If you plan to play Gary Grisby's War in Russia, be prepared to stay awhile as getting a handle on this mountain of detail is going to require a considerable time investment. When playing a war game having many details is just fine. In fact, most veteran wargamers would tell you that any war simulation short on factual content and detail isn't worth playing. However, that's not the case here, plowing through reams of documentation isn't my idea of fun either. Do you really need to know the detailed formulas used in determining the outcome of battles? Not likely. If you really want to brush up on algebra then you can go back to school -- not get reacquainted with it while reading a war game manual. That may be an overly harsh, tongue-in-cheek complaint but the point is that playing a war game should be fun, not drudgery. There are times during the playing of this game that you'll feel like an infantryman plodding his way through deep mud on a forced march.
All that aside, playing Gary Grigsby's War in Russia can be an extremely rich experience as well, especially once you've put the learning curve (more like a steep hill) behind you. Nearly every conceivable detail in the five major scenarios is fully covered and, for the most part, the simulation accurately mirrors actions as they occurred on the eastern front. It would be senseless in a review this size to try and comment on the mechanics of this game -- there is simply too much to describe. Suffice it to say that once past the documentation (sorry, it'll be must reading), you will realize full and complete control over nearly every aspect of your forces, regardless of which side you choose to play. The thoughtfully included tutorial certainly helps some as does the map supplied by the designer. The war theater is represented on the hex-map in chunks of terrain diced into 20 mile segments. The simulation is so vast that each turn, encompassing a rigid Order of Battle, is the equivalent of one full week. There are some minor flaws in the actual execution of events. To name a few, inconsistent/unrealistic weather patterns; hidden computer controlled units being "seen" during the computer's turn; aircraft strikes are too plentiful and unrestricted. On the plus side, though, if you become too bogged down in hands-on control of your huge array of forces, you have the option of giving control of nearly any aspect of your operation to the computer. The good news continues with the inclusion of a scenario editor but it has it's down side as well -- the massive time investment required to understand it and effectively create scenarios is only for the true and totally dedicated war aficionado. If frustration comes easily to you, stay far away from this aspect of the game. Game play itself is tight and concise and the mouse/keyboard interface is, thankfully, easy to use. Gary Grigsby's War in Russia is definitely geared toward the veteran wargamer.
Graphics: Basic war game icons.
Sound: Not much here.
Enjoyment: This is one game you've got to REALLY want to play to enjoy. The daunting level of detail, while amazingly complete, will dampen the casual gamer's enthusiasm.
Replay Value: So many variables and hands-on command decisions to make assures replay possibilities.
A World War 2 strategy game covering the war on the eastern front from 1941 to 1945. Game-scale is set to corps level (Russian corps-level units are army sized). Both, Russian and German, sides can be played. The player has full control over all aspects of the war including production of war material. The forces of both side are simulated into detail and you can review your divisions up to squad/tank level. There are several different starting points available, for example 22 Jun 1941 (Operation Barbarossa) or 5 Jul 1943 (Operation Zitadelle; Battle of Kursk). Events on other fronts (North Africa, Italy, Western Front) are also simulated and can be influenced indirectly by the player. The axis player will also have to deal with the strategic bombing campaign of allied bomber fleets.
M. Evan. Brooks: "An operational/strategic simulation of the entire Eastern Front (1941-1945), this game was easily learned and played; sheer size and certain defects in the artificial intelligence presented the difficulty." Despite AI quirks, however, the game is undoubtedly Gary Grigsby's masterpiece, and in many ways the culmination of his dedication on perfecting the game engine for this World War 2 theatre that started with War in Russia for the Apple II in 1984 and the subsequent Second Front.
People who downloaded Gary Grigsby's War in Russia have also downloaded:
Gary Grigsby's Pacific War (2000), Gary Grigsby's World At War, Gary Grigsby's Pacific War, East Front 2, Pacific General, Second Front, Allied General, Civil War Generals 2
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