2021 Holiday Tournament: Final Four Part II

Final Four Part II

Tactical Games #2 MBT vs Central Front Operational #1 Third World War:Battle for Germany

Here we go again. Two superstar titles fighting to advance.

Rules– With the difference in scales between these titles, you’d expect BfG rules to be vastly more complex and the rulebook rivaling War and Peace in size and scope. Not so fast, my friend. MBT is complicated for a tactical game and the rulebook is no pamphlet. Despite the complexity in the rules and systems, each of these titles presents the rules with good clarity. Advantage: Neither.

Game Mechanics & Systems– There’s a lot going on with MBT and BfG. As I’ve said, for a tactical game, MBT’s mechanics and systems are highly detailed and complicated. With BfG, this is to be expected given the scale of the conflict players are simulating. When laid out beside each other though, BfG’s mechanics and system win out.  Advantage: BfG

Playability- Personally, I think that sitting down and devoting 3-4 hours of time towards BfG is more productive. You can get through a few game turns in this time once you have a good feel for the game’s mechanics. Each game turn covers 1 week of game world time and there’s a lot going on. With MBT a game turn takes covers 1-5 minutes of game world time but can take 20+ minutes of real world time to complete. However, the legions of MBT players and fans still playing this game tells me my complaint isn’t as valid as I’d like it to be. Stalemate. 😊

Maps, Counters and Box Art- I’ve talked about my complaints regarding MBT’s counters and maps. However, in this contest I think its counters match up well. They include details and very intricate drawings of vehicles, aircraft and other unit types. With BfG the counters are brightly colored and cover a variety of formations from multiple countries. The maps match up well too, despite the disparity in scales. BfG has excellent terrain detail, covering Central Europe from Jutland to northern Yugoslavia.  I’ve complained in the past about the less-than maneuverable areas on MBT’s maps but when put up against an operational level game’s maps, they hold up very well. The box art is first rate for both, the level of quality and detail unmatched. Advantage: Neither.

Impact On Wargaming Culture- Classics live on forever. MBT’s second edition came out in 2016. Third World War, second edition will release in 2022. These titles have withstood the test of time, easily superior to most contemporary tactical and operational games. Yet Another Stalemate.

Final Thought– World War III is what this tournament is all about. World War III on the Central Front is what this matchup is all about. At the end of the day only one of these titles can accurately simulate how that conflict would’ve unfolded in its entirety….

WinnerThird World War: Battle for Germany

Author’s Note: I decided to conclude the round  today instead of waiting until tomorrow. I’m getting kind of tournamented out, so to speak and want to get back to the action ASAP. So the championship will be tomorrow and we go back to the summer of ’87.  


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