Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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The Barbarian’s War in the East Review

Discussion in 'Tacticular News & Content' started by Jason, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. Jasongender: ⚧ chasing a bee

    Jason
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    <strong>[ Review ]</strong>

    <p>The Barbarian, a local wargamer and Hyborian Age dweller, has been spending some serious quality time with <a href="http://www.matrixgames.com/products/372/details/Gary.Grigsby%27s.War.in.the.East:.The.German-Soviet.War.1941-1945" target="_blank"><strong>Gary Grigsby&rsquo;s War in the East</strong></a>. </p><blockquote><p style="margin-bottom: 0.14in; line-height: 115%"> Considering the scale of this game, the systems above are difficult to criticize. They function as well as one would hope. There is a tenuous, delicate balance here, between the nightmare of managing a thousand separate units individually, and accurately simulating this conflict in all its glory and horror. The following needs to be reiterated, however: a turn in the Grand Campaign can take upwards of an hour. This is not a criticism of the game; it is simply the statement of a fact. For once, the developer has erred on the side of fidelity to detail, rather than &lsquo;streamlining&rsquo; features in order to reach a wider audience. The beer and pretzel crowd will not appreciate the nuances of WitE. </p></blockquote><a href="http://www.tacticularcancer.com/content.php?id=68">Read on for the full review</a>

    <div style="text-align: center"><a href="http://www.tacticularcancer.com/gallery.php?dir=War%20in%20the%20East&file=WitEBattle.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.tacticularcancer.com/screenshots/War%20in%20the%20East/thumbs/WitEBattle_thumb.jpg" alt=" " width="200" height="112" /></a> </div>
     
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  2. Andhairagender: ⚧ Arcane

    Andhaira
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    My, such eloquent language from an uncivilized barbarian. ;)
     
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  3. Awor Szurkrarzgender: ⚧ Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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  4. Trashgender: ⚧ Pointing and laughing.

    Trash
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    Neat review! Sounds like it is a Grognards wet dream come true. There are a few things I'm wondering about though. The game seems insanely detailed, however do the political decisions and meddling of the Soviet and Nazi leadership have any representation in the game? Hitler especially loved to make things harder for his troops with nonsensical directives and Stalin did his best to keep his generals divided and paranoid.

    Are factors like the German unpreparedness for the first Russian winter modelled? The severity of the first winter basically stopped the Germans and gave the Russians chance to start a counteroffensive with their freshly arrived Siberian divisions. I also wonder if you can upgrade your units in any way. The Russians for instance gave title of 'guard' to units which had distinguished themselves in battle. With te nomination guard giving them better access to materials and supplies.

    I'm also wondering if the characters and other characteristics of the generals play a role in the game and wether or not these generals and their staff gain experience as the conflict goes on. The Russians in particular had a very steep learning curve to overcome as most of their officer corps lacked experience after the latest purges.

    Do you also have the opportunity to wage the war as one of the Axis allies of the Germans like for instance the Finnish? Is there an editor included in which one can build scenarios? That would give the game a base to keep on growing on. Hell, a good editor could in theory make other wargames obsolete if you would be able to recreate whatever strategic scenerio you would want. The battles over Smolensk, the failed attack on the Caucasus, the desperate attempt to relieve Stalingrad, Kharkov, the battle for Budapest. The list is virtually endless and that's even without using what-if scenarios.

    Last but not least, is there a deluxe boxed set with printed manual available? Love to sit in my lounging chair sipping a fine wine with a hefty 400 page manual in my hands and my copy of When Titans Clashed nearby.
     
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  5. The Barbariangender: ⚧ Educated

    The Barbarian
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    Many thanks, comrade Trash!

    The game gives you the ability to model political meddling. Leaders can be shuffled around, replaced, promoted (automatically) etc. etc. These actions cost Administrative Points, which are limited. But, first and foremost, it's an operational level wargame, and it does not spend a great deal of time dealing with political power plays.

    As for the first winter, yes, absolutely, the 1941-1942 blizzard turns are devastating for the German player. In fact, if one plays as the Soviets, he better give the Axis a few material and morale advantages, because a skilled player can very, very seriously affect German fighting capability for the duration of the war. Even to the extent where a 1942 summer campaign by the Germans becomes impossible.

    Yes, Guards formations have a slightly different TO&E (Table of Organization and Equipment), which generally means they're better supplied, have access to better equipment and more of it. The units will also either upgrade their equipment (tanks, planes etc) automatically, or the player can take care of that themselves. TO&Es change throughout the war, so, for example, there is a 41 Infantry Division, a 42 Infantry Division etc. etc.

    Very much so. The game models individual leaders and gives them attributes that can be improved through combat experience and time spent leading formations. The Soviet officer corps is terrible in the beginning, and one of the most daunting tasks for the Soviet player is making sure the few good leaders are in the right place at the right time, early on.

    Yes, in the sense that the Axis side includes German, Finnish, Romanian, Hungarian, Slovakian and Italian units. The counters for the Finnish units, for example, are blue - whereas those of the Germans are gray.

    Probably the most powerful editor Conan has ever seen in this sort of game. And easy to use!

    The printed manual is only the first 150 or so pages of the PDF document, from what I recall, unfortunately. The introductory chapters on the basics, more or less.

    Indeed. A very expensive game for a very niche market. But it is absolutely monumental.
     
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  6. Trashgender: ⚧ Pointing and laughing.

    Trash
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    Amazing. I'm sold. Especially the editor sounds like a dream come true. Thanks for the answers, I'm off to the Matrix store. Only small point I'm disappointed about is the lack of political meddling. Would've loved to get the order to swing my advance on the Caucasus to Stalingrad or to be refused to retreat. Oh well, no biggie.

    BTW: I found a pretty good ongoing AAR of the drive on Leningrad scenario. Fun for those interested.

    http://kriegsimulation.blogspot.com/201 ... eview.html
     
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  7. Awor Szurkrarzgender: ⚧ Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    Actually, relatively speaking that's nothing when compared how much we have to pay for all new games here - you, guys get even stuff like Battles from the Bulge for much less work than we have to spend on normal new games. To understand my reaction, replace PLN with $. Like this:
    Download
    Edition
    $ 235.99
     
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  8. OminousBlueDotgender: ⚧ Educated

    OminousBlueDot
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    My deity! I'm a student, I am not made of money. Shame, it looks quite interesting, too.

    Say, Barbarian, do you offer Educational editions?
     
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  9. Annonchinilgender: ⚧ Scholar

    Annonchinil
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    How is supply modelled?

    Is it like the OCS boardgames where you need to stockpile it for major offensives or is it like Decisive Battles.

    This games looks nice and polished and a few moths ago I would have bought it instantly. Now I am much more picky due to the large catalogue of matrix games I do not play.

    Don't the one week turns seem weird with a divisional scale? I mean it seems like entire unit become encircled in one turned.
     
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  10. The Barbariangender: ⚧ Educated

    The Barbarian
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    It functions well enough - units that are encircled in one turn need to stay in that encirclement for at least one additional full turn, or they simply rout out of the encirclement when attacked.

    You produce and stockpile fuel, ammunition and materiel at various production centers, which are then distributed to your frontline units. It is handled automatically, but the game gives you the option of earmarking particular units for supply emphasis or de-emphasis.

    Sadly, the Barbarian is not aware of such a thing - he would have gladly taken advantage of it.
     
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  11. Trashgender: ⚧ Pointing and laughing.

    Trash
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    Are events like the Warsaw uprising and factors like the lend-lease program modelled within the game? I'm also surprised that supply depots from your comment seem not to play a mayor role in the game. I also do not see the area near Murmansk on the various maps. I do hope I'll be able to try and enact the Arctic Fox operation?

    EDIT: Oh, and partisan action? Is that in and if it is, how is it modelled?
     
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  12. Yeeshgender: ⚧ Magister

    Yeesh
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    Thanks for the review. It takes me longer than most people to play games as it is, so if the estimation for a turn in this game is an hour, the campaign would surely take me two years of real time. But oh how I'll enjoy reading an AAR.
     
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  13. Orgasmgender: ⚧ Barely Literate

    Orgasm
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    No, its not. Pretty much standard fare.

    Rest of the review is the same, way to eloquent and praising.
     
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  14. Awor Szurkrarzgender: ⚧ Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    It seems that there isn't going to be an Educational edition. There isn't one of Battles from the Bulge which is a shame. It seems that the price scares away pirates.
     
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  15. commiegender: ⚧ The Last Marxist Patron

    commie
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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Divinity: Original Sin 2
    It scares away wargamers too. I'd like it, but will wait a year or two I guess to see how the patching of it goes, how the AI develops and what scenarios are made for it.
     
    • Shit Shit x 1
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  16. Awor Szurkrarzgender: ⚧ Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    One thing that annoys me is that first they have cut off the central/eastern European market and now they are scaring away large part of Western wargamers. It's like they want to kill of wargaming.
     
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  17. Trashgender: ⚧ Pointing and laughing.

    Trash
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    Oh, get lost. Games and especially niche games have never been cheaper than they are nowadays. That this one is expensive and you can't or don't want to pay that price is not 'them' killing off gaming, it's you whining that you want it for less. The fact that you can't think off anything other than to bitch about the price is indicative on how interested you are in the title in the first place.

    And don't start with that whole spiel about how things should be less expensive for you because of income disparity. Shit like that doesn't fly with cars and other goods so there is no reason why it should with games.

    :x
     
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  18. The Barbariangender: ⚧ Educated

    The Barbarian
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    The Warsaw Uprising, not so much, but partisan bands do form up all the time behind German lines. They lead attacks on rail lines and infrastructure, which can adversely affect the German supply situation.

    Murmansk, unfortunately, is off-map.

    Supply depots are handled at both HQ and city/urban level. HQs and city areas stockpile supplies, so their capture is highly toxic to the supply grid. Units have to be able to trace a rail line back to a permanent supply point, or a supply dump in the vicinity.

    The lend-lease programme is handled as off-map production. Fielding those P-40s is a lot of fun. One thing I do wish they did, though, was to use individual pilot data, like in WITP, tracking individual experience, kills etc. Instead, you get a similar thing on a regimental level, so you can check the kills and victories of your units, but individual pilots remain 'under the hood'.

    In the glorious free world, disagreement is acceptable.
     
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  19. Awor Szurkrarzgender: ⚧ Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    So, how exactly do you imagine wargaming getting new fans under these conditions? Most of wargamers that I know are people that got into wargaming in times when wargames could still be bought in stores and demos of wargames were on cover CDs of mainstream magazines and some magazines would also add some full versions of older wargames.
    For example Close Combat series went down from a massively popular series where one could get online and find lots of players to play with each day to an obscure title without any demos and where one enters Battle HQ and sees 0 players.

    You mean other goods that one loses when one sells them and which require raw materials, including precious metals and special infrastructure to reproduce, which are completely unlike digital goods which are just 0s and 1s which can be extremely cheaply reproduced and transferred?
    This shit somehow flies with work which is losing a lot of time and effort (including time spent education and gaining experience), so there's no reason why it wouldn't fly with cheap electronic copies that require next to no effort to reproduce (and work put into developing them is the very thing whose value varies from place to place).
    Also, it actually does fly with stuff like military history books.
     
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  20. Trashgender: ⚧ Pointing and laughing.

    Trash
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    That's because gaming went from a nerdish niche hobby to a huge mainstream industry. Sucks, I know.

    And I told you not to start with that whole spiel.
     
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  21. OminousBlueDotgender: ⚧ Educated

    OminousBlueDot
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    I apologize, Trash. I will now go sulk, leading the Confederates to victory in Sierra's Civil War General II, which I acquired through assuredly legal retail operations in the year 1996 for 45$.

    Really though, If it where 45$ I still wouldn't of been able to buy it. Games are something I rarely put money into anymore, especially compared to when I was younger. Money just seems worth more now that and I'm older, and [new] games worth less.

    Assuming Orgasm isn't correct, I might pick it up in a few months.

    Is there a demo available anywhere?
     
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  22. Awor Szurkrarzgender: ⚧ Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    Not only because of it. For example Close Combat was much more popular back then and its players are hardly nerds - the first games had good sound and graphics for their times, good tutorials, demos, and big boxes with good thick manuals. A modern version could easily find itself a big niche just like ArmA and Operation Flashpoint. It declined because of stagnation and milking of the old engine and failure to fix the broken AI. And got practically killed as a popular game when Microsoft Gaming Zone got closed and it was no longer possible to easily find new players to play with.
    Then there was the whole re-edition thing that was massively hyped and which turned out to be a massive disappointment which put off a lot of remaining players. Especially with awesome PR moves like throwing insults at people who demand bugs/data errors to be fixed or actually reported bugs/data errors.

    By "current conditions" I mean stuff like lack of demos, lack of in-game tutorials, full-prices staying forever, old games getting recycled again and again and sold at full-priece, full-priced games without printed manuals, awful graphics/UI, etc. which practically ensures that it's not only a niche but also is a shrinking niche.

    Then you shouldn't have started the whole car spiel.

    I don't know if you have noticed, but you are talking to a guy whose sig links to his collection of hundreds of pirated comic books.
     
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  23. Trashgender: ⚧ Pointing and laughing.

    Trash
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    Close Combat hails from the time when gaming was still a niche hobby in itself and pc flightsims were as big a market as pc platformers. Like I said, times have changed.

    Oh, and do get Gameranger. CC multiplayer has gotten a new life through it and it thrives. Plenty of players online. Just discovered it myself and having a blast with it.

    PS Anyway, been following info on the game on several sites and forums. Seems like it is a monster and Gary's magnus opus. I'm buying.
     
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  24. Awor Szurkrarzgender: ⚧ Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    Close Combat is a game that has fast and brutal action and flashy explosions. And it can be played by retards. If there's a market for abominations like RTT games, then it should be possible to sell a modern game similar to Close Combat. Especially if it would have gore in addition to these lovely death screams from CC3.
     
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  25. OminousBlueDotgender: ⚧ Educated

    OminousBlueDot
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    No, I'm pretty sure games like Earthworm Jim and Hunter Hunted where more popular than the 90s flight sims, unless we're calling Red Baron a flight sim.

    While I could buy that games where a niche market back in 1988, when a good computer cost upwards of four grand, I find it harder to stomach in the decade that brought us Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Lords of the Realm 2, Diablo, Ceaser .etc and cost anywhere from a grand up.

    Of course the millions of PlayStations and N64s ate away at it happily.

    Not that I have any hard statistics to defend my claim.

    And Trash, for shame. Making me feel guilt for crying about the cost, yet pirating comics. Man, I once respected you, back in the days of Fan Made Fallout. ':oops:'
     
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