Monday, March 4, 2019

Want vs. Have Time For: A tale of two Eastern Front games

This is the wargame I want:

Gary Grigsby's War in the East

It tracks down to the man, the gun, and the afv.

You have to deal with supply. Command radius. Chains of command. Conversion of rails from German to Soviet gauge. Positioning of air forces.

Units are tracked for morale, fatigue, equipment. You can break them down into regiment sized formations or build them back up.

All of this put together by one of the masters of computer wargaming, Gary Grigsby. He hooked me in hard with Kamfgruppe back when I was a teen.

Even a four-part three-turn playthrough of a very small scenario - the encirclement of the Russian forces north of the Pripet marshes and the taking of Minsk - involves more than an hour with someone sliding through the UI and decisions like a pro.

Imagine taking the whole of Operation Barbarossa from June 22nd, 1941 until completion.

I'd be in heaven . . . if I had that kind of time. I really don't, these days. Not that I had $80 to spend on a game when I was younger, but man, I'd have been consumed with this game in my teens or college days. These days? No. But this is the game that I want.

This is the wargame I probably need:

Drive on Moscow

Turn-based, but phases turns back and forth. You have to pick and choose what you run.

Units are based on abstract strength levels.

Control is by zones, not hexes.

Air power is abstracted.

The whole thing seems like it would take less time than a single turn of War in the East.

This is what I have time for.

I may end up getting it, next time it's on sale (and after I've finished my current project.) But it's not, deep down, what I want. It's what I have time for.

There is a metaphor or a deeper meaning or something in here, but really, it's also just as I say - what I want I don't have time for.


  1. Personally I recommend the Operational Art of War IV. It has grand scenarios that can be played a little here and a little there but still has a wealth detail to dig into.

    1. I'll take a look - it sounds pretty good, but in my heart I really do want to play out the Eastern front in extreme detail . . .


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