Wargames of Al Nofi
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Just listened to episode 15 of Guns, Dice and Butter, which featured an interview with Al Nofi. I started wargaming in 1971 and am really enjoying the Herr Dr's interviews with the early pioneers of our gaming niche.

Dr. Nofi was a research director at SPI and an associate editor of S&T. While not a prolific designer, he did put out some games, although many were not published by SPI. He has also written several books on military history. Those that have received ratings on Amazon are highly rated.


Let's look at Dr' Nofi's games.
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1. Board Game Designer: Albert A. Nofi
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Appears to be a photo from his SPI years.
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2. Board Game: Renaissance of Infantry [Average Rating:6.34 Unranked]
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Al's first design and originally published in S&T #22.

Nice review available at http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/686611/the-great-st-play-off...
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3. Board Game: Centurion [Average Rating:6.32 Unranked]
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This was the first S&T I purchased. I was taking high school Latin at the time and I took this in and did a presentation to the class on it. Must not have impressed anyone as I did not pick up any gaming partners.

I recall the counters were a pain as the perforations left edges that made them tough to handle on the map.
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4. Board Game: Caporetto, 1917 [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
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Only 7 ratings, but his 2nd highest rated game. On my want list. Rommel was a junior officer at this battle and earned the Pour le Mérite medal here.
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5. Board Game: The Great War in the East [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
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This is where Caporetto, 1917 first appeared and was Dr. Nofi's contribution to this SPI Quad game. Interestingly, enough, the description calls Caporetto the dog of the bunch, yet the comments for the separate listing for Caporetto rates this game highly.
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6. Board Game: The Great War 1914-1918 [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:9999]
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Designed with John Prados. Seven historical scenarios and a 72-turn campaign game. There are some wargamers whose opinion I respect who rate this quite highly.
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7. Board Game: Salerno: Operation Avalanche [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
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Only 3 ratings and 12 owners for this one. Another combined effort with John Prados. There is little information out on this game, and the odds of finding a copy don't look good.
 
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8. Board Game: Knights and Knaves [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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A fictional setting and not well received. Published by Nimrod Game Development, who did two games and disappeared.
 
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9. Board Game: Imperium Romanum: The Clash of Legions [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:11700]
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The original Imperium Romanum. Cited for it's ugly box art. Ratings are quite mixed. A collector's item now, as anyone interested in playing it should refer to the next game on the list.
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10. Board Game: Imperium Romanum II [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:3060]
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By far the best known game from Dr. Nofi, and the subject of much discussion on the podcast. There was even talk of approaching GMT for a possible republishing. According to the podcast there are still some avid groups playing this game. 35 scenarios covering the full breadth of Roman History. While well loved, there are a lot of comments that history took priority over balanced scenarios. I even saw a comment that just reading the scenario book is quite enjoyable.

I purchased this one when it was first published and being really intrigued there was 35 scenarios. I only managed to play a couple though as I was moving into a miniatures period of my gaming career at the time.
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11. Board Game: Men At Arms [Average Rating:4.61 Overall Rank:15133]
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A generic game covering tactical warfare from Ancients to Medieval times that appeared in S&T 122. Co-designed with Jim Dunigan. With those two minds at work you would expect something good, but a failure by all accounts. Advanced rules were published in Moves #68 and by some accounts did improved the game. Bad graphics is also mentioned in many comments.
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12. Board Game: Vicksburg: the War for the West [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked]
Jeff Curtis
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I missed this one when I first put the list together, but Dr. Nofi is listed as a co-designer. Very high rating, but only three raters. John Prados is also listed as a designer.

Good luck finding a copy of this one.
 
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13. Board Game: Von Manstein: Battles for the Ukraine 1941-1944 [Average Rating:6.55 Unranked]
Jeff Curtis
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Same design team as Vicksburg. Another one from Rand Games.
 
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14. Board Game: Wellington In the Peninsula [Average Rating:5.44 Unranked]
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Third game for Rand, but rated quite a bit lower than the others.
 
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