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Subject: Strategic Level Cold War goes hot WWIII games? rss

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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Curious if there are any recommended or any Strategic WWIII games at all? Say covering the entire Europe/ME/Atlantic? I have The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising which can be combined into something close to that level. Just curious if there are any more out there that do this out of the box, it hit me yesterday while wargaming. TIA!
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Martin McCleary
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Check out the First Strike (Schutze games) series of games.

also by Schutze: the Warplan Dropshot series covers from the 50's to 70's.

WWIII by SPI.

the recent Fail Safe if you want an air focused game with nuclear bombers.

Red Menace is a solitaire nuke war game in 1959.


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John Robinson
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The Third world war series? although no naval aspect to it, I was considering using some of the VG fleet series to cover that side of things.

There is also Aeagan strike and Gulf strike which can be linked together.
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Nicola S
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Only naval, but covering the entire world you have:

Seapower & the State

Edit: you may want to check this geeklist out
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Kent Reuber
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The games I can think of (e.g., Yaquinto's The Red Storm) are at the operational level, with the game representing a few days or weeks of time.
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Lance McMillan
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SPI's World War 3 is global in scope and covers all three environments (air, land, sea).

DG's Red Dragon / Green Crescent is primarily air/naval oriented, but does include ground units.
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Russell King
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Lancer4321 wrote:
SPI's World War 3 is global in scope and covers all three environments (air, land, sea).


..... and is, despite it's rating, a superb game, and one of the few to deal adequately with China vs Russia.
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Russell King wrote:
Lancer4321 wrote:
SPI's World War 3 is global in scope and covers all three environments (air, land, sea).


..... and is, despite it's rating, a superb game, and one of the few to deal adequately with China vs Russia.


There was also a very interesting Cuban Missile Crisis scenario available that was published in an old 'Moves' magazine if you can find it somewhere...
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Tim Korchnoi
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Rallye72 wrote:
Check out the First Strike (Schutze games) series of games.

also by Schutze: the Warplan Dropshot series covers from the 50's to 70's.

WWIII by SPI.

the recent Fail Safe if you want an air focused game with nuclear bombers.

Red Menace is a solitaire nuke war game in 1959.




I second the Schutze games. The games allows you to unleash WWIII at different point in the Cold War which is very cool. I even cut loose in 1957 and whupped the no good commies! thumbsup
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Bill Eldard
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Russell King wrote:
Lancer4321 wrote:
SPI's World War 3 is global in scope and covers all three environments (air, land, sea).


..... and is, despite it's rating, a superb game, and one of the few to deal adequately with China vs Russia.


I found it disappointing, and traded my copy away.

While it does cover the globe, most of the map is not essential to game play.



Moreover, because of the SPI habit of resorting to a hexgrid even at a global scale, key battle areas (i.e. western/central Europe) are reduced to a half dozen or so hexes, piled high with generic national unit counters representing factors of combat strength.




The projection used causes geographic anomalies (Compare the size of Scandinavia to the rest of Europe, and Cuba to North America). Time/distance factors are unrealistically distorted.

Since this was not an S&T game, Dunnigan should've given it the double mapsheet treatment.

EDITED: Images added.
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Michael Sommers
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Eldard wrote:
While it does cover the globe, most of the map is not essential to game play.

Which parts of the world would you leave off the map?

Quote:
Moreover, because of the SPI habit of resorting to a hexgrid even at a global scale, key battle areas (i.e. western/central Europe) are reduced to a half dozen or so hexes, ...

What would you have used instead of hexes, and that would avoid the other issues you raised?

Quote:
... piled high with generic national unit counters representing factors of combat strength.

Would you prefer real OOBs at this level?

Quote:
The projection used causes geographic anomalies (Compare the size of Scandinavia to the rest of Europe, and Cuba to North America). Time/distance factors are unrealistically distorted.

Is there a better projection that would not introduce its own problems?

Quote:
Since this was not an S&T game, Dunnigan should've given it the double mapsheet treatment.

Monsters were not yet the vogue in 1975. I'm also not persuaded that a bigger map would really be a benefit; the game is strategic or grand-strategic, not operational.


Game design, like everything else, involves trade-offs. It's easy to find "flaws" in any design, but "fixing" those "flaws" won't guarantee a better design; those "fixes" could easily break something else, or introduce entirely new problems.
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Bill Eldard
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tms2 wrote:
Eldard wrote:
While it does cover the globe, most of the map is not essential to game play.

Which parts of the world would you leave off the map?


The belligerents are, for the most part, north of the equator. I'd leave off most of the Southern Hemisphere and enlarge the remainder.

tms2 wrote:
Quote:
Moreover, because of the SPI habit of resorting to a hexgrid even at a global scale, key battle areas (i.e. western/central Europe) are reduced to a half dozen or so hexes, ...

What would you have used instead of hexes, and that would avoid the other issues you raised?


At this scale, areas are much better, especially for reducing the counter clutter.

tms2 wrote:
Quote:
... piled high with generic national unit counters representing factors of combat strength.

Would you prefer real OOBs at this level?


In a way, yes. The problem with the pokerchip-style of unit counters is sorting through them and 'making change' takes time, stacks fall over, etc. If the map remains unchanged, army-size counter would be more appropriate.

tms2 wrote:
Quote:
The projection used causes geographic anomalies (Compare the size of Scandinavia to the rest of Europe, and Cuba to North America). Time/distance factors are unrealistically distorted.

Is there a better projection that would not introduce its own problems?


That depends on whether or not portions of the southern hemisphere are lopped off. But even then, I don't know which one would be best.

The added problem is that unlike WW2, the Arctic cap is important because strategic weapons (both ICBMs and strategic bombers) would use that route for US-USSR/USSR-US attacks. One might even need a map similar to that in Lunar Rails.

tms2 wrote:
Quote:
Since this was not an S&T game, Dunnigan should've given it the double mapsheet treatment.

Monsters were not yet the vogue in 1975. I'm also not persuaded that a bigger map would really be a benefit; the game is strategic or grand-strategic, not operational.


SPI published Invasion: America just a year later. It has two maps to cover Canada, the US, the Caribbean, and most of Mexico. While the ground counters represent corps-level units, it would be difficult to consider a game that spans a continent as operational.

A World War 3 global (or n. hemipshere) double-map could not accommodate corps-level units like Invasion: America, but it would alleviate much of the clutter and time-distance challenges.

tms2 wrote:
Game design, like everything else, involves trade-offs. It's easy to find "flaws" in any design, but "fixing" those "flaws" won't guarantee a better design; those "fixes" could easily break something else, or introduce entirely new problems.


I think the game's acceptance among the wargame community speaks for itself.

This game was published in the heyday of SPI, when Dunnigan and company were eager to demonstrate that just about any conflict could be simulated. Were they to publish this game today with all the innovation that we have access to now, they'd produce a much better game. They obviously had to make tradeoffs -- many tied to production costs -- and I can appreciate that. But the final product was less than satisfactory even in 1975, suggesting that perhaps this was one subject that SPI was unprepared to handle at that point.
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World War III basically uses the Global War map. The scale is terrible. World in Flames solved the problem pretty well by using a different scale for the Pacific and then either using off map boxes or supplemental maps for the peripheral theaters.
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Daniel Schulz
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Previously mentioned, and a favorite of mine...

The Third World War
Arctic Front
Southern Front
Persian Gulf: Battle for the Middle East
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Roger Hobden
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_viper_ wrote:
Only naval, but covering the entire world you have:

Seapower & the State

Edit: you may want to check this geeklist out


+1
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Russell King
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Eldard wrote:
Russell King wrote:
Lancer4321 wrote:
SPI's World War 3 is global in scope and covers all three environments (air, land, sea).


..... and is, despite it's rating, a superb game, and one of the few to deal adequately with China vs Russia.


I found it disappointing, and traded my copy away.

While it does cover the globe, most of the map is not essential to game play.



Moreover, because of the SPI habit of resorting to a hexgrid even at a global scale, key battle areas (i.e. western/central Europe) are reduced to a half dozen or so hexes, piled high with generic national unit counters representing factors of combat strength.




The projection used causes geographic anomalies (Compare the size of Scandinavia to the rest of Europe, and Cuba to North America). Time/distance factors are unrealistically distorted.

Since this was not an S&T game, Dunnigan should've given it the double mapsheet treatment.

EDITED: Images added.


As with most of BGG comments, there's really no substantive basis for any of these criticisms, especially with the excellent supporting material with Russ Gifford's website. WWIII remains an excellent world geoview of the Cold War. File above comment under "JFD is a hated Communist".
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Russell King wrote:


As with most of BGG comments, there's really no substantive basis for any of these criticisms, especially with the excellent supporting material with Russ Gifford's website. WWIII remains an excellent world geoview of the Cold War. File above comment under "JFD is a hated Communist".


Perhaps you could elaborate on why you think it "remains an excellent world geoview"...

Also, not sure how useful Russ Gifford's website was when the game was published unless your game came with a time machine.
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I really like the Red Storm Rising/The Hunt for Red October combined game. Really good for the simple, (relatively) fast game of WWIII.

For complex and accurate I don't think you can beat GDW's The Third World War series
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M St
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At truly strategic level, Bruce Costello's Dropshot games are without peer (though IMO they seriously underestimate the long-term effects of a strategic exchange - I remember one play of the 50s game where after two years, all the damage had been cleared up, and both sides were lustily building the occasional nuke and lobbing it over until one side rebuilt a massive stockpile and managed to get the other over the threshold).

At a lower level GDW's WWIII games are the most comprehensive. There's a guy on CSW who was working on adding units and maps for the rest of the world, haven't looked in his topic for some time.

If you're seriously interested in the naval side, hunt down a copy of Seapower & the State. It is fascinating, although in true SimCan fashion there is one serious problem - you need to rein in the ability to shift major land-based air from one end of a continent to another at the drop of a hat.
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John Robinson
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M St wrote:


At a lower level GDW's WWIII games are the most comprehensive. There's a guy on CSW who was working on adding units and maps for the rest of the world, haven't looked in his topic for some time.



They are available here in the file section

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ThirdWW_discussion
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Adam Starkweather
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Did I not see Next War here? Wow...times have changed. I loved (and still do) that game.

Anyway, both Next War and GDW's 3rd World War series have flaws in them (and I have long dreamed of somehow getting the best of both in one game) but either one would be a great addition.

I can't recommend Seapower and the State at all. Some great ideas and goes to places that no other game goes but in the end, you'll be shaking your head on some of the very strange outcomes you'll see in the combat system for the game. Completely off doctrine for both sides.

The old Avalon Hill Fleet series, while also flawed, is far better at the modern naval stuff.

The Dropshot series are more "lesson" games than a competitive experience. If that's your thing, I'd give a look - but these aren't really games that are games to be played and for competition - they are tools to understanding the era.

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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Thank you folks! There are a lot of good ideas here to research, I really appreciate it. :
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Russell King
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TedW wrote:
Russell King wrote:


As with most of BGG comments, there's really no substantive basis for any of these criticisms, especially with the excellent supporting material with Russ Gifford's website. WWIII remains an excellent world geoview of the Cold War. File above comment under "JFD is a hated Communist".


Perhaps you could elaborate on why you think it "remains an excellent world geoview"...

Also, not sure how useful Russ Gifford's website was when the game was published unless your game came with a time machine.


Q1 - it properly treats China vs Russia
Q2 - the contents were in Moves.

Happy Xmas.
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Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
Curious if there are any recommended or any Strategic WWIII games at all? Say covering the entire Europe/ME/Atlantic? I have The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising which can be combined into something close to that level. Just curious if there are any more out there that do this out of the box, it hit me yesterday while wargaming. TIA!


Patton in Flames, a stand-alone expansion to World in Flames. It may be more of a continuation of WWII though.
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