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Subject: Is there room for WWII themed non-wargames? rss

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Colin Lewis
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As a fan of WWII history, board games of various types, as well as wargames themselves, I've started to wonder about the limited options available in the WWII themed non-wargame category.

There are a few games like The Manhattan Project, D-Day Dice, and maybe Duel in the Dark that are not traditional wargames, but follow Eurogame mechanics (worker placement, dice management, tile placement, etc). There are also several WWII themed options of the card game variety, titles like Pacific Typhoon, The Battle for Hill 218, or Combat Soldiers: In the Battle of the Bulge, and others. But there seems to be a limited selection of WWII Euros.

So my question to you, the wargaming community, is there room for more WWII themed games that are not wargames?

Or does the interest in actual history lead to a strong desire for games with more chrome, less abstraction, additional detail, sometimes approaching a simulation?

What think ye?
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Enrico Viglino
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Do euro players like war?


I think there's room for something like Wallenstein or Imperial,
but the key is to come up with the kind of mechanic that suits
the topic well. One problem is that WWII sits in people's minds
as very much more 'warlike' than either WWI or the 30YW - precisely
why it is so popular in wargaming.
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Warren Bruhn
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colinkun wrote:
So my question to you, the wargaming community, is there room for more WWII themed games that are not wargames?


Should be room for some Pulp role playing games set in WW2. Seeing some of that in the miniatures world.

Maybe a military-industrial complex game set in WW2, oriented toward war profiteering, might be interesting.
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J.L. Robert
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I'd love to see a good game based on the activities of Bletchley Park. A game on codebreaking, with the degrees of success (or failure) affecting events during the war. Which, in turn, impact the chances of success or failure of future operations.
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Mike Hoyt

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I'm trying to wrap my head around the concept of a "WWII themed non-wargame". Sounds like an oxymoron to me. What would be the point of having a game about war that wasn't, you know, a wargame?
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Darrell Hanning
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A new version of The Plot to Assassinate Hitler, using more contemporary, "Euro-style" mechanisms, leaps to mind.

But how popular such a game would be is questionable.

The significant problem I see with the WWII-themed-games-that-aren't-wargames notion is just how much of a market is there, really, for such things (as Michael alludes to).

You're not going to get many wargamers to play them, and my hunch is that, likewise, you're not going to get a substantial portion of the Euro-gaming crowd to play them, either. This leaves you with some "edge" markets, and not much else.
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Mike Windsor
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You could have WWII Monopoly with bombed out houses and hotels.
"Oh crap, I landed on Stalingrad! $200 rent!"angry

On a more serious note, didn't Clausewitz posit that war was politics by other means? One might add that war is as much economic as military. Although it might not fascinate wargamers, I can see a WWI or WWII game that focuses on resources, economy, and negotiation, where the military operations are background or abstracted.

Edit: Or where the military operations are a resource or scoring mechanism to be purchased by other resources.

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Darrell Hanning
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mwindsor wrote:
You could have WWII Monopoly with bombed out houses and hotels.
"Oh crap, I landed on Stalingrad! $200 rent!"angry

On a more serious note, didn't Clausewitz posit that war was politics by other means? One might add that war is as much economic as military. Although it might not fascinate wargamers, I can see a WWI or WWII game that focuses on resources, economy, and negotiation, where the military operations are background or abstracted.

Edit: Or where the military operations are a resource or scoring mechanism to be purchased by other resources.



"You know that worker placement game covering WWII I was playing? Well, I put a worker of mine on Dresden, and the next thing I new, the entire holding box blew up in flames, and consumed my meeple!"
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Stacey Hager
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Look no further than this:

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/132018/churchill

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J.L. Robert
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shager wrote:


Meh. A game without CDG mechanics would be nice, too.
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Mike Windsor
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I think there have been scenarios in Railroad Tycoon and Sim City where you suffered wartime bomb damage and had to make repairs and keep things moving.

As I get older, logistics interests me more. I'm not sure how you get a multiplayer game out of it, but it would be an interesting game to see how well you could keep a wartime economy going.
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Bill Lawson
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Sure, why not. Not my cup of tea but if they were good games people will play them.
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Roger Hobden
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Q: Is there room for WWII themed non-wargames?

A : "Twilight Blitzkrieg".
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Steven Mitchell
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Oh certainly, the existing market is pretty strong proof. All of the games you mentioned are quite popular, so I would find it hard to believe that the market has all of a sudden been oversaturated with war-themed non-wargames.

So yes, there is absolutely room for more WWII-themed games that are not wargames. That doesn't mean that grognards will buy them, but it should certainly sate those who enjoy the theme, but don't want the overhead of a wargame.
 
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Jesse Escobedo
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What about this one: Mali Powstańcy: Warszawa 1944

Jesse
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Mike Hoyt

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J.L.Robert wrote:
shager wrote:


Meh. A game without CDG mechanics would be nice, too.


Looks like "Churchill" meets the criteria very well. And the contest to shape the post war world is certainly interesting.

But to make a game of it? And have "trick taking" as a mechanic? Meh indeed. When I'm playing a strategic level wargame then the map, units, mechanics all "feel" like what Eisenhower was actually working with. I'm not sure I'd really feel like Churchill if I was sitting there with a handful of cards just hoping Stalin would lead out Spades. No matter how thematically "spades" was disguised.
 
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Les Marshall
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There is an old AH title called "Origins of WWII" which focuses on the political aspect of the war. Considering the web of diplomatic alliances and maneuvering there is certainly room for a more up to date treatment of the run up to actual hostilities.
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Andy Beaton
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Like Axis & Allies? devil

How about something like Escape from Colditz? That sounds like a good genre for a non-wargame game.
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Colin Lewis
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Thanks. Good stuff. Keep it coming.

I think there are plenty of options for WWII themed non-wargames (logistics, supply lines, war production/economy, espionage, politics, post-war occupation, resource management, etc).

Not every WWII themed game would need to include front-line combat to be interesting, at least to me. That is one of the beautiful things about the WWII era, it involved so many various aspects, geographies, scopes, points of view, personalities, cultures, etc. That's why I'm a bit surprised there aren't already more games in this category.

Maybe I'll pose this same question to non-wargamers, but wanted input from this group first.
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Rosie the Riveter - a game about the Homefront in WW2.

Production, Finance, domestic Challenges, Scrap Metal Drives, Nylons, it has a lot of Euro potential as a topic.






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Carsten Bohne
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And then there's Stalag 17 which I always considered pretty tasteless... gulp
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Aaron Morgan
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Warren Bruhn wrote:
Should be room for some Pulp role playing games set in WW2. Seeing some of that in the miniatures world.


Godlike was an RPG with an interesting concept - how would the existence of super-powered humans change the course of the War?
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EitherOrlok wrote:
Warren Bruhn wrote:
Should be room for some Pulp role playing games set in WW2. Seeing some of that in the miniatures world.


Godlike was an RPG with an interesting concept - how would the existence of super-powered humans change the course of the War?

I felt Godlike was actually a better RPG without the super-powers. Nothing against those who liked the super-powers stuff. Some of the mechanics and story-telling/narrative stuff were really excellent.
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I tried to design a game a couple of years ago where each player had to build a "bit" of Atlantic wall and the player with the most wall won the game but to be honest it was pretty crap, lacked any excitement and was just too hard to get a good balance. maybe as a game it has an expectation level. Euro players probably look on it as a wargame and wargamers don't.
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James Pinnion
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You mean, Hitlopoly? devil
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