Fan of strategy and role-playing games, especially open-world ones.

Occasionally verbose reviewer of games.
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Some people complain about the ability to hit with the Mk 37, but I find getting closer before firing helps.
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33 Hours played
See the full review here: https://saveorquit.com/2020/12/21/review-mobius-front-83/

Möbius Front ’83 may look like Advance Wars, but in many ways, its game mechanics make it the exact opposite. Advance Wars allows units to move significant distances and attack after moving, and also puts huge emphasis on capturing cities quickly for the resources they provide to you, deny to your enemy, ability to repair and resupply, and the territory it allows you to control as you push forward as fast as possible. Möbius Front ’83, by contrast, is a game with no capturable city tiles, no repair or resupply, no score for speed or protecting units, and with the few units that can fire after moving suffering a significant damage penalty for doing so. Advance Wars favored aggressive play from top to bottom. Möbius Front ’83 has units that cannot fire within two turns of moving (one turn to move, another turn to set up, and only then are they able to fire).

I believe in judging a game on its own terms. There are many people giving negative reviews because they saw the graphics and thought it was Advance Wars, only to give it a negative score when it was not. However, while I love Advance Wars, this game does its own thing well, and in some ways, it represents a "fix" to the absurd aggressiveness I found Advance Wars pushing me towards. Möbius Front ’83 is a game you win by looking for the nearest defensible location to your spawn point and turtling up on it, as many units require setting up that is simply incompatible with using them offensively. Even when you are playing a recon detachment, it often pays to encircle a defensible point and just wait for the enemy reinforcements to break themselves upon your entrenchment rather than try to break through the enemy quickly.

This also goes for the much-maligned random damage. The first few times I saw my carefully-placed AT teams finally get a shot off on an enemy tank, see it didn't quite get a kill, and then order the nearby infantry to use their LAW rockets to finish it off, only to see they get no damage because of low rolls, I ragequit and restarted the stage. (Armor on units is a threshold you have to overcome with damage before dealing any real HP damage. LAW rockets deal 2-4 damage, while the tank had 2 armor, so if the LAW dealt 2 damage, armor absorbed it, and if I'd dealt 3 damage, only 1 HP would be removed from the tank.) I was going into that game with a bad set of assumptions, one put into me by games like Advance Wars, however. I don't need to wipe out every enemy unit, and I'm not failing a mission if I lose a unit I wouldn't have with a luckier roll. I would have lost that AT team when the tank continued to machine gun it, sure, but I had other units right next to the tank to finish it off with as many rockets as it took, and I there is no score to lose if I lose a unit. There are no Panzer Corps-style carry-over units with veterancy that I lose forever if their unit is destroyed. A win with my last infantry unit's corpse being ragdolled over the finish line is as good as a flawless victory, so don't sweat the small stuff. Generally, if the randomness actually makes a difference between whether you win or lose, you're already screwing up pretty badly and should re-evaluate anyway, rather than relying upon luck to save you. I retried once at most on nearly all maps.

Möbius Front ’83 only allows reloading right where you left off (autosaving) or restarting the mission, so as to make your choices impossible to take back without restarting the whole mission. This plays directly into the random anti-vehicle weapon damage, preventing savescumming for better outcomes. (However, there's no penalty to restarting as much as you like, so feel free to do stupid things early in a mission just to see what the AI has and what it does before restarting to play "for real".) This does add to the tension as you peek through a narrow pass in the woods, however, as you can suddenly find the unit taking a look cannot take their move back, and are within the sights of several dangerous units. I've lost count of the number of transport helicopters-turned-scouts I've lost just trying to spot for more valuable units to avoid having to make that move.

Here is the proper way to think of AT units - they are area-denial units. The AI doesn't run into range of your AT guns (at least, not with land vehicles they can shoot), so don't even expect to use your AT teams most missions. Your AT teams are area-denial units. The AI is very gunshy about rushing your AT teams unless there is no other choice. Sit AT teams with rifle teams to shoo away infantry in a pass through some woods, and they stop the enemy from flanking when you want the enemy to go a different path. AT teams are not valuable, they are cheap and expendable, and also often work as good bait, so use them as such. If you do leave the AI no other choice but to rush them, make sure you have multiple overlapping fields of fire so that any one random failure isn't an actual failure.

Another major consideration is that you switch which military unit you are commanding between sets of missions. This changes which equipment is available to you. The 194th Armored Cavalry makes up a "baseline" you judge others by, while the 82nd Airborne, for example, has to airlift all its equipment on-site, so they only get much more lightly armored equipment.

Finally, there is yet another solitaire game in a Zachtronics game (like all their games nowadays), however, I find it more vestigial in this setting. This game lacks the necessity of the brain-frying concentration that a cooldown game like solitaire would presumably help with, so it's just kind of there. I like the historically accurate aircraft recognition deck, however. (I had a real deck of those as a kid.) The TIS-330 programmable radio is more of a callback to their other programming games (plus TIS-100, obviously), with the only scoreboard that compares your solutions to the solutions of others in the game (you are competing purely on least components used). It's a fun callback, but die-hard Zachtronics fans only interested in their programming games shouldn't buy the game for this. This is a military strategy game through-and-through.

There have been some minor bugs and some odd quirks in AI (especially AT trucks that refuse to pack up and move even when under threat, although these seem to be running a script from early missions where it makes sense they would be dumber and easier on players), but Zachtronics has been patching the game and AI pretty regularly. I never saw a true bug, at least, and updates changing the AI came while I was playing. That said, the AI does "cheat" in that it can see your units through Fog of War when making decisions (but fortunately needs someone to spot for them when aiming artillery). This is somewhat disappointing, but I've honestly not seen many AI that are actually able to behave intelligently without having this advantage. (Advance Wars literally forgetting you had a unit the instant it hides in a forest comes to mind, just because they had no function to remember at all.)

Ultimately, the only real negative I have to say about this game is that it likely lacks replayability. Each map is a puzzle, and once solved, the solution is forever valid. (At least, unless there is an AI-changing patch... or you just plain forget the solution.) I also doubt this is the sort of game that will get multiple content DLCs the way that many other strategic wargames on Steam do. The game is deliberately constrained in scope, with no way to scroll the map and reinforcements always coming on turns 5 and 10, so only including units that for some reason involve wholly different mechanics would really justify expanding the game much further, as well. Still, it's a game that has a shelf life long enough that I find it justifies itself, but get it on sale if you are worried.
Favorite Guide
Created by - Wraith_Magus
168 ratings
A guide on how to adapt to '68 technology, and make use of the mk 37 torpedo, in particular.
Hate Incarnate Jan 1, 2020 @ 7:14am 
HAPPY NEW YEAR:lunar2019wavingpig:
lovinglife139 Dec 31, 2019 @ 10:34pm 
Thank you for accepting my friend request! I found your posts in the discussion forums for Heroes of a Broken Land very helpful and your reviews are wonderfully written as well. We seem to have similar gaming tastes. ^_^ Have an awesome New Year!
^1BigBossMan1978 [BE] Dec 24, 2019 @ 9:51am 
:charm: :freezing: :ice: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! :ice: :freezing: :charm:
^1BigBossMan1978 [BE] Oct 31, 2019 @ 3:13pm 
:helloween: Happy Halloween :helloween:
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Hate Incarnate Jan 1, 2019 @ 12:03pm 
happy new year :cozybrawlhalla1: