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John Prados' Third Reich» Forums » General

Subject: Worth the time/effort? rss

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Christoph Wolf
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As I'm known to my friends as a boardgamegeek (where did I come up with that term? ) I have been asked by my sister in law's friends to explain Third Reich to them, as they are having trouble understanding the rules. I don't know if this is just plain laziness or if the rules are really that complex, I didn't know the game myself until now. Recently I am quite busy however and hardly find any time for my gaming hobby. After looking the game up here on the geek I have been wondering if it would be worth the effort of studying the rules and spending additional time (1 hour? what do you think) explaining the game just to be able to play it once! I say once because it looks like this game takes veeery long (and as we all know it will take twice the time being the first time for everyone...) and it is very difficult for me to organize everything to have a whole day for gaming. Unless I'm blown away by the experience I will probably just pass on future matches.
My impression from what I've read on this forum is that the game is quite pure "Ameritrash" and while loved by a few who enjoy the genre, not really massmarket stuff. Not that I only enjoy massmarket games, but as I said, I'm not willing to invest that much of my now so precious time if the experience will be a fight with many rules, people not getting them after explaining and a game that drags and lacks excitement due to poor rule knowledge of the players and consumes the players due to its length.

I guess you can tell I've almost made up my mind, but being a geek I feel bad to give the game back without having even read the rules, so I'd like to hear the opinion of people who have played the game.

PS: I hope it doesn't sound like I'm talking bad about this game, in no way am I trying to say it is not good/fun/awesome... I just think in my situation it won't be worth investing so much time. Hell I want to go back to highschool
 
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Steve Burt
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It will take you many hours to explain the rules.
It takes a weekend to play.
It is a good game, but very complex, and very unforgiving of mistakes.
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Tom Stearns
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For starters this game doesn't fit "Ameritrash" genre in the least. This is a pure hex and counter war game based on the classic Rise and Decline of the Third Reich.

This is not an entry level game either. If the people you are trying to teach the game to, or for that matter yourself, are not war gamers with experience playing these types of war games then you should probably take a pass. This is not Euro-gamer territory.

The game itself is a good game that shouldn't take more than a couple of sessions to complete. Whether it's worth your time only you can really decide that. People who have experience with the original game should not have difficulty with this game. Basically the same system with some extra chrome thrown in in the form of diplomacy, events and optional rules.
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James Elkins
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Good game (like all in the 3R series), but not for everyone. Even some enthusiastic hardcore gamers find them a little tough to get into. If the others in question have little or no gaming experience and your time is limited, you should probably pass. Based on your description, I'd say start them out with something more introductory (like AXIS & ALLIES).
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Colin Raitt
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Yes, yes , you must try this game. The Barbarossa scenario is listed as taking 3 hours, so probably 6 hours the first time out.

Much quicker would be a 1 turn attack on Poland in fall 1939. Only Germany and Slovakia are at war with Poland. Poland sets up first 23BRP 2 TAC, a 3-3, 3 x 2-3, 4 x 1-3 infantry and 2 x 2-4 cavalry. Germany sets up second 10BRP, 4 x 4-6 panzers, 6 x 3-3 infantry, 2 garrisons, a reduced airborne, 15 TAC and Army Group Centre HQ in Germany or Slovakia. The Slovaks get their 1-3 infantry.


Play only point 7 in the sequence of play, operations. German Centre activates first, then the Poles get an attrition offensive. Whoever holds Warsaw at the end of the season wins.

Read only some of the rules.
Rule 1 section 1.0 + 1.2
Rule 2 components.
Rule 3 sequence of play sections 3.0, 3.7-3.9.
Rule 4 impulses sections 4.32 + 4.33.
Rule 8 Land Movement.
Rule 9 Ground combat.
Rule 11 Air power sections 11.1-11.5, 11.8+11.9
Rule 12 Supply sections 12.0-12.3
Rule 13.1 airdrops
Rule 24.2 Minor country surrender
That's about 15 pages rather than 48.
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James Elkins
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And that's for a one turn mini-scenario. I rest my case.
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Martin Gallo
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I found it to be very much worth every minute (and there were a lot of them). It is not for everyone (but no game is). It takes time to learn, it takes time to play and there are times while playing (well, while waiting for other players to play) that there is not much to do - BUT this particular game system does a pretty good job of trying to keep players occupied.

It is hard to explain if you lack experience with this type of game, but there are multiple phases during the game and some of them take a while and some are quick; some are interactive and some are simultaneous and some are one player at a time. It really helps if you lie the subject matter (WWII).
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Paul Amala
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"Heke Heke": Hamsterish for "Huh?"
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This is not Ameritrash - it is a hard core wargame. It is definitely not the place to start new comers to wargaming. The rules are complex, the counter density is high (i.e. lots of unit counters on the board, and stacks of counters on many of the hexes), the game is LONG (as in time to play a complete game). It has a high learning curve. This is probably not the place for you or your friends to start.

However if you'd really like to learn this game and teach your friends I'd recommend trying to find someone in your area of Spain that plays it and get them to teach you through a few games first.

Just my advice....
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Paul Amala
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polate wrote:
Yes, yes , you must try this game. The Barbarossa scenario is listed as taking 3 hours, so probably 6 hours the first time out.

Much quicker would be a 1 turn attack on Poland in fall 1939. Only Germany and Slovakia are at war with Poland. Poland sets up first 23BRP 2 TAC, a 3-3, 3 x 2-3, 4 x 1-3 infantry and 2 x 2-4 cavalry. Germany sets up second 10BRP, 4 x 4-6 panzers, 6 x 3-3 infantry, 2 garrisons, a reduced airborne, 15 TAC and Army Group Centre HQ in Germany or Slovakia. The Slovaks get their 1-3 infantry.


Play only point 7 in the sequence of play, operations. German Centre activates first, then the Poles get an attrition offensive. Whoever holds Warsaw at the end of the season wins.

Read only some of the rules.
Rule 1 section 1.0 + 1.2
Rule 2 components.
Rule 3 sequence of play sections 3.0, 3.7-3.9.
Rule 4 impulses sections 4.32 + 4.33.
Rule 8 Land Movement.
Rule 9 Ground combat.
Rule 11 Air power sections 11.1-11.5, 11.8+11.9
Rule 12 Supply sections 12.0-12.3
Rule 13.1 airdrops
Rule 24.2 Minor country surrender
That's about 15 pages rather than 48.


Looking at the wear on those counters I take it that you've played this a few times
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Hoss Cartwright
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There is a reason why Donald Greenwood's name is in front of the original versions of 3R. He oversaw Prado's work which had alot of unusable ideas and got rejected in AH versions of 3R. In that game you could visualize Greenwood as the Eisenhower of that design effort and Prado's as the Patton. Eventually, Greenwood stopped making games and Prado's wanted to make his own version with some of the ideas that were rejected by Greenwood. The result is not very promising. In addition the map is hideous. A 3rd grader could make a better map!

Forget it. Just buy AH 1977 (3rd edition) which is the best.
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Joshua Gottesman
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With the exception of the black lines on the mounted maps being jarring, I rather like this map. I hated the bland AH map. It turned me off from the game. Well, that and everything seemed so cramped. I just never got into it.

I recently picked up JP3R with the 3rd edition rules (I have heard, and do not know because I haven't seen them, that the 1st/2nd edition APL rules were not good) and they seem fairly tight. I haven't done much with the game beside play the Barbarossa scenario, and would like to experience a full game, especially with people who know what they are doing.
 
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Martin Gallo
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The first edition rules were a bit rough, but playable (If I can manage it, most people can). The second edition cleaned things up nicely and I was able to play it a few times. I have only played the third edition rules once - as I recall some mechanics were changed to make the game "more consistent" while remaining mathematically identical.

My only real complaint with the game is that with all those political displays the game has a large footprint.
 
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Joshua Gottesman
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martimer wrote:


My only real complaint with the game is that with all those political displays the game has a large footprint.


Definitely true. I suppose making a spreadsheet to track things wouldn't be that tough....must....find...motivation.
 
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Martin Gallo
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Joshuaaaaaa wrote:
martimer wrote:


My only real complaint with the game is that with all those political displays the game has a large footprint.


Definitely true. I suppose making a spreadsheet to track things wouldn't be that tough....must....find...motivation.
Naaah, just do it for the rest of us.whistle

And help me find a way to remember all the political/financial related drums and adjustments.
 
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Eric Hinrichs
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Just finished another whole game. British lost the Med but landed in northern Denmark. Put up a wall of armor and gained access to the Baltic that trapped two Panzers in Sweden. Better than the game before where Britain took its navy to the Med to shred Italy and Germany had a successful Sealion.

It's a complex game but, with imaginative players, every session plays out differently. That's I continue to play.
 
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Stephen Rochelle
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Joshuaaaaaa wrote:
With the exception of the black lines on the mounted maps being jarring, I rather like this map. I hated the bland AH map. It turned me off from the game. Well, that and everything seemed so cramped. I just never got into it.
I like the look of this map in isolation.

I can't stand the look of this map with these units on it. Everything disappears into a camouflaged mess. The standard 3R map is dramatically more functional (but, admittedly, cramped).
 
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Christoph Wolf
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Thanks everybody for your answers!
It confirms what I already thought about the game, I will give it back, but I will pass on your suggestion Colin! Hopefully this will help them get started with the game.
 
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Martin Gallo
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Blitzkrieg General is a lot easier to learn and play and it covers Europe And the Pacific theaters in one game.
 
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Joshua Gottesman
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martimer wrote:
Joshuaaaaaa wrote:
martimer wrote:


My only real complaint with the game is that with all those political displays the game has a large footprint.


Definitely true. I suppose making a spreadsheet to track things wouldn't be that tough....must....find...motivation.
Naaah, just do it for the rest of us.whistle

And help me find a way to remember all the political/financial related drums and adjustments.


There is actually a 25 or so page document in the files section that summarizes virtually every phase and includes the political DRMs.
 
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