Top 10 Battle of the Alamo Games
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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After 13 days of siege, President General Antonio López de Santa Anna lauched the final assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar at 5:30 am on March 6th. Below is my Top 10 list of games covering the battle at the Alamo in 1836. These are games that meet substantially all of the following criteria: (1) focuses on the battle of the Alamo; (2) a wargame; (3) addresses the "theme" in an interesting or compelling manner that leaves the player with a better understanding of the battle of the Alamo (and its various aspects); and (4) fun to play (understanding that this can be very subjective, especially for wargames). This is a list of the BEST! As always, your mileage may vary and some entries may be "controversial." As such, please feel free to comment, debate, or just express your own point of view. Feel free to thumbsup this list (to draw attention and more comments) or any pleasing, interesting or thought provoking entries. If I missed one that you feel is essential or I am "insane for not listing" (trust me, it has been said before), then by all means let the comments fly . . . just be civil. FYI - I am a sucker for comments and discussion and usually thumbsup most if not all of them.

I find that these lists sometimes are helpful for others seeking similar games and the more rich the discussion for more useful the list.

For more Top 10 Lists covering great battles, check out MetaList: Nap's Great Battles Top 10 Lists.

For a complete listing of my Top 10 lists, see--MetaList: Nap's Top 10 Lists.

As always, thanks for reading and participating!

NOTE: Where I have included quotes from BGG users, I have included the BGG user name in parentheses.
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1. Board Game: Blood of Noble Men: The Alamo [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:8888]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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Not as solid as Victoria Cross, but still an excellent game on a very one-sided battle. It's not as tense as VC as it doesn't have the same feel of the infinite waves of attackers and throwing fistfuls of dice to try and stem the raging flow. Still, though, if you're interested in trying to game the Alamo, it's the most fun and interesting way I've seen it portrayed.

--Guy Riessen (Sprydle)
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2. Board Game: A Blood-Red Banner: The Alamo [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:7192]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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A great little game; in fact, the most fun I've ever had with a solitaire game. Quick and easy to play, of course, but a lot of research and thought went into this little package. Highly recommended.

--David Smith (cliometrician)
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3. Board Game: The Alamo: Victory in Death [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:10723]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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My 78-year-old Dad and I play this all day long when I go to see him, and I can see why it appeals to him. Sure, sometimes the Texans blow the Mexicans away, and vice versa. But those games are over in a couple hours at most, leaving plenty of time for a rematch. When the luck is even, it's a different story. The Texans hole up in the Alamo's buildings, while the Mexicans seize their cannons and start knocking the place down, racing the Texan victory clock. In one of our games, and I kid you not, the only Texan left was Davy Crockett, who managed to survive long enough to win the game. Just like Fess Parker in the old Disney movie. How can you not love it?

--William Byrne (haubitze)
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4. Board Game: Charge at the Alamo [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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I really enjoy this little wargame. The Mexican columns move in to attack in hordes, while the Texans fire the cannons and hide in buildings trying to survive.


--Andrew Tullsen (Howitzer_120mm)
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5. Board Game: The Alamo: Victory or Death [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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This book adds some nice lists and other rules to the already awesome game.

--Noshrok Grimskull (Corran Horn)

Includes Legends of the Old West:

The mechanics are based on the LOTR table top game by Games Workshop. In many ways this game plays better than LOTR ( which tends to break down with large model counts )

Plays 2+. The strength of this game is the synthesis of all the good elements of the games before it. The game takes from and reshapes elements of Mordheim, Necromunda and LOTR.

As a 2-player, non-campaign game, the game is okay. There are a wide range of scenarios, including historical scenarios, that make for many enjoyable game sessions. When scratch building a gang 2-play n-c pickup games are fair but there are better skirmish games out there for pickup play ( Warmachine, Hordes, Blood Bowl, DnD minis)

--Matt Hoskins (matthewjhoskins)
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6. Board Game: The Alamo [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:9655]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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Many fond memories of this game. When it came out in 1981 I played it solitaire many times and also with a group of three other guys after long sessions of heavier simulations. Always great fun and real insights into the battle. It does drag a bit near the end when the few Texan survivors are holed up in the rooms and unable to move.

--Steven Goodknecht (No Expectations)
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7. Board Game: Alamo 1836 [Average Rating:5.38 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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Well... I'm not a fan of the Alamo, but this game has a really nice map, it probably is the best looking of the Alamo games I have, so I gave it a spin. It's not very fast as there is a lot of dierolling with lots of modifiers on shooting and save rolls. Some situations are not very well explained. Apparently the guns on the raised platforms can't shoot at each other? Or is that simply assumed? If they can, are they in the open? hat's with troops shooting at each other from one platform to another? Can guns retreat? If not, are they destroyed if a breach happens (since then, the defender's units are supposed to retreat)?

It also seems weird that a single gun with four crewmen has even chances against 240 Mexicans (3 units) converging on it from all directions. What do they do, turn it really fast?

The assault is the expected bloodbath, but it is important to note that once a unit is totally eliminated it comes back, rallied from the map edge. (One of the most annoying things is that the unit names are printed sideways so essentially I put all the Mexican counters on their side so I didn't I did have to continually squint when I needed to read a name for setup.) Anyway, I persevered and the progress is about as you expect - at some point the Mexicans make it over the walls or through a breach, and then, except for the meleeing cannons (which are best taken out by cavalry), it's going downhill for the defenders. Among the weaker Vae Victis offerings but still OK.

--M Stumptner (M St)
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8. Board Game: The Alamo Remembered [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:8183]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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The Alamo Remembered is a nice little game. I get the VPG production model of less glamorous but nonetheless, good quality card components at a nice price. Yes, its not very detailed and is very light. Certainly less complex than their other games, but this game delivers as an easy to understand, fast playing game. The theme works well. It feels like an Alamo, no-hope experience against tremendous odds. The mechanics work very well and the situation is challenging for both sides. The artwork on the chits and map is nice and I guess the key for me is that as soon as I finished playing, I wanted another go, and again, and again and again… It really kept me coming back for more. It was great fun in a short space of time. A terrific introduction to war gaming. Easy to teach, tense, thematic and fun.

--Mark Rivera (mrivera)
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9. Board Game: Remember the Alamo [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:11623]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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My favorite minigame. It is possible to win as the Texans, but takes a little luck. Talk about tension!

--Wayne Wiiki (wiiki)
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10. Board Game: Dark Victory: The Battle of the Alamo [Average Rating:4.75 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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21 feet per hex! Units represent about 15 Mexicans or 6 Texans per counter. The Texans get a reaction phase after the Mexican action phase. Rules cover various set-ups, ramps, walls, doors and ladders, staircases, fire and melee, all you need for an assault. Rules need a little tweaking as the Texans seem to be wearing flak jackets and the walls of the Alamo are made of depleted uranium steel.

--Paul Denhup (PAYDIRT)
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11. Board Game: Texas Glory: 1835-36 [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:4111]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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"These go to eleven."

--Nigel Tufnel

BONUS MATERIAL: Even though this game focuses on more than just the Alamo (i.e., the entire Texas Revolution), I added it for good measure.


The system itself is very simple yet evocative. I love the operationnal scale in this game, and the plot : davy crockett, alamo, santa anna, indians...lovely !
The game is asymetric, and is kind of cat and mice once the US army enters the game, as the cat.

--Frederic Mariusse (atavachron)
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