Gaming WWIII: User Feedback On The Third World War: Designer Signature Edition

The Third World War series was the gold standard of NATO-Warsaw Pact operational level wargames in the 1980s. Each of the four titles can hold its own against competition from the ’80s and even beyond. Separately, they examine what shape NATO-WP operational level conflicts would take in specific theaters. Central Europe in Third World War: Battle for Germany, NATO’s Northern Flank in Battle for Norway, the alliance’s Southern Flank in Southern Front: Race for the Turkish Straits and the fourth title, Battle for the Middle East covers the volatile Persian Gulf. We’ve discussed those titles at length in the past and last summer also speculated about the much-anticipated reboot of the series, Third World War: Designer Signature Edition.

Well, the first wave of TWW: Designer Signature Edition (DSE) games finally shipped out and several friends of the blog have reported receiving their copies in the past two weeks. After unboxing, reading through the new rules and such, the first game turns are being played. I have yet to receive any detailed AARs or turn summaries. Hopefully I will not have to wait very long.

Speaking of waiting, I expect my copy to arrive by the end of the month. Once it’s here and I have the opportunity to break it in, I’ll write up an in-depth review. In the meantime, as I wait anxiously, I’m looking at the new DSE map for Central Europe and trying to wrap my head around the fact that it took the Warsaw Pact nearly three weeks of solid fighting in our 1987 just to advance one or two hexes into West Germany. Quite the sobering observation.

In conclusion, I’m wondering how DSE will be regarded in the coming years. Will it be remembered as a fantastic reboot of a classic game series? Or will gamers simply consider it to be something along the lines of a noble effort or flop? Time will tell. But if you can get your hands on a copy, I strongly recommend giving this title a spin to see where it takes you. And as always, don’t forget to enjoy the ride. 😊

Now, let’s get back to the war before the real world beats us to it!  

4 Replies to “Gaming WWIII: User Feedback On The Third World War: Designer Signature Edition”

  1. Three weeks probably means NATO is out of ammunition and the Soviets can push the “one-eyed in the land of the blind” low-category units from deep in the interior forward without much resistance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, figure in our 1987 war world that’s true to a point. NATO still has ammo and supplies thanks to having control of the North Atlantic. But the Russians are relying on their last high quality units now. And they’re playing defense with them.
      Not the best situation for a Soviet commander.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Something forgotten about the 80s is that the Iran-Iraq War was going on and they were consuming ammo like there was no tomorrow, it would be easy to redirect that production to feed NATO. Oil also wouldn’t be a problem, as there were plenty of civilian facilities to supply the armies

    Liked by 1 person

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