Europe Commander at War my mini review

Discussion in 'PC Games' started by Joe 98, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. Joe 98

    Joe 98 Member

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    Mini review - Commander Europe at War


    The game is a grand strategic game covering the war in Europe

    The European war lasted 2,026 days, covered millions of square miles, included millions of soldiers, millions of tactical decisions, thousands of operational decisions and hundreds of strategic decisions.

    In the full scenario this is distilled down to 100 turns Ultimately the great strength of this game is that it is simple.

    .

    The shortest scenario is the 1944 scenario and takes about 16 turns.

    To play a turn varies but can take 15 - 30 mins to play depending on the no. of troops on the map.

    To compare the map to the famous game, Avalon Hill's Rise and Decline of the Third Reich, ("3R")here are some figures:

    Hexes from Berlin to Paris: CEaW: 30 3R: 9
    Hexes from Berlin to Rome: CEaW:26 3R: 13
    Hexes from Berlin to Moscow: CEaW: 37 3R: 16

    And so the map is about double the size.

    There are 3 levels of zoom.
    Zoomed way out
    Medium zoom
    Zoomed right in


    Screen1 shows a portion of the map zoomed way out

    [​IMG]

    There are 6 scenarios:

    1939 scenario - starts 1 Sept 1939
    1940 scenario - starts 10 April 1940
    1941 scenario - starts 22 June 1941
    1942 scenario - starts 30 April 1942
    1943 scenario - starts 4 July 1943
    1944 scenario - starts 6 June 1944

    As for the ending date of each scenario, you make a choice before you begin. Either you choose May 1945 or else you choose "when the enemy is defeated" which means the war can continue into 1946.

    Screen2 shows the situation in Poland on 1 Sept 1939.
    This is the medium view

    [​IMG]


    Screen 3 shows the zoomed in view.

    [​IMG]


    Personally I prefer to play with "counters". Screen4 shows the zoomed in view with counters.

    [​IMG]


    Note that all these screens are from the Germans point of view and Fog of War is "OFF" for the benefit of the reader.


    The game is simple. There are only 4 types of ground units as seen in screen5

    [​IMG]


    Screen6 shows the 3 types of air units

    [​IMG]



    As you have probably worked out, tactical bombers attack ground units. Thye can be intercepted by fighters and thye counter intercepted by fighters. Surviving tactical bombers get through and soften up the enemy. And then the ground trops attack.

    Screen7 shows the 5 types of naval units.

    [​IMG]



    The game opens with the invasion of Poland. Note that the set up is the same each time. The player does not set up the troops at the start of any scenario.

    Screen8 shows a typical unit attributes screen.

    [​IMG]



    From left to right they are:
    Attack value
    Defense value
    Shock attack value
    Shock defense value
    Air attack value
    Naval attack value
    Sub attack value
    Strategic attack value
    Quality
    Survivability
    It can or cannot be transporrted by rail this turn
    It can or cannot be transported by ship this turn




    These attributes are important because now we are going to move to the laboratory ("lab").

    Screen9 shows a typical lab screen. This is the UK screen at the beginning of the war. Note a few things.

    [​IMG]



    - at this point the UK is limited to a maximum of 6 labs. This varies from one country to another and increases as the war continues.
    - there are 5 areas of research
    - any one area can have a number of labs. You are not forced to spread them evenly
    - the UK starts the scenario with only 23 points and a lab costs 20 points. At this time defending the UK is more important than buying labs. But of you put off the labs too long German technology will outstrip the UK in every area and the UK troops in combat are doomed!

    Lets look at the infantry research. There are 3 types of research
    Artillery
    Fixed defenses
    Anti Tank guns

    Screen10, screen11 and screen12 show, at each level of technology, which units receive benefit and exactly which attribute is improved at the various levels of technology. With this information you can be very specific which labs you buy so as to achieve your strategic goals.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Production points

    To wage the war you need production points. Each major city on the map is worth a number of points. Capture the city and you receive the points at the start of the next turn.

    Screen13 shows the value of a selection of places on the map.

    [​IMG]



    The game has strategic bombers. The strategic bombers can attack ground units but their best use is to attack enemy cities worth points. When they do this they reduce the points value of the town and the opponent begins the next turn with fewer points. Strategic bombers can be intercepted by fighters.

    The US sends production points across the sea, by naval transport, to the UK and Russia. These convoys can be intercepted by German surface raiders, submarines and aircraft.

    OIL Reserves
    The games records your use of oil. Each country begins with some oil. The capture of all cities provides production points but some of them also provide oil.

    Every time you use a unit it uses up some oil. In the late part of the war Germany runs low on oil and must be careful when and where counterattacks are made.

    Manpower
    The game records your use of Manpower. Each country begins with a number of men. As your man power runs down each country can still purchase troops however their quality declines rapidly.

    Screen14 shows the Germans Manpower and Oil reserves as certain dates:

    1 Sept 1939
    30 April 1942
    6 June 1944

    [​IMG]



    Fluid movement.
    The game's great strength is that it is simple. And movement is fluid. This makes for a great game.



    Flaws
    The Italians and Germans share graphics when it comes to some equipment in the purchase screen and the the unit attributes screen

    The UK, French and the US share graphics when it comes to some equipment in the purchase screen and the the unit attrubutes screen

    The result is it gives the game a bad name in the eyes of wargamers. But it has no effect on the gameplay. A B17 with the graphic of a Blenhiem bomber still has the attributes of a B17


    No undo button. This is a design decision to stop cheating. The lab and purchase screens should have undo buttons

    No security for a PBEM game

    No replay for a PBEM game.

    The US sends lend lease to the UK and the USSR. The players have no say into how many points are sent nor what route the convoys follow

    The player cannot vary the set up at the start of a scenario.

    There are no "mid war" scenarios such as 1939 - 1941 or 1941 - 1943.

    The Battle of the Atlantic can be reproduced but it is impossible to strangle England's lifeline because the German subs are sitting ducks after they make an attack.
    -
     
  2. Annihilator69

    Annihilator69 Member

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    Pretty in depth review.

    So I'm going to assume this game has a steep learning curve?

    But once you learn it its all good and fun yeah?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Joe 98

    Joe 98 Member

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    No, its not a steep learning curve. The game is very simple.

    But it represents a very complex time.

    -
     
  4. R3Dl2ULZ

    R3Dl2ULZ Member

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    nice review :thumbup:

    it looks like a VERY advanced version of that Risk board game.

    i like the look of it.
     
  5. Nobby

    Nobby Member

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    Joe98 can you get this game through Steam or some such? Demos? I reckon my dad would like this.
     
  6. zed_kid

    zed_kid Member

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    this game sounds sweet, is it out now?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Joe 98

    Joe 98 Member

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  8. dandel26

    dandel26 Member

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    Good Review.
    Personally i think the game looks crap. I'm a big fan of Grand strategy's especially ww2 ones. The best one I've played is Hearts of Iron 2 and its expansions: Doomsday and Armageddon.

    Whilst the problem with grand strategy's is their learning curve, this is also one of their biggest assets, as the complexity of the game results in player having a longer and more for filling gaming experience. In my opinion the more complex the game, the better it is.
     
  9. TwoSmokes

    TwoSmokes Member

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    Great review, not my cup of tea though.

    Cheers.
     

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