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Subject: Immersion rss

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saturn s.
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Does the playability and realism of the game allow you enough immersion and fun? I think counters and map are lovely and would like to give a try. Any comment from experienced players.?
 
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Lance McMillan
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Purists will quibble over the OOB, various unit ratings, and some of the game mechanics, but overall the game itself isn't bad. To my thinking the biggest issue is the tendency for both sides to create very powerful "kill stacks" that are relatively unstoppable (unless confronted by another "kill stack") and just blunder around the battlefield with them, taking out enemy units and objectives with relative impunity -- it just doesn't feel right, although I can understand the purported logic behind it. What's nice is that the game system is simple and straigh-forward enough that you can easily adapt it with House Rules to meet your own views of what this conflict might have looked like.
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Fred Thomas
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I don't think this game can be saved, because the scale was so poorly chosen. An American division in real life could be expected to defend 60 km, which would be 4 of these 16 km hexes - impossible without breakdown counters. You shouldn't even be allowed to stack divisions at this scale: Soviet doctrine set 10 km as the minimum frontage.
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Lance McMillan
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fredthomas wrote:
I don't think this game can be saved...


As I said, purists.

I don't dispute or disagree with any of the rationale behind what Fred posted, but none of that detracts from the fact that the game itself is playable and reasonably fun to play (albeit not particularly "realistic"). It's kind of like AH's classic "Afrika Korps" or "Stalingrad" in that respect -- don't look to the game to provide any meaningful appreciation of the actual situation, just accept it for what it is: a game with a sort of vaguely WWIII theme. Yes, there are more "accurate" games on this hypothetical conflict out there, but for the most part they come with a considerably higher time investment to play and much more complicated rules.

Whether this game suits you or not depends largely on what you're looking for. From my perspective (looking for a simple, quick playing game) it's a good fit. I've no idea what the OP is looking for, hence my comments. To dismiss the design entirely due to objections about something as esoteric as unit frontages seems a bit overwrought.
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saturn s.
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Thank you both for your valuable comments and insights. But which other games in ww3 grand strategy are there to choose? I don't see many Modern warfare games at this scale or am I wrong?
 
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Fred Thomas
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NATO: The Next War in Europe
The Third World War
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Lance McMillan
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fredthomas wrote:


My personal favorite, but long out of print, very hard to find (and expensive) on the secondary market, and takes a lot longer to play.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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It is worth noting that the chances of the Warsaw Pact even attacking were low. Like us, they were more afraid of being attacked. That is what my reading shows anyway, so getting this game you already accept that it has certain problems.

I like the design though. The game is solid all around. Another decent one on the topic is Red Storm Rising.
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David Gray
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gittes wrote:
It is worth noting that the chances of the Warsaw Pact even attacking were low. Like us, they were more afraid of being attacked. That is what my reading shows anyway, so getting this game you already accept that it has certain problems.

I like the design though. The game is solid all around. Another decent one on the topic is Red Storm Rising.


But the Soviets did print currency for use in occupied Western Europe and produced campaign medals for such a campaign. Good to bear that in mind as well.
 
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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graydo wrote:
But the Soviets did print currency for use in occupied Western Europe and produced campaign medals for such a campaign. Good to bear that in mind as well.


Still seems more like hardcore posturing rather than hardcore plans. The will was there sometimes, but the number of weapons we had on the border and our acknowledged technological edge always made a conventional invasion a distant possibility. Any situation where the Warsaw Pact invades and does not rely on nukes is a fanciful alternative. Hence why I did not join the bashing-fest of this game. It has issues, but it is also simulating a military offensive that not only never happened but was unlikely to ever happen.

Mind you, the whole idea of the Soviets attacking fascinates me. I have even done some design work on a 1980s NATO vs. Soviet Union naval game. I do plan to include a NATO strikes first scenario, something I wish was included in more games like this. After all, the Soviet Union was invaded twice. They were a paranoid nation obsessed with borders and buffer states.
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David Gray
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gittes wrote:
graydo wrote:
But the Soviets did print currency for use in occupied Western Europe and produced campaign medals for such a campaign. Good to bear that in mind as well.


Still seems more like hardcore posturing rather than hardcore plans. The will was there sometimes, but the number of weapons we had on the border and our acknowledged technological edge always made a conventional invasion a distant possibility. Any situation where the Warsaw Pact invades and does not rely on nukes is a fanciful alternative. Hence why I did not join the bashing-fest of this game. It has issues, but it is also simulating a military offensive that not only never happened but was unlikely to ever happen.

Mind you, the whole idea of the Soviets attacking fascinates me. I have even done some design work on a 1980s NATO vs. Soviet Union naval game. I do plan to include a NATO strikes first scenario, something I wish was included in more games like this. After all, the Soviet Union was invaded twice. They were a paranoid nation obsessed with borders and buffer states.


It might have seemed like posturing if, at the time, it had been public knowledge. Posturing where nobody can see you doesn't make much sense.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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graydo wrote:
It might have seemed like posturing if, at the time, it had been public knowledge. Posturing where nobody can see you doesn't make much sense.


Posturing within an organization, particularly an insecure one, is a common tactic to maintain morale. It is dangerous in organizations that are faltering, and the late USSR was no exception. Wonderful examples can be gleamed from watching Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room or reading the letters and speeches of Jefferson Davis after Atlanta fell.

Now, I could be wrong about the money and the medals and why they made them. But I also know the Soviet Union was paranoid, insecure, and generally believed their best chance of victory over the west was a matter of nukes and revolutions, and not a conventional World War II style invasion of heavily fortified West Germany. Once they knew they could not win via nukes and revolution, one of the pillars of the Soviet Union was lost.
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David Gray
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gittes wrote:
graydo wrote:
It might have seemed like posturing if, at the time, it had been public knowledge. Posturing where nobody can see you doesn't make much sense.


Posturing within an organization, particularly an insecure one, is a common tactic to maintain morale. It is dangerous in organizations that are faltering, and the late USSR was no exception. Wonderful examples can be gleamed from watching Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room or reading the letters and speeches of Jefferson Davis after Atlanta fell.

Now, I could be wrong about the money and the medals and why they made them. But I also know the Soviet Union was paranoid, insecure, and generally believed their best chance of victory over the west was a matter of nukes and revolutions, and not a conventional World War II style invasion of heavily fortified West Germany. Once they knew they could not win via nukes and revolution, one of the pillars of the Soviet Union was lost.


It isn't what they don't know, it's what they know that isn't so...

Will Rogers
 
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Lancer4321 wrote:
fredthomas wrote:


My personal favorite, but long out of print, very hard to find (and expensive) on the secondary market, and takes a lot longer to play.


Yeah my dad (ironically, himself trained to be a mechanized company commander for this war) used to play this game way back and praised it overall. I think his gripes with it were mostly how it delt with middle-east and balkan political issues rather than with the combat system.
 
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Craig Truesdell
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late to the game (literally I just bought it)

Interesting that someone mentioned killer stacks, another cold war game was scolded for allowing killer stacks Seapower & the State until someone rightly pointed out that those stacks scatter like cockroaches when the nukes come out... which may be why they came out...

I guess the main issue is unrealistic to create killer stacks and what would be the benefit if the NATO or the Soviets did?
A nuclear strike is an obvious negative which the game models....
I would think their movement would be slower which maybe isn't modeled, -1 MP for every unit past one in the stack?
Maybe their attack strength is constrained... only one unit can attack at full strength while one more can attack at 1/2 and the rest can't attack at all. Same for defenders too...

You could even chuck the nuclear rules and say the threat of a nuclear strike means nobody is allowed to stack (Divisions and air units) or another way is to only allow nuclear strikes on unit stacks of 2 divisions or more (and air units) and ignore the threat of nuclear exchange.

The upside of board games is you can add your own viewpoints and ideas and have at it. You can even make some of these ideas random events that occur during the game. The Soviet High Command is concerned about a NATO nuclear attack, No Stacking for 1d6 turns sort of thing.. Traffic jams! Stacks with 3+ (or 2, or 4) divisions lose 1/2 of their MP, etc...




I do have the VASSAL module if someone wants to play a game against a newbie (VASSAL I know) or even just play a few turns or so to see how it plays.




 
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Lance McMillan
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ctcharger wrote:
...someone mentioned killer stacks, another cold war game was scolded for allowing killer stacks... those stacks scatter like cockroaches when the nukes come out... is it unrealistic to create killer stacks and what would be the benefit if the NATO or the Soviets did?


I don't think it's unrealistic: "concentration of force" to achieve objectives is a long-standing operational paradigm. I also think that one of the flaws in this (and other similar) games is that you shouldn't have to rely solely on a nuke strike to break up such formations since concentrating that many vehicles in a small area would make for a very "target rich environment" for any helo or air strike.
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Craig Truesdell
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so you could add another column shift not in your favor if you are attacked by air/artillery units if you have more than 1 division in your stack..
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Lance McMillan
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ctcharger wrote:
so you could add another column shift not in your favor if you are attacked by air/artillery units if you have more than 1 division in your stack..


I'd have to look at the tables to get a better sense of whether that would work or not, but yeah -- something along those lines. Perhaps even one shift per additional divisional equivalent beyond the first that's in a stack ("more isn't necessarily better").
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