Case White one of the early Europa titles, is indeed a juggernaut of a game for the Axis. I think in my playing we could have seen the Poles do more defense in depth, and counter attack less, and last a few turns longer. But really it is over pretty quickly regardless.
I was not too fussed about how the game played out, this was more of a ‘lets do it for completeness’. It is however enjoyable, and allowed me to explore the Europa system with little to fear on the scale of worrying about resetting for a major mistake etc.
I am skipped much of the Air War as it is practically over, after turn 1 and flying a bunch of dudes around to gain 2-3 CF seems like a waste of time with the wealth of arms at hand. The Air rules are tedious as is the tracking of AA units, much of this should have been incorporated into the general divisional units and Panzer units for ease of play. I can see purists getting up in arms about this, but at some point playability must come to the fore. Whereas having EVERY single unit from a front represented becomes a nonsense, which gamers then abuse.
The big thing for me as I have it(Case White) and DAK2 setup at the same time is that OCS and Europa share some clear similarities. In fact Dean Essig gives a solid nod to his usage of the RE (Regimental Equivalents) concept in the game. I dot know the design history so I am inferring here.
I think the similarities go deeper than that. Well perhaps more that concepts touched upon in Europa have been taken expanded, re worked and re applied for better cleaner effect.
The over wrought thinking behind Armor effects on combat in Europa are painful to use. OCS take a simple color coding of unit type and applies a multiplier to the units combat ability, subject to who it is fighting and in what terrain. Brilliant. At a glance I can see who receives x2 or x1.5 for combat factors. The need to calculate 1/7th of the proportion of the total “non neutral” combat factors goes away….sheesh.
Then of course the big innovation for OCS was the Combat results table and the impact of Action Ratings. The way these two elements work together is the heart of combat in the game and allows every unit to have is proper proportional value versus just a stack of 1 rated combat units.
The CRT with its attrition based results also means that the game is less about attacking any where and more about finding the “right place” to attack. I find the Attacker benefit to be too strong in Europa for my liking.
None of that however is of much use without the love/hate relationship with Supply. Supply is the OCS gatekeeper of gamey play prevention, and historical accuracy. Too much supply? un ending hordes advancing to anywhere heedless of lines. Too little your ability to do what you need when you need it is gone. Tuning that spigot is the designers job based upon the history presented. I can see potentially how Essig may have played Europa and toyed with the notion of trucks as they are applied in Fire in The East, and wondered how you could obtain a better result from those truck supply trains and routes.
The combination of HQ and supply truck usage with rail is the essence of the command and control system that feels lacking in Europa. From playing Case White and going thru the Scorched Earth Rules and summarizing them I can see that Europa to me would have been a well suited system to smaller titles such as Case White, but really feels at any rate to struggle to capture specific issues at hand in the larger games due to a lack of command and control, and supply management. That said the supply rules in the non East front titles are simple for Europa and make it a painless part of the turn sequence. I must admit the dread that befalls me with OCS if I have been getting “all crazy” and now I have to struggle to re connect supply or avoid attrition rolls.
All high level stuff I know but I wanted to share some initial impressions as a person coming to Europa AFTER playing OCS, rather than the other way around. I see a lot of the minor faults of OCS, and understand that at some point a system has to just “DEAL with IT”, I am sure that Europa had it’s share of baggage along the way also.
Similar but different systems, that really scratch different itches.