World War II: Time of Wrath Review
By Roland Armentrout
Designing a grand strategic game of World War II in Europe is rather like zeroing in artillery: several rounds are needed. Wasteland's first effort, World War 2: Road to Victory fell short. The second round, World War 2: Time of Wrath with patch 1.60 beta, is much nearer the mark, but a few more tries are required. This corps/division/fleet turn-based game pits not only countries but the three major ideologies of the time -democracy, fascism and communism - against each other with a player handling any country he chooses. This concept is grand but the execution remains flawed. The default terrain map, covering all of Europe and North Africa, is functional and clear, showing cities, fortifications, rivers and mountains. Weather is depicted by clouds and snow patches on hexes. City hexes have numbers for victory, supply and production points. Nostalgic gamers can opt for a 1980s CGA-style map.
The diplomatic map has only capitals for selecting diplomatic actions. Seas are shown as zones and tables noting the number of capital ships and submarines present, with lines connecting possible destinations. Land and air combat work very cleverly. When a unit is selected, an action panel appears showing options for the unit. If the unit hasn't moved and necessary conditions are met, it can be reinforced, enlarged to a corps or improved. Land movement is limited by terrain- and weather-action-point cost; mech units naturally have a longer range.