Sunday, March 02, 2003

Battle Fatigue

I have read a few personal memoirs about warfare over the years and one theme that runs through all these books is the constant state of exhaustion of a soldier in a combat situation. It is caused by the extreme stress of combat and simple lack of sleep and simple comforts. Last evening I played Axis and Allies: Europe with Dutch and Bookpimp. After about hour five I now understood what those writers were speaking of. It's a pretty complicated game that requires a lot of time to finish. Not even the 40 plus ounces of Mountain Dew I drank was enough to clear the cobwebs in my brain as the pressures of my battlefield decisions continued to mount. I was playing the Soviet Union and Dutch was controlling the German forces. We exchanged eastern Poland a number of times and, late in the game, I lost Stalingrad and Leningrad in one turn. I gained the cities back quickly since my enemy's troops were stretched and his lines were weak. Despite our exhaustion we did soldier on and did not end the game until it was obvious that Bookpimp, who was controlling England and the United States, and I were ready to overwhelm Dutch's forces.

We did learn something from our gaming experience that ended around three. We decided to start our next war in the afternoon and not the evening.

More about fake war

I have to give mucho credit to whoever designed this game. Initially Germany has the upper hand, especially in eastern Europe and they can blitz quickly into Russian territory. But capable allied generals should be able to eventually overwhelm the German player. Although, simply because of a monetary, advantage the allies should propel the German forces, a good German commander can make it difficult even if he inexplicably buys troop carriers late in the game. Dutch proved that by twice throwing the allies off the beaches in France. I want to play again right now.

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