Anyone try this yet?

Redstorm

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I was wondering if anyone had picked up Matrix Games "War in the Pacific-The Struggle Against Japan"
Any players out there with impressions of the game.
 

Prester John

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I haven't bought it yet. I'm waiting for a few (more) issues that have come up in the forums to be addressed. The main game stopping problems have been fixed in the first patch, now there are gameplay issues like how the economy can accelerate the production of new model aircraft which your squadrons can't use until the historical introduction time.
 

Pfc TAZ

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I just bought it...and patched it. There are two patches already released. One is huge, version 1.20 = 120MB; the other is small, version 1.21 = 10MB. So if you don't have broadband it could be tough to download.

I am just starting the tutorial, but as an ex-UV player that shouldn't take too long. It looks like it will be a tough game to master. It's huge, with tons of units. From what I saw on the Matrix boards it can be tough to keep track of all of your units and bases. With UV it took me two or three games to get the supply issue figured out. This game is much bigger, with more bases, so that increases the learning curve.

I'll post more impressions after a few days.
 

Pfc TAZ

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Well I played through the tutorial.

1. Many typos in the tutorial manual. Most don't cause any problems, but a couple caused some confusion.

2. The combat graphics still need fixing. When an aircraft fires a black square appears over it -- missing "shooting" graphic is my guess.

3. Most disturbing -- 15 Zekes enter battle with my carrier air group...24 get shot down? -- maybe it was just a tutorial thing. When the # if aircraft on one side got down to 0 the air battle would continue.

4. Overall it looks good, the sounds work for the situation and the music is appropriate.

5. I'm going to try one of the small scenarios to see what the gameplay is like.

I'm still positive on it. Matrix has a good rep and I'm willing to give themmtime to fix the issues.
 

Pfc TAZ

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I thought that I would update this in case anyone is interested in the game.

I have finished a couple of smaller scenarios and have played it enough to form an opinion. It is superior to Uncommon Valor and quite a good game. The learning curve is steep, I have spent some time on Matrix's forum to help with this.

As for the problems I identified:

1. Still too many typos in the manuals. They seriously need a proofreader.

2. The combat graphics issue went away when I started playing real games.

3. The larger # of aircraft shot down compared to actually being in the battle was explained as Fog of War and makes sense -- so that was a "perception" bug.

I have played the Coral Sea scenario twice against the AI, once as Allies and once as Japanese. I lost as the Allies and won as the Japanese.

It seemed to me that as the Allies I performed well, I dominated in air combat and hit the Japanese carriers alot, but failed to sink any of them. They are too well armored for early war Allied bombs. I almost sunk one of their light carriers, but the big carriers were hit numerous times without much deck penetration.

I used Port Moresby's air groups as CAP and fought the Japanese from behind their cover. The air war was no contest, the Japanese carrier air groups were mauled, but got through.

As the Japanese my bombs were much more effective against Allied carriers. I saw that although my carriers did get a large number of hits on them there were very few deck penetrations, so my assumptions on the allied bombs seem to be correct. I managed to sink one of the Allied cariiers and won a matrginal victory.

My air combat losses were a lot less, but by then I knew not to send my Zeros on long range Escort missions from reading Matrix's forums.

Overall, I have found it to be stable and not have any "killer" bugs. There are some questionable AI problems though. A big deal since the game is so big you need to rely on it to do routine operations for you. I turned on automatic convoys to see what it would do -- it sent a task force of fully loaded tankers on a suicide mission through the Japanese navy. There was little reason to do so since the area it sent them to has one small base without any ships or aircraft and was surrounded by Japanese bases, and massive amounts ships and aircraft.

My next mission is to take a larger scenario and play with all the chrome (Fog of War, etc.) applied, probably a later war scenario to see if Allied bombs get any better.

I am waiting for the next patch (1.30?), it is supposed to have a number of playability fixes, but I haven't encountered anything serious yet. I give the game a thumbs up if you are a serious Pacific War grognard who isn't afraid to play a long term game (it would take YEARS to finish the campaign game on 1 day turns), but would warn any casual gamers away. There is just too much micromanagement in order to be successful, and it is expensive. I would strongly suggest reading the entire Matrix "Game Tips" forum before playing. It has a ton of advice for new players and lets you know about most of the gotchas that you will encounter. As for me, this game fulfills many of my hopes since Victory Games "Pacific War" came out in the 80's.
 

JeremyScott

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After trying it for a while, I liked it, but found out it takes TOTAL dedication to the point of never going out and having a life again and causing hours of restlessness anddespair. I gave up on it andwent back to CMBO<CMBB< TOAW and Medieval Total War. Its a good game, dont get me wrong, it just goes way to deep into micro management and into every single lil detail.
 

Pfc TAZ

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Hi Jeremy!

I agree with you on this one, it is filled with micromanagement and will take years to play the campaign. But, in a way I think it was a game that HAD to be done, and at least for me, I had to buy. It's detail and scope are amazing. But, as you say. it took me three nights just to set up my first turn in the campaign. You need to visit every air group, create a TF for every sub, verify WHERE everything is, etc.

Some key issues I've id'ed with this game:

1. No effective delegation at higher levels-- you can kinda do it at the theater level, but it hasn't worked out too well for me.

2. The auto convoy bug is a killer -- this MUST be fixed.

3. Units should default to their best, most effective settings for the task assigned to them, unless overridden by the player. Too much time is wasted going to each air unit and setting it up.

4. It should be much easier to find your units.

5. There should be some way to assign settings and orders to groups of units. Say, select all the fighters you want in a theater on CAP missions and then set them up all at once.

6. There must be a waypoint function that allows for more complex movement orders.

7. Clicking on stuff to select it is a beast, the bases and ports are too small, and the buttons on the dialogs are tiny. This is tough for a menu driven game.

8. I'd also like to be able to put a note or thumbtack on specific hexes for my only reference later in the game. Like check fatigue on this unit or last sighting of IJN Carrier group. You can do stuff tlike that in CRPG's now, why not wargames?

I could be wrong and some of this stuff is in there, the manual is only 200+ paqes! Is it me or now that companies don't print the manuals themselves they are getting HUGE. I have a laser printer and I balked at printing that beast.

But, overall, I would say it is a great game. I have always wanted a game of this magnitude on this subject. In the end I decided to buy it to support the effort. If it doesn't make money then it will never get better, or no one else will even try to create a newer version.

I realize I will never finish the campaign game, but it is fun to try.
 
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Patrick Brazil

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No Manual....

Pfc TAZ said:
I could be wrong and some of this stuff is in there, the manual is only 200+ paqes! Is it me or now that companies don't print the manuals themselves they are getting HUGE. I have a laser printer and I balked at printing that beast.
My copy of War in the Pacific sits all patched up and unplayed as of yet. My printer is not working properly and there's no way to get a grasp on this game without directions. I've been waiting for a Pacific War game like this to come out for years and what a disapointment. This is the first wargame I've bought without a manual and certainly will be my last!

-Patrick
 

Gregg

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War in the Pacific

I have had the game for almost two months now.
I fiddled around with it for a couple weeks, to get the feel of the system. Having played Uncommon Valor, the system was not hard to pick up. The big difference is the production, raw materials and oil fot the Japanese side.
I have been playing the long campain, Dec 7th to when ever as the Japanese. It is now mid Feburary 1942, and I'm kicking butt. This campain will end with an automatic Japanese decisive victory at the end of 1942. I'm playing at the historical setting, next time I will go the difficult setting.
The AI is fairly good, you leave your butt sticking out, and it will clobber you. But it is rather predictable.
It takes an average of 1 to 2 hours per turn (day)to do everything you need to do each turn.
All in all, it is a good simulation of the Pacific war of WWII.
Regards, Gregg
 

JSMoss

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This is largely an updated packaging of something Grisby did in the late '80s or early '90s. I palyed that to death and the mechanics aren't all that different so I have a bit of a leg up. It was way ahead of anything else at the time and to a great extent still is in terms of being ablbe to address the full PTO with appropriate modeling of air and sea interdiction thus making a systemic approach to base control central to the game.

To play the campaign is not so much a game as a life commitment. I agree that the auto convoy bug is a killer. Hopefully that will be fixed soon.
 
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