The mechanics necessary to achieve this should be attainable by simply leaving them to the computer to deal with. This meant that an increase in the complexity of the rules results in a concurrent increase in memorization for the players. While some games do exist whose players seem to actually desire as much complication as possible in other words: Advanced Squad Leader , most gamers have some threshold of memorization which, if exceeded, causes drastic reductions in game-playing enjoyment. This is why ultra-complex boardgames will always have only cult followings: the population of gamers with a taste for the peculiar twists and turns of ASL is inherently very small.
After all, one has to download the turn, possibly unzip it, start the game program, and load the move for each turn. Occasionally, one will see a release which is little more than a board wargame designed and produced on the computer. Incidentally, I wish someone over at SSG had simply paid 3W whatever it would have cost to get the rights to the name The Last Blitzkrieg, as the game was originally titled, since the boardgame with that name is pretty flawed and not really worth preserving. Nevertheless, the game is probably the closest thing I have ever seen to the ideal that I had in my head fifteen or twenty years ago when I was playing Nukewar on my TRS and imagining what it would be like to have a real board wargamegame on the computer.
Computer War in Europe is the best example of a game which has been ported to the computer almost unchanged in any fundamental respect. In keeping with the enormous size of the game, the rules set is rather lengthy. However, the game mechanics are not actually that complicated, and for this reason players can act as though they really are playing the board version, only on a much more convenient medium. In short, it has no chance on its own, and can only cater to those who had played the board version and who approach the computer edition with a mindset that reflects boardgaming conventions.
This is obviously one of the most frequent criticisms of board wargames: they give the players too much information about enemy units. Computer wargames and board wargames, then, are designed according to radically different criteria. The problem is that often this emphasis runs completely in the face of the strengths of the other medium.
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The mechanics were very simple, but the games were generally great although Storm Over Arnhem suffered from a static historical situation. What made this so? This system follows some rules which makes it extremely enjoyable. I should be able to finish moving Army Group South in one day. Turning Point: Stalingrad and its successor game in the system, Breakout: Normandy boast a tremendous depth of gameplay because of the player being in a constant state of needing to do more than he can.
Games are incredibly tense affairs because each move has implications for the overall situation on the board.
An impulse can only be spent to activate one Area, but a player will literally have dozens of moves he will want to make, so he will have to choose carefully and decide exactly what he wants to accomplish. Executing a sound strategy involves the use of many impulses, so he will have to evaluate not only his possible moves, but the moves his opponent could make which could make life difficult. Both players will be parrying and thrusting with each move. One word describes the gameplay: superb. In addition, the game is based on very simple mechanics which can be picked up in, at most, half an hour of instruction probably less.
Once learned, the rules are extremely easy to implement, and the combat system requires nothing more than the comparison of two numbers. Players spend their time evaluating moves rather than trying to remember if a given action is legal. At this point, you may assume that Hasbro will be releasing a computer version of this game at the earliest opportunity in order to capitalize on a system which provides such rewarding gameplay.
Several readers have commented to me that they could think of nothing better to release for the computer than TP:S. Because the two strengths of boardgames on which this design capitalizes are the ones which turn into liabilities in the computer arena.
First of all, simple mechanics are death to a computer game. I have been arguing for some time that computer wargames need to return to their roots in terms of simpler mechanics, but this is apparently not what most gamers want. The fact was that once the computer started taking care of the details, many of the decisions a player had to make disappeared. So whereas boardgame players had to make some calculations just to see what happened with their broadsides, a computer gamer just clicked on the gunnery parameters and the computer took care of the rest.
Imagine what would happen with a hypothetical Computer Turning Point: Stalingrad. The game mechanics, while at a comfortable level of detail for people who have to commit them to memory in order to play the game, are absolutely trivial for a computer. For example, combat consists of the attacker and defender taking, respectively, their single highest Attack or Defense Strength present in the Area under attack, and adding a variety of simple modifiers.
When it comes to my turn, sometimes I minimize all the windows and info bars and just lean back to admire the artistry; how any given moment looks like a combat painting off the cover of a Stars And Stripes magazine. I love it. These battles are meticulous indeed. Anyone who has played Tactics Ogre or Front Mission or even Dai Senryaku will be at home with the offbeat combat system.
You get control of all the planes from your selected country, even slow-moving and mostly useless bombers. A dotted line in front of the Active Fighter represents its direction, and a lever serving as the steering joystick can be manipulated with the mouse. Get in close enough to an enemy fighter and a crosshair forms around the nearest target s with a percentage shown underneath.
Much like Final Fantasy Tactics , this indeed tells you the likelihood of a shot connecting. Subtle touches are everywhere in this department -- Rookie pilots can only Blaze Away waste tons of ammo when they fire, and additionally have a lesser chance of a successful hit.
More experienced airmen can choose between Short Bursts and accurate Snap Shots, and can pilot their planes in tighter arcs, etc. Essentially that's all there is to the art of dogfighting, and like Othello, it can take a few minutes to learn but a lifetime to master. As you get more attuned to the combat, you can develop helpful tactics such as pulling way back on the throttle when being chased, so you can plug your pursuer full of lead when he roars ahead of his cunning opponent; or zeroing in on pesky bombers from the front instead of the rear, where the defensive gunners will turn you into something more like volcanic rock.
Like most war-games, you can either launch into a quick, random engagement after picking out sides, initiate a Combat Mission consisting of multiple engagements with a core objective to tie them in together, or a huge, time-consuming Tour Of Duty comprised of multiple Combat Missions. In the latter mode you can live out the life of a fighter pilot complete with elements left untouched in other games.
The roster of pilots can range from ludicrously experienced to green as a McDonalds' Salad tomato. Get to know these men well, you'll be fighting with them for three months or more. Their names and faces will be engraved in your memory, much like real war buddies. Taking the role of the Flight Leader, you'll nurture the newbies and leave the veterans room to master their skills. There's a true feeling of accomplishment when the Private you've been babying suddenly makes three kills in a single battle and gets a huge promotion, or when that old guy finally makes Ace and becomes your second-in-command.
When if they go down in flames, you'll feel genuine sorrow and grief, and you'll despise the green replacements who get sent in to fill the shoes of your dead comrades.
The same could be said about the game as a whole. This would have been a prime candidate for Online play, if not for the low system requirements it demands but for the sheer amount of teamwork necessary to win a battle. Sadly, it came out far too early to get in on the online craze, and as I mentioned before, the interest for further installments has been nonexistant.
Still, there are tons of missions to sustain one's interest for many a long night for the British, German, and French sides, although in the last case there are too few to be of concern a reflection on France's lack of an adequate air force during the early war. A few missions stand out, including an extremely enthralling German engagement that places you inside the cockpit of a primitive jet airplane to decimate some punkass French Hawk fighters, and the awe-inspiringly realistic depiction of the entire Battle of Britain, which can take even a Power Gamer days to complete.
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Log In Sign Up. Keep me logged in on this device Forgot your username or password? Don't have an account? A huge column of blood red smoke rose a thousand feet as the battleship USS Arizona blew up.
Would you like us to take another look at this review? D-Day Invasion True Combat. Mayday Over China. Wing Commander Guy P. Basically, they were like sitting ducks when they got pounced from above by a dozen Spits. Sex Lives of the Hollywood Goddesses. Of course, instituting such changes would utterly destroy the game system because it is based precisely on the notion that it should be simple enough for players to make accurate calculations of their chances for success.
The USS Oklahoma capsized. The… Meer. Her throat had been slashed twice from left to right, while a deep vertical wound had ripped her abdomen open from the… Meer. Under cover of the bombardment, the Germans blew gaps in the wire and cleared paths through the minefield. By the following… Meer.
The Germans were masters of Blitzkrieg. But in the rubble of a ruined city, the Russians knew the troops of the Third Reich were… Meer.
One bomb hit the Japanese carrier Akagi amidships, ripping through the hangar deck and exploding amidst the stored torpedoes,… Meer. His childhood dream of blood-drenched crucifixes possessed him as he drank his first victim's blood. His prison experiments with… Meer. At dawn, they saw her masts on the horizon and immediately prepared for battle. They were up against a formidable foe; the… Meer. It was the drugs that made him murder.
He liked to experiment with fatal dosages to see how much they could take. Fascinated with… Meer.
In the ruined houses, streets and sewers of Stalingrad there raged a ferocious hand-to-hand battle.