From: Akron, OH
I played it for a while sometime back and I just got turned off by orders delay, my guys were constantly getting smoked, just a mess. So I pretty much gave up on it.
Then I played some board games on VASSAL and get back into Cold War gaming and bought a bunch of books on the subject. This gave me a better understanding of what is actually going on and combined with the frustration of manual gaming on VASSAL, I gave Flashpoint a second chance. Now things make a LOT more sense to me. I was playing it like a standard board game which is a big mistake. Yeah sure, my guys have some delay but not much and his guys have delays too so be patient, plan ahead (gasp!), and relax and let the plan work out. I was also giving everyone and their kid brother an order each turn which is not smart. Tweak the plan here and there but don't go crazy dishing out orders. You will just run your guys ragged and get them killed. As for the troops... APCs need to avoid tanks out in the open (duh), use assault movement when on the front, not "hasty" movement (duh) and use your artillery not to kill guys (well not ALL the time) but to mess up their plans. Mines here, smoke there, drop some of the good stuff on HIS HQs, and on that bridge you forgot to blow up... or did I?!?!
My lesson on being patient was watching a guy on youtube play Steel Beasts 4.0. The bridge layer was actually laying a bridge which was pretty cool to watch and he mentioned how "long" it was taking which made me to laugh. It really wasn't that long but when you are sitting there staring at it, it just seems like a long time is all. A delay of 15 minutes in a war zone makes a lot of sense for a game at this scale. It's longer for the Soviets but from what I read, that makes sense. They rather have more guys at the front (I mean many of them weren't even allowed maps!) and their radio nets were much less interactive which has its own advantages I think.
Interface wise, what dream, I was able to jump right in like I had never left. Very well done, let's me focus on playing the game and figuring out my strategy (still needs work!) and I was able to find a PBEM game right away so off we go!! The boardgame Eclipse also has a PC version which AI wise, has its challenges but it teaches you the game fast. Same here, yeah sure, maybe after a while the AI may seem a bit weak but it's great for learning what "doesn't" work and how the game plays. In that regard, it's like training the real guys go through. For me, the AI does just fine against me still so no concerns on my part and many of the scenarios have versions best suited for each side but once you play real people, playing the AI seems kinda lame unless you need the practice, which I do.
I kinda expected to see Southern Storm out by now though... patience... patience....