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Subject: Do good, available strategic-level NATO vs Warsaw Pact exist? rss

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Talon Amores
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I've been prowling around the Internet for the better part of four years to get my hands on all games of the Third World War Series: The Third World War, Arctic Front, Southern Front, and especially the ever-elusive Persian Gulf: Battle for the Middle East. Based on what I've heard those games fit the bill perfectly for what I've always wanted: a strategic-level World War III game. Unfortunately not only are they extremely rare, they're also very expensive.

I heard NATO: The Next War in Europe was decent but not great, so I'm holding off on that one. So now I ask: are there any good NATO vs. Warsaw Pact games that are less hard to get than the Third World War series?
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Steve Arthur
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You're absolutely correct about GDW's 'Third World War' series being great games...all the games joined together with two a side makes it a real social event...set aside lots of space though and you'll need at least a couple of days or so ...it's really an operational game writ so large that it becomes truly strategic in scope...VG's 'NATO' is good as far as it goes but mine required lot's of errata and it only covered Western Europe on a single map...then there's SPI's The Next War a rather complex game that again only covers Western Europe...I really liked Charles Kamps 'Central Front' series (eg.Fifth Corps) but still confined to Europe...

'Third World War' etc. definitely worth hanging out for...I've seen all the games from time to time on Ebay but as you say fiendishly expensive...also there's a VASSAL module
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Talon Amores
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Atraxrobustus wrote:
You're absolutely correct about GDW's 'Third World War' series being great games...all the games joined together with two a side makes it a real social event...set aside lots of space though and you'll need at least a couple of days or so ...it's really an operational game writ so large that it becomes truly strategic in scope...VG's 'NATO' is good as far as it goes but mine required lot's of errata and it only covered Western Europe on a single map...then there's SPI's The Next War a rather complex game that again only covers Western Europe...I really liked Charles Kamps 'Central Front' series (eg.Fifth Corps) but still confined to Europe...

'Third World War' etc. definitely worth hanging out for...I've seen all the games from time to time on Ebay but as you say fiendishly expensive...also there's a VASSAL module


If you've played World in Flames, can you tell me if the Third World War rules are, on a whole, less or more complicated tham WiF?
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Magister Ludi
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I haven't played WiF for a long time (mainly due to detesting it)' so can't comment, but I have played SPI's Next War and GDW's TWW series is simpler. The sequence of play does take some time to get down pat, but once you have that nailed, the system flows very well with air ops integrated very well into ground combat. I think it's tough for the Pact to win though.

I'm looking for a copy of the main module to along with Persian Gulf
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Steve Arthur
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As Magister says TWW's sequence of play appears somewhat daunting at first sight but once you realise that it's really a series of turns within a turn it doesn't seem so bad...I've not played WiF but I can tell you that the rules for TWW are very simple and straight forward and only about some 12 pages long...there are separate rules sheets for joining the games together but these too are pretty basic...the games come with lots of designers notes and helpful explanatory notes and charts...one other point I should mention is that except for Western Europe the counter density is quite low and very managable...these games were published at a time when I reckon GDW and master designer Frank Chadwick were at the height of their powers...I've been enjoying them for years...
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UN Spacy wrote:

I heard NATO: The Next War in Europe was decent but not great, so I'm holding off on that one. So now I ask: are there any good NATO vs. Warsaw Pact games that are less hard to get than the Third World War series?

I would second the recommendation for TWW, but I would recommend you get NATO anyway. I got the impression that it was criticized by many for not being larger and more detailed (which are all advantages in my book). It's the best single-map NATO vs WP game that I've found apart from TWW.
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Jim F
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My only comment about Nato:Next War is that the counters are very hard to read for someone who has been spoilt by more recent games! I'm sure that wouldn't put off hardened grognards though...
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Steve Arthur
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Yes I agree 'NATO' well worth getting but unusually for VG games at that time it seemed as if it had been somewhat rushed into production...in my copy there was an extensive errata sheet,a number of printing errors on the map and some of the charts needed alteration...as I say not typical VG quality at all...but the game did play quite well...
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Leo Zappa
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NATO: The Next War in Europe is an excellent game and you shouldn't hesitate to pick up a copy from eBay. I had some great times playing that one and plan on playing it again.
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Carl Paradis
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I found this one to be not really super-good, but it's fast-playing.

The Red Storm

I think I must still have my copy somewhere. Want it for free?
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Talon Amores
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licinius wrote:
I found this one to be not really super-good, but it's fast-playing.

The Red Storm

I think I must still have my copy somewhere. Want it for free?


Sent you a PM.

desertfox2004 wrote:
NATO: The Next War in Europe is an excellent game and you shouldn't hesitate to pick up a copy from eBay. I had some great times playing that one and plan on playing it again.


What're the complaints about the game that isn't about the map?
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Matt Irsik
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GDW's Third World War series is tough to beat for this question, but I always had a soft spot for Warsaw Pact by Task Force Games. It's of moderate complexity, fast playing, and I thought it did a good job of portraying the subject matter.
 
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Sam Carroll
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UN Spacy wrote:
What're the complaints about the game that isn't about the map?


Well, my biggest complaint is that the rules for determining friendly or enemy airspace are really bizarre. The trouble is, the supply rules also change depending on whether you're in friendly or enemy airspace. I haven't pulled this one out in a few years, but I never really felt comfortable with the airspace rules. I'd love to see this game get a slight reworking, cleaning up the ruleset and so on.
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Max Coffey
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NATO: The Next War in Europe is actually very fun. Both players have hard decisions and nothing is easy to come by, but the fun. It is replayable and trying various strategies and beginning game states (re: Strategic Surprise, Tactical Surprise...) makes for variety. The game is best when both players switch sides to determine a winner.

This game is also much fun to explore solitaire. Is there a VASSAL mod? I'll check.


Edit; Yes there is! [filepage=http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/504610/vassal-module]from the NATO game listing[/filepage]
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spartax wrote:
UN Spacy wrote:
What're the complaints about the game that isn't about the map? :what:


Well, my biggest complaint is that the rules for determining friendly or enemy airspace are really bizarre. The trouble is, the supply rules also change depending on whether you're in friendly or enemy airspace. I haven't pulled this one out in a few years, but I never really felt comfortable with the airspace rules. I'd love to see this game get a slight reworking, cleaning up the ruleset and so on.


I felt the rules were clean and good.

The only complaint I've had involve the victory conditions/feel.

Nato gets so harshed early on, they probably are better off just
risking a nuclear first strike. If they do that, the game's pretty
much over.
 
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It's set in the fifties rather than the seventies and eighties, but Warplan Dropshot and its sequels are worth a look.
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UN Spacy wrote:
[q="licinius"]I found this one to be not really super-good, but it's fast-playing.

The Red Storm

I think I must still have my copy somewhere. Want it for free?


Sent you a PM.

desertfox2004]NATO: The Next War in Europe is an excellent game and you shouldn't hesitate to pick up a copy from eBay. I had some great times playing that one and plan on playing it again. [/q wrote:


What're the complaints about the game that isn't about the map?


I bought this game when it first came out and I honestly can not think of any complaints that I had, or that anyone else had. If anything, I think the only thing approaching a "complaint" I ever heard was that the game simplified some elements (e.g. air war) to a greater extent than some 'true grogs' would have preferred, but that was clearly by design.
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caadamec wrote:


Ah, no.
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As everyone else has stated, GDW's TWW is the go-to game on this subject, in my opinion, but another one I really liked was Red Storm Rising, especially when combined with The Hunt for Red October. Simple, but it has most of the elements, some depth, and can be played relatively quickly. As far as availability, it might be just as bad as TWW, I have no idea.
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Kev.
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desertfox2004 wrote:
NATO: The Next War in Europe is an excellent game and you shouldn't hesitate to pick up a copy from eBay. I had some great times playing that one and plan on playing it again.


FYI hit me up if you want a copy. I have one unpunched and looking to sell it.
 
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Pete Belli
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The old Warsaw Pact is an interesting game.

It depicts the campaign from the Soviet viewpoint.
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licinius wrote:
I found this one to be not really super-good, but it's fast-playing.

The Red Storm

I think I must still have my copy somewhere. Want it for free?


Doh!!! Too late. I've been looking for a copy for months.

Carl, please stop giving stuff away to other people! shake
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Carl Paradis
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Sunray11 wrote:
licinius wrote:
I found this one to be not really super-good, but it's fast-playing.

The Red Storm

I think I must still have my copy somewhere. Want it for free?


Doh!!! Too late. I've been looking for a copy for months.

Carl, please stop giving stuff away to other people! shake


Well.. I just checked my "games to be given" closet and it's not there after all. Must have parted with it two years ago. Sorry.

Nest time I'll check if I still have the game before offering it. I'm losing track of what I have given over the last few years.

BTW I have an understanding with my girlfriend: When I buy a game I must give one away. She is right: I have really too much of the foul stuff. LOL!
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TSR put out two games that can work together and possibly be what you want:

Red Storm Rising covers air/land war in central Europe.
Hunt for Red October covers air/naval war in the Atlantic.

Both games can be combined, allowing for the naval war and ground war to impact each other- capture of ports, arrival of convoys, etc.

I've never played Hunt for Red October, but Red Storm Rising is decent fun, although I haven't played in years. Both games have some level of fog of war with stand up pieces. No nuclear weapons (at least not in Red Storm Rising) although the Pact can use biological/chemical agents at the cost of losing support from Pact allies.

Both games are out of print, but are common on ebay and not very expensive. The combined game always intrigued me, and if I had an opponent who would be interested I'd track down both games.
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