[messages] [Opponents Wanted] Turning Point: Stalingrad & Breakout: Normandy

Gryff ml_berlin at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 22 15:53:22 CEST 2018


Well, there are other games in the series, but not all are 'real'
area-impulse games or really thrilling. They probably were neccessary as
'development steps'. For example, Thunder at Cassino. Boring as hell,
from today's perspective, because you can move ALL your units any turn,
which was state of the art when the game was published. TP:S was a
revolution, because it was the first wargame that implemented a new
level: Which is the most important move , NOW ?! Because, you don't know
if there will be another impulse this turn! Also, the combat/disruption
system, were attacking units, must pause for 2-4 days, unless they
achieve an overrun, really changed the strategic approach to the game
design, compared to all predecessors. The Russians are literally trading
lives for time.
The pressure of a possible breakthrough, the chess-like playing style
and the freedom of choice makes TP:S the most thrilling game of the
series. I just have played for several months a BK:N as PBEM, for the
first time in 10 years, and was surprised how 'scripted' it felt.

In BK:N all air and naval bombardments doesn't count as impulses, that
are 4 impulses, the Allied player can buy extra impulses with the vast
amount of unused supplies, the 'fighting area' is much smaller, less
areas need to be activated, so practically all units can be used every
turn. While there is still 'timing'( it is smarter to bombard first and
attack with ground units afterwards), it never really comes to the
uncertainty the TP:S players have to face, if they will still have
enough impulses to conclude their plans.
And as if that was not enough 'pressure relieve' in BK:N already, now
ALL units can move one area for free( and keep their ready status) in
regrouping phase at the end of the day.
This completely eliminates the most enjoyable and remarkable parts of
TP:S, the 'decision-making' and 'which action/move is most
important,now!?'.

There have always been criticism about some game design decisions in
TP:S not being historical , like that the German artillery can only
attack after 4 days again.
First of all, I am a player. I have been very interested in history
since I was a child, but I give a shit on historical accurateness if
that leads to a boring game. 
After the initial bombardment, the German player can use their
artilleries only once(in the 1st week), so you plan ahead and want to
spent them with the most possible impact. But in BK:N, the Allied player
bombards 4 times every turn ...
While historically correct, for the gameplay it results in: No 'hard
decisions' must be made, unlike TP:S.
The Allies had the air superiority in the Normandy like the Germans in
Stalingrad, but in BK:N the Germans can't move more than one area on a
clear day(5 out of 7) without being attacked automatically( possibly
flipped or disrupted1), while the Russians are not hindered in their
movement at all.
Again, the BK:N rule seems more historically correct( especially in that
scenario and scale), but the effect on gameplay is devastating.

I have played Storm over Arnhem only once, and that was after I had
played TP:S, and I remember only that I was bored, because it was
missing the key elements that made TP:S so exciting.
Storm over Arnhem and Thunder at Cassino are like Checkers, TP:S -
Chess, BK:N like Checkers for ASL-players, strategically limited, but
even if you played all games of the series and had no problems with
those rules( as me), you will curse the ones from BK:N. YOU WILL ! 
:mrgreen: 
Easily, the worst written AH- rules of all times!

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