quote:I always appreciate your well thought out and constructive comments. Thanks for following and commenting. I'd like to address the following from your previous post if I may.
ORIGINAL: brian brian
quote:I understand and agree with what you're saying here. To be frank, I'm conflicted on playing solitaire versus playing a live opponent. Your comment caused me to ask (myself) a very basic question. Why do I play MWiF, or any other wargame? Why have I ever played them (going back almost 50-years to my first play, which was AH's Stalingrad). Boy, that's a long time ago ... good grief I'm getting old.
ORIGINAL: brian brian
I think given how many times you have played the game through solitaire now, you should play a live opponent. Solitaire is extremely educational in many ways, but after a while, you have to try your ideas against a person, or else you are just watching a classic Bill Murray movie.
I play wargames differently than non-wargame games (e.g., monopoly, risk, spades, yahtzee). The latter I play "just as a game" and try to win by "any means" allowed by the rules. The former, I play to immerse myself in the history covered by the scale and scope of the wargame.
Though I was born 13-years after the war ended (i.e., World War 2) , growing up the second world war wasn't ancient history as it's now becoming. It was very much living history less than two and then three decades removed from the actual event. Both my dad and uncle were veterans of the war. My dad was in the Army air corps and served in the China-Burma-India (in India) theater. My dad retired from the Air Force in 1962 at the rank of master sergeant. During the war he served in a communications unit behind the front lines and didn't see any combat. He regularly talked about his wartime experiences, which were all non-combat. My uncle on the other hand served aboard a combat ship, saw lots of action and never talked about his wartime experiences.
Growing up I was fascinated with World War 2. The veterans were my dad's and parent's of my friends generation and were in their 40's and then 50's. At the time they all seemed ancient, but now I see that they were in the prime of their life. It was this environment that instilled a fascination in me with the second world war, one which I still have today. Back then, the history of World War 2 was very much alive and vibrant. Though now (40 to 50-years later) I'm sadden to realize that we are now quickly losing my dad's generation and that the second world war has almost passed out of living memory and solely into history. Back as a youth, with no concept of aging, it seemed that my dad and his generation would be with us always. I had no understand that one day they'd be gone.
What does all this mean? For me, I always approach wargames with the aim to be as faithful to the history and scope that they covered as I can. This doesn't mean I want to play them as one would watch a DVD series, or a documentary, on the war. I don't. I want to play them within the rules and spirit of what they're covering in the "hopes" that they produce a result that's believable, well at least believable to me. And if in some play of the game it happens to produce a result that matches history then this is proof to me that the results produced from other plays are indeed believable, and were possible, as an alternate history.
I do understand that World in Flames is first and foremost a game. And as a game, Harry and the other designers/developers/playtesters had to walk a very fine line between balancing the game versus historical realism. I understand, for example, that some of that balancing is scaling back the US war economy.
Over the past couple of years I've probably read twenty or more books on the US Pacific War. At least a dozen of them have covered the all important Battle of Midway to some extent. What I've come to conclude is that while the Battle of Midway was the pivotal naval battle of WW-2, it did not decide the winner in the Pacific. Even if the US had lost, and lost badly, Japan would still have been beaten by the might of the US and their allies and forced to surrender unconditionally. At war's end, the USN had over 100 aircraft carriers (CV's, CVL's & CVE's), not to mention the number of battleships, cruisers, destroyers they had. In no game of MWiF have I ever ended the game with the USN even remotely close to the size it actually was in August 1945.
I recall in strategy notes (and I'm paraphrasing) that (M)WiF is just a game and as such, the perfect win for the CW or US would be to win the game with a single ship left. Yes as a game I agree 100% with this. But, as a vehicle to experience/explorer the actual and (realistic) alternate history of the second world war I couldn't disagree more.
Also, I've seen strategies that in order to preserve forces that recommended pulling CW forces out of areas such as the Egypt and that Middle East that in no way, no how would Winston Churchill have done. I have a very difficult time playing MWiF that way and this certainly is one of my many weaknesses when playing against a live opponent.
Finally to wrap this long winded post up ... I do realize that when it comes to playing (M)WiF that I'm the exception (by far) and not the rule of the folks that play. It's being this exception that I struggle between playing solo versus against a live opponent. This doesn't mean that I will always play solo ... someday soon I hope to play again against a live opponent. Hopefully one that's equal to my skill and not superior as my previous attempts at live play have been. But for now, and possibly until retirement in 4 or so years, I'll have to be content muddling along with solo play.