jjdenver and gdrover, completely agree. I hate to criticize this game because there's so much to like. The design is innovative and accessible, but leaves room for deep thinking. The interface is fluid, and the grim map tones and ominous music suit the subject beautifully. I think the unit sprites are well done (no I don't mind the "bobbleheads") and convey a lot of information compactly (although maybe there should be a NATO symbols option for the grognards). The manual is attractive, full of visual examples, concise yet comprehensive, and well-organized. This is clearly the work of a talented team.
The emphasis on logistics is well-suited to the theatre and executed wonderfully. I also like how theatre assets and specialist steps are handled, abstractly, yet in a way that enhances realism. Just brilliant. As I said, a lot of depth for an accessible game design.
But the scenarios as designed have pretty much made this unplayable for me. Essentially, to obtain decisive victories the player must be willing to send his most valuable mobile units on unsupported forays to seize objectives under an arbitrary deadline. Conversely, the AI will sacrifice its own prize units to disrupt supply long enough to prevent the player from achieving a decisive. In a real campaign, such tactics would be disastrous, as these units would be quickly cut off. Yes, this happened on the Eastern Front, and almost always resulted in encirclement and annihilation - not decisive victories! Encouraging players to use these tactics to win the game contradicts the lessons of history. In the end, it makes the game a puzzle, not the fascinating playable simulation it could be.
The good news is this problem is easily rectified. Longer scenarios with scheduled reinforcements and less rigid objectives timetables would give players more options and allow the system to really shine. The system is obviously well-suited to campaigns where logistics play a key role. In addition to Russian campaigns, I would like to see ones for North Africa, Italy, and maybe Burma. I would de-emphasize the use of Panzer Corps-style prestige, perhaps link prestige points to the number of specialist steps available, but not the larger units themselves.
Here's another thread on the same topic, although I don't agree with some of the posters here regarding the need for stacking (I can live with a game that doesn't allow stacking). But the points about the scenario design encouraging ahistorical, gamy tactics are spot on, imo.
< Message edited by DerTroof -- 4/29/2013 9:57:50 PM >