Sunday, November 14, 2010

Flashpoint Germany - Revisiting Wargames

Does it happen to you that sometimes you try a wargame/simulator and go "meh!" and then some time later you re-try them and go "whoa!".

A German Panzer Brigade (grey counters) finds the first Soviet mechanized units.
Flashpoint Germany, by Simulations Canada and published by Matrix Games: I bought this one in January 2005, played it quite a bit and moved to something else. Yesterday I was pondering what game to fire up for some grand-tactical NATO vs Warsaw Pact action and remembered about this one.

Plotting the first waypoints for the reconnaissance units.
From the game's manual:

FLASHPOINT GERMANY (FPG) is a fast paced, command-orientated game of modern grand tactical combat. You are the officer commanding a Soviet, American, British or West German unit ranging from battalion to regiment / brigade. You will achieve victory by taking or holding a defined geographic local within the combat area while minimizing casualties to your forces and maximizing those of the enemy. Air strikes, helicopters, off-map artillery and even nuclear attacks may be on call.
This is a command-oriented game! This is not a simulator where you must perform every individual soldier’s job. As the commander you will observe and evaluate the tactical situation as it is revealed to you, plan your response in light of the victory conditions set out in the mission briefing, and issue the orders necessary to get the results you want. From there your subordinates will take over and do their best in the circumstances to make your intentions happen. This being the military, there will be areas of ambiguity, time lags and setbacks. You must adjust your plans accordingly and allow time for your intentions to be disseminated down the chain of command. This is represented by giving you the opportunity to issue orders only every 30 game minutes during a stop-time orders phase. When issuance is complete the game clock is started and the turn is resolved for both sides together. The planning process is then repeated. The game ends when one side achieves victory, or drops below 20% of its starting line strength (“sudden death”), or after 4-14 hours (depending on scenario settings) if victory has not been otherwise obtained.
Don’t panic! Modern combat can be a complex affair but you can assume that you have an able staff officer at your elbow to make your orders a reality - a trusted subordinate to take care of the actual implementation details. Relax, concentrate on the big picture, and learn by doing. If you make a mistake then start over and try a different approach - there is no one right way to any given situation. Experiment, think out of the box, and learn from the lessons that you receive. Start with some of the easier scenarios to develop a feel for the game. Finally, enjoy!

The British are to hold this town at all costs!


Seydlitz said...

Hi JC, have you ever tried Armored Brigade? Its a similiar game but more on the tactical level.

Its completely free but its still some kind of Beta

JC said...

Hi Seydlitz,

Indeed! That's a great one too.



Anonymous said...

Love that game, mate. Simply love it. Push back the Commies!

JC said...


Happy Veteran's day, dude!


Ron said...

Kinda interesting you have a post about beta testing and then you bring up FPG, which I was a beta tester and on the scenario team. Once it was released, I never played it again. I might just have to get it off the shelf now.

Ron said...

And to top it all off, I have my Modern Air Power WoTME manual on my counter.

JC said...

Ey Ron,

Thanks for your comment. You got the beta sores too? It's never too late to revisit. Just for kicks!