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WW2 Deluxe: The War in Europe» Forums » Reviews

Subject: WW2 DELUXE - TRULY A DELUXE REMAKE rss

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Robert "Smitty" Smith
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One Small Step (OSS) Games rereleased 2WW: The War in Europe (2WW) in 2012. We fell in love with this game. I actually waited for the 2WW game. But when I saw that Canvas Temple Publishing (CTP) was doing a redo of 2WW called WW2 Deluxe: The War in Europe, I was surprised. My thinking was such that this was such a good game other than the fussy rules that needed a bit of clarity that I could only think they would break an otherwise superb game. I am certain that some games come to mind for you that was “broken” with either a remake or making it into a deluxe version. The one thing I am glad that they didn’t do with the game was add or subtract as the case may be of upgrading it into a card driven game of sorts. Instead it is solely a game played by the strategies that the players themselves choose without any type of game helps to get them to a certain point. What is of real interest is it’s a strategic WW II scale game that is hex based and not area focused.



The Original map



The very upgraded map for WW 2



Compare and contrast the two versions maps
WW 2 on the bottom and 2WW on top


COMPONENTS

The original version caused me to be pleasantly surprised by the overall curb appeal of the game. Nice thick Cardstock Player Aids. Decent counters. Nice rulebook with graphic examples of play. But the small green moss-covered map was nice enough. But the Deluxe version map is world class and simply pleasing in its overall visual effect. It's also a mounted map but place names are much easier to make out. The Turn Record Track (TRT) at the top is nicer than the old SPI type throwback TRT on the OSS game. I stated in my original review “I do wish OSS would do something different with their counters - this is my personal taste here. Maybe it's the font. Maybe's it's the flat matte finish. Maybe it's the slightly undersized typed and thinnish counters but why not upgrade them somehow? I would buy optional counters with silhouettes on them for this game, doing say one ME-109, 1 FW-190...” And CTP answered and answered in big dog fashion as the next series of photos will show. Not only that, but they made them MUCH bigger.


Ironic in my initial review I asked for better and different counters




Allies



Soviets


Look how nice the new counters are – great compare and contrast



Don’t you love the resized counters?




RULES

In terms of Bells and whistles, the CTP version of the rules for the game are a visual upgrade. The examples stand out more and seem easier to follow. We have more interesting visual in terms of artwork that add color and causes the pulse to quicken while looking at the rulebook. One of the first things I noted and went back to this review to ensure they didn’t change something was that there still was no Index of sorts for the rules. GRRRR. I can understand it if no one had mentioned it in comments or a review, EXCEPT those same comments had been mentioned as well as some of the rule ambiguities.




Initial Set up for the Barbarossa Scenario


GAME PLAY

One thing I can say right up front is the overall feel of WW 2 Deluxe in terms of ascetics made it easy to put on the table. The artistic team of Jon Compton, Ilya Kudriashov and Wojciech Zalewski deserve serious kudos for this production. For me every aspect of the eye candy game aspect worked and made me eager to put this game anew on the gaming table. The inclusion of the 1941Iraqi Rebellion which was a huge strategic concern for the British, caught me by surprise and is a pleasant surprise in terms of accuracy. I would recommend the book “Blood, Oil and the Axis: The Allied Resistance Against a Fascist State in Iraq and the Levant, 1941”, that tells why this “sideshow” was so important to the Allied cause in 1941.

Now a major upgrade was made for WW2 Deluxe. 2WW only had the full game to play, from September 1939 to the conclusion of the war. Granted it’s not very much longer but let’s say the period up to Operation Barbarossa isn’t your cup of intellectual tea. Before you were stuck with coming up with your own home-brewed scenario (think moonshine) to replicate certain periods of the war. Like in 2 WW, WW2 Deluxe gives you the option of a campaign game. In addition CTP with the redesign gives you six scenarios:

FallGelb
Barbarossa & Battleaxe
Fall Blau and Torch
Citadel & Avalanche
Overlord & Bagration
Wacht Am Rhein






Napoleon and Rommel – both had the pyramids in their grasp. Will the Germans be able to drive through the Middle East and link up with the forces in Russia?




Like I noted in the 2 WW review, the historic lull between the Battle of Britain and Barbarossa is less of a lull than it appears. Here you will find the RAF can strike back with its bomber force, forcing the Germans to respond in kind by at least garrisoning the West with an air unit. To quote from my previous review “the RAF was dreadful in terms of accuracy in this period but it makes for good gaming, and does force the German to commit resources as they had to historically. It's a sweet little touch that should not go unnoticed.” Moreover that same air can be used like the Germans did historically until Barbarossa to attack the British Isles.


I love these Scenario Cards


Thankfully, there wasn’t any tinkering with game play. As before, the interplay of air, sea, strategic air, armor and static (forts) works and works without a lot of cumbersome rules. The rules never get in front of game play, but sometimes you need to crawl inside them a bit and interpret or extrapolate the gist or overall intent. Now why Rigid Zones of Control? Well I think anything else would produce zany results. WW2 Deluxe still incorporated the additional armored movement phase. Armor (since it rules of course says this tanker – FORGE THE THUNDERBOLT!) can move ZOC to ZOC at the cost of an additional one movement point per hex. This rule enables a possible recreation of both the Case Yellow and the 1941 Blitzkrieg in the Soviet Union. I still find the German puts themselves at some peril by failing to have a fleet to use at a critical moment and not keeping their U-Boats in a healthy state of repair. Watching those Lend-Lease points sail across the Atlantic is disheartening, particularly if you gambled on an early land-air win, and chose a Fabian naval strategy. I still am amazed that WW 2 Deluxe captures such sweeping action and history, despite so few counters, making it both playable and still enjoyable. Most units of the major powers are two step units. Combat is fairly simple - tally up your point total and roll on the Combat Results Table.

Production might bother some folks because of its simplicity, particularly in the naval realm. Pay the price for a unit and presto it appears. We know with naval units that’s not the case, but I consider that an abstraction of sort as WW2 Deluxe is at such a strategic level, for otherwise you have to then put it ahead on the Turn Track. There are cities on the maps that are production cities that will help govern your strategy in terms of trying to disrupt and conquer your enemy and to protect your own economic base. There are also bonus production points, such as if Iraq’s oil is controlled by the Axis, or the British – hence this goes back to the importance of the Iraq coup.

Newly produced units can be produced and placed inside their home country or friendly controlled production cities. By the rules any controlled by your side such as conquered ones are usable. You can also upgrade or replenish units in the field. It’s a simple system that I felt work quite well.




The new CTP Player Aid Card – I find this font easier to read


The 2WW Player Aid Card



CONCLUSIONS
2WW was a MUST have game. CTP’s upgrade WW2 Deluxe is the new MUST have game. Yeah, I wished they had scrubbed the rules some for the new version but shrug, I can live with it. The rules still suffer from some looseness and ambiguity that carried over from the OSS version. None of those are show stoppers and are pretty easily resolved but with all the great cosmetic upgrades, why not have taken a little time, noted what folks said about the rules and added some needed clarity here? It’s a bit vexing but doesn’t arise to more than a mild annoyance for a game that is simply stellar in terms of fun and delivering a wallop for its size. The Deluxe version deserves serious consideration not just for your game collection but for those games you want to play. WW 2 Deluxe is truly a game every serious strategic WW II gamer wants and needs. Like its predecessor, WW 2 Deluxe is in serious consideration to be included in the elite for its size and scope. It is such a pleasure to play a WW II strategic level game that is neither dumbed down or scripted.



END GAME! One of the first games I have taken Berlin. What a satisfying game.



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V B
Ukraine
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Smitty, thanks for interesting review!
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Robert "Smitty" Smith
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Thanks Viktor!

Smitty
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G. H.
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Hi Smitty,

I own the original version of this game and it was good to see you reviewing the latest & greatest!

I'm now interested in this game thanks to your observations :-)
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Robert "Smitty" Smith
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G.H.:

Indeed - I loved WW II from SPI and Third Reich but World in Flames - well it never hit any sweet spot for me but this, this remake is bursting with love in terms of artistic wow without going over the top. As odd as it sounds simply superior competent workmanship.

Smitty

PS - This one is Sweet https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2287335/biggest-little-ww-i...
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Severus Snape
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"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me." Blaise Pascal
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"There is yet faith, but the faith and the hope and the love are all in the waiting." T.S. Elliot
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With respect, the components look incredibly generic: it could be a snazzed up version of AH's Rise and Decline of the Third Reich, or Compass' Fortress Europa. And why another strategic level game on WWII in Europe? Is there a shortage of these games on the market?

goo
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Darren Breidigan
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Thanks Smitty, very thorough review, One Small Step did a good job.
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Robert "Smitty" Smith
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Darren:

I thought so as well. I like different games on the same subject when there is enough of a different take on it.

Smitty
 
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