MR What did you learn in the course of playing?
GH Lots of things, the people posting in the thread know all sorts of weird things – it’s great to sink/get a ship sunk and see someone post its real life history, I'd never heard of some of the places that became major battlegrounds before the LP, and while I consider myself well versed on WWII, you can never know everything. You learn the stupid things like how many planes the Kaga carried, or when the Wasp comes into service, or that one American fighter unit in Burma. You also have to learn a whole load of logistics, because apparently its hard to fight without bullets and food. [Ed. Unless you receive “J-rations” by the ship load.]
I've also learned a lot more tricks in the editing and presentation department, each time I try something new, I have to push a boundary - without WITP, I would never have set up a YouTube channel. I learned my speech impediments sound worse in my head, which is a great confidence booster. I even stammer less when recording videos.
MR If you had the money and power to make a sequel or remake of War in the Pacific, what would you change?
GH The UI - I would kill for a modern user interface that would tell you the important things at a glance, rather than making you go through six menus to check if a unit is ready for combat or not. There is this thing called right clicking, and someone needs to introduce it to grognard game devs. The ground combat needs some good going over as well, units take FOREVER to get anywhere if there is any kind of terrain in the way, and the terrain bonus means that most attacks need wave after wave of heavy casualties to wear down the defenders before they can begin to break them.
MR What other grognard games and strategy games do you like?
GH I'm a fan of War in the East, the Paradox Interactive games, Dwarf Fortress and its crazy levels of simulation. I'm also a fan of things like Rise of Flight and other flight sims, I even like Jutland, but that's another game that needs a good UI. I'm not afraid to put a bit of effort into a game to enjoy it, and then I try and figure out a way of LPing it - the Crown of Glory/Forge of Freedom games lead to great LP's, and I still play them now and again, even though I've absolutely mastered the combat side of things. Command Ops and Combat Mission are also fantastic games, as is Scourge of War. I really wish someone would make the Total War battles as realistic as the Scourge of War ones, or bolt a decent campaign onto the game so I could play out a whole battle or campaign, having to worry about my losses in battle and between. There is never enough fog of war for me in most games - you rarely get ambushed playing them, and that kind of chaos is great fun to play.
MR What's different about playing as the Japanese? Do you expect to win outright or just survive?
GH The Japanese start with their war machine in place, and you know you will get no real replacements - for now, I'm mostly trying to do as much as I can with the fewest resources possible, but I think I may have under-committed, and the AI is not just sitting there and taking it. Long term, it’s going to be very interesting to see how the game plays out, as I expect to be scrabbling for fuel and planes by the end of the game - unless I can get lucky and continually sink the American carriers with minimal losses to my own - each naval battle is going to be a lot more risky for me, as I don't get many replacement CVs.
MR Where do you think you'll be in four years when this LP is over?
GH I'm not sure. I hope to keep building on my success so far, get more people engaged and talking about war games - I'm getting back into tabletop war gaming as well, so I'm going to start blogging more, and I'm going to try and expand what I cover on the Youtube channel - while most war games don't make for fascinating watching, I'm sure Command Ops will make for a good series.
Oh, and the wife wants to start a family. If anything kills the current WITP LP, that will be it! She keeps telling me I'll have someone to play with, but it seems like a long term investment for that kind of payback. Then again, if WITP has proven anything, I'm good at long term commitments. Fatherhood, the LP, may well have to happen.