My Victory Games Collection Ranked
Steven McBride
United States
Oakland
California
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Ah that VG symbol on the side of the box means I've got a good one in my hands. I love the 80's art, the old Avalon Hill catalogs still in the box 30 years later, the slight yellowing in the corners of the box, that old paper smell, I love it all! I like buying old wargames for many of the same reasons I also buy and collect vinyl records. Its like going back in time.

The centerpiece to my wargame collection is my Victory Games (I) collection. One day I hope to own and have played almost every game in the VG catalog (except the Fleet series [no interest in naval combat outside the Age of Sail], the Ambush!-system spin-offs [Open Fire and Shell Shock], the non-wargames and the James Bond games).

Here is where I will discuss my favorite games, what I will be playing next, and which games I still have left to acquire.
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1. Board Game: Ambush! [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:677]
Steven McBride
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The game that started it all and my favorite board game I have ever played (only behind Super Mario World for favorite game ever, board or video). The pride and joy of my boardgame collection.

No other game captivates me as much as Ambush does. Limited replayability? Good thing I have all 3 expansions too! I still havent made it all the way through the full chronological campaign (24 missions total) and I already want to replay some of the missions and try a different approach.

The AI can be a bit clunky sometimes and if you miss a paragraph event you can break the mission, but thats ok. Its a solo game thats entirely about the narrative and story (its very close to being a role playing game). Making stuff up on the fly to compensate for user mistakes or system errors is no big deal to me and even increases my engagement and immersion in the game.

I dont see this being topped as my favorite VG game.

BGG Rating: 10
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2. Board Game: Across 5 Aprils [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2537]
Steven McBride
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This game is fantastic. Great rulebook, good looking maps, 5 different games, All in one box. Its easy to learn and to teach and is a great introduction into wargaming. I taught it to my friend who had never played a wargame before and we were up and playing in about 15 mins. I really enjoy the uncertainty provided by the chit pull system. I like the flow of a turn: at the beginning of the turn, you have no idea what is going to be pulled, and as the turn progresses, the list of possible pulls gets shorter and shorter, making you more and more confident in your tactical decisions.

I enjoy the short play time. Very easy to get 2 or 3 scenarios played in an evening, so its great for competitive gaming. Highly recommended.

BGG Rating: 8
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3. Board Game: Mosby's Raiders [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:3406]
Steven McBride
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Another great game by Eric Lee Smith. Mosby's is an underrated game, IMO. Eric again provides us with an easy to learn system with an easy to read rulebook and great historical notes. Its got a very different feel to it than other solitaire games. I like that I am not controlling a mass of troops, its just Mosby and his band of rebels wrecking havoc on Union supplies and troops.

Not my favorite of the VG games I have played, but probably the most fun of the bunch.

BGG Rating: 8
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4. Board Game: Lee vs. Grant [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:3473]
Steven McBride
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I finished the Short 3-day scenario to get the rules down and now I'm half way through the Long Campaign game and I thought I would give my initial impressions.

Lee vs Grant has an interesting system that I enjoy, but for some reason, more than any other game I have played, it gives me intense Analysis Paralysis. Not sure why but because of that it does not bode well for me to solo play often. I find combat to be somewhat frustrating and not fulfilling. Maybe its the nature of the attritional warfare being simulated or it could be the lack of unit diversity (or maybe I am doing something wrong). The system is really about out-maneuvering your opponent, but the options for the Union are severely restricted due to the fact that keeping your leaders in Primary Supply is quite difficult the further South they move (again, maybe I am just doing something wrong).

My initial reaction is that the system would do better in another campaign.

BGG Rating: 7 (it could drop to a 6 if the endgame doesnt get more interesing)

UPDATE: Finished the Medium Scenario (Advanced Game, 6 turns) solo on VASSAL. That was enough for me. I just do not find this game exciting at all. Gotta say I wasn't too impressed by this game. I like the system, especially the Action Cycle phases, the initiative system, and movement system, but I felt there is something missing to make it an engaging experience. I'll try to touch on a few reasons why: Combat is bland and unsatisfying. The supply system is somewhat cumbersome and inflexible. The game eventually bogs down into trench warfare, which is a shame for a system that seems so excellent for maneuvering.

I would be willing to play a FtF game, but, for me, its not engaging enough for solo play. I'll probably give the short scenarios a go on VASSAL sometime, but not anytime soon.

Final BGG Rating: 6
 
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5. Board Game: The Next War [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:3557]
Steven McBride
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Next up: Hell's Highway

I got this at a good price (unpunched) and am very excited to play, so it jumps to the top of my "To Play Next" list. I love John Butterfield so this is a must play for me.
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6. Board Game Publisher: Victory Games (I)
Steven McBride
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The rest of my VG collection:

The Civil War
France 1944: The Allied Crusade in Europe
The Peloponnesian War, 431-404 BC
The Korean War
1809: Napoleon's Danube Campaign
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7. Board Game: Collection of Desires [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Steven McBride
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VG games I still need to acquire (ranked in order of desire):

Battle Hymn
Panzer Command
NATO: The Next War in Europe
Pacific War
Omaha Beachhead
Vietnam 1965-1975
Carrier
Tokyo Express
Pax Britannica
Central America
Cold War
Gulf Strike
Flashpoint: Golan


Well, this should only take me 5 years or so. Wish me luck!
(Feel free to help me out. If you're willing to part with some games, I'm willing to part with some cash!)
 
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