Yeah I'm pretty blown away at how slick it is. Totally next level.
One thing that I think it might be nice to have though, would be a game like this, but at much smaller scale. I mean a game that uses the same combat/production mechanics and basic unit roster (same unit graphics and UI organization etc), but aimed as an introduction for the larger more elaborate Iron War game. I'm pretty comfortable with G40 and the other WW2 style games for tripleA, but this one is a major leap with a lot going on.
I can imagine people taking one look at this and saying "oh shit! Lets cannibalize it and use all these dope graphics!" probably for some simplified A&A clone that doesn't even come close in ambition or scale. Maybe it would be better to get ahead of that? Like just create an Iron War "light" or a starter set, where the transition from say Revised or v3 or v5 or would be a little easier to handle? Something that creates more familiarity, even just on a visual level with units using the national roundel rather than national colors or D10 combat, but also for learning the resource and movement system, all the associated icons, or for units the basic values/abilities/pricing, things of that sort scaled down, as way to ease it in. Maybe doing it on a theater level? Like Europe with heavy Barbarossa focus, Lend lease to Russia, G trying grab the ore and black gold where it can? Just from like the Baltic to the Black Sea/Caucasus with a narrower field of play? I don't know exactly, but a smaller scale game that uses the exact same mechanics that this larger one does. So the the one can lead into the other naturally, the way v5 is supposed to lead to 1940, but using the Iron War system instead of A&A.
I mean when we have something this cool as an original work, I can't see any real reason to keep looking back at A&A for guidence. Not when the resource system presented here solves so many intractible issues present in A&A since forever ago. We could just rep this one as the gold standard going forward, for WW2 on tripleA.
That said TripleA still needs a solid original (but simple) WW2 game, that is easy to pick up and play in one session. A small map, for 5-6 player nations ala Classic, or even just a 1v1 easy to grasp and really accessible, but one that looks clean as hell like this one does. Clearly Iron War will more than satisfy any player who wants a game like HBGs Global War 36/9, or A&A Global 1940 taken to its logical extreme. But what would really seal the deal, is if there was a version of this that could do the same for players coming at it from a board more like Classic or 1942 second edition, where people could be introduced to the whole concept of resources and D10 on a map that more closely mirrors the scale of those boards. That's the only suggestion I have at the moment, otherwise it's just kicking ass and taking names all over the place. Beautifully done!
ps. the soundwork is killer! I keep grinning through the turns. Even if I forget to move Italians in Ethiopia because I'm so entranced haha.
Also this is the first tripleA map I've played where even single player vs fastAI feels really enjoyable, because there's just so much more to do. Like a total war stomp fest, where you can beef up one of the minor powers for kicks. It has all the same appeal as a world domination CA TW type game, but its better, since you can actually see and understand exactly why everything is happening. All the stats and mechanics are out in the open.
I just played my first run through past 1945. Germany and Italy are crushing (Moscow and Africa are ours for the moment) but Japan is stalled up on the water. Just bought a carrier only to watch the Americans send it to the bottom of the sea! I kept it going until 1948. Part of me thinks it might be more fun for SP to push these dates out a bit. It felt like I could have just as easily imagined it was still 1942 or 43 by the time the 10th round arrived, were it not for the reel telling me the war should have been over a few years ago by now haha.
This is the best handling of China on WW2 map I've seen. I love the choke point at the center.
I wonder about Canada, whether it might be cooler to call the British player "British-Canadians", or something like that? Since the rest of the Commonwealth is given it's own representation (with all the little flags and such), seems like it might be a bitter pill to swallow for the gang up north, who having been griping for a while that Canada never makes it into these games. Even if it needs to be attached to UK for the map to work as intended, maybe a nod in the name would be enough? Haha
Just dropped my first nukes...
I spammed infantry for the most part, and took quite a few turns just getting my bearings, but by the 1950s, Germany is still on the rise heheh. Fun map