2022 WWIII Video Game Tournament: Round 1, White Region

White Region

#1 Command Modern Operations vs #8 Norway 1985

The final 1-8 bracket in the first round provides no major upset. Norway 1985 will not be the Cinderella darling this March. The results of this battle were preordained. Command, as I’ve said numerous times before, is like Harpoon on steroids and/or HGH, giving players the ability to recreate any potential WWIII battle scenario from 1945 up to the present day. Norway 1985, on the other hand, is a solid wargame giving players the ability to simulate what a Third World War might look like on NATO’s Northern Flank in 1985.

Winner: Command Modern Operations

#3 Red Lightning vs #6 Northern Fleet

Red Lightning, another Norm Koger title, is your standard 1980s NATO-WP Central Europe operational-level game. For its time period, Red Lightning is very good, especially when it comes to air and artillery. Northern Fleet is yet another Simulations Canada   text-based operational-level naval game. This one looks at naval operations in the North Atlantic and the Northern Flank. Neither of these games was particularly impressive, but Red Lightning is the better of the two.

Winner: Red Lightning

4.Steel Panthers: Brigade Command vs #5 Conflict Europe

This bracket is nothing short of a mistake on my part. Conflict Europe is essentially the sequel to Theater Europe and to be honest, not much of an improvement over the original. As a result, it is nothing more than a sacrificial lamb. Solid NATO-WP operational-level game but so are a half dozen other titles in this tournament. SP: Brigade Command brought a very different view to wargaming, allowing players to command a brigade in realistic combat conditions from 1939-2000. World War II, hypothetical World War III and every war and conflict in-between. It has aged well, although is a bit rough around the edges after twenty-five years.

Winner: Steel Panthers: Brigade Command

2.Wargame: European Escalation vs #7 Germany 1985

European Escalation is a real-time tactics computer game set in Europe between 1975 and 1985. Players take command of forces from a Warsaw Pact nation’s armed forces (Soviet Union, GDR, Poland, Czechoslovakia) or a NATO nation (US, France, West Germany, Great Britain) and engage in a number of tactical scenarios from different years, using accurate orders of battle for the particular time. Good graphics and smooth gameplay are somewhat diminished by a flawed AI that allows the computer player to magically discover enemy units anywhere and at any time. Meanwhile, the human player has to use his reconnaissance vehicles and helicopters to scout ahead and discover hidden enemies.

As for Germany 1985, its an SSI game in the same series as Norway, RDF and Baltic 1985. A good game for the early 80s, it’s a dinosaur now. And not one worthy of a prime spot in a museum. 😊

Winner: Wargame: European Escalation

4 Replies to “2022 WWIII Video Game Tournament: Round 1, White Region”

  1. What good is being the #1 seed if you don’t get a cupcake in the first round? After all, since the NCAA went to 64+ teams, exactly one regional #1 seed went down in the first round.

    Liked by 1 person

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