Small General Eastern Front

GrogHeads is pleased to induct Small General Eastern Front into the Order of the Hex for Excellent Depth in Mobile Gameplay.

GrogHeads is pleased to induct Small General Eastern Front into the Order of the Hex for Excellent Depth in Mobile Gameplay.

Review by Jim Zabek, 27 April 2013

Publisher & Developer: Victor Reijkersz Games

Great gameplay on the go? Believe it! If you’re on an Android phone, you’ve got a new ‘must-play’ game.

About a year ago Grogheads published a review of Small General. Set in a generic World War II-ish environment it to offered a non-historical operational wargame to players with Android-powered devices. Developed by VR Designs, the same development house that recently won an Order of the Hex award for great historical gameplay and Third Place in our Readers’ Choice Awards, it should come as little surprise that a more historically-focused game for Android devices would soon follow.
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Small General: Eastern Front takes the gameplay from the original game and polishes it nicely into an Eastern Front operational game. Using similar game mechanics – a hex-based map, morale states, lines of communication – units now reflect appropriately historical units. Foot infantry, mechanized infantry, armor, elite units, and artillery all are now present. Several scenarios have been created allowing the player to either play starting in June 1941, or smaller scenarios such as Stalingrad and Leningrad.

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Weather plays a significant role. The rainy season turns the map to mud. Movement and attack values are significantly reduce. When winter arrives the Germans suffer strong penalties. During the first several months the Soviets suffer general penalties due to the shock and confusion of the Germans’ Blitzkrieg.

 

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Other improvements have been made. The AI is rather wily, maneuver warfare is central to the game. Punching through the enemy line and surrounding enemy units significantly reduces their fighting effectiveness and locks enemy units in place. However, the lessons of history hang close over the players’ heads. The Germans start with an incredible advantage, but as the war progresses the Soviets improve both in quality and quantity. Playing the full war scenario, as the Germans I repeatedly was able to take and hold Moscow – but the victory conditions require more than holding Moscow and seizing all the cities required to win is difficult.

 

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Often I was presented with difficult choices: should I surround and annihilate the Soviet forces I faced? Or should I try to grab as much land as possible as quickly as possible? There are no easy answers, and Small General: Eastern Front packs a lot of historical wargaming into a smart phone. This isn’t Angry Birds, this is solid operational wargaming on your mobile device. VR Designs has the wargaming design experience to bring a first-class wargame to any platform desired, and Small General: Eastern Front delivers the full experience of fighting on the Eastern Front.

 

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If you’re a wargamer and have an Android phone or tablet, buying Small General: Eastern Front is a must. The cost isn’t great and the game it delivers should keep you playing long after you’ve waited in line for your coffee, received it, and gone back for another. If there is any drawback to the game it is that most mobile games are designed to keep you occupied while you’re wasting time waiting for something else. Small General: Eastern Front is not that game. It is a full-blown operational World War II wargame in a very small package. Be warned: you’ll want to keep playing far longer than just waiting in line for whatever. You may find yourself firing the game up on your phone and playing instead of watching TV. You might even find it replaces some of the wargaming you’re accustomed to doing on your PC. Yeah, it’s that good.

 

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