Reflections on WiTE (Full Version)

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MattFL -> Reflections on WiTE (8/31/2019 6:19:43 AM)

This game has been around nearly, what, 9 years or so? I was looking at the turn in my current game giving thought about what I should do and a few thoughts struck me. First, though I love it when it's my turn, I won't play more than one game at a time these days because if I do it becomes too all encompassing. It reminds me very much of when I play Advanced Squad Leader on VASL. When I play it, I play it to the exclusion of every other game I play. This game, and that game, require 100% of your attention to play well, they don't accept other mistresses. So only a single game for me at a time because a second game would basically be asking for a divorce.

I'm a long time board gamer from WAY back in the day. I cut my teeth against my older brother under 10 years old playing AH Stalingrad, AH Gettysburg, etc. etc. In the end, he gave it all up, but I became a dedicated hardcore wargamer. My favorites from those days were Russian Campaign, Fortress Europa, Storm Over Arnhem (and it's spinoffs), and, more than all of them, Advanced Squader Leader (which i'm really good at, FAR better than I am at WiTE!). I love all of these games, they have all given me hours of enjoyment.

I started using VASL (now it's VASSAL but when I started using it, you could only play Advanced Squad Leader, hence VASL) back in the late 90's. My god, it opened up an entire world for me in that a game I had played solitaire for the most part in the 80s I could now play against a variety of people from all over the world. Incredible, and for me a much greater innovation than the smart phone. VASSAL to me is the reason these types of traditional wargames that I LOVE are still alive and still produced.

I digress however...back to topic and the basic thought that had me start this post to begin with. You now understand the tiniest bit of my background and my love for boardgaming and the love for vassal which to me, has resurrected the boardaming hobby. But....this leads me a question.

Is WiTE the single greatest PC wargame ever made? This is what I was thinking as I played my turn. I have played so many great games, but is this the best PC wargame of all time?

Different folks find their way to games like this in a variety of ways. Use this thread to talk about how you found your way to what is an amazing, though ridiculously invested leisure time activity. Why do you love it? WHat have you experienced that's better? Anyway, just some rambling thoughts.

My own personal final conclusion is that I LOVE this game. I LOVE ASL. Both of them I love so much that in the end, I spend too much time with them and they literally burn me out and I need to take a break from them and play things like Twilight Struggle just to give my brain a breather.

Anyway, these are my thoughts for the night and I thought perhaps some of you might relate to my thoughts on this... WiTE therapy? ;-)






Telemecus -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (8/31/2019 12:33:11 PM)

I used to play the bookcase boardgames as well. Avalon Hill Rise and Decline of the Third Reich was a big part of it for me - but also played some others for the Spanish civil war, Market Garden, Desert War etc - plus some non-WWII ones. This was a natural extension of the military history that I was hooked on by my English father. A big part of it was to role play the what-if analysis of historical decisions at least to see what they could have looked like if played differently.

But I never got into computer wargames at first as they were to me games, not ways of visualising military history. And with work and life those things got left behind. Years later though I got hooked on a BBC military history series that used a computer game to recreate what historically happened which made me for the first time buy a game title for my PC. Shortly afterwards someone mentioned WitE - and as soon as I loaded it I knew exactly what it was and what to do from my boardgame wargaming days.

While there are many gamers who have a wide experience of many titles like HoI and so on, and graduated to Gary Grigsby titles, it is no accident that these games have a large crowd who did not. There are many who have not played any, or only a few others, before arriving at War in the East - typically older types including many who were in uniform themselves. And others who like me were into the old bookcase wargame boardgames of which War in the East is just the direct descendant. No other big computer wargame title comes close to recreating the sort of things those board games could do. So I would say if that is your background, Grigsby titles really are the only computer games you would play.

That said late in my gaming days I have found out about Vassal and am now looking into it myself to reach back to what I did so long ago

[image]local://upfiles/53894/A425ADC29748481CB9150A78AAEDB084.jpg[/image]




wkuh -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (8/31/2019 2:51:25 PM)

Started with "War in Russia" and migrated to WitE when available. Have tried others, but WitE is my favorite.




thedoctorking -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (8/31/2019 2:55:41 PM)

Advanced Squad Leader is still the champion as far as I am concerned. But this is a very interesting game with possibilities that I have yet to exhaust after thousands of hours of play. That makes it a good investment at 50 or even 75 bucks. My ASL collection is into the thousands of dollars now, since I just bought the latest $120 box of joy.




Colbert -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (8/31/2019 3:14:51 PM)

I remember those arguments on overstacking like it was yesterday! [:D]




Zug -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (8/31/2019 3:29:10 PM)

I long ago decided to stop claiming which is best. It's too subjective. But I can say which are my favorites. And WitE is certainly near the top of that list. As great as it is I cannot reconcile some of the design decisions. Some things just aren't to my taste.

My first computer wargame was Steel Panthers in the early 90s? I've played many since. Few are as deep as WitE, which is an epic wargame worthy of the praise. At heart I am more of a tactical wargamer (think Combat Mission, Close Combat etc), but I love the operational stuff too. And on that scale I'd be hard pressed to think of a better one.




MattFL -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (8/31/2019 6:38:57 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: wkuh

Started with "War in Russia" and migrated to WitE when available. Have tried others, but WitE is my favorite.


Wow, War in Russia...a true masochist!




MattFL -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (8/31/2019 6:48:31 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: thedoctorking

Advanced Squad Leader is still the champion as far as I am concerned. But this is a very interesting game with possibilities that I have yet to exhaust after thousands of hours of play. That makes it a good investment at 50 or even 75 bucks. My ASL collection is into the thousands of dollars now, since I just bought the latest $120 box of joy.


I agree, to me ASL is the greatest wargame ever made, board or PC. I tend to get into every 4 years or so, play incessantly for 18 months on VASL, then have to take a break as it becomes to engrossing. This has been going on since VASL came out. I know you'll find this heresy, but I haven't used my physical collection of ASL in years. I think the last time I used it was a FtF against Randy Schurtz back when living in Dallas I maybe 2002 or so. I much prefer VASL. I still have a file on my PC where I started tracking every scenario I played, the opponent, and who won. Last entry Mach 2013...it's been awhile indeed.




MattFL -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (8/31/2019 6:51:18 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Zug
My first computer wargame was Steel Panthers in the early 90s? I've played many since. Few are as deep as WitE, which is an epic wargame worthy of the praise. At heart I am more of a tactical wargamer (think Combat Mission, Close Combat etc), but I love the operational stuff too. And on that scale I'd be hard pressed to think of a better one.


I also played a lot of Steel Panthers and particularly Close Combat, which I absolutely loved. I hated combat mission when it first came out, but now I think it's excellent. I also like the HSP Napoleonic games, particularly PBEM. All great stuff.




EwaldvonKleist -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (8/31/2019 9:13:56 PM)

The greatest wargame ever is the one existing as a draft in my head, waiting for a programmer.
I suppose I am not alone with this.




MattFL -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/1/2019 12:42:54 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist

The greatest wargame ever is the one existing as a draft in my head, waiting for a programmer.
I suppose I am not alone with this.


Very true, very true. Though I suppose that's the greatest wargame never made. [:)]




56ajax -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/1/2019 1:55:53 AM)

WiR, a D Day board game, there was a Game on the C64 at Corp level...one or two others.... but always back to the Eastern front.

I read a lot of military history and was drawn to the Eastern front by the sheer scale. Hard to play on a board especially if you have a cat.

WiTE probably more simulator than game at times...needs to be sexed up and allow a few personalisations...




timmyab -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/1/2019 1:59:02 PM)

The first wargame I owned was ASL in the late 1980s. Talk about in at the deep end. I didn't even know serious board games existed at the time. I discovered it in a craft and hobby shop in a provincial town, paying the princely sum of 80 there and then based purely on the info on the back of the box.
Unfortunately I never really got on with the game very well and sold it a few years later with a lot of the counter sheets still unpunched. I realize now that I'm not so keen on tactical games.

I bought a few more games from that shop, but the one I liked by far was russian front. I wore the board and counters out on that game and nearly finished a solitaire campaign once before a disastrous incident involving my cat wiped out AGS.

WITE is head and shoulders above any other computer war game I ever played. Not perfect by any means and there are a quite a few things I would change if I could.




tomeck48 -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/1/2019 6:58:11 PM)

My first war game was Avalon Hill Midway. That led to Stalingrad, D-Day and Bulge. My favorite though was Jutland, a board game without a board. My brother and I would set up our fleets in the basement go at it. Gees, I wish there was a computer Jutland.

Finally ran across Simulations Publications in the early 70s. I had a copy of their original run War in the East. Marvelous, but hard to play solitaire. Got Grigsby WITE about 7 years ago and haven't looked back.




King_Solomon -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/1/2019 9:20:20 PM)

It's very interesting to read everyone's background and what brought them here. Midway and Storm over Arnhem bring back memories. I still enjoy board games, as evidenced by spending hours today clipping corners to MMP's Korea: The Forgotten War. (Has anyone played this?) You can have ASL. I'll take Guderian's Blitzkrieg II & Case Blue. Though it's too much of a monster to play often.

I remember discovering computer war games in the '90's. Talon Soft and some ETO game by SSI(?). Then one day I saw an ad for HOI and I preordered. It was unlike anything I ever played. (Until they sold out with HOI IV, but I'm not bitter...nah!)

WitE is probably the most complete wargame I've played, at least until WitE II comes out. I certainly do not miss pushing supply tokens around a board.





MattFL -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/1/2019 9:53:55 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: King_Solomon

It's very interesting to read everyone's background and what brought them here. Midway and Storm over Arnhem bring back memories.




I've played both, but Storm Over Arnhem holds a very special place in my heart. Up until I got into ASL, it was the game I played the most, inspired by the Series Replay in the General at some point in the 80's....

I love wargames. Really, i'm so hyper competitive, that I love playing any game against anyone.

A few notable PC games I left out...Sid Meier's Gettysburg was a game changer for me and the Napoleonc Mod that came from it. Spent countless hours playing those. And then of course Scourge of War Gettysburg is the wargame (board or PC) that I have by far put the most hours in. For 6 years now, a group gets together and plays the GCM mod of the game (which improves it 10000000%) in a perpetual campaign where you manage a division and play on random maps not part of the game. Literally, the same group has played since around 2013 and meets every single day religiously at 2:30 PST for two games daily. Typically 5 on 5 but occassionaly games have gone up to 12 on 12. Here is a link to the website.... I think I've probably played 3000 multiplayer games of this.....

http://ngcmsow.com/

Great stuff!





King_Solomon -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/1/2019 11:03:16 PM)

Tactics II was my first real war boardgame but Storm over Arnhem was the first one I was addicted to. ASL...it's just out of my league. Only recently has life pushed me back into boardgames. But some of the games available now are amazing, they've come so far since the Avalon Hill days. I would recommend anyone to check out some of the boardgames available and to give one a try.

I'm envious of the group you play Scourge of War Gettysburg with. That is cool stuff. Thanks for sharing!

Does anyone else participate in group gaming, board or computer, outside WitE?




Michael T -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/1/2019 11:32:23 PM)

I am the same as the OP in that for ASL and WITE I need to dedicate 100% game time with no other game as a distraction. Right now I am returning to ASL. I last played it about 18 months ago. I do the same, I play it intensely for a while and then take a break. I play it via vassal and FTF. But I prefer FTF.

I was looking forward to a game that looked very much like a PC version of ASL called Second Front, but it appears it is a AI only game. That kind of game has never appealed to me. I only play other people. I get nothing from playing a machine.

I was looking forward to WITE2.0 but I am no longer interested in the micro management aspects these type of games anymore so I don't think I will ever play it. I have my eye on Warplan, which so far looks pretty good.

I started with Panzer Leader in 1976. There have been many dozens of games both board and PC since then that I have played. ASL takes out the best board game for me.

But for PC, while WITE was great for it's day I think it is showing it's age now. My vote for best PC game would go to JT's Panzer Campaigns. I started playing them in 2003 and still do. I love the campaign games. You need to be good tactically, operationally and to an extent strategically to do well in those big campaign games.




thedoctorking -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/2/2019 1:38:36 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: MattFL


quote:

ORIGINAL: thedoctorking

Advanced Squad Leader is still the champion as far as I am concerned. But this is a very interesting game with possibilities that I have yet to exhaust after thousands of hours of play. That makes it a good investment at 50 or even 75 bucks. My ASL collection is into the thousands of dollars now, since I just bought the latest $120 box of joy.


I agree, to me ASL is the greatest wargame ever made, board or PC. I tend to get into every 4 years or so, play incessantly for 18 months on VASL, then have to take a break as it becomes to engrossing. This has been going on since VASL came out. I know you'll find this heresy, but I haven't used my physical collection of ASL in years. I think the last time I used it was a FtF against Randy Schurtz back when living in Dallas I maybe 2002 or so. I much prefer VASL. I still have a file on my PC where I started tracking every scenario I played, the opponent, and who won. Last entry Mach 2013...it's been awhile indeed.

I got my physical set out to go up to Olympia for a convention. The dust was embarrassing. VASL/VASSAL is the best thing to happen to the wargaming hobby in decades. I remember when Rodney Kinney was first talking about a Java client that would allow ASL play over a ptp connection back in the '90's. The guy is a genius. They should give him a Charles Roberts award.




MattFL -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/2/2019 2:09:41 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: thedoctorking

quote:

ORIGINAL: MattFL


quote:

ORIGINAL: thedoctorking

Advanced Squad Leader is still the champion as far as I am concerned. But this is a very interesting game with possibilities that I have yet to exhaust after thousands of hours of play. That makes it a good investment at 50 or even 75 bucks. My ASL collection is into the thousands of dollars now, since I just bought the latest $120 box of joy.


I agree, to me ASL is the greatest wargame ever made, board or PC. I tend to get into every 4 years or so, play incessantly for 18 months on VASL, then have to take a break as it becomes to engrossing. This has been going on since VASL came out. I know you'll find this heresy, but I haven't used my physical collection of ASL in years. I think the last time I used it was a FtF against Randy Schurtz back when living in Dallas I maybe 2002 or so. I much prefer VASL. I still have a file on my PC where I started tracking every scenario I played, the opponent, and who won. Last entry Mach 2013...it's been awhile indeed.

I got my physical set out to go up to Olympia for a convention. The dust was embarrassing. VASL/VASSAL is the best thing to happen to the wargaming hobby in decades. I remember when Rodney Kinney was first talking about a Java client that would allow ASL play over a ptp connection back in the '90's. The guy is a genius. They should give him a Charles Roberts award.


I agree with you 100%. No single other person on the planet has contributed to the board wargaming hobby as much as Rodney Kinney, despite the fact that he's probably never designed a game. What he has designed is so much greater, the ability to play all of the games we love with anyone anywhere in the world. To me, he's a hall of famer as far as wargames go. Something of a lifetime achievement award is less than what's warranted.




MattFL -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/2/2019 2:12:31 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T

I am the same as the OP in that for ASL and WITE I need to dedicate 100% game time with no other game as a distraction. Right now I am returning to ASL. I last played it about 18 months ago. I do the same, I play it intensely for a while and then take a break. I play it via vassal and FTF. But I prefer FTF.

I was looking forward to a game that looked very much like a PC version of ASL called Second Front, but it appears it is a AI only game. That kind of game has never appealed to me. I only play other people. I get nothing from playing a machine.

I was looking forward to WITE2.0 but I am no longer interested in the micro management aspects these type of games anymore so I don't think I will ever play it. I have my eye on Warplan, which so far looks pretty good.

I started with Panzer Leader in 1976. There have been many dozens of games both board and PC since then that I have played. ASL takes out the best board game for me.

But for PC, while WITE was great for it's day I think it is showing it's age now. My vote for best PC game would go to JT's Panzer Campaigns. I started playing them in 2003 and still do. I love the campaign games. You need to be good tactically, operationally and to an extent strategically to do well in those big campaign games.


AI only games are dreadful despite how good the design may be.

I too am thinking of a return to ASL. I really just love that game, it's incredibly tense and so much random **** happens that makes every playing, even the same scenario, totally unique. Greatest game ever made. RB CG III is the best game ASL has ever produced. The pinnacle of wargaming to me. I could defend or storm the barrikady forever and i'd die a happy man.




Michael T -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/2/2019 2:32:13 AM)

Yes I have played many RB CG III games. Easily the best Historical ASL CG experience. As an aside I made a small fortune selling my Black SS counters from ABTF a few years ago. I never used them (they were unpunched) and I had two copies. People on ebay went nuts over them.




MattFL -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/2/2019 2:34:46 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T

Yes I have played many RB CG III games. Easily the best Historical ASL CG experience. As an aside I made a small fortune selling my Black SS counters from ABTF a few years ago. I never used them (they were unpunched) and I had two copies. People on ebay went nuts over them.


Hmm...really? I have ABTF, never used, never punched. Perhaps I should hawk my ASL stuff.....

PM me and i'll send you the greatest gift you've ever received (seriously).

Matt




Michael T -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/2/2019 2:56:45 AM)

A quick look at BGG and I saw a copy of ABTF going for 650 euro's.




MattFL -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/2/2019 2:58:48 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T

A quick look at BGG and I saw a copy of ABTF going for 650 euro's.


Goddamn!

Send me that PM, you won't be disappointed. [:)]




Seminole -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/2/2019 6:26:48 AM)

Started here when I was 15.

[image]https://i.ytimg.com/vi/-qxHnSg3z7Y/maxresdefault.jpg[/image]




56ajax -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/2/2019 6:36:00 AM)

Loved it




MattFL -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/2/2019 8:48:59 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Seminole

Started here when I was 15.

[image]https://i.ytimg.com/vi/-qxHnSg3z7Y/maxresdefault.jpg[/image]


SSI made some great games didn't they?




Hanny -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/2/2019 11:29:24 AM)

You young folk....[:)]

First board game i bought was Panzer Blitz, around 1972/3 but started with miniatures a little before then and of course D and D, i still have the first edition and the first white dwarf magazine. Panzer blitz evolved into Panzer leader and then Squad Leader and of course ASL stayed with both board and miniatures, ( really liked mega games like Terrible swift sword https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3577/terrible-swift-sword-battle-gettysburg-game and all the other WBTS games they did, Drag nag osten https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/6942/drang-nach-osten) 3rd Reich https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1563/rise-and-decline-third-reich, For the People https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/833/people, Pax Romanahttps://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/17393/pax-romana block wargames are also an interest like Triumph and Tradegy https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/130960/triumph-tragedy, Bobby Lee https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/82/bobby-lee till computers came along, started with a spectrum zx, then a C64 before getting a PC, and the miniatures went out the picture when graphic cards made painting up an army for WRG a seem like a chore in comparison.





King_Solomon -> RE: Reflections on WiTE (9/2/2019 2:02:03 PM)

SSI Second Front. No wonder I need glasses.

I love VASL because it allows me to play boardgames that are just too large. At least until I can build that game room (we all have dreams). I work with an ASL junkie. How I wish I could get lost in a game for days! He is looking forward to a game called "Burden of Command". Might be worth checking out.

Hanny, you have an interesting list of games, thanks for sharing. I've always wanted to venture outside the WW2 era...I just don't know what to try.




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