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North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 2:29:32 AM   
countrboy

 

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I was wondering if anyone knew of a game which allowed you to play the entire North African campaign? There are a couple of war games based in North Africa, but I can't find one which allows you to play the full campaign.

I'm beginning to think the last game which allowed you to do this was the ZX Spectrum classic 'Desert Rats',which was published in 1988!
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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 2:45:46 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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My scenario for TOAW:

https://crossrl1.wixsite.com/my-toaw-site/campaign-for-north-africa-1940-43

_____________________________

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Bob Cross's TOAW Site

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 3:06:36 AM   
countrboy

 

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Well that certainly is it, although TOAW is about the only hex-based wargame I don't own. Which version would you need to play your scenario?

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 3:10:07 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: countrboy

Well that certainly is it, although TOAW is about the only hex-based wargame I don't own. Which version would you need to play your scenario?

Any of them. But TOAW IV is the latest and greatest.

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 3:20:54 AM   
countrboy

 

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Ok, I will take a closer look at TOAW, although I have read a few reviews which complained about the weird time phase system, where you could run out of 'moves' long before getting around to even moving all your units.

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 3:38:20 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: countrboy

Ok, I will take a closer look at TOAW, although I have read a few reviews which complained about the weird time phase system, where you could run out of 'moves' long before getting around to even moving all your units.

That was somewhat improved in TOAW IV with the Battlefield Timestamp feature:

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4274372

But part of that is a realism factor that has to be retained in a IGUG system. (That gets discussed ad nauseum in the above link).

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 4:16:32 AM   
countrboy

 

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Yeah, that's it. Just reading the first post on that link made my head spin, although I get the concept of why it is done like that.

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 5:08:54 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: countrboy

I was wondering if anyone knew of a game which allowed you to play the entire North African campaign? There are a couple of war games based in North Africa, but I can't find one which allows you to play the full campaign.

I'm beginning to think the last game which allowed you to do this was the ZX Spectrum classic 'Desert Rats',which was published in 1988!
warspite1

Hi countrboy

I am longing for a proper land, sea and air War In The Mediterranean game - but suspect this will never be commercially viable

I'd never played TOAW before but bought TOAWIV simply because of the North African campaign.

Its not perfect (what game is?) but it was well worth the money. The downside is that the game isn't designed for this campaign and so, as ever, there are niggles about realism etc. The game also lacks the necessary naval aspect so vital to the war in the Med (there is a Royal Navy presence but its not great to be honest - but that may be because I am a naval warfare fanboy so wanted a Regia Marina presence too).

But....

The game is fun. It's challenging yes, but in all the right ways a war game should be, but without being a ball-ache. It's colourful, it's immersive, the campaign is at a good scale that allows the player to be really 'involved' with their squadrons and battalions. Being able to 'play' with the great regiments of the past does it for me!

Desert Rats was da bomb! My first experience of computer war gaming and - like you - have been hoping for something decent ever since. I don't think you will be disappointed in TOAWIV for this campaign alone.

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4413713&mpage=1&key=

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 5:14:05 AM   
countrboy

 

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quote:

Desert Rats was da bomb! My first experience of computer war gaming and - like you - have been hoping for something decent ever since. I don't think you will be disappointed in TOAWIV for this campaign alone.


Alrighty, I'll give TOAW another go. And yes I still miss Desert Rats. I still remember my first game, over 30 years ago, as I pushed the Italians all the way back to near Tripoli, when suddenly these seemingly invincible black units appeared (being the Afrika Korps of course) who chased me all the way back to Mersa Matruh, where I was finally able to stop them. Then I was able to push them all the way back to Tripoli once more! It was fantastic, even with terrible graphics, little to no in-game information and awful sound. But it represented the campaign in North Africa so well....

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 10:43:11 AM   
RangerJoe


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My brother gave up on the Avalon Hill game Afrika Corps when I captured his only German supply unit and rushed it to Tobruk. He didn't get another one for two turns and his army starved . . .

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 1:59:40 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: countrboy

Yeah, that's it. Just reading the first post on that link made my head spin, although I get the concept of why it is done like that.

I have played bit of TOAW3. My understanding of the game's turn system is this: at start of a given turn when playing British, I draw a battle plan involving infantry tanks, hit on the resolve button (or whatever the real name, been couple years since I played last), and if attack is success, I'll plot route for cruise tanks through the enemy line on the same turn.

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 2:21:04 PM   
zakblood


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Robert T. Smith, one of the kings of early war gaming and still going,

https://store.steampowered.com/app/357310/Oriental_Empires/


latest in a very long line of games is Oriental Empires

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 2:21:58 PM   
zakblood


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not spam either

just the maker of

quote:

ZX Spectrum classic 'Desert Rats',which was published in 1988!

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/20/2020 5:03:45 PM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: countrboy

Ok, I will take a closer look at TOAW, although I have read a few reviews which complained about the weird time phase system, where you could run out of 'moves' long before getting around to even moving all your units.


People who don't understand the passing of time and the movement of units = the same thing tend to get confused.

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/21/2020 1:58:22 PM   
RFalvo69


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I always thought that TOAW needed a "classic move-attack" option in the menu. Basically, the opportunity to play it like a classic wargame, without bothering with turn-eating attacks or timestamps (even if the latter are helpful, I must admit).

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/21/2020 7:42:08 PM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69

I always thought that TOAW needed a "classic move-attack" option in the menu. Basically, the opportunity to play it like a classic wargame, without bothering with turn-eating attacks or timestamps (even if the latter are helpful, I must admit).


I guess it would all depend on the type of game you are looking for. There are some that most are familiar with.

There are plenty that allow you to move a unit and then use it to attack and then move another unit and move it to attack, etc. So if you are looking for a game that completely ignores time and space that's for you. More of a beer and pretzel game.

On the other hand if you are looking for a game that looks at time as something that is the same for the entire battlefield at the same time, which is of course the way time works, then you want a game that passes time equally for the entire battlefield at the same time. More of a grognard type of game like the SPI and GDW games I used to have. Of course they typically had a movement phase, a combat phase and an exploitation phase unlike TOAW which allows you to divide a turn into a maximum of ten phases or tenths of a turn of your choosing. In the digital world these classic (old) systems seem to be fading away.

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/21/2020 8:57:06 PM   
Twotribes


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69

I always thought that TOAW needed a "classic move-attack" option in the menu. Basically, the opportunity to play it like a classic wargame, without bothering with turn-eating attacks or timestamps (even if the latter are helpful, I must admit).


I guess it would all depend on the type of game you are looking for. There are some that most are familiar with.

There are plenty that allow you to move a unit and then use it to attack and then move another unit and move it to attack, etc. So if you are looking for a game that completely ignores time and space that's for you. More of a beer and pretzel game.

On the other hand if you are looking for a game that looks at time as something that is the same for the entire battlefield at the same time, which is of course the way time works, then you want a game that passes time equally for the entire battlefield at the same time. More of a grognard type of game like the SPI and GDW games I used to have. Of course they typically had a movement phase, a combat phase and an exploitation phase unlike TOAW which allows you to divide a turn into a maximum of ten phases or tenths of a turn of your choosing. In the digital world these classic (old) systems seem to be fading away.

So SPWAW and SPMBT are beer and pretzel games? )

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/22/2020 12:08:55 AM   
IslandInland


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The ZX Spectrum Desert Rats was the first wargame I ever played and is responsible for my life-long obsession with computer wargames.

I can't think of one modern game which covers the whole of the North African campaign but if you bought

https://www.matrixgames.com/game/desert-war-1940-1942

https://www.matrixgames.com/game/gary-grigsbys-war-in-the-west

https://www.matrixgames.com/game/gary-grigsbys-war-in-the-west-operation-torch

http://www.johntillersoftware.com/StrategicWar/WarSouthernFront.html


Those games would cover the whole theatre and then some. I own all of them. Desert War is OK, War in the West and Operation Torch are simply great wargames and War On The Southern Front is old but serviceable. It would be a considerable outlay to purchase all these games but the Matrix titles (the first three in the list) go on sale several times a year so you could wait until they are cheaper.

Bear in mind all these games cover mostly the land and air war (War in the West/Torch for the air aspect) and none of them really delve deeply into the naval aspect of the theatre.



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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/22/2020 2:13:48 AM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Twotribes


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69

I always thought that TOAW needed a "classic move-attack" option in the menu. Basically, the opportunity to play it like a classic wargame, without bothering with turn-eating attacks or timestamps (even if the latter are helpful, I must admit).


I guess it would all depend on the type of game you are looking for. There are some that most are familiar with.

There are plenty that allow you to move a unit and then use it to attack and then move another unit and move it to attack, etc. So if you are looking for a game that completely ignores time and space that's for you. More of a beer and pretzel game.

On the other hand if you are looking for a game that looks at time as something that is the same for the entire battlefield at the same time, which is of course the way time works, then you want a game that passes time equally for the entire battlefield at the same time. More of a grognard type of game like the SPI and GDW games I used to have. Of course they typically had a movement phase, a combat phase and an exploitation phase unlike TOAW which allows you to divide a turn into a maximum of ten phases or tenths of a turn of your choosing. In the digital world these classic (old) systems seem to be fading away.

So SPWAW and SPMBT are beer and pretzel games? )


Unit A shoots at the bad guy and blows him up. Then in the same turn unit B, still with full movement, moves through the hex the bad guy was in. In effect unit B moved through the bad guy while he was still there getting shot at by unit A. You tell me.

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/22/2020 2:47:05 AM   
countrboy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: IslandInland

The ZX Spectrum Desert Rats was the first wargame I ever played and is responsible for my life-long obsession with computer wargames.

I can't think of one modern game which covers the whole of the North African campaign but if you bought

https://www.matrixgames.com/game/desert-war-1940-1942

https://www.matrixgames.com/game/gary-grigsbys-war-in-the-west

https://www.matrixgames.com/game/gary-grigsbys-war-in-the-west-operation-torch

http://www.johntillersoftware.com/StrategicWar/WarSouthernFront.html


Those games would cover the whole theatre and then some. I own all of them. Desert War is OK, War in the West and Operation Torch are simply great wargames and War On The Southern Front is old but serviceable. It would be a considerable outlay to purchase all these games but the Matrix titles (the first three in the list) go on sale several times a year so you could wait until they are cheaper.

Bear in mind all these games cover mostly the land and air war (War in the West/Torch for the air aspect) and none of them really delve deeply into the naval aspect of the theatre.



Indeed, I too own all of those games, even War on the Southern Front, plus a couple of PzC North African titles. But as you say, none of them quite deliver the full campaign. I've put TOAW on my wishlist and will grab it if it comes on sale.

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/22/2020 3:02:55 AM   
Michael T


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None deliver, including TOAW IV, IMO.

The only hope is if ever Frank Hunter transports 'Piercing Fortress Europa' to North Africa. It does a splendid job on the Italian Campaign 43-45. Sadly I can't see it happening though. Perhaps someone will do something entirely new one day. But I would dearly love a really good PC title that covered the entire war in North Africa.

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/22/2020 3:35:52 AM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster


quote:

ORIGINAL: Twotribes


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69

I always thought that TOAW needed a "classic move-attack" option in the menu. Basically, the opportunity to play it like a classic wargame, without bothering with turn-eating attacks or timestamps (even if the latter are helpful, I must admit).


I guess it would all depend on the type of game you are looking for. There are some that most are familiar with.

There are plenty that allow you to move a unit and then use it to attack and then move another unit and move it to attack, etc. So if you are looking for a game that completely ignores time and space that's for you. More of a beer and pretzel game.

On the other hand if you are looking for a game that looks at time as something that is the same for the entire battlefield at the same time, which is of course the way time works, then you want a game that passes time equally for the entire battlefield at the same time. More of a grognard type of game like the SPI and GDW games I used to have. Of course they typically had a movement phase, a combat phase and an exploitation phase unlike TOAW which allows you to divide a turn into a maximum of ten phases or tenths of a turn of your choosing. In the digital world these classic (old) systems seem to be fading away.

So SPWAW and SPMBT are beer and pretzel games? )


Unit A shoots at the bad guy and blows him up. Then in the same turn unit B, still with full movement, moves through the hex the bad guy was in. In effect unit B moved through the bad guy while he was still there getting shot at by unit A. You tell me.


Plus unit B does not even get damaged!

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Post #: 22
RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/22/2020 1:52:33 PM   
RFalvo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

There are plenty that allow you to move a unit and then use it to attack and then move another unit and move it to attack, etc. So if you are looking for a game that completely ignores time and space that's for you. More of a beer and pretzel game.


You would define the Operational Combat Series a "beer and pretzel" kind of game?

Guderian has amassed the troops needed for his assault on Tula - no small feat. He is ready! But... A messenger arrives and Guderian is informed that he cannot attack until a small skirmish near Leningrad ends! Guderian can only curse and wait near the radio.


Is the above a realistic representation of what happens in a war? I don't think so.

TOAW tried to introduce a realistic combat model, one that made the concepts of "time and space" important, by using the "unit that moved the most/unexpected combat length" ideas. This was done back in 1998, when the average PC had problems in managing simultaneous real time turns (like the model used in the Flashpoint Campaigns series, or even true Real Time like the games by Pat Proctor). The result was that in large scenarios a secondary attack in a forgotten corner of the map could "eat up" almost all of your turn (if not all). Since then the following iterations of TOAW tried to find ways to alleviate this.

And, as I said, I would like to have a "classic cardboard wargame" model for TOAW as an option. The only problem I see is that a scenario will need to be built while keeping in mind the two models - and maybe choose one as the optimum for that specific scenario.

P.S. Anyway, if a "move and combat" model makes a game a "beer and pretzel" one, then 90% of games sold by Matrix are beer and pretzel. Actually, one could make the case that 90% of the computer wargames sold are beer and pretzel ones - from World in Flames, to War in the Desert, to GG's Eastern and Western Front, to anything done by John Tiller.

Do you agree with this? I don't.

< Message edited by RFalvo69 -- 2/22/2020 1:56:56 PM >


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Post #: 23
RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/22/2020 2:13:37 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69


Guderian has amassed the troops needed for his assault on Tula - no small feat. He is ready! But... A messenger arrives and Guderian is informed that he cannot attack until a small skirmish near Leningrad ends! Guderian can only curse and wait near the radio.


This was addressed by the BTS thing (see the link in post #6).

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/22/2020 3:41:08 PM   
RangerJoe


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What is wrong with bier and pretzels while playing a game?

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Post #: 25
RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/22/2020 3:42:15 PM   
RFalvo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay


quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69


Guderian has amassed the troops needed for his assault on Tula - no small feat. He is ready! But... A messenger arrives and Guderian is informed that he cannot attack until a small skirmish near Leningrad ends! Guderian can only curse and wait near the radio.


This was addressed by the BTS thing (see the link in post #6).


I know. As I wrote:

Since then the following iterations of TOAW tried to find ways to alleviate this.


Still, I would be happy for TOAW (or a TOAW-like game) to find other ways to simplify the gameplay while maintaining a grip on realism.

Which could not necessarily be a IGO-YOUGO system. Another idea could be the random activation of formations - with variables tied to their "preparedness" and other factors.

I believe, anyway, that this debate belongs to the TOAW board, not here.

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RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/22/2020 8:45:15 PM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69



Guderian has amassed the troops needed for his assault on Tula - no small feat. He is ready! But... A messenger arrives and Guderian is informed that he cannot attack until a small skirmish near Leningrad ends! Guderian can only curse and wait near the radio.





Of course it doesn't happen this way. And it wouldn't in TOAW. Both combats would take place at the same time. What would be stupid is if the small attack took place while Guderian waited and then time reversed and Guderian had the entire day to do his thing. And this isn't a TOAW 'thing'. It affects all turn based games of the IGOUGO ilk.

For the most part classic SPI and GDW board games had a movement phase where every unit was moved that was going to move, a combat phase where all combat took place and some had an exploitation phase for mechanized units. Note that no one unit moved, conducted combat and then another unit moved and conducted combat in most of these board games. That would be nothing less than a science fiction time travel game with nothing to do with the real world. It doesn't take an Einstein to grasp this. If you take the science fiction route you have truly impossible things happening like the Axis cutting off the Soviets with a right hook to the Black Sea.

< Message edited by Lobster -- 2/22/2020 8:57:34 PM >


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Post #: 27
RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/22/2020 10:10:08 PM   
RFalvo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69



Guderian has amassed the troops needed for his assault on Tula - no small feat. He is ready! But... A messenger arrives and Guderian is informed that he cannot attack until a small skirmish near Leningrad ends! Guderian can only curse and wait near the radio.





Of course it doesn't happen this way. And it wouldn't in TOAW. Both combats would take place at the same time.


Not if Guderian attack is operational (an important word) in scale. True, maybe they both start at the same moment. However, Guderian breaks the first line of defense using two/tens of his turn, but then he cannot exploit the breach with his reserves because, half-a-World away two battalions exchange slaps in the face and bad words for eight/tens of a turn.

This is not a realistic portrayal of front-level action at all. Admittedly, timestamps alleviate the problem. It is still interesting to note how TOAW needed them.

quote:


What would be stupid is if the small attack took place while Guderian waited and then time reversed and Guderian had the entire day to do his thing. And this isn't a TOAW 'thing'. It affects all turn based games of the IGOUGO ilk.


Any wargame is an attempt to portray a military action at a given scale. Nothing can equate reality 1:1, not even paintball. Reality hasn't hexes, "squares" representing divisions, fixed 50m wide roads both in urban areas and in small countryside villages (Iì'm looking at you Advanced Squad Leader) and so on. What matters is "Do the choices made by the designer manage to portray the feeling and sense of combat in a given scale/period/geographic area?"

I mentioned the OCS because, while being turn-based, the system manages to convey exceptionally well the operational feeling of the covered era. I actually like more to re-enact the Allied invasion of Germany from Aug, 1944 to May, 1945 using "Beyond the Rhine" than a TOAW scenario.

quote:


For the most part classic SPI and GDW board games had a movement phase where every unit was moved that was going to move, a combat phase where all combat took place and some had an exploitation phase for mechanized units. Note that no one unit moved, conducted combat and then another unit moved and conducted combat in most of these board games. That would be nothing less than a science fiction time travel game with nothing to do with the real world. It doesn't take an Einstein to grasp this. If you take the science fiction route you have truly impossible things happening like the Axis cutting off the Soviets with a right hook to the Black Sea.


You still haven't answered my question: is, so, any turn based wargame a beer-and-pretzel game? What about Frank Chadwich's WWIII (a game to which TOAW is deeply indebted - not that many people noticed) and its asymmetric turn system? Or, for what matters, World in Flames? Maybe we should inform the MWIF board that they are playing a "lite" b'n'p wargame - because I bet that they aren't aware of this

_____________________________

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"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"

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(in reply to Lobster)
Post #: 28
RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/23/2020 1:35:19 AM   
Lobster


Posts: 4002
Joined: 8/8/2013
From: Third rock from the Sun.
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69



Guderian has amassed the troops needed for his assault on Tula - no small feat. He is ready! But... A messenger arrives and Guderian is informed that he cannot attack until a small skirmish near Leningrad ends! Guderian can only curse and wait near the radio.





Of course it doesn't happen this way. And it wouldn't in TOAW. Both combats would take place at the same time.


Not if Guderian attack is operational (an important word) in scale. True, maybe they both start at the same moment. However, Guderian breaks the first line of defense using two/tens of his turn, but then he cannot exploit the breach with his reserves because, half-a-World away two battalions exchange slaps in the face and bad words for eight/tens of a turn.

This is not a realistic portrayal of front-level action at all. Admittedly, timestamps alleviate the problem. It is still interesting to note how TOAW needed them.

quote:


What would be stupid is if the small attack took place while Guderian waited and then time reversed and Guderian had the entire day to do his thing. And this isn't a TOAW 'thing'. It affects all turn based games of the IGOUGO ilk.


Any wargame is an attempt to portray a military action at a given scale. Nothing can equate reality 1:1, not even paintball. Reality hasn't hexes, "squares" representing divisions, fixed 50m wide roads both in urban areas and in small countryside villages (Iì'm looking at you Advanced Squad Leader) and so on. What matters is "Do the choices made by the designer manage to portray the feeling and sense of combat in a given scale/period/geographic area?"

I mentioned the OCS because, while being turn-based, the system manages to convey exceptionally well the operational feeling of the covered era. I actually like more to re-enact the Allied invasion of Germany from Aug, 1944 to May, 1945 using "Beyond the Rhine" than a TOAW scenario.

quote:


For the most part classic SPI and GDW board games had a movement phase where every unit was moved that was going to move, a combat phase where all combat took place and some had an exploitation phase for mechanized units. Note that no one unit moved, conducted combat and then another unit moved and conducted combat in most of these board games. That would be nothing less than a science fiction time travel game with nothing to do with the real world. It doesn't take an Einstein to grasp this. If you take the science fiction route you have truly impossible things happening like the Axis cutting off the Soviets with a right hook to the Black Sea.


You still haven't answered my question: is, so, any turn based wargame a beer-and-pretzel game? What about Frank Chadwich's WWIII (a game to which TOAW is deeply indebted - not that many people noticed) and its asymmetric turn system? Or, for what matters, World in Flames? Maybe we should inform the MWIF board that they are playing a "lite" b'n'p wargame - because I bet that they aren't aware of this


If you want a completely accurate portrayal of war you are going to have to don a uniform and see your local recruiter. If you want to mix tactical and operational war gaming you're going to have to make your own war game. I never said any turn based war game is beer and pretzel although I have enjoyed both beer and pretzels (and pizza) playing any number of them. But if you want to play a game where time and space are thrown out the window be my guest. It isn't my cup of tea. Have a nice day.

Edit: Graviteam does a fair job of attempting operational and tactical. Give them a try.

< Message edited by Lobster -- 2/23/2020 1:38:10 AM >


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(in reply to RFalvo69)
Post #: 29
RE: North African campaign war game? - 2/23/2020 10:52:14 AM   
RFalvo69


Posts: 781
Joined: 7/11/2013
From: Lamezia Terme (Italy)
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

If you want a completely accurate portrayal of war you are going to have to don a uniform and see your local recruiter.


I already did that
quote:


Edit: Graviteam does a fair job of attempting operational and tactical. Give them a try.


I bought it on Steam aeons ago and then I forgot about it! Installing now.

_____________________________

"Yes darling, I served in the Navy for eight years. I was a cook..."
"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"

(My 10 years old daughter after watching "The Hunt for Red October")

(in reply to Lobster)
Post #: 30
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