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Grigsby’s War in the East

June 29th, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 15 Comments · Matrix, Wargames, WW2

Yeah, it will take forever to finish a game, but still looking forward to it.


15 Comments so far ↓

  • Scott

    Looks like a great “stranded on a desert island” game.

  • George (Stuttgart)

    Hi there,

    quote: The German-Soviet War 1941-1945

    hm, I am a german guy, and I can say that I have some reservations, issues with that specific topic of a war game. There were atrocious war crimes during the german-soviet war, they were almost everywhere, every day… you could argue every war has war crimes, even during D-Day invasion… but from my understandig of 41-45 eastern front was different. How can they make a game, an abstraction of the events and ignoring day to day war crimes…. to put it provocative: you do not play a game about auschwitz… you should not take 41-45 out of context … what do you think?


  • spelk

    Since the game is an abstraction of the war in that period, then it doesn’t have to factor into play any atrocities or emotional content, it depends I suppose on whether the object is to play out using a tile game mechanism the conflict, or whether it is to appreciate the human cost of the war. I suspect the goal of the game is the former.

    Any period of conflict will always have its specific moral atrocities, some more than others, but since wargaming is more about recreating a sense of command, and pitting your abilities against AI or human opponents, rather than pondering over the “day to day war crimes” I think its as suitable theatre of war for a game as any other.

  • George (Stuttgart)

    to have a wargame where you push the buttons, where you simulate command and ignore historical context… I mean, that looks kind of infantile to me. What is the point of such a war strategy game for a day-to-day gamer? What can I benefit from? I am kind of confused here (I just don’t get it to pretend to play the germans and to know what almost each commander did during that campaign )…

  • moromete

    This is not about personal ideologies, actions and crimes but about tactics and strategy. A historical game does not in any way seek to judge just to simulate…

  • Victor

    Hi George,

    I feel your comment as mine; we have developed a wargame in the same WWII context. And I have to admit I had this concern; I am indirectly promoting the war? Of course our intention was far away from that, like Relic with CoH and another hundreds of products. In wargaming we are looking to master a mechanic, as chess players, moving from one to another historical context. It is true like Fantasy/Role players or a Shooter/Violent game there is a risk to jump into the dark side and forget what you say: “the context”. Classify games by that “politically correct” point of view could bring a negative morbid approach and I do not know any other game community with so good acknowledge of what war means in term of victims and dangers. But as you said it is always required pointed that to be aware and to make the difference between play and do the war, excluding from the gamer’s community all of them that try to use it for others not so honest political approach.

  • salwon

    Also, it’s not like this is the first time the Eastern Front has been modeled in a game – Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin covers 41-45 in the east on the company-battalion scale.

    You have a point though, in that these games bring about a huge fundamental problem with wargaming: making entertainment out of something that is inherently awful. This is especially true about the East Front, which gets fetishized by people who love tank battles and completely ignore the horrible crimes committed by both sides.

    But like Moromete said, the point here is to simulate a very specific aspect of those years. Chances are very good civilians won’t be modeled in any way, so there is no opening in the game for the kinds of atrocities that took place.

  • spelk

    The flipside is that games like this, will draw in strategists and other gamers, and they could use their interest in the game itself to pursue the historical background behind that game, and hopefully take in a lot more about the human consequences. I know games like AGEOD’s American Civil War ang Sid Meier’s Gettysburg have fuelled my enthusiasm for finding a lot more out about the American Civil War. I’ve a number of informational DVD’s and books about it, as well as having attended local re-enactments here.

    In fact delving into different historical periods of conflict and then having the opportunity to “play” (or explore) inside that era, regardless of the level of abstraction is a big motivational factor for me.

  • Dave

    I’d like to commend Grigsby and company for their restraint: division-level and one-week turns is a Godsend; knowing him, I really feared he’d give us a company-level, hourly representation! ;-)

  • George

    I think that I feel very, very uncomfortable to play the German forces during 41-45 especially on the eastern front, because whenever your troops march by a village you know what that meant: all male people shot, jews selected and killed. To come to an end: if I had to choose, I probably would play the red army

    I did not want to offend the creators or the customers, but playing a strategy game on the eastern front is at least problematic … but I don’t know how to solve that problem. Talking about simulation: I am also not sure what you are simulating there. Certainly not reality.


  • salwon

    The Red Army wasn’t exactly a group of saints…

    There’s also this ridiculous notion among wargamers that the Wermacht was a pristine institution, and that all the bad stuff happened after they left. That’s not true in the slightest, but it helps people play games like this.

    You bring up a good point, but I have to ask: how familiar are you with hardcore strategy/wargames? Games like the one in the OP have been around forever, it’s refreshing to hear the opinion of someone new to the subject.

  • JonathanStrange

    I game mostly because I enjoy planning and history. I like assessing a situation, coming up with a plan, and watching how it plays out .

    Yet, I think some historical settings and situations are still too recent or too controversial for many people to accept. Somehow the obscurity of the subject, the ancientness of the event, and the weapons used make most wargames more acceptable to the general public.

    Few people object to the portrayal of the Carthaginians, the treatment of the peasants by the Pharoahs, or to games that feature the violent death by sword, arrow and spear of thousands. Yet I imagine their plight was just as terrible to them as any 20th century WW2 participant.

  • George

    I am very interessted in history and games. So I like to read manuals, play tutorials of some strategy games. I have Hearts od Iron II, Civ IV, Sim City IV, Rise of Nations, Alpha Centaury, Birth of America, Combat Mission and Second Manassas, Waterloo. Usally I don’t get to play them more than a couple of hours , because I read more books and have a family :-), but as a concept I am very interested in strategy games (that’s why I love the podcast and Flash of Steel).

    WWII Strategy games are fascinating and horrifying experiences to me at the same time…


  • Scott R. Krol

    I remember how shocking it was when a friend used to host exchange students and when we played Third Reich the student from Germany would not play Germany!! What do they teach them over there?

    George, you should be proud of your country’s military heritage, especially since with Kriegspiel you could say the Germans (Prussians) invented wargames! Yes, bad things happen in war but wargames aren’t about those things.

  • George

    :-) actually I am proud of Beethoven, Mozart, Einstein and Kafka. hm… Kafka was not German, but he wrote in german…

    thanks anyway…