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Author Topic: Anglo-German War '39 - '45: By Scott Parrino  (Read 7006 times)

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Anglo-German War '39 - '45: By Scott Parrino
« on: May 28, 2016, 12:33:46 AM »


GrogHeads Reviews Schwerpunkt’s WWII in Europe
Published: 12 Jan 2006
Published by:Scott Parrino. Wargamer.com
Note: Pictures missing


Introduction

Anyone who followed the development of The Russo-German War, 1941-1945 over the years knows that outlets for grognards have been few and far between. The development of hex-based wargaming on the PC has been maddeningly slow. Schwerpunkt developed The Russo-German War and poured into it the devotion necessary, including constant patches (seven thus far) and has won a reputation as a very accessible developer with dedicated players within The Wargamer's forums. The result has been to make Russo-German War a successful title. Close on the heels of their Eastern Front game, Ron Dockal and Schwerpunkt announced the development of The Anglo-German War, 1939-1945, which was received eagerly by fans of the original title. It took a few years, but one thing a grog gamer can be assured of is that if Schwerpunkt took their time to create this, it would likely be done correctly.

The Anglo-German War, 1939-1945 is a hex-based wargame that covers the war in all of Europe, except for Russia, during the years specified in the title. There are forty-two scenarios in all, plus a large "AGW Campaign" that covers the entire war from start to finish. Even after all these years, I haven't played all of the Russian-German War scenarios; forty-two is a lot of gaming, and who knows how long it would take to go through the entire Anglo-German War campaign from start to finish ? the Russian 1941-45 full campaign was a bear in and of itself, and it was two years shorter than its Anglo-German counterpart.


Realism versus Playability

From a game developer?s perspective, it is difficult to balance realism and difficulty; usually more realism means more difficulty, and most gamers would probably agree that Anglo-German War, just from its appearance looks to be a nigh-impossible game to decipher. Those already familiar with Russo-German War know the basics well, but anyone approaching either game for the first time is going to probably feel overwhelmed with the detail. As a result, this is definitely not a game for a casual wargamer or someone not willing to invest many hours in order to get out of it what it has to offer.

The game's online reference card.

Detail aside, Anglo-German War is an approachable game once the player gets the hang of the interface. Without referring to the manual, Help files, or website tutorial, players jumping into this genre without any prior exposure are going to have a very tough time trying to intuitively figure out how things work. That said, once the manual has been read and/or the tutorial played, things will be much clearer. Anglo-German War really is not a difficult game to learn for people that haven't played Russo-German War; it just looks like it is. Ron's design notes, included in the Help file, indicate an interesting read in that the game is flexible enough to offer "what if" replayability, but is realistic enough to likely provide the same historical outcome if played along the same path.


Documentation

The documentation for this game is functional, if a bit bland, but they are very well organized and detailed. There were several misspellings in the game's Help file as well as the manual. There were also grammatical errors; for example, ?sortie? was spelled "sorty." While none of the errors will lead to critical misunderstandings of the game, the overall feel of the manual is that it was rushed into production and was something of an afterthought ? a stark comparison to the game itself.

The Afrika Korps at El Alamein.

The tutorial on Schwerpunkt's website looks like it may be a bit old since some of the commands do not match that of the game, but it is not anything that can't be easily figured out or overlooked. It covers the four-turn Scenario 7, which is the German invasion of Crete. There's a reference to an air unit that doesn't exist where the tutorial says it does, and there's what I think is a typo in telling the player which hex to click on, but otherwise it is functional and adequately lays out the basics that a player needs to know to rough their way through a game. The greater details can only be found within the manual, but the tutorial brings to the player's attention enough information to be able to get away with not referring to it for a short time.

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