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Wilderness War» Forums » General

Subject: Help... I'm a newbie! rss

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Toby Otero
United States
Monroe
Louisiana
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Just picked this up last week and I just don't know where to start.
I'm VERY new to wargames in general (I've played a few basic ones like Combat Commander, Conflict of Heroes and Washington's War). But, for some reason... I'm just having the hardest time just getting started with this one.
Any advice at all would be helpful. Thanks!
 
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Dave Turcan
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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TL-DR - Keep at it. Read the rules 10 times, play the game solo a few. Then, play with other people who might bring up things you might have missed. THEN you can start having serious games.


Well I can't help teach, BUT I was in the same boat as you. I had played some of the lesser complex stuff like Commands and Colours. But, when I tried to read some more in depth stuff I felt so lost. Labyrinth is what put me in a sour mood. At the time, I had only a few games I hadn't learned, but I kept buying. Soon it piled up.

Then Triumph and Tragedy came along. I THOUGHT I had the rules down, but I really didn't. After having a game and forgetting so many I was mad at myself. So I sat down and played solo probably at least 5 times just going over everything again and again. It really helped me grasp how GMT rules are written, and I feel that's what really made learning new games click with me.

Well, last week I did a play of Wilderness War solo and retained a lot more information that what I would have going in as a complete n00b.

Good luck bud. I hope you don't get discourage and stick with it. I sympathize and will say it can be hard to people to start out in. Also, I'm bias, but Wilderness War is excellent. But I just like North American history a lot.
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Toby Otero
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Monroe
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I'm a big fan of the period as well. This is one I've wanted to pick up for a while. I'm going to keep at it. I have no idea why I'm having so much trouble with this one. The rule book seems pretty clear for the most part, but when I get it on the table, I start flipping through the two books confused as heck. haha
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Humulus Lupulus
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Andover
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I'd recommend not reading through the rules 10 times. Instead, you really need to move pieces around.

Set it up and play through those battles in the Playbook.

Then, perhaps do an entire year (so you go through winter attrition and Indians go home steps) playing each side.

Then find a friend and just dive in. You'll still need to reference the rules, but you should still be able to finish the Annus Mirabalis scenario in a few hours.

If you're British, I'd suggest ignoring Louisburg in your first game. Only after you get the fundamentals down should you even consider an attempt at sieging that fortress.
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Juha Helin
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First, pick Annus Mirabellis scenario, set it up and read victory conditions carefully - especially pay attention to the details, and check the map for pathways and choke points. Being familiar with the geography helps a lot.

Then, follow the game through with the example provided - and then continue to the end by yourself. This should give you good feel of the system and let you experience the options that the map offers.

In Wilderness War, it is quite important to understand the probable/possible/viable avenues of advance and note that victory conditions contain more options than quick reading may suggest. I would not get stuck by the advice about paths of advance but try various ways.

I would also keep in mind that British may try to engage French in battle, while French try to be annoying, delaying and avoid unfavorable field battles at all cost. Eg. think of it as game of cat and mouse, attrition and maneuver all in one. However, while doing that do not forget the victory conditions, else one may become totally lost in the wild.

Last, remember that you always need retreat path (eg. in wilderness a stockade or fort to fall back in case things go sour). For movement, there is a simple system square counters move in square spaces as movement allows and in round spaces 1+1, round counters move in round spaces as movement allows and in square spaces 1+1 and everyone stops in mountains. Stockades and forts provide road in the wild.

That should help you to get going.
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Ek T
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If you want to try over Vassal, to answer questions you may have, let me know (email me through BGG). I've never played any game over Vassal, so you'd be dealing with a Vassal newbie. However, I do have the game setup right now and love this game.

(I'm West Coast/PST by the way)
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Toby Otero
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spektacles wrote:
If you want to try over Vassal, to answer questions you may have, let me know (email me through BGG). I've never played any game over Vassal, so you'd be dealing with a Vassal newbie. However, I do have the game setup right now and love this game.

(I'm West Coast/PST by the way)


I've never tried Vassal myself... I'll let you know.
 
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Jim Rowley
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I also recently picked this up and feel I can relate somewhat to what you have discovered. Although I am not entirely new to wargames in general like you mentioned about yourself, I have found that there is something about the intricacies of many of the unit and fortification circumstances as the game unfolds that, until you get somewhat used to it (which I believe is somewhat the case with any game), that it would be easy to overlook the application of those rules each and every time. In other words, unless you were playing with a veteran of the game or moved through each play carefully, you could be overlooking things as you play it out.

What I chose to do after setting up the game and actually stepping through the playbook with the pieces on the board, was to reference the rules flowchart posted on this site 10 years ago by Monkatron and then before playing my own first solo game taking the flowchart and recreating it in MS Powerpoint slides for ease of reference while I played out the first scenario. I was able to color code the different sections of the flowchart and also included the specific rules paragraph references at each location on the flowchart to also help with the reinforcement of the rules as I played out my first solo game.

Yes, this took a tremendous amount of time before ever embarking on my first playthrough, but I felt would be time better spent than simply reading the rules over and over again before starting. There were two things I discovered by approaching things this way:

(1) the difficult rating level set by GMT for this game seemed appropriate (when I first wondered about that after reading what was at first a rulebook, although not exceptionally long, that had some of those interwoven intricacies I mentioned, and

(2) the rules become more intuitive than you might think as you realize that they make sense relative to the variety of units and circumstances that come up as you play the game (in other words, you really start to get a good feel for the reasons behind each and every rule and through that the rules set doesn't seem as daunting).

So, I can't recommend enough to at least download the above mentioned flowchart and attempt to reference it as you proceed through your own playthrough. (I should mention that in the course of transferring the information from the flowchart into my own reference slides noted above that I came across just two or three things that seemed either wrong, or overlooked on the original flowchart. Perhaps it would be my own mistake or misunderstanding, but the originally flowchart struck me as a monumental achievement by Monkatron and I can't applaud that effort enough.

I hope this helps.
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Jim Rowley
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I probably should have mentioned the location of the flowchart is the 5th entry down in the Files section of this game on BGG.

Also, I should applaud the original designer and developers of what on first take appears to be a marvelous game that attempts quite well to capture the nuances of what it might have been like to maneuver forces around the wilderness in that time period. I can see why the game has stood the test of time.
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David Lopez
Luxembourg
Hesperange
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Head to the Video section of Wilderness War here on bgg and just watch it being played.
This should give you an idea of the flow of the game and how the rules interact.
Good luck !
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Tom Willcockson
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Woodstock
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Go on the ACTs site for Wilderness War:

http://acts.warhorsesim.com/ww.asp


Open one of the journals for a game in progress, go to the beginning, set up your game and follow along. Probably one where they are playing the 1757 scenario although the 1755 game might be goo dtoo. Note that you will have to pick a game where they are spelling out the moves in the journal and not just exchanging VASSAL files. Lots of other games on ACTs that you can do this with.
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