2019 CSR #Wargame Challenge – World in Flames (Australia Design Group, 1985+) – Part 1: What have I done?

So the next game in my 2019 Charles S Roberts Awards Wargame Challenge is World in Flames (Australia Design Group). This game won the CSR in 1985 for The Best Twentieth Century Game. I own the 1996 World in Flames Final Edition (or Sixth Edition). My WiF Deluxe also included Africa Aflame, Asia Aflame, Planes in Flames, Ships in Flames, and Mech in Flames. That alone is 7 maps and 3600 counters! I later added America in Flames and Carrier Planes in Flames for even more maps and counters. World In Flames is the very definition of a MONSTER GAME. Playing tie is rated on BGG as 120-6000 minutes (that’s right – 100 HOURS).

When I pulled out the box and started thinking about my challenge, I almost gave up. By God, it’s just too big! I don’t have the table space! I don’t have the time!

Instead, am going to take this challenge game in baby steps. Looking over the rulebook, I focused in on 23.2 The 5-Turn scenarios, in particular 23.2.1 Barbarossa ~ “One Kick…” The Player’s notes state, “This is the ideal scenario to try first because it deals mainly with the parts of the game most commonly used in general play, the land and air system.”

Whew. Baby monster!

Before playing a game, and especially before playing a game I have not played in a long while, I need to review the rulebook. In this case, I was able to read the rulebook and skip major sections (like 9. Declaring War) since I know they do not apply. I also decided to forego the Optional rules and focus on a basic game.

In World in Flames, each turn is broken down into Impulses and within each Impulse you can choose an Action. There are only five Actions to chose from; Pass, Air, Naval, Land, or Combination. Another important concept is Reorganisation. Then there is Production….

I vaguely remember back in the day when I got this game not understanding this whole idea of Impulses and Actions. Reorganisation also befuddled me, and I wanted to fight, not plan an economy! Just give me movement points for a counter, by gosh! Looking at it from today’s perspective, I can see that I have matured as a gamer and am more ready to accept alternate design mechanics. What I viewed in 1996 as unfathomable I now see as a very interesting design approach to modeling total warfare at the operational-strategic levels of war.

My next step in the challenge is to set up the scenario. Oh boy….

5 comments

  1. This is quite an ambitious undertaking. I’m with you on scrolling the map. I prefer a sweeping view of everything too.

  2. Might be worth having a go at it with a computer version (cyberboard, vassal, tabletop simulator, etc)? Helps protect you from losing everything with a disrupted table/map and also takes up a wee bit less space….

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