Computer Wargame UIs: A Battle Lost Through Attrition

Over at my weblog, Tea Leaves, I have posted an article - well, OK, perhaps it's really a rant - called A Battle Lost Through Attrition.  The subject matter is, essentially, that simplicity of user interface matters, and that needlessly baroque UIs actively prevent new players from entering our hobby.  I used three operational-level games (Advanced Tactics: World War II, Norm Kroger's The Operational Art of War III, and Gary Grigsby's War in the East) as stalking-horses to provide examples to talk about. 


Hardcore operational-level computer war games have a serious problem: most of them are unplayable. 

Not all war games, obviously. And “unplayable” means different things to different people. A game that crashes whenever you start it up, for example, is literally unplayable. I mean something
softer, here: I mean that many games which should be brilliant, which
should capture the hearts and minds of every war gamer on the planet are
instead consigned to a dusty corner of the market by unacceptably
primitive user interfaces, obtuse mechanics, and poor communication of


The full article is at the provided link; I look forward to your comments, slings, and arrows.


Views: 65


You need to be a member of ConsimWorld to add comments!

Join ConsimWorld

Comment by Roger Morley on December 31, 2010 at 3:55pm

I read your article, and I do agree with you.

I have TOAW3, and to be honest, i have started it so many times and have felt no inclination to carry on playing it because of the user interface.

Probably the best UI I have ever come across for a turn based strategy game is from panzer general. it is by no means perfect, but is far easier to work around and easy on the eye ( and brain).

Comment by Eric Walters on December 31, 2010 at 1:54pm
GREAT article!  I'm sending the link of your blog to several of my friends who gripe about the SAME THING.

Help Center

Latest Activity

Jim Millard commented on Brian Blad's group World At War
"Eric, I looked at the new edition and saw the rulebook and decided to keep on suffering through the…"
5 hours ago
Eric Walters posted a status
5 hours ago
Eric Walters commented on Brian Blad's group World At War
"Not playing as much as I used to--still have all the modules.  May have to move over to the…"
5 hours ago
Jim Millard commented on Brian Blad's group World At War
"Anybody still playing this? I started out on the system late with EG Deluxe / BaB / ItB /…"
5 hours ago
Jim Millard joined Brian Blad's group
6 hours ago
Profile IconPeter Dahlin, Albert Wu and David Lally joined ConsimWorld
9 hours ago
skippen joined Ed Beach's group

Great Campaigns of the American Civil War

Fans of the GCACW series. Titles include: Stonewall Jackson's Way, Here Come The Rebels, Roads to…See More
skippen joined Brian Blad's group

Great Battles of the American Civil War

This is the place to discuss GMT/Richard Berg's GBACW series of games




CSW Related Links

Please be sure to check-out these CSW services.

© 2019   Created by John Kranz.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service