War / Territory / Battle games with hidden / unknown / unvisible combat pieces
Justin Gortner
United States
Egg Harbor Township
New Jersey
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Hi,

Another quick wargame question for you:

Looking for games that use pieces / representation of forces / presence that do not expose either strength, size, or type. For example, pieces that only face you and your opponent can't see, or upside down, or whatever.

Thanks!
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1. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:413]
Tim Synge
United Kingdom
NEWTON ABBOT
Devon
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Go get 'em, Floyd.
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This one's my favourite.
 
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2. Board Game: Red Storm Rising [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:5501]
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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Here's one from TSR.
 
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3. Board Game: The Fellowship of the Ring [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:5955]
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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Here's another LotR game. The dice only show the method of transport used, not who is there. In fact, there may be nobody there if it is a rumor. I like this game a lot but the rules are complicated and it takes a long time to play.
 
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4. Board Game: The Hunt for Red October [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:6713]
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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Another TSR game with hidden units. This could be combined with Red Storm Rising for a combined land/sea battle.
 
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5. Board Game: A Line in the Sand: The Battle of Iraq [Average Rating:5.90 Overall Rank:9342]
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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And yet another TSR game with stand-up hidden units.
 
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6. Board Game: Vietnam 1965-1975 [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:1750]
Sami Saarela
Finland
Espoo
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In Vietnam, Viet Cong has his counters face down. There's somewhat variation in strenght, but more importantly there are a few dummy counters to put US&Co. on a wild goose chase.
 
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7. Board Game: Europe Engulfed [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:888]
Xabbu Xabbu
Germany
Unspecified
Unspecified
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Try this wonderful game, if you have time.
 
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8. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:209] [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked]
matthew mcdermott
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Unspecified
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ASL uses conclement counters to hide unit strength for units. They conceal strength/size of force under them(could be a half squad or could be that AT gun) or even could just be a dummy

You can also have hidden(HIP) counters that are not on the board until you want to do something with them(like fire at the unit that just moved next to them)

 
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9. Board Game: Wizard Kings [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1747]
Alan Kaiser
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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Any of Columbia's block games would fit the criteria for this list.
 
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10. Board Game: Europe Engulfed [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:888]
Alan Kaiser
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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Along a similar line to Columbia's block games is this gem from GMT.
 
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11. Board Game: Stratego [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:2278]
George Kinney
United States
Bellefontaine
Ohio
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Surprised this isn't already on the list, it is the grand-daddy of this whole mechanic isn't it?

Or was there something earlier?
 
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12. Board Game: Ambush! [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:676]
Alan Kaiser
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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Although not exactly what I think you intended, Ambush does still have something similar. At the start of most scenarios no enemy units are on the board and they only appear as your squads move. You often never have an idea of what type of units you will encounter nor even what your goals are for the scenario!
 
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13. Board Game: Shell Shock! [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:6468]
Nick Roser
United States
Fort Wayne
Indiana
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This one would fit the criteria......better watch out for that hidden German Panzer IV.
 
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14. Board Game: Starship Troopers [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2309]
Paul Carmouche
United States
Ferndale
Michigan
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Uses a really cool system for The Bugs. Their hive is drawn on a paper copy of the map sheet before the game begins, and they can move their warriors and workers around with hidden movement on their control sheet. The Terran player only finds out where the bugs are when they breach and come up to the surface to attack. Then they can disappear back down their holes and pop up somewhere else!

The Bugs player can even dig new tunnels during game play, set booby traps beneath key hexes, etc.

The Terrans can try to figure out the shape of the hive complex with listening devices!
 
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15. Board Game: Shell Shock! [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:6468]
Alan Kaiser
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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Since this game is based on Ambush there is a bit of the unknown involved. However, this is a two player game so the familiar paragraphs in Ambush are gone. What replaces the paragraphs is hidden setup on the part of the Germans. The Allied squads enter the map having an idea of where things MIGHT be. The German player populates the map with hidden markers (question marks). These could be nothing, barbed wire, a booby trap, a tank, a squad of men or anything else.
 
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16. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:270] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Tim M-L
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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In Heroscape each player has four markers to show the characters that will be activated in a round, but the order of the markers are not revealed and one of them is a dummy marker that is not activated.
 
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17. Board Game: Flat Top [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:1502]
Alan Kaiser
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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This one is pretty much meant to be player double blind with another player serving as the ref.
 
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18. Board Game: Bonaparte at Marengo [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:1175]
Alan Kaiser
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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Slightly different than your standard block fare but a block game none the less. I'll through it in here since it's really a neat system and a great game.
 
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19. Board Game: Operation Market Garden [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:6876]
Jeff Paul
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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Well, this game is double-blind - and does not require a third party referee
 
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20. Board Game: Submarine [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:3478]
Jeff Paul
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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In this classic from Avalon Hill, the sub player is hidden till found. Very tense game for both sides. The surface player is never really sure where the sub is, and the sub player must be careful to keep his emotions in check as the surface player sets off depth charges 100 feet too high... "Nope, missed totally ..."
 
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21. Board Game: Friedrich [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:469]
Mark Christopher
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
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In the wonderful game, Bonaparte at Marengo, this is how to get nasty Frenchies out of a village.
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At the risk of being repetitive, Friedrich uses wooden markers to represent generals on the mapboard. The number of armies each general can have, though, is 1 - 8, and you don't know your opponent's strength until you start the combat.

When you buy more armies, you don't have to reveal with which generals you place them.
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22. Board Game: Stellar Conquest [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:3373]
R.T. Sloan
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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In Stellar Conquest all of the space ship counters are concealed by using fleet tokens. Players’ colonies are recorded on paper off the map. And the usefulness of star system is determined by random card draw, so you don't even know what the board looks like. You have to deduce the enemy’s strength and locations by observing his traffic patterns as he expands across the board. To make this game additionally complex, it plays with four separate sides.
I'm not sure if a game exists with more hidden aspects.
 
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23. Board Game: Midway [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:2608]
David Seddon
United Kingdom
Congleton
Cheshire
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In my view, the best of the lot.
 
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24. Board Game: Marching Through Georgia [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:9505]
Torsten Meckel-Hartmann
Germany
Kaltenkirchen
Schleswig-Holstein
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In this series from Clash of arms the pieces are face down on the map. They are only revealed in battle or by scouting with cavalry.
 
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25. Board Game: BattleForce [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:8408]
Edward Philippi
United States
Chico
California
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The side facing your opponant Would show whether the unit was a mech, vehicle, or inf. With some intel they could discover if it was Lt. Med. or Heavy. Your side told what kind of force it was, if it was jump capable, the level of damage it had sustained, special abilities, and moral/training status. Plus even if your opponant found out you had a Veterian Medium Mech Force the counters differed so he/she would never know the exact strengths until you blasted him. One of my all time fav. games that seems as though it would translate well to other situations. The one downside, lots of little counters.
 
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