The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: June 2015

Terms and Conditions

In the past couple of days I have made some effort to update the glossary, put some images in and fill out those terms that needed some revision – or some text at all. Now it`s far from finished, but what on this website ever is? I think the status is good enough to at least have it online for the time being.

I have never been privy to the gaming industry, so I have no access to the cabals, intrigues, takeovers and corporations taking place. And since I wasn´t very active in terms of strategy games for quite a while, I totally missed out on the publication of The Second World War-Series by Diffraction Entertainment from the UK. Thomas Hannaford kindly sent me a link to their newest publications.

Truly a series of monsters, most games contain more than 4.000 counters and enough maps to decorate a medium sized family home. From the very beginning the game series is designed to a unified standard of rules and charts, with the eventual integration into one super-monster of “World War Two at a divisional level” which will need a small conference center to be played.

Comparisons to the Europa series have been made, and several people obviously consider TSSW a copy of the Europa series. Which puts me into a difficult situation, first and foremost since I obviously mostly missed out on the whole discussion about the Fall of GR/D and the ensuing copyright and legal battles.  On one hand, I do not want to hurt anyone`s feelings, especially in the Europa-community that I have been a member of since I started wargaming with 17. Even though since it`s been years I found the time to play, I follow Europa closely and am still hoping for TW to come out some day.

On the other hand, the idea of having a set of divisional-level games to recreate all of world War Two is, while at the core of Europa, not a copyrighted idea itself. And any such game series is bound to have great similarities with Europa – divisional counters, similar-sized maps and such. And I have to confess that the prospect of anyone actually finding a way to the holy grail of uniformed system like Grand Europa will have my support. Whether I want to shell out a couple of thousands of bucks to stack boxes in my home I won`t have time to open is another issue, but unless we have an equally complex computer program available, my wallet will be itching.

One of the commenters at boardgamegeek.com had it nailed down: Say what you will, but they actually publish games.
If this contest of games turns into a contest of loyalties, we all loose.

Another Link Special, so to speak

Today I added all the different way on how to play the Europa Series on a PC. Actually, ADC2 is still missing, but I am working on that. I was impressed at the quality of the Cyberport modules for Europa, and of course I will always be grateful for the enormous amount of work that must have flown into the creation of JET.

Most of these modules and add-ons have been created by fans and are, unfortunately, not authorized or tolerated by HMS/GRD. I can see the issue from the copyright owners view in this case – once you neglect enforcing your copyright over marginal questions, you may well loose a court case once it really counts, since you “neglected” your rights. However, for all those who legitimately own boxes of these games, the digital aids are a tremendous boon and make PBEM much easier, as well as playing online.

Have a look