Excitement in the Air, Part One
Europa is dead! Long live Europa!
Or is it?
The debate rages on over whether Total War, the long awaited revision of Fire in the East, will ever actually see the light of day. Communication from the company is a rare thing, the last update being posted way back on Valentine’s Day.
I have often been sympathetic to the company, but all they do when they post is offer the excuse dujour. The game has been promised since the late 1990s or the early 2000s, making it the biggest piece of vaporware in existence.
There is an alternative, however.
There is a company that is beating HMS/GRD up one side and down the other. The company, Diffraction Entertainment, based in the United Kingdom, has produced a litany of products over the past several years.
In the time we have been waiting on Total War, Diffraction has released:
- Blitzkrieg, a game covering the early stages of the war from the invasion of Poland, to the invasion of Denmark and Norway, the Battle of the Low Countries and France, and the Battle of Britain. Scouting the order of battle, it looks like it can be taken out as far as 1943, so the window for an invasion of Great Britain has been greatly expanded. (Take what I say with a grain of salt. I am still perusing/assembling the game, so I am by no means an expert on this game, but more on this momentarily). HMS/GRD still has the plans for Lightning War, an updated merging of the Fall of France and Their Finest Hour, but it is still unpublished.
- Singapore!, a game covering not just the Japanese campaign to take the British fortress of Singapore, but the fight in Burma, the Japanese invasion of India, Java, the Battle of Java Sea, the Japanese invasion of Malaya, and so much more, But wait, there’s more! The point is that Diffraction has released a comprehensive game while HMS/GRD still has theirs currently “in the queue”.
- Diffraction has a pair of games, Barbarossa & Vengeance, covering the War in the East upcoming. At the current rate of publishing schedules, both of these will be out long before Total War ever sees the light of day. At this time, Barbarossa seems to be a bit behind schedule, but not nearly as far as HMS/GRD is.
I’m not trying to shill for Diffraction, although it may seem like it. The biggest drawback is the cost of the games. This is where I got hesitant. Diffraction does offer different versions at different prices, making it a bit more affordable.
I received a copy of Blitzkrieg on DVD for Christmas last year. I was initially hesitant to print the files, not being sure if it was a legitimate item or not.
Well, it is, and I have recently started printing off the maps, probably the most expensive part of this some assembly required version of the game. In the end, I think this will come to far less than purchasing the game already printed.
One third of the maps are printed thus far. I have to do a little at a time, so I can still pay my bills and eat. I may also have to reconfigure the game room to get it to fit. This after I spent several hours reconfiguring the game room so I could get more space.
So far, I have Britain and France. I had them printed on 11 x 17 semi-glossy card stock. Sure it will cause a bit of reflection in photos, but I think the maps look incredible, so far. Each map comes in 2 sections. If I had chose to get them done on a single sheet, it would have cost me $24 per map. Pics are below.
I know I owe an update on the Battle of Stalingrad, and I owe Lee a turn. Trying to balance all of my projects, but an update is coming soon!