THE GREAT WAR
What is missing is that there is absolutely nothing about the computer controls for playing the game online. Admittedly, it is very easy to work out what you have to do, but a good knowledge of the C&C system certainly helps.
Click on Play followed by Start on the very first screen and a pop-up menu of Scenarios appears. Select your Scenario, read the intro [purely informative], a further click of Play and you're good to go.
The screen view is very clear and easy to scroll around, though you cannot obtain a complete view of the whole battlefield. This is something I expect with most hex-based online war games, because their maps are often many hexes wide and deep, but with The Great War the dimensions are very limited. So, I'd hoped for a more all-embracing view.
When a unit is selected to move you will see all the hexes that it can move to and still fire coloured in white and those it can move to, but not then fire, coloured in green. When you click on the destination hex, you'll see your little men run to it and, as with the board game, you move all your men first and then cycle through those who can still fire or engage in close combat.
At this point, the game throws the requisite number of dice which tumble neatly across the board and many's the time you'll watch with trepidation as dice teeter backwards and forwards until settling onto one of their faces. Will it be the necessary skull, if you are attacking in close combat or a more innocuous result?
As in the original game, at the end of your turn, a new Command card will be revealed and added to your hand and then the next screen will present you with the choice of either two stars or an unknown Combat card. For those who know the game, those stars are what fuel your ability to fire artillery and one or two other game functions. Choose the Combat card and it will be turned from its generic side to reveal what you have drawn.
When the enemy A.I. takes its turn, you will see all the same things happening, except at an even quicker pace than you can manage. As always this is a strength of any computer version of a board game and with The Great War one of the other benefits is not having to set the board up and clear it away at the end of the game.
However, what has shown up for me after many repeated plays which hasn't happened with playing the board game is the similarity of each scenario and the repetitiveness of the experience. I have no definitive explanation for this, other than that the effect of the simple variety of physical actions, [selecting a card to play, rolling dice, moving your plastic figures across a very attractive real board, holding the artillery template over the board, collecting tokens and, inevitably, the interaction with a ftf real human being] creates an experience greatly superior to doing little more than clicking on cards and clicking on units.
Nor does my preference for the physical board game result from receiving the end of game screen message:
However, notice that I've had to switch to WWII. So, it's worth adding that, for the moment, The Great War is the only game I have been able to find to provide a turn based tactical WWI experience of trench warfare online, the limited few other games that I have come across are all first person-shooters.