What is this game?

Panzer VI

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Is this a Real-Time Pausible or Turn Based?

From the screen shots it looks like a real-time pausible, but I've seen people say they do PBEM so I assume its like some kind of ''WEGO'' type thing.
 

Dr Zaius

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It actually is turn based, however, it often takes many turns for a unit to complete the orders you give it. The end result is that Decisive Action feels more like a WEGO game than a turn based game.

There's nothing quite like it on the market. If you want realistic battles at the operational level, DA is your best bet.
 

Panzer VI

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Oh, so its like a War in the Pacific style turnbased where you tell your units where to go or attack, but they are carried out after you finish telling ALL of your units what to do.
 
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Dr Zaius

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In DA you give all of your units orders and when done you end your turn. The AI will then attempt to carry out those orders and combat will automatically occur whenever two units come into contact with each other. The thing that makes it similar to a WEGO system is that you can set orders that will take many turns to complete. You can set waypoints for units to follow, so it may take them some time to carry out your original orders.

There isn't a huge fan following for this game, but I've always wished the developer would release some additional content. That would go a long way toward giving DA new life.
 

Panzer VI

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Ok, thanks for reply.May look into getting this.

More Questions:
Whats the Replayability of this game?
How many Scenarios?
Editors?
 

Dr Zaius

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Whats the Replayability of this game?
Man, that's a tough one to answer. I guess I would say the replayability is medium. The game doesn't ship with a lot of scenarios, and some of the ones it does ship with aren't terribly exciting. On the other hand, they do serve to help the player learn the system.

Panzer VI said:
How many Scenarios?
I don't remember exactly (I don't have DA installed at the moment), but I think it's about 10 or so. Not a huge variety. You'll get bored with those pretty quickly, but there are a couple of places that host custom DA scenarios. One of the better Decisive Action archives on the Internet is here at GameSquad. Check these out:

http://forums.gamesquad.com/downloads.php?do=cat&id=34
http://forums.gamesquad.com/downloads.php?do=cat&id=66
http://forums.gamesquad.com/downloads.php?do=cat&id=32

I have some custom scenarios that I designed as well, I just haven't posted them yet.

Panzer VI said:
The game does ship with a scenario editor that's pretty easy to use. You can add new maps by using a standard topographic map image of the appropriate scale and then plugging in the terrain values, which is quite easy.

DA uses a rather abstract method to represent units, so it's really easy to create new units of just about any type you want. It's kind of hard to explain, but DA's units are not made up of individual equipment that adds up to a total strength value like, say, The Operational Art of War or Panzer Campaigns. It's more abstract than that.

For example, I want to create two units, the US 1st Infantry Division and the North Korean 675th Motorized Rifle Regiment. For the 1st INF, I simply create a new unit, select division as the unit size, and then set some other basic values that tell the system that it's an infantry division. The system then gives you a default strength value, but you are free to change this to any value you want. So I can make the US division 56 in strength and the NK unit 23. It's sort of abstract, but it works.

Now one area where DA really shines is that you can task organize units into larger units. For instance, I could create three infantry battalions, an artillery battery, and a scout platoon and then put these "inside" an empty brigade shell to create a real brigade. These units can be split off during battle or, if desired, even temporarily assigned to another brigade. This is one of DA's better features and something rarely seen in a wargame at any scale.

DA is far from perfect, though. The air support model is a little simplistic. Also, the battle reports, while helpful, are not as detailed or well presented to the player as they should be. There's also a hard coded limit on the total number of units in any given scenario, as well as a limit on how many units can be assigned "inside" another unit. The limit is high enough to create reasonable scenarios, but if your intent is to create very large and very detailed battles, you'll quickly bump up against the unit limit and that was one of the primary reasons I eventually moved on to other games. Given the power of today's computers and available RAM, there's absolutely no reason for this limit. At a minimum I would like to see this limit doubled.

DA also lacks an event editor system such as that found in The Operational Art of War, so you can't set weather conditions or have reinforcements arrive when a certain trigger is activated. This is a significant shortcoming in an operational level simulation and really detracts from the game's overall value. Another weakness is that the system doesn't allow the scenario designer to do much in the way of assigning victory conditions, so battles tend to be pretty straightforward instead of having innovative victory parameters.

DA has a lot going for it, but it also has some serious shortcomings from a wargamer's perspective. Is it worth it? Generally, it is a good addition to any wargamer's library. But the game's weaknesses are frustrating, no doubt about that. It has some innovative features and really shines in specific areas, which only tends to make its shortcomings all the more annoying. With just a little more spit and polish, DA could become a wargame with a significant following.
 

Redwolf

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The terrain modeling is also too oversimplified for my taste.
 

Panzer VI

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Thats too bad, sounds like a good game but is very limiting.Would be great if they made an expansion of with improvements, and from what it sounds like, more detail in the game.

Oh well, kind of disapointing.
 

Redwolf

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Don't get us wrong. It's the only game in town in that area, and it does work.

It's just that there are some obvious possible improvements that spring to mind.

The only reason why I gave up playing it is "iconitis". It uses icons for everything (not text in menus). I can't remember icons. Can't play.
 

Dr Zaius

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Redwolf is right, the game does work and is pretty unique. What it does it does very well. But there are some things that really cry out for a little extra attention, and I continue to hold onto the hope the Jim Lunsford with put out an expansion that takes care of some of these items.
 
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