Strategic War in Europe

Strategic War in Europe

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Khazak Jul 2, 2014 @ 12:02pm
No Game Balance
I've played as the USSR twice, starting in 1939. Twice I have lost by 1942, on "normal" difficulty.

I have many tech level 2 infantry armies by the time the Germans attack in the summer of 41, right on cue, but I am steamrolled by Panzer armies of 20+ strength. My best infantry armies have a strength of 8 at best. My two armored armies and three morotorized armies are similarly destroyed as if they were infantry corps. The strength of the german panzer units is just ridiculous.

They did not appear to have an air force, but then neither did I besides the two starting fighters, as one fighter is priced the same as 4 infantry armies. I was able to knock out the Baltic states and Finland after the pact with Germany triggered, sustaining no losses and narrowing my front.

It's not a matter of strategy or tactics. I have my defensive line dug in in the best defensive terrain available, behind rivers whenever possible. This is nothing new to anyone that has played this sort of game before. My armies are commanded by the best generals I have. I try to fall back before the onslaught, using defensive terrain. I have fresh reserves of infantry armies dug in around Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad. It matters not. They are rolled up by the spring of 1942, as while the winter impacted the movement points of the German legions, it did nothing to diminish their strength. They were well supplied and equipped, without a hint of trouble in their lines of supply as I retreated across the Urals again.

Look, the Germans should be kicking ♥♥♥ in 1941. I don't know if there are triggered events later on that lower the strength of their units as they get deeper in to Russia, but I'm not making it that far. The math just doesn't work when you've got a dozen 20 strength units that can wipe away your strength 7 units without taking losses.

There is a nice skeleton of a casual strategy game here, but it needs more work before I could reccomend this to anyone. At this point, I regret to say that it is not really worth the $7 I spent on it, without some serious updates.
Last edited by Khazak; Jul 2, 2014 @ 12:07pm
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Showing 1-15 of 29 comments
Leszek  [developer] Jul 2, 2014 @ 1:03pm 
So you don't like the game because you are losing?

The best tactic against Germans is the swarms of low level infantry before the Red Army can recover.
Khazak Jul 3, 2014 @ 1:09pm 
There's a mighty glib response from a developer. You might want to consult a PR consultant, but luckily, I personally find it refreshing. I actually suggested that I liked the game - but that it still needs work.

Yes, I'm losing thus far with the USSR. This isn't my first rodeo, and your basic suggestion of implementing the Red Army tactics that were used historically, have been studied by generations of military historians, and played out in hundreds of board and PC games over the past several decades is not especially helpful. Since I don't usually lose so badly at those hundreds of other games ranging in complexity from Axis & Allies to Hearts of Iron and World in Flames, simulating the same war, with the same basic war aim for the USSR - survive and slow down the Wehrmacht with your banged up army until the weather and lack of supplies weakens them and you are able to mount a counter-attack - I suspect that the actual game mechanics are out of balance. Panzers in the snow and mud lose the amount they can move on the map, but none of their large unit strength rating, which I can only assume is to simulate at least in part the inherent mobility and flanking ability of armor? I'll have better luck slowing them down with hordes of level 1 small units of infantry? I don't see how but I'd be willing to try it...if I could see a way to forumulate a counter attack.

The Red Army can recover with what? Swarms of small infantry units are annihilated without slowing down the advance much, and no one on my side is ending up battle tested - just destroyed. There's no production points left for researching to increase unit strength. What units should I have defending Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad that will beat an array of 20+ strength panzer units surging towards them in the spring of 1942? Is there a way to stack infantry units in an urban hex that I'm unaware of? A war of attrition only works if attrition is modeled by the game mechanics.

I want to like this game. You should want me to like this game, even if I already bought it. I want to support indie developers. Please enlighten me if I have misrepresented the game mechanics. But I haven't seen a case made as to why I should put more hours in to this game to try additional more unconventional strategies in its current form. Perhaps you'd like to correct some of my assumptions with a modicum of effort, or give me a reason other than telling me I'm not juding it fairly for the wrong reasons?
Last edited by Khazak; Jul 3, 2014 @ 1:13pm
peteswansen Jul 3, 2014 @ 8:12pm 
increase the level of your production points by setting your level easier- or set the Germans on a harder level- the "play balance" is up to you. I see no shame in giving yourself an advantage when you do not know what the hidden game mechanics are. I too have played many wargames since the 1960's- its about exploring maybes- not repeating history- I found this game simple but satisfying- ( thats about all the time I have to devote to computer games)/ :)
Arac Jul 4, 2014 @ 7:07am 
Seriously, the guy gives you a long, detailed, well-reasoned and polite critique and you respond with "So you don't like the game because you are losing?"

Classy, dude. Really.
Leszek  [developer] Jul 4, 2014 @ 12:28pm 
Arac, this is a historical game.
There was no balance between the fighting powers.
From my point of view if the Germans wouldn't make a series of stupid mistakes, they would win the war with Soviets in 1942 and in 1943 they should reach Ural.

Strategic War in Europe is extremelly adjustable game, it allows you to freely choose difficulty levels.
Strategic War in Europe is very very moddable, you can change not only values and factors but even combat resolution tables.

However the set up for values I have implemented is best for historical feeling and challenging. IMHO.

I do understood that for some players this might be not fair. But the game can be easily check in other settings.

So indeed the game is not balanced, but it never meant to be.

Liter O'Cola Jul 9, 2014 @ 8:06am 
The original poster wasn't asking for balance. In a history game, he's looking for some sort of nod toward history.

Russia, in its current form, acts nothing like the Russia of WWII. Where are the production increases? Siberian reserves? General winter? Every WWII strategy game I buy, I always start as Russia, as I have a really good idea what to expect and what to try first.

I have come to the same conclusion as the original poster. Russia was able to execute a series of effective counter attacks during the winter of 1941. The Siberian reserves showed up and helped stabilize the Russian defense in front of Moscow. Maybe Germany takes Moscow if they tried to flank the Moscow defenses rather than push toward the Urals. In this game, it doesn't matter as winter won't hamper the Germans, Russia will not have a production increase in tanks, and the Siberian reserves are nowhere to be found.

"From my point of view if the Germans wouldn't make a series of stupid mistakes, they would win the war with Soviets in 1942 and in 1943 they should reach Ural."

If your design goal was creating a Nazi wet dream, then congrats! Well done.
full of agree with Khazak and Liter O'Cola, i can't understand wtf devlopers word. historical? shame on you.
SetsunaFSeiei Jul 16, 2014 @ 3:20pm 
Thanks for the review Khazak, was going to buy this game but not now after reading your review and most importantly the developer's comments. What a bunch of idiots.
Leszek  [developer] Jul 16, 2014 @ 3:55pm 
Red Army was a caricature of the army, events of the Winter War proves that.

As I said before if playing as soviets on normal mode is to difficult, you can change the settings very easily.

Sorry for making challenging game.
mg979 Jul 22, 2014 @ 3:42am 
just saying but in my first game with this game (yesterday) I played with USSR on normal, and I won. I couldn't make Germany surrender (just one town left) but I won at 70th turn in the final ladder. To fight german panzers you must have tanks too. I conquered Baltic states and Finland (I was also at war with Turkey, took 1 town, but then I was stuck for low supply), essential is to raise some PP. I bought mech armies, then upgraded them to tanks just in time for the german invasion. When this happens, they have to be already near the polish/romanian borders. Then you have to surrround panzers 1 by 1, and never let them go until they're dead. Then you can counterattack and take german towns very fast. First turns I had a huge penalty (-45% 'events' penalty for which I can't find an explanation), but I could kill them anyway. My forces were stronger on the polish front and much weaker in the Black Sea, I lost Odessa and was in danger because I had no units behind the first line, but there was only 1-2 panzers there so I got lucky. So, upgrade to tanks (upgrading is cheaper than buying them I think, and it takes the same time), surround the panzers, always attack 4vs1 if possible, never less than 3vs1. Commanders help a lot, and you can upgrade some tanks to level 2 (not essential I think). I didn't have bombers.
Last edited by mg979; Jul 22, 2014 @ 3:44am
Stormwoken Jul 27, 2014 @ 3:56pm 
Originally posted by Wastelands Interactive:
Arac, this is a historical game.

Sorry, but It's not. It's merely hinting at it. And while people are trying to point out just why, I don't think you're being very charitable to their constructive suggestions.
In order for this game to be more historically accurate, you'd have to acknowledge historical circumstances. And more than mere hints have been given by people in this very topic:
Cheaper basic infantry units for the Soviets? Appearance of Siberian reserves drawn from the eastern borders upon discovering that there would be no Japanese invasion? Skyrocketing of military industry post 1941?

Originally posted by Wastelands Interactive:
From my point of view if the Germans wouldn't make a series of stupid mistakes, they would win the war with Soviets in 1942 and in 1943 they should reach Ural.

Arguably true. But, then again, If the Soviet leadership did not commit many more political and strategic blunders they could have steam rolled all the way to Paris.
The thing is to make things possible for people to avoid the said mistakes =)
TT33 Jul 28, 2014 @ 1:57am 
To bring up some terms from my board gaming days many years ago. This game is a "beer and pretezel" game and is not aimed at "gronads".

In other words, it is a game to fire up when you don't really want to concentrate too much and doesn't take too long to complete.

Gronads is proabably a equivalent term to 'geek' (and yes I know Gronads has another slang meaning, but I didn't make the term up :-) ), those that like the minutiae - lots of stats, lots of units, realistic supply rules etc. etc.. It is not really a game for them. Try the Hearts of Iron games instead.
Critical Failure Jul 28, 2014 @ 9:30pm 
Hearts of Iron is easily the most complex series of games I have ever played in my life. That is even true when you compare it to the other grand strategy games on the market. SWiE is a bit more pick up and go. I really like that. It reminds me more of Panzar General than a diplomatic/political game like Hearts of Iron. That's just how I see it.
Khazak Aug 1, 2014 @ 11:47am 
I was just trying to be honest and constructive in my criticism, which apparently the poster on the Wastelands Interactive account was not interested in. So that's fine. One reaps what they sow.

I would offer to help you folks in more specific strategies to address customer concerns, building a community-based public image while increasing your brand awareness, and the critical nature of these components if you want to build a successful Indie developer, if you could afford someone like me. Lacking that - if you're a one man show or something - make a more personable friend if you want to sell things to people. Have him or her speak on your behalf. Trust me. You obviously do not want to deal with customers. But I wish you the best of luck - no hard feelings - spend my $7 on (most of) lunch!

Nice work, mg979! I couldn't make it work, but I haven't launched the game since my second post up there. There are enough other things in the world to keep me entertained.

I do I love the Hearts of Iron series - but as TT33 aluded to, I was looking for more of a "beer and pretzel" WWII game to mess around with. I'll keep looking.

Critical Failure Aug 1, 2014 @ 4:21pm 
Offers mean spirited remarks.
Cries that devs don't respond with hugs and kisses.
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