From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
There are compromises which need to be made for any game. Realism needs to be balanced with game play issues. Since despite any degree of accuracy achieved, the product must also embody the "fun to play" factor.
I agree. But in this case, as I said before, gameplay and realism go hand-in-hand. Knowing about the status of the bridge before it's realistically possible to know detracts from the fun factor. If you know you've secured the bridge, the game becomes LESS exciting, not more so.
As a player, I think it is of value to have a sense of how well you are doing prior to the end of the game as opposed to not knowing until it's over. To be totally accurate, in the real world, is the objective outcome of a battle known at the time it concludes or only years later after analysis and research is performed?
This is a bridge. Like I said before, it doesn't require years of research to determine that there's a possibility of it being blown. It either has explosives wired to it, or it doesn't. The 'value' in knowing how well you're doing is at a high cost in realism, and is completely unwarranted. It adds to the boredom factor and makes you behave unrealistically. If this game is to hold any fun value, it must create tension. If you are omniscient on any level it takes away from the tension, and thus detracts from the fun. I'm tired of games where I'm able to know everything about the battlefield. Winning is not a challenge in those games - it's just a grind to achieve a foregone conclusion. Where is the fun in micromanaging units to such an extent that was impossible in real life. Such games may be games, but they do not simulate war in any real way, and once you've played them once they have no replay value because they are like a math equation - if you place force A against the opponent's force B, force A will win every time because there is no variance - it comes down to a simple subtraction sum. War simply isn't like that..
(1) The fog of war only applies to the commander's perception of the enemy. In reality, would you know the location, status, and activity of your own units with total clarity and in real time? I don't think so.
I agree, but that is not an argument against fog of war. In fact it's an argument for enhanced fog of war that affects your troops too. A unit's position should have a variance too - it should not always be precisely where the commander thinks it is. This can be programmed fairly simply by use of a simple randomizer for a unit's actual placement, or it can be more complex.
(2) The objectives flip state from "achieved" <-> "to lost" and back again without the player always knowing where is the enemy unit within in the control perimeter of the objective. At times, this may key you in to enemy location and movements that you would otherwise have been unaware of.
Again, I agree. That's why I think VPs should only be known after the action is completed. You should know what your objectives are, and you can have a reasonable assessment of your progress, but no commander should be fully aware of how he's doing until after the battle. That's realitry, and there's no reason not to simulate it - like I say, it adds to the fun.
However, I can say my interactions with others who have served in the military and/or studied history leads me to conclude that the game does a good job of conveying the challenges faced by a commander in this scope of combat during that time period.
Certainly that's true comparatively speaking. But what have we to compare it to? Mostly all we have are hex games where fog of war is very limited, and which do not give a good representation of combat because they allow a ridiculous amount of micromanagement. The game does a good job, but if it can be improved we should work to improve it so that it does an excellent job.
Regarding the other key element of balance, "the fun factor", that makes it worth owning/playing; I can certainly say that there is no shortage of that in HTTR.
Again, I agree. But again that's no reason not to improve the level of tension, fun, and challenge of the game system. If you want full knowledge, you should certainly be able to have it. But there should be an option not to have it for those of us who want the extra challenge of enhanced fog of war.