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Classic Game Review: Reforge 88

REFORGER ’88 reflects the same kind of careful research and exciting game theory that the hobby has come to expect from Gary Grigsby after games like Guadalcanal Campaign, Carrier Force, Objective Kursk and War in Russia. In this simulation, a hypothetical invasion of the Fulda Gap by Warsaw Pact forces with the primary goal of securing the Rhein Main Air Force Base near Frankfurt, US and West German forces must fight against Soviet and East German aggressors to allow the superior replacement capacity of NATO forces to take their toll on the communists. The game can be described as a grand tactical war in which the player is concerned with unit-to-unit battle where terrain and objective selection is vital to success, but where the player must also be concerned with overall unit assignments. supplies, air superiority and/or targeting and aerial reconnaissance generally reserved for strategic decision makers.

Therefore, the game features an excellent combination of two levels of decision making where many games opt for a strategic or tactical level. In solo mode, the player is limited to playing with NATO forces. Of course, this must necessarily limit its appeal to the aggressive player who wants to play against a computer opponent. In the two-player version, the game plays smoothly and is friendly enough to allow you to play an exciting game in an afternoon. Grigsby wastes little programming time on superfluous “whistles and bells” like unnecessary covers and graphics. Instead, it offers useful features like “automatic moving deposit”. This feature allows supply depots to reach the front lines very quickly, limiting the need for the player to try and find the best route to the front lines. Once the depot has stopped near the front lines, the player can maneuver it to supply the units they need most. However, the presentation of the game could have been improved if the overlay maps had been printed with the map coordinates. The game could have sped up considerably with that little addition.

As in most Grigsby ground ops games, supply is a very important factor. Out of supply units find themselves not only virtually defenseless, but also unable to move. It’s not nice to be a pushover when surrounded by five or more Warsaw Pact units. The successful player will read the supply rules carefully and will make a significant effort to get to the required two hexes in order to supply all of his units.

The second most important factor in winning the game is the air mission assignment phase. The most important mission is “air superiority”. No matter how many combat points the player can put into a “ground attack”, they will lose an inappropriate amount of aircraft if the enemy’s “air superiority” is significantly greater than their own. I found that the NATO player is wise to use all of their F-15s and F-16 Falcons, as well as most Tornados, on “air superiority” missions, so the Phantoms, F-111s,

The A-10, PAH-LS and AH-64 will have a reasonable chance of surviving. This suggested assignment has the advantage of using each of the planes according to their strongest combat point values ​​(except for the Tornados which have a better ground attack rating, but are desperately needed to counter “air superiority” of the Warsaw Pact because its 9 CP is the third highest in “air superiority” missions.So, just when a player thinks they have the game mechanics in hand, they must learn to be alert to two very important advantages of the Pact Warsaw Pact, paratroopers, and chemical warfare For the best strategic use of paratroopers, see CGW 5.2 Strategically speaking In chemical warfare, the Warsaw Pact must have strategic goals in mind, since doubling the effectiveness of air strikes and bombardment is halved when used against a battlegroup that previously experienced a chemical attack.So it’s foolish to use war chemistry so early in the game that its strategic value and demoralizing effect are unavailable when NATO defense forces dig in. One last brief suggestion is in order. Unlike some games (and ours, real battles) where you take and retake the same piece of land, hill, or block multiple times, NATO’s defensive objective means that once NATO forces Warsaw enters a city hex, NATO forces can never take it back.

Therefore, it is vital that the NATO player meet the enemy before the city hex attacks. This way, the NATO player can retreat to the city if he is defeated and take full advantage of the city’s defensive terrain effects.

REFORGER ’88 is an excellent game that uses a fluid and easy to use system that is satisfying to play from the initial start to the last turn of battle. It’s the product of an incredible amount of research, and even a perusal of the list of weapons systems makes some Pentagon budget considerations seem clearer. The game is designed for a large amount of play time and a long lifespan.

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