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A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 4:08:40 AM   
76mm


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Looks like lots of you have jumped out and bought the game; I'd like to, but I've learned to be a bit more cautious about buying Matrix games immediately upon release.

I'll be keeping an eye on the forum and AARs for general feedback, but in the meantime, could some of you take a few moments to answer a few questions? I've played all of Vic's games except the blitzkrieg one, so am generally familiar with the series.

1) The big question for me is how these various RP elements play out? It is an interesting and realistic idea, but I'm concerned that implementation could be annoying/unrealistic.

2) Same generally with the card aspect? I thought it worked OK in Case Blue, but it sounds like it's been expanded in Barbarossa?

3) How does the game work as a straight-up operational wargame, without the RP chrome?

4) How do things play out from the Soviet side? Are the Zhukov/Kruschev roles relevant?

5) How is play balance for the campaign scenario? Are logistics/blizzard/encirclements handled "realistically"?

6) The manual...I'm all for thorough manuals, but 300+ pages? Sheesh! Why is this game so complicated? Case Blue's manual was only about 100 pp...

7) Generally, why do you like this game more (or less) than WitE? I generally favor huge games, but I soured on WitE pretty quickly for a variety of reasons, and am hoping that this will be better. Thoughts?

< Message edited by 76mm -- 11/25/2015 5:12:54 AM >
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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 5:12:26 AM   
lancer

 

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Hi 76mm,

I'll tackle a few specifics and leave others to answer the rest.

2) The card side has been changed from DC2. Big difference is that Officer cards are now restricted to 3 commanders, one per theatre, rather than each and every commander. Fewer decisions there but a bigger impact.

The Soviet side plays largely through cards but it's easy to manage.

3) The whole decision & relationship aspect of the game can be switched off and you'll can play it as a straight war game as well as having a more streamlined logistical system. Still plenty of scope to have your Panzers sucking on air.

4) Zhukov and Krushchev play key roles for the Soviet side. They act as roving troubleshooters that you move around the map and whom have a number of interesting capabilities. How well you utilise them plays a large part of whether you can save the day. There is a lot of rooom for different strategies here.

5) Logistics and Weather get a more realistic approach than any other game on the market, in my opinion. I designed it and I'm horribly biased. Encirclements is a pretty general term and it's hard to comment on.

6) There manuals that big 'cause there is a lot of depth in the game. However it's been designed from the ground up to be micromanagement free and accessible. It's a bit like Shrek and his onion - it's layered. You don't have to keep peeling away if you don't want to.

Cheers,
Cameron


(in reply to 76mm)
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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 5:26:49 AM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: lancer
5) Logistics and Weather get a more realistic approach than any other game on the market, in my opinion. I designed it and I'm horribly biased. Encirclements is a pretty general term and it's hard to comment on.


Heh, thanks, nothing wrong with tooting your own horn, but hopefully someone can provide a bit more detail; if easier, some comparison to WitE would be helpful (although note that I haven't played WitE in the last few years so am not familiar with the latest patches).

Regarding encirclements, in WitE they were easy to execute (IIRC, units could move up to 30 hexes per turn under certain circumstances) and once a cauldron had been formed, units within them immediately became completely helpless and were quickly wiped out.

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 9:03:13 AM   
Rosseau

 

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Playing Soviets with options at 76/89 difficulty ratio so pretty easy. At start of turn 3, Germans have gotten as far east as Tarnapol. But because of the Division-level counters, I see no huge pockets forming. Much more fluid so far with fewer counters.

Again, only Turn 3, but liking the feel of the game, and the German side will present a much more significant challenge.

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 9:59:05 AM   
gwgardner

 

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Encirclements, aiming to destroy the enemy armies, as opposed to aiming at a given terrain feature like a city, has been successfully used often during playtests. There are risk factors, however - the Soviet AI is so good that it will quickly exploit any over-extension by blitzing German units. Fuel and command/control are the biggest limiting factors in encirclements. As long as the German player keeps the fuel moving forward to the panzers, and maintains communications with the forward units, encirclements and pocketing is definitely the way to go.

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 10:16:27 AM   
76mm


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Thanks gw; can encircled units move/fight at all after they've been encircled, or are they pretty much rag dolls?

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 12:18:37 PM   
Barthheart


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Encircled units can and do try to fight their way out of the pocket. Normally units have a couple of days supply with them so other than organizational problems they can fight fairly effectively. After that they start to lose effectiveness as their supply dwindles.

The AI is very good at trying to save it units.

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 12:25:12 PM   
76mm


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Has anyone played far enough into the campaign to have encountered the cold snap yet? Can anyone briefly describe how these effects are modeled? Also, are weather conditions generally the same over the whole map, or are there various weather regions?

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 12:30:16 PM   
Barthheart


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Haven't gotten into the snow yet but the rainy/mud season really sucks!

Weather seems to affect areas rather than the entire map at least for mud. Areas affected are coloured differently so you can tell where it's happening.

Travelling through mud hexes is very slow and if your division is on foot or truck borne they can get stuck.

_____________________________

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but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming "WOW, what a ride!"

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 12:52:19 PM   
gwgardner

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

Has anyone played far enough into the campaign to have encountered the cold snap yet? Can anyone briefly describe how these effects are modeled? Also, are weather conditions generally the same over the whole map, or are there various weather regions?


As Bartheart said, yes the encircled units can mount a counter-attack along with units outside the encirclement. However, early in the game, the power of the German forces can usually contain any such counter-attack IF the player watches his flanks and keeps his fuel/supply going.

I've played to the end, in Feb 1. '42. I took Leningrad, but only with the help of the Finns (they can come in sometimes if the conditions are right and the Germans make the right decisions). I took Kharkov but could not cross the Don farther south, so was well away from Rostov. I got to within the outskirts of Moscow, but lack of fuel and the effects of bad weather stalled me, and the Soviet AI counterattacked and reinforced the central front.

The great thing about weather in this game is that it's not all one or the other. As in real life. There SEEM to be like 15-20 zones (don't quote me on that), the player is hit by fronts essentially, that can leave a swath of mud for instance, or later snow, then frozen ground. Lakes frozen over are modeled, with movement and supply across them.

The mud can occur not just in November; I had one game in which a rain front crossed parts of the north and central sectors in August, followed by a week or so of mud, generally from Estonia to to Moscow - but not totally blanketing all that area, but in a realistic swath. That early in the year was rare - only happened a couple of times in the 10-15 campaigns I played, although smaller, localized bad weather occurs more.

There is also an option to alter the historical/typical weather pattern.

Weather effects vary by unit type, on movement and combat. By the time I hit the snow and ice in December/January, my panzers were severely restricted in movement (although I was also suffering from low fuel and fatigue. I had failed to go over to a sustained offensive or even defensive posture early enough). Infantry is affected also.

There are decisions that can effect the vulnerability to weather also - such as early recognition that the troops need better winter equipment. However in my winter game, I was also hampered by low PPs (political points) and bad relations with Wagner and Gercke and Brauchitcsh, and couldn't do anything with those decisions.

But back to the weather itself - it's not simply randomized across the map. It's quite realistically modeled.

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 1:14:50 PM   
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Thanks much for the comments gw, very helpful. You've played 10-15 campaigns already? Yikes!

Have you played any of those from the Sov side? If so, any fun? How is the Sov OOB created--do players build units, or do some semblance of historical units simply appear as reinforcements?

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 2:59:34 PM   
gwgardner

 

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Not full campaigns. One all the way to the end, several to December, many to October, due to revisions of the code as time progressed.

Yes, have played the Soviets several times.

1) the German AI is GOOD. The Soviet player has to position his forces well.
2) Stalin paranoia must always be kept in mind, as it can strike when least desired.
3) Kruschev and Zhukov can have a big impact on both paranoia and the will of the Soviet forces to fight and hold.
4) The soviet player has to constantly be aware of his limits on managing the entire army, especially with regard to overall organizational efficiency and the 'postures' of his various armies. It is a struggle to overcome the initial tendency of the Soviets to go on the offensive.
5) Supply is not in the player control, as it is for the AXIS, but keeping your armies in good command and control, and communications with the Front HQs is important.
6) As you would expect, wise use of the terrain is paramount.
7) Knowing when to give up ground, avoiding encirclements - those are important against the AI.
8) Reinforcements are historical. If you look in the documentation folder you'll see the reinforcements schedule, and you can also see it of course in-game. There are options to alter that schedule, such as bringing in Siberian units earlier, or more (at a cost in victory points), limited use of cards to alter which front some armies can arrive at, etc.

Definitely plenty to do as the Soviet player, and you will be on your toes the whole time against the competent AXIS AI.

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 3:07:33 PM   
76mm


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Thanks again for the detailed response, very helpful.

I've just gone through the product features again, and it doesn't mention anything about multi-player or PBEM+--is this game single player only?!

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 3:11:15 PM   
Barthheart


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It uses the PBEM++ system, so yes it can be 2 player.


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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 3:11:37 PM   
Rainsong94

 

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Product specs says 1-2 players with PBEM.

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 3:11:45 PM   
Tamas

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

Thanks again for the detailed response, very helpful.

I've just gone through the product features again, and it doesn't mention anything about multi-player or PBEM+--is this game single player only?!


No, it uses our PBEM++ server for multiplayer!

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 3:22:47 PM   
76mm


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Thanks again; definitely wouldn't have bought it without PBEM++!

I suggest that the devs add a bulletpoint about PBEM++ in the Features section, because there is nothing there about multiplayer now.

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 4:02:27 PM   
Vic


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You can indeed use PBEM++ or regular manual PBEM.

best,
Vic

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 8:08:17 PM   
Rosseau

 

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Or play against yourself via hotseat like World in Flames.

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 8:15:05 PM   
demyansk


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Hi Guys

Does anyone know where the file goes when you click on the print screen key? I can't find the picture of the screen shot?

By the way, lots of decisions to make - very unique to a game , I love it.

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 8:38:51 PM   
Michael T


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How are the many Soviet Tank Brigades handled that appeared from Sept-Dec?

If the game is Division level how are these many 100's of tanks portrayed?

Soviet Tank Divisions were disbanded during this period. How is that handled?

What are the armoured units the Soviets have late 41 early 42?

Since they should not have any Tank Divisions.

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 8:45:26 PM   
Philippeatbay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: demjansk

Does anyone know where the file goes when you click on the print screen key? I can't find the picture of the screen shot?



It goes to your clip board. I'm not a computer engineer so I can't tell you exactly what that really means, but to see the screenshot open any blank bitmap in Paint and then click on 'paste'. Remember to save before you exit.

Apologies if you were asking something else and I mistook your meaning.

But if that is what you meant and you do it, you'll have just taken the first step on a long and slippery slope that will turn you into a modder.



< Message edited by Philippe at bay -- 11/25/2015 9:46:58 PM >

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 8:52:05 PM   
Phoenix100

 

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Thinking about buying this.

Can anyone help with this - It's touted as a 'truly operational' game, but do you still have to move each counter about manually (albeit they are divisions)? Or can you give an instruction to an army group, for example, to attack along a certain axis and it will then issue plans and orders to its divisions?

Thanks.

Peter

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 8:56:48 PM   
elmo3

 

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You move the divisions manually.

Edit - There is a group move option if you want to move all the units in one hex together as a stack.

< Message edited by elmo3 -- 11/25/2015 9:58:02 PM >


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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 9:04:04 PM   
Michael T


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Will the editor allow the OOB to be fully modded to correct the more obvious shortcomings, ala SS units, Soviet Tank Divisions.

It seems from the reports so far the game is very good. If the editor will allow me to bring the OOB up to a better standard I think I might take the plunge.

The Soviet tank brigades have me wondering though how they might be handled... anyone?

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 9:37:21 PM   
Rosseau

 

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You wouldn't want to miss the forest for the trees on this one, Michael. The handling of Soviet tank brigades might be an issue in WitE. But because this game is so innovative in so many areas, I really don't care how they are handled

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 9:47:50 PM   
Michael T


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Well my resistance is almost totally evaporated. So many positive responses to this game is hard to ignore.

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 9:52:27 PM   
Kumppi


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You know there is something new and exciting in the air when von Leeb sends you a letter, after you have stripped AGN from most of it's fuel to feed the beast in the south, and tells you that he is not responsible for the failure to capture Leningrad because his panzers simply don't have enough fuel. It really is something I haven't experienced before in a game like this. BTW I did not give him any more fuel. He hates me anyway.

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/25/2015 11:45:29 PM   
lancer

 

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Hi Michael,

The shift in Soviet doctrine from full Tank Divisions to attached tank brigades is taken into account with the Soviet OOB's as well as the equipment upgrades between early conscript and late conscript armies.

Cheers,
Cameron

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RE: A couple questions... - 11/26/2015 12:05:39 AM   
Michael T


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So I gather you mean Soviet Inf Div's get some tank slots? Or are the tank brigades cards that are played?

Not that it matters too much, I am going to buy and see for myself now anyway.

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