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Red2112

Wargames

95 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Might as well start a thread with regards to wargames, be it digital or board games.  

 

I´ll start off with a recent one in my library...

 

DVG Phantom Leader for PC.  Based on the original boardgame, and the solitaire "Leader" series of which DVG is famous for, this addition is for PC or iOS.  A faithful adaptation of the original boardgame to PC/iOS at a fraction of the cost.  As I have the "Gato Leader" box set, this one was a easy pick.  It´s working for me on Windows 10 except for the online rules which don´t show up, but you do have help baloons on screen if needed. You can download the rules on PDF from the Phantom Leader Deluxe product page.  Downside is you can´t change resolution but in this case/type it´s not that important.  Might put up a video some day...

 

DVG Solitaire digital games

 

Phantom Leader rules set

 

The smell of napalm in the morning...

 

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Edited by Red2112
added second video

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Here is a wargame that I have played been obsessed with lately. Note: I originally intended this to be simply an explanation of the game. It has since morphed into a sort of hybrid general summary/AAR.

 

Desperate Glory: Last Stand at the Little Bighorn

 

Desperate Glory, by Jeff Lapkoff of digital Gameworks, is a user-friendly wargame with a very shallow learning curve focusing on the Battle of the Little Bighorn. You, as the player, can select to play as either the 7th Cavalry, or as the Sioux-Cheyenne Warriors, with the option to fight against either an AI opponent, or a human opponent via PBEM. You can also decide to let the AI duke it out, if that is your thing. ;)

 

59875cf2c7d2e_DesperateGlory1.thumb.jpg.befa8e984d5127da144a6e80cbf8072c.jpg

 

There are a myriad of options for the 7th Cavalry for common "what-if" scenarios, ranging from the plausible (Custer attacks with a united 7th Cavalry) to the outright fanciful (the 7th Cavalry is equipped with Henry Repeating Rifles and Gatling Guns.) Sioux-Cheyenne options at first appear to be not quite as interesting, with the option to choose the number of warriors available (from 500 to 2000 in 500 man increments) the percentage of types of firearms available, the general level of readiness, and the ammunition level. However, you can create some pretty interesting and deadly combinations; these options also work well to tailor your difficulty level. 

 

Of note is the AI Style: I have played with these settings, and they don't seem to make a difference in my games. Perhaps this is because I always favor a very aggressive style of play, so I just don't notice the AI attempting to reduce its losses...

 

59875e26e4fb3_DesperateGlory2.thumb.jpg.9df09439b7d73c984464314dcc47c6a9.jpg

 

The game itself is quite sleek and attractive, and is definitely Jeff Lapkoff's best designed game. There are three zoom levels: a close-up which gives you additional information about each unit on the counter, the default zoom level (pictured) which gives a good mix of detail and situational awareness, and the final level which gives a view of the entire battlefield. I use the default zoom about 95% of the time, with the close zoom about 5% when I want a close up view of the action. As with most wargames, you can manually control each unit, or you can give commands per Battalion and let the AI do the work for you. I usually control each unit manually, which manages to not have a feeling of excessive micro-management due to the scale. 

 

59875f284c783_DesperateGlory3.thumb.jpg.4ab51157669492bdc070ffe0880b8a9b.jpg

 

Information is presented in an easy-to-read format in the action log, and in the unit information on the lower right. As you will notice, the fatigue level has increased to 25% based on me ordering my units to charge into the Sioux-Cheyenne camp with pistols at the ready (the 7th Cavalry didn't bring their sabers to the battle.) As the fatigue level increases, your units will find their movement rate decreased. At 100%, your units might only be able to move 2-3 hexes! Each turn spent in melee increases the fatigue level by 25%; each turn out of melee decreases it by 25%. As a commander, I try to keep this level between 50% to 75% to maximize maneuverability with the lethality of melee. 

 

59876600d8826_DesperateGlory4.thumb.jpg.6ec677ee8a0228bd5e7b347d5cc5b6b1.jpg

 

The 7th Cavalry also has access to a pack train used to replenish ammunition. I generally find that I am able to achieve success without requiring it (more on this later.) The picture above shows the close-zoom. 

 

5987668e0b9df_DesperateGlory5.thumb.jpg.0bbc109e0934f4f13cb9b73d2825ecdb.jpg

 

The Sioux-Cheyenne warbands gradually activate based on their level of readiness. With a high-level of readiness selected, you will on average see a greater number of warbands activate per turn. In this case, I was lucky with only four warbands activating. Unfortunately, one of those is Chief Gall, who is an elite leader-unit that will cause serious issues for Major Reno's command. Of note is the horses; if you send a Cavalry unit to disperse them, any warband within four hexes that activates starts as dismounted. 

 

598768bf2d297_DesperateGlory6.thumb.jpg.f6f797993c5fdb25b523f4111e55981c.jpg

 

An Order of Battle is present for both the 7th Cavalry and the Sioux-Cheyenne, allowing you to get an in-depth look at your units...

 

5987693cb6d5c_DesperateGlory7.thumb.jpg.fe094db26fb89b6df9908746eefb8719.jpg

 

Or you can use the Battle Report to get a broad look at the status of your command, and the strength of the enemy. MAJ Reno has taken some light losses, but has managed to attrite the Sioux-Cheyenne's total manpower by around 9%. 

 

59876a436744d_DesperateGlory8.thumb.jpg.3cd31840fb4096324549ae27a69658d8.jpg

 

Desperate Glory also lets you know when important units have been destroyed. In this case, I managed to mass MAJ Reno's command on Chief Gall, killing him with my Indian Scouts. In real life, Bloody Knife, Custer's favorite Indian Scout, had sworn vengeance on Chief Gall after he had attack him and left him to die. In this alternate history, it looks like he had his revenge!

 

(In the actual battle, Bloody Knife was shot in the head, his brains splattering on MAJ Reno. This caused MAJ Reno to panic, leading to his command being massacred. Legend has it that after the battle, Bloody Knife's nieces, who failed to recognize their uncle, severed his head and placed it upon a pike, before presenting it to their mother, Bloody Knife's sister. This led her to exclaim in shock "Gall has killed him at last!" Certainly, a gruesome spectacle.) 

 

59876f0485e86_DesperateGlory9.thumb.jpg.5e2bcf42ec1de762b36d3f23ecc3129b.jpg

 

At this point in the battle, MAJ Reno's command is locked in melee with the Hunkpapa, and has taken 20% casualties with more expected. However, CPT Benteen will be able to relieve his formation in about 1-2 turns. LTC Custer, meanwhile, has charged into the camp via the Medicine Tail Ford, and is engaging the Blackfoot tribe in melee. If this continues, the 7th Cavalry will be able to encircle half of the camp. 

 

59877b151be37_DesperateGlory10.thumb.jpg.9f8961ebc485077c6c6385c106dba417.jpg

 

At this point in the battle, victory is almost assured. As CPT Benteen's command charged forward, MAJ Reno formed his tired formation into a skirmisher line to rest. LTC Custer divided his command in half, with one part being sent to assist CPT Benteen's advance, while LTC Custer took the remainder to attack the enemy warbands in the rear area. 

 

59877c4864ca3_DesperateGlory11.thumb.jpg.a0cdb932b05f5d6a168bd72cd0d5efc6.jpg

 

As the Sioux-Cheyenne camp roared to life (13x Warbands activated in one turn!), all semblance of orderly ranks was lost in the 7th Cavalry, as multiple throats, all cracked and dry from the dust and heat, yelled "Charge!" The 7th Cavalry, fully unleashed, shot, bludgeoned, or trampled anything any anyone not wearing a US Cavalry uniform. Men, women, and children all fell to the wide-scale slaughter.

 

Sitting Bull stared sadly at the spectacle before him. As a mass of Sioux-Cheyenne began fleeing the camp, he quietly declared "Our fight is over." 

 

59877d910edbe_DesperateGlory12.thumb.jpg.cac2ca786d1b50fc8de1d96aad801a53.jpg

 

LTC Custer wiped the sweat from his brow as he surveyed the scene before him. He had lost 67 members of the 7th Cavalry; roughly 10% of his force. MAJ Reno's command was hit hardest, suffering 21% losses. CPT Benteen reported that he had lost 5% of his Troops, with Custer realizing that he was sitting at a similar percentage. That being said, his force had defeated a numerically superior force, one that he would learn later had forced BG Crook to withdraw his entire column but a few days ago. For Custer, this would be another feather in his cap. For the Sioux-Cheyenne, this was the beginning of the end for their way of life...

 

Closing Thoughts (in no particular order):

 

- This is a fairly simple, quick playing wargame that is quite fun. I can generally complete a game in approximately 30-45 minutes. I generally use this to unwind after a long day at work. 

 

- Most of the concepts are straightforward, and will be familiar to anyone who has ever played a wargame. That being said, the manual is well written and explains everything quite well. It also includes some backstory on the events leading up the the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and has some biographies of the major players in the battle. For some reason, Chief Gall's bio is notably absent. 

 

- When playing as the Sioux-Cheyenne, the 7th Cavalry AI ALWAYS follows a historical pattern of movement for MAJ Reno and CPT Benteen. In every game I have played, MAJ Reno begins his retreat to Reno Hill on turn 2, and CPT Benteen's forces bumble down Indian Trail into an encirclement. LTC Custer's command is really the only one that I have found to deviate; I have seen him conduct an attack into the center of the camp via Medicine Tail Ford, withdraw and attempt to link-up with MAJ Reno on Reno Hill, or fight a last stand on Last Stand Hill. 

 

- There is a special victory condition for the 7th Cavalry where getting the Sioux-Cheyenne morale to below 50% forces them to withdraw, granting you a victory. This is what happened in the above AAR. I really wish this was an option that could be unchecked; I have never lost as the 7th Cavalry due to this victory condition. 

 

- I would imagine that this game could be a lot of fun via PBEM. If anyone decides to get a copy of this game, let me know. 

 

- There is a demo for this game available here: http://digitalgameworks.com/index.php/desperate-glory/ The demo ends on Turn 7, or "right when things get interesting." 

 

- Rock Paper Shotgun did a brief article on this game, although I can tell from the way it was written that the author only played the demo. Eerily, he has some of the same thoughts as I did when playing this (ie, it would be nice if the game included the Battle of the Rosebud). https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2016/04/01/the-flare-path-sitting-bull-hovering-hind/#more-357367

 

- Finally, the game costs $19.95, with the delivery of the unlock code being via e-mail. Jeff seems to only send these out on normal business days. In a world of instant digital distribution, this may seem like an eternity to some. 

 

I have had a lot of fun with this game, and would recommend it immediately if it only cost $10 or even $15. I have no regrets buying it, but $19.95 for a wargame that only simulates one battle might be a little steep for some. I recommend trying the demo, and if you find that you keep replaying it over and over, then buy the game. I'll put out a video on this after I leave the USA's biggest cul-de-sac. :D

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Can´t go throught it all (read it) as Iam off to sleep, gota wake-up at 5am...

 

But, just wanted to say that Jeff has also worked with Scott Hamilton (Point of Attack 2), I knew the name rang a bell B|

http://www.hpssims.com/pages/about us/Jeff_Lapkoff/Jeff_Lapkoff.htm

 

Iam in the middle of some gameplay with "Gettysburg The Tides Turn", also a one battle game but at about $10.  Still a great game and inovating design from Shenandoah Studios/Matrix Games...

http://grogheads.com/aars/15860

 

Steam:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/602510/Gettysburg_The_Tide_Turns/

 

 

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More news...

 

I really like this system, ASL sort of!  I have "Heroes of Stalingrad" for PC from LnL/Matrix and PnP "Island Wars Deluxe".

 

 

 

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For all you GOG users, you can get Deadlight Directors Cut for free for a limited time so hurry up!

 

Easy to play survival zombi killer...

https://www.gog.com/

 

 

 

I seem to be having these type of games chase me lately!  I recently bought for me and my girlfriend The Wild 8, another survival game that you can play up to 8 players on MP or solo.  It´s a "Lost" meets "The Long Dark" in top view and on the hardcore side, I died 3-4 times at start!   It´s quite addicting! :P

 

 

 

While Iam at it, might as well show all you Star Trek fans what I found yesterday...

 

Stage 9 is a free fan made project to rebuild the Enterprise D in all its glory!  Free download for 32-64 bit and even VR...

 

Stage 9 UK Home page and download:

http://stage-9.co.uk/

 

 

Have fun Trekheads! :D

 

Care,

 

Red

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My go at Phantom Leader PC, and my first victory with the game :)

 

 

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Got my copy of BGD yesterday with my Matrix Games anniversary cupon (48% off).  Quite alot of fun it is!  First episode and tutorial...

 

 

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3 hours ago, Hedgehog said:

Keep this thread going :)

 

Yes, thank you! Glad you find it useful and/or entertaining!

 

I plan another gameplay soon, Iam just on the fence with two games that are on sale till the 21st on Humble Bundle...

 

Decisive Campaigns Case Blue:

DC: Case Blue  (50% off)

 

Decisive Camapigns Barbarrosa:

DC: Barbarrosa (40% off)

 

Both are at a operational level and by the makers of Advance Tactics.  One of the cool things about this series is that there´s a role-playing element to them, where you have to make decisions which can change the outcome of the campaign.  The daubt I have with DC Barbarrosa is that it´s a huge map, and that Army Group South kind of has a hard time!!! :D

 

Both are quite historical and the OOB´s seem to be accurate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Care,

 

Red

 

Edited by Red2112

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Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa is quite a unique Wargame, and certainly worth a play. That being said, it is very much geared towards playing as the Germans, with the Soviet side playing more like a traditional wargame, where the German campaign focuses more on being a "Franz Halder Simulator." The in-game tutorial videos are done by the game's creator and are quite good. It doesn't have as much depth as something like Gary Grigsby's War in the East, and the method of ordering your units to attack is a bit strange (select the enemy unit, then press A) but it is the most unique take on the Eastern Front I have ever played. 

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Thank you Mirzayev for your thoughs on DC Barbarrosa!  I agree the series is quite different overall with regards to other Wargame mechanics, it´s one of the reasons I went for it, other is that I already have GG´s War in the West so I was looking for a change here.  I also still have to read a book I got last Christmas, "Operation Barbarrosa" by Christer Bergström, so that will complement nicely with the gameplay.  It´s not the only book that still needs reading unfortunately, ahh time is a bummer, I fall asleep to fast lately! :D

 

The new community scenarios look real good too, so I look forward to getting into some of those aswell.  I do have "Advance Tactics Gold" (same dev) also, so I new I was going to like this series.

 

If anybody wants to jump in, it´s still on sale till the 21st at 40% off, see above link.

 

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Just found this little turn-based tactical space gem called Concealed Intent by Jarrah Technology.  A one man dev team with good intent, which has implemented in a good way stealth mechanics, the use of fleet´s and other strategy game candy to a space tactical turn-based game.  One of it´s weak spot´s is it´s story line in the campaign, but the playability, skirmish mode and multiplayer make up for a boring story.  I just finished the tutorial and find the game very enjoyable, being it turn-based makes it easy to relax and plan/play the game.  At the sale price that it´s on at Humble Bundle (67% off - €4.94), it´s quite worth the try :)

 

Humble Bundle (4 day´s left on sale):

Concealed Intent

 

Home site:

https://www.jarrahtechnology.com/games/

 

Steam:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/374150/Concealed_Intent/

 

 

 

Care,

 

Red

 

 

Edited by Red2112

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Yet another hardcore Wargame simulation :)

 

Battle Command by HSC (Historical Software Corporation), seems to be a ambitious project in the works with high potential in many aspects, among others are training, multiplayer and versatile tools for scenario creation.  Willl have to keep an eye on this one!  To bad the payment method is "Bitcoin" or I would have already downloaded this to my HD :D

 

HSC Battle Command:

http://www.historicalsoftware.com/

 

Videos:

http://www.historicalsoftware.com/index.php/videos/

 

Care,

 

Red

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After making the post involving Desperate Glory, I wrote to Jeff about the following complaint that I had with the game:

 

On 8/6/2017 at 2:59 PM, Mirzayev said:

- There is a special victory condition for the 7th Cavalry where getting the Sioux-Cheyenne morale to below 50% forces them to withdraw, granting you a victory. This is what happened in the above AAR. I really wish this was an option that could be unchecked; I have never lost as the 7th Cavalry due to this victory condition. 

 

I received a response a few days later, that stated the following:

 

Mirzayev,

First, thanks! Appreciate it.

Yes... being a single battle game, I wanted to not only cover some 'What
If's' but also add some replay value to the game. With some of the
options available, 'victory' can become more a matter of not being
destroyed! But I agree with you that the hard-coded trigger of 50%
morale on the Sioux-Cheyenne is too black and white. I can make that a
variable option.

 

So let me add these to the to-do list and see what I can come up with.
I've got a couple projects in the works currently, but I should be able
to get these in within a few weeks.

 

As of the 18th of this month, Desperate Glory has been updated to version 1.10, with the ability to now adjust the Sioux-Cheyenne's morale breaking point. Honestly, I am very impressed with Mr. Lapkoff's relationship with his customers! I will definitely have to try the variable morale option in the future, and see how that affects future battles. :D

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Very nice!!! It´s great to have that feedback from a dev, not only that but to also get results!  I understand his posture regarding his decision though, it´s quite difficult to balance historical with replay and/or playability altogether.  Something similar happens with DC: Barbarrosa were Hilter is unable to decide what to do in the first week´s with "Army Group South" (historicaly), so as the German player you have a hard time on your first turns against Russia/south map.

 

In this case, from the dev of DC: Barbarrosa...

 

Replicating historical results is challenging. There were more factors at play than straight military match-ups. 

The problem with Barbarossa is the period immediately after the Battle of Smolensk. The Germans had exceeded all expectations and fully expected, in line with their pre-invasion plan, to have defeated the Red Army as an ongoing concern at this point. Game over. They had, in short, come to the end of their plan and were confused as to what to do next. 

Hitler spent the next five or six weeks flip flopping around until he evenutally figured out what to do - drive directly towards Moscow. To be fair to Adolf, the High Command was also split on a course of action and there were some serious logistical constraints hampering an immediate push onto Moscow. 

If the game was to reflect historical results it would have to enforce a similar period where the player's ability to take effective military action, eg. keep going straight for whatever objective they were aiming for, would be seriously constrained. 

Nobody would want that. 

Instead the early game is made a bit tougher than it may have been historically but offsetting this the Player isn't forced to spend 5/6 weeks with their finger up their bum wondering what to do next. Overall I'd score the game signficantly easier for Germans than it was at the time. 

That's a subjective opinion but it's based on the fact that the Germans can, and often do, succeed in the game. A top line German player will win more often than a Soviet one. It's not easy to do so but keep in mind that Germany was at the peak of it's powers when it invaded Russia and for all it's might and ability the best it could do was take ground. It didn't come close to destroying the Red Army, it's industrial capability or the rear area resistance or the will of it's people. 

 

--

It's an issue with any wargame that recreates an historical battle. Whenever there are significant factors involved that go beyond the straight military match-ups on the ground, eg. pretty much every conflict that ever there was, you run into the same problem. 

You could easily recreate the circumstances on the day but you'd end up with a straightjacket game that has very little scope for any outcome other than the strictly historical one. If you loosen the paramters somewhat to gain a measure of replayability from a game you're going to have non-historical outcomes as part of the mix. As mentioned above, the parameters that you probably want to fiddle with are the ones that are the intangible ones, like Hitler's indecision at a critical moment in Barbarossa. 

It's a balancing act with no perfect answer. 

 

--

None of this is black and white. There is a judgement call that is made to tweak the game in one direction or another. It's going to be contentious no matter which way I go. 

From a commerical point of view, it's a call that is going to go, all other things being equal, in the direction of offending the least number of people possible. 

This is a very small niche market and designing the game to deliberately constrain a player's freedom of action for a dozen turns in order to correctly model Hitler's indecision would only ensure that even fewer people bought the game. Making historical wargames isn't, sadly, the path to fame and fortune. 

If I take my designer's hat off for a moment, however, I can sympathise with your point of view. The reason you buy these type of games is for historical realism and anything that takes away from that is going to grate.

 

Funny how they both used the same sentence "None of this is black or white", must be a dev thing :D




 

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I just wrote about that in an internal email. Yes, it's a developer thing.

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Not certain how many of you own a PS4 but Star Trek Bridge Crew is jaw dropping. It only plays with the VFR and the investment is pricey but it’s completey immersive. Just starting to get to the combat aspect and of course it doesn’t fall into the traditional “wargame” genre but the VR experience is something that has to be experienced to be believed. I was doubtful of VR at first but not anymore. 

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