Robartin's Take on Multiplayer Wargames
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Here are my impressions of wargames I have played, roughly in the order I've tried them in. As you can see, I'm more of a casual wargamer - I've mainly played the big box Milton Bradley or Euro wargames. Still, I think these are a great excuse to get together with a few friends for an afternoon of beer and fun.

So here's a question for anyone that takes a look at this list - should I try some of Eagle's games? They look like fun, but I'm not into 8 hour games. Which one do you think is best to start with given my list below?
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1. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14501]
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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The first wargame I ever tried as a kid. I remember it lasting forever and never really ending. Not one that I care for.
 
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2. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1184]
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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I bought this when I was a kid at Toys R Us. Up until a couple of years ago, I never actually played it. I really like it - all of the miniatures give it a lot of flavor and the team aspects are fun. Definitely still worth the money. And apparently it will be re-released next year for a whole new generation of kids.
 
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3. Board Game: Battle Cry [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:615]
Robert Martin
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Atlanta
Georgia
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My first "hex and counter" wargame. This is at the light end of the scale, but you can't beat a fun wargame that you can play in less than an hour. The card system works well, and again it comes with great miniatures. The modular gameboard and scenarios make for a ton of replayability.
 
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4. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:500]
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Diplomacy is one of those games that leaves you in awe of its sheer brilliance. This game takes the whole art of wartime negotiation and distills it down to its purest form. There are only two types of units (land and sea) and only four types of orders. The rest of the game relies on the negotiations, pacts, and alliances between players. This game will change the way you see the world. You can see support being given and cut in everyday world affairs. It's hard to explain, but the world appears differently after you play this game because it's such an amazing abstraction of the whole art of dealmaking. On the downside, it takes at LEAST an entire day to play, but play by email versions work around that problem.
 
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5. Board Game: History of the World [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:597]
Robert Martin
United States
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Georgia
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The concept of this game is fantastic - you start at the very beginnings of civilization and work your way through all the great cultures of the world to the near present time. Cultures spring up seemingly from nowhere and then disappear without a trace. It's an amazing tour through the history of the world (at least from a warlike perspective). The problem with this game is that each player you add increases the length by an hour. I think this game has 3-4 hours of fun in it, so I enjoy it with 3 or 4 players, but with 6 it becomes overly long and repetitive. The production is lavish, with gold and silver toned pieces and TONS of plastic miniatures. A good time for a smaller crowd.
 
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6. Board Game: Risk 2210 A.D. [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1019]
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Well I said before that I don't care for Risk, but I do like History of the World and I'm a sucker for miniatures. I figured maybe Risk 2210 would be worth trying. Nope. It's still just Risk with some cards and a couple special units thrown in.
 
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7. Board Game: Mare Nostrum [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1073]
Robert Martin
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For some reason this game really struck a chord with me. I knew very little about ancient civilization before playing this, but the game is so atmospheric it made me want to learn about all of the ancient wonders, heroes, and civilizations. I really like the way this game plays. It doesn't have hundreds of miniatures to push around, so it's very easy to play and the combat system is quick and clean. The only problem I have with it is that the resource cards can be a bit cumbersome and the game can often end in ties. Still, it manages to pack an entire wargame into 2 hours, which for me is just about perfect.
 
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8. Board Game: Quest for the Dragonlords [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:12173]
Robert Martin
United States
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Georgia
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This game was just too pretty to resist. The production is completely over the top, the fantasy theme is great, and the whole thing just practically jumps of the shelf into your shopping cart. Fortunately, it's one heck of a fun wargame as well. It's probably the lightest of all these games because there are some factors of it that introduce huge amounts of luck into the game. Still, I enjoy a healthy dose of luck in my games, so this one is definitely high on my list. The questing system is particularly cool - you can send some of your guys off on quests for you to find all kinds of special equipment and spells that help you kick your opponents butts. If you're lucky you might find a Dragonlord, and then you can really torch the opposition.
 
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9. Board Game: Guerilla [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:4167]
Robert Martin
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This is the first (and only) completely card-based wargame on my list so far. I got it in a trade, expecting a game that had some nice cards, but probably mediocre gameplay. I was pleasantly surprised to find a fun multiplayer wargame that only lasts about 60-90 minutes. Everyone in this game plays both sides of the conflict, but is secretly loyal to one side. That introduces some fun guess-work and scheming into the game. The only downside (which incidentally gives the game some of its depth) is that there are a LOT of tiny rules that are easy to forget. You really need to play this game about half a dozen times before you can remember all of the little rules. Still, a very cool, highly under-rated wargame.
 
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10. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (first edition) [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:312]
Robert Martin
United States
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Georgia
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A Game of Thrones is basically Diplomacy, Euro-game-ized for the 21st century. It uses all the basic mechanisms of Diplomacy but streamlines them to make the game play much faster. Gone are the lengthy away from the table meetings, writing of orders on paper, and complex order adjudication. In their place are some really cool additional mechanisms that make for a whole new game. It plays like a much lighter version of Diplomacy where all the negotiations take place at the table. For this reason, it doesn't have the intensity of the good Diplomacy game with the spectacular stabs you see sometimes, but it is very fun in its own right. I think this game will become a classic of the genre.
 
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11. Board Game: WarCraft: The Board Game [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:2687]
Robert Martin
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Georgia
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This is a surprisingly well done translation of the computer game into a strategy board game. Resource gathering and depletion, unit training and upgrades, building costs and delays are all here - implemented in clever and simple ways. I have to knock the game a couple points in the production department. The artwork is too busy, which I've found to be common with all Fantasy Flight Games. The biggest knock against the game is that they really should have included plastic miniatures for each of the races rather than generic wooden figures. Warcraft is all about the atmosphere, you know? At the end of the day, even though I think this is a very well done game, I'd rather just play WC2 on the computer.
 
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12. Board Game: Age of Mythology: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2480]
Robert Martin
United States
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I'm not a huge Puerto Rico fan, so when I first saw this game I was interested in the theme but not so much in the game itself. But when I found it for 30 bucks at CompUSA, I figured it was worth a try. I've played it once so far - I liked it better than I thought I would, but I'll have to try it another couple times before I decide whether I keep it or sell it. The game plays well, but it has an odd sort of feel like it comes from two different worlds that don't quite mesh together. Playing Puerto Rico with miniatures and fists full of dice just has a strange feel to it. I guess I just wanted a map to move all the cool miniatures around on or something. Overall I liked it and I'll probably end up keeping it.
 
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