From: Birkerod, Denmark
It's not as bad as all that, certainly not any worse than WitE (or WitP:AE which in my opinion isn't a game but a second job).
Granted, the AGE engine takes some getting used to, and there's a lot going on under the hood but you don't need all the information in order to play well.
You can certainly optimize e.g. army organization by looking at every possible factor, but it's not necessary.
A little logic thought with a twist of historical knowledge will give you an idea of what you need.
But as others have mentioned, the best way is to simply jump in and see what happens.
The Tannenberg scenario is a must, and when you feel comfortable enough with the mechanics start a campaign as Russia, it's by far the easiest nation to get to grips with.
Only one front (albeit a very long one), and no navy to speak of.
In the end, acknowledge that you won't win anything in the first few games. Look at it as a learning experience.
Those of us who started strategy gaming with chess didn't win anything for a good long while (or is that just me? ), while we learned how all the parts work together.
Same thing here, except there's a lot more moving parts.
If you're coming from Civil War 2 or Napoleons Campaigns, the biggest difference is probably the command structure.
It's a lot looser, with army corps not being attached to any particular army, but simply attaches to whatever HQ is nearest.
In that respect it's closer to Pride of Nations.
If you're completely new to the AGE engine, C&C and leaders is everything in this game.
Yes, having a bigger army obviously helps, but it won't be much use if the commanding officer is out hunting deer in the nearby woods.
That, and your special-use units such as siege artillery and event cards. Those two are essential for the German player to get past the Belgian forts for example.
However, having said that I will agree that the documentation is...*ahem*...sorta lacking.
Not anything particularly new with the AGE series, I'm sorry to say.
Then again, since AGE does a very good job of patching up their games, odds are the manual wouldn't be accurate in a few months anyway (much like WitE).
The good news is that the mechanics in all the AGE games are if not the same, then similar enough for one to easily grasp the differences once the basics are down.
Trying to learn the system with something as huge as EaW is a little like trying to drink from a water-hose going full blast.
There's simply too much information to get assimilated in a single sitting.
What I do is split it up into parts, playing the start of the game 5-6 times.
First run is nothing but the ground units.
Second run, I'll add event cards.
Third, diplomacy gets added, etc.
If you have money to spare, a good intro to the system is Espana.
Much, much smaller scope and unit count, making it far more accessible.
(Not trying to sell anyone anything, just saying. )
Synchronization is done by pressing the Synch-button, then moving the HQ. All Corps in the area will then synch movement with the HQ.
Mind you, if you have two HQs and several Corps in one area, synching one HQ will mean that ALL the Corps will synch. You'll have to undo the movement for the Corps you want to keep with the other HQ.
"Something is always wrong, Baldrick. The fact that I'm not a millionaire aristocrat with the sexual capacity of a rutting rhino is a constant niggle"
- Edmund Blackadder