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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

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

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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 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

Battle of Korsun by Yobowargames  Let us set the scene. It is 1944, and there is a German group of troops in an expose...

Battle for Korsun by Yobowargames Battle for Korsun by Yobowargames

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

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Battle of Korsun

by

Yobowargames





 Let us set the scene. It is 1944, and there is a German group of troops in an exposed position in Russia. The Russians are smelling blood, and intend to cut off a large group of Germans. The 1st and 2nd Ukrainian Fronts were tasked with cutting off an exposed group of German soldiers that were part of Army Group South. The whole debacle was engineered by Hitler's refusal to ever voluntarily give up a yard of ground in Russia, even if it meant whole armies would be sent to Siberia. By 1944, the Russians couldn't have had a better ally than him. Your job as the German player is to get out of Dodge. As the Russian player you are tasked with bagging the entire German force.

 So, let us now look at the game. First, it is a turn-based strategy game with each turn equal to one day. The version I played was on a PC on Steam, however, you can also play it on a MAC, IOS or Android. You can play only as the German player if you want to play against an AI. You can also play by email or hotseat. Now, back to the AI. It plays brutally with a capital 'B'. The Russian AI gets the first move against your forces in the western part of the map. When I say move, it is a euphemism for the destruction and devouring of your units. The AI also will go for the jugular and try for as deep a penetration as they can with their armor units. Your first look at the map after the Russian turn as the Germans will probably tempt you to end the game and shut down the computer. Just like Ronco, just wait there's more. After you try and move your forces away from the Russian tide, you will notice that you cannot move any of your units on the Eastern side of the map (unless you read the rules). So you have to endure a second bloodletting, usually as bad as the first. So, after two Russian moves your tattered forces are left to try and defend themselves and keep a line of supply open to the Southern part of the map. I have never juggled chainsaws, but I have seen it done and the task given you is almost as hard. Lance Craner is the person behind the game and he should either be congratulated or put away in a locked room. His sadistic tendencies toward we helpless gamers should not be overlooked by other game companies or the authorities. 


First Bloodletting


 The game is simple. There are no air units, and no supply to worry about, other than the German side keeping an open one to the South. The only real addition to the game is the effect of weather on movement, and it is just as deadly as the combat. Unless you want to play the Germans as salmon swimming upstream in molasses, KEEP YOUR UNITS NEAR ROADS. I also suggest that you keep whatever fetish you have around the house close at hand, be it a rabbit's foot or whatever.

 I have to apologize to Yobowargames. I did not like this game at first. No, I will rephrase this, I loathed it. I actually thought to myself after losing the second time, that I would rather go to the dentist than play this again. At least he has good meds, even if they do wear off. So, I did not play the game again for a long time. I was actually going to pay them for the review copy and be done with it. I finally forced myself to fire it up again. Did I enjoy playing as the Germans? No I still don't enjoy it because I am not a masochist. However, I can now appreciate the work and give kudos to how historically real this game is. In reality, some German units did make it out, but pretty much with only the clothes on their backs. The game truly represents the terrible position that the Germans were forced into.

 The game also has some other things up its sleeve. It is so simple that it is a great way to introduce newbs into the hobby. The game itself goes for $15 US on Steam, so it is also easy on the wallet. While you are there check out Yobowargames first game 'Kursk - Battle at Prochorovka'. They also have a tactical World War II game that is going to go into early access soon: 'Valor & Victory'.

Robert

Reynard  By Hyper Fox Studios There's one thing I love about indie games, they delve into the world of old school graphics and a...

Reynard Reynard

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

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Reynard By Hyper Fox Studios



There's one thing I love about indie games, they delve into the world of old school graphics and aren't defined by the stunningly realistic mainstream games that we are all used to in this modern age. Reynard will give you a nostalgic trip back to the past with it's 32-bit game style and Legend of Zelda feel, this RPG/Dungeon Crawler isn't one to miss out on. 

You play as a little fox and when you first start the game you're greeted by his friend Hammlet who helps you through the tutorial (he's is a pig if you haven't already noticed the pun in the name) and he helps you find the ropes with his sarcastic but lovable dialogue. After you complete the tutorial at the start, Hammlet's wife Prascilla is kidnapped and all he seemingly wants you to do is go and save her, as every time you talk to him this is all he mentions. 




This game is filled with little secrets from the developers of the game. A lot of RPGs do this quite subtly by using a 4th wall break, however the developers and all of the team at Hyper Fox Studios decided to do it in a simple way. They placed a book inside your characters house, that is filled with the developers names, kind of like the credits at the end of the game, but this is a charming way to do it and it's great for RPG fans who love to roam around finding easter eggs or finding hidden secrets that have nothing to do with the story. 

The dungeon crawler aspect of this indie title is pretty much the same as most games with a similar sort of story and mechanics. However using the keyboard to move and shoot enemies with your arrows can be quite tricky if you haven't got the timing right, as they tend to come at you quite fast and it's easy to die in the dungeon if you're not paying attention.
There's plenty of things for you to destroy in the dungeon besides enemies, you can destroy pots (this reminded me of The Legend of Zelda a lot) which then reveal health items or other items you might find useful on your travels.





The music in this game is almost hypnotic, it's quite relaxing which is ironic considering it's all about searching dungeons, however it still fits in with the game completely. It can get a little tedious at times when it's played on a loop but it's a great soundtrack for the game nevertheless.

You really have to learn some tactics in the dungeons because sometimes when you go into the next room it can be filled with monsters and other times there's none at all (from the dungeons i've encountered in the game, it's filled with giant rats who just want to kill you). I find it funny the main character is a fox, because it's this cute little animal going off to save other animals/creatures. However, he's so distinctive in his role and you don't see very many 32 bit style dungeon crawlers with the main character being a fox, it just feels right. 

If you're someone who loves collecting, searching continuously, or is just a fan of RPGs then this is the game for you. Reynard is available to buy now on Steam.








      GGWITW coming to Steam 3rd August !!   We are pleased to announce that one of the most acclaimed wargames on the Western ...

GGWITW coming to Steam!! GGWITW coming to Steam!!

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

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We are pleased to announce that one of the most acclaimed wargames on the Western Front of World War II, Gary Grigsby's War in the West, is going to be released on Steam on August the 3rd!

Starting with the Summer 1943 invasions of Sicily and Italy and proceeding through the invasion of France and the drive into Germany, War in the West brings you all the Allied campaigns in Western Europe and the capability to re-fight the Western Front according to your plan.

On August the 3rd you will also be able to purchase the expansion "Operation Torch", that introduces 10 new challenging scenarios, including both historical and what-if operations like the "Battle for Tunisia", the "Operation Dragoon" and the "Breach of the Gothic Line".

The Seven Years War by Oliver Keppelmueller  Once again we find ourselves trudging through the snowy landscape with ...

Seven Years War by Seven Years War by

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

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by


Oliver Keppelmueller





 Once again we find ourselves trudging through the snowy landscape with Prussian grenadiers. Old Fritz is in front, in his old clothes, with a few days of meals spattered on them.

 This game is absolutely amazing in that is a one man labor of love. The fact that one person coded this whole game is almost unbelievable, and he should be given kudos just for this. The game tries to do one better on a 'Total War' game by being historically accurate. Most games this ambitious have a multitude of programmers working on them, whilst little old Keppelmueller toils on alone. Let us see if the game is a stupendous victory or a stunning defeat.

 Just like the aforementioned series, this is a strategic and a tactical game. I was going to say wargame, but it is much more than that. It has wargame elements for sure, but it also has country building. It is almost as if the 'Europa Universalis' series and a 'Total War' game had an offspring. The games is much more to the simulation side than just a game of the Seven Years war. 

 The game was released in late 2015and has been continually updated since then. There have also been two DLCs released for it: a 'Battle Pack' which we will look at momentarily, and 'The Pomeranian War'. The author had some help and the Pomeranian war was actually done by llja Varha. In reality, the Pomeranian War did not include much actual fighting. It was Sweden's attempt to win back some of its Baltic possessions on the cheap, while Frederick was fighting for Prussia's existence. The PW DLC adds the chance to play the campaign as Sweden and possibly try and win back your Baltic empire. The PW also adds the following:


- new playable nation: Sweden
- 5 new campaign scenarios for Sweden, where you may attempt to lead the nation from 1750 all the way through the war, or go for historical goals in the two major operations of the war. Or maybe even restore the empire of the era of great power, ”stormaktstiden”, lost in the Great Northern War...
- two new national policies: Naval invasion preparations and mercantilism
- new nation specific historic events and march music for Sweden
- revised and expanded roster of Swedish military units
- bonus scenario for the French, with historical strategic goal of invading Britain in 1759


 The following pics are form the start of the battle of Kolin from the Austrian side.


 The battles are in 2 or 3D. You can zoom in and out with the mouse scroll. The troops in 3D do not equal an AAA release, but again this was one man's game. The actual battlefields and especially the topography is very good. The AI in the battles is good as far as going after the victory points. The only failing I have seen is that the AI uses it's troops non-historically. More than a few times the AI has charged uphill with cavalry at my Austrians who are steady in line and fresh. It appears that the AI uses its infantry and cavalry interchangeably. Charging into the fray with whichever is at hand. With the battle pack DLC you also received the ability to create your own battles. This in itself gives a big boost to the game and it's replay ability. Hopefully some modders will use this feature to create more battles and maybe some from different wars. I may still get to play a computer game as DeSaxe. The battle pack gives you these historical battles:



 The victor in battle is not just decided by casualties inflicted or taken, but also relies on victory points on the map. You either have to keep control of or capture them. You can see that North America is not only represented in the choice of battles, but also plays a large part in the campaign games, especially if you are playing England or France.

 Just as in other games like this, I tend to play the historical battles, and they are a game in themselves. I am not really a big fan of sandbox wars or battles, to me it usually leads to too many non-historical things happening. Of course to the sandbox aficionado, this is meat and potatoes. So the game has parts that will suit you, whatever your appetite.

 The full campaign game is more like a thesis for a doctorate in economics. The campaign game is so intricate that the game really does need a tutorial that holds your hand while getting the hang of it. There is documentation, and YouTube has a bunch of videos on it, but the average gamer might be put off trying to learn how to use the different nation building functions. It is a bit of a shame, because Mr. K has put a lot of work into it, and it is well worth the extra time to learn the campaign game's ins and outs. For those of us who are not into nation building we can just hand this off to our AI ministers, and continue with our wars. The campaign games are different for each nation and are as follows:









 In the 1750 campaign you are free to try and use any political or military strategy you can dream up before war breaks out. Prussia's need for Silesia and Austria's burning desire to have it returned will cause war to break out at sometime. Then when you add in the colonial policies of England and France you will see the world sitting on a tinderbox in the 1750s.

 The game as a whole is a diamond in the rough. It is uncanny that it is the work of one man, but it still could use some polish on the UI, for example. Mr. Keppelmuller has been continually working on his opus for a while now. I see no reason not to purchase the game with its DLC and be awed by its continued development. Of course, he is working on a sequel of the War of the Austrian Succession (hint, hint, nudge, nudge).


Robert


Game: Seven Years War
Developer: Oliver Keppelmueller





                             Waterloo Scourge of war review  Waterloo: the holy grail of Napoleonic wargames, at least to most. It does ...

Waterloo Scourge of War Review Waterloo Scourge of War Review

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

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                             Waterloo Scourge of war review



 Waterloo: the holy grail of Napoleonic wargames, at least to most. It does have one thing in its favor - it was a " near run thing". To me it has been done to death, but sales run any business and Lutzen does not sell wargames, but Waterloo does. Much like that tired old horse of WWII games, the Bulge.

 Those new to wargames shouldn't fear firing it up.The game builds slowly scenario by scenario and makes it so the new player is not overwhelmed at first. It does not make the player suffer from piles or an upset stomach or the other myriads of ailments that have been suggested as having afflicted Napoleon on that June day.

 It is a realtime strategy game, but don't confuse it with Command and Conquer. You can pause the game and set it to any speed you want.

 It has the usual Matrix or Steam install, simple and easy to use. Like it's elder siblings, Scourge of war Gettysburg and Take Command Second Manassas, it has many different scenarios and levels of difficulty to help the new player or hurt the older one.

 Even if you are used to playing the older games, take the time to read the well done manual and play the tutorial. Enough has changed, for the better, that it will make your gaming time more enjoyable.

 Visually, it is beautiful for a wargame.  Of course, it's not on a par with some FPS games, but that is to be expected. I am a Napoleonic fan , but not enough to know the difference in an 1805 or 1813 Bavarian shako etc. so I will leave that to the real aficionados.

 The sound effects are very well done. The cannons and even flags in the wind are represented. The music is also well chosen and pleasing to the ear.

 There are three full option screens for the visuals etc.. More than enough for the newer top of the line computers or older more seasoned veterans.

 The Levels are as follows: Untrained, Militia, Normal, Seasoned, Veteran, Historical, and Grognard. The latter two are only available as part of HITS, headquarters in the saddle, mode. This mode only allows you to see exactly what the commander you are representing would be able to see.

 It comes with twenty preset scenarios. With the "sandbox" option and the ability to add user made scenarios, it is a game that one could easily pick to be your only game on a desert isle. Feel the need to take La Haye Sainte or march to Brussels with the Old guard (it was actually the Middle guard), then here is your chance.

 The AI opponents are top notch, as is the AI for your subordinates. You're in luck with not having to deal with a dolt of a younger brother while trying to save your empire. Multiplayer can support up to thirty two players.

 If you have played the other games in the series you will still notice the odd "dance" at times of the units. You also may at times be unable to deploy them " just right". That being said, it is a command simulation and the way your troops are shown on the screen doesn't always correlate to the action of the program under the hood.

 The new strategic layer also brings a welcome addition to the game.

 NorbSoftDev, are to be thanked for going to the Napoleonic wars, and praised for the actual game.There is nothing to compare to it at the moment. I will be reviewing the soon the be released Quatre Bras expansion, when it is released.





Robert



Game: Scourge of war Waterloo
Developer: NorbSoftDev
Publisher Slitherine/Matrix games
Steam release date: 19/11/2015
Review date: 7/5/2016


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