TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (Full Version)

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Xenomorph -> TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/1/2019 9:27:13 PM)

Hello,

Both TOAW and the DC series are both great games but I see TOAW seems far more popular (at least as far as forum activity). I'm wondering why that is as I'm considering "upgrading" to TOAW IV. I suppose - given the forum support for TOAW - it'd be an easy decision BUT *my* problem with TOAW has been that I *hate* that rivers go down the middle of hexes. However, that nugget seems to not bother other people so I'm wondering what folks see in TOAW that makes it so much more popular than the DC series. Thanks for any input!

As an aside, can anyone remind me how you tell which side of a river a unit is on if it's sitting on a river hex? I recall spending too much time trying to figure that in TOAW 3. Thx!




76mm -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/1/2019 10:27:47 PM)

Well, I hate the in-hex rivers as well, but I would definitely get TOAW over DC. I played DC once and don't intend to ever play it again. With TOAW I play around alot with the editor and there is simply much greater variety.




jtalbot -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/1/2019 10:32:50 PM)

I agree I have TOAW4 and 2 of the DC games. DC are not bad but TOAW4 is just a great game with so much variety of scenarios.




mdanz -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/2/2019 12:10:35 AM)

TOAW4 has a core of players that have played it off and on for twenty years or more. The core of the community is those guys and TOAW was kept alive for years by them.
But you have to play PBEM for the game really to shine. The AI is good, but its quality depends on how its programmed to act by the scenario designer. So it may be good or inept.
and there are hundreds of scenarios after being around so long. Some are very well built. Some are a good attempt at a new hobby that didn't really stick and remain unfinished but are posted anyway for someone else to finish.
I still think its the best out there for classic hex based strategy wargaming. The kind of stuff Avalon Hill used to do before computers only a lot better.
And with the river hexes you want to be on one side or the other. Any counter sitting on the river hex itself takes a large penalty in combat resolution because a river occupies that space.







larryfulkerson -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/2/2019 12:47:11 AM)

I did a cut and paste to show you approx how many scenarios I have collected so far and these are only the best ones, the ones I have kept to play again.

[image]local://upfiles/16287/5733E182DB7148E2ACB0C11E3559551B.jpg[/image]




larryfulkerson -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/2/2019 12:50:25 AM)

I'm kind of partial to the eastern front.

[image]local://upfiles/16287/816052AC7C324C8499C520F18420A01C.jpg[/image]




Xenomorph -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/2/2019 3:41:17 AM)

Yes, TOAW is *amazingly* well supported by the community. What I'm not clear on is what about the gameplay itself made it do so well vs other games out there. I actually liked the Decisive Campaign games (even though I never was very good at it). I guess the reason I stuck with it more is those #&*$* rivers in TOAW. I was so hoping the creators would change the rivers with the new version. I've heard people repeatedly saying they don't like it and no one who said they do. Oh well. I'll probably wind up going with TOAW based on that community support. Thanks to all those who do all that great work - and for the responses!




larryfulkerson -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/2/2019 4:16:04 AM)

quote:

What I'm not clear on is what about the gameplay itself made it do so well vs other games out there.

TOAW seems to be the champion of IGOUGO style wargamming. I've never played DC myself so I have no basis to make a comparison but surely somebody else has and can say something in this thread. I have played WITP-AE, WITE, and TOAW and of the three I must admit TOAW is my favorite with AE being a very close second. I got bored with WITE after about the fourth trip through it. And as has been aforementioned TOAW has scenarios that cover just about any period, situation, or theme you might want to play. Name one...I'll wait...yeah, TOAW has that one. [ probably ]. So if you get bored with the east front, play the west front battles. Bored with those: there's the Pacific at War you can play. Naval ships of several different kinds ( BB's, CA's, etc. ), carrier-borne aircraft, orchistrated invasions on small islands, hide and seak with the carriers....etc. I helped the scenario designer playtest that monster and I personally think it's soon to be a classic. One thing missing from TOAW is "night missions" for the bomber's. There are night fighters however. Also missing is detrament to cities from aerial bombardment. Some of their manpower, or supply level or railyards damage; some kind of punishment for having been bombarded. [break, break, new subject] Depending on the scenario designer's experience of course, you can count on some fairly high quality scenarios to play IMHO.




Zovs -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/2/2019 6:09:35 AM)

After 20 years the main reason I keep coming back to TOAW is playability, nothing else touches it. Yeah I grew up on AH, SPI and GDW board wargames where 90% of their titles use river side hexes; however, once you get used to the nuances of TOAW nothing beats it.

I have played DC Barbarossa itís a fine game, I played (or tried to) ATG but it is not based on historical games and lacks a good amount of scenarios.

There are two games I keep coming back to after 20+ years: Steel Panthers and TOAW.




Bamilus -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/2/2019 1:14:52 PM)

I really enjoy both a lot. DC Barbarossa is probably my favorite wargame of all time, but in terms of bang for your buck TOAW4 is very hard to beat with the amount of scenarios. If possible, get both!




mdanz -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/2/2019 2:39:21 PM)

How the rivers are handled in TOAW is, at the end of the day I think, a small thing. Just get used to it and don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Once you get used to how it plays TOAW can bring any campaign, real or imagined, alive. At least it does for me. And the die roll is still in it. That's one of the things that seems to turn people off and one of the things I love the most.
Combat resolution doesn't work out as expected, Dammit!!
That happens fairly often and I think it models that there are many factors that can go wrong, even if the plan is good, that no planner can account for.
Every time you hit combat resolution good planning, looking after your counters, being sure they are supplied and rested and fit and ready for whats happening, all matters a great deal and usually, the player who is better organized and has the better plan, wins.
But not always.
Sometimes things go wrong anyway (which adds to realism as far as I'm concerned) and you have to adjust. You never really know how a game is going to play out at the beginning and it never goes exactly according to plan. No plan really survives first contact in TOAW. Not in PBEM and usually not against AI.
Occasionally the last ditch desperate defense that never should have bought you a day of respite, actually does. Its possible. Though remote.
Occasionally the desperate cross river attack by exhausted counters that haven't had rest in 48 hours, have no supply and are half strength, (but with proficiency of 98%) manage to somehow or another figure out a way and save themselves from the trap you should never have allowed them to fall into in the first place.
Usually they are slaughtered. But desperate, Wiley old veterans who really know what there doing find a way sometimes.
In this game they do anyway.
I have never seen anything else that comes close to all of that.
The better you plan and maneuver and create opportunity for your counters to win increases the odds dramatically that the game will go your way. But its never certain. No guarantees. It will probably work. Just have to spend your best judgement and hope they can make it happen.
And if it doesn't, try something else.
and then something else...
and then something else..

Just don't ask them to dig in water.
They will try because that's what you ordered them to do.
Then for some reason there holes keep filling back up.
And then they get there ass kicked on combat resolution pretty much without fail.

Counters sitting in river hexes are GOOD TARGETS.
That's solid TOAW advice that probably won't work every time. :)
But usually..




Lobster -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/2/2019 4:02:24 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: mdanz

How the rivers are handled in TOAW is, at the end of the day I think, a small thing. Just get used to it and don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.


Actually this breaks a lot of things and causes problems that make no sense. If you are in a river hex you pay an extra cost for crossing the river. But then you attack the other guy and you pay a penalty for attacking across the river you already paid to cross. If you are moving up and down a river you pay for river crossing every hex you enter. Some hexes cannot be converted to your control because there is a major (super) river running through it. You need a pontoon unit to convert it to your control. If you attack an opposing unit and you and he are both in a hex of the same river who is on what side? He paid a cost to cross the river when he got there. You paid a cost to cross the river when you got there. But according to the game you are both on the same and different sides depending on what you are going to do.

In hex rivers throw in so many illogical circumstances it makes your head spin if you stop and think about it. I haven't even listed all of them.




Bamilus -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/2/2019 4:51:47 PM)

Yea, to me that's one of the most questionable design decisions in TOAW. It already adds more complexity and manual calculation to your moves, in an already complex game given the unique way it handles time. I like AGEOD games, but they have a lot of other quirky things that they throw in that are annoying, as well.




mdanz -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/2/2019 10:58:00 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

quote:

ORIGINAL: mdanz

How the rivers are handled in TOAW is, at the end of the day I think, a small thing. Just get used to it and don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.


Actually this breaks a lot of things and causes problems that make no sense. If you are in a river hex you pay an extra cost for crossing the river. But then you attack the other guy and you pay a penalty for attacking across the river you already paid to cross. If you are moving up and down a river you pay for river crossing every hex you enter. Some hexes cannot be converted to your control because there is a major (super) river running through it. You need a pontoon unit to convert it to your control. If you attack an opposing unit and you and he are both in a hex of the same river who is on what side? He paid a cost to cross the river when he got there. You paid a cost to cross the river when you got there. But according to the game you are both on the same and different sides depending on what you are going to do.

In hex rivers throw in so many illogical circumstances it makes your head spin if you stop and think about it. I haven't even listed all of them.




I think this is proof positive is is possible to overthink something...
A river hex is being occupied by a river the way TOAW is set up. Its a weak place to defend, and a difficult place to attack through. What kind of fits the program has over the difficulty of keeping humans from going swimming I have no real idea. But, it seems to resolve fair enough.
as far as I can tell.




jrono -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/2/2019 11:06:17 PM)

The maps for decisive campaigns are awesome. If they would have continued on with expanding the series I would have been happy. However TOAW is the best bang for the buck. I've grown so used to that system the rivers never really bothered me.




larryfulkerson -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/2/2019 11:09:25 PM)

quote:

TOAW is the best bang for the buck. I've grown so used to that system the rivers never really bothered me.

I agree. The thing about the rivers is just something I've gotten used to. It hardly ever comes up as an important detail. Most of the the time the Axis units are so much larger than the defending Soviet unit that who was on what side of the river didn't really factor into the results of the combat.




Zovs -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/3/2019 1:31:23 AM)

Once you get used to the in hex rivers you learn to see where to attack from and where to defend at to get the most out of rivers.

I do miss my old board games river hexsides though.





jrono -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/3/2019 4:18:57 AM)

TOAW just made me really aware of where my engineer units are.




Xenomorph -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/3/2019 7:58:00 PM)

Well, I feel a tad less guilt for whining about the rivers anyway. [:)]

Thanks for taking the time to respond! You all convinced me to upgrade to IV. Maybe Matrix can give you a % of the sale!





Hellen_slith -> RE: TOAW or Decisive Campaigns series (8/3/2019 9:54:03 PM)

A wise decision, IMHO.

Hit me up for a game when I get my computer fixed.

In the meantime, will try to get ready my new scenario for us to test.

Enjoy!





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