Letters to the Editor #1

By Scott Parrino 31 May 2003 0

Introduction

From time to time we receive email from readers on a variety of topics. This month we are inaugurating a new section for our website, Letters to the Editor, where we will take some of those emails and publish them. If you have something to say, write us at editor@wargamer.com.

Have Another Beer

I think all you need to know about my setup is I run Win. 98. I have 2 questions about this game. One is when booting up; how can you do it faster without going through all the introduction [in Hearts of Iron]. I could go out and have a beer before it gets done. Second question. How can you get back to the main menu and the desk top without hitting Ctrl, Alt, Delete.

Thanks,
Robert Bouscher (Trouper231)

We have no official connection to any of the games we write about, however, from time to time some of our staff may have encountered the same issues, and to that end our staff members will offer advice to readers who write us on specific issues. That is the case with the next two questions regarding Hearts of Iron.

I ran Win98 also when I played Hearts of Iron.

(1) I believe hitting ESC, the space bar, or ENTER should stop the opening cinematics.

(2) Try using ALT-TAB to return to the Windows desktop.

Hope that works. If you need more info, you may want to visit the official Hearts of Iron forums

- Michael Eckenfels

Hooah, HOI

I recently bought a copy of Hearts of Iron (it's fantastic), but I have a couple of problems that I would be grateful if you could offer solutions to.

Firstly, when I want to build a land division, I have the options of Infantry (with added brigades), armoured, militia etc but I cannot find paratroop or marine divisions. How do I access these?

Secondly, when I have researched a new technology, I cannot update my units - the update unit icon is not lit up. Can you help?

Many thanks,
Jamie White

Hi Jamie,

With regards to your first question, you have to research paratrooper and marine technology before these units can be built. Paratrooper techs are located in infantry weapons and in heavy aircraft technology. Marine techs are in the infantry weapons section as well naval techs. In both cases, there may be more related techs in other locations (I don't remember off-hand)-for example, nylon is required for most of the special units (this is an industrial research technology).

Most times, in order to activate the upgrade option, the full technology tree for the unit must be researched. For example, in order to get the Panzer IV medium tank, you must have researched all the techs leading up to it (i.e. improved engine, suspension, the caliber of gun you want (artillery research section), and the prototype). Once the technology for the medium tank (in this case) is researched, you should have the option to upgrade.

I hope this helps. 

- Greg Borisko

Tea for 34

You say: "Germany concentrated on perfecting the Mark V "Panther" tank. It was fast becoming the superior tank of the Eastern Front. In speed, armament, and mobility, it enjoyed the advantage over anything the Russians had in the field. Its biggest problem was its scarcity. For every Panther tank produced, Russia was matching it with 10 T-34s."

I don't see where you're coming from with the claims of speed and mobility? From the data I've seen these are fairly even between the Panther and T-34/85. You don't mention armour, when the Panther had a definite advantage in frontal protection?

(Being converted into a CMBB geek of late...)

Martin

Hey Martin,

Yes, CMBB (Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin) is a great game.

I don't consider myself a grognard on armor, slopes, thicknesses, penetrations and such. I only review the use of tanks and their effectiveness, Martin. Probably the more important factor is that of the men who control the tank, if both vehicles are considered to be nearly equal.

It would seem, however, that If Russian armor as a general rule had been on a par with German armor or superior, with the overwhelming numbers they continued to accrue, Germany should have fallen much easier than it did. From what I read, (I've never seen a Panther or a T-34/85 in action, though I have seen the tanks themselves), I suppose you could put them on a somewhat equal. I still believe, however, that the Panther with its 75mm gun was the best medium tank of the war.

The fact that the T-34/85 did not really make a serious impression in the war until the middle of 1944 (in quantity) and that so many T-34/6s were still in service gave the Panther and the Tiger an edge in armor and firepower. The Panther was on a par IMO in speed and mobility.  The biggest problem with German armor was that with all its advances it tended to have breakdowns in its more sophisticated equipment.

Ultimately though, even the ant, if in enough quantity, can bring down the elephant, I'm sure. These points we discuss have been discussed for over 60 years and will be discussed 60 more. It boils down to a matter of personal understanding of history and the interpretation of numbers.

I appreciate your letter and your comments. It's always good to get feedback and I respect your opinion. 

- Wild Bill Wilder

Campaign Ozark

Al,

Thank you for your review of Campaign Ozark. I agree with you about the cavalry VP values. Post-release (v1.01) I changed it so the VP value varies by scenario, some might even have the same value as infantry. Your other gameplay suggestions are also things we've discussed extensively among ourselves.

Your point about the command radius is a good one. I do a lot of changes to differentiate between Western and Eastern combat and that was something I didn't think about. I'll have to go back and do some thinking.

Thanks again,
Drew Wagenhoffer
Designer, Campaign Ozark

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