Saturday, March 22, 2008

God Help Me Pt II

For those of you wondering exactly what $176 of wargame (at discount) buys you, aside from a nagging feeling that perhaps your priorities are way out of whack, is shown here.

The table requirements are listed at around 8.5' x 6.5'. As a reference, the television behind the game is a 42" LCD projection set. There are actually three sets of maps, one from the old Enemy at the Gates game (the intellectual parent of this game) that comprise four maps at the top of the picture including one half map of the area east of Stalingrad. These overlap the four "Case Blue" maps in the SE corner that encompass the Caucasus from Rostov to Baku. The Crimea map is in the SW corner. Were I to have purchased Guderian's Blitzkrieg II (almost certain to see a reprint should this game sell well), I would have another four maps at the northern end of the floor. I do not know if I have a room big enough that I would not have to clear of furniture. As it was, the dogs had to go into the bedroom for me to take this picture. Were I to set this entire game up to play a full campaign, it would completely take over my game room for a period measured in years. On the other hand, I could devote only my main gaming table (a rather smallish dining table with butterfly leaves on the ends) to either the EatS or CB sets, perhaps without the Crimea map, although the play time would still be epic.

There are six, count 'em, six rules/scenario/info books (booklets only really applies to a few of them) weighing in at a bit less than 250 pages, although only around 60 pages are actually rules (considerably less than, say, ASL, and most rulesets are between 24 and 48 pages, although type density varies greatly - this game has fairly dense type with relatively few graphics). One of the two scenario books is 80 pages long. Two of the books are side-specific and contain most of the tables and reference information - these are each 24 pages.

There are twelve full countersheets and one half countersheet, although to be fair one countersheet is to replace Guderian's Blitzkrieg counters were you to combine the two games, and three are there solely to supply markers. That still leaves eight and a half countersheets of actual combat counters, at 1/2" size (the small ones). Frighteningly, I could probably clip this entire countersheet set, assuming I wasn't worried too much about organization (which would be astonishingly foolish of me) in about 30 minutes per sheet.

For now, the game will remain unpunched. Really. I rarely buy games on speculation, but given the length and space requirements of this bad boy, even the "short" scenarios, I expect that I would be very wise to hang onto it for a few years and then put it up on eBay or similar. Were a reprint of Guderian's Blitzkrieg II to see the light of day once this had run out of stock, I can imagine prices above $400 for collectors with even less self control and more resources than I. Wishful thinking perhaps, but I have to say there is something comforting (and simultaneously disturbing) about having a game of this heft in my collection, even if it remains unpunched.

Now you know what I'll be talking with my therapist about for the next month. And I may need to get one after this decision.

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