From: Monroe, LA, USA
Hi. I decided to write a long version instead of a short version, so indulge me, or if you get bored, that's okay.
To introduce myself, I've played wargames since I bought about 200 little 1-inch tall soldiers when I was a kid and recreated battles I read about in books on my bedroom floor, American Civil War, Napoleon, WWII mostly. I then graduated to Avalon Hill board games and then finally to computer games. I'm a retired US Army Reserve officer and currently teach (American) English at a US high school. I teach senior English, grade 12, which is actually British literature. Our curriculum focuses on Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, and Hamlet, along with and other odds and ends of British lit.
I decided during the holiday sale to go ahead and buy World In Flames. I've been watching the forum for years, but I always decided not to get WIF because of the lack of AI. I play entirely solitaire (No, don't try to convince me otherwise. Yes, I know that there is nothing better than a human opponent. I've heard that dozens of times. But I'm not changing. I'm 100% solitaire.) -- and the lack of an AI turned me off. However, I got to thinking about how much I used to enjoy playing board games solitaire, and during the sale I decided to buy WIF, knowing that there would be a learning curve. But I also remembered how part of the fun with the old board games for me was simply learning the rules. So I decided to try an experiment with WIF and see if I could recapture some of that odd kind of fun. And it worked.
MWIF is a truly remarkable Achievement.. I won't say any more along those lines. It just is.
As to the game, I've gone through all the rules tutorials of all types, with the exception to this point of tutorial videos 13 and 14. I decided they could wait until I try a full map game. I just finished my first game of Barbarossa, playing with the Novice optional rules set. I won a brilliant victory as the USSR and suffered a disastrous loss as Germany. After a great start, Army Group South was stopped just short of Kiev and never captured Odessa. Army Group Center was doing well until the unfortunate occurrence with Army Group North. Army Group North was virtually destroyed in one turn, including the loss of its headquarters unit, after becoming overextended and nevertheless making what became a series of disastrous low odds attacks, after which the USSR counterattacked and wrecked AGN and caved in the flank of AGC. From that point I was on the defensive as Germany except in the south. Well, I didn't really have a clear division between AGN and AGC, but that gives you a general picture of what happened.
Now some comments and questions.
1. Where can I find the best examples of how to engage in an offensive such as what the Germans have to undertake in Barbarossa? The ground game plays quite differently than say WITE and the Decisive Campaigns series. I realize I have to take a much better look at attack odds, at phasing my units so I will have followup units available for the second impulse and so on, air support, and other factors including supply. It was comparatively easy to play the USSR in Barbarossa, at least for me against an inept opponent, me. I just had to position units to try to maintain something of a line and make a few counterattacks when the opportunity arose. But I realize now I had no idea how to undertake the offensive needed to win as Germany. So is there a video or AAR or something that would give me a really good tutorial in how to attempt to win in Barbarossa as Germany?
2. Disorganization. I think in the tutorials that the whole idea of the effects of disorganization is understated. In fact, I might suggest a mini-tutorial just on disorganization in land combat, something called Disorganization for Dummies. Where is my best source for reading about disorganization? Is the rule book the best place?
3. And is there a way to return all air units from whence they came with one command rather than going through each air unit individually. I know that sometimes that is not the best practice for returning air units, but sometimes that works just fine, and being able to do it with one command would be nice.
I actually think I understand the game in very simple, general terms now, and am going to undertake another Barbarossa campaign and try to make a better showing as Germany. But some advice would be appreciated.