From: Secret Underground Lair
Well so far, I both like this game a lot, but also find some of the overall design decisions questionable. From my standpoint, NATO is very difficult to play and "weak" compared to Soviets. I understand there are tactics one can use (basically keep your range, and avoid being spotted by recons) to level the playing field against Soviet Computer Opponent. NATO conventional being outmatched by Soviets makes sense from an historical standpoint. So all of these points so far sum up to: challenging to play as NATO.
Now here comes the "questionable" design decision part: nukes are almost non-existent in the game. A quote from one of the Devs "There are only a couple of scenarios in which nukes are available and you suffer a 5000 VP malus from using them . . ." The VP malus is debatable, as a NATO defense against Soviet invasion prior to 1991 wouldn't have been so much about "Winning" as about "Surviving," but I find the minimal inclusion of nukes in the game at all difficult to reconcile with my own limited knowledge of the doctrine and balance of forces in Europe at this time. Unless I'm wrong, a sizeable Soviet conventional invasion of Western Europe at any point between 1960 and 1991 WOULD HAVE almost assuredly resulted in a nuclear war of at least limited if not full scale extent.
The game is well-done, engaging, and includes many design elements that are innovative and exciting. But IMO, the failure to realistically engage with the prospect of nuclear weapons is a major shortcoming.
I need to play the game more before I form a final opinion. It also deserves to be noted that: the game is highly moddable, so if I cared enough about it, I could "fix" everything that I consider to be "wrong" about the game, and that right there is an enormous strength or selling point of the game.
There was an old scenario for The Operational Art of War III, something like "Tension . . " ah hold on, here it is: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1184480&mpage=1&key=
"Next War: Tension 1979"
And while the UI/UX in that scenario/game are much worse that FCRS, as well some of the game mechanics are very "old school" in that the player has an unreasonable degree of Command and Control integrity, from a gameplay standpoint, the apparent degree of historical detail and thoroughness, and the honest effort to cope with the hypothetical of a WWIV in Europe in which nuclear weapons are not simply set on the shelf as being "unlikely and too complicated to bother with," I have to say that my memories of playing that one are much more positive than my experiences of playing this one so far.
If the FCRS devs have not played that one, they really should.