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Operation Babarossa Released

September 10th, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 10 Comments · Matrix, Wargames, WW2

Yet another war game I don’t have time for.

Operation Barbarossa: The Struggle For Russia is probably as uncreative a name as you can imagine, but how many options are there? I like the range of campaigns, scenarios and tutorials they promise – including a tutorial specifically on the use of paratroops, something that is never quite intuitive in a lot of wargames. Not sold on the appearance of the game – hexes in 3D never really look right to me.

Anyone who has bought it and played it is welcome to praise or condemn it in the comments. It looks like this is Binary Evolution Studios’ first game.


10 Comments so far ↓

  • Nate

    Interesting, it seems like they might be trying to emulate the look and feel of the old Panzer General games.

  • LintMan

    I haven’t played it, but from the screenshots, the 3D-with-hexes looks good to me. It looks like you can adjust the view angle so you can see more of the board (or presumably adjust it to more directly overhead). Seems like a nice feature.

  • Dave

    It *would* be an interesting emulation of Panzer General, if there weren’t already a bunch of recent emulations of Panzer General– Commander: Europe at War immediately comes to mind.

    Alas, I’m the worst of all possible grognards: someone who loves pretty graphics but HATES 3D units. NATO symbol icons are always more useful, and if done right, can include plenty of more useful pieces of information.

    But those kids, they get scared at anything that doesn’t look like a toy.

    I guess that’s what I’ve never understood. You’re asking a casual beer-and-pretzels gamer to learn about combined arms tactics, military strategy, relative unit strengths, weapons performance, and the course of history, but Lord help you if you ever try to make them use a freakin’ NATO symbol.


  • Michael A.

    It’s interesting to see that the Panzer General “style” game has been making a come-back in recent years. Strategic Command has been around for a while, of course, but then the Commander series and Fantasy Wars came along and now this.

    I wonder if it’s a smart trend. The PG game mechanics have some nice features (particularly in its most refined form – IMO – Fantasy General); but most of its genius lay in it being a simple wargame that was able to appeal to both grognards and non-grognards alike.

    Are the PG mechanics interesting enough as a stand-alone system in the long run, though?

  • Tom Grant

    Ugh. I hate this UI. Why replace a simple top-down view of the map, which lets you read the situation easily, with a visually cluttered, 3-D representation? And what’s the point of even having the option of tilting to different angles?

    I think this UI is based on a serious misreading of the target audience. People who want a good, historically accurate simulation don’t need eye candy. And people who just want “WWII as it was in the movies” probably don’t care about “150 different units featuring all important historical weapon systems with up to 23 different characteristics.”

  • Rob "Xemu" Fermier

    I picked this up at least as much to support hex-based wargames and fledgling developers as anything else. The core game is very unpolished, which is a shame — they seem like they have some decent gameplay. But you have to work to get it, and the UI is full of minor annoyances and things just not quite working right.

  • Bruce

    I don’t understand what any of this has to do with Kanye West and Taylor Swift. Priorities, people.

  • Bruce

    I’m also not a big fan of hex games with 3D units – I just don’t see the point. I do recall, though, talking to John Tiller a long time ago and being told that HPS felt that such a large percentage of their customers played their games in 3D mode that it would be impossible not to ship games with that option. So maybe Binary Evolution Studios feels that way as well.

  • spelk

    I thought making 3d units was to broaden the appeal of the game to more players who are now graphically accustomed to having gloriously animated 3d representations of their toy soldiers. If you limit it to 2d or NATO symbols you might also constrict your market into even more niche wargamer territory, whereas with some candy on display, you can perhaps coax broader strategy gamers into the wargamer arena? Perhaps.

  • spelk

    Thinking about it, in fact doesn’t R.U.S.E use a 3d modelled metal unit figurine for its zoomed out perspective, and then when zoomed in you fully realise the extent of the 3d graphics engine. So even at a higher strategic level, unit representations by 3d figurines is becoming the norm in wargames, or at least wargames designed to appeal to a wider market than just the grognards. R.U.S.E. is a bit real time though, not turn based or hex based.