Avalon Hill’s Third Reich has always been my favorite AH Game. I began playing in in 1980 with my best friends, Lee, Mike and Mick. We would rotate sides, Germany, Italy, Britain/US and Russia/France.
Some of the games were highly competitive, others were not so much. Later on, after I entered the Navy, I discovered that our time playing those games had really prepared me for the wider world. I was able to hold my own against experienced players and eventually become quite accomplished at the game.
I lost a lot. I won a lot. But each playing of the game was unique and every player had a different grand strategy that begged to be seen and countered.
The I got out of the Navy and moved to a new town and Avalon Hill went bust and it seemed like nobody played anymore.
One day, it was a Tuesday, I was surfing and found the Computer Version – for free – along with DOSBOX which allowed it to run on a Windows computer. I hadn’t thought much of the original Computer version. There are several rules changes I didn’t like and there were obvious problems with the program bugs and crashes. But, I thought, what the heck. I downloaded it and I’ve been playing it ever since. Usually at least once a month, sometimes as much as once a week.
So here you can follow along as I play (solo) against the AI, which is universally acknowledged as “weak” and has a lot of flaws. However, there are some “fixes” that I use for the purposes of these games. You may assume the following to always be in effect:
(1) The Computer is ALWAYS set to “Challenging” or higher.
(2) At no time will I attempt to activate Vichy France if playing Axis or to deactivate Vichy France if playing Allies
(3) The original movement rules for Russia are in place. The 3-5 Armor in Moscow and the 3 1-3 units cannot move until an enemy unit is within 5 hexes or until 1943, whichever occurs first.
(4) I have always believed that the Strategic Warfare system is improperly balanced. If I could I would do away with it, but since we’re stuck using it, as the Germans I self-limit myself to 25 Submarine units or no more than 5 Interceptors. As the Allies I place no limits on the SW units. With the original system it’s just too easy for the Germans to overwhelm the system. Additionally the Allied effectiveness is not up to reality – in my opinion. When playing a board version, I propose that Allied Bombing is worth 5 BRP’s and increase the effectiveness of ASW to 2:1 in 1943 and 3:1 in 1944. (A variant of this that I really like is that for 1943 and 1944, any SW loss from Strategic Bombing also PERMANENTLY eliminates the 5-4 German Air Unit. It cannot be rebuilt after being exchanged for interceptors.)
(5) A holdover from a much discussed variant rule is that no amphibious invasions are allowed more than 10 hexes from the originating port. The only exception remains North Africa and only if US Ships are used for the transport.
(6) Any other conditions that I feel like adding on as each game progresses. Mainly because variety is the spice of gaming!
(7) The BEF is limited to 3 ground factors in France prior to 1941. No Air is based in France, although it can provide DAS and Ground Support/Counter Air normally.
Some final thoughts for this introduction.
First off, I welcome commentary and even constructive critique. I like to hear from other players about things you’ve tried that worked or didn’t and why you thought that they would work or why they failed. As the General once said, there is no perfect 3R grand strategy. For every genius move somebody comes up with, somebody else will figure out how to counter it pretty quickly.
I enjoy hearing those things and I believe that if I am going to go to all the hassle of doing this, I ought to be open to critique and comment on my own errors in play.
However, let me say this up front, if you’re *that guy* who has “never lost” a game, you’re really not welcome here. I believe that the reason you’ve never lost is because you haven’t played enough good – or even competent – players. I’m in my 50’s now, and that whole cocksure teenager attitude is not what this is all about. So keep that nonsense to yourself.
I enjoy blogging, and usually when I play C3R it’s a quick distraction. On a good day I can get through 3-5 turns in a hour. This will slow me down significantly. I am pretty good with pics and diagrams, my son is showing me how to perhaps add video to it.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you enjoy Computer Third Reich as much as I do.