Shannon V. OKeets
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Courtenay, I like your comments and I appreciate the valuable advice you gave over the years to MWIF players. However, I dare to voice a differing opinion on the value of the Barbarossa Fast Start scenario as a learning tool.
I believe, the Fast Start is the best possible entry for beginners to dive into MWIF. In your first game, you are already overwhelmed by 1. the complexity of WIF as a game and 2. by the need to familiarise yourself with the user interface of MWIF. In this situation, you do not want to get second doubts about best possible set-up, this is only blocking your mind and without playing experience, you cannot come up with the "perfect" set-up anyway.
It is more important to start really fast and to dive into rules application and game mechanics, than to bother with an unbalanced scenario set-up. Barbarossa is more about learning the game, than winning a scenario.
The best way to play it with two newbies still somewhat competitively, is to play it two times as a rematch with same set-up, so both can compare their achievements. After such a double game, both players will be able to choose more fitting optional rules and have an idea on how to develop better set-ups.
In closing, I want to highlight, IMHO the set-up for both sides in Fast Start is not ideal (but for Axis less non-optimised, I agree). For some important aspects of learning the game, for example how to execute overruns, such set-up is actual necessary and not a bad thing.
Way back when I was figuring out how people could learn MWIF, I simply asked the forum members for their suggestions and recommendations. One of those was to let the player jump right in, reducing the amount of stuff a new player would have to figure out before moving units and making attacks.
MWIF provides several different starting points for learning the game: the players manual, the picture and text tutorials, the interactive tutorials, and the training videos are the main ones. But I think of the Fast Start setups as part of that group. With the fast Start scenarios, a new player doesn't have to cope with scrapping units, selecting which air units to use, and where to place his units on the map.
Yeah, the setups are not necessarily ideal. But then, experienced players will argue over which units go where for hours and still not reach agreement.
I believe someone once said something about perfect being the enemy of good - or something to that effect.
Perfection is an elusive goal.