Introduce me to wargames
Mosse Stenström
Finland
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I am a new boardgamer, and am so far limited to euro-style boardgames, but I would like to venture into wargames to try my wings at that. Which titles are recommendable for first tries at this genre?

I must also add that I live in Finland, and do not have a credit card. I am here listing the games I've found in my local gameshop...

Pros and cons would be appreciated! I assume I would be playing mostly 2-player...

Other entries are also welcome, but keep in mind they should not be OOP, as those games can be difficult to get a hold of over here...

Thanks in advance!
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1. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Mosse Stenström
Finland
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Memoir '44
This is the only game that I already have that could be called a wargame. I know wargamers don't call it that, but it is the game that made me want to try out so called "real" wargames.
 
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2. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1039]
Mosse Stenström
Finland
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Axis & Allies
This one intrigues me. But is it too like Risk? I haven't played Risk since high-school, but I remember not being too fond of it back then...
 
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3. Board Game: Axis & Allies: D-Day [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:2095]
Mosse Stenström
Finland
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Axis & Allies: D-Day
If purchasing A&A or A&A: D-Day, which one should I go at first? What are the major differences?
 
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4. Board Game: Paths of Glory [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:100]
Mosse Stenström
Finland
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Paths of Glory
Is this one too complicated for a newbie at wargames? It seems intresting enough from what I've read here.
 
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5. Board Game: Attack! [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:4458]
Mosse Stenström
Finland
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Attack! (+expansions)
This one seems a lot like Risk? Am I wrong? I also understand it needs the expansion?
 
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6. Board Game: World in War: Combined Arms 1939-1945 [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:5980]
Nigel Buckle
United Kingdom
Thornton Heath
Croydon
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This one might fit the bill.

It's pretty simple, playable in an evening, but different enough from Axis & Allies to be worthy of consideration. Game is easier than Axis & Allies (IMHO) as every unit costs the same (1 build). Combat system is quite different - forcing you to field a combined force rather than just concentrate on one type of unit.

Not quite sure on play balance though - Axis seem to win more frequently (maybe I'm just bad at playing the Allies!)

Should be able to get it in Finland - game is produced in Sweden.
 
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7. Board Game: Battle for Moscow (first edition) [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:5575]
Francisco J. Piña A.
Chile
Calama
Antofagasta
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This one shoud be good to introduce you to tactical level wargames, it has simple rules, and it's free to download and print
 
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8. Board Game: Battle Cry [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:615]
The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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I guess some hardcore war gamers might disagree with me on this but as a passive war gamer (I play Hammer of the Scots, Axis & Allies and the like) I love this and feel it's a great introduciton to war gaming as it plays faster and smoother than some others out there. It's an Avalon Hill game so it should be pretty easy to come by as they've got a good distribution. It is the American Civil War and I'm not sure if the subject matter will interest you would be the only thing I can as a hold up on this one.
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9. Board Game: Sergeants! On the Eastern Front [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:9517]
Dennis FitzPatrick
United States
Yuma
Colorado
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At $7.95, I'm going to recommend this as an intro. Simple rules, nice components (Hex and Counter)and nice price. This will let you know if you like Wargaming w/o breaking the bank. Has some very traditional elements of wargaming and a couple new twists that make it even more interesting.
 
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10. Board Game: War and Peace [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:2054]
Martin Siebel
Germany
Schwalbach
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I would recommend Avalon Hill's "War and Peace" as introduction to wargames. At least it worked for me. There are not too many rules for the scenarios and the number of different units is very limited. Although it still has everything a wargame usually features: Hexes, counters, CRTs, a lot of dice rolls. (If introduction into wargaming does not mean to get acquainted with these 'classic' features, I would also suggest "Bonaparte at Marengo", which is excellent, but a completely different animal).
Battle Cry, M44, Attack! and other lightweights I personally do not count towards real wargames (at least not to wargames as a category to which you have to get used to), although I enjoy them even more than 'real' wargames. Just a matter of definition.

However, there are also some points against this game which I do not want to leave out. First, it is OOP and most likely not easy to obtain. Second, it is strategic in scope and therefore more abstract than wargames on tactical level.
 
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11. Board Game: Friedrich [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:469]
Necessary Evil
United States
Glen Arm
Maryland
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I have to say that this is a game that I feel is a good intro to wargames, at least from the movement and battle side of things. It requires planning on where to attack and how to splic the limited resources you have. Prussia has a lot more to think about than the other players but It is great fun to be up against the wall like that.

The rules are not over the top. In fact I find them to be very elegant. Battles are easy to understand and dont get boged down with a bunch of unit types and the supply rules are simple but important to gameplay.

It requires 3 to play, but is playable in one evening.

Also the quality it top of the line and the game looks great (imho).

-M
 
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12. Board Game: Panzer Grenadier: The East Front [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:5384]
Cliff McAmis
United States
Maplewood
Minnesota
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Panzer Grenadier -

1) In print
2) Free download & print demo at www.avalanchepress.com
3) 20 page rulebook wont melt your brain
 
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13. Board Game: G.E.V. [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1799]
Eliot Hemingway
United States
Seattle
Washington
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I'm surprised that this isn't on the list already. Maybe the fact that it's not the sterotypical WWII or Napoleonic game has gotten it overlooked.

G.E.V. is a fururistic tactical wargame. It's based on a nuclear war between superpowers, but postulates enough technological advances to make the game interesting (like armor heavy enough to make tanks feasable in a nuclear environment).

G.E.V. and its expansions, Shockwave and Battlefields, are quite affordable and offer a huge amount of replayability. The game rules are simple, but have a lot of depth to them. And how can you not love cybernetc super-tanks that fire nuclear tipped shells? (well, everything fires nuclear ordinance in G.E.V., but Ogres excel at it)
 
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14. Board Game: Lock 'n Load: Forgotten Heroes – Vietnam [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:2369] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Mike South
United States
McKinney
Texas
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You may want to consider something from the Lock 'N Load series. Also has a free print and play demo and the rulebook is short.
 
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15. Board Game: Winter War [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:4182]
Oh my God They Banned Kenny
Canada
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I realize this one doesn't fit your criteria, as it might be difficult to get a hold of under the circumstances! On the other, it might be of interest, given your location. It is a 'traditional' hex wargame that even the Grognards would accept as such. The rules are actually quite brief, at least by current standards. Definitely worth grabbing if the opportunity arises.
 
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16. Board Game: The Russian Campaign (fourth and fifth editions) [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:2668]
Michael Von Ahnen
United States
Dallas
Texas
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This was my first wargame, at least the 2nd Edition. It was listed as Intermediate, but it was pretty simpleto learn. It was fun even when we did not get all the rules right the first time. Only about 6 pages of rules and most of these are for the standard hex and zone of control concepts of most wargames.
 
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17. Board Game: We the People [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:1031]
Dave Rubin
United States
Trenton
New Jersey
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Excellent introductory game. Fun, tense, with real history, and only 8 pages of rules! The original CDG.
 
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18. Board Game: Bonaparte at Marengo [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:1175]
Mosse Stenström
Finland
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Bonaparte at Marengo
Have to add this one as an item, as it was only mentioned in the comments - and immediately raised my intrest. Sadly I have yet to find a finnish store to hold this. Still looking though.
 
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19. Board Game: Viktory II [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:2670]
Ryan Bowling
United States
Unspecified
Texas
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Good Euro-style wargame. Simple rules and aggressive gameplay. It can be ordered direct from Morrison Games in the States.
 
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