in SSI's series When Superpower's Collide, is
a strategic simulation of conventional warfare in the
Artic region (specifically Norway). In many ways it
is identical to Germany 1985 and the rules book
presented in the game is only supplementary to the Germany
book. So make sure this isn't the first of the series
you buy! Having said that, there are differences. First
of all, the most obvious of these differences is that
the game is presented on a white play screen rather
than a black one (to represent the snow). However, beyond
the superficialities, there are other, more subtle changes.
Again, the game is based mainly on battalion action,
but there are exceptions to this due to the relatively
high presence of specialist forces in the region. Again,
the game is basically a land warfare simulation, but
rules for tactical air strikes and local air superiority
are also catered for in considerable detail. There are
also some minor changes to how certain rules are implemented,
and the scale of the map is greater.
scenario suggests that during the summer, conventional
forces easily attack and occupy Norway while the rest
of the war rages across Europe. However, with the onset
of Winter, things begin to go wrong as Soviet equipment
becomes bogged down and frozen up in the snow. The harsh
local conditions that effectively changed the rules
of modern warfare in Vietnam and Afghanistan now take
their toll here. So whilst the Russians have superiority
in terms of men and equipment, the NATO player has flexibility
on his side.
the scenario of Germany was believable, considering
the importance of the area in an initial assault and
the time scale involved, this scenario leaves a lot
of questions unanswered which may detract from the credibility
of the game. Ultimately, you will have to decide whether
to employ the suspension of disbelief necessary to support
game takes place in player time, so you have as much
time as you need to make command decisions. Ordering
the forces involved is a simple procedure of placing
the cursor over the unit to be ordered and selecting
the appropriate command key from the menu (though this
is not continually displayed). The effects of terrain
and equipment malfunction are thoroughly dealt with
and take into consideration the harsh environment. All
these features combine to make play considerably less
predictable than in Germany, where results of certain
actions could be perceived to a degree, after experience
with the rules had been gained.
is one possible exception to this. Considering the speed
at which battalions move in the terrible terrain (and
remembering that this map scale is enlarged from the
original), some question as to whether winter travel
has been particularly well estimated (or whether the
manoeuvrability of the
units in Germany was under-estimated). However,
this is a relatively minor quibble compared to the technical
accuracy of the other game features.
is based on different conditions for the different
forces. Both players receive points each turn
for the number of urban, town or airbase hexes
they control at that time. In addition, the Soviets
gain four points for every NATO unit they eliminate,
whilst the NATO player only receives one point
per destroyed Soviet unit. This necessitates the
NATO player making the most of the stealth of
his forces compared to that of his adversaries.
Because of the importance of airstrikes, it kills
two birds with one stone if the NATO player directs
most of his energy into controlling Soviet airbases.
The game ends randomly between turns 14, 15 or
16. Whichever side you play, the pace will be
hot from start to finish.
up to the standard set by the first game in the
series, but very good nonetheless.
usual quality of SSI is present here.
It would have been easy for SSI
to have included the full set of rules and thereby
make this game playable by itself. This is my
Given the time-scale involved,
the scenario didn't quite convince me.
All of this fails to impair gameplay
which is still challenging and exciting.
Mixed feelings prevent me from
rating this higher. It really is a very good game,
but I fail to see why you need to buy another
game first. This attitude is not good for wargaming.