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Cataclysm: A Second World War» Forums » General

Subject: Cataclysm: A Second World War Play Test rss

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Michael Wilding
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I had a chance to play Cataclysm: A Second World War at GMT East the other day. Mark Van Roekel and I had a great time playing a short European theater scenario with the aid of Scott Muldoon. The game covers the pre-war and WWII period but does not lock you into the way things developed historically. Hence the game's title - "A" not "The" Second World War. Our scenario started in the mid 1930's and covered the pre-war political maneuvering and military build up. The scenario ended in 1941 with the Axis and Allies still at peace although Germany had invaded and conquered Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia. France and Britain didn't mobilize early and declare war in spite of the German provocations. Germany and Italy used the extended period of peace to take political control of Spain and some other neutrals while making the three invasions. Mark and I were very entertained by a string of excellent political die rolls made using the "Il Duce" chit. The game had a good historical feel while being simple, short and fast playing. The full game includes a world wide campaign with more players and the Pacific theater. Scott, if you are at WBC perhaps we could play again with 4-5 players. The game is making its way up the P500 list so hopefully we will get to play the real thing in 2016.
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Hawkeye
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I ended up playing two games of Churchill on Saturday, and the only downside of that was not having a chance to play Cataclysm again.

There have been a bunch of games out recently or coming out that cover WWII at the strategic level, but Cataclysm is the only one I have been excited about for all the reasons that Michael mentions and more. My problem with most games at that level is that by the times they begin, the player is mostly straight jacketed by history and there isn't much you can do to change the course of events. It's not that that can't be fun, but I am more interested in going back before the die was cast and how things might have been different. Cataclysm manages to do that without bogging down in tedious details or so many charts and tables that your eyes bleed (and if you like that, knock yourself out) yet still manages to give the players interesting political, economic, diplomatic and military choices balanced by a population that can only take so much before it collapses.

Very much looking forward to it getting a publication date.
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Steve O'Grady
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My 27 year old son and I came to GMT East on Saturday Mar 21, me from Philadelphia and him from Boston. He is not a wargamer but I managed to talk him into spending a day with his Dad.

We playtested Cataclysm on Saturday afternoon, led by the games designers Scott and Bill. There were two groups, and Scott led one group while Bill led my son and I, teaching us how to play. Though the intro scenario was short (1937-1941), I wanted to get the full scope of the rules. So rather play the diplomatic game, which I did for one turn, taking allies from my son in Austria, and others, I let the Italians loose in Africa to explore combat. While I am noted in my family for being horrible with dice rolls, the dice gods were good to me that day as the Italians ran the British out of North Africa. My son attacked Germany, but had horrible dice rolls, and retreated back into Belgium and the Low Countries. Russia was abstracted in the scenario but one of the random events had them launch an offensive and take Finland.

All in all, I liked this game a lot. It was low enough complexity, to be able to concentrate on the larger strategic planning without getting bogged down in hex minutiae and counting factors. Although we only played an introductory scenario covering the ETO, the game map also includes the Pacific theater, all fitting on to a single map, with scenarios in each theater as well as combined theater scenarios. My non Wargaming son also enjoyed playing it, even with Dad beating him soundly.

My immediate action was when I got home, I pledged P500 for this game. I hope it makes it past 500 and gets published. It is the strategic WW2 game I have been looking for. It would be a real shame to have this one miss from too few pledges. My thanks to Bill for running our playtest game and providing humorous color commentary throughout.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Many thanks to Michael, Steve, and Mark (if he is roaming around here) for taking the time to let us show them Cataclysm, and then sharing their kind words here. As always it is a pleasure to connect with new players, especially when they "get" what we are trying to do with our game. Your interest is very appreciated.

Il Duce!!
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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mwilding wrote:
I had a chance to play Cataclysm: A Second World War at GMT East the other day.


I forgot to post this pic of the game, but here it is...!

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