The complexity of Gary Grigsby's Pacific War will test the fighting spirit, tenacity and patience of any veteran wargamer brave enough to tackle it. With that in mind, any novice or weekend warrior is forewarned to enter at your own risk. The time spent learning every aspect of this game may literally exceed that of the playing time for other war games. Examples of the incredible detail associated with the game include: more than 100 Allied and 50 Japanese ships, each with at least ten rated attributes; fifty or so checks to perform during the orders phase (includes half a dozen categories); around forty basic checks during the execution phase; nearly 200 bases and more than 300 identifiable ground units to control; more than 200 leaders, a full complement of combat aircraft, a manual that runs 160 pages and a gaming world that covers the entire Pacific theater of World War II from Asia to Australia to the United States. There's a five page tutorial included with the manual which easily could have (and should have) equaled the fifty-plus pages of rules. Gary Grigsby's Pacific War is definitely not for the casual gamer who wants to pop in and out of the game a few times and walk away whistling a happy tune of satisfaction. To succeed at the game requires a self-disciplined serious commitment to invest lots of study time on how to play comfortably.
All that aside, is the game fun? Got to answer that one with a caveat. Once you've passed the rigors of initiation (the learning curve) into the game's heart and soul, micro-management to the max, then the answer is a resounding "you betcha!". If your idea of fun doesn't include a week of study time augmented with small doses of frustration, then maybe this one isn't for you. As to game play, the game design is for two players, you against the computer or another human, full control by the computer, or an interesting alternative where you assign overall tasks to any or all of your Headquarters and then turn over operations to the computer to execute the orders. Most seasoned war game veterans will undoubtedly scoff at the latter idea and accept the considerable challenge of hands-on control of every single aspect of operations such as managing resources, coordinating every ground or air strike, reconnaissance missions, submarine forays, distribution of supplies, assignment of leaders (different personality and aggressiveness ratings), fleet mobilization and tactical planning, targeting, and so forth.
The game covers the entire length of WWII in the Pacific arena (December 7, 1941 to August 1945) in a huge week-at-a-turn campaign and provides a good number of shorter "full war" experiences dependent upon when you "enter" the war. A couple of even shorter scenarios (4-months and 2-months) are available if desired. Unfortunately, the mouse-based menu-driven interface is a little inconsistent and not always responsive to acquiring on-screen data, leaving keyboard commands as a dismal alternative. Gary Grigsby's Pacific War is highly recommended but it's not a simple walk in the park.
Graphics: Typical icon-based war game visuals.
Sound: Too much other stuff in the game to be of much concern. Passable but not really a factor.
Enjoyment: Personal preference is the key. If you like tons of detail, long sessions setting up plans and tactics and micro-managing your wars, then the prospect of enjoyment is high. On the other hand, if short, quick conflicts are your forte, then looking elsewhere would be prudent. Once involved in the game and enamored of it's capabilities (ignoring the minor flaws), it's easily a six-month experience.
Replay Value: With so many variables, options to customize control, and sheer size of the operation, replay value is a sure thing.
A grand strategical game covering World War 2 in the Pacific and South East Asia areas. The player has to manage every aspect of the conflict: From building Task Forces, moving troops and planes, to managing production, it's all there (and much more). Different starting points to enter the war can be chosen. Either side can be played by a human player.
"THE simulation of the Pacific. Graphically acceptable, its strength lay in the sheer data and scope of the campaign. In all truth, I find it overwhelming, but I can recognize quality when I see it. Highly recommended for retirees -- or for those for whom the expression "Get a Life" means something. It properly emphasizes logistics, and will allow the player to choose his own level of command -- supreme commander, area commander, or even a task force commander while the computer runs everything else."
People who downloaded Gary Grigsby's Pacific War have also downloaded:
Gary Grigsby's Pacific War (2000), Gary Grigsby's War in Russia, Gary Grigsby's World At War, Pacific General, Panzer General 2, Allied General, Panzer General, East Front 2
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