Raging Tiger: The Second Korean War
|a game by||Shrapnel Games|
|Editor Rating:||5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||4.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Raging Tiger: The Second Korean War puts you in operational control of a speculative conflict on the Korean Peninsula in the not-so-distant future. The premise has Stalinist holdout North Korea generating nuclear fuel, not for themselves, but loopholing through sanctions by selling the material to comparatively free-wheeling, capitalist Red China, in exchange for a massive arsenal of conventional weaponry. The solution of the democracies is a proactive one. South Korean/US analysis of the situation indicates that the only way to avoid an indefensible position is, in keeping with the current spirit of preemption, to strike now -- now being Day 1 of the campaign (significantly, 11 SEPTEMBER 2010.) Unfortunately, the execution of the game itself may be an obstacle that needs to be breached on the way.
Raging Tiger: The Second Korean War is highly detailed, in a paper and pencil kind of way, and has enough redeeming qualities to get it into the low end of our Fans Only category.
First the downside. The game is severely lacking in visual appeal. There are two types of map: color and contour. In the color maps the lines are fuzzy, the coloring has a crayonish feel close up, and looks an amorphous muddle zoomed out. Even the contour map is less well executed than you'd expect. Of all the zoom levels in the two styles, the one that appears most playable and least hard on the eyes is the contour map at 1:25,000 scale. Anyone who plays for any amount of time will likely spend most of their game in this one. The icons and unit symbols appear sharp but hard to distinguish and seemingly float a few millimeters above the map surface. There's even a line in the manual that hints at some awareness of the difficulty ("You may find it tough to see the echelon markers...")
The interface is dry, somewhat balky but informative, with expandable lists and semi-wizard tabbed dialogs. For the wargame grognard, you have detailed control of every unit, optionally, through three levels of organization, either by company, platoon or by individual vehicle. Missions can be designated and detailed paths given. Fire missions can be planned and timed in some detail.
Audio is nearly non-existent, besides growling treads and explosions, not much more advanced than the beeps and boops of the early days, but it fits with the overall throwback experience of the product.
On the bright side the game is scrupulously detailed in its data and the premise is provocative. The hard copy and in-game, html-based documentation are well done.
Raging Tiger: The Second Korean War is a paper map game without the hexes but with the power of PC data processing behind it. It has a clock and continuous movement, and so is a mix of old style wargame and modern "real time" strategy, without a hint of 3D. The deep detail and high learning curve, combined with balky interface, will only appeal to the fan of pinpoint military accuracy who's willing to devote the time and patience to get control of it all.