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Subject: What really makes us wargamers tick? rss

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Jason Sadler
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I try to own one really good game for each set of conflicts at the tac level and one at the strat level. Ancients are by far my favorite and I want to own the whole GBoH series, which I am working on, as well as many other series of games.

I hate the standard NATO counters. Blech. I want pictures of troops, vehicles, and leaders. The counters in GMT products, L2's Bitter Woods 4th, and the concepts for Devil's Cauldron are the kinds of things I want to see. The maps are also sexy and informative.

Every game I own has been solitaired at least once. I actually own wargames that I much prefer to play solo. The Ancient World series is one such game for me.

 
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As a novice wargamer, I want bits of high quality. Mounted boards, blocks or oversized counters, coated cards, rulebooks with diagrams etc. Actually, I think there's a real untapped market for using stickered thin blocks as deluxe counters, as in Clash for a Continent:



As for the other stuff, I don't mind NATO symbols (especially in block games where I'll be rotating the symbol anyway), and I like some variety in genre (the more obscure the better).
 
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Brian Morris
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Owen 1815 wrote:

Is it the game play? Surely it should be. By definition thats what our hobbies about.


Not always. While I definately prefer CDGs over the traditional hex and counter games I'll be more than glad to jump in and play a game of Terrible Swift Sword.

Quote:

Is it the genre? Are we ACW or Spartan freaks? Do you collect a game from each period or mostly of the same period.


I collect from a variety of eras but ACW is my favorite. However I'm such a ACW buff that at the same time I'm very picky about what ACW games I own. For me you can't just slap a civil war theme onto a game and expect me to like it. I want something that explores the history of the conflict. I played recently the old 1970s era game Gettysburg from Avalon Hill. The end of the game resulted in Lee personally leading Pickett's division in a last stand atop Little Round Top. Ok, the game play was ok but for a Civil War buff the result was a bit disappointing as it wasn't a true reflection of the actual battle.

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Counter and map art? Lets be honest, if we are going to spend up to £50 on a game consisting of pieces of paper and a few cardboard cut outs, they might as well look prettier than the standard cross or oval.


I want good artwork. I think for to long hardcore wargames were thought not to need good artwork. The good news is we're seeing some top notch work in this area these days from companies like GMT and Clash of Arms. Triumph of Chaos I think is a great example of how good artwork can be for wargames.

Quote:

Solitaire? What real chance do we have of a table load of mates all knowing the same rule set and being available or commited enough to play for up to 6 hours at a time. Many of us have families.


I never play games solitaire.

 
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Hunga Dunga
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Owen 1815 wrote:
Is it the game play? Surely it should be. By definition thats what our hobbies about.

Depends what you mean by game play. If you mean game play vs. simulation, then I don't think it "should be".



My motivation is usually what I happen to be reading at the time. I'm currently reading "The Road to Rivoli" by Martin Boycott-Brown, and am therefore ready to buy another Napoleonic wargame!

 
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Wolfgang Kunz
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One: Counter, lots of them

No, first I look at the Game: WW II, Vietnam, Korea are fine for me. WW I I try to check out (Path of Glory next month).

Map: Hardbound is fine but it is mostly a price - problem so I am fine with paper (please a bit thicker) and Plexiglas. Not more maps then my table is able to hold (4 x 22"x34" maximum). I avoid games with more maps (especially if the number goes up to 10 or more). Not enough room.

Counters: I can (have to live) with Nato symbols but I like pictures of troops, vehicles, and leaders more. It is easier to get newbies interested.

Scenarios: The more the better (but please PLAYTESTED !!!!).

The Game: I like games with a high replayability that give me various opportunities to win - not the "unless you defend the bridge you will always loose the game" or "attacking thru the woods is useless because it will cost to much time and the game - turns are over before you come out of the woods - so you have to take road no. 3).

Luck: I like the uncertainty of the dice - but not thru the point of "my unit was able to defend against 10 tank - units because the Bozo was not able to get a number higher than "2". This might happen on a very defensive position but not (Risk - like) on plain field without any protection.

Rules: Understandable. This might sound logical. But we all know that is not true. If you talk about movement, then please in one place. That's easier to find than to flip thru a 80 page rulebook just to find the exception (you know it has to be somewhere) of "movement under the full moon with fog 3 feet high" under the heading: Things you should know but are not interested in". And please, I can understand that you are looking for realism (and therefore bloating the rules) but I don't care for a rule that gives combat - bonusses if he first put the left and then the right shoe on. Realism vs. playability is important.

Think that's all - oh, and counters - lot's of them ....

The Alphawolf
 
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Mark Rivera
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Interesting this one Owen.

My view has changed a lot over the years according to the demands on my lifestyle. I've spent most of my life playing solo which I quite enjoy actually and lack of too many player friends. Added to this has been the demands of family, etc. So a lot of gaming time has been spent studying games, playing a few turns, etc.

Topic - I used to be keen on just about any topic back in the AH/SPI heyday but now I limit myself pretty much to ACW and WW2.

Solitaire and playability - This has always been a priority so I can have time to play.

Graphics - an emotional draw but not as important as playability

Designer - I'm a John Hill fan for example

Cheers.
 
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Roy Harrison
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The quality of artwork on the map, nothing is worse than SPI hex maps, completely uninspiring. Area movement is best because there is room for the counters, but 'large' hexes are fine. Larger playing pieces and no fiddly high stacks of counters, in fact small models instead of counters much nicer to use. Rules whos mechanics are clever rather than intricate and complicated. When it boils down a combat decision is usually decided by a die roll, so having loads of riders and finicky rules that amend the combat just complicate the issue. And very important.... tha game must have high solitair play value. There is a huge audience of solitair players out there either by neccesity or preference.

To this end Red Storm Rising is one of the best board games produced, its clever but simple and translates into use for a wargame (I mean proper wargame - tabletop miniatures) campaign using the boardgame as tha map and strategic and the table top figure game for the batlles and tactical. robot
 
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Steven Weisner
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Hey Owen.

I would think most gamers take all your reasons into account, though some are more important than others.

Playability is a requirement of course, or it would just be a study in history.
The Genre is what grabs my attention first - for me thats WW II, WW I, and Napoleonics, in that order. However, as that field becomes filled, I find myself going farther back in time.
Sadly, a lot of my gameplay is solitaire ( try finding someone to play Wacht am Rhein or The Next War ), so that is an important factor for me. I will not too often buy pure solitaire games, but ones that play well solo.
Finally, yes, I find myself buying games to cover ALL theatres and campaigns in WW II - won't have time to play them all, but at least I know they are there for when I might have the time.

Remember - there is no such thing as too many games!

Steve.
 
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Rio Chang
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Game play - hmmm...if the rules make sense in the game, then I'm good with it. I like all sorts of mechanics from the traditional hex driven to CDG.

Theme - for me, my interests vary across the board, but I think it main draw is history and where I spend my time during my leisurely reading. I'm primarily interested in Napoleonics and Eastfront WW2, but I have a soft spot for WW2 Africa and Naval Pacific

Counter Art and Map - It's not a make-it or break-it quality for me, but it's certainly a bonus. As long as the map and counter art is functional and easy on the eyes, I'm good to go.

Solitaire - unfortunately, after my move it has been solitaire, but I much prefer FtF. I'm also getting into PBEM/VASSAL and plugging into a local group.
 
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Paul O'Connor
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I look for playability and attractive components, married with a period or conflict that I find intriguing. I want to know that the game will hit my table within two or three months of purchase, even if only for a trial run. If it isn't good enough to bump one of the unplayed games in my collection from the on-deck circle, then I don't buy it.

Solitaire playability is a plus, but not a deal-breaker.

The designer's track record will often lead me to pass on a game. Rarely will it work the other way.

I'm also not particularly driven by new game releases. I'm as likely to get a jones to hunt down an old title on eBay as I am to queue up for something new (maybe moreso).

I'm generally not concerned about titles going out of print. I may miss a gem or two but that's a fair price to pay for not having my shelves loaded up with a lot of marginal titles that I bought "just in case."

But then again, I'm the same guy who derived tremendous satisfaction over the last month or so from making a 3D board for OSG/AH's "Little Round Top," a game that's a quarter-century old and without much reputation in the hobby. So I'm an odd duck.

But aren't we all, we wargamers? Woe to any publisher trying to make a living off of guys like us.
 
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Richard Irving
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There was an article years ago in the General that classified seven different attributes of wargamers:

1) The Historian--historical accuracy and detail are most important to this type of gamer.
2) The Military Enthusiast--Someone who likes things military: insignia, tanks, ships, etc. (Theme would be important for this type of gamer.)
3) The Specialist--Likes a particalar era/battle or war.
4) The Social Gamer--like the social aspects of gaming. Meeting people with similar interests.
5) The Assassin--just likes to win, appreciates the game aspects of the hobby--strategies, tactics, etc.
6) The Expert--likes the challenge of learning complex rules/mastering strategies, etc.
7) The Organizer--likes to run tournaments, write articles, etc. (things like doiong geeeklists, forums, etc. would count here.)

All wargamers are often have strong feelings on several of these attributes and weaker on others.
 
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