Decisive Campaigns: Case Blue
Decisive Campaigns: Case Blue is a turn-based operational-level game covering the German summer offensive in Russia in 1942. Players maneuver regiments across a vast hex field encompassing southern Russia from Kharkov to the Caucasus.
The well-designed interface makes playing this detailed, historically accurate game easy because it provides the necessary information to plan and carry out each turn. The game emphasizes proper command and control at corps and division levels. Having the right commanders in charge makes an enormous difference, and their influence is further enhanced by the innovative use of battle cards that represent their actions on the battlefield.
To conduct a successful attack, players must employ combined arms tactics in coordination with airpower in the correct sequence to create deep penetrations in enemy lines. The result is swirling battles of encirclement characteristic of the War in the East.
Intellectually challenging and depicting one of the most monumental struggles of World War II, Decisive Campaigns: Case Blue is a great example of traditional wargame design adapted to the computer.
Strategic War in Europe
Strategic War in Europe is a turn-based traditional- style wargame depicting all aspects of the war in Europe and the Middle East from 1939 through 1945. Gamers can play as any of 25 countries, but realistically they choose between Russia, the Axis and the Western Allies.
Players use diplomacy to entice other nations to join their cause, and historically scripted events pop up at the appropriate times. Fundamentally, players manage a simplified economy and a research and development program to build the armed forces needed to meet the enemy on the hex-covered field of battle.
Maneuver units include corps, armies, air forces and fleets. Ground combat is odds based, influenced by supply, terrain, weather, and the quality of the troops and their respective commanders. Air forces provide essential reconnaissance and ground attack, while naval combat is more abstract.
Strategic War in Europe covers the basic elements of World War II strategy, making it a good introductory-level wargame. The game engine is simple and straightforward, and the gameplay is quick and easy.
Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Jeffrey Paulding is a lifelong student of military history and science. He has been playing wargames since he was a child.
Originally published in the May 2013 issue of Armchair General.