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World at War: Eisenbach Gap» Forums » General

Subject: Comparison with GDW's Assault series? rss

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Kent Ing
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Just wondering how this compares with the GDW Assault series which also dealt with the same topic and platoon level combat of the mid 80's? Does anyone know which is more detailed, plays, etc.. Thx.
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Matthew Lohse
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I accidentally managed to delete my first response before posting, so I might be leaving something out.

Take my answer to your question with a grain of salt, as I have never played/owned the assault series so I am answering based on my understanding of what it was like. Someone who has played both could give a much better answer.

In at least some cases, my understanding is that Assault had a bit more detail... for example tracking ammo. In effect, WaW doesn't give units a limited number of ammo. Now missile units [or occasionally other units due to SSRs] can temporarily run out of ammo if they roll all misses... they then are ammo depleted for that type of fire for 2 turns. Personally I am glad not to have to keep track of ammo for all the units but your view might differ.

Resolving fire also works differently. In WaW, units roll a certain number of dice and need to get better than a certain number to hit [for example a M1 rolls 4 dice and hits on 4 or more] with modifiers due to close/extreme range and moving. The targeted unit then rolls for saves based on its armor value [a T80 might roll 3 dice and save on five or more... I might be wrong on the values] and terrain/concealment. I don't know exactly how the Assault series works so I can't make a good comparison.

Hope this gets you started until someone more qualified can answer.
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Kent Ing
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Thank you very much for the quick response. Your response was what I had a hunch about. I was thinking that the Assault series had a little bit more complexity/detail.
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Matthew Lohse
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Assuming you know the Assault rules for comparison, there is a link to the current [until TUS ships] WaW series rules online at....

http://www.locknloadgame.com/Section_Cat_Content_Detail.asp?...

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Martin McCleary
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Assault was more complex. it also attempted to model doctrinal limitations on formations, facing, that kind of stuff. Been a while since I owned it so memory fades.

if you want a lot of detail find a copy of the old SPI Mech War 2. Very much based on the contemporary doctrine, understanding of the respective armies and weapon systems.

BTW: this isn't a "one's better than the other" comment, just a reply regarding detail.
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Bob Roberts

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I've played a few games of the WaW series, and lots of GDW's Assault series and I find I still prefer Assault. Horses for courses of course
But the Assault series just felt better...to me. The rules on command/control, the 'hidden' movement system with all the counters having the same back and dummy counters, the maps etc.

I suppose WaW could be seen as more playable, though I never found Assault all that complicated and indeed taught many non-wargamer types how to play back in college, we used the rules to play miniatures games in the student union and got more than a few random passers-by playing and some of the ROTC guys as well. Everyone seemed to be able to pick it up after a couple turns. I would say the Assault series is right at that border of detail/sim vs playability for me.
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Abe Delnore
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I am working on a review of Assault right now. This is a natural comparison, since Assault and WaW are at about the same scale and can each claim to be the most comprehensive WWIII tactical system ever published.

I agree that Assault is actually not that complex; the basic systems are so simple that you almost never look at the rulebook during play. (Aviation and engineering complicate the situation, though--the engineering rules, in particular, are insanely detailed.) On the other hand, you do have to consult the fire charts and (usually) CRT to resolve any shooting. The reward, though, is getting to play with what is probably the most detailed and accurate set of unit ratings outside MBT/IDF or certain miniatures systems. The better question is what these detailed ratings are doing in a game about battalion/regiment command. In pursuit of the latter goal, Assault features a command and control system, but the rules themselves are quite simple. Figuring out how to fight your army does take a bit more work.

WaW famously prints all the unit ratings on the counter and has no CRT. The drawback, though, is a lack of detail on the units. Indeed, WaW may have the least detail of any WWIII tactical system published since about 1980. That may be appropriate to the design goals. (The accuracy of the ratings is a separate issue.) WaW manages to do pretty well depicting command and control issues with unit size and chit pull. I actually find WaW's rules a bit more complex than Assault's. WaW is more chaotic, so you can't ever overcome the obstacles facing your army, just take good precautions and roll with the punches. WaW also manages to present quick-playing rules for aviation, engineering, artillery, and other topics that usually slow games down. Again, these are not very detailed and you have get some results that don't quite seem realistic.
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Bry Barnes
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I've played both Assault (all modules) and WaW extensively.

Of the two I prefer to play WaW. Why? It's easier, more fun and actually gives a game result that just feels more accurate.

With Assault the tank-to-tank combat is OK, but I was never happy with the anti-infantry, or soft combat. It just never seemed right or to give the right results. I kept wanting to use Squad Leader or something similar to give the same feel to the infantry game. (I had the same problem with MBT/IDF and Panzer/Armor/88).

With WaW the infantry game seems a lot better.

Also Assault uses 30-odd pages of rules that I think are over-complicated to do what WaW does in 7 pages of easy to read rules.

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Dan Calaway
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Assault series had numerous charts you had to continuly refer to, record keeping and I thought the rules were slightly more complicated.

WaW series, everything is on the counters, don't need to refer to charts, no record keeping.

Now I did like that Assault had TOC's and I think echelon HQ's. I am not a fan of the HQ rules of WaW, I think the movement rules are complicated.
 
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