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Subject: FoF or D Day at Omaha Beach rss

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DominiGeek
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Hi everyone,

I need some advice about solo games. So far I’ve been able to enjoy playing 2 player wargames by myself.

By myself I’ve played and greatly enjoyed: Twilight Struggle (naw!)* No Retreat, Battle for Moscow and Unconditional Surrender: Case Blue. When I was younger I could play Axis & Allies by myself and have a blast.

I’ve tried to solo HotS, Objective: Kiev and Storm over Stalingrad. I like all of these games but the solo experience wasn’t that interesting, I believe that for me to enjoy these ones I would need an opponent.

I bought Ottoman Sunset after seeing Marco Arnaudo's review on it. I have a thing for good counters and this game has very bad counters; but most important, when I read the rulebook everything is understandable but I don’t see the enjoyment in it. I have it on the table right now and I know that I have to play one full game before dismissing it or not.

I’m saying all of this because for some time I’ve been interested in buying a wargame specifically made for 1 player. The first one on my radar was an obvious selection: D Day at Omaha Beach (BGG wargame rank: 5) but when the reprint was coming I saw a video playthrough by a BGGer and thought: “Men, that looks boring”. So I forgot about DDaOB.

Just last week out of curiosity I saw one of Calandale’s playthrough videos of US:CB and thought: “Hey, that looks boring too, but I've aged that game solo and I like it!” So this got me thinking that maybe DDaOB wasn’t boring.

To make things more complicated, I’ve been reading version 2 of the Fields of Fire rulebook, it seems daunting, but I hear so much praise that I can’t dismiss it. I haven’t seen Mr. Hobbs walkthrough videos yet. Also Fof vol 2 is coming out and I don’t know if that could be a better option either.

So… Anyone has an idea? I can’t buy them both, but on this Christmas I’d like to get one of them, but the fear of buying a game of this price and not playing it.... Ufff.

The real question that I want to ask is, for those people that have played both games (DDaOB and FoF):
Which one is less fiddly?
Which one has a shorter set up time?
Which one has the lower entry barrier? I don’t know if the 2nd edition rules of FoF solves the initial issues of this game.
Based on my previous experience soloing 2 player wargames, would you recommend me moving on to solo wargames?

I’m posting this of the DDaOB page too. EDIT: didn't put it on the DDaOB forum because I found and almost identical question asked by Kris2476 regarding these 2 games.

Thanks to anyone that can help me decide, even if it means discouraging me from buying any of the two.

Thanks to Calandale, Mr. Hobbs and the reviewer whose name I don’t remember for their videos.

* (naw!)= Not a wargame!
 
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Gator Skin
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This will be of limited use to you because I haven't played FOF, but as a fairly new wargamer I can report that DDAOB is a) amazing, and b) very quick to learn. It might be the best thing I've played so far, and that extends from small solo tactical stuff to large multiplayer monsters.

rubendario5 wrote:
I have a thing for good counters


Well, then I should warn you that the component quality on DDAOB is horrible. The art is fine, and I like the crazy map, but all the aids are on flimsy paper and the counters are of low quality. Still, what a game.
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Keiron
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I've played and owned both FoF and DDaOB and my answers to your questions would be:

1) DDaOB is less fiddly
2) DDaOB has a shorter set up time
3) IMO DDaOB has the lower entry barrier. Even with the 2nd edition rules FoF can be a challenge. That's not to say it isn't worth it.

If you are interested in solo gaming, and given some of the games you have played already, I would definitely suggest giving DDaOB a go just now, especially as it is back in print (I don't think it has sold out again just yet).

FoF is an excellent game however I would wait until the next reprint/edition. IIRC it is out of print so you'll be paying top dollar. You do however get a lot of game for your money with FoF. What you get in the box with DDaOB can be a bit underwhelming but it is a great solo game.
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Kenneth Lury
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rubendario5 wrote:



The real question that I want to ask is, for those people that have played both games (DDaOB and FoF):
Which one is less fiddly?
Which one has a shorter set up time?
Which one has the lower entry barrier? I don’t know if the 2nd edition rules of FoF solves the initial issues of this game.
Based on my previous experience soloing 2 player wargames, would you recommend me moving on to solo wargames?


* (naw!)= Not a wargame!


I have played both of these games and they could not be less alike.

DDOB has a great ruleset and is one of the few games I could set up and play the same evening I opened it. Entry barrier is low.
The design is very clever and the components good.
Set up time is very long the first time, but if when you finish, you properly arrange the counters, set up time becomes much less
However, after a couple of plays, I got bored and traded it away.

Fields of Fire has a terrible rulebook. Part of the reason for this is there are so many possible occurrences within the game, it is impossible to foresee and write rules for them. Sometimes you just have to wing it when something comes up that is not covered by the rules. This makes entry barrier fairly high, but if you look at all of the videos it becomes much easier.
Set up is not time consuming, but at first very difficult because you will have no idea of what to do unless you watch the videos. Once you grasp the basic idea, set up is pretty fast.

Components are very good.

You did not ask about game play, but I will comment. As stated above, I found DDOB boring after a few plays.FOF is far more interesting and intense. Game play is fantastic despite constant need to consult the rulebook or the web.

Whenever I play any game that has more rules than I can remember or whose rules are sometimes ambiguous, I just play through hoping the errors will balance out over the course of play.
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Andreas Krüger
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I found FOF not too difficult to learn. This may be due to two things:

1. I did not play many wargames before, so I had no assumptions on how it should work and the rules may have been be less confusing for me. Also, I expected to spend some time during the games to look things up, so this was not an unpleasant surprise.
2. I may be a bit more willing to accept small rules mistakes - it is a solo game after all, so if I place a counter on a place where it should not go, no opponent will complain.

And indeed, watch the video to see what the hell is meant by the command structure breakdown or whatever the setup of forces is called. It is easy, but the rules are not very clear at that point
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Peter Kossits
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rubendario5 wrote:

The real question that I want to ask is, for those people that have played both games (DDaOB and FoF):
Which one is less fiddly?
Which one has a shorter set up time?
Which one has the lower entry barrier? I don’t know if the 2nd edition rules of FoF solves the initial issues of this game.
Based on my previous experience soloing 2 player wargames, would you recommend me moving on to solo wargames?


1, D-Day is less fiddly
2. D-Day has a shorter set-up. FoF takes a bit longer to get to turn 1 starting because you're configuring and organizing your company. But if you're patient and consider that part of playing the game rather than a set-up task, then set-up is similar between the two.
3. You will start playing D-Day correctly sooner than you will get the hang of FoF.
4. Yes, designed for solo games are usually much more exciting for me than trying to solo a 2-player game. It's difficult to find and obtain the gems though. Good solo games are few and far between.

That said. You're considerring 2 of the gems of solo wargaming here. They're both wonderful - but D-Day at Omaha will require considerately less effort to get to the stage where you're enjoying it and not worrying about rules. FoF however provides quite a bit more variety.







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Chris Montgomery
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For your concerns, you definitely want DDaOB.

It is immersive, enjoyable, pretty quick to teach yourself, you will certainly be playing faster and with fewer rules look-ups than FoF.

I think FoF has more to offer in game-hours of entertainment, but there is a steep learning curve, here, made more so because of the rules. Wait for the reprint of FoF, and enjoy DDaOB now.

You won't be disappointed.
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D Summers
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Which one is less fiddly? DDOB
Which one has a shorter set up time? Seems like a push to me.
Which one has the lower entry barrier? DDOB.
Based on my previous experience soloing 2 player wargames, would you recommend me moving on to solo wargames? Absolutely

Echoing what most others are saying: Both are great games, you cannot go wrong. DDOB is more elegant in design and compact in rules. FOF is more deep.

If you want a game you can pick up and play easily go DDOB.
If your interest is more on replay-ability and you don't mind the ruleset go with FOF (I've played it since it originally came out and I still haven't played through all 3 war scenarios not to mention the free bonus one).
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Kenneth Lury
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moriarty88 wrote:
Which one is less fiddly? DDOB
go with FOF (I've played it since it originally came out and I still haven't played through all 3 war scenarios not to mention the free bonus one).


I also bought FOF when it first came out and still have not finished the first campaign. The other two card decks are still wrapped in cellophane. Since each mission plays out differently each time it is played(and because I keep getting smashed) I have not made much progress.
Had lots of fun trying.
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Pablo Klinkisch
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FoF is as fiddly as it gets and set-up is a pain (that's why I don'T play it that often).
Playtime-wise, though, a FoF mission is way shorter than a DDOB campaign game (specially if you get to turn 32)... as long as you don#t get a counter-attack
Maybe it's just me, but I do need 30min/turn in DDOB (so 8h for the whole thing) and a bit less in FoF (3-4h/mission IF there are no counter-attacks)
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DominiGeek
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. Out of necessity I'll have to check out again DDaOB, because FoF is nowhere to be found at a decent price.

I saw Mr. Hobbs video of the 1st. turn of FoF and looks fun, even though nothing much happened. Had trouble with the audio on the SET UP video.

I'll try and see some more videos of DDaOB. Thanks!
 
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Randy Mauldin
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One thing to consider. DD:OB will always be, well, D-Day at Omaha Beach, whereas, Fields of Fire will be different every time.
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Jeff Yeackle
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1. Fiddly: They're both fiddly in their own ways, but FoF more so. In FoF you need to track your company between missions and advance your soldiers using experience earned in the previous mission. FoF also has a large handful of action and status tracking counters to keep tabs on.

2. Setup: FoF will take longer to setup typically. You need to build the play area with cards, lay out border and objective markers, and then figure out who gets what gear before dropping everyone in their staging areas.

3. Learning: As a result of this thread I got DDaOB on the table last weekend. That's the first big difference between these two games. DDaOB, despite a thick rule book, was fairly easy to digest and memorize in a single sitting. It's very well written, and should be approachable even by someone new to wargames.

FoF, well, let's just say it took several aborted attempts over a period of years before I set my teeth and clawed my way to my first training wheels-free game. Very sharp learning curve, but I saw enough to know it would be worth it in the end. 2nd edition rules helped, but not enough on their own.

Now, with that said…

I liked DDaOB a lot. I've been thinking about it non-stop since this weekend and can't wait to get it to the table again, hopefully this Sunday.

Between the two though, FoF is a much deeper, richer and rewarding experience. The story is much more personal, as you're dealing with platoons and command teams versus whole companies.

In DDaOB you're shoving two whole regiments into the meat grinder, hoping fewer die than the time before, but many will die no matter what you do and some even before they hit the beaches. It's like you're herding lemmings, but with guns n' shit. In FoF, there will be casualties too, naturally, but all of them will follow decisions you have made, and each one will have a serious impact on your game and the future decisions you can make.

Lastly, FoF is variable. With the three included campaigns and random terrain setups, I can see myself playing FoF long into the future, and with luck, even after I'm dead. DDaOB on the other hand has a static mission and playing area. The variable rules and time scenarios help a lot, but eventually I'll get bored of hoping the 16th regiment lands far to the East and scrambles up the cliffs in relative safety compared to the middle kill zones, or that my tanks don't do their historical submarine impression on the first turn.

Now, with that said… part II

Get DDaOB now. It's a great game and it'll let you know if more advanced solo games are for you (versus something simpler like from Dan Verssen Games). You can also play it as a co-op too for a different and shared experience (FoF too!), or even three player if you can find someone subservient that likes being told what to do to move the German bits around while uttering "wo ist meine panzers, ja?". Once it's out of print again, you can sell it for at least what you paid for it if not a small island nation should you find the right buyer.

If you end up liking it though, and you're willing to flip pages back and forth a zillion times and tear out hair from sensitive areas to distract from the pain that comes from learning it, then pre-order FoF too. It is the single best solo game I've ever played, with DDaOB right behind it (and all the others far far down the road).
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Chris Montgomery
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Plus, DDaOB has two more games in the series planned. So if you do end up liking it, you'll have more options with minimal learning time. Field of Fire has a new module coming, too.

D-Day at Peleliu
D-Day at Tarawa

Fields of Fire Vol. II: ''With The Old Breed''

Cheers!
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Jeff has written an excellent summary.

Despite my rating for FoF (4, having traded it in and out of my collection three times) I do recognize that it truly is a damn fine game. My issues are around it's fiddliness, poor information design (poorly written rules and a nightmare of tables), plus a personal aversion to tactical outside of WW2 (I don't care for either Korea of Vietnam conflicts so I'm only playing 1/3 of the game). Plus FoF is a long game. Peeps here have recorded 13 hour scenarios when they are learning, and 4-5 (with setup) even when you have it down is common, largely because everything needs to be looked up on poorly organized and myriad tables.

Also, there are a few holes in FoF rules where certain not uncommon situations are simply not addressed. You use you best judgement/closest approximation and just wing it.

Both are excellent games. I hope the complete v3 re-write of the rules (coming with Old Breed, apparently) will clarify things even more than v2 (which was an improvement, but not much of one). A rules re-write won't fix the fiddliness, but it may improve the learning curve significantly. I'd recommend owning both and am smart enough to recognize the awkward masterpiece and not to get rid of my current copy of FoF a fourth time.

P.S. I'd pay $30 for a well-polished and faster-playing iPad version of FoF in a heartbeat. If GMT can reduce Dominant Species down to a 30 minute game, I'm hoping they can do it for FoF too.
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Yani
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Both are top solitaire games and i love them equally. Trully, these are 10x better games than most other procedural solitaires (eg the state of siege VPG series), in my opinion.

Get Dday since it' available now and pre-order FoF. Money well spent in both cases.
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Roger Taylor
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There is another DDaOB system game that was published in Strategy & Tactics magazine, Operation Jubilee: Dieppe 1942. The bits are not quite as good as those in DDaOB (chits instead of cards) and it doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but if you like DDaOB it's worth playing. The lessons learned from the Dieppe debacle were applied in the Normandy invasion. That is to say, if you thought Omaha Beach was bad...
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DominiGeek
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rtaylor wrote:
There is another DDaOB system game that was published in Strategy & Tactics magazine, Operation Jubilee: Dieppe 1942..


This sounds like the perfect solution for me, but this game is nowhere to be found! I search the magazine games section at Decision Games and at NWS, in both sites they skip issue #265. Any ideas where this game might be found?
 
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Roger Taylor
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rubendario5 wrote:
rtaylor wrote:
There is another DDaOB system game that was published in Strategy & Tactics magazine, Operation Jubilee: Dieppe 1942..


This sounds like the perfect solution for me, but this game is nowhere to be found! I search the magazine games section at Decision Games and at NWS, in both sites they skip issue #265. Any ideas where this game might be found?


Sorry, I don't know. I'm not surprised that it's scarce; John Butterfield games are good, and they're popular.
 
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rubendario5 wrote:
rtaylor wrote:
There is another DDaOB system game that was published in Strategy & Tactics magazine, Operation Jubilee: Dieppe 1942..


This sounds like the perfect solution for me, but this game is nowhere to be found! I search the magazine games section at Decision Games and at NWS, in both sites they skip issue #265. Any ideas where this game might be found?


Careful -- I recently bought this issue from them (maybe it was the last one?) and it did NOT come with the game as I had (perhaps stupidly) expected.
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Dan Mixer
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DD at Omaha Beach is magnificent system, which methodically chops up your units until you lose. After the 3rd game, I just can't seem to muster up the urge to play like I did at first.

Not the game system, which is well thought out, it's just that there is no chance of actually winning... which I like to do sometimes, even in solitaire games.

FoF... what can I say that hasn't been already said? I'm never sure if I'm playing it correctly... Several times I've spent WAY too much time trying to find the rule or procedure for something that comes up, only to be defeated by the charts and rulebook, leading me to just pack the game away with a headache.

DDaOB is NOT an easy game to learn, but, and this is a big but ( ), once you get it down, the game does seem to flow.

FoF is NOT even a hard game to learn.. more like impossible. Game play with be in fits and starts, with you often spending the evening just beating your head against the rulebook until you either give up and make a house rule and play on, or, just give up and pack it away.

My 2 cents worth: Thuderbolt/Apache Leader is my favorite all time solitaire game. I HIGHLY recommend it.
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Chris Montgomery
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Icedanno wrote:
DD at Omaha Beach is magnificent system, which methodically chops up your units until you lose. After the 3rd game, I just can't seem to muster up the urge to play like I did at first.

Not the game system, which is well thought out, it's just that there is no chance of actually winning... which I like to do sometimes, even in solitaire games.


D-Day at Omaha Beach is beatable - the scenario is set up more like a puzzle, and once you "solve" the puzzle, it cuts down on replayability, but *will* allow you to win the scenario. IIRC (been a while), I think it has to do with abandoning your vehicles on the beach and moving toward the cliffs, which you need to scale, rather than attacking the bunkers directly. I think.

Between the two games, I would vote for D-Day at Omaha Beach - not as much material to play through, not as much variety, but a crap-ton of entertainment for the dollar, a million times easier to learn, still offers interesting decisions, all the scenarios play faster than FoF scenarios, and hey - you get to play the D-Day invasion!
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Brad Heath
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Ottoman Sunset is a good solo game too. Victory Point Games are soon releasing Hapsburg Eclipse which covers the Austro Hungarian empire in WW1 and they will include rules to link both games.
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