Classic Game Review: Reforging 88

REFORGER ’88 reflects the same kind of careful research and exciting game theory that Gary Grigsby’s pastime awaits after games like Guadalcanal Campaign, Carrier Force, Objective Kursk, and War in Russia. In this simulation, a hypothetical invasion of Fulda Gap by Warsaw Pact forces with the primary objective of securing the Rhein Main Air Force Base near Frankfurt, US and West German forces must fight in a holding action against Soviet and East German aggressors to bring the superior replacement ability of NATO forces to take its toll on the Communists. The game can be described as a great tactical warfare in the sense that the player is concerned with unit-to-unit battle where terrain and objective selection is vital for success, but where the player must also be concerned with general assignments. supply, air superiority and / or targeting and air reconnaissance normally reserved for strategic decision makers.

Therefore, the game has an excellent combination of two levels of decision making in which 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 your appeal to the aggressive player who wants to take on a computer opponent. In the two-player version, the game runs smoothly and is friendly enough to allow an exciting game to be played in an afternoon. Grigsby wastes little programming time on superfluous “whistles and bells” like unnecessary title pages and graphics. Instead, it offers useful features like “automatic movement tank”. 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. Once the depot has stopped near the front lines, the player can maneuver it to supply the units he most needs to supply. However, the presentation of the game could have been improved if the coated maps had been printed with the map coordinates. The game could have been sped up considerably with that little addition.

As with most of Grigsby’s ground ops games, supply is a huge factor. Out-of-supply units are not only practically defenseless, but also unable to move. It’s not nice to be an easy target when five or more Warsaw Pact units surround you. The successful player will read the supply rules carefully and make a significant effort to enter within the two hexes required 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 place in a “ground attack,” he will lose an inappropriate number of aircraft if the enemy’s “air superiority” is significantly greater than his own. I have found the NATO player to be prudent when using all of their F-15 and F-16 Falcons, as well as most Tornados, in “air superiority” missions, so that the Phantoms, F-111,

The A-10, PAH-LS and AH-64 will have a reasonable chance of survival. This suggested assignment has the advantage of using each of the aircraft 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. Then, just when a player thinks they have the mechanics of the game in hand, they must learn to be alert to two very important advantages of the Pact of Warsaw, paratroopers and chemical warfare.On paratroopers, see Strategically Speaking from CGW 5.2 In chemical warfare, the Warsaw Pact must have strategic objectives in mind, as the doubling of the effectiveness of airstrikes and bombings is reduced by half when used against a battle group that has previously experienced a chemical attack. So, it is foolish to use chemical warfare so early in the day. l game that its strategic value and demoralizing effect are not available when NATO’s defensive strategy. orcas dig. One last short hint is in order. Unlike some games (and ours, actual battles) where the same piece of land, hill or block is taken and retaken numerous times, NATO’s defensive objective means that once the Warsaw Pact forces enter a city hex, NATO forces can never retake it.

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 defeated and take full advantage of the effects of the city’s defensive terrain.

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