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Old 10th June 2007, 9:21 AM   #1
Joe 98 Thread Starter
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Default SSG's Battlefront! My mini review

The look and feel of the game is quite similar to some of SSG’s previous games, namely:

The Ardennes Offensive
Korsun Pocket
Battles in Normandy
Battles in Italy.

…….however the game is quite different and there have been important improvements and changes.

Scale
The scale of the game has changed. Previously each unit represented a regiment. Each unit now represents a battalion and each hex a kilometre.

The first screen shot shows units of the 101st Airborne advancing in Market Garden





Air support and artillery

In this game air support and artillery can directly attack units and eliminate steps. Obviously you use these to soften up an enemy before an assault.

It properly shows that air and artillery superiority can affect a battle. Note, there are limits built in so that you cannot destroy a full strength unit.






Above is a German unit taking on the 82nd Airborne. It has been targeted by artillery of the 82nd. Note that if the unit is not dug in you need to bowl a 3 or better to destroy a step. If the unit is dug in you need to bowl a 3 or better TWICE in order to destroy a step. In other words the odds change from 4/6 to 16/36 which equates as: 24/36 to 16/36. It’s worth digging in!




Off Map Areas (“OMA”)

Traditionally in wargaming, both players know when and where units are due to enter the map and this knowledge has an effect on each players strategy.

The use of OMA means units are no longer tied to entering a map at a certain time and place. Instead, the player directs his units to enter the map at a various places (within limits). Now the opponent, has little idea where the reinforcements will enter the map!

On top of this, you can, within limits, remove troops from the map to the OMA and then have then re-enter the map at a different place. This makes it even more difficult for your opponent!

In a traditional wargame, you get to know a particular scenario and learn there are 3 or 4 strategies you can try. Once you have tried them against your favourite opponents, you will have “played out” the scenario.

With the OMA’s there are now a dozen strategies you can try! The chess-like nature of wargaming has been eliminated!





I have clicked on area 7. Note that areas 5 and 6 have both lit up and the remaining 9 areas are dark.

I have a choice. It is now turn “A”. I can allocate the units of area 5 to enter the map via the gold blue and green hexes. In which case they will arrive on turn “B”.

Or alternatively I can move the units to areas 5 or 6. Then on turn “B” allocate them to their respective gold blue and green hexes and they enter the map on turn “C”.

In some scenarios they can be allocated to quite a few of the off screen areas making it a real headache for the opponent!





Headquarters

The previous games had supply sources and supply trucks. A unit was either in supply or out of supply.

Now there are 2 types of supply units. One for attack supply and one for defence supply. The defence supply unit supplies all friendly units within its range.

In traditional war gaming, successful units will attack and breakthrough and then attack and attack and attack each turn over and over and over again.

In real life of course the advance needs to halt to allow the supplies to catch up.

It is the attack supply HQ that is new. The attack supply unit can unit can only provide attack supply to the units of it’s own regiment. It cannot provide supply at the same pace the units can attack so ultimately the regiment runs out of attack supply and the advance must halt.

If a unit is outside the radius of it’s regimental attack supply, the unit can still attack. But it will run out of supply very quickly.

The result is, an offensive cannot go on and on indefinitely as it sometimes does in wargames. It’s a great feature!

See screen shot of an artillery unit. Note the top gold row is it’s “attack” row and there are 4 bullets. The lower blue row is it’s “defense” row and it has 4 jerry cans.

Of the 4 bullets, 2 are green. This means it uses 2 bullets in each attack.







Now see it’s HQ unit. Note the green row has only 1 bullet. This means it only gives out one bullet per turn. As a result during an assault, the unit will run out of attack supply at the end of turn 3. It cannot fire again until turn 5. If it does not fire again after turn 3 it will be turn 7 before the attack supply is at full strength. This is a great feature!





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Old 18th June 2007, 11:13 PM   #2
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Old 11th July 2007, 8:04 PM   #3
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Tell me about SSG. Are they related to SSI at all?????

http://www.the-underdogs.info/company.php?id=385
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Old 12th July 2007, 12:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Subcommandante View Post
Tell me about SSG. Are they related to SSI at all?????

http://www.the-underdogs.info/company.php?id=385
No, not really. SSG was started by 2 Aussies guys, Trout and Keating. SSI was a US based company (although I believe Trout and Keating both worked in the US and I think they coded something for SSI). I played their first ever game (Reach For The Stars) and also competed in Australias first 'lan meet' wargame match at a canberra AD&D convention circa '84.. we didnt actually 'lan' but hot seated on 2 borrowed computers. As there was only 4 of us the 2 computers were sufficient.
SSG were renowned for hardcore grognard style games coded in machine code (as opposed to basic) and were at the forefront of tactical AI during the 80s. Definitely more advanced than SSI in that area. I still have most of these games, but no Apple ][e to play them on, so I use an Apple Emulator once a year to relive the glory days...

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