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Subject: Solitaire? rss

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Jeff Gringer
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I'm very interested in this, but it would be nice to know how well it works as solitaire.
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Gordon J
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+1

I'd like some info as well, it looks interesting, and I'm on the fence about this one. I liked Battle for Baghdad, but haven't had a chance to play it with anyone yet. I assume because its a Brian Train game that it would be good. But....
 
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Jeff Gringer
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Yeah, I'm generally thinking along the same lines. Plus I like the subject matter even better than Baghdad, what with more of a tactical/operational treatment of COIN. But then I pause to think of how much more not-so-cheap colored cardboard I need to add to a shelf...
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Gordon J
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Does MCS Group mainly cater to the military or Govt? I thought I heard somewhere that they either mainly make their games for those types or that they get some funding from the military (I know that kind of sounds silly)--but the fact that most people have never heard of MCS Group or most of their games. I mean, Battle for Baghdad, is a good game, though I think you kind of have to suspend belief for some parts of it, it has really good components, nice board, good cards, etc... all that seems kind of odd for me for how little they are known, Victory Point games are better known then these guys, and their components don't compare.

Jeff, have you seen Marine Global Response, also by MCS, that looks interesting as well, looks like it is purely a solo game. Wish I had more info on that as well.
 
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Jeff Gringer
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I see MGR on their site. It looks different, kinda interesting, but I'm not necessarily sold. It would be nice to know more about it, along with most of their other products.

I read a couple reviews of Baghdad. That sounds good and quite original, but I'm not prepared to take the plunge just yet.

If they produce this stuff for the USG, it's news to me. Their site looks a little clunky in a USG/contractor kinda way, but it also seems little amateurish, or at least not so user friendly that might drum up some walk-in business. But, like you, I'm favorable impressed that they can draw original talent like Brian Train, which entices me to take a longer look at them.
 
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Gordon J
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I have had a hard time trying to get my group to play it. I've played it solo to just run through the rules. It reminds me of Andean Abyss (though not obviously as complex), just in terms of spaces and the way you have to strategize about territory and the fact it plays up to 6 players and how you pull off a win in that bucket of chaos. It is actually a pretty simple game and I like the politics side of it.

I know some complain of why would the U.S. player "attack" the Iraqi Govt in that game--and I think of it as not as "attacking" with bullets and bombs, but as the U.S. going into a part of Baghdad that is having problems and the U.S. telling the Iraq govt, "we got this," and basically shoving them aside.

Also the play of events like the NGO playing IEDs or TERRORIST PLOT on the U.S. player, again, I am thinking that one is not supposed to take that literally, that the Event IEDs is just the problem, and it's how that faction is responding to that problem.
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Jon Compton
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MCSG Admin addressed the solitaire question over on CSW as follows:

"It's not specifically designed for solitaire play, but it can be played solitaire in much the same fashion as most 2-player wargames (it's not "card-driven" per se). We rate it a medium, but we won't rate a game high for solitaire unless it's purpose designed."

I was one of the founding members of MCSG (along with Joe Miranda and Michael Anderson). We originally founded it to do topical wargames commercially as well as to do Gov't contract work. I left MCSG in '09 when I went to work for another company in DC, but I help them out on occasion.

One of the things we decided when we founded the company was that the games would be top-notch component-wise. Because the games weren't supposed to be the primary income source, we didn't feel pressed to optimize cost on them. But the print runs are exceedingly low (Baghdad was a 1000 copies, BCT is only 500 (the bulk of which are already sold, so if you want one I wouldn't wait too long)).

There was a preview article on BCT in MCSG's periodic paper No. 1 which you can download for free at their website store. The 2nd periodic paper also contains designer's notes and an example of play (but it's 5 bucks).
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Jeff Gringer
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Thanks for the background Jon, that explains to some extent what we're seeing. I'm going to pull the trigger on the game, which does appear to be an interesting operational level treatment of operations in Afghanistan.

Assuming the game turns out to be a winner, I can only hope that another company might pick it up for a reissue. That would be a win-win.
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Jon Compton
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I'm certain that if demand were there, they would re-print.
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Gordon J
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GringerJD wrote:
Thanks for the background Jon, that explains to some extent what we're seeing. I'm going to pull the trigger on the game, which does appear to be an interesting operational level treatment of operations in Afghanistan.

Assuming the game turns out to be a winner, I can only hope that another company might pick it up for a reissue. That would be a win-win.


I think I might pick it up mainly because it's a Brian Train game. I would think with Brians exposure for A Distant Plain, that some of his games like this wouldbe on people's radar.
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James Blair
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Looks fantastic- just the sort of game I'm looking for.

Getting more into the 'simulation' type games, and certainly enjoy other titles like Fields of Fire etc - which give you some of the 'real-world' constraints of command.

A nice antidote to the sour taste that games like squad leader left me with!

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