RON not T&P
you are a german general fighting konev and zhukrov during the battle of berlin. you must try to stall or entirely stop the solviet advance.survive long enough and the solviet war machine will slow down considerably. the germans are also split into 3 different unorganized factions. the russians have no air force for balencing reasons.
i got my info from the fall berlin 1945 book..filled with maps and other goodies... yay
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(This review assumes that a 3 rating is average, and anything higher is good.)
(This scenario can only be played using the Rise of Nations game. Using Thrones and Patriots will make it crash.)
The premise is simple - Berlin is surrounded and you're the Germans. The once-mighty Nazi war machine has been splintered, and the German chain of command disrupted. The forces guarding Berlin now answer to three separate chains of command, and you command only one of them directly. Can you stave off the advance of the Red Army and save your capital and commander?
This scenario will force you to learn to fight defensively, as your forces are scattered around the map with no regard to tactical usefulness or priority. You'll find your own Bazooka units facing off against Russian Light Infantry (a very unfavorable matchup), and your Light Infantry facing off against Russian Tanks. This scenario is more about deploying your troops effectively.
This scenario has a few flaws - the Germans' unit count is way above the limit, so you can't build any more for a while until enough die off to go below the limit. This is usually a big flaw in any scenario where you need to build Civilians or units, but in this scenario it actually works kind of well. The Battle of Berlin is supposed to be chaotic and confused. When the Russians attack, you don't really know where your troops are, or who they're coordinating with. It makes sense to have this further confusion. (Note: there are quite a few partisan units around, which makes for an excellent addition to the desperation of the scenario. They can be converted to Civilians to repair buildings.)
The economy is unimportant - the Germans have enough resources to make the game purely military. However, I was annoyed to see that several basic techs, like Attrition and Partisanship at the Tower, were unresearched. This is a flaw that most scenarios I've played do have, but ideally it would be overcome by scripting, especially in a scenario so combat heavy as this.
Another major flaw is that the Wonders were not deactivated, so your allies and enemies can and will build the Pyramids while they're trying to take Berlin by storm.
The game starts off seemingly hopeless, and it only gets better. The map (beautifully done) features Berlin and its suburbs, with the two rival Soviet generals storming over your outermost cities with ease. It becomes a furious race to hold the center and reinforce them, wearing down the Soviets.
In fact, on my first try, I didn't know where on earth my units were, and in the confusion I lost Berlin in a humbling experience. On my second try I had a better understanding, and through using a few certain units, I was able to fairly easily beat back the invasion. I would say the only thing stopping me from giving this scenario a 5 is that the Germans can build too easily. I would have suggested giving them a huge number of normal units initially (which this scenario does do) but then making it near-impossible for them to build anything except maybe civilians cheap to make Partisans. That would force the player to hoard his units and guard them jealously, because once the Soviets kill off those units, he only has wimpy Partisans left to defend his capital. (Another possibility is to make it impossible for them to build any more military production buildings, so they have to jealously guard the buildings they already have.)
Either way, this was good, but it was a bit unrealistic that all I had to do was destroy the Soviets' military buildings and then I could win the war by outproducing them with my own military buildings. Historically, the Berliners had no more unit-producing resources, and that was why the SS were conscripting civilian males to fight in the city's defense.
Beyond a few unit renamings, most of the units here will be familiar enough. The idea of splitting the Germans into three poorly-coordinated nations was a stroke of genius. It added to the manic desperation of the situation when I would look at one allied city (run by, say, the SS faction) and just hope that they could competently repel the invaders. And frequently they wouldn't, leading me to have to desperately assign more cannonfodder units to that area.
Also good is the fact that the Soviets are under two allied generals, the purple and the red, reflecting the intense rivalry between Stalin's generals. The two forces did not always cooperate effectively, and I noticed that it made a big difference when they captured my cities. Sometimes I could recapture cities selectively based on which force had done the fighting and where that force's army current was.
Map Design: 5
The map design is where this scenario truly shines. The placement of the cities is excellent of itself, but the thing that really impressed me was the placement of forts, towers, and other defenses to make it feel like it was a real last-ditch, street-to-street urban war going on. The cities in this scenario represent more like city centers instead, with civilian buildings and military defenses making up the sprawling mass of the city proper.
Also impressive were the terrain height changes around the city, perhaps representing entrenchments and other defenses. I was able to use those a little to slow the Soviet advance and in some cases stop it entirely. Good creative use of terrain and mapping make this an excellently-done battle.
Of course the Battle of Berlin speaks for itself, and it's heartening to see a non-victor's viewpoint once in a while. There are not many instructions or explanations of what's going on, but you hardly need them, given the famous subject matter. The only thing I missed was seeing a key objective Bunker in Berlin. It would have been an interesting thing to say you had to protect that certain Bunker or you'd lose the scenario. Who knows what might be lurking in there...
All in all, a very good scenario, and one that will test your defensive fighting capabilities to the limit. There is room for improvement, and to make it a truly excellent scenario, I would suggest the following:
* Disable Wonder building. It's a distraction and irrelevant to the scenario's true aims.
* Certain techs, like Attrition at the Tower and maybe Partisans, should be granted automatically.
* Either disable the Germans from building any more military units, or disable them from constructing the military production buildings. That will force them to be more judicious in their troops and also reflect the desperate situation of the Nazi economy at war's end.
* Use Thrones and Patriots and put a Senate (perhaps renamed to Reichstag) right near Berlin. Put a Bunker right next to it. Make that Bunker a key objective, so that if it's ever razed or destroyed, the Germans lose immediately.
* The Russians have a few unit producing buildings, but their momentum can be abruptly stopped by destroying those buildings. The Germans have only two airfields, but the Russians have no anti air defense whatsoever. Using German airpower, I was able to completely destroy the Soviets' western army and then level the Soviets' unit production buildings. This made the game quite easy once I'd repelled their initial attacks on Berlin. It may be reasonable to keep the airfields for Germany, but then to make it impossible to build any new planes for them. And don't give the Germans any bombers!