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Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe» Forums » General

Subject: Complexity rss

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Kevin Xu
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For those who owned this game , how complicated this game is in term of rules , set-up and actual playing ? I want to buy it but I want to know some opinions from you guys .
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Dan Stueber
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Kevin,

Have you played any other grand strategy WW2 wargames?

USE is much different from other grand strategy WW2 games that I have played. However, if you have never tried one before it may be a bit daunting.

The good thing about USE is if you play the scenarios in order you will learn how to play the game in bite sized chunks. Each of the training scenarios covers a few rules and allows a new player to understand the various mechanics of the game before moving on to another scenario.

The game has a low counter density since you can only stack one type of unit per hex so set up is fairly quick.

I have not had time to play the game as published but I did play through a test version of the game. Once you understand the game I believe a turn should last maybe 30 minutes or so. This depends on how much time you take to make your moves and such.

Dan Stueber
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Eirik Johnsbråten
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I've been looking into this game myself. My buddy and I have played the heck out of Memoir '44 and several of its expansions, and now we might want to go into a grand strategy war game. In the non-wargame world we can handle complex games just fine. Recently we played War of the Ring and had a great time. How much more complex is USE compared to that?
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Michael Carter
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Tjohei wrote:
I've been looking into this game myself. My buddy and I have played the heck out of Memoir '44 and several of its expansions, and now we might want to go into a grand strategy war game. In the non-wargame world we can handle complex games just fine. Recently we played War of the Ring and had a great time. How much more complex is USE compared to that?


There is quite a bit more going on in US than in WotR. The best way to know if you'll be able to handle it is by downloading the rule book here: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-310-unconditional-surrender.aspx

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simon thornton
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I found it far simpler than any other grand strategy games to understand. The training scenarios are a very good way to learn the system. I wouldnt say its that much more complicated than WotR. I found the rulebook fairly clear and unambiguous.
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DominiGeek
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This is my first game I own hat covers the whole ETO (Axis&Allies doesn't count) and for what I've read this one might pass as a "light" monster game, if there's such category.

As a recent solo wargamer, I really appreciate the low stacking and counter density. I had help understanding some of the new mechanics of USE by playing USE CB (If you have an address in USA I can send you my PnP copy, I don't think I'll ever again play it having the real thing now)

As Booboo130 points out, there's a Training Scenarios Method included in the Playbook, that really helps out with reading and understanding by chunks.

I can't compare it to others grand strategy, but it is the first ETO game that I had no doubts about buying after reading the rulebook.

If you don't have an address in USA, I would suggest printing USE CB before buying, it will give you a good idea of what to expect regarding ground operations.
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Kevin Xu
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I played some wargames such as No retreat: African front and red winter. From what i read the rules , it looked like it is pretty simple for grand strategy games. How is this compare to virgin queen ? I will read the rule book more thoroughly. Thanks for the reply.
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Jim F
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If you can do VQ, you wont have a problem with this.
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Kevin Xu
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Actually we haven't got a game with virgin queen yet . My group is not dedicated enough to learn that game. I want to play grand strategy game but this game seem simple enough to beg a few of my friends to play with me.
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Luke Hughes

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Eirik,
simpler grand strategy games to consider starting with might be card driven ones:
-- Hannibal
-- washington's war
-- paths of glory
-- Barbarossa to Berlin

Or try block strategic games from companies like Columbia Games:
-- Caesar -- never tried not sure if really grand strategy but very beloved
-- Bobby Lee -- ibid
-- Europe Engulfed (more complex but ETO)
-- pacific version of EE (forget title)
-- victory in Europe (on kickstarter due this summer) ETO simple block

Or:
-- Hitler's War -- out of print relatively simple ETO (European theater of operations)
-- Axis and Allies 1942 -- this might be your best choice overall come to think of it though it pushes the limit of what some wargames find historically acceptable

Good luck
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Sergey Kosarev
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Never played WW2 grand strategy too.(but I like to play The Napoleonic Wars)
I wonder you consider Barbarossa to Berlin simpler and better to start then USE?
One disadvantage of B2B though, as it is CDG it's not good for solo play.
 
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simon thornton
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I agree Btb is a great game but because of all the exceptions it's no easier than USE . The beauty of USE is that there are virtually no exceptions it's all in the rules. BTB as with some other CDGs has a fair few exceptions
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Arthur Dougherty
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bluekingzog wrote:
I agree Btb is a great game but because of all the exceptions it's no easier than USE . The beauty of USE is that there are virtually no exceptions it's all in the rules. BTB as with some other CDGs has a fair few exceptions


This honestly might be why I think USE could be a great first monster WW2 strategy game. There's a lot of consistency to the rules. Every kind of combat uses the same system. Not a lot of exceptions. Personally I would jump into the training scenarios with that style of reading the rules and see what happens.
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Luke Hughes

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If the goal is "monster" WW2 strategy game then sure USE might be the right choice (though I watched a video of it and the complexity still looked impressive!). If "Grand Strategy" is the goal more than "Monster" than I would stick with my original suggestions probably starting with Axis and Allies 1942 (shame on me :-) ).

p.s. Sergey, Simon appears to have had exposure to BtB vs USE so his opinion might be better there. And BtB is not a good choice for solitaire play.. on the other hand you might be able to find a PBEM opponent via the consim board for the game.
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Paul Pfeiffer
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I tend to view this game as monster-lite. Same great taste but half the calories. Harder than axis and allies, easier than WIF/Advanced 3rd Reich. I put it into twilight struggle category for ease of play/learning. Anyway, I agree with those above who say play through the intro games and the game gets fairly easy. I recommend downloading USE CASE BLUE. Play/learning takes about 3 hours but it covers the core of the game well.

Combat is second nature after about 4 or 5 turns. However, I still mess up some of the policy stuff. National will is really cool and works well. Also, I love that conquered factories don't gain you production. After a few games the rules melt away much like less complex games do.

Others have said it but I can't stress this enough. This is a thinking mans game. Not a rules manipulation game or move and shoot game. You really need to put on your strategy hat for this one. Some monsters turn into games that focus more on brute force or rule loop holes but USE doesn't do that. If you like lots of thinking and strategy than this one is for you. If you just like blowing stuff up then don't get this.


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Eirik Johnsbråten
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Thank you all for your comments and suggestions, it is most helpful. I will take a closer look at those games, Luke.

My friend is most interested in WW2 Europe (hence the success of Memoir'44 for us), and he was very happy when he saw the NATO symbols in USE. I think we'll have a go at Case Blue. I guess it'll be harder than playing the training scenarios in USE, but at least we won't spend our cash on a failure, just our pride. And perhaps we can fall back to A&A 1942.
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Salvatore Vasta
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Tjohei wrote:
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions, it is most helpful. I will take a closer look at those games, Luke.

My friend is most interested in WW2 Europe (hence the success of Memoir'44 for us), and he was very happy when he saw the NATO symbols in USE. I think we'll have a go at Case Blue. I guess it'll be harder than playing the training scenarios in USE, but at least we won't spend our cash on a failure, just our pride. And perhaps we can fall back to A&A 1942.


Good luck, Eirik, with whichever you settle on. Unconditional Surrender! Case Blue is very different than Memoir '44, but I do not think you will have trouble learning it. If you do, ask questions on its BBG page or you can geekmail me directly.

Sal
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Salvatore Vasta
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Likewise, Kevin, good luck finding the game that works for you. In terms of games in its genre, I think USE is relatively less complex. When I've shown gamers at conventions, they picked it up quickly.

Sal
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Luke Hughes

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Let us know how it turns out for you and your friend. Instructive for the next time this kind of thing comes up :-)
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Don Cooper
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USE reminds me of AH's Rise & Fall of the Third Reich first edition. It's scale, complexity and many aspects of the diplomacy rules are similar. It is unique in that it takes a variety of concepts from different games and some that are new and melds them together. GMT's other release Supreme Commander is also new release, with a more detailed combat system and economic paradigm. SC is more scripted than USE, historically, but both games have a lack of cards which is very retro. This removes an added layer of complexity.
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