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Subject: My prejudice against wargames with small maps rss

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Hunga Dunga
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When I play a wargame, it's either a one or two mapper game. Some one map games fill the map with lots of tables and charts so that the actual field of battle is imo restricted. I've never bought or played a wargame that uses a 17 x 22 map. My argument/prejudice/grumpiness is that small maps make for more chess-like games, and getting away from chess-like games was what brought me into wargames in the first place.

Am I being fair? By avoiding these games, am I missing out on something?
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Robert Wesley
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Re: My prejudice against wargames with small maps boards all the same
Tobruk surprise
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Keith Medlin
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If the goal is to have fun and you don't find those games fun...what are you missing out on exactly?

Some folks may be able to suggest a great one mapper, but if you've tried them and don't like them...the key question will be: How interested in having your mind changed are you?
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Tony Doran
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GROGnads wrote:
:( Tobruk :surprise:


Interesting you should mention this. My comment was going to be that 1) many small map games suffer from the "edge of the world" problem which can make for very gamey tactics, but 2) it can depend on the subject matter. The subject I was thinking of was exactly, WWII in North Africa, where the actual geography imposed a real edge of the world.

I am sure there must be others which folks might chime in on.
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Tim Parker
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Three greatest chess players ever: Bobby Fischer, Mikhail Tal, and Victor Korchnoi.
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I see you point but I think it also depends on the movement system used, IMO. For example, the point to point movement system by design is very constricting no matter how big the map is if there are only two lines leading to that critical spot you need to win then those are literally your only two options.

My gripe comes when maps are way too small for the units to fit comfortably. Funny thing is, the first two examples that spring to mind are Victory in Vietnam (and I finally made my own home made map) and Hearts and Minds.
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Robert Wesley
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arrrh We had TWO copies of "North Cape" for their maps and minis and bought ALL of them in 1:4800 scale that are still available for purchasing. We're using these within "A&A" which allowed NEW Vessels such as Pocket Battleship, Commerce Raiders, Jeep Carriers-('scratchbuilt'), Heavy/Light Cruisers, etc.
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Roger Hobden
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I guess you don't like tactical wargames, then.

BTW, something tells me you haven't updated your list of scored games in the past decade ...

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Enrico Viglino
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Mallet wrote:
I guess you don't like tactical wargames, then.



Indeed. There are quite a few smallish-map scenarios in tactical
systems that are not the least 'chess like'.

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Tom Russell
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Hungadunga wrote:
When I play a wargame, it's either a one or two mapper game. Some one map games fill the map with lots of tables and charts so that the actual field of battle is imo restricted. I've never bought or played a wargame that uses a 17 x 22 map. My argument/prejudice/grumpiness is that small maps make for more chess-like games, and getting away from chess-like games was what brought me into wargames in the first place.

Am I being fair? By avoiding these games, am I missing out on something?


I like smaller games, but I also have a much smaller table-space. I barely have the room for a "full-size" map, and had to trade away my copy of Blue Cross, White Ensign because all of the scenarios called for at least two of those maps.

Most of the games I've designed have 11" x 17" maps; 22" x 17" are "large" for me.

I've never found smaller games to be "chess-like", with perhaps the exception of Manoeuvre, where that's a feature, not a bug.
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Richard Boyes
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I like games with room to maneuver and campaign. STONEWALL IN THE VALLEY, U.S. CIVIL WAR, BLOOD & BRIDGES. Even good old AH WATERLOO had lots of room to maneuver. It's fun to have a force in one corner of a map and an objective at a distance.

But I like to finish games too.

Tactical games like WHITE STAR RISING, Lock 'n Load Tactical series, COMBAT COMMANDER, and that ilk, typically have 6 to 10 turns, a tight map, and best of all, can be finished in a couple hours. There usually are multiple avenues of approach in these small games and plenty of entertainment.

Variety. Big and small games can both be fun.

Game ON!
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Roger Hobden
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Q: My prejudice against wargames with small maps ?

A:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

?
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Eric Walters
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Can you say "The Guards Counterattack?" In SQUAD LEADER? Maybe not.
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Robert Stuart
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In general I feel the same way -- but there are some nice (operational) wargames with smaller maps. Two that I think are superb are Battles of the Bulge: Celles and Gazala: The Cauldron. I'm not sure why, but they play like they're on much bigger maps -- perhaps because of the wave-attack mechanism which allows multiple attacks by a formation against a target in a single turn.


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I'd be hard pressed to name a chess-like wargame regardless of size. An awful lot of elements have to come together to make a wargame "chess-like". I think victory conditions, number of units, interactivity of sequence of play, unit activation, combat system, movement system, events, reinforcements, ... all these elements contribute to whether the game encourages chess-like analysis and precision in play. I don't see the point in fixating on map size as the one element to care about. Look at the game as a whole.
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Lance McMillan
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Interesting. My viewpoint is almost the opposite: a game with a larger map has to be something pretty special for me to want to give it a spin, whereas I'm much more inclined to try out a game with a smaller footprint without having to wait for a lot of feedback.
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roger miller
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You are not being fair.

A good small game can have a lot going on and be not chess like at all. Depends on the systems being used in the design. Games with lots of back and forth interaction and randomness work especially well this way, which is why small tactical games can work well. But even operational games can work well with a clever designer.

ps. I am a clever designer.
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Tom Russell
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rmiller1093 wrote:
You are not being fair.

A good small game can have a lot going on and be not chess like at all. Depends on the systems being used in the design. Games with lots of back and forth interaction and randomness work especially well this way, which is why small tactical games can work well. But even operational games can work well with a clever designer.

ps. I am a clever designer.


Agreed.
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Richard Keiser

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Hungadunga wrote:
When I play a wargame, it's either a one or two mapper game. Some one map games fill the map with lots of tables and charts so that the actual field of battle is imo restricted. I've never bought or played a wargame that uses a 17 x 22 map. My argument/prejudice/grumpiness is that small maps make for more chess-like games, and getting away from chess-like games was what brought me into wargames in the first place.

Am I being fair? By avoiding these games, am I missing out on something?


Can you clarify what you mean when you experience "chess-like" wargames? I don't think I have the context, although I do believe you... just want to get on the same page.

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Carl Fung
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Hungadunga wrote:
When I play a wargame, it's either a one or two mapper game. Some one map games fill the map with lots of tables and charts so that the actual field of battle is imo restricted. I've never bought or played a wargame that uses a 17 x 22 map. My argument/prejudice/grumpiness is that small maps make for more chess-like games, and getting away from chess-like games was what brought me into wargames in the first place.

Am I being fair? By avoiding these games, am I missing out on something?


I am of a similar mindset. The immediate Pavlov response is more map = more area to maneuver. But it may depend on what you do adjacent or within a hex or area.

Straight forward games like Battle for Germany and The Drive on Metz (first edition) have small playing maps but are rich in game experience. But if I want big grand sweeping movement, one map minimum is what I say... It doesn't have to be <inserting obligatory Case Blue reference>, but anything bigger than a bread box is good.
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Russ Williams
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darthhugo wrote:
Can you clarify what you mean when you experience "chess-like" wargames? I don't think I have the context, although I do believe you... just want to get on the same page.

I wondered too. I see "chess-like" thrown about fairly often, but most of the time it's used, the games being described don't seem anything like Chess to me (other than they all involve moving pieces on a board).

To me, "chess-like" suggests no randomness and no hidden information, alternating turns of moving one piece at a time, capture by moving onto a piece, etc...

So I can only suppose that people using "chess-like" to describe a wargame are using it much more broadly and fuzzily...
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Eddy Sterckx
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calvinboy24 wrote:

I am of a similar mindset. The immediate Pavlov response is more map = more area to maneuver


which to me equates to "will take more than 4 hours to play" which equates to "will not get this on the table" which leads to "not buying"

It's funny how space and time are interchangeable concepts
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Sean McNeely
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Try Stonewall's Sword: The Battle of Cedar Mountain. The game map is small but the game play makes it quite large. I've played it twice so far and am looking to get more from this new series.

Reluctant Enemies isn't that big either but lots of OCS goodness as is the new Sicily II.

And of course most of the tactical games if that is to your taste, but I can see how one might consider those chess like.
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Roger Hobden
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La Bataille de Leipzig, a game created by Didier Rouy and published by Pratzen Editions has ten maps ...





Great system, BTW, even though I will probably never, ever play the campaign games.

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Darrell Pavitt
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Not until you get that map to lie flat in any case!
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Russ Williams
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nyhotep wrote:
Not until you get that map to lie flat in any case!

It's realistic 3-dimensional terrain!
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