Currently learning EotS and it looks like a little masterpiece on the Pacific War. Denny Koch is my gaming partner (and my better half) and our first game on the Pacific War topic was FitS. That is a cool game but as the Japanese player I didn't have much to do in the end game (since I used all my oil points in the early and midgame) so I was interested in a different perspective (in game terms) on the Japanese side. EotS seems to handle it better because there's not that much restriction regarding what the Jap player can do in the later game as in FitS. We hope to write an in depth analysis comparing both games when we have some more games of both under our belt.
We currently reached turn 7 of our first Empire of the Sun game. Our main intention, as Andreas stated, was to compare it to Fire in the Sky. We were somewhat surprised at the fact that the Japanese player in FitS - once he runs out of oil points - is condemned to inactivity during the middle and end game while the US player amasses vast god fleets. It was not a question of balance - it was still hard for the US player to win the game - but of downtime for the Japanese player. We were wondering if this was a typical situation for Japanese players in Pacific games but our first EotS experience proved that the Japanese can be quite busy even during the late middle game. It's an interesting experience so far and a tough strategic challenge. I'm playing the US & Allies, still wondering how I should liberate the strategic hexes and conquer Japan.
I haven't played EotS but glancing at the loonng rulebook put me off a bit. FitS is a very elegant design and much simpler, and both sides have things to do that are not dependent on what cards are drawn. The Japanese can run short of oil, but if they hoard transport points they can build up a goodly supply quickly--assuming they have captured the oil hexes, which should be easily accomplished in a few turns. Plus in the late game oil is not needed to sail from the three oil hexes. And they don't have to run low on oil; that is a strategic choice the Japanese can make--or not. Even with only a little oil a Japanese TF ready to react to many threatened bases can reduce the number of invasions the Americans can expect to win. FitS is full of interesting tactics and has several basic strategies and will be on list of games to play for a long time.
I think it's mostly what I WISH I was playing unfortunately! My son Tom and I play Combat Commander frequently, he seems to kick my butt more often then not. In the last game I actually lost to him and he was playing the FRENCH! He is know as Mr. Melee. He has won several games without ever using a fire card, only Melees.
Playing a lot of Here I Stand, but don't have a steady enough core of players, so the games are somewhat longish since we end up having to teach half of the players the game each time. Recently played Wellington, which will be a good springboard for getting others into TNW, curiously enough. Also playing some C&C:A since the two latest expansions came out. Picked up Combat Commander for play with my son, but nothing yet. Playing some Tide of Iron still, which he certainly enjoys at 12 years old.
Sounds like a great mix of games, Chris. I can imagine Here I Stand would take some time to go through given all the history packed into that game. Great to hear your son is cutting his teeth on wargames. I have a one year old, so I have a ways to wait!
I am SUPPOSED to be playing Wagram from the GMT Triumph and Glory system over at a friends house, and I have Mosby's Raiders sitting on my table awaiting setup. Unfortunately my health woes continue to interfere with my ability to play games (see the gripe fest for details).
I have wanted to play EOTS since it came out, but have no local opponents available for play because of my limited gaming schedule (another gripe for another day). Man that game looks like a LOT of fun.
Marty, sorry to hear of your health woes! btw, in case you haven't checked this out already, Rick Barber has created a great looking game map for Mosby's Raiders. Here is the news story in case you missed it: http://www.consimworld.com/archives/001752.html