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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.