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Three Wargames

July 29th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 3 Comments · Wargames

Last night, I finally got around to request review copies of three Matrix published games. I dabbled a bit in all of them today, so here are some first impressions, based on little more than some mucking about.

Gary Grigsby’s War Between the States – The tutorials are a step above click through slideshow stuff, but are actually quite helpful. So why not go whole hog instead of making me sit through video tutorials to learn what’s not covered? The separation of the game into orders and production phases keeps the game from getting too messy, and though there’s still a lot of UI work that could be done to improve things, it’s a fairly intuitive game. There aren’t too many numbers to track and there’s a manageable number of units. The map could use some more color. But so far, so good.

Panzer Command: Kharkov – So is Koios Works dead? Because they don’t seem to have a website any more. Too bad, because I loved their ancients Tin Soldiers games, and Panzer Command: Winter Storm was a nice Combat Mission clone. So is this. It still feels a little clunky, especially when compared to Theater of War. And the scenery doesn’t look too great, either. Designers are more concerned getting the tank barrel right than they are with making a tree look like a tree. But I can see myself spending a lot of time with this.

Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets – I spent the least time with this one, and what I saw doesn’t seem all that different from other SSG games. But there are supposed to be a lot of improvements and area activation things going on somewhere in here.

And I still need to give Birth of America II: Wars in America a proper testing. So I guess the summer doldrums don’t apply to this genre at the moment. At least not so far as my hours are concerned.


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