War Games that are well suited to PBEM over Vassal (or Cyberboard or Zun Tzu)
Chris Buhl
United States
Leeds
Massachusetts
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Hi!

One of my gaming goals this year is to play more wargames. To really get where I want to be, I'll have to do some "Vassaling," as I call it (or at least, as I'm calling it right now). Particularly, I think I'll have to do some PBEM gaming, as finding time to sit down regularly, week after week, to play a long game is tough. I've got a CC game in progress right now, and even though we live in the same time zone we're finding it hard to get even 1 session in a week. We'll get there, but if this was a monster game, it would be overwhelming.

So, PBEM it will have to be. I have ZERO experience playing PBEM, so I'm here to ask the experts about it. First off, can you tell me some war games that you think work well with PBEM? To avoid submitting a geeklist with 0 items, I'll list a couple of games that I think would work well, and will be happy to have any feedback.

I'll also list, right here, the games I own and/or know the rules for pretty well, and would like to play. I'm not asking you to limit your responses to these games, but if you've got any idea about how any of them will likely fair using PBEM, I'd be very grateful for that feedback.

All right, some games of particular interest:

EastFront II (my most wanted to play but never played game)

Napoleon's Triumph (a close second)

The Siege of Alesia (tied for a close second)

2nd Fleet (an old favorite I just reacquired)

World at War: Blood and Bridges (a more recent favorite)

All right, thanks for any feedback.
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1. Board Game: Europe Engulfed [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:901]
Chris Buhl
United States
Leeds
Massachusetts
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I've played this face to face and soloed it using EE.net. It seems to me it would work nicely using PBEM, but I'd like more experienced feedback about that.

Thanks,

Chris
 
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2. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Michael J
United States
Folsom
California
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M44 is a great PBEM game. The turns are substantial, so there isn't a lot of back and forth each round. For me, long turns are critical to PBEM, otherwise the game drags to a standstill.
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3. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:138]
 
Brandon Pennington
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Springfield
Missouri
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Not just Hannibal, but I think CDG's play well by email in general. I have played Hannibal, Successors and TS PBeM and enjoyed them all and I also am trying to get a game of Paths of Glory going with a buddy of mine.

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4. Board Game: Bastogne: Screaming Eagles under Siege [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:2277]
Brandon Pennington
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I think any of the SCS series games work well PBeM, but this could go for most hex and counter games. I think really, games with little player interuption work well for PBeM. Tactical games don't work well becaue of things like op fire and such.
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5. Board Game: Here I Stand [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:168]
Carlos Ferreira
Portugal
Porto Salvo
Porto Salvo
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I think this game is best PBEM than F2F. The game plays pretty well on cyberboard with ACTS.
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6. Board Game: Breakout: Normandy [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:956]
ian morris
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Mids
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For the time-challenged (like me), area-movement games such as this one or Monty's Gamble: Market Garden are ideal for Vassal PBeM, as an impulse can be completed inside half an hour. I believe BKN is also available on Sun Tzu.


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7. Board Game: Hold the Line [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1861]
Tanks Alot
United States
Fort Mill
South Carolina
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Plays great PBEM. Simple easy and fast and its easy to figure out where you left off.
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8. Board Game: Napoleon's Triumph [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:385]
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
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Since you asked about this one, and I have a particular interest in it, I'll tell you that CyberBoard is ideal for NT. You have no dice or cards to worry about, and CyberBoard preserves hidden unit identities flawlessly. Most of my work as a playtester for this game was accomplished via CyberBoard.
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9. Board Game: Baptism at Bull Run [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked]
László K.
United States
Hopatcong
New Jersey
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While researching Baptism at Bull Run (BaBR) I made a decision regarding the game, which in fact, may have been one of the first ones I made. It was simply this: the game would be web-published and be playable via an online, remote play gaming system (i.e., CyberBoard and VASSAL). For whatever reason, I only played BaM—the game upon which BaBR is based—and later NT, online against remote opponents. Influenced by this as well as by the apparent success of the BaM Ladder, I decided that a CyberBoard-based game would not be such a bad idea.

BaBR is currently playable via CyberBoard and VASSAL.
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10. Board Game: EastFront II [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:1279] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked]
Bill Lawson
United States
Rutland
Vermont
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I recently played this on vassal with my friend N/A. We played live once a week and did some PBEM moves in between. It works far better live than PBEM due to the hidden blocks. Combat required a couple logfiles (the attacker declares attacks and maybe rolls for his airpower than sends a file, the defender than reveals his units and rolls and returns a file .......)
Its much quicker live! Great game though and a blast!!



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11. Board Game: Pax Romana [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:1688]
Runs with scissors
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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This is a long but satisfying multi-player game. Playing via vassal gives you time to think, plan your moves, and negotiate. However slows down quite a bit when actual battles are taking place.
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12. Board Game: The Battle for Normandy [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:2307]
Runs with scissors
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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Most monsters like this one actually play pretty well via vassal. I mean who's got the space to set up a game that requires a 6'x9' table 2500 counters and then leave it for several months while the game plays out.
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