WWII Grand Strategy Buyer’s Guide
Commander – Europe at War
Summary: Newly released. Fast, easy-to-learn game play. Historic accuracy takes a back seat to fun, but overall feel of the war is there. Great casual play enjoyable by all.
Publisher: Matrix Games
Scope: The war in Europe including Russia, North Africa and Atlantic.
Players: Two player, Germany and Italy vs. the US, UK and Soviets
Multiplayer: Hot seat or PBEM
Game Play: Turn based, you-go-I-go, each turn is 20 days of real time. Player moves one unit, conducts combat with immediate results, and then moves next unit.
Map: Hex based, spans US east coast to Caspian Sea, each hex about 50km
Units: Abstract unit types called corps. Infantry, motor infantry, armor, destroyer, sub, carrier, battleship, fighter, tactical and strategic bomber. Historic leaders can be assigned. Units gain experience. Only one unit per hex.
Combat: Each unit can attack after its move, and allowed to advance one hex upon push-back of enemy. Armored break-through possible. Results modified by, terrain, leadership, unit experience, capability and readiness. Units lose effectiveness if they can’t trace supply to source.
Strategic War: Lend lease convoys can be intercepted by submarines and defended by destroyers. Strategic bombers reduce production of cities.
Diplomacy: Can only declare war.
Economy: Simplified production based on controlled cities. Units can be purchased and take 1 – 6 turns to produce. Damaged units can be repaired. Oil needed for mechanized units. Production can be increased through research.
Technology: Research in key areas of infantry, armor, air, naval and general, increase unit capabilities. Unit upgrades must be purchased. Unit graphics change to reflect upgrades.
Events: Scripted Italy, US and Soviet entry.
Scenarios: Full war from 1939, or 41, 42, 43 or 44 start.
Atmosphere: Osprey publishing provides high quality unit and leader graphics. Clean good looking interface. Sound adds to experience.
Mod Support: Minimal. Unit factors, terrain effects and leaders can be tweaked by editing script files. No editor.
Realism: Overall interactions at the grand strategic level feel right, but the details sacrifice realism for game play.
Other points: Newly Released. SSI’s OOP title Panzer General was reportedly inspiration for this title.
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