Wargame: European Escalation - 100% Casualties

With the imminent release of Eugen System's Airland battle I've been revisiting the fictional war in Europe on a daily basis for the past week.  I've been gaming and reading through my dusty copies of Team Yankee, The Third World War and Red Storm Rising.  I have always been interested in the Cold War and fascinated (though very grateful it did not happen) by the what if possibilities of a Warsaw Pact v. NATO conflict.

I like the European Escalation game and I am sure I will like Airland battle.  I have noticed that units in the EE version of the game are too good in combat though. In a smaller scenario yesterday I decided to keep track of the units I initially deployed.  After 20 minutes I claimed victory as the NATO player but suffered 100% casualties among my front line troops (only my command helicopter made it and it sat grounded far to the rear).  I even took precautions against this, sending  damaged tank destroyers and tanks packing for repair in the rear  only to have them gunned down by Soviet helicopter gunships that menaced the battlefield. My 2nd and 3rd wave reinforcements ended up winning the battle for me.

The Pact forces were a little too good and thankfully my guys were even better.  That's fine as it goes but that's what makes this game a clickfest as someone recently commented to me vs. a simulation of combat on the plains of Germany.  I have no doubt after thinking about the massive batteries of deadly artillery that would be used by both sides, helicopter gunships and waves of tanks that whole units would have been obliterated in a conflict like this, but I don't think that would be the norm.  And it is the norm for this game.  The roads away from the front should be littered with broken troops and damaged vehicles falling back.  It's that little bit of realism I think, that would add in a very positive way to a game that already has you thinking about real world problems like supply and repair.

Like I said, I love the game but continuing to suffer 100% casualties in scenario after scenario can get old.


Fatih Baş said…
I agree 100% with you Chris. This clickfest nature of the game is a major put off for serious wargamers. Still play it from time to time to have bit of an action though. Most of the time I can't get the time to supply my units or use my artillery, let alone follow all the engagements on the map; because all I do is to smash in the reinforcement panel with endless clicks and throw whatever reinforcement I get on the enemy.

On the other hand, I look forward to Airland Battle. I loved the air strikes in World in Conflict. Napalms, bunker busters and all that. The air units in Airland Battle screenshots look promising. Also this new urban combat system where you have to fight block for block sounds very good.(I don't have an ide how it would play out though.)

I hope they add some more elements for realism in the sequel. So that we can actually follow what's going on on the battlefield.
Doug Miller said…
Have you guys seen that there's a new Flashpoint: Germany game coming out, called Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm? The new Matrix forum is here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=1197

Nowhere near as pretty as EE or Airland Battle (which I'm sure I'll buy and play), but it promises to be a very respectable NATO/Pact game.
Fatih Baş said…
Yes, I saw that. I enjoyed Flashpoint: Germany. Will definitely get this one as well.
Chris said…
Hi Fatih and Doug. I have high hopes for Airland also so hopefully it lives up to our expectations. I've pre-ordered it on Steam and taken a peek at the multi-player beta but only in a private room without an opponent. It did give me a chance though to play around with the air units and bomb some land targets. The new Danish, Norwegian units look neat. Fatih I totally agree about the speed of the game.

As for Flashpoint: Red Storm I am eager to read more about it also and will probably get it.