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Serbia '14 by John Tiller Software    Serbien muß Sterb i en (Serbia must die), this was the jingo phr...

Serbia '14 by John Tiller Software Serbia '14 by John Tiller Software

Serbia '14 by John Tiller Software

Serbia '14 by John Tiller Software

Serbia '14


John Tiller Software

 Serbien muß Sterbien (Serbia must die), this was the jingo phrase the Austro-Hungarians used in 1914. Conrad von Hötzendorf, the head of the Austro-Hungarian Army was responsible for all of the calamities that his own army suffered. His plan in 1914 was to crush both Russia and Serbia almost at the same time. The AH 2nd Army was to help with the Serbian invasion and then jump on trains and become part of the invasion of Russia. In actuality it gave almost no help in the Serbian invasion, and then was too late to stem the Russian tide. The Serbian invasion was considered to be a walkover by the AH Army. Unfortunately for them, it was an unmitigated disaster. The next two attempts by AH to invade Serbia ended almost exactly the same way. It was not until late 1915, and then with German help, that Serbia was finally conquered. So this is the background for the game. This is what you get in your handy little megabyte package:

"28 stand alone scenarios, 4 campaigns to choose from, as well as 4 "Grand Campaign" scenarios designed to play with France '14 and East Prussia '14.

Battles include:

Mount Cer
Syrmia Offensive
Macva Peninsula
Mount Jagodnja
Serbian offensive in Bosnia
Mackov Kamen
Drina Stalemate
Romanja Planina
Kolubara (the full battle, as well as separate A-H and Serb offensive phase scenario)
1st Beograd
2nd Beograd (1915)
Pozarevac (1915)
Timok (1915)
Bulgarian invasion of Macedonia (1915)
Krivolak (1915)
Kragujevac (1915)
Kosturino (1915)

Campaign scenarios consist of:

The 1st Austro-Hungarian invasion of Serbia (102 turns)
The 2nd Austro-Hungarian invasion of Serbia, which includes a simultaneous Serbian invasion of Syrmia (131 turns)
The 3rd Austro-Hungarian invasion of Serbia (319 turns)
The massive 4th Austro-Hungarian and German invasion of Serbia (389 turns), which includes forces from Austro-Hungarian, German and Bulgarian forces against Serbian, Montenegrin, Russian, British and French forces.
A bonus small campaign/large battle scenario covering the ill fated Serbian invasion of Bosnia to "liberate" Sarajevo, which occurred between 2nd and 3rd Austro-Hungarian invasions of Serbia (278 turns)
Three Grand Campaign scenarios designed to be played along with Grand Campaigns scenarios for France '14 and East Prussia '14, which are intended to establish context and allow the player influence the outcome of the war across many different scenarios (102 to 389 turns)"

 Clicking on the pictures will enlarge them, and the info will be displayed in the upper left hand corner.

 There is not much to say about the above, except the usual exclamation used with a John Tiller game: Wow! With many games, board or computer, you would get one campaign to play out. The lists of them in a JT game is nearly endless.

 I am very late again with a review for a John Tiller Software game, but you have to realize it is all their fault. Oh, I could play a turn or two of the smallest scenario and say that I have played the game enough to do a review. Of course, I would be lying. Even though I have played the game a lot it still doesn't mean that I have even scratched the surface of it. When wargamers are looking to get the most bang for their buck, you could do no better than picking up any Tiller Software title. The other thing that Tiller Software does is lie. Look at this title, it says Serbia '14. So, you would think that you were getting only the battles and campaigns of 1914 in Serbia, when in actuality you are getting the entire campaigns and battles for Serbia until its fall. I again apologize for the lateness of the review, but please remember it is your fault not mine. 

 This is a blurb from JT about the game that lists other important things about the game:

"Game features include:

Game scale is 1 hex = 1 km, 1 turn = 2 hours, with battalion and company size units.
Scenario Editor allows players to customize the game and create new scenarios.
Sub-map feature allows the main map to be "chopped" up into smaller segments for custom scenario creation.
Multiple play options including play against the computer AI, Play by E-mail (PBEM), LAN & Internet "live" play, and two player hot seat.
Game engine changes that model the Montenegrin Army's irregular soldiers, Austro-Hungarian mountain troops, expiring objectives that put pressure on the attacker and allow the defender to fight a delaying action, river boats and monitors, and many other improvements.

A highly detailed Order of Battle, where the ethnic composition of every regiment in the Austro-Hungarian Army was researched to determine their unit quality."

  So we are always told that size does not matter. However, in computer wargaming that is just not the case. At all times, but especially now, we are looking to get the most for our money. This game is $39.95, as are pretty much all JT games. I dare anyone to find a better deal in the wargaming world. Now we will have to revisit the usual when talking about JT games. The cry from the wilderness will be, "but the AI is no good". Yes, twenty years ago the AI was less than stellar and it would have been relevant. That is far in the past and these games have "Come a long way Baby", for those of you who remember ads from the 1960s. If you are a player who plays one scenario to death over and over again you will find the cracks in the AI armor. However, if you have a life, you can easily play these games against the competent AI. As I have mentioned in other reviews, (some will be listed below), the player has the ability to edit almost everything he wants except the copyright. The knowledge that gets poured into JT games is only equaled by the time that they go through testing. So much goes into each JT game that I am tempted to believe they have a small army of monks, sworn to silence, that work into the wee hours each day toiling on these games. I am once again in debt to John Tiller Software for allowing me the privledge of reviewing one of their games. The only thing I could possible add, is if you have any interest in the campaigns for Serbia or World War I in general, please take a look at this game.

 If I sound like a parrot in my John Tiller Software reviews, I apologize. There is so much to talk about concerning these games it is hard to know where to start. I am also guilty of always trying to dispel the myth, at least to me, that these games have bad AIs. If I come over as a 'true believer' in my reviews, it is because I am precisely that.

This is a list of some of the extra files that come with the game:

"Designer Notes (PDF file)
Planning Map - 1st Invasion (PDF file)
Planning Map - 2nd Invasion (PDF file)
Planning Map - 3rd Invasion (PDF file)
Planning Map - 4th Invasion (PDF file)
Planning Map - Bosnia (PDF file)"

John Tiller Software:

Serbia '14:

Campaign Eylau-Friedland review:
Shenandoah Campaign review: