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Decisive Battles - Ardennes Offensive - First Impressions

Kandu

FGM Colour Sergeant
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71
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London Ontario Canada
A Monster Game! Before explaining I should mention that I bought the game as soon as it was released and have been playing an hour or two (or more :rolleyes:) daily since then. Graphically a gorgeous game! Maybe a little too gorgeous because sometimes its difficult to interpret what is going on - especially when you zoom out to get the bigger picture. That last bit is pretty well my only complaint with the game. It is really really difficult to get the big picture on a laptop screen, a bit better on my desktop screen, and reasonable through my data projector. But then, who plays games through a projector?
Now back to my 'monster game' comment. Remember when we were all younger? I'm speaking to the Grognards here. And after starting on the earliest boardgames like Avalon Hill's Blitzkrieg, Gettysburg and Waterloo (yes, I'm really THAT old!), little by little our interest and enthusiams for more and more detail grew and next thing you know we're playing monster games like Terrible Swift Sword, Wellington's Victory, War in the East (God help us) and Battle for North Afrika. Never quite completing them either. .... Well, DC Ardennes Offensive has THAT amount of depth and detail - and more. The good news is, you can treat it all as decoration and fluff and play a reasonable game without diving into the details. Apparently it keeps track of every vehicle, etc. etc. Again, the depth is incredible and overwhelming.
For obsessives, fanatics, or extreme enthusiasts the detail can be a very interesting 'read' as you go along. And indeed, if you are THAT serious, you can play a better game if you pay attention to the detail.. That's why I called it a monster.
Trying to micromanage every little detail for a whole army? You've got to be kidding me!
In summary, you can play it two ways; ignore the extreme detail and play an 'okay, so-so' game or dive into the detail and never see your family again for a few weeks and play a better game.
Or ... you can play GMT's Ardennes '44 instead if you are a casual board gamer like me and have the print version or on Vassal where the map and zooming out are easier on the eyes. GMT also has a new monster - A Time for Trumpets.
As for me, at my age, I just wanna have fun while there is still time for it.
 

Redwolf

FGM Colour Sergeant
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May 3, 2021
Messages
244
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East coast USA
What is the unit counter size? Is it WEGO or IGOYGO?

Almost ready to snipe. I wish I would remember when my anniversary coupon is coming up.
 

Kandu

FGM Colour Sergeant
FGM MEMBER
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
242
Age
71
Location
London Ontario Canada
What is the unit counter size? Is it WEGO or IGOYGO?

Almost ready to snipe. I wish I would remember when my anniversary coupon is coming up.
It has solo play and play-by-email. I will have a look at it again this evening and let you know what all playing mode options exist.
 

Kandu

FGM Colour Sergeant
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Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
242
Age
71
Location
London Ontario Canada
So I had another look at the game to try to answer the question about whether it is WEGO or IGOYGO. The answer is that neither the manual nor the game answer that question. Would have to play a PBEM game to find out. Also, the manual gives no instructions whatsoever about how to play a PBEM game! Oversight? Or are they assuming that you know how to Save and Email a game and know how to find the game's directory. A bit disappointing that. Fortunately I know how to do all those things.
 

Gorst

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Aug 27, 2021
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90
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I've been following this game's developement for a while. Looks like a winner. I'll probably pick it up when the first patch drops.
From what I gather, PBEM works like traditional CM, i.e. Dropbox. No PBEM++
 

Kandu

FGM Colour Sergeant
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Joined
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Messages
242
Age
71
Location
London Ontario Canada
So I had another look at the game to try to answer the question about whether it is WEGO or IGOYGO. The answer is that neither the manual nor the game answer that question. Would have to play a PBEM game to find out. Also, the manual gives no instructions whatsoever about how to play a PBEM game! Oversight? Or are they assuming that you know how to Save and Email a game and know how to find the game's directory. A bit disappointing that. Fortunately I know how to do all those things.
The menus likewise keep the PBEM option burried deeply, i.e. there is NO PBEM menu. What you have to do according to the sparse info in the manual is select both players as 'Human'. You can also select a security option so that your opponent cannot repeatedly play his moves until they get the result they want. It says nothing about saving and sending. The move and combat as you go reveals that this is an IGOYGO system.
 

Kandu

FGM Colour Sergeant
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Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
242
Age
71
Location
London Ontario Canada
Is there an undone button? I just jumped into the full campaign. To heck with it!
Hi Olaf: I definitely would not recommend jumping into the campaign game at start. It's a monster. I started with the small scenarios and even these give you a lot to pay attention too. They are good for learning the system which has a steep unintuitive learning curve. I am just about to finish St. Vith. Hope it finishes. It's already two turns past the scenario described end date.
Based on what I've learned so far, I know that I'll never play the whole campaign in this game. TOO MUCH TIME.
 

Lethal2615

FGM Sergeant
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Joined
May 20, 2019
Messages
175
Location
Canberra, Australia
Hi Guys,
Picked it up, although I am not a great fan of the battle. I have Tiller's/WDS Pzr Camp Bulge 44 which plays well. So why get DC Ard Off? What spiked my interest was what appears to be a major step forward in game design for hex and counter. I think anyone who has a hex and counter background will appreciate the mechanics.

The major downside, IMHO, is the manual. Why are all game manuals written by people with English as a second language? So, be prepared to spend a fair bit of time deciphering the manual. After many hours I think I have a reasonable grip on LOS and Spotting. There is a very nice game here with some interesting ideas.

There is a variable learning curve. If you just want to play, that is not a big problem. But if you want to play well and understand the concept the designers are presenting, well, that takes a bit of time.

Graphically very pleasing, nothing like the horrid HOI IV - sorry HOI fans, but I just think it is a mess.

It is IGO-UGO but has intercept fire that plays like "wego for one engagement".

Extensive reports that do help once you figure out what they are telling you!

Anyway, back to the manual!

 
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