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Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games?

 
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Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/15/2011 11:09:54 AM   
fbs

 

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I had no clue that Gary Grisby and Joel Billings worked at SSI, and I was very impressed when I learned that (who says Wikipedia is good for nothing?).

I have always been a huge fan of SSI's wargames, and that led to me ponder if WitE is the legitimate heir and successor to the long and honorable list of great games from SSI. Some aspects of its inheritance are clear: huge scope, detailed modeling, many and complex rules.

But then again, perhaps it isn't? WitE has a distinctively more down-to-earth flavor than the old SSI games, and in several aspects it leans towards facilitating play by casual players, rather than to appeasing every arcane rule asked for by grognards.

So, is WitE the sucessor to traditional SSI wargames, or should that title be another game's?


< Message edited by fbs -- 6/15/2011 11:16:23 AM >
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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/15/2011 11:35:43 AM   
gradenko2k

 

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I'm not sure which SSI wargames you're referring to, but I'm of the opinion that games like Panzer General, Clash of Steel, Steel Panthers and Close Combat were the ones geared for casual play, while the more recent Gary Grigsby offerings such as this and War in the Pacific are the ones that are way more grognard-y and detail abundant.

Having said that, WITE inherits the torch by virtue of almost no one else being in the market. If you want operational-level combat in the East Front, you've got this, or Norm Koger's The Operational Art of War, or go back to much older offerings.

I will concede though that WITE for the most part represents a sort of evolution - that wargames this complex don't need to have ridiculously arcane UIs. There are still some rough edges, but it's vastly more casually-playable (and I mean that in nothing but positive terms) than the original War in Russia or any of John Tiller's offerings.

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/15/2011 12:14:07 PM   
herwin

 

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I'd very much like to see an OCS-based operational game system ported to the computer. Yes, I know about Vandal, but that's more of a computer implementation of various boardgames. Given that OCS and WitE have similar time/space/unit ratios, I'm surprised at the problems WitE is reportedly having. The OCS system seems to be able to replicate major campaigns at an operational level with realistic combat dynamics and movement tempo and without the complaints we've been seeing about WitE.

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/15/2011 12:25:45 PM   
vlcz


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If you played "Second Front" (SSI, and Gary himse
lf http://hol.abime.net/1854) WitE is the same concept with XXI century capabilities, interface and information.

You can try with the somewhat recicled "war in rusia" version , that matrix graciously offers as free download
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=12

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/15/2011 12:46:52 PM   
gradenko2k

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: herwin

I'd very much like to see an OCS-based operational game system ported to the computer. Yes, I know about Vandal, but that's more of a computer implementation of various boardgames. Given that OCS and WitE have similar time/space/unit ratios, I'm surprised at the problems WitE is reportedly having. The OCS system seems to be able to replicate major campaigns at an operational level with realistic combat dynamics and movement tempo and without the complaints we've been seeing about WitE.

I haven't played OCS / Vandal, but a quick Google seems to show that as a boardgame, it still uses a CRT, which may make it easier for that particular system to generate more "balanced" or "sane" results, insofar as CRTs are an abstraction.

I'm behind you though that I'd love something that marries the point-and-click (relative) simplicity of WITE with the breadth and depth of TOAW's scenarios. I love booting up a single game to fight wars practically anywhere and everywhere, but I find the phased-combat system to be unreasonably obtuse.

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/15/2011 5:41:59 PM   
fbs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: gradenko_2000

I'm not sure which SSI wargames you're referring to, but I'm of the opinion that games like Panzer General, Clash of Steel, Steel Panthers and Close Combat were the ones geared for casual play, while the more recent Gary Grigsby offerings such as this and War in the Pacific are the ones that are way more grognard-y and detail abundant.



Oh, the ones I had in mind are Great Naval Battles, Steel Panthers, Pacific War and Silent Hunter. I would even extend that to The Operational Art of War, given that Norm Koger was also a SSI guy (although TOAW was not published by SSI).

The striking thing in these games, for me, was that they stretched the technology available to provide what was then great complexity. Steel Panthers for example was light-years away from competition. Nowadays the bar is raised, though, so today one could even argue that, for example, Silent Hunter is a beers-and-pretzel game rather than a detailed simulation.

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/15/2011 7:42:32 PM   
Lieste

 

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I just looked through the rules, and yes the combat does use a CRT - however, I'd argue that what is far more important is that combat uses both trace-supply and expenditure of supply - and the entry of supply for the scenarios is sufficient only for ~12 Regt Attacks, or 6 Mech Regt moves and Attacks per turn for the Stalingrad or Kharkov 1942 offensives... Or protracted lulls to build sufficient supplies for a meaningful offensive. Also 'hedgehogs' or fortified zones take the same supplies as a 2 Regt move/attack.

< Message edited by Lieste -- 6/15/2011 7:45:27 PM >

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/15/2011 10:44:05 PM   
Michael T


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WITE would be a much better game if more attention was paid by the devs to established boardgaming conventions. Eg a overun rule (to eliminate ants), a variable zoc cost dependant on unit size/capability, and a proper fort building rule. Just to mention a few.

WITE is by far the best *PC* wargame on the Eastern Front but it pales against games like OCS and EFS.

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/16/2011 1:26:25 AM   
Zorch

 

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I still have my copy of SSI's Computer Bismarck for the TRS-80, with 5.25" floppy disk!

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/16/2011 1:34:16 AM   
Ketza


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I wonder if either worked on "Guadacanal" or "Bomb Alley". Those were my first computer games played on an Apple II+ as I recall.

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/16/2011 3:31:26 AM   
scout1


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If you're going to compare it back to past SSI games .... how does it weigh in compared to the SSI classic .... War in the East ?

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/16/2011 3:44:46 AM   
saygame

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ketza

I wonder if either worked on "Guadacanal" or "Bomb Alley". Those were my first computer games played on an Apple II+ as I recall.


Yes indeedy. I know for sure that Joel worked on Guadalcanal as I recall his name on the credits. It was a favorite game in my store on the Apple II+. I still remember the day an enterprising customer discovered Guadalcanal Island had a in-game ID code like ships and used it to reposition the Island one hex West. Many surprised Japanese were baffled when the Cactus Air Force hit returning Japanese night bombardment raids in the usually air-safe radius.

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/16/2011 3:46:21 AM   
saygame

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

I still have my copy of SSI's Computer Bismarck for the TRS-80, with 5.25" floppy disk!



Mine comes with a cassette tape. :)

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/16/2011 4:02:21 AM   
E

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ketza

I wonder if either worked on "Guadacanal" or "Bomb Alley". Those were my first computer games played on an Apple II+ as I recall.

Grigsby wrote both. Billings started and owned the company (needless to say he had his hand in most every game that came out in the first batch of years).

Memories of those titles... they were so massive they could only use low-res!

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/16/2011 4:47:33 AM   
Scook_99

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: scout1

If you're going to compare it back to past SSI games .... how does it weigh in compared to the SSI classic .... War in the East ?


The original? the one from 1983-84? One of my two favorite eastern front games from back in the day (Chris Crawford made the other one). I always remember I would get up to Leningrad and sit there all winter giving my units the "good ole #6". Spring time would result in the death of Leningrad. Oh, #6 was the key to hit for artillery build-up.

I think this is a worthy decendant of the lineage of Eastern front games from GG et al.

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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/16/2011 4:56:37 AM   
randallw

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: saygame

Yes indeedy. I know for sure that Joel worked on Guadalcanal as I recall his name on the credits. It was a favorite game in my store on the Apple II+. I still remember the day an enterprising customer discovered Guadalcanal Island had a in-game ID code like ships and used it to reposition the Island one hex West. Many surprised Japanese were baffled when the Cactus Air Force hit returning Japanese night bombardment raids in the usually air-safe radius.



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RE: Is WitE the successor to the line of SSI games? - 6/16/2011 2:39:01 PM   
Ketza


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I also enjoyed North Atlantic 86 tremendously. I had the staggered Tomcat defense down to a science and loved to see those waves of Soviet bombers splashed.

My first time playing a human opponent in a computer game was against this Army Captain stationed at Fort Monroe in Virginia when I was an E-2 stationed at Langley AFB. We played Guadacanal hotseat in his gaming room where he had hundreds of boardgames scattered about including all of the SPI titles. I loved going through all of those games and checking them out.

To this day I remember the unique sound of a torpedo hit in that game and chasing the Yamato all the way back to Truk putting a dozen torps in her and 20 bombs and it still not sinking.

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