Best Operational-Level Wargame of 2008
Erik Nicely
United States
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I think it's time for some best-of geeklists for 2008 so I'll kick this off. The CSR awards are IMO the definitive awards for wargaming but those break down the games by historical era. The Golden Geek is kind of a strange wargaming award and only paying members can vote. So I'll break down this years wargames by unit/map scale in whatever period of history you'd care to post and we'll see which one comes out on top for these geeklists, no awards given, just a people's choice kind of deal.

Post your favorite game released in 2008 in this particular scale. If someone has beaten you to your favorite in this scale thumb that particular game. If you think any expansion (standalone or otherwise) was really, really good I don't see any harm in posting it.I'll post a geeklist for three different scales. After about a week I will post a seperate geeklist with the winners.

Tactical-level geeklist: http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37456

Strategic-level geeklist: http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37460

Winners have been selected

Wikipedia says:

Quote:
Operational units are typically battalion to divisional size, and are rated based on their average overall strengths and weaknesses. Weather and logistics are significant. The simulation typically focuses on one branch of the military forces, with others somewhat abstracted, and usually covers a single campaign.


Operational is maybe the most popular scale of wargame. Which one of the 2008 crop do you like the best?

I have deleted the entry for The Devil's Cauldron. I think LOS rules make it a tactical entry. No disrespect to PAYDIRT for posting TDC, it's a great game and maybe in a class of it's own.
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1. Board Game: Storm Over Stalingrad [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:1846]
Erik Nicely
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The magazine edition was released in 2006 but the boxed edition from MMP came out a couple of months ago so I'll put it in with this years crop of games. The scale of SOS might put it at the "lower end" of operational games and the area-impulse mechanics make it something a little bit off the beaten path. But let me tell you it is a fine game. I taught two guys how to play recently and they actually said "fine game". When people talk about the "tough decisions" in a wargame the decisions that need to made in SOS are brutal. The rules are pretty light but the gameplay sure as hell isn't. On top of all that it's Stalingrad in 3-4 hours. Nice.

I will apologize for not having played more brand-new operational games, this is the only one from 2008 that I've tried. CoH (and last year's WaW) have been occupying a lot of my time.
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2. Board Game: Texas Glory: 1835-36 [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:4030]
Dan Poole
United States
Goldsboro
North Carolina
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I really enjoy this game quite a bit
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3. Board Game: Barbarossa: Kiev to Rostov, 1941 [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:2975]
Colin Hunter
New Zealand
Auckland
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Haven't player, but I am about halfway through the rules. It looks good. Any thoughts from those that have player?
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4. Board Game: FAB: The Bulge [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:1466]
Steve
United States
Flagstaff
Arizona
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This was my favorite game of the year. It's perhaps not as fast as advertised but it is over in an evening. There are tons of interesting decisions before, during and after combat. The asset system is really compelling and makes a more historical use of smaller and specialized forces in operational level games. The bulge develops very historically in my experience. And the game is a lot of fun.

I can't wait for the next in the series. I think this game was overshadowed by some other popular releases but I still think this is the best of the year.
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5. Board Game: Rock of the Marne [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:5372]
Colin Hunter
New Zealand
Auckland
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Haven't played this either, but any game from The Gamers should be up for consideration.

WWI SCS title. SCS is an easy system to learn with only a few pages of rules, I've read some good stuff about this.
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6. Board Game: Field Commander: Rommel [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1679]
Drew Heath
United States
Galesburg
Illinois
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FC:R came seemingly out of nowhere from a minor one-man operation and features a rock-solid (and NOT overly complicated) solitaire system, beautiful & functional artwork, and 3 distinct campaigns in 3 different theaters (NO MAP SHARING HERE!) with difficulty adjustable through a VP system.

In an era where solitaire tabletop wargames are all but dead, FC:R was a shot of heroin. It manages to reward historically-appropriate play, punish stupidity, and give you that "just one more try!" burning desire over and over... and all without endless pages of mind-numbing rules for the solitaire system.

For what it is, I cannot recommend it highly enough. The other entries here merit respect, but none of them have achieved the goal they set out to nearly as superbly as FC: Rommel did.
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7. Board Game: South Mountain [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:5316]
Colin Hunter
New Zealand
Auckland
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I have been meaning to pick this up, looks like a good and a nice introduction to the regimental sub system of the CWBS. Any thoughts from those that have played?
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