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Wars Across the World: Spain 1936 by Strategiae Avalon Digital  I had reviewed the base game and its ...

Wars Across the World: Spain 1936 by Strategiae and Avalon Digital Wars Across the World: Spain 1936 by Strategiae and Avalon Digital

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Wars Across the World: Spain 1936



Avalon Digital

 I had reviewed the base game and its scenarios (link will be at the bottom), and I was very impressed with some things about the game. This is the one game where you can play battles from ancient times to nowadays. Scenario designing across such a huge swath of time is a pretty huge undertaking. In games like these, we are used to some scenarios being great whereas some are not so. It is so much in the hands of the designer of the scenario. The one thing that I was not really impressed with in the game was the AI on several of the scenarios I played. I had been assured after the review that work was continually being made on the AI. So I was asked if I wanted to review the scenario Spain 1936. Instead of just a battle, this will be the entire Spanish Civil War. So, if the AI was going to stumble, this was a perfect scenario to test it on. Let us see how much, if any, it has improved and how good WAW does on a large war scenario.

 A quick synopsis of the war is that the Nationalists (Fascist) are fighting the Republicans (Communist, Republicans, and Anarchists etc.). Neither side has a real government at the start and they are both starting from scratch. Both sides do have parts of the Spanish Army, but the Nationalists have a leg up on the Republicans because of Franco's Spanish Moroccan veterans. These will be flown in from Spanish Morocco by JU 52s (Auntie Jus or Iron Annies). Speaking of which, the Spanish Civil War was used as the test bed of almost everything military in World War II. The Nationalists had the support of both Mussolini and Hitler, hence the JU 52s. The Republicans were supplied mostly by the Soviet Union, although they did get recruits from around the globe, along with some very well known authors. Enough of the history, let us go back to the game.

 As I had mentioned, there is a bit of anarchy on both sides in the beginning. The Country is split up into chunks of territory belonging to both sides. Playing as either side, you have to decide which areas you definitely want to keep control of and which you can let go. You are not going to be able to keep it all. Playing as the Republicans, you have to keep the coast so that you can get your supplies from the Soviets. I forgot to mention that the Spanish navy is also split between the two sides. So there is a naval component to the game.

 The game is turn based with area control and movement. It is not a card driven game, but it is augmented by cards that each player has. Some of them can be real game changers, and others just increase odds in battle or movement or some of your forces. The game is not just an Axis and Allies clone and is much deeper than it would seem at first. The rulebook is 116 pages long, so that should give you some idea. The scenarios do not seem 'cookie cutter' in that a tank is just an elephant in the 20th century battles etc. Play is fast and the somewhat small amount of forces (compared to a monster game) enables you to play maybe two scenarios in a gaming session. The price of most of the scenarios is $2.99, with a few larger ones being $4.99. Spain 1936 is the most expensive at $7.99. So you can see a little will go a long way. I was remiss in my first review and did not mention a free scenario about Innsmouth in 1928. Being an alumnus of Miskatonic University, I don't know how I missed it.

 Call me impressed, the game's AI seems to have come a long way, or perhaps just a ton of work was put into this scenario. The AI seems to be much more aware of itself and also of your moves. When I played before, in some scenarios it seemed that the AI was totally oblivious to your moves and its imminent danger. I will be honest and say I played mostly as the Republicans and not very much as the Nationalists. The Republicans are really the underdogs here and I almost always play the underdogs in games. So the scenario is by far the best I have played. I will need to revisit the ones I played earlier and see how much improved they are. There has also been made available a free download of a scenario editor that comes with some preset battles in it. You can now change what you want, and even create your own if you are so inclined. Thank you Strategiae and Avalon Digital for letting me review this very good add on to your game.

My review of Wars Across the World: