Wargame Review- Armchair General July 2013 | HistoryNet MENU

Wargame Review- Armchair General July 2013

By Jeffrey Paulding
7/19/2017 • Reviews

Strategic Command WWI: Breakthrough!

Strategic Command WWI: Breakthrough! is an expansion pack to the turn-based game Strategic Command WWI: The Great War. The add-on features new operational-level campaigns, including the battles of Verdun and Jutland and the fascinating campaign in East Africa. It also offers a strategic-level scenario that covers the entire war.

During the smaller campaigns, the focus is on military operations. For example, in the Battle of Verdun, players maneuver infantry regiments and direct supporting fire from artillery brigades as the Germans attempt to seize the key fortress city over a two-month period of daily turns. During the scenario re-creating the entire war, players not only fight and conduct diplomacy but also manage their respective country’s research and development, as well as integrate those priorities with their force structure planning.

The simplicity of the game engine belies its effectiveness at re-creating the brutal attrition warfare of World War I. Command and control, artillery support, air reconnaissance and entrenchment, as well as the first use of tanks, are all deftly handled in a straightforward but convincing system of sequential movement and combat. The game allows players to focus on strategy, making for an entertaining and intellectually challenging experience.

 

Jutland: Map Pack 1 – Falkland Islands

Jutland: Map Pack 1 – Falkland Islands that takes the engine to the seas of the is an add-on Jutland game southern Atlantic, where after a dramatic chase by the British navy, the German Asiatic fleet is cornered in the waters off the Falkland Islands.

This state-of-the-art naval game features 3-D ships exquisitely rendered down to the smallest detail and provides in-depth information about each ship, its armaments and current status. The game system is elegantly simple and uses historically accurate maneuvering by ship division.

Once the battle begins, it is hard not to become entranced while watching the battle cruisers and armored cruisers exchange broadsides. The “shellcam” feature follows the trajectory of the shells as they sail toward their targets and send up great geysers of water. Players, however, must remain focused: The key to victory is understanding the ships’ capabilities and the importance of proper formation and timely maneuver.

This visually enthralling game captures with admirable historical accuracy the World War I era when big gun ships controlled the seas. It is highly recommended for wargame enthusiasts.

 

 Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Jeffrey Paulding is a lifelong student of military history and science. He has been playing wargames since he was a child.

Originally published in the July 2013 issue of Armchair General.

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