Games that Failed or are Failing your expectations

Always a nice subjective topic.

I was thinking that sometimes a game can be great for many, and then lead to disappointment for a few from over heightened expectations. Or a game can end up being way better than we expected.

While CSW is often the reality check, sometimes too far the other way for my liking, sometimes we just go buy that game, open it and are full of subjective "MEH" to coin then internet shoulder shrug.

Some highlights from early 2013.

  • RAF, wow this one just was a crushing disappointment. Why? You have so few choices to make that it becomes a wrote exercise. I promise to try again, to find the noble spirit of August/Sept '41.
  • Drive on Pyongyang...I deserved this for buying at pre pub prices. Not finished. regurgitated from a axis of evil concept 10 yrs ago to take advantage of current events. Map errors, and incorrect VC' and terrible map layout took anything positive from this game (and there is a lot of great ideas in this game) and tossed them out the window
  • Wagram Battles mag....OMG. After 2 turns. I looked at the turn track, then back to the stack of chits per turn. Then at the counters. quietly decided that I clearly was not an erudite student of Napoleon and that I should just let this be a lesson. I'm not smart enough to appreciate this game.
  • White Star Rising Great game, but I really am at quota for WWII. great components and cool scenarios with easy rules. Yet I play WaW a lot, its much deadlier cousin. I'll stick to that.
  • PanzerArmee Afrika AH. Yeah an older game. After a few turns of this, the level of abstraction was so high for me that I realized that DAK2 was laughing its ass of at me literally behind my back. Bought for cheap, its a game that would make a nice starting point in assessing the evolution of game design in the theatre. To see just how thinking evolved around this logistically laden, leader focused conflict played out in various games. I was not expecting much...and received less.

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I enjoyed it. Seemed a lot better grounded than other games in the genre, 

like VG's Cold War, Supremacy, or Summit. 

Hmm I love RAF. I could see your point though. It does very much have a ride kind of feel. There arent too many decisions to make but the ones you do are very important. But again, it is very much a 'ride.' 

I havent been disappointed in any wargames yet. Stephenson's Rocket was hugely disappointing though. And I thought I would be able to grasp Fields of Fire better than I can, but I am getting there, slowly but surely.

Felt more Like I  was being ridden versus much else. Nice mechanics etc etc.. but I kept looking at that long arc of turns, thinking really... how much more of this bs do I have to put up with b4 I lose?

Are the decisions you make important..hard to say, put up aircraft or not. This mission or next? Unless Radar or fields were being hit I let them ride, then looked for chances to bloody or exhaust the enemy. I could not understand why units attack factors went UP when u flipped fact there were a lot of little things that bemused me. 

But at some point I tired of the all those dice rolling to see how much of an ass kick'en I was taking.

The only game (if you can call it that) that failed for me was Operation Veritable (VPG). It is as close to the real battle as Monopoly is to Normandy. Sucked eggs.

Not finished. regurgitated from a axis of evil concept 10 yrs ago to take advantage of current events. Map errors, and incorrect VC' and terrible map layout took anything positive from this game (and there is a lot of great ideas in this game) and tossed them out the window

Drive on Pyongyang -

Haven't heard of this one, but it sure sounds like it could be a DG title.


Pax Romana was the last game I can think of that I was really stoked about, but fell flat.

It's good enough, but felt like there was too much for what it provided. Maybe the extensions 

would help it though. Probably buy the upgrade kit, if it is republished.

Everybody has his own experience, but Wagram 1809 from Battles magazine worked pretty well for me.  Whether that makes me an erudite student of Napoleon, I don't know.  :-)

The command activation mechanism was curious, and it definitely took actually playing it to figure out how it works, but I really liked the way it forced the player to plan ahead (simulating the delay inherent in Napoleonic command and control) and yet allowed for a chance to occasionally react to the unexpected.  The individual corps are quite different in strength and character, leading to interesting choices in setting up an order of activations and the establishment of reserves.  I also appreciated the granular way that units are reduced (four steps for most units), and how this results in a very gradual, attritional decay of the fighting forces: a lot like the real battle.

Sorry it didn't work for you.

I think the chit pull is very cool too. I'd have to pull it out again but the number if chits per side times number of turns was a turn off.

The combat was not particularly evocative of Napoleonics for me either. Like I said, it deserves another play. 

A Victory Lost had been built up to such ridiculous heights that I was disappointed by it only being a pretty good game on the subject. 

must admit that compared to AVD, AVL really was a let down. From components to play, tedious ahistorical bunk. ..don't even get me started on Trains and Stavka units.

PANZERBLITZ: HILL OF DEATH.  I'll admit I was "spoiled" by the PANZERGRENADIER series.  That said, the MMP game had what I considered to be better graphics, but the system just didn't do it for me.  I appreciated all the effort to incorporate as much of the old original mechanics as possible, but the Ops Chit representation of C2 just didn't seem to stick well and the situations in Normandy didn't seem to showcase the potentials enough.  Should have stuck with an eastern front theme--maybe that would have worked.  I don't know.  Not a bad game, just not good enough to compete with so many other ones that just seemed to offer more.  Sigh.


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