire game very unstable. If a particular turn goes long, one side can use it to trounce the other.
The impulse system is one of THE brilliant features of the game. You can never be certain exactly how long a turn will last. Will you get another go? This makes for tense and exciting play. As the Commonwealth player you need to protect your convoys, but when do you commit ships to that job? There is always something needs doing and you cannot do everything, every turn because of limitations imposed by the game. The statement re one side trouncing another because a turn goes on to long is not something I understand in terms of games I’ve played. Turn length on its own means little – there is changeable weather and there is dice luck to add to that mix for example.
2. I intensely dislike the naval system. The game encourages players to just move their massive fleets out of port and park them in a blockade of enemy ports in perpetuity. This never happened, and is extremely unrealistic. (Gets back to my point about how complicated it is vs. how realistic it is.)
I think the treatment of the naval game was inspired. Again, what is being described is so bland a comment that it is almost meaningless. Who parks their fleets? Where (which sea zone)? Who was being blockaded in his games? What about air power? Which sea box a fleet is able to “park” in? Search mechanics, surprise mechanics? Sorry but I do not recognise that comment at all.
3. Many of the rules are out of proportion to the level of simulation. The result is something that calls to mind the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
IF you say so, I am afraid I have no idea what that is. Is it possible to know which rules in order to comment further?
Summary of WiF Peeves:
A. More complicated than it needs to be owing to lazy system and unit design that never evolved through several editions.
I disagree. I think the game design is superb.
B. In most practical gaming situations, it's unplayable because of its physical size.
The size of the game is a problem.
C. It takes way too long to play it (especially since the usual Axis tactic is that if they don't win by the end of 1942, they give up and want to reset and play again, having just taken 2-3 months of game nights to get to that point—probably happens in other games as well, but it plagues this one as the Axis, if their wheels come off, cannot sustain a prolonged war of attrition because of the impulse system, which makes it impossible for the Axis to replace their losses to the level needed to compete in a long game).
a) The comment above is soooooo frustrating. This person complains that the game is unrealistic. And yet: he also complains that the Axis needs to win early because they cannot sustain a prolonged war of attrition. So which part of that statement is unrealistic when you look at WWII!!!!!!!!
b) BTW: I played many games, and the length varied considerably
For the record, when I complain about the complexity, I'm also an ASL player, so I'm not just whining—it's way more complicated than it needs to be to simulate what they're trying to simulate.
I think that is easy to say – when you are trying to get a game based on the whole of WWII – not just Europe, not just the Pacific – and all the problems with scale, size of forces etc, what ADG achieved is a masterpiece.
The root of the problems with the mechanics, I think, is the same as for Third Reich: Their 1st edition had a beer-and-pretzel countermix and mechanical system wrapped with a set of complicated rules the creates unrealistic situations because its the only way they could make the game work. Instead of slapping more and more expansions onto it while increasing the counter density and rules bloat, I think they would have been better served to review their individual subsystems and polish them.
One favour. Please do not EVER try and compare Third Reich with WIF, its just ridiculous. Third Reich was smaller than WIF (although was Europe only) but it was both dull and tedious imo in equal measure. A better comparison was SPI's ETO and PTO - but these were not in the same class as WIF and used a different scale for land forces on the two maps (which was annoying).
My peeves about WIF:
- The Final Edition maps are just horrendous – thank goodness MWIF has put that right!
- The army counters could do with more realism (although given counter limitations of a board game, there is probably not much more that could be done).
Things I love about WIF:
- The game has the right WWII feel.
- The game is FUN.
- Every game is different, there is no such thing as a 100% guaranteed strategy. The fact that you cannot guarantee what counters you will receive, the initial placement of those counters is up to the player – not fixed, variable turn length, variable weather and good old fashioned dice, all add to the uncertainty.
- It looks (NEW maps apart) gorgeous. Not important to some, but to me aesthetics are key. The counters are colourful – NATO symbols for the land units, colour silhouettes for the ships and aircraft.
- Every warship (plus what ifs) from CL upwards has an individual counter. Every aircraft (plus what ifs) are represented.
- Plenty of optional rules to suit peoples tastes.
< Message edited by warspite1 -- 3/3/2013 8:42:39 AM >
22nd November 1944 - The British Pacific Fleet is born (temporary avatar changes to commemorate the ships and aircraft). HM Ships Formidable, Illustrious, Victorious