I regularly answer rules question on this game in the forums. So if you have a problem, just ask.
This game cured my addiction to computer-games!
People who fancy "theme", "drama", "crucial desisions each and every turn" or "a game that plays like a story laid out before oneself", should try this instead. Or maybe you shouldn't, because most people feel a certain futility of their own existence after finding what they were so desperatly looking for...
My favourite Tom Wham game. It's great fun and features some elements of wargames, including movement, creation of attack plans, different units for combined arms, reinforcements (growing monsters) and special weapon effects.
Close Action is pretty much the ideal fighting sail simulation game. The rules initially appear to be very dense, but are really easily handled in play and it suffices if only one player knows the more complex rules such as e.g. line of sight, because all actions are resolved simultaneously, so rule questions the players might have can be answered all at the same time.
The game is very fun with many players, i.e. four or more, because without good teamwork or communication ships from one side might for example run into each other or block each other from shooting. The recent 2004 Clash of Arms edition also features incredible graphics and looks great in play even without miniatures.
The armies this game adds are mildly interesting, namely the Italians and French, which are both worse than the other three (or five) armies. Still, this expansion is very valuable because it contains a scenario "guide" which allows every scenario to be played with any forces, listing men and material for each side in matrix form.
Operational game which covers the whole war in Lybia and Egypt in WWII, playable in nine scenarios or the whole campaign of course. Simonitch again provides an easy to learn, non-simplistic game with much depth, making it one of the best on this topic.
+ The game is about a topic not treated to death. + It really gives you a sense of historicity, the action on the board seems so authentic, as does the decision making of a player as field commander. I think it does it's job as a tactical simulation better than Squad Leader for example. + It's fun in an Ameritrash way, because some dice rolls may go awfully wrong and can really screw you or your intentions up. This also augments the former since it creates chaos and confusion on the battle field/board. Luck is not game deciding either, your strategy just shouldn't rely on everything going down smoothly.
- It takes a lot of commitment in time and the rules aren't simple either.
This one goes up to 9, because the two-player variant is also a lot of fun. Excellent hidden gem. Can easily be played with casual gamers, too.
Interesting little game, which portrays the Battle of Britain on a tactical/operational level. Lost twice, but seriosly kicked the Luftwaffe's butt after starting with two Spitfires pilots, who became aces after three days.
I managed to get the deluxe editions of this now out of print game. The counters and map are artisitc. The game can be played with varying complexity and play time (suited for beginners and grognards). The game also includes an extensive battle report.
This is the first game I played which features so-called traditional wargame mechanisms (mandatory combat, interlocking ZOCs, etc.), but I like it!
Rule-wise this is a very simple game. You have to pre-plot your actions several turns in advance, which is a good way of simulating panic. For example, when your soldier falls, he can only crawl until you give him a "Stand Up" order. The game is not very strategic or tactical, but the action is intense and brusque. Every fired bullet counts and a decisive victory can only be achieved when one side manages to land a few lucky hits. Once the trenches have been breached by the attackers, deadly close quarters fighting ensues. The game is extremely bloody and it reminds me of the book "All Quiet on the Western Front", although you need some imagination. I greatly recommend this game to people who not only see hexes and counters in a game.
I would also like to add that I rated this game a 3 before I actually played it. First impressions can be wrong.
9.123: Although I usually don't award 10s simply because I only use a 5 point rating scale, I'm tempted to arrange an exception for this game and present it with a well-deserved 10 for its excellent game-play and unique design. EXC: The cover art, however, is so disgusting and thus barring me from implementing this move. NOTE: The person who crafted this forsooth despicable piece of "box cover" is to be freed from any guilt, because his design was simply a vengeanceful reaction to the decline of his first draft which only featured American soldiers. This move obviously did not fulfill its purpose, as the game sold well even in a time without the broad availability of online-reviews and where purchases were more frequently made on impulse (like cover art).
10.1: The rules aren't really all that difficult to comprehend (Up Front rates a 4 on the 10-point AH/VG complexity scale), only when you spend too much time reading them, the language rubs off...
Upped my rating even more. There is a lot of discarding at times, but if you can overlook that it's really an awesome game. It's been a hit with everyone I played it with. Trash talking is a requirement. Tag team matches are the best (= four players).
Very funny game, great (four-color) artwork. All the "wrasslers" in this game are spoofs on real 80s wrestlers, but I don't know any of those. The game requires a gaming group which likes to Bodyslam each other ... Gameplay at times diverts to all players just discarding and drawing cards. I blame the card mix for that, otherwise the game system is just fine.