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Wars Across the World by SAS Strategiae  Wars Across the World is as hard to pin down as it is to herd Jello ...

Wars Across the World by SAS Strategiae Wars Across the World by SAS Strategiae

Wars Across the World by SAS Strategiae

Wars Across the World by SAS Strategiae





Wars Across the World

by


SAS Strategiae






 Wars Across the World is as hard to pin down as it is to herd Jello or cats. It is certainly not Risk, but it is not as deep as other computer wargames either. The player uses cards, but it is not a card driven game. I guess I will just have to list the different aspects of the game and let the reader decide what this Jabberwocky is.




 We will start with the first thing you notice about the game, and that is the number of scenarios you can play. There are some battles here that have not even been done in board wargames, let alone computer wargames. Unless I counted wrong, right now there are thirty-nine scenarios or wars you can play (They call them all wars, but some are only battles while some are campaigns). These also go from the Ancient World to Modern times. So, you can see there is a lot of bang for your buck in this game. 





 The User Interface is very well done, and as long as you read the rules and play the tutorials you will not be at sea with it. The maps and colors are very well done with vibrant colors. It is extremely easy to look at your units and tell exactly what is going on at any moment. The music (which in most games I turn off), is actually pretty good and I don't mind at all listening to it while playing. The cards that you pull and use during the game are well thought out and remind me of  some of the best done boardgame ones. In all of the scenarios I tried, you could also play either side in the conflict. This is missing in a lot of games.





 The game is played just like most wargames in sequences. This is the sequence of play (not every scenario uses them all, naturally):

Card Draw
Reinforcements
Supply
Economic Phase
Naval Movement
Air Movement (Offensive)
Land Movement
Battles
Return to Base and Second Air Movement (Defensive)
Sieges
Construction Delivery
End of Turn





 Movement is done by areas. Supply is abstracted and mostly deals with the control of areas. This works fine for the scenarios of the last few hundred years, but doesn't make much sense in the ancient scenarios. There are numerous different types of terrain. The scenarios themselves from the maps to the units seem to be very well researched. Some scenarios play much better than others, and this is to be expected. Sometimes scenarios in wargames are just going to be one-sided. 




 Unfortunately we will have to deal with the bad now. The terrain is used in some scenarios to channel and hog tie the players' actions. In one example, Wellington with a small force sat right in front of Brussels in the woods. I couldn't use at least two thirds of my units to attack in this large area that certainly would have accomodated them. So, I was forced into a whack-a-mole situation with throwing dribs of units each turn into the fray. I understand the design decision behind the area rules in the game, I just don't agree with them. The AI has three levels of competency according to the game. Unfortunately, I really didn't see much difference on any of the settings. Some of the AIs moves are questionable to say the least. Take for example Waterloo: the AI used that choke point by Wellington excellently. However, the Prussian Army was never really used in the game by the AI at all. 




 The game has many good points to it, and the fact that you can play multiplayer and email seems to mitigate the AI troubles. It is deceptive in that the game is much deeper than it looks at first glance. Its main draw will always be the incredible amount of wargaming you can get on the cheap with the game. If you are looking to play it against another human, it is very easy to recommend it to the wargamer. If you are looking to play against the AI, I unfortunately cannot give it my full recommendation. From all of my reading the AI has gotten better, and the developer is still working on it. One thing that people complain about is the cost. With the base game and the add on scenarios the price is just under $100. While that seems like a lot, remember that would give you almost forty scenarios with which to play. That is the same price that one boardgame costs, which many times is about one battle. Here is a link to the game:



Robert

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