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Sim Maud
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Consistent
Inovative
Prolific
Quality Rules
Interesting Subjects

I have weak spot for this game company label. Its output outshone its publisher's (Avalon Hill) other efforts during its short existance and many ex SPI staff had their finest moments working on its games:

Korean War
Second Fleet
Pacific War
Ambush
Nato
Vietnam
Peloponnesian War...

I would argue that if there was a first golden age of Wargaming the output of this company represented the last great flowering of its creative energy. Top Gear (UK) once argued that the greatest car company was Lancia for producing a small lineup of excellent but flawed vehicles. VG is the Lancia of the wargaming world without the down side of deeply flawed product.

Is there a modern company that reaches such consistent highs. I will discount GMT & MMP (The Gamers) since these companies (like AH & SPI before them) are the standard other are measured against.

My only nomination so far has been Compass Games but I cannot claim to know the full breadth of the current games. Everything I own of theirs has exceeded expectations (rules, esthetics, subject matter...) given my lower expectations of many smaller publishers.
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Enrico Viglino
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I don't think ANY company has managed the quality output VG did.

Certainly not the big boys.

VG was everything that was best about the end of SPI (except price).
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Andy Cowen
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Corum wrote:
Consistent
Inovative
Prolific
Quality Rules
Interesting Subjects

I have weak spot for this game company label. Its output outshone its publisher's (Avalon Hill) other efforts during its short existance and many ex SPI staff had their finest moments working on its games:

Korean War
Second Fleet
Pacific War
Ambush
Nato
Vietnam
Peloponnesian War...

I would argue that if there was a first golden age of Wargaming the output of this company represented the last great flowering of its creative energy. Top Gear (UK) once argued that the greatest car company was Lancia for producing a small lineup of excellent but flawed vehicles. VG is the Lancia of the wargaming world without the down side of deeply flawed product.

Is there a modern company that reaches such consistent highs. I will discount GMT & MMP (The Gamers) since these companies (like AH & SPI before them) are the standard other are measured against.

My only nomination so far has been Compass Games but I cannot claim to know the full breadth of the current games. Everything I own of theirs has exceeded expectations (rules, esthetics, subject matter...) given my lower expectations of many smaller publishers.


You forgot

and

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Kyle Seely
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And



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Jim Ransom
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Corum wrote:
Consistent
Inovative
Prolific
Quality Rules
Interesting Subjects

I have weak spot for this game company label. Its output outshone its publisher's (Avalon Hill) other efforts during its short existance and many ex SPI staff had their finest moments working on its games:

Korean War
Second Fleet
Pacific War
Ambush
Nato
Vietnam
Peloponnesian War...

I would argue that if there was a first golden age of Wargaming the output of this company represented the last great flowering of its creative energy. Top Gear (UK) once argued that the greatest car company was Lancia for producing a small lineup of excellent but flawed vehicles. VG is the Lancia of the wargaming world without the down side of deeply flawed product.

Is there a modern company that reaches such consistent highs. I will discount GMT & MMP (The Gamers) since these companies (like AH & SPI before them) are the standard other are measured against.

My only nomination so far has been Compass Games but I cannot claim to know the full breadth of the current games. Everything I own of theirs has exceeded expectations (rules, esthetics, subject matter...) given my lower expectations of many smaller publishers.


I quite agree. VG was a great unit that put out some great games by some top designers.
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Sim Maud
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Even the games I was not sure of like Ambush and Tokyo Express its largerly a matter of taste. I cannot refute the quality of these products even though they do not meet my narrower interests.

I've hunted down old VG games in way that would not occured with AH and SPI as many of their products have not aged as well (Art of Seige War & Empires of the Middle Ages were my grail games for a long time but no longer). VGs product has a ageless quality, if I had bought Korean War this month as a new game the only aspects that would look old are asthetic in nature. Modern counter quality and level of finish would have been nice (my eyesight struggles a little with the smaller counter art).
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Erwin Lau
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I still play Hell's Highway once a while.
And don't forget Gulf Strike.

While today's GMT has attained what AH was, no other companies can claim that they are in the same league as VG.
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Tyler
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Across 5 Aprils is also a gem.
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VG was one of those rare things - when two worlds, formerly in competition in the same genre with dissimilar philosophies, merged, gaining the best of both worlds and almost none of the worse.

SPI/AH had 'married' and produced a prodigy.

VGs stay with us was entirely too short, but the results are with us today - the quality of those few titles are benchmarks.
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Sim Maud
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People just keep adding games to the list that trigger good memories.

If I want to be critical of VG it would come down to the relatively
trivial:
Like GDW they disipated some their energies on role playing games 007 will not live on in our collective memories
I did not like the counter trays!
The NATO style counter art was often tiny and difficult to read

None of this adds up to a hill of beans when you look back, if only this entity has out lived AH.

If it wasn't for the low sales figures the hobby could not look any healthier. I think that GMTs engagement with the eurogames explosion is very positive and crossover product like Twilight Sruggle have reached new highs, even business inovations like the P500 are making the industry more stable. If only wargamings best label was still hear to share this second golden age with us.
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J.L. Robert
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Corum wrote:
People just keep adding games to the list that trigger good memories.

If I want to be critical of VG it would come down to the relatively
trivial:


You forgot:



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Steve Willows
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The Gulf Strike/Aegean Strike system is one I remember quite fondly. Among my old time favorite for sure!

I may try to acquire these again sometime in 2014.

And I've also been a huge fan of Tokyo Express and Carrier as well.
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Sim Maud
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I was think of adding the sex games to the downside (nightmare on elm street never reached my radar), like 007 these look like cinical cash ins. I think AH and other game companies skeletons were often more numerous and I can forgive VG these minor slip ups. These are definitely the flies in the ointment.

 
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And the James Bond games weren't too bad for what they were, mini-games to tie into the RPG.
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Enrico Viglino
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Wilhammer wrote:
VG was one of those rare things - when two worlds, formerly in competition in the same genre with dissimilar philosophies, merged, gaining the best of both worlds and almost none of the worse.

SPI/AH had 'married' and produced a prodigy.

VGs stay with us was entirely too short, but the results are with us today - the quality of those few titles are benchmarks.


Meh. SPI's creative talent and AH money.
 
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Compass is hit or miss in my opinion. Honestly, I don't think we'll see another VG in the same output.

Now ... Shenandoah Studios has the potential, with their partnership with Clash of Arms, to be something new and special by releasing iOS games and their cardboard counterparts. Many of the pieces of VG are there and you've got a quality publisher in Clash of Arms to boot.
 
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Lee Massey
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Gulf Strike and Civil War were two of my favorite games! Just picked up a cheap copy of Gulf Strike again! Merry Christmas to me!
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Look at the Schmuck on that Camel, indeed!

 
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Steven McBride
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I agree completely. VG games are awesome. I even made a GeekList about it, which is going to be updated as I play my way through my VG collection.

Mandatory Linkage: My Victory Games Collection Ranked
 
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Have to agree Victory Games were a superb outfit.

I'm sorry I didn't pick up more of them when they were in business.
For some strange reason Virgin Megastore on the Quays in Dublin used to stock them along with West End games.Imagine walking into a Music Store and buying wargames.

I actually liked the counter trays and best of all they were included as standard in the game.

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Kyle Seely
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Ah, the good ol' days when all kinds of regular stores carried wargames! My old comic book store in Fort Wayne, IN used to carry Avalon Hill and VG titles (they're still in business, and have a robust board game selection - but no wargames to be found). Nowadays, there's probably not more than two dozen physical locations in all the US that carry actual physical copies of wargames on their shelves. God bless the internet!
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Just because the repetitive littany of "oh, they were so great" is getting tedious, I'll adopt a contrarian viewpoint to provide a more well-rounded perspective.

Most of VG's products were deliberately targeted at the veteran "grognard" market. They were mostly complex, detail oriented, and long playing games. VG made little effort to design simpler games to introduce new blood into the hobby, nor did they provide "beer-and-pretzels' games for players who were looking for lighter fare. If you played a VG game you were pretty much committed to a full day of play, if not an entire weekend.

Because they were effectively catering to a niche within what was already a niche hobby, their fate was pretty much sealed from the start: it was a self-destructive business model. Simply put, there wasn't enough of a market for their very narrow design focus to sustain them over the long haul.

Did they publish good games? Hell yes. But they were games that didn't have a particularly broad appeal. I own several VG designs and enjoy them quite a bit, but they're not something I put on the table unless I've got the right opponent to play them with. And that pool of "right" opponents is drawn from an increasingly smaller group (in fact, it's down to just one, and I only see that guy about once a year).
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Lancer4321 wrote:
Just because the repetitive littany of "oh, they were so great" is getting tedious, I'll adopt a contrarian viewpoint to provide a more well-rounded perspective.

Most of VG's products were deliberately targeted at the veteran "grognard" market. They were mostly complex, detail oriented, and long playing games. VG made little effort to design simpler games to introduce new blood into the hobby, nor did they provide "beer-and-pretzels' games for players who were looking for lighter fare. If you played a VG game you were pretty much committed to a full day of play, if not an entire weekend.

Because they were effectively catering to a niche within what was already a niche hobby, their fate was pretty much sealed from the start: it was a self-destructive business model. Simply put, there wasn't enough of a market for their very narrow design focus to sustain them over the long haul.

Did they publish good games? Hell yes. But they were games that didn't have a particularly broad appeal. I own several VG designs and enjoy them quite a bit, but they're not something I put on the table unless I've got the right opponent to play them with. And that pool of "right" opponents is drawn from an increasingly smaller group (in fact, it's down to just one, and I only see that guy about once a year).


No "beer and pretzels" games, eh? Across 5 Aprils, Mosby's Raiders.

No "lighter fare," eh? Across 5 Aprils, Mosby's Raiders, Lee vs. Grant, 1809: Napoleon's Danube Campaign, Omaha Beachhead: Battle for the Bocage, Panzer Command

Granted you're being a contrarian, but I am not sure those are valid criticisms. And even if they were marketing to a niche-within-a-niche, thats not really a criticism either, I dont think.

As for finding the "right" opponents, I have found its hard to find the right opponents for any game that is more than a decade old, besides ASL. People want to play the new stuff, thats just how it is.

EDIT: Now here is my criticism of VG: Some of their counters are really hard to read (someone pointed this out earlier), and some of the maps are fugly as hell (France 1944: The Allied Crusade in Europe I am looking at you)! I mean, just look at this thing:



Damn that is just awful!
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J.L. Robert
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The lasting legacy of Victory Games is that, despite being gone for over 15 years and with designs this side of 30 years, they have titles which remain in the conversations of "greatest of their genre."

American Civil War - The Civil War
WWII Pacific Theater - Pacific War: The Struggle Against Japan 1941-1945
Solitaire Wargame - Ambush!
Modern Naval Operations - Fleet Series
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