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Prophecy: Fighting Formations, more than just an awful start, an astonishing victory!

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Life and death come and go like marionettes dancing on a table. Once their strings are cut, they easily crumble.
What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror. Then we shall see face to face.
I played Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Division a couple of days ago. Needless to say, I really wasn't impressed. It wasn't some sort of minor dislike, I was ready to trade the game away.

Today I've changed my mind. To the point of prophecising that not only this is a very good game, but that it will become one of my favoured, my top 10, near to Paths of Glory and other illustrious titles.

What happened between two days ago and today?

Many a thing.

For starters I got to read the examples you find in the play book. I understood most of the game by reading those. So to new players I'd say: make sure to read the examples thoroughly.

I was able to play at least a game. A broken and frustrating experience, where my expectations were smashed to bits (T-34s are no match for the Stugs even if hull down). So, more than with the Germans, make sure to play with the Soviets.

Sleep a night or two, to make all the bits come together.

And voilà!

What you have is a very tight wargame. I wouldn't call it a simulation, but a hell of a game that is. Why is it so?

The game is of course tactical in nature, in the sense that you have to manage your resources to the optimum so to gain an edge on your opponent. You need to play the advantages each side has to offer and minimize the shortcomings. Germans fire and assault a lot, they have a little more difficulty in manoeuvring and advancing in with infantry which is exactly what the Russians are best at - the problem with them is that usually in the scenarios I've seen they have a shortage of commands and their radioless tanks can be a pain if not put in a position to just fire away at the enemy.
The use of the units' special actions in some cases is key, make sure to have assets so that you can make use of those to the best effect.

The grabbing of assets is very important. To take hold of these you need to forfeit much of your initiative, but it can well be a long term investment.

What to do and when will be a constant struggle to prevail and do something significant in the course of the game.
Where and when to place Mission Commands will have far reaching consequences.
When to grab assets. When to use them. When to discard them so to use a unit's special action AND which one to discard in this case.

The Order Matrix is a game in a game. It can force decisions that are not part of your general plan. Do you resist the urge with steely discipline or do you yield like a twig that won't break under the storm and kill a target of opportunity?

I can see now that this game has the potentiality to be as great as Paths of Glory, only maybe with half the rules.

So the prophecy's been uttered. And now the wargamer's journey has just begun...
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