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RE: Someione please xplain

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RE: Someione please xplain - 10/27/2012 10:27:27 PM   

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Tactics II was also my first purchase, a gift for my son, but he was too young to play it well back then. Following that came Russian Campaign , VITP, and some SPI Quadgames. These all were played a lot in a local group here.

My very first exposure to a wargame came a lot earlier though. Back in 1950 I and a friend as teenagers devised our own game with maps and squares and Infantry, tanks. artillery, and ships that we messed around with for some time before it got discarded.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 31
RE: Someione please xplain - 10/27/2012 11:49:35 PM   

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Thanks for the info. Interesting. Grand Strat isn't for me but I knew this game has a real cult following so was interested in why that was so.

Maybe if it ever got an AI I'd consider buying..but by the sounds of it I've np idea how someone could programme an AI for it.


(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 32
RE: Someione please xplain - 10/28/2012 12:07:22 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets


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Thanks for the info. Interesting. Grand Strat isn't for me but I knew this game has a real cult following so was interested in why that was so.

Maybe if it ever got an AI I'd consider buying..but by the sounds of it I've np idea how someone could programme an AI for it.

You last 'question' is easy to answer: Brilliantly!



Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 33
RE: Someione please xplain - 10/29/2012 12:04:41 AM   

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What makes WiF so special? Looking at the screenies all I see is another grand strat game..that isn't the prettiest and I think shows how old the design is with regards to it's graphics as I presume the boardgame looks the same..anyway we all know graphics mean nothing (but can be good to the eyes).

So gameplaywise what makes it different to all the other grand strat WW2 games? I we looking at CRT's and die rolls or something more indepth?

Please enlighten me..


Because every game session is different, and feels like a separate game, and an actually new campaign, is like a brand new game, rather than just restarting the same game.

Maybe we play summer '42 in one session. But the next winter is going to be quite different since the USA has doubled their CV fleet by then. Since every session feels like a separate game, it's OK to play on, even when the total overview tells me I'm loosing. You may loose the game, but still win a lot of the individual game sessions and vice versa.

WIF seems like it's plan-able. But there is really a lot of chance. You have the charts in WIF, but do the dice rolls and charts tell you anything about importance? A small loss/win you take may turn out the be catastrophic/fantastic because sometimes randomness will allow the looser or the winner to double up and roll again. And possibly double up and roll again over more than once. The thrill about WIF is that you really can't predict what will be the game winning move. So you haven't lost until you actually lost. Well, I actually quit from my regular WIF group earlier this year, since I know them so well I can predict who's going to win early on. But it took us 30 games to reach that point, and that's a lot. (Many other games becomes predictable much sooner.)

What you have to learn to play WIF well, is how to maximise your chance of exploiting the opportunities you get. And the opportunities you are offered, can vary quite a bit from game to game. A simple example: Taking France in '39 is an opportunity the German may get, but the weather may turn so bad there is just no way Germany may be able to succeed with such a plan. And if they try and fail, that's often worse than not trying at all. So one game won't be the same as the next one. And the planners don't have much of an edge over the non-planners to win, because there are very few things that you are guaranteed to be able to do from the start.

But knowledge of the game is essential. An experienced player who has acquired a lot of knowledge about what opportunities the game may offer, both tactically and strategically, and prepares to take those opportunities if they come - that player will always win against a newbie (except possibly the simplest scenarios). Since every campaigns is different, in what opportunities it gives to each player, the learning curve for WIF is a really long one. If that is good or bad is up to you. We did have a player who quit after attending every night for two years, because he was still loosing big time, and he wasn't loosing that game because he was playing poorly. There simply was too many new situations appearing in that last game he played.

< Message edited by ullern -- 10/29/2012 12:05:08 AM >

(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 34
RE: Someione please xplain - 10/29/2012 8:16:35 PM   

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I haven't played any comparable global-scale wargames, so I can't make any comparative remarks - I don't know what sets WiF apart from other games.

But I can say what I do find to be superior or inferior about the game. Apologies if this is redundant with other comments.

Superior Aspects of WiF

  1. The various subsystems, while effectively modular, interact cleanly. Land, air & naval operations are essentially different modules, but each interacts well with the other two (with exceptions I will note below). Layered above these operatonal subsystems are subsystems for politics, US entry, turn length & weather, initiative, production, logistics, and (if you play with the appropriate optional rule) intelligence, all of which interact well with the operational subsystems which are the heart of the game (although some subsystems could be better IMO - to be noted below). Even better, each subsystem has its own unique feel, which prevents the game from becoming stale.

  2. The counter mix for each nation's force pools, and the variability within the mix, as well as the initial setup and terrain & resource placement, give a historical feel (and impose historical constraints) to the game without forcing the players to play the historical war. Beginning a 1939 game as, say, the Commonwealth (UK + Dominions + Empire), you feel like you are facing the strategic challenges the CW did, and your response to those challenges, even if not done exactly the way the CW did historically, will be consistent with the capabilities the CW had. And so it goes for the other major powers.

  3. The mixture of required die roll results (rolling high for initiative, naval damage & land combat good, rolling low for naval searches good, rolling extremes (both high & low) for air combat good) and other randomization (you must randomly choose units from your force pool when building units, so you can't guarantee you'll get the best stuff all the time) and the sheer number of die rolls involved tends to mitigate the effects of critical luck (although not eliminate it entirely). So within a turn you will see lots of good and bad outcomes depending on your planning & skill and the die roll result, but usually unless a sequence of key die rolls comes up strongly one-sided the die rolls won't overpower the planning & skill in deciding the game.

  4. Despite the depth of the rules and the operational opportunities that emerge from them, WiF plays like a 'beer & pretzel' game. Even though the rulebook is much larger, I feel like it is as easy to learn to play WiF as it is to learn to play the old AH game The Russian Campaign. And at any rate it is certainly fun.

  5. The breadth of optional rules allow for a wide variety of games. If you prefer simplicity, WiF Classic (without Shipes in Flames or Planes in Flames) is the way to go; if you like more depth and complexity, the optional rules let you have it.

The things I'm not so fond of in WiF are:

  1. The naval seabox/sea area subsystem has glitches at its points of interaction with other subsystems, at least IMO, mainly dealing with the interaction of naval units with coastal hexes (for shore bombardment & invasion) and the ability of low-range aircraft to dominate sea areas.

  2. The political system feels incomplete in out-of-the-box WiF. I've played a few Days of Decision games and while I like the concept, I think the implementation is a bit kludgy. I have yet to try Politics in Flames so I couldn't say anything about it.

  3. Logistics in WiF are a bit too binary and are implemented too simply, at least IMO (although I do realize that wargamers, myself included, do not like playing logistics games. We like playing wargames). The way the system currently works, one convoy point can maintain supply for the entire Allied Expeditionary Force in France in 1944, or the entire Japanese Army in mainland Asia (or not even that if you're not playing with the Limited Overseas Supply optional rule). On the other hand, units that are out-of-supply for even the shortest amount of time are almost completely impotent. Oil rules remediate this to some extent.


~ Composer99

(in reply to Ullern)
Post #: 35
RE: Someione please xplain - 10/29/2012 8:59:51 PM   

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ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets



Thanks for the info. Interesting. Grand Strat isn't for me but I knew this game has a real cult following so was interested in why that was so.

Maybe if it ever got an AI I'd consider buying..but by the sounds of it I've np idea how someone could programme an AI for it.

You last 'question' is easy to answer: Brilliantly!

Yes we at the feet of Steve!


Integrity is what you do when nobody is watching.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 36
RE: Someione please xplain - 10/30/2012 5:53:56 PM   
brian brian


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I've always felt that it puts you in the shoes of the leaders pictured on the cover of the box better than any other game I've played. Players hate the action limits, but when you read history from the point of view of the highest level leaders, you see why they are there. I'm thinking mostly of Churchill's history of the war, essential reading for any student of the war despite the flaw of looking at it through the lens of a leader dealing with it in real-time, rather than the more accurate hindsight views of normal history. You can see similar things in Soviet operations, and the Germans were perhaps the power most hobbled by supreme leadership micro-management, all of which yield the game's Action Limits.

Another key strength is the weather system. Each side can choose to stick strictly to the historical strategy (or even both sides), and no two games will ever be the same.

I also like the random draws of your new units. All military technology looks great on the drawing boards, but not all of it works out that way. And there is more to which weapons get produced than straight combat performance too. Another thing players of the game can seriously dislike at times, but something historical leaders had to deal with.

I would agree with Chris that the game's two weaknesses are over-generous logistics, and the occasional oddity of how the area-based naval system interacts with the hex-based land system (land-based air is absurdly strengthened when you can use Wake to launch air-cover for an invasion of Iwo Jima; but that same land-based air is absurdly weakened when your Stukas have to roll quite luckily to "find" an enemy invasion fleet sitting off Sicily, just 2 miles from your infantry's observation posts). Both problems are hard to solve from a playability point of view however.

Personally, I wish the launch of MWiF eventually leads Harry to work on these problems using computer technology to overcome the playability issues, but I don't think that will ever happen.

(in reply to Anendrue)
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