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Subject: World in Flames Or A World At War (2nd Edition) rss

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George Acin
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On advice from another geek user, I'm posting the same poll I did on the Recommendations forum with little success (9 answers total after bumping the poll twice!)

Poll
Which game do you think is better for a global scale war?
World in Flames (Deluxe)
A World at War (2nd Edition)
Axis & Allies 1940 Global
Other (Specify in comments section)
      84 answers
Poll created by jcikal
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Leo Zappa
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Wow, a tough poll, given the choices. You have spanned the entire spectrum of complexity and playability in your options. I own A&A1940 Global and World in Flames, and the predecessor of A World at War in Rise and Decline of the Third Reich, so I have some feeling for the differences between these choices. Before I can even vote, I have to ask some questions:

1. How do you feel about complexity in your wargames? AA1940 Global is by far the easiest of the three, with a rulebook that comes in at around 40 pages (I think - going by memory here). World in Flames Final Edition is quite a step up in complexity, with a 60+ page rule booklet, and much more detail. Finally, the mother of all WW2 strategic treatments, A World at War, with its 234 page rule book (plus over 100 pages more of various status sheets and so forth).

2. How do you feel about historical fidelity? AA1940 Global certainly glosses over a number of details and allows for a wide swing in historical play. Moreover, it's accounting of the world's economies sacrifices historical accuracy for a more balanced game (in other words, the Allies' economies are not as superior to the Axis in this game than they were in real life). World in Flames is also often given to significant variations in historical results, though its statistical basis is more closely tied to historical fact than AA1940. A World at War is designed for the utmost in historical fidelity, and is much more a simulation than game.

3. How do you feel about devoting a signficant chunk of your free time to the game? None of these are going to be finished in a single sitting, mind you (at least, not in my experience), but AA1940 can be completed in a couple of long days (say, 6 hours x 2 days = 12 hours). World in Flames will take longer than that, and A World at War longer still (probably a LOT longer).

It really comes down to what kind of experience you are hoping to achieve. AA1940 is a big, dumb monster that is great fun with the right group (I've played half a dozen global campaigns to completion and had a good time each time). World in Flames is a more serious endeavor, and then, there's A World at War, which inspires things like this:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/940888/a-life-altering-g...
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Sim Guy
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Either one is a massive undertaking. Both have rulebooks the size of novels, and will require a substantial space just to set them up (and lay out all of the charts) for an extended period of time.

AWaW is probably more physically manageable with fewer maps and fewer counters. But it is also slightly more abstract and probably the more complex game.

WiF is half again larger, both maps and counters (smaller scale and more granular units), but is a little easier to grasp mechanically.

Full disclosure: I own the Deluxe edition, but I've only ever played a few WiF scenarios (both Europe and Pacific). I own and have played full campaigns of the Third Reich ancestry of AWaW, but do not as yet own the game. I have, however downloaded the rules and though they are quite extensive, they are familiar and (I think) workable.

I wouldn't try to play either game without giving the entire rulebook a good scan and getting familiar with the maps and components, and running through a few small play-throughs to get a feel for the mechanics. Start slowly and get through a couple of turns very methodically. As you play, the mechanisms should start coming easier, and you can turn your focus more to the game than the system.

Which one? It mostly just depends on what you want in a game. I prefer the extra details in WiF. But if you don't have a big enough playing area, you'll have to content yourself with scenarios. I may not favor AWaW but At list I have room to set it up.

Playing monsters like these is a bit of an ordeal, but it can also be very satisfying. Good luck.

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George Acin
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Just finished glancing at light speed through the rules of both games, and it seems to me that the US takes a more active role in WIF than it does in AWAW. Am I correct?

The same thing goes for Africa, since WIF provides a full map of the continent, while you get the northern portion of it in AWAW.

Perhaps someone who has played both games (a rare find mind you) can give his opinion on both.

To Leo:
1) Complexity is no issue. I have played Europa Universalis back in the early millennium and loved it, even though I never completed a full campaign. I assume either WIF or AWAW are about the same complexity.

2) Historical accuracy takes a backseat to fun in my book. The reason for Axis & Allies is due to the fact that it holds a special place in my life since I used to play it back when I was a teen.

3) I have a full room to myself so I figure I'll spend about an hour a day (more on weekends or holidays) and I can leave the game setup on the table with no problem.

4) Read the article by Soren and I think he should consider a career in professional writing. Even though it is not a "session" of the game per se, it was a very enjoyable read, and it did capture my attention beginning through end, which is what good writers do.
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Mike Hoyt

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I'm going to vote "Other" and suggest Seapower & the State.... (you didn't specify WHICH global war....)

OK, had to get that out of my system I guess. Though SP&S really is an excellent game.... Afraid I have no good suggestion for global WWII. WIF and AWAW both strike me as far too much work for too little reward, and A&A has always seemed too little reward regardless of effort required. I'll be interested to see what others have to say. Good luck!
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Roger Hobden
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Hitler's War devil
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Enrico Viglino
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Mallet wrote:


Hitler's War, though fun, can give pretty silly results.
I dunno if experienced players will obviate this, but if there
are any naive ones, it tends to feel very little like WWII to me.


I reluctantly chose AWAW, but am basing that only on my experience
of WiF vs. A3R/EotRS. I'm not sure if AWAW matches/exceeds the older design
in quality. Some factors about AWAW make me suspect it may be a step
in the direction of WiF, which would probably be a strike against it.
 
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Mike Szarka
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I haven't played all of these (except vanilla A&A and the original Advanced Third Reich on which W@W is based) but based on my own research my effort is going into Axis Empires: Totaler Krieg! and Axis Empires: Dai Senso!. Lots of variability, accessible rulebook, well-honed system (3rd edition for Totaler Krieg) and manageable counter density. I may never play the "global" game but it's all there should I choose to.
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Very Stout
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The Second World War by Pangenre is definitely worth a look.

I had to work the maps a little, but it's a great game.
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Alfred Wallace
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One vote for Axis Empires--Axis Empires: Totaler Krieg! and Axis Empires: Dai Senso!. Different, though--I'll say that if you're looking for a lot of granularity in your air and sea warfare, this may not be the series for you.
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Hunga Dunga
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Have you looked at Advanced European Theater of Operations? It's being reprinted with updated rules.

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Sim Guy
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Hungadunga wrote:
Have you looked at Advanced European Theater of Operations? It's being reprinted with updated rules.



I actually have played the global war option using the 1991 versions of the ETO/PTO games and it worked pretty well. All of the maps fit on my 4'x6' table, and another small table for the charts.

It was very manageable and I've played it three (well two and a half) times, which I can't say for any of the others. As a global monster I think it certainly deserves consideration. Both of the games can be found on ebay, and if the Advanced versions are being reprinted, availability may not be an issue soon (Although co$t will be).
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Subatomic Birdicle
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I have not played AWAW, but I have experience with its predecessors Advanced Third Reich and Empire of the Rising Sun.

To me they are extremely different games from WiF. They are much more competition-based and subject to analysis. Playing them solitaire would be rather pointless IMO because gameplay is primarily about planning in detail and capitalizing on the other player's mistakes. "Chess-like" is how I would describe them.

WiF on the other hand is much more a game about detail and chaos management. The level of detail you can get with the air and sea game, for example, and the chaos you can get from the weather rolls, end-turn rolls etc. really make it pretty impossible to analyze as deeply as the 3R family of games. It is also much more granular in its time scale since there can be 10 or more impulses per game turn (and a game turn is 2 months, not 3) and each impulse can feature units moving and fighting, so there are a LOT more opportunities for local counterattacks, minor side battles, slowly developing encirclements, air campaigns, etc. It is more about the experience than just the result. As such I would think WiF is much better for solitaire play.

I have played both WiF Final Edition, and Global War (A3R + ERS) multiplayer. From my experience I think WiF is better for solitaire by far. I think it is also better if you are playing with unskilled people because fate is far more likely to rescue them or at least give them a good time regardless. The 3R family of games are pretty brutal to an unskilled player.

The Totaler Krieg games really abstract out air and naval power. They have a lot of craziness in the political results which can make them entertaining for solitaire but I would not recommend them if you like a detailed air and naval game, their focus is elsewhere.
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Wendell
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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Second all the WIF recommendations. And a note - WIF has a lot of scenarios and campaigns (some global, some just Europe or Asia/Pacific). And you can pick and choose on expansions and optional rules as you see fit.

I haven't played AWAW but from what I've read, it is much more complex than WIF (I always say WIF rules aren't THAT complex - but there are a LOT of them, and the complexity lies in the interactions of rules, often).

Edit: Axis & Allies isn't remotely in the same league as WIF and AWAW. A&A is to WIF/AWAW as little leaguers playing a baseball game is to the World Series. The map looks the same, the action won't be.
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Eric Walters
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My problem is that are few global war scale games that I can resist. The only one I can't deal with is SPI's old Global War game. The scale just doesn't work all that well and there were problems (although there's a number of home-grown rules out there that patch up this title a good bit). After spending long weekend after long weekend trying to make it work, I didn't give those additional rules a chance.

What struck me are the titles left off the poll and consigned to "other." Quite a number deserve better treatment through some explicit acknowledgement:

Axis Empires: Totaler Krieg! paired with Axis Empires: Dai Senso!. Sure, the game is quite abstract, but the command level feels right (you are national leader and can't micromanage campaigns) and the card play leverages economics, diplomacy, and the military aspects of the war. Best of all, most games go completely off the "historical rails" with a minimum of muss and fuss. Not everyone's cup of tea, to be sure, but it's worth looking at.

John Prados' Third Reich paired with The Great Pacific War. If you love the "bucket 'o dice" combat system and can handle some of the quirkiness of the system, these are decent enough games played together. For some they will be considered the best as history does go off the rails most of the time yet the system seems approachable and playable. A good balance between realism/coverage and playability. Definitely a fun game.

Europe Engulfed paired with Asia Engulfed. Where else can you do a combined global game using an exciting block system? This plays relatively fast (and relative is the correct term given what we're trying to do here). Again, this won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I think it's great and deserves better visibility than it gets.

Advanced European Theater of Operations paired with Advanced Pacific Theater of Operations. This is up there in the same league as World in Flames Deluxe Edition and A World at War, abandoning a middle complexity niche that the earlier editions of World War II: European Theater of Operations and World War II: Pacific Theater of Operations, now occupied by the AXIS EMPIRES duo, the EUROPE ENGULFED and ASIA ENGULFED pair, and arguably the Avalanche Press set listed above. While these fix some of the problems of its earlier namesakes, there's a cost in complexity.

Don't need to say much about the other games listed in the poll as so much has been said already. Each has their fairly large devoted audiences and so it's not that difficult to find opponents for them.

My recommendation is to play a variety of these games with friends first before making a purchase. That way you get a sense of the advantages and drawbacks of each. You'll soon figure out what your preferences are and can then take the plunge without looking over you shoulder and wondering "what if I'd tried this or that?"

Edit: Thanks to
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for catching my error!
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Tony Doran
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I agree about AETO with PTO. I have WiF and like it. I had AWAW and did not like it. Someone commented that AWAW is more competition oriented while WiF is more chaos driven. I agree. But I find AETO and APTO are also more chaos driven that AWAW, not as much as WiF. While there is possibility of non-historical results in AETO/APTO, it is not likely that you will get really a-historical results (which you can get with WiF)
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Subatomic Birdicle
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I think Eric meant The Great Pacific War not The Great Patriotic War.
 
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Eric Walters
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chuft wrote:
Indeed I did. Let me edit/fix that!
 
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George Acin
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I know that AWAW will get a pre-war game in the form of A Gathering Storm which is currently on GMT's P500 list, which is like Days of Decision III for WIF.

In terms of difficulty it looks as though AWAW is more complex than WIF but in terms of replay value how do each game stack up?
 
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Tom Willcockson
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tonydoran wrote:
While there is possibility of non-historical results in AETO/APTO, it is not likely that you will get really a-historical results (which you can get with WiF)


Which is exactly why I prefer aWaW and AETO/APTO over a-historical WiF. That and WiF's poor board art (sheet metal mountains and bright orange fists) along with some pretty clunky counter graphics.
 
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Arthur Dougherty
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TomW731 wrote:
tonydoran wrote:
While there is possibility of non-historical results in AETO/APTO, it is not likely that you will get really a-historical results (which you can get with WiF)


Which is exactly why I prefer aWaW and AETO/APTO over a-historical WiF. That and WiF's poor board art (sheet metal mountains and bright orange fists) along with some pretty clunky counter graphics.


Genuinely curious, if you want a simulation that stays pretty close to the historical outcome, do you find the best sim for your taste and just play that or play multiple titles?
 
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