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WITE-2: thoughts and opinions?


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I have like 50% off from Matrix.

I think it is the only title being offered that I might be interested in.

But I never played any GG game before.  I am somewhat concerned about monotonous micro-management.  I was involved with the Panther Games series development.  I like the model of real time and delegating.  (Waiting for a patch to play again, but Dave's been working on one patch for 2 years.)

The AGEOD games are good for the ACW, but I was thinking WWII.

I tried HOI4 (DLC current), but it just seemed like one big abstract mess that has no resemblance to reality.

So, I don't know if I should give WITE-2 a try.  I will get it for $40 USD.  (This is really cheap when look at what it offers compared to CA or PDS.)  It is more question of time.  I must have invested a lot more money in HOI4 and 6+ months learning.  That's a lot to walk away from something.  So, I want to be pulled in/immersed as opposed feel like I really have experienced a game equal to Soviet mud.

CMx2, I will buy any title or pack as I like the engine ... not sure if I will ever have the patience for HUGE stuff.  But if I buy anything CM as I know the engine, it will never be a waste.

Well?

Thanks.

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WITE1 with dlc (lots of smaller stuff) will probably be in the Steam summer sale for about 70% off. Maybe try that and see if it is you cup of tea and then get the new game. Everybody who played the first one seem to like it. I will get it once it gets a dlc with smaller stuff.

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Grigsby's WITE was a great game, but I recall that if one built KV's rather than T-34's the Soviets did a lot better vs the Germans.   But, having played the campaign successfully once from each side, it's not a game that one wants to replay.

Not sure if WITE2 is sufficiently different. I have WITE2 but haven't looked at it for years.  IIRC it's more detailed in that one has much more control over air and artillery support.  But, IIRC the production aspect is not like WITE1.  

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=695

WITW seems to be more like an air power game in which land warfare is secondary.  

All Gribsby's grand strategy games play like monster 2D cardboard wargames.  As with WITPAE (which I find much more entertaining), it helps if you have a mind like an accountant.  

Edited by Erwin
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WITE 2 is a significant evolution wrt WITE and WITW. You have a more refined model of supply distribution (still abstract in jarring ways though), movement (more granular ground conditions, roads and rail transport), meaningful (allegedly) operational level air warfare (opposed to merely tactical), a notion of command inertia (preparation or ops planning points), combat delays/congestion (to more accurately reflect time and space constraints), and engaging campaign victory conditions (sudden death, high water mark rewards, vp awarded in function of how early or late certain milestones are achieved), and a significant overhaul of the user interface. The manual is very well written and it will be actually helpful and informative. A lot of effort went into it.

There are a few "contras" too. The AI is as smart as Gary can program it, no more and no less. So quite smart, but not magical. In a game with this scope, that means things can go off the rails in distracting ways. Also it is a 1980s AI: it cheats, way less than it used to,  and doesn't feel ashamed of doing so. You can adjust the level of cheating but the settings (basically a knob that goes from "I win always"/ "damaged tanks are always recovered and fixed" to "AI has nukes"/"AI has Star Trek technology to move and generate supply") require experimentation. Given that you need to restart a game if you mess up settings, throwing away hours, I find this irksome. WITE2 is funnest against a proper human opponent, the AI is for learning the game imo, just don't look too close at what it does with the rules. The game has no  HD support beyond 1080p, if you need big displays the game will be possibly unplayable (native scaling is being implemented and should be out soon). The event engine is underutilized imo, but offers a few welcome morsels of flavour (but nothing like HOI4 which I think is all flavour and texture). The UI has been greatly improved but still fails to explain well combat results.

If you're up for a big time commitment - a turn of the GC can take easily one hour or more of your time - and have a reliable war gaming buddy that is happy to play huge CMx2 scenarios to the end, then you can't go wrong with WITE2.

Edited by BletchleyGeek
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I have WITE and WITW, although I never managed to play more than scenarios or 1-1.5 years of campaigns. The game system is more suited to WITE with the larger maneuvering room on the OstFront IMHO. Problem with the game is more the very high level of micromanagement required.

I don't see that WITE2 is sufficiently different from Wite1 to warrant the upgrade.

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I have not bought number 2, but I have a lot of time in WitE. And honestly, if you are concerned about time and micro, you'll have it in spades with a Grigsby game. Running the risk of projecting my WitE experience on to the newer game, which may or may not share these things, there are few games as micro-intensive as these. As noted turns can easily take an hour. This is not all spent concocting masterful operational plans, but also on giving orders to your hundreds of counters, every turn for a hundred or two turns.

I happen to really enjoy it, but you need to have the same mindset or the sheer scale of what's before you can overwhelm or induce a sense of drudgery. This sort of game is not for everyone. Hell, it's not for most everyone :)

But if grand operational war games appeal, there are few to compete with the Grigsby games. The micro must be embraced or you'll never finish a grand campaign. There's no way around it (unless WitE2 has found ways around it haha). You don't play one of these grand campaigns, you live it, move by move all the way down the front line, week after week. It's nearly impossible to know whether to recommend it to another player really. But every true wargamer should at least give a Grigsby game a go. If it suits you, there are few better wargaming experiences in my view.

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A few years ago I played a German campaign in WitE and attempted to detail it in an AAR over at SimHQ. That AAR can be viewed here, if interested

https://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4454240/1

It's difficult to convey things like scale of micromanagement. How do you describe it, or put it in to words? I talked about it a bit in the AAR, but you'll have to experience it to know.

One of my issues with the decisions the designers of WitE made is how recruitment is handled. The two sides play by different rules. The German commander must adhere to strict historical unit arrival and departures timetables. The Russia commander can build whatever the hell he wants. It's such an odd design, and perhaps my biggest gripe with the game. But I'm not intending to discuss this. The German commander must also deal with Command Capacity. Each headquarters has a limit to how many subordinate units it can control. If the number exceeds the threshold then penalties are incurred. Juggling this overload is one of the finer points of command. Army Group South especially begins the game heavily overloaded.

But there is a way out of it. You can't just build a couple new Army Group or Army HQs, no, only a Russian can do such a thing! But if you can reach Rostov it triggers the AGS split in to Army Groups A and B, which of course the Germans did in preparation for Fall Blau. This a massive event for a German player, and the new HQs offer a chance to reorganize and fix the command capacity overload. But it is a MASSIVE! undertaking. You are taking regiments, divisions, corps and reassigning them. This one here, that one there. Detach this, attach that. Return this to OKH, sack this general, promote that general, and transfer the other one. All of this is in accordance with administrative points, which you need for each of these moves.  And I ate it up. This sort of thing is right in my wheelhouse, but it is a lot of work. Even many stout wargamers I know would blink at what is involved, and this is just one event in an entire war. The micro is strong in this one haha.

Here's what I wrote in the post describing this part of my campaign. It does not convey scale :)

With the split of Army Group South in to Army Groups A and B, a welcome opportunity to reorganize the overloaded command structure of the Wehrmacht was available to me, Having a fourth Army Group could allow redistribution of the forces throughout my command and alleviate the penalties that come when an organization is over the command capacity. At the start, only Army Group North does not suffer from this, but the other two do, and especially so in AGS.


This is a major undertaking, and the player must embrace the micro to attempt it. I failed to mention it yet, but the very first move I made in this campaign was to replace Halder at OKH with Kluge. Model then took Kluge's vacancy in 4th Army. And as mentioned, many corps commanders have also been replaced.

The creation of Army Groups A and B saw Rundstedt shift to AGA and Halder made a return as commander of AGB. But only very briefly as it turned out. The man cannot catch a break. He was immediately cashiered and replaced with Kesselring, who left Luftlotte 2 for this assignment.

The scope of the changes I made are too broad to recount in detail here, but in general terms I looked to make each army group structure the same. That is, each one would get a Panzer Group and two infantry armies. With the recent arrival of XXXX Panzer Corps, we now had 11 Panzer Corps, so one Army Group would be shortchanged.

In the north on the Leningrad front, no changes were made to Leeb's AGN in terms of commands attached to them. Hoepner's 4th Panzer would remain, as would 16th and 18th Armies. Because of the terrain, and the fact we have been tied down near Leningrad, 4th Panzer would be the one shortchanged, with just two Panzer Corps.

Bock's Army Group Center on the Moscow front saw some shuffling. XXIV Panzer Corps, the one from 2nd Panzer sent to the rescue at Leningrad was reassigned to Hoth's 3rd Panzer, raising it to three Panzer Corps. AGC had three infantry armies, the 2nd, the 4th and the 9th. So the 2nd was reassigned to Army Group B. This left AGC with three Panzer Corps and two infantry armies

Kesselring's newly formed Army Group B was assigned the sector around Voronezh. The recently arrived XXXX Panzer Corps was attached to 2nd Panzer, bringing it to three Panzer Corps. 6th Army was reassigned from Army Group South to AGB. So now AGB had Guderian's 2nd Panzer along with 2nd and 6th Armies.

Rundstedt's newly constituted AGA would be assigned the southern front, the right wing, and given responsibility over the region around Denpro and Rostov. Kleist's 1st Panzer (three Panzer Corps) remained, as well as 11th and 17th Armies.

All satellite armies were reassigned to their national headquarters.

With these moves the rough cuts were complete. No Army Group was overloaded any longer. However some overloading remained at the Army level, especially in 9th Army, but also minor overloading in 16th and 18th as they continued to hammer at Leningrad. This should be worked out in time, but I can only wish I had one additional Army headquarters, which would solve all remaining issues.

In all it was a massive undertaking, down to individual divisions, brigades and regiments being shifted to various corps, corps to various higher headquarters, and additional changes were made to corps commanders as I continue to try and get my most capable men in the best positions. All of these moves costs a lot of admin points, over 200 having been spent on this reorganization. With mud coming I felt I could spare the points with few HQBUs being needed as panzer units would be pulled back to refit.

The strategy gamer/micromanager in me absolutely loved the whole process, and the penalties had been eating at me since June. To have it (mostly) sorted at this point is very satisfying. It should prove of some worth come winter, and in to the '42 campaigning season

 So this is the sort of thing you can expect, I reckon. Again, this is not WitE2, and perhaps it is a mistake to compare the two. I should play it and see. But I expect the games will share this sort of thing, and others having played it can set me straight.

 

Edited by landser
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Am crazy into detail so kinda like that sort of strategic micromanagement.  I still think that WITPAE is the more fun game as it's great to have every single ship that took part in the Pacific War is at one's disposal (in addition to all the air squadrons and ground units).  There is a similar points system for replacing leaders for ground units, ships and squadrons.  But, one cannot do anything about the production system for the US.  One can optimize production when playing the Japs. 

However, the Jap AI is not great and one sees it making repeated dumb attacks.  I can now see why playing the Japs may be more fun as they only get 6-9 months when they have to do everything they need to, and after that the US production capability kicks in and the Japs are ground down and up against the wall.  The US superiority in everything after that compensates for any US AI failings - kinda like in many CM2 scenarios.

How is WitE AI?  Does it feel like one is playing someone intelligent?

 

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2 hours ago, Erwin said:

How is WitE AI?  Does it feel like one is playing someone intelligent?

 

 It depends on who you are asking, it seems. Some complain endlessly, and I think, unfairly, about the AI. I praised it in my AAR. It's not human, obviously, and it lacks that sort of daring that a human opponent might have. And potentially, it lacks the glaring mistakes a human may make. But my impression was that it was good enough. The AI takes up logical positions, attempts to escape encirclement, reacts intelligently and promptly to breaches, masses force to affect local penetrations and generally, I thought, puts up a fine fight.

I also made note of how variable it was. For example in my first aborted attempt at the grand campaign the Russian made a  stand at the Dnepr, forming a strong line and making the break through of the land bridge difficult. The second time it was a thin crust and instead he appeared to prioritize his defense of Leningrad. In a game like these Grigsby games, any level of unpredictability or inability to divine patterns is great. It's not simply a matter of knowing where he will make his stands and unlocking these programmed patterns, but of reacting to and exploiting things as they unfold. That is crucial to replayability.

I never did play WitP, but there's a member over at Subsim doing a AAR of his head to head campaign and I am really enjoying it, as the Pacific war is one of my things. It's all very interesting and makes me want to give it a go.

Edited by landser
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3 hours ago, landser said:

makes me want to give it a go.

The learning curve for WitPAE may be steeper than WitE.  It took me 6 months of game time until I thought I knew what I was doing and another 9 months to perfect operations like amphibious landings and understand how to use airpower effectively with all the aircraft types that were in that theater. 

But, it's taken me 8+ real years to get to the start of 1944(!).  At this point the US has SO much fuel, supplies and units, the challenge is what to do with em all.  I can now understand why experienced players prefer the Jap side.  It's much more of a challenge as after Summer of 1942 it's like you are fighting overwhelming Russian hordes, and one has to have very smart strategies.

I recall greatly enjoying the original WitE.  But, after winning playing both sides vs the AI, it wasn't compelling to replay.  The new version seems more complex in terms of artillery and air support, but IIRC one doesn't have control over production(?)  

I think I just have a hard time playing a hex-based game nowadays.  Yes, WitPAE is hex-based.  But, somehow forming up Task Forces with individual named ships (with simple 2D graphics and captains one can assign) and having the entire Pacific Rim to play in is very compelling.

 

Edited by Erwin
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it is only 2 more letters to say Japan.  Not sure if you have any idea how offensive that is to Japanese. It is not 1941 last I checked my calendar.

Edited by sburke
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We all abbreviate things all the time.  Please let's not get into political correctness forcing us to spell out every word fully.  Some people will always be offended by something.  I am offended by many things too.  I hold my tongue cos I know it's not intentional.

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15 hours ago, Erwin said:

I recall greatly enjoying the original WitE.  But, after winning playing both sides vs the AI, it wasn't compelling to replay. 

 

I can see that. In my case I played the Road to Smolensk scenario four or five times out of the block. I kept going until I could win a decisive victory in that one, which had the side benefit of giving me a lot of practice with the opening moves for Army Group Center, which paid off later. I then jumped in with both feet to the GC. I played it first as the Germans, with the 260-point campaign with FoW off. Then I played it again, this time with the 290-point campaign, FoW on and several bonuses given to the AI. Then I played a third GC as Russia. That's three times through the Grand Campaign and I did not attempt another. That was a number of years ago and then I planned to get WitW and then of course WitE2, but have done neither.

WitE could really use a mode with unrestricted starting positions. I would play through a fourth time if I could set all starting dispositions with a free hand. It's interesting to consider the possibilities if the player were free to do so.

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1 hour ago, landser said:

It's interesting to consider the possibilities if the player were free to do so.

Agreed.  It would be good to see if one could make better strategic choices.  But, of course we have the benefit of hindsight.  We really cannot put ourselves in the shoes of the historical commanders as we know too much.  Also, the AI probably wouldn't be able to cope.

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6 hours ago, Erwin said:

We all abbreviate things all the time.  Please let's not get into political correctness forcing us to spell out every word fully.  Some people will always be offended by something.  I am offended by many things too.  I hold my tongue cos I know it's not intentional.

that isn't an abbreviation, it is a racist slur.  Ever call my wife a Jap when I am around and you'll lose a few teeth.

Edited by sburke
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Wow.  If that is the standard around here, a lot of people on these forums would lose teeth and more for saying lots of things that offend me.  Ridiculous sensitivity is imploding our culture imo.  Or maybe you are one of those who don't believe we euro westerners have a culture cos we "stole" it.

Edited by Erwin
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2 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Wow.  If that is the standard around here, a lot of people on these forums would lose teeth and more for saying lots of things that offend me.  Ridiculous sensitivity is imploding our culture imo.  Or maybe you are one of those who don't believe we euro westerners have a culture cos we "stole" it.

Or maybe I believe you are a racist and your referencing that Euro western dog whistle is pretty much proof.

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I looked from the start of this thread and realized that you have interposed yourself into a thread to which you have made no contribution whatsoever, and are merely attempting to derail this thread.  

This is exactly the sort of thing you would complain about if anyone interrupted your thread.  I'd say this as a good example of hypocritical virtue signalling.  If you have nothing to contribute, why are you disrupting our conversation about a WW2 game?  If you are auditioning to be part of the thought and censorship police, China would love to have you.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Erwin said:

I looked from the start of this thread and realized that you have interposed yourself into a thread to which you have made no contribution whatsoever, and are merely attempting to derail this thread.  

This is exactly the sort of thing you would complain about if anyone interrupted your thread.  I'd say this as a good example of hypocritical virtue signalling.  If you have nothing to contribute, why are you disrupting our conversation about a WW2 game?  If you are auditioning to be part of the thought and censorship police, China would love to have you.

nice, it is my fault for derailing a thread because you think it is okay to use racist terminology.  And no I would not complain if someone interrupted my thread to point out language I was using was deeply offensive to their loved ones.  JFC Erwin is it too much too recognize that the expression Jap is an extremely offensive slur? Why are you even bothering trying to defend it's use?

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On 6/15/2021 at 9:34 AM, rocketman said:

WITE1 with dlc (lots of smaller stuff) will probably be in the Steam summer sale for about 70% off. Maybe try that and see if it is you cup of tea and then get the new game. Everybody who played the first one seem to like it. I will get it once it gets a dlc with smaller stuff.

I agree with this. If you haven’t played WITE or WITW(very similar system) that would be a good way to try it without a big investment. I have both. I’ve played a few PBEM campaigns of WITW and was on the beta for the Tunisia expansion. I really enjoy it. WITE I’ve never quite gotten into. Not sure why. Tried a few times and got bored with it. Many years ago I played the old DOS based version of it (same title?). Loved it. Maybe I got played out. But they are good, super detailed and involving but there are things you can automate to make it not so overwhelming. 

They DO take a significant time investment in learning and in playing. Oddly now that I’m retired I’m finding I don’t want to spend as much time, but I have quite a few other interests. 

Dave

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13 hours ago, Erwin said:

I looked from the start of this thread and realized that you have interposed yourself into a thread to which you have made no contribution whatsoever, and are merely attempting to derail this thread.  

This is exactly the sort of thing you would complain about if anyone interrupted your thread.  I'd say this as a good example of hypocritical virtue signalling.  If you have nothing to contribute, why are you disrupting our conversation about a WW2 game?  If you are auditioning to be part of the thought and censorship police, China would love to have you.

Have you been living underneath a rock for the last 80-plus years? Any excuse you make about using the term "Jap" is a laughable joke - and I'm putting it that way very politely. 

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Poms, Dings, Slopes, Square heads, Yanks, Canucks that's what I would call you last year. This year it is British, Italians, Asian, Germans, Americans, and Canadians. What people call me is none of my business. Welcome to the politically correct world, some words are acceptable in some versions of English and unacceptable in others. I won't write here what they call Japanese People in an Australian RSL Club. After all the WW2 Veterans are now Centenarians leave the old guys in peace. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for or your insights.  Reasons I purchased.

1)  I had Matrix anniversary discount so it was only 50% for me.  (although I would have got it anyway, but it was the coupon which started me looking)

2) I love computer war games.  I know WITE2 is not a BG/TBS/HEX/CTR game; emphasis on BG and PC.  But it is very close to its BG roots with quite a bit of automation:  Air and Logistics and Theater Boxes.  In a sense, BG gaming underlies many of the games I love including CM, but you can really see the evolution in the Panther Game Series or the Struggling HOI4.  So, in a sense, they is like evolutionary search for the roots of my hobby.  I have already done enjoyed comparing it Panther Games and HOI4.  In PG, I think we really neglected the air war.  I think in HOI4, everything about combat is modeled very weak.  I did spend about 10 years pitching PG everyday against games like the GG series.  I still the superiority of intelligent agents.

3) It seems to be the best of GG's work and I am more interested in the Eastern Front after playing MIUS.

4) Finally, I started reading the 500+ page manual before buying.  It is one of the most well written tech docs, I have ever seen.  (This includes both games and other computer software.)  I figured if it played 50% as good as the manual, it should be fun.

5)  Very well targeted YouTube videos versus the meandering HOI4 videos that are much work extract useful and current information.

6)  It's a complete game, and what a game should be.  Well, I would say 90% complete.  But most change will be bug fixes, some mechanics, some rules ... mainly under hood, and the manual will still apply.  Not like PDS, where the base game is only 10% of a title.  PDS is never the game you want, but always becoming the game you want with the next DLC.  GG games appear to be supported for about 10 year; the base game receives the support; and not by virture of buying one of 2-3 DLC scenario packs.

So, those were my reasons for buying.  I am learning now.  I can push around counters, but I am not ready yet.  Even if I don't play, I still feel it is a good investment as buying a book on the evolution of war gaming.  It might just stick with 3D wargames:  CM, MIUS, SOW, and for 2D/CTR AGEOD:  AJE, ACW1, ACW2 and CO2.

---

Is the game complex yes?  But in a good sort of way.  What I mean it is complex because many important aspects are modeled like air and logistics and weather.  This is as opposed to complexity in PDS games which exist more to convince you that a DLC was worth the price as opposed to it attempts to faithfully represent some aspect of history or conflict.

---

Yes, I won't lie.  I really put serious time into PDS games.  I wanted to know what I had missed.  So, full (all 100+ EU4 DLC) games.  I deleted all but City Skylines 12 hours before the Spring Sale:  CK2/CK3/EU4/HOI4.  Besides learning WITE2, I am in the middle of one CMBN fight and one MIUS small OP.  Despite the sorry state of the world, I plan to enjoy my retirement for as long as I last.

---

Thanks all for your thoughts.  I will probably post when I get some real play experience.  But don't expect that to be next week.

 

Edited by markshot
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I don't know if it is fully confirmed but I think they intend to create a multi-player single side system. So you can play the campaign with different players controlling AGN, AGC, AGS, Air Command and so on. Would be really cool and also an easier way to get through the campaign with not as much "work".

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