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Subject: Are board wargames more innovative than computer wargames? rss

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Øivind Karlsrud
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When I look at all the board games being designed it feels like our hobby is very much alive. So many great designs, by many great designers. I just don't see the same thing in the computer game industry. Where are the Rachel Simmonses, the Volko Ruhnkes, the Mark Mokszyckis, the John Butterfields, to mention just a few? Designers who make games that feel just right, yet are elegant and simple to play (simple might be a bit of a stretch for COIN). I have seen some great computer game designs too, but most of the time I'm dissapointed. Some computer games are the opposite of elegance: Just cram in as many details as possible, and present them in big spreadsheets. As for the iPad, some of the best iPad games are designed by board game designers like John Butterfield, Ted Raicer and Mark Herman.

But then, the computer game industry isn't very innovative, on average. The best-selling games are basically the same games we had 10 years ago (CoD, anyone?), just with better graphics.
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I'd be wary of dismissing a whole industry out of hand. The temptation is to compare all computer games (or even all computer wargames) only to the boardgames we consider good and worthy, such as those from your named designers. I think the best of the computer wargames are really terrific, especially when they do something other than just translate boardgame paradigms onto a computer monitor.

Just some examples:

The recent games in the Combat Mission series are amazing in their realism. Nearly all of the gamey conventions we accept in boardgames (from hexes to CRT's to god-like oversight of enemy positions) are gone, and there's something very close to a genuine "battle simulator" going on. I really don't think there's a tactical-scale tabletop wargame that comes close to his ideal. (I'm aware, too, that not every gamer is in it for these design aspects. But they exist now as they never have before.)

Computer wargames are obviously also excellent at crunching data. Gary Grigsby's War in the Pacific would be utterly impossible for humans alone--it's the Pacific War at 40 miles per hex and one day per turn. Every ship and every plane is handled individually; every single pilot is rated in a half a dozen categories. The computer handles logistics that no paper game could ask. It's at least an order of magnitude beyond the most complex boardgame in detail, but it's very playable because the computer keeps everything tracked and arranged.

AGEOD's engine is probably closer to board wargames in feel, but the computer has allowed the designers to add elegant features and details that would just bog down with paper counters. Fog of war, resource tracking, raising of units over a realistic period of time, combination of elements into larger units, events, leader hierarchies and dynamic traits, etc are all really possible only through computer design.

I also have to single out Panther's Command Ops: Battles from the Bulge. It's a groundbreaking operational game that combines impressive granularity (tracking down to the individual weapon and vehicle) with an interface and a command-and-control model that lets you play scenarios at any scale from regimental-level to full corps and even Armees. There are no turns per se (action is calculated under the hood in one-minute intervals), and time is everything: the complexity of a unit's tasks and attachments determines how long it takes for orders to be processed and disseminated, and the AI is strong enough that it can be allowed to formulate plans and establish dispositions in line with your higher-level orders.

Now please don't think I'm dismissing tabletop boardgames because they don't do all of these things. Rather, I think the tabletop is a different environment, one wonderfully able to bring two(+) opponents face to face for an experience that happens as much in the personal interaction as it does in the game systems. But I think, when we go looking for the qualities of the best computer games and the ones really worth admiring, we have to feel great about how good we have it in both worlds.

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what do you like about war in the pacific pc game also what do you not like about the game.i am thinking about buying a pc pacific game.
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I'm sure you'll get a totally unbiased discussion on this forum. whistle
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smurf309 wrote:
what do you like about war in the pacific pc game also what do you not like about the game.i am thinking about buying a pc pacific game.


War in the Pacific (the "Admiral's Edition" is the one you want) is a monster in every sense of the word. It's for players who care as much about logistics as they do about combat, and who love the idea of making plans that might take months of game time (which might also be months of real time) to come to fruition. If you're interested, I recommend taking a look at the forums over at Matrix Games. This edition was released in 2009, but the forum is still lively and full of players discussing strategy and gameplay.

Honestly, it's not a game I can play well. It's not my favorite theater or my favorite scale, but I still appreciate the game as a monument. In sheer design terms and in its handling of relevant factors, the design is just plain impressive, and it actually works. I have great respect for those who have made it the heart of their gaming.

The AI is good for practice. In small scenarios it is strong. (In fact, the game does include several small scenarios, most of which are only relatively so. The Guadalcanal scenario, for example, covers only a few months and a portion of the map, but it could easily stand as a monster game in its own right.) For the full war, however, you need to go PBEM. Fortunately there appears to be no shortage of players, and they seem interested in welcoming new players.
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The answer to the title question is yes.

No, computer wargames are not more realistic than good board wargames. Indeed, they frequently have holes you could drive a truck through, and require continual revision to avoid unhistorical tactics dominating them.

The issue is that design for effect when a realistic tactical relationship is well understood, readily captures that relationship. But engineering literalism about one or two game aspects does not, not when a few others are wrong. That just puts all the stress on the bits you got wrong, as players exploit whatever you gave them.

So engineer literalism had to get everything perfect. And then practically speaking, can't, because some compromises with playability and computatuonal effort etc are still completely necessary.
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JasonC wrote:
The answer to the title question is yes.

No, computer wargames are not more realistic than good board wargames. Indeed, they frequently have holes you could drive a truck through, and require continual revision to avoid unhistorical tactics dominating them.

The issue is that design for effect when a realistic tactical relationship is well understood, readily captures that relationship. But engineering literalism about one or two game aspects does not, not when a few others are wrong. That just puts all the stress on the bits you got wrong, as players exploit whatever you gave them.

So engineer literalism had to get everything perfect. And then practically speaking, can't, because some compromises with playability and computatuonal effort etc are still completely necessary.


I was just coming here to say something I think amounts to the same thing you just said: Some computer game designers concentrate too much on making simulations, and just try to simulate everything. Didn't someone recently release a PTO game that tries to simulate almost every soldier? Sounds crazy to me. It also sounds misguided. Board game designers have to concentrate on what they think is important, to make the game playable. This type of top-down approach makes the games more realistic and more fun, IMO. By focusing on important characteristics of a battle they end up being more games than simulations, yet they still end up simulating the battle better. A good (although extreme) example is Simmons Games. Napoleon's Triumph is an excellent recreation of the battle of Austerlitz, but it certainly doesn't simulate every soldier.

There are exceptions on both sides, of course.
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PaulWRoberts wrote:
I'd be wary of dismissing a whole industry out of hand. The temptation is to compare all computer games (or even all computer wargames) only to the boardgames we consider good and worthy, such as those from your named designers. I think the best of the computer wargames are really terrific, especially when they do something other than just translate boardgame paradigms onto a computer monitor.

Just some examples:

The recent games in the Combat Mission series are amazing in their realism. Nearly all of the gamey conventions we accept in boardgames (from hexes to CRT's to god-like oversight of enemy positions) are gone, and there's something very close to a genuine "battle simulator" going on. I really don't think there's a tactical-scale tabletop wargame that comes close to his ideal. (I'm aware, too, that not every gamer is in it for these design aspects. But they exist now as they never have before.)

Computer wargames are obviously also excellent at crunching data. Gary Grigsby's War in the Pacific would be utterly impossible for humans alone--it's the Pacific War at 40 miles per hex and one day per turn. Every ship and every plane is handled individually; every single pilot is rated in a half a dozen categories. The computer handles logistics that no paper game could ask. It's at least an order of magnitude beyond the most complex boardgame in detail, but it's very playable because the computer keeps everything tracked and arranged.

AGEOD's engine is probably closer to board wargames in feel, but the computer has allowed the designers to add elegant features and details that would just bog down with paper counters. Fog of war, resource tracking, raising of units over a realistic period of time, combination of elements into larger units, events, leader hierarchies and dynamic traits, etc are all really possible only through computer design.

I also have to single out Panther's Command Ops: Battles from the Bulge. It's a groundbreaking operational game that combines impressive granularity (tracking down to the individual weapon and vehicle) with an interface and a command-and-control model that lets you play scenarios at any scale from regimental-level to full corps and even Armees. There are no turns per se (action is calculated under the hood in one-minute intervals), and time is everything: the complexity of a unit's tasks and attachments determines how long it takes for orders to be processed and disseminated, and the AI is strong enough that it can be allowed to formulate plans and establish dispositions in line with your higher-level orders.

Now please don't think I'm dismissing tabletop boardgames because they don't do all of these things. Rather, I think the tabletop is a different environment, one wonderfully able to bring two(+) opponents face to face for an experience that happens as much in the personal interaction as it does in the game systems. But I think, when we go looking for the qualities of the best computer games and the ones really worth admiring, we have to feel great about how good we have it in both worlds.



I like Combat Mission. It was also innovative when it first came out, with its' WEGO-system. The other games you mention are examples on why I think computer games are not as innovative as board games. Computer game designers don't have to innovate, they can just try to simulate everything. They don't have to come up with clever ways of activating units, representing supply, fog of war etc. Some people like that, but I don't. I much prefer designs which focus on what the designer (presumably after doing research which is referenced in the designer's notes) thinks is important. I also think these kinds of games end up being more realistic, but that is not a very well-founded opinion.

BTW, I think board games are much better at representing friction of war with clever mechanisms for activating forces, although computer games are naturally better at representing fog of war, at least regarding the location of enemy forces. Computer games often give players too much control, while board games often give them too much knowledge.
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airjudden wrote:
I'm sure you'll get a totally unbiased discussion on this forum. whistle


My first draft started with 'I may be preaching to the choir...'.
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oivind22 wrote:
When I look at all the board games being designed it feels like our hobby is very much alive. So many great designs, by many great designers. I just don't see the same thing in the computer game industry.


Have you been reading my posts in the computer wargame forums ?

Innovation in computer wargames is as good as dead - and that's from someone who helped playtest several of the major titles and ran the Matrix Games booth at game conventions like Spiel and Crisis for years.

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Unity of Command is a really great computer wargame that got some CSR nominations. But yeah, aside from that I can't think of many recent good ones.
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sbszine wrote:
Unity of Command is a really great computer wargame that got some CSR nominations. But yeah, aside from that I can't think of many recent good ones.


I was actually thinking about Unity of Command when I said there are exceptions.
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The Decisive Campaigns Series is a PC wargame series I have enjoyed - a combination of PC game with some board game features (playable cards at tactical & strategic level) and spot on historically. Not ground breaking, but innovative as far as PC wargames go.

I think one of the problems is that as the PC can do a lot of number crunching game producers tend to focus on this rather than anything innovative, thus we get Gary Grigsby spreadsheet wargames. What they should be doing is using that massive processing power to bump up the AI (As Panther Games have) not just accounting for every bullet & jeep in the Pacific War.

Another issue is the use of PC game "engines" - meaning designers will turn out a load of identikit games based on the same model - OK if you're into the engine, but crushingly dull if you're not (think AGEOD replicating everything from ancient Rome to revolutionary Russia, or John Tillers money generating clones)

A genuinely challenging multi-side COIN wargame could be great on PC if the designers harnessed that power to this end rather than calculating the impact angle of a shell on a T34.

Regards
keith
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
...

Innovation in computer wargames is as good as dead - and that's from someone who helped playtest several of the major titles and ran the Matrix Games booth at game conventions like Spiel and Crisis for years.



Hmmm... no, not really. But I can see where you're coming from , Matrix Games (and others) certainly do little for innovation by cloning old engines to the n'th degree.

The issue with innovation in computer wargames, when compared to boardgames, is the cost of innovation. I design pc games and I (and many others) have got great ideas for new mechanics etc, however, when they are proposed we get the cost in man hours to implement (program) them and that's where they die. The fact is that most pc game series are programmed by people working in defence contracts, etc. Hence, they evaluate the cost to implement changes by the same fee standards of their defence contracts and, simply put, pc wargames do not make enough money to compensate for large changes / new implementation costs.

As a side issue you will not be surprised to hear that a 'dumb down' pc wargame makes more money than a pc hard-core wargame. Any sort of ridiculous 3d sells more than a master piece containing hexes and counters.

All of the above produces a race-to-the-bottom.

My perception is that by contrast, in boardgames, most games are developed by hobbists who quite simply do not put the real money cost of their game designs as part of the equation.
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jmlima wrote:
The fact is that most pc game series are programmed by people working in defence contracts, etc.


eh, not really. HPS has a couple of those guys (John Tiller, Jim Lunsford), so that's where your sample bias comes from. Dave O'Connor (Panther Games) had done some contract work as well for the DoD, but apart from those guys I don't know anyone else - the Mil Sim group on Yahoo, comprising the professionals in military simulations, actually has very few designers the general wargame public has heard of.

But the defense contract is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow a lot of developers are aiming for, hence you get more spreadsheet-type simulations than actual games.

 
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
jmlima wrote:
The fact is that most pc game series are programmed by people working in defence contracts, etc.


eh, not really. HPS has a couple of those guys (John Tiller, Jim Lunsford), so that's where your sample bias comes from. Dave O'Connor (Panther Games) had done some contract work as well for the DoD, but apart from those guys I don't know anyone else ...



Maybe I'm biased on my view, but in defence contracts I was also including games developed as part of defence contracts (such as POA) in which development, other than bug solving is usually in line with the contract demands. Actually, Dave is a good example as if I remember correctly work on his game virtually stopped (quite understandably) when he got into the defence contract.

Even the ones that do not work for defence contracts (take the guys developing some of the Matrix games) do the game programming when they can slot some time into their usual contracts, and value their time accordingly. (which I think is why we get into Combined Arms / TOAW 3.5 situations...)
 
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The reason is simple, I think. The technology -- the computer technology, that is -- just isn't yet advanced enough for computer games to be competitive with board games.

What would a competitive technology look like? In the 60's the science fiction author Andre Norton, in her book The Time Traders, describes a wargame played on a large digital table. The playing surface (as I recall the description) is large -- as large as the playing surface of a modern monster board wargame. The computer sets up the game in response to voice commands, and the forces respond to voice activation.

There's a subtle relationship between technology and innovation. Technology drives innovation, on the one hand, and innovation is made possible by technology, on the other hand. Board wargames are far more innovative than computer wargames because they can be. Or rather, computer technology has not yet reached the stage at which it can be competitively innovative with board wargames. (It's like the 'science fiction' movies of the 50s -- they were far less innovative than literary science fiction because computer graphics had not yet been developed. Movies could simply could not portray, on screen, a panorama of space travel between worlds, alien landscapes and alien species such as is portrayed in movies like Star Wars.)
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bob_santafe wrote:
...

There's a subtle relationship between technology and innovation. Technology drives innovation, on the one hand, and innovation is made possible by technology, on the other hand. Board wargames are far more innovative than computer wargames because they can be. Or rather, computer technology has not yet reached the stage at which it can be competitively innovative with board wargames. (It's like the 'science fiction' movies of the 50s -- they were far less innovative than literary science fiction because computer graphics had not yet been developed. Movies could simply could not portray, on screen, a panorama of space travel between worlds, alien landscapes and alien species such as is portrayed in movies like Star Wars.)


Not sure about that. There is the technology to do far better than what is done at present, but technology is also creating downsides.

Classic example, the V4V / W@W series was produced in the 90's and to this date there is still no hex and counter pc wargame that can match it. IMO, those series were a perfect match of design quality and technology. They abstracted non-essentials and focused on relevant aspects.

Why isn't this simply mimicked these days? Because the increase in technology allowed the programmers (not designers mind you) to try and cram everything they could into the games. The increase in technology allowed them to not have to decide what is relevant or not, just throw everything into it because you can. Classic example, the TSS series from HPS. Calculations down to the bullet and wind speed in a platoon level game. Does this make for a better or more innovative game? Yet this is cutting edge technology for wargame simulation these days.
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eddy_sterckx wrote:


Have you been reading my posts in the computer wargame forums ?

Innovation in computer wargames is as good as dead - and that's from someone who helped playtest several of the major titles and ran the Matrix Games booth at game conventions like Spiel and Crisis for years.



This. It's the reason I started wargaming. Wargaming scratches an itch PC Strategy doesn't fulfill for me any more.

As some already said : It might have to do with the recourses available. Todays CPUs are powerful enough to calculate thousands of data points if need be. Therefore there is no need for the designer to find an elegant solution for his simulation.
The second problem is the "more is better" attitude of the designers and the crowd. When I look at the afore mentioned War in the Pacific AE : It's not a game any more, it's a hobby in it's own rights.

Even the also mentioned AGEOD-Games suffer similar symptoms. They are good, better games than WitP no doubt about that. But also very bug ridden with a very weak AI. If you take a look at their Pride of Nations it's a monster like War in the Pacific. Their other games suffer all the same problem : An AI that isn't capable of holding Key points like big Citys or Capitals. It hasn't changed since their release of Birth of America. You can't play this games as solo PC-Games, you need a PBEM-Partner. And if I need that I rather play something like Washington's War, For the People, Grand Illusion: Mirage of Glory, 1914 etc. which are able to cover the challenges of the conflicts in nearly the same manner but in a much shorter time.

And then there is Total War. The Series started good but it suffers the same symptom : What good does all the graphic fidelity and massive numbers of Units do if the AI is a mess and you don't care for historical facts ? (Disclaimer : I didn't play Rome II (btw. the first title in the series I didn't buy on release day and not to this day) but reading all the reports about it they didn't improve it.)

Whats lacking in PC-Gaming is the middle ground, the Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan of PC-Strategy e.g. serious wargames which are playable, easy to learn but still archive to simulate the historical event. That is only achievable with clever design decisions which I feel is a lack of at the moment.

Only exception may be the former TW-Modder Darth Vader who is working on Ultimate General : Gettysburg. I'm testing the game and I'am very impressed what he's done with it, especially with the AI.
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jmlima wrote:

Classic example, the V4V / W@W series was produced in the 90's and to this date there is still no hex and counter pc wargame that can match it. IMO, those series were a perfect match of design quality and technology. They abstracted non-essentials and focused on relevant aspects.


Bingo !

jmlima wrote:

Why isn't this simply mimicked these days? Because the increase in technology allowed the programmers (not designers mind you) to try and cram everything they could into the games. The increase in technology allowed them to not have to decide what is relevant or not, just throw everything into it because you can.


I think we're in total agreement. One thing : most of the time (with non-HPS titles) the programmer IS the designer - and this is a bad thing because it's a rare bird who is talented in both game design and coding. It's usually one or the other.

The worst part is that they are all so busy programming in the kitchen sink that they don't have time to look at how the board wargame hobby has evolved in the past 20 years. If you like seventies boardgame designs, computer wargames are the way to go.

I tried to make them see the light for years but I finally gave up and went back to boardgaming because that's were the interesting and innovative designs are getting made.

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As a programmer I have thought about this for many years. Assuming we are not talking about FPS (first person shooters) which I find extremly boring and pointless, I think that there are a two important factors that work as design constraints for designers of war boardgames and that act as innovation drivers.

* Practical design constraints: Designing a boardgame involves handling a number of important practical constraints that don't exist for computer games; physical size of map, number of counters, and factors/parameters involved for regulating movement and resolving combat. These constraints are due to a combination of production parameters (size/cost) and human players ability to handle complex movement and combat rules - and large sets of counters!

* Intended audience and use: I think most boardgame designers work with a mindset set on two- or multiplayer games. This can also be seen as a design constraint, and it means there is a need to design a game so it is continously interesting for both sides. Both as regards to assymmetrical objectives and goals as well as game flow (avoiding having one player doing nothing for a long period of time).

The designer of a board wargame has to design a game within these constraints. From the perspective of innovation and creativity I think constraints are good and important for forcing people to think creatively and invent new solutions.

On the other hand designers of computer wargames can design arbitrarily complex movement and combat algorithms, knowing that the computer will take care of all calculations, and can also have arbitrarily large maps and number of "counters". They usually have a soloplayer perspective so much time is invested in building a decision engine for the "computer" player and given the computing power we have today, there is seldome any time where the human player has to wait. Since there are less practical constraints there is less pressure on inventing smart and innovative solutions. I'm not saying it's impossible to design innovative computer wargames, but I think that design innovation is hindered by the absence of the constraints above.

As Eddy Sterckx said "they are all so busy programming in the kitchen sink that they don't have time to look at how the board wargame hobby has evolved in the past 20 years. If you like seventies boardgame designs, computer wargames are the way to go."

I think that great designers like Mark Herman, Richard H. Berg and Mark Simonitch have a capacity for both understanding a historical situation and to creativly model it in simualation terms AND for designing games with new design inventions and decisions inside the constraints listed above.

I think the approach of Vassal is a great pragmatic approach to using computers. Using a computer for handling randomization, bookkeeping and eventually calculations and providing players the ability to play "online". However I think we are ready for a next generation of computer based Vassal-like wargame tools. Current web technologies are definitely a good enough platform for the next generation of Vassal or Vassal-like tools. Personally I would love to see good web-based platform for playing GBOH or MOI games online with other human players.

Finally, I think board wargames will be around even when the next generation of (hopefully innovative) computer wargames start coming. For the same reason that physical books still exist even though you can read digital copies today.
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tehirf wrote:
... However I think we are ready for a next generation of computer based Vassal-like wargame tools. Current web technologies are definitely a good enough platform for the next generation of Vassal or Vassal-like tools. ...


You never know what's being done around the corner...
 
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Personally I have been completely out of the video games market from 2000 to 2010. I only returned to computer gaming recently, and so far I was rather disappointed by the offer for strategy games in general.

I won't say that either media is more "innovative", as I think there are a lots of repetitions, and a few novel ideas in both domains. But overall I think that computer games feels more like a list of features and the gameplay doesn't scale up with boardgames considering the larger quantity of components or game elements in computer games

Being an OCS fan, I looked various operational computer wargames offers. Yet I haven't find anything completely satisfying.

For example I have often seen Gary Grigsby's War In The East: The German-Soviet War 1941-1945 praised by strategy gaming sites. But I was very disappointed by the game. The game is very complex with a 300+ pages manual. Basically the game portray the whole eastern theater and try to simulate almost everything possible to a very low level of details.

For example each division or smaller unit, list the exact count for each vehicle type or soldier in the unit. And as far as I understand, the combat engine actually take into account every single gun in the intricate combat resolution process. Similar level of details is present for supply and logistics and most other aspects of the conflicts. You can manually attach specific support battalions to most divisions, or change the link from units to HQs and then to higher HQs.

There is a huge level of micromanagement. To be honest the program does a decent job to handle many things under the hood and to automate part of the management. Yet you often realize that you could get better result by managing things yourself instead of letting the AI do it for you.

So this is the game philosophy a very very high level of details, with some switchable automated features. Which is fairly heavy on the processor and AI turns can take a long time. Unfortunately after several scenarios, when I was more familiar with the game, I realized that the heavy extra complexity doesn't lead to more interesting strategies, and all the micromanagement was mostly a chore.

By comparison, I would rather play a computer version of an OCS title, where the rules are comparatively simple, and the complexity lies in the gameplay, than a game with very complex rules, input and output but where the gameplay is no more interesting.

In the science-fiction 4X genre. I could use the same kind of comparison, between Distant Worlds, which has a similar philosophy, of very high level of details with possible automation, and a boardgame like Twilight Imperium (Third Edition). For a boardgame TI3 is full of bells and whistles. Yet I could complete a rich and eventful 6 players games in 6-8 hours. Whereas in the computer game I would still be in the very early discovery stage at that point in time.


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Eddy Sterckx
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This just in : Slitherine, the 800 Lb gorilla of digital wargame publishing, acquires Shenandoah Studio, one of the few breaths of fresh air in the stale digital wargame scene.

We'll see how this plays out.
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
This just in : Slitherine, the 800 Lb gorilla of digital wargame publishing, acquires Shenandoah Studio, one of the few breaths of fresh air in the stale digital wargame scene.

We'll see how this play out.

Just saw that pop up in my RSS feed as well ...

"Fine makers of strategy games to continue evolution of portable wargaming.

The Slitherine Group announces that it is partnering with Shenandoah Studio to ensure that their innovative titles have the benefit of multi-channel distribution, backed by the development resources needed to achieve their full potential. Shenandoah Studio, the development house behind iPad successes such as Battle of the Bulge and Drive on Moscow, is the winner of many awards. The US-based developer was a breath of fresh air, bringing innovation to the strategy genre on iOS thanks to a clever, streamlined game design and a state-of-the-art game engine.

“As Shenandoah has grown, the needs of supporting, upgrading, and distributing our current titles imposed ever-increasing burdens on our ability to move ahead with the new material our customers want“, said Eric Lee Smith, founder and CEO of Shenandoah. “Slitherine has the scale and reach to ensure that Shenandoah moves ahead productively and delivers exciting new games for our audience to enjoy”.

The Slitherine Group adds a key player to its already impressive roster of brands, to focus especially on bringing strategy games to a wider audience.

“Our continued efforts to expand the wargames and strategy games audience and to attract new players through innovative game play and new platforms, external licenses and internal franchises are testament to the consistency of our mission statement that we started with fifteen years ago”, said JD McNeil Chairman of the Slitherine Group. “We are looking forward to partnering with Shenandoah’s founders to amplify this vision to conquer new ground and expand the boundaries of strategy gaming even further”.

All Shenandoah’s previously released games will be added to the Slitherine Group’s stores across the web. New projects that were already under development will also be joining the group’s production schedule, with special attention given to Gettysburg: The Tide Turns, a project designed by Eric Lee Smith that was successfully funded on Kickstarter in August last year.

“We are looking forward to working with Eric to bring this game to completion and releasing it as a key part of our future lineup”, said Iain McNeil, Development Director at Slitherine. “Eric’s design vision is a key asset we want to leverage on in order to make sure Gettysburg is the game that all Kickstarter backers were looking for”.
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