Never written a review before. I love WWII games - especially WAR IN RUSSIA. When I saw this advertised, I was a doubter. $80 for a game - too much? Saw this reduced over Christmas to $59 - I bought it.
Was concerned my minimum specs fell below the 128MB video card (have 96MB). Installation was a breeze, & was up & playing in just a few minutes. Started out playing about one hour/day. Then 3, then 5, & now I play at least 6 hours/day. I can't get enough - love this game. My wife hates me playing & lets me know everyday. I'm 58 & I now for the 1st time look forward to retiring - me & War in the East...oh yeah the wife too.
For the Eastern Front fan, there is no equal. This game is the true heir to the old monster Eastern Front games from the likes of the sadly defunct SPI. This games level of detail is amazing, from attaching Artillery Regiments to your units, to flying a myriad of different air missions in support of your troops.
The map is beautiful, and the game is extremely well supported by it's dedicated staff. If you are into Eastern Front games, look no further.... Gary Grigsbys War in the East has arrived!!
This game is one of the greatest wargames i have ever played period. It is so well documented and even the Wiking division and other historical divisions are here just like the historical records show. It is a far superior game to most and just flat out epic in scale. I had to really read up on the manual, which is sort of not even in the ballpark in explaining the vastness of the game but once you dive into it it gets better. it is hard to put down and the map is great also. It puts up a tremedous challenge, even when you think your pushing forward the Russians will pocket you and strike in locations to break your lines. Supply and your air power are very crucial in hitting their HQ's But you take massive casualties. The Russians take even more and the AI is ruthless! Most of the time i am trying to hold an objective to the brink of failure but somehow overcome all odds. Russia just seems to have unlimited resources and men. I can see what the Germans must have felt and the fear they must have had. this game is the all out Epitaph of the eastern front. It should be given the Frozen-Flesh award for best Wargame ever! The Smolensk scenario is so good i had to read a bit of my history to really grasp it. So great and I hope others make some great mods. For the price it is worth it. I was hesitant but now i see why. It is huge! I love the figures it gives after a battle down to the individual soldier and his division. Tells you everything about the units your pushing and they become special to you and gain unit morale and become more decorated as you progress. Still, I cannot even get to moscow yet! I,ll play this for a long time. Thanks!
I purchased this game with some trepidation simply because of the scale of it. I love WWII simulations and other games I've purchased from 2x3 but with working full time I did not want to spend 3 hours completing a turn. Happily, except for the first turn as the Germans the game moves at a good clip. There is an incredible amount of detail in the OOB and TOE for us purists. The interface is the best of any WWII simulation (love the hyperlinks) I've played.
The game has not crashed once in over 150 hours of play time and any bugs have been few and minor. Considering the games complexity that is astonishing.
The AI is exceptional as the Russians. It is a little weaker as the Germans so if playing the Russians I would start the 42 campaign so the Germans have more of a chance.
You won't miss micromanaging production or managing each tank in the panzer divisions. There are plenty of other areas to spend your time. The compromises between management and automation are well thought out. For example, the Germans have five RR repair units you control and dozens the computer controls. This lets you focus on the important railroads behind your armor columns while the computer takes care of connecting the rail network and repairing the spurs.
Finally, the game is visually stunning. The unit counters with their color coding and vast amounts of visual cues save hours not spent clicking and reviewing each unit to see what's going on. The ability to highlight units out of supply or see at a glance every unit with a Tiger tank is heaven.
I recommend this game to any wargamer or history buff.
In general, Mr Grigsby's game "War in the East" is a very good development of the old SPI boardgame with the same name. The game however suffers from some flaws.
First of all its interface feels "MS-DOS" and "War game 1990" with a lot of text and limited graphical overview. This however could have been accetable if the mechanisms of the game had been better. The game does not provide the players with a strategic overwiev. You simply get lost in all the columns of statistics and production figures. Futhermore, it is impossible to comprehend, the causality between your alteration of parameters and it's outcome. It is almost impossible to decide where the usage of an admin-point (admin-points are crucial) would be best spent - sacking a Corps commander, putting a unit in stacic or transferring a support-unit between HQs? Likewise is it hard to comprehend the production side of the game - since it is formulated in terms of individual items and numbers without an clear correlation to the unit's that you field. There is no simple method to correlate your current losses in - let's say tanks - with your production and by this get an alarm that you need to change your production priorites. Instead you drown in facts and statistics about various versions of the Bf 109 and the production filter not improving things much. On a game of this scale the issue of production must be set on a much higher level of abstraction. Another area that really would have gained much by beeing presented by graphics rather then by colums of figures is the supply situation, both on unit level and over all.
Second, the mechanism of the game with limited intelligence, which is both fun and well constructed, causes some strange effects. The most annoying would be that you can not regret your moves. This becomes particularly annoyning if you move your units the wrong order - let's say you have a unit stacked with a headquarter in EZOC. As you move the unit out, the remaining HQ automaticaly gets dislocated as it becomes alone in an EZOC. This mechanism is both silly and frustrating. The dislocation of frendly HQs in your own movement phase should of coarse be at the end of the movement phase (with an alert message). The principle applies to movement and stacking. The game defaults on selecting all units in a stack and that makes movement without the possibility to regret a hazzard.
Thrid, the random weather system seem to be based on some sort of Indian Monsoon weather scheme. There is 80% likeliness of a mud game turn in the Ukranie every summer (Jun-Aug). And I am not sure that the random generator is correctly configured, beacuse every game (five campaigns) I have played so far, both against the computer and human opponet, have produced on an average at least three summer turns with mud somewhere i Russia every summer. Futher more mud have the same effect in Germany and central Europe as is has in Russia. This might be correct if you are attacking from Russia but not the opposite. The central European road net is much more resiliant to bad weather than the 1939 Russian.
Forth, the system of conqure, elimination of enemy units and ZOC is peculiar and in my opinion a major flaw. If, for example the Germans completely surrounds either a unit or a town, both the unit and the population, once the hex is captured, the unit "teleports" to a Soviet HQ and the population to Soviet controlled town . The population evacuation system and the mechanisms for unit rout seems to breach the principle that game otherwise is built on, i.e. succssesive movement and action. The current mechanism makes it impossible to conduct an efficent "kessel-schalacht" in one game turn. You need to surround your opponent one game turn and kill them the next game turn if you want a "DE" result and not a "Teleport to HQ". Now, this could have been ok if the system of territorial control had been adjusted for this kind of playing. But, alas it is not. As attacker you gain control over territory by exterting an uncontested divisional ZOC as you move. You also gain control of hexes that enemy units occupy if you force the to retreat or rout. You don't have to enter the hex. Now, here comes the flaw, that hinders almost any enemy units form surrendering if you have a cunning human opponent. Since you do not gain control of territory in contested ZOC, that terrain remain in enemy hands. Now, if you force the unit that exerted that zoc to retreat you suddely gain control of that hex but - and here is the crucial point - not the other hexes that the very same unit and yours where the only ones to extert ZOC into. To retrive control of those hexes you now need to either move the victorious unit in and out of the same hex or move another divison into the attacking hex after the battle. Since there is no automatic advance after combat, the enemy in many cases can simply move back in to the lost hex and maintain control over the other hexes in his former ZOC. This makes it possible to maintain a number of friendly controled hexes (although enemy units are the only ones to extert ZOC into them) in an interlocking way that prevents your units from becoming isolated and subjects for surrender. This mechanism is a major flaw!
Finally, since supply is crucial for the Germans in 1941, the convertion of railroad is an imperative. But as german player you have a very limited control over this process. A number of construction units operate on the own, converting totally irrelevant railroad oarts. Even when you recall them, they return to the same sopt next game turn. Furthermore, the game research have missed the fact that Finland and Russia have the same railroad gauge, since the finnish railroad was bulit by the russians when Finland was a part of the Russian Empire.
In summary, high price with some significant flaws. I would not recommend it.
I am an avid reader of military history with a particular interest in Russia and the German-Russian conflict of 1941-45. Ironically, I read VICTORY WITHOUT GARLANDS over Christmas which posseted the theaory (and backed it up) that the German army "victored itself to death" before falling short at the gates of Moscow in 1941.
Well, playing War In The East really does allow you to experience the same sensation. Although a beginner I have slowly stepped up the scenarios from the pert 3-move trainer to The Road To Smolensk and played both as the Axis and Russian player. I must say that this game really does give you a feel for the vast scale, glory and logistical nightmare of war on the Eastern front. As the axis player you can scythe through and encircle endless Russian units and then there are more and more thrown at you which slowly denude the speed and power of your arnoured units. Then again, as the Russian player you have to work alchemy by allowing units to be chewed up and hope that you can reform and whistle up more manpower before the Teutons get to Moscow.
I have yet to master all the aspects of the game - sending factories back east etc. - which, actually, makes it an even more compelling experience. As the Russian player, you really feel as bewildered as Stalin and his General Staff must have felt when the hammer blows began to rain down. As the German player there is a feeling of exhilaration mixed with foreboding....
As for the controls he basic interface is easy to understand and the level of detail and information is amazing. It is also great to have to really think through strategy and an approach to how to capture - and defend - objectives to achieve the required victory points. The Smolensk scenario is a case in point with my first play as the Axis army falling flat even before Smolensk (never send panzers through a swamp in the south thinking that you are being canny...) whilst my second saw me capture the City within four turns. Now onto Moscow! As the Russian player I have to sacrifice territory for time and managed to put the brakes on a very aggressive AI opponent before the gates of Moscow.
As for the future, the main campaign awaits and promises entertainment, frustration and no little excitement for hours, weeks and months to come. So, well done to Gary Grigsby and all those associated with bringing us one of the greatest wargames ever.
War in the East is every Eastern Front, hex grog gamer dream come true. The sheer vastness and detail of the game reminded me of WIR but with greater flexibility and a much robust IA and enhanced graphics. A little overwhelming at first, but old hex wargamers will find ease in moving and conducting basic combat while learning the more intricate and highly complex game mechanics.
Multi-player is a breeze, games can be saved before sending, so you can actually tweak your moves and strategize in detail without feeling the pressure of ending the turn prematurely. You can always come back and finish it at a later time.
WITE is THE Eastern Front Operational level Wargame and sets the standard for others to follow.
I concurr with the previous reviews, WITE is a fantastic game with great graphics that look just like the best board games. The interface is very easy and the level of detail is amazing. The only downside is that the manual doesn't explain a lot of things - it would be nice to know the rationale behind some of the rules. This is not a major problem because of Matrix Games excellent forums that will answer your questions. Other than that this is the strategy game that Eastfront fans have been waiting for.
This is Great strategy war game.
If you liked games like War in Russia or Westfront, this game is even more better.
Game opponent is very hard and this games gives hundres hours game enjoy.
This highly anticipatd game was worth the wait. Most wargamers have ,at least, an interest in the German-Soviet conflict and this packages together probably the best simulation available. It is multi-layered so you can start campaigning almost straight from the box/download - you can then spend days/weeks/months diggin into the complexity behind the scenes. Graphics are first rate and add to the feeling that this is something special.
If you do buy it:
a. check out the forums for fantastic help and tips both technical and gaming.
b. apologise to your wife/partner/freinds as it will 'suck you in' to jsut one more turn to finalise the encirclement of Kiev.