2022 WWIII Video Game Tournament: Round 2 Red & White Regions

WWIII Video Game Tournament Round 2


#1 The Operational Art of War Volume IV vs #4 Bravo Romeo Delta

TOAW is the answer to the wargaming community’s prayers for a PC-based operational level title. Gameplay is smooth, the learning curve not too steep, and the tools provided allow the player to create or recreate any battle or campaign since the American Revolution, if not earlier. As for World War III, you can create hypothetical battles involving whatever forces you’d like. NATO-WP in Europe circa 1987? No problem. Sino-Soviet clash in the Far East around 1969? Done. The only hang up is with scenario design. It is not easy. As for Bravo Romeo Delta, it’s a rare nuclear war game and that is appealing. Unfortunately, it has not aged gracefully and nowadays comes across as clunky and in need of updating. Sadly, there are no plans for updates or a total reboot on the horizon.

Winner: The Operational Art of War Volume IV

#2 Steel Beasts vs #2 Red Storm Rising

Tanks versus submarines. A classic matchup. The choice is simple. Would you prefer to play a simulation of what armored warfare might’ve looked like on the Central Front or command a US nuclear-powered attack boat and take her through a WWIII campaign in the Norwegian Sea and Barents? I always thought RSR gave off a more realistic WWIII ambiance, maybe because it came out when the Cold War was still active. Steel Beasts, on the other hand, comes off as a simulator. Albeit a great one, but nothing more than that. It is a keystone of my library, but in this case, RSR is the better WWIII game.

Winner: Red Storm Rising


#1 Command Modern Operations vs #4 Steel Panthers Brigade Command

I’ve invested countless hours in both of these games, modeling out the conflict that WWIII 1987 is set on. Since CMO is a naval/air game, I spent far more time on it and its predecessor than I did on SP: Brigade Command. But still, each game is very good at presenting a conflict from its own specialized point of view. CMO is the absolute king of air/naval operations and SP: Brigade Command gives players accurate insight into the intricacies of commanding a brigade through an entire battle or series of them.

In the end this was just not enough to counter CMO’s playability and database that includes practically every warship and aircraft type placed in service over the last eighty-five years.

Winner: Command Modern Operations

#3 Red Lightning vs #2 Wargame: European Escalation

If this bracket were to be decided solely on graphics alone, European Escalation is the clear winner, hands down. Fortunately for us, it takes more than fancy graphics to make a good digital war game. 😊 Red Lightning is not the best NATO-WP operational game out there. But it’s pretty good. Interface leaves something to be desired but the gameplay is solid. And it covers a hypothetical war on the Central Front in entirety from proper geography to accurate orders of battle. European Escalation, on the other hand, is a tactical game intermixed with real-time strategy components instead of being a true wargame in the traditional sense. A fun game for casual wargamers and folks who like to micromanage, but if you’re looking for a game that portrays what a Central Front NATO-WP war would look like, Red Lightning is the one you want.

Winner: Red Lightning

Author’s Note: The next round of the tournament will be done late in the upcoming week. I’m looking to have to done entirely by next Monday. Before then, look for D+21 to wrap up tomorrow or Tuesday with the final part of the Central Front. After that I’ll do a Ukraine Update and maybe a little fiction before turning back to the tournament and wrapping it up. Then it is on to D+22, which could turn out to be the final day of the war….

8 Replies to “2022 WWIII Video Game Tournament: Round 2 Red & White Regions”

  1. Wargame E Escalation out! Casual verses abstracted in my book as a tactical level miniatures wargamer, Liking this tournament as a primer after crashing out of Harpoon on PC (and the table) and never bothering to keep up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jules. I always thought E Escalation could only last for so long. Hope the tournament gets you in the mood to keeping up again


  2. I have so many fond memories of exhausted units on both sides when playing Red Lightning that I so wish it was still playable on my PC. The title brings a smile to my face every time it is mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

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