From: Sacramento, CA
Qustion for the board game players, I understand the first move will cover Sept. and Oct. 1939, whether you are playing one or more players or playing the AI is it possible for Poland to surrender in that move if the German player is very competent or reasonably compentent or does it depend on luck or both? In the SC games speed is important, Poland must fall early so you could be in position to invade France in May of 1940. Does a real time line of WW2 effect your game play? Like oh I better take Poland no later than October and France must fall by July 1940. Just curious because I am starting to get itchy about this game which is a good thing.
Well, one of the major differences between WiF and many turn-based games is the impulse system. The Sep/Oct turn contains many "sub-turns" called impulses.
Can you take Poland in 1 impulse? I would have to say, no unless your opponent is incompetant. Can it be done in 2 or 3 impulses with reasonable skill and no bad luck? Yes.
In general, by the end of October, it is quite possible to take Poland out. Of course, poor choices or bad luck may be enough to prevent that too, especially now. I have played a bit with older versions where the weather was set for an entire turn, not as it now is for an impulse pair. If the weather turns bad, you can get bogged down.
As far as the broader question of how tied are you to the historical timeline. I would have to say only to a limited degree. It is true that the longer France or the USSR gets to build up, the harder it is to take on, but well, that is realistic. The players on both sides have so much influence on events that the historical timeline should be regarded as a rough guide only.
For example, US entry is driven by events, as well as time. The Fall of France will push the US closer to war, for example, but a French attack on Belgium to buy space to trade for time would push the US farther from war. It is barely possible for unlucky or incompetant play by the Allies to prevent the US from ever going to war in one or even both theaters. Granted, the Allies would have to behave with reckless disregard for US entry levels for this to happen, but it could.
The other fun thing is that the US entry effect of an action is varriable. Each action that impact US opinion has a die roll break-point (in practical terms, since it is a d10, multiply the number by 10 to get a %) to make the US player draw, discard, or move a random "chit". The chits have different values, so some are of negligible impact and others are of major impact. Thus, in one game, the Fall of France may cause the US to draw low value (or even 0 value) chits, while in the next, it could be high value chits. Not even the other Allies are sure of the impact.