Red Front v1.4 (DarthVeda review)
From Scenario League Wiki
|29.5/30||Red Front v1.4||Nazi Germany launches their attack into the Soviet Union in World War II, Operation Barbarossa.||DarthVeda||Captain Nemo & Alex Mor||Very Large||1940s|
If there is anything that this scenario suffers from it is the civ2 engine's fault. The turns take a very long time in the beginning, but that is simply because it takes so long for your units to die. I will be very honest; playing this scenario, I had the innate fear that I was going to lose to the german AI. It is a vicious monster carving up Russian territory. The first chance I had to strike back was simply a poke at the German monster. They controlled a line from Leningrad to Rostov by the summer of 1942. I called it Germans high-tide.
I tell you only a great tactician can survive this scenario. The consequences of each attack action must be weighed: do you need the attacking units in a defensive role instead, and what are their chances of strategic success? The units are marvelously balanced and almost every unit has a purpose.
After eighteen hours of fierce competition on the Russian plains, I could finally utter the three sweetest words in the world (courtesy of Captain Nemo): "Berlin ist Kaput!"
Victory was not as sweet as it seemed though... I was hoping for tickertape parades in every city and all sorts of nazis waving surrender flags :) I guess I can't have it totally my way.
The only thing I don't like about this scenario is that it was so addicting to play eighteen hours worth of combat (most of it bad for me). Anther problem is trying to describe the post-Red Front feeling. Perhaps this was caused by watching the AI cheat excessively once the war went completely wrong for Germany. Do I praise Red Front's craftsmanship or tell you it left me feeling wrung out and unhappy after I finished?
Level of General Care: 10/10
One of the greatest joys I had in this scenario was watching history unfold right in front of me. When I set out to do my own rendition of the Patriotic War, I wanted to emphasize the history and tragedy involved. What happened is that the scenario I created got hung up on exactly how to recreate history. My map was much too large to emphasize realistic movements.
Nemo, on the otherhand, has created a perfectly sized map. The Germans can (usually) conquer all of Russia necessary by December of 1941. The cities are fairly well placed, though I have heard some rumbling on the forums about Riga. I could complain that there is no desert on the map, but it makes little difference.
I wish there had been more technologies in the game to flesh out the small tech tree, but the tech tree is of sufficient length to give all the commie brains something to think about.
Where Red Front truly shines is in all of the new (and somewhat complex) innovations to gameplay. The player is presented with a bleak situation for the first 30 or so turns. While it does eventually turn around, the German AI is so ruthless, one would wonder what makes them tick.
The secret behind it is a working moveunit command function. The little buggers actually know what their goal is! I will admit though, that the German army falls completely apart in the summer of 1944. That is historically accurate--army group center was destroyed in '44, I believe.
The artwork is of Nemo and Alex quality--which means nigh-perfection. All of the graphics look wonderful, perhaps a bit "cartoonish", but they all add high-quality definition and character to the men and equipment they represent.
But overall, the quality of art, ai, and every other innovation has raised the bar a couple hundred notches for scenarios of the future. This scenario is the best civ2 scenario I have ever played. It is simply in a class of its own.