Lately I’ve had three games on my mind. Two are firmly in the digital space and one is in the cardboard space. War in the East 2, Pavlov’s House, and No Retreat. Comparing and contrasting has made me look at boardgames of years past, what the future may hold, and does a black box of stats engage one more than transparent gameplay?Continue reading…
War in the East
There’s a frantic moment where you try to find something only to realize it’s gone. Keys maybe? Or a credit card? Or, god forbid, your passport! This happened to me when I reinstalled War in the East and realized that Jison’s WitE mapmod is no longer on his website.
Give me a map, a moment, and I’ll wander the world.
Ok, so I’m actually kind of biased here. My Brother-in-Law, an awesome dude, happens to be a professional cartographer. So I’ve spent many a good hour browsing through high-end map coffee table books. Beyond that I spent hours of my youth studying maps, imagining the battles fought on those little squares and circles, and tracing history one page at a time.
My initial drive to get this book was actually from a video game. Sure, I’d read some basic books about the Eastern Front but my knowledge was pretty slim. I’d always been a Battle of the Bulge kind of guy. Then I started playing Gary Grigsby’s War in the East.
Support units are essential in the War in the East. They are your artillery, engineers, rocket battalions, and anti-aircraft. By abstracting these units it saves you a ton of time shuttling them about. But there’s still some things to know in order to maximize your effectiveness.
“Nebelwerfer and Land Mattress”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nebelwerfer_and_Land_Mattress.jpg#/media/File:Nebelwerfer_and_Land_Mattress.jpg
Support Units come in two flavors. One is Combat Support Units like Artillery or Pioneers (Engineers). The other is straight up support, or Construction Units. We won’t cover much on the Construction side for right now. But on the Combat side there’s a lot going on.
Air, and Air to Ground, combat in War in the East can be quite tricky to learn. Half of what happens is abstracted, the other half has an odd interface. We’ll get into the basics and soon enough your IL-2 will be out and flying.
Supply in the War in the East at first seems incredibly complicated but is actually much simpler than it seems. Though like almost everything in WitE, it’s as complicated as you choose to make it.
In Road to Minsk, a 3 turn scenario, you don’t have to worry about supply at all. You can get a decisive Axis victory without ever thinking about it. But in the other Road to scenarios, and the full campaign, it becomes much more critical. But the good news, it’s not that bad.
In War in the East you have several options regarding Fog of War. You can play without it and see the entirety of the battlefield. You can play with it, or you can play with it and with the Movement Fog of War. We’ll get into all of that below.
War in the East – Encirclement
Encirclement is the most basic, and essential, tactic that the Axis armies have at the start of the game. Essentially you are using your fast mechanized and armor divisions to cut off the supply from less maneuverable pockets of Soviet troops. Without supplies they will surrender, saving tens of thousands of your own troops. As the Axis it is essential. As the Soviets, it’s essential to know how it works.
War in the East : Movement
Movement in Gary Grigsby’s War in the East is simple on the surface, but the devil is in the details.
War in the East – Opposing Force and Combat Basics
The opposing force counters looks different than your own. Instead of seeing a number like 14-39, we suddenly see an equals sign.
What the hell is that?