Conquest of the Aegean AARs
Earlier this year I picked up Conquest of the Aegean, a fantastic wargame from a Australian developer Panther Games. COTA, as it is known among fans, is a wargame which takes advantage of that magnificent technological innovation called “computers”. In COTA, Panther Games have done away with the table-top wargaming ideas of turns and hexes in favour of realistic, move anywhere maps and pausable-real time.
But COTA is no RTS click-fest. For my money it’s the most realistic simulation of operational warfare you can buy. COTA is replete with a realistic chain of command and orders system, the intelligent use of formations, detailed ORBATs and complex yet believable combat resolution.
But COTA is not without its learning curve. The manual is substantial, but tellingly, filled not so much with buttonology, but with instructions on how to lead a division. That’s because while the game is simple to play, what’s going on behind it is realistic and complex. To help people learn to be an armchair general numerous AARs have sprung up. I completed an AAR of the Tempe Gorge Crisis scenario over on QuarterToThree which gives a good overview of the game. Another good source is Wargame.com, which posted a detailed AAR I remember reading when first researching COTA.
So if you’re after a challenging and interesting wargame, try COTA. Unfortunately, there’s no demo, so you’ll have to pony up your cash to try the game, but a few AARs should give you a good idea as to whether this one is for you or one to read, but not play.