Second Front: Germany Turns East
DOS - 1990
Description of Second Front: Germany Turns East
"The Eastern Front of World War II, covered from start to finish. Different levels allowed one to see losses taken down to squad level. One could replace commanders, build armies, seize objectives -- it was all here, but it was soon replaced by [Grigby's own] War in Russia." [excerpt from M. Evan Brooks' Homepage]
Review By HOTUD
Captures and Snapshots
Comments and reviews
The Pilgrim 2023-07-27 0 point
Though the 1993 remake (War in Russia) is better in many aspect, this game remains fun to play, specially for anyone new. If you are interested in War in Russia but have never played it before, playing Second Front first will make the learning curve easier.
The main differences between SF and WiR are:
1- Transfer of units in SF is easier and more flexible, making it easier to manage. Transfer in WiR is more restricted and realistic, and hence more cumbersome.
2- Management of Air Forces is easier in SF, as you only need to select the relevant HQ and order the mission you want to perform. In WiR you need to assign each air squadron in the HQ to the type of mission you want to perform, then select the HQ and issue the order. The system in WiR is more flexible but requires more micromanagement.
3- In WiR, HQs have Operation Points, which are spent when moving and trasferring units, which you may spend for Special Supply units (to increase readiness), and which are needed in the Combat Phase for plots to actually being carried out, forcing more planning on you part to avoid running out of them before the Combat Phase and thus not being able to execute plots. In SF there are no OPs and you only need to make your plots and run with it, though you can't increase readiness with Special Supply.
4- In WiR there are stacking penalties for assigning too many divisions to a single Korps/Army. In SF there are no stacking penalties. WiR forces you to make the composition of Korps/Armies more realistic and historical, while SF is more flexible (and you can - and should - limit yourself from exploiting overstaking).
5- In SF, your are given a rough estimation of the Combat Value of an enemy unit, while in WiR you are only given a rough estimation of the amount of divisions in the enemy unit, with no information of their actual Combat Value. This makes easier to plan your moves in SF. Also, in SF all enemy units are displayed on the map, while WiR has Fog of War and your units may run into unknown enemy formations as they advance into enemy territory.
6- Perhaps the most relevant difference, is that in WiR it's way, WAY harder to force the retreat of an enemy Korps/Army. In SF you can brute-force your way into any hex (except Leningrad), while in WiR you can't force your way into a City, Marsh or Mountain hex if the defender is reasonably strong and fortified, and even in clear terrain the defenders have a much higher chance of forcing the attacker to bounce. Whis makes the game harder for the Germans in 1941 (in SF you can take Moscow by frontal assault, in WiR you cannot), but also harder for the Soviets later on (in SF, once the soviet player has managed to contain Barbarossa, it's just a mop up to Berlin, while in WiR the soviet player will have to concentrate forces and plan it's offensives carefully if he wants to make it to the german capital before the endgame dateline).
7- The Soviet production advantage is tweaked in WiR. In SF, the Soviets become basically unstoppable if the germans fail to take Moscow and Leningrad in 1941. And even if the germans manage to take those two cities, the Soviets can still overcome them by sheer numbers if the germans don't keep destroying soviet formations in large numbers on the way to Stalingrad. In WiR, the germans keep a reasonable chance of winning even if they fail to take Moscow in 1941, and if the german player delivers enough damage early on he can even win a long war of attrittion all the way into 1945. A Soviet player in SF doesn't needs to concern himself with casualties any longer after succesfully defending Moscow and Leningrad in 1941, while in WiR he may run out of juice before reaching Berlin if he indulges into casual human wave tactics too much.
So, in short, SF is easier and more fluid to play than WiR, and any new player should play SF first then move into WiR for a more complex and historical challenge (be sure to get the 1993 1.1 version of WiR, the Matrix remake is crap).
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