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Topic: WWII turn based grand strategy recommendations

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28 JAN 2012 at 6:01am

rossntu

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I recently watched A Bridge Too Far and am reading Arnhem (perfect preparation for Command Ops HTTR [

]  That said, I got the hankering for a theatre level game - one where I could make the sort of strategic plans Montgomery made in Operation Market Garden.  I have had a look at SC2 global conflictm, but it seems a bit abstract for what I'm looking for.  I really would like a game that covers the European theatre (at least), is turn based (I can't cope with HOI3!) and that takes into account the importance of roads / supply / bridges /unit quality / terrain / leadership quality etc. 

 

To be honest, I already have a game in mind - the best I have found so far seems to be Time of Fury - would this be a good fit for what I am after?  I have read a few negatives, but for what I am looking for I don't think there is another game that ticks the boxes, which surprises me.  So, am I missing anything?




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28 JAN 2012 at 8:14am

bbmike

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Also consider Commander - Europe at War Gold. Although it might not be strategic enough, it's more beer and pretzel IMO. Still, can be a fun game.



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28 JAN 2012 at 8:19am

Shelldrake

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Originally Posted By bbmike (28 JAN 2012 8:14am)

Also consider Commander - Europe at War Gold. Although it might not be strategic enough, it's more beer and pretzel IMO. Still, can be a fun game.

 

+1 The Grand Strategy expansion adds a lot to the game and PBEM works well.



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28 JAN 2012 at 8:39am

bbmike

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Originally Posted By Shelldrake (28 JAN 2012 8:19am)

+1 The Grand Strategy expansion adds a lot to the game and PBEM works well.

I need to try it with the expansion pack on of these days!

 

 



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28 JAN 2012 at 8:47am

sandman2575

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Hi ross  --  i'd give my strong recommendation for taking a look at Decisive Campaigns: Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris.  it's one of the best turn-based WW2 games i've ever played.  Personally, I found Time of Fury way too simplistic and shallow (and hence boring).  What I really love about DC is the balance -- it's deep, very detailed, and groggy, but it's not overwhelming a la Gary Grigsby titles (which I also love, but let's face it, you have to have some serious free time to get anywhere deep into them).

 

Anyway, give it a look at the Matrix site.  It might seem 'small' for only having 3 campaigns (Poland, France, Sealion, plus a few scenarios), but the campaigns themselves are huge, very in-depth, and will take you a lot of committed time to complete.  It's a game you really sink your teeth into, and it has a good AI and lots of parameters you can set for lots of replayability.  Just a brilliant game.


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28 JAN 2012 at 8:53am

DCosta

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Originally Posted By sandman2575 (28 JAN 2012 8:47am)

Hi ross  --  i'd give my strong recommendation for taking a look at Decisive Campaigns: Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris.  it's one of the best turn-based WW2 games i've ever played.  Personally, I found Time of Fury way too simplistic and shallow (and hence boring).  What I really love about DC is the balance -- it's deep, very detailed, and groggy, but it's not overwhelming a la Gary Grigsby titles (which I also love, but let's face it, you have to have some serious free time to get anywhere deep into them).

 

Anyway, give it a look at the Matrix site.  It might seem 'small' for only having 3 campaigns (Poland, France, Sealion, plus a few scenarios), but the campaigns themselves are huge, very in-depth, and will take you a lot of committed time to complete.  It's a game you really sink your teeth into, and it has a good AI and lots of parameters you can set for lots of replayability.  Just a brilliant game.

 

My vote aswell.



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28 JAN 2012 at 10:07am

xwormwood

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Originally Posted By ross_ntu (28 JAN 2012 6:01am)

I recently watched A Bridge Too Far and am reading Arnhem (perfect preparation for Command Ops HTTR [

]  That said, I got the hankering for a theatre level game - one where I could make the sort of strategic plans Montgomery made in Operation Market Garden.  I have had a look at SC2 global conflictm, but it seems a bit abstract for what I'm looking for.  I really would like a game that covers the European theatre (at least), is turn based (I can't cope with HOI3!) and that takes into account the importance of roads / supply / bridges /unit quality / terrain / leadership quality etc. 

 

 So, am I missing anything?

 

The newest Strategic Command Games offer everything you listed, except for bridges.

 

If a Global Game like Strategic Command Global Conflict Gold is to abstract for you, you should take a look into Strategic Command World War 1: The Great War 1914 - 198, which offers a large European map and several great WW2 (!) and WW1 campaigns. The Demo can be found at Battlefront.com.

 

Btw.: i share you feelings about HOI and the Gary Grigsby games.


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Last edited by xwormwood : 28 JAN 2012 10:10am
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28 JAN 2012 at 10:08am

rossntu

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Originally Posted By sandman2575 (28 JAN 2012 8:47am)

Hi ross  --  i'd give my strong recommendation for taking a look at Decisive Campaigns: Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris.  it's one of the best turn-based WW2 games i've ever played.  Personally, I found Time of Fury way too simplistic and shallow (and hence boring).  What I really love about DC is the balance -- it's deep, very detailed, and groggy, but it's not overwhelming a la Gary Grigsby titles (which I also love, but let's face it, you have to have some serious free time to get anywhere deep into them).

 

Anyway, give it a look at the Matrix site.  It might seem 'small' for only having 3 campaigns (Poland, France, Sealion, plus a few scenarios), but the campaigns themselves are huge, very in-depth, and will take you a lot of committed time to complete.  It's a game you really sink your teeth into, and it has a good AI and lots of parameters you can set for lots of replayability.  Just a brilliant game.

 

It's funny - I've been looking at both of these two, despite having had them and then sold them on these very boards.  I kind of regret doing that now ...   That said, I found DC to be very slow - the end of turn seemed to take ages for what did not seem an overly complicated game.   I do wish I had given it more of a chance though.  What is simplistic in ToF that is better simulated in DC?

 

As for CEAW - that is actually one I have looked at too, although it does not look as detailed as ToF as far as I can tell - the map seems a lot smaller too.  I can't remember, but does it have units such as anti tank etc or am I getting it confused with SC2?  I can't stand the idea of a whole corps / army constructed of anti tank guns -to me I can live with infantry or tank dominated land units and fighter / bombar air units. 




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28 JAN 2012 at 10:15am

rossntu

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Originally Posted By xwormwood (28 JAN 2012 10:07am)

Originally Posted By ross_ntu (28 JAN 2012 6:01am)

I recently watched A Bridge Too Far and am reading Arnhem (perfect preparation for Command Ops HTTR [

]  That said, I got the hankering for a theatre level game - one where I could make the sort of strategic plans Montgomery made in Operation Market Garden.  I have had a look at SC2 global conflictm, but it seems a bit abstract for what I'm looking for.  I really would like a game that covers the European theatre (at least), is turn based (I can't cope with HOI3!) and that takes into account the importance of roads / supply / bridges /unit quality / terrain / leadership quality etc. 

 

 So, am I missing anything?

 

The Strategic Command Games offers everything you listed, except for bridges.

 

If a Global Game is to abstract for you, you should take a look into Strategic Command: The Great War, which offers a large European map and several great WW2 and WW1 campaigns. The Demo can be found at Battlefront.com.

 

Btw.: i share you feelings about HOI and the Gary Grigsby games.

 

I have tried both demos, and although they seemed good fun, the maps didn't seem to match the size and scale of ToF from the screenshots I've seen - I like the idea of being able to manoeuvre a bit.  In some ways HOI3 would be perfect, but I cannot get my head around playing one of the bigger powers, with units and holdings around the world, all moving / being attacked at the same time. 




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28 JAN 2012 at 10:37am

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Have you looked at Time of Fury? It's quite solid, and far more beer 'n' pretzels than HOI. The scale may prevent you from trying a Market Garden, but still very fun.



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28 JAN 2012 at 6:00pm

sandman2575

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Originally Posted By ross_ntu (28 JAN 2012 10:08am)

 

 It's funny - I've been looking at both of these two, despite having had them and then sold them on these boards.  I kind of regret doing that now ...   That said, I found DC to be very slow - the end of turn seemed to take ages for what did not seem an overly complicated game.   I do wish I had given it more of a chance though.  What is simplistic in ToF that is better simulated in DC?

 

 

 

It's true the turn resolution in DC takes time, particularly in the Fall Gelb scenario where each of the Allies has to take its turn.  Still, this doesn't bother me so much, because the amount of time I invest in each of my own turns is quite a lot, a few hours easily.  If it were a faster moving game, the AI turn resolution durations would start to annoy me.  But because there are a relatively small number of turns per operation (a few dozen rather than a hundred+), and you really have to plot each turn carefully (plus, there are a lot of units to manage!), i always kind of feel like I need the breather after I hit 'end turn' and the AI does its thing for a bit.

 

It's been so long since I played Time of Wrath that I'm can't really compare the two.  But I do recall being very disappointed with the shallowness of the gameplay, and feeling like the strategic elements (diplomacy, technology research, etc.) seemed like a simplified knock-off of Hearts of Iron.  There just didn't seem to be any real challenge to how you manage your units... air units could operate from any hex, the combat resolution seemed quite simplistic based on a 6-sided-die-roll matrix... It frankly started to feel more like "Risk" and less like a grand stragegy WW2.  DC is an order of magnitude more sophisticated.

 


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28 JAN 2012 at 6:53pm

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Originally Posted By bbmike (28 JAN 2012 8:14am)

Also consider Commander - Europe at War Gold. Although it might not be strategic enough, it's more beer and pretzel IMO. Still, can be a fun game.

 

This game with the GS mod is much more realistic than TOF if realism matters to you.

 

Both games are fun to play although if realism bothers you then you might go a little mad playing TOF.

 



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28 JAN 2012 at 7:03pm

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I'm a little confused about what you are looking for exactly. If you want something that covers all of WW2 ETO (European Theatre of Operations) then probably the games mentioned here covers most of what's out there although there are a few fringe candidates not mentioned yet like remake of War in Europe boardgame for PC.

 

However overall probably your most solid candidates are:

SC2 Gold - really I don't prefer this one as it covers the whole globe but the scale makes it hard to perform much manuever

 

SCWW1 using the downloadable Euro campaigns - I can recommend Fall Weiss over SOE so far and Calm Before the Storm seems really interesting too.

 

CEAW GS 2.0 (or 2.1 that will be avail apparently any day now) - this game is great for PBEM and used to have a big flaw because cheating was very possible. But the new versions allow dice rolls randomization to be greatly limited, thus making cheating relatively unprofitable. This would probably be my top choice if I had to recommend one

 

TOF - lots of beer and pretzels potential here and it can be fun to play, in particular against the AI think, but the historical inaccuracies finally become too much for me - likely it'll be patched up to something better over the coming months

 

If you're willing to descend into operational level games then I can highly recommend the SSG game series. These games are very realistic, and ridiculous fun. The Market Garden scenario in one of these games (it was in Battlefront which is a different scale than the rest of their recent games) is possibly the most fun that I've ever had doing PBEM

 

You might also consider PBEM boardgames using Vassal and Cyberboard if you want PBEM play. Playing World in Flames is ridiculous fun by email when you can get a group of 4 or 5 other active players together. There are obviously lots of other choices too when you bring boardgames into the mix.



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28 JAN 2012 at 8:36pm

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AGW, and CCME.

 

Anglo German War Schwerpunkt, and Combat Command Matrix Edition.  CCME only if the get the withdrawal bug fixed, which we should hear about by Wednesday.

 

Well you wanted something different didn't you?


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28 JAN 2012 at 8:37pm

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Don't forget TOAW by Matrix too.


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29 JAN 2012 at 5:57am

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Originally Posted By Epee1 (28 JAN 2012 8:36pm)

AGW, and CCME.

 

Anglo German War Schwerpunkt, and Combat Command Matrix Edition.  CCME only if the get the withdrawal bug fixed, which we should hear about by Wednesday.

 

Well you wanted something different didn't you?

 

Good post Epee. I had thought about Ron Dockal's games and forgot to include them in my post. I think they aren't for everyone but really they should be included in any discussion.

 

Another one is War in the East which covers only Eastern Front. It is currently ruined by the "carpet" defense problem where players carpet the map 4 hexes deep with units to prevent breakthroughs. But I'm hoping this gets patched out somehow (not sure what ideas are swirling around to patch it). Still I think it plays ok vs the AI....at least it's in the upper tier of AI games - no AI is going to stop a good human player in any game unless it cheats.

 

Also AT Gold from Matrix has a lot of various scenarios. It's basically a similar engine to the game mentioned earlier on this thread (Decisive Campaigns Warsaw to Paris). It's pretty good also and has ETO and full globe scenarios available. The AI is probably not worth playing against imo so you'd have to seek out PBEM for a good game.



Last edited by jjdenver : 29 JAN 2012 5:59am
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29 JAN 2012 at 5:59am

rossntu

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Thanks for all the suggestions - unfortunately all seemed to fall either side of what I wanted - either too focused on a specific operation, or too abstract.  CEAW was one that I seriously considered, but as I understand it, it is better for PBEM, whereas I am wanting a decent AI experience.   I ended up going for ToF as it is the only game I have found that seems to allow fairly detailed operational style gameplay on a map covering the whole ETO.  Having looked into this, I find it strange that so few theatre level games focus on the value of key strategic geographical locations - most just given certain towns victory points etc rather than looking at the value of key roads / waterways / bridges / industrial areas.  While I realise thst these are well modelled in Command Ops and the SSG games, they are still important strategic consierations when looking at plans at a higher level too. 

 

I realise ToF may not be the most realistic game out, but having tried the ToW demo the system does seem fairly easy to pick up and play, as well as being fun.  There are already mods to improve the realism of the game, and I get the impression that more will follow.   Thanks again for all your help.




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29 JAN 2012 at 6:00am

jjdenver

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Originally Posted By ross_ntu (29 JAN 2012 5:59am)

Thanks for all the suggestions - unfortunately all seemed to fall either side of what I wanted - either too focused on a specific operation, or too abstract.  CEAW was one that I seriously considered, but as I understand it, it is better for PBEM, whereas I am wanting a decent AI experience.   I ended up going for ToF as it is the only game I have found that seems to allow fairly detailed operational style gameplay on a map covering the whole ETO.  Having looked into this, I find it strange that so few theatre level games focus on the value of key strategic geographical locations - most just given certain towns victory points etc rather than looking at the value of key roads / waterways / bridges / industrial areas.  While I realise thst these are well modelled in Command Ops and the SSG games, they are still important strategic consierations when looking at plans at a higher level too. 

 

I realise ToF may not be the most realistic game out, but having tried the ToW demo the system does seem fairly easy to pick up and play, as well as being fun.  There are already mods to improve the realism of the game, and I get the impression that more will follow.   Thanks again for all your help.

 

Good choice, for AI play TOF is probably the best mentioned on this thread at the full ETO scale as long as you don't care much about realism. I would guess you have hundreds of hours of AI fun ahead of you.



Last edited by jjdenver : 29 JAN 2012 6:02am
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29 JAN 2012 at 7:40pm

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I'm going to pick TOF up, just waiting for "the patch."

 

Let us know how you like it Ross.


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30 JAN 2012 at 1:24am

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Is TOF AI good? I read mixed reports about it?

 

I'm currently playing SC2 Global Conflict Gold / Brute Force campaign (expanded ETO map) and the AI is quite good.



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30 JAN 2012 at 1:48am

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I notice nobody mentioning Making History 2, am i to assume from this the game never got fixed beyond its buggy state?



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30 JAN 2012 at 1:56am

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Originally Posted By Epee1 (29 JAN 2012 7:40pm)

I'm going to pick TOF up, just waiting for "the patch."

 

Let us know how you like it Ross.

 

The beta patch is available, you download and play it using a separate desktop shortcut. Must have been some sigmificant fixes, it is several hundred megabytes. Have started a new campaign using it, however have not yet noticed differences. Attacking Poland on normal difficulty not a massive issue.



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30 JAN 2012 at 2:56am

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Originally Posted By cloaked_enigma (30 JAN 2012 1:48am)

I notice nobody mentioning Making History 2, am i to assume from this the game never got fixed beyond its buggy state?

 

It has improved, but there are still one or two AI behavior issues at the least, IIRC.

 

I hope it gets ironed out, as I'd definitely prefer it's mechanics over other WW2 grand strategies.

 


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30 JAN 2012 at 7:24am

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MHII is is pretty good shape now.  We continue to refine the AI and should finish the editor soon.  You can get a free 50 turn demo at our site if you'd like to check it out.

 

Chris--


Chris Parsons, Making History Product Manager http://making-history.com/

Free Demo of MHII: http://download.making-history.com/MakingHistoryInstaller.exe


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30 JAN 2012 at 7:41am

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Originally Posted By Pocus (30 JAN 2012 1:24am)

Is TOF AI good? I read mixed reports about it?

 

I'm currently playing SC2 Global Conflict Gold / Brute Force campaign (expanded ETO map) and the AI is quite good.

 

If you play SC2 you may have a hard time with TOF. The realism just not theerr. SC2 has far better realism even though it also has some problems of course.

 

I find the AI in TOF to be a little better than SCWW1, and I would guess a little better than SC2GCG. Of course any AI is going to fall easily to a good human unless it cheats. I've seen AAR's for TOF that gave an advantage to the AI to get a challenge and that seems like the way to go.

 

TOF is beer and pretzels fun vs the AI, but be warned realism suffers, and the naval interface is very very clicky and tedious.

 



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