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About the product
- War on an Epic scale from Moscow to Berlin – this is War in the East!
- Designed by Gary Grigsby - this is the ultimate wargame!
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War on an Epic scale from Moscow to Berlin – this is War in the East! Gary Grigsby’s War in the East: The German-Soviet War 1941-1945 is the spiritual heir to the great Eastern Front board and computer wargames of the past; a turn-based World War II strategy game down to the division and brigade level, stretching across the entire Eastern Front at a 10 mile per hex scale. Gamers can engage in massive, dramatic campaigns, including intense battles involving thousands of units with realistic and historical terrain, weather, orders of battle, logistics and combat results. As with all the award-winning titles made by the 2by3 Games team, factors such as supply, fatigue, experience, morale and the skill of your divisional, corps and army leaders all play an important part in determining the results at the front line. Gary Grigsby’s War in the East comes with 4 massive campaigns as well as many smaller scenarios all with different strategic and operational challenges. Gary Grigsby’s War in the Eastrepresents a truly epic representation of the Second World War on the Eastern Front and is unparalleled in its scale, detail, and ambition!
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Now for the bad:
If you prefer to play against the AI instead of a human opponent, there are many issues with the AI. The AI is terrible at the tactical level - sometimes to the point of being jaw-droppingly daft. As mentioned above, the player has the ability to adjust leaders to put good leaders where they are needed - apparently the AI is not capable of adjusting leaders and command capacity issues (I'll spare you the details, but this drastically reduces the effectiveness of the AI leaders and directly impacts every unit they control). This gives players an unfair advantage since the AI troops will fight horribly since this is never fixed by the AI (you can look at all of the details of the other side at the end of the game and see who they put in charge of which HQ). You can make enormous changes to the overall outcome of the game by tweaking dozens of settings, but this can also lead you into a bit of an administrative quagmire. I end up needing a multi-tab spreadsheet to keep everything straight. In some ways that's neat and in some ways it is frustrating.
The game getting updates is great, but these are big changes that aren't being folded into the manual - even the online PDF. The online manual is partially up to date and shows how the rules have been changing with each version of the game, but you then need to read through multiple patch notes that are NOT in the manual and match those up with the manual to try and figure out how the game actually works. Given that the manual is 334 pages, keeping up to date on the rules is a non-trivial task. Even then there are still some things that aren't covered by the manual.
The game is not cheap. For the boxed game you get the physical box, a DVD of the game that is out of date, and an incomplete manual (130 pages for the hardcopy manual compared to the 334 page PDF version) that is several versions out of date.
Combat results are hard to swallow - the only way tanks take significant casualties is when they are captured. I played a campaign as the Soviets and had over 7,000 surplus top end tanks 1 year into the war. This is preposterous for early 1942. For the infantry, they take casualties from direct combat, but those casualty numbers are dwarfed by the number of losses you take at the end of the turn from the attrition phase due to low intensity conflict/patrols/etc. I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around this one considering the game touts how every single shot is simulated, but your biggest source of casualties is not from direct combat and out of your control?
Bugs still exist - the devs are still fixing things all the time, but there are still issues that need fixing. One example of this would be that enemy units will occasionally teleport around the map in ways that very obviously violate movement rules. A non-mountain unit shows up 4 hexes deep into the mountains where this would require 4 turns for that unit to move there. The bugs tend to be a wash - you can exploit the AI screw-ups about as often as they hurt you, but stuff like this should never exist in a game priced at this level.
The game has ENORMOUS potential, but seems to be unfinished? Call me a sucker, but I'll give the related title "War in the West" a shot and hope that many of the issues above have been corrected.