ShadowofGod wrote:After many hours of trying to play this game, I'm wondering if it is worth it.
Hi Shadow - brace yourself, there's a lot coming down the pipe.
First, is the game worth the many hours you've spent on it? It is, but you won't fully appreciate that until you've spent many more hours trying to figure out what the hell is going on. I've spent months and months doing just that, and in my view it's a classic example of an extraordinary game all but ruined by a ludicrously deficient manual.
At the grand strategic level its potential for manipulating international relations, though simplistic, is as good as anything else going round and delivers real if rare opportunities to significantly affect the course of the Great War. At the strategic level it's hideously unforgiving, with every decision you make on the allocation of resources and effort almost certain to determine the way your war progresses. At the operational level it's challenging to the point of exhaustion in its demands on your ability to identify realisable goals, marshall forces appropriate to these, and factor in the effects of terrain, weather, transport bottlenecks and potential enemy responses. And at the quasi-tactical level it's simply great fun (though often otherwise) tooling up your forces and tracking their progress in the battle display.
What cruels the whole thing is that to make all of this happen you need a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of the game's operating systems and that's nowhere to be found in the manual. That's not to say that it's unavailable - it's just that you have to put it together for yourself from all the bits and pieces of info scattered around the display. With that caveat in mind I hope the following comments might help.
1) . If the Germans choose the Moltke Plan, they can repel the French and British with a minimal force, throwing every man jack against the Russians. They don't sweat it in the least.
How far into the game have you progressed? The Moltke Plan determines how your forces are allocated and what you do with them is then up to you. The WE response depends entirely on the plan that France selects. If you're lucky enough for them to go with Plan XIII you're laughing, for some time at least, for the most they'll typically throw at you are a few probing operations. But if they go with XVII or XIX things can get very fraught, though not always immediately.
I generally play the CP and when choosing Moltke I assign almost every production point I have for the first six months to the creation of infantry and medium arty which I immediately pump into my proto-westwall. Even with those reinforcements I've found myself rolled on occasion in Thionville, Mulhausen, and even Metz by French attacks that just keep coming. If I don't get my tactical choices just right I'll hold through one attack, or two, or three, but beyond that my boys in the line become mighty few and mighty tired. That's what attritional warfare is all about after all, and maybe you just haven't been attrited yet.
I'm not at all looking forward to the day they decide on XX, but it should be a thriller
2). Much to my disappointment, shell shortages do not threaten for any army. Everyone seems to have enough ammunition.
Again, how far along are you? In my current game I'm at January 1916 and I don't have a shell in the breech of any gun on the East Front. I have plenty of them in reserve (nearly 3000) but they're all sitting in cities way behind my frontline with no apparent desire to get any closer.
It's this sort of issue that makes me so critical of the manual for it offers no advice at all. I can rail my munitions units back to these cities, which by the way I have to identify by individually mousing over the shell icon of each likely candidate, but that's going to take one plus turns to get there, another to resupply, and at least a further one plus to get back to where the action is. As an alternative, I'm presuming that if I could make more rail space available they might toddle themselves up to the front but I've seen no evidence of that so far. In the meantime I'm learning to do without.
3). But my big beef is the amount of war supply available to the Western Entente. I wanted to build French super-heavy artillery which cost 1000 w.s.p. But I was never able to accumulate more than 780, and then my amount would drop again.
This is just as much a problem for the CP, and on my reckoning a fairly accurate representation of the challenges both sides faced in reality. I'm also attracted to pushing out an extra super-heavy or two, but the earliest I've been able to muster the necessary is late 1915. Things do loosen up later, however, as more production comes on stream as the war progresses. Until then, and even then, you have to decide what matters the most to you - in this game you can never have it all.
4). Furthermore, many French and British units would atrophy without explanation, even though they were clearly in supply.
I reckon Arrow has got that pretty much taped up for you, but I would add that there's a difference between being in supply and being supplied. A unit in supply is merely one that has access by rail or proximity to an active source of supply and to determine whether this is the case you can trace things out on the supply overlay. But to be supplied
the unit must have supplies 'in stock' and to check this you need to hover over the appropriate icon on the unit display. One would imagine that there would be some kind of correlation between the two but if there is I haven't been able to pin it down since, again, the manual is silent on the matter.
Hope there's at least some stuff in there that you can use.