wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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I remember seeing copies of Iron Storm at Best Buy when it came out and thinking that it looked sort of interesting even if the central concept was brain-damaged.

The central premise of Iron Storm is that World War I has continued through 1964. Now, if you have even a cursory knowledge of the Great War, you'll realize that this is just silly. By 1918, when the final Allied offensives broke Germany's West Front defenses, Imperial Russia had gone through two revolutions and was descending into civil war, Germany's economy was collapsing, and Austria-Hungary had been kept in the war only due to the exertions of German troops supporting the unwilling legions of the Dual Monarchy. Aside from the political and economic reasons for the war's end, technical (the tank) and tactical innovations (Stosstruppen, whose tactics were duplicated by the American forces arriving in 1917) put an end to the trench warfare that has made World War I synonymous with slaughter in the lexicon of Western Civilization.

So the history is dumb, but even so a strategic game set in a world where nobody came up with the bright idea of armored fighting vehicles (or there's no internal combustion engine, thus ruling out air power, tanks and trucks as well) sounded kind of interesting. Unfortunately, the game turns out to be a first person shooter, and one with an even more ridiculous plot to boot, clearly whipped up by people that don't understand economics. Military formations trading on the stock market, indeed.

On a not-entirely-unrelated topic, I've been leafing through A Quick And Dirty Guide To War by Jim Dunnigan and Austin Bay. I have the 1991 trade paperback edition, and it's interesting to page through there, check out their evaluations of the various crappy Third World (and occasional Second World) spots they thought might burst into flames. Sure, it's a bit dated, but a lot of the underlying history behind various regional animosities hasn't changed a whole lot. Back then, Dunnigan and Bay hadn't really made their reputation as military analysts yet; I recognized them mainly from their involvement with SPI.
Tags: books, history, wargames
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