Soren
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Falls Church
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I've always liked the idea of playing a game with both my opponent and I having our own setups on our own tables and merely sending messages back and forth via postcards, creating a relaxing long-term game that eliminates the world of computers from the equation. Now, I'm certainly willing to speed things up by communicating via email instead, but that's the extent of it--Vassal and systems like it take away certain elements of board gaming I like way too much.

Question: Which modern games fit a strict I-go You-go format which would work well when I and my opponent only wish to play one turn each per day? To me, anything with pulses that can be interrupted or that requires mid-turn response actions, retreat movement or dueling combat makes things too clunky, so even the simpler Avalon Hill & SPI wargames that saw so much play during the PBM era don't quite fit the bill.

I realized the other day that something like Kingdom Builder would work great--true, you have the terrain card draw from a shared deck, but all my opponent has to do is remove that particular card from his stack on his end when I draw it to keep the deck true; everything else is totally open information. AH's 1960s abstract wargame Civil War is a fine candidate also--even though there are forced retreats, they only come at the very end of a player's turn, so there's no need to send a message that says, "Hey, we need to do battle, so let's swap a dozen emails tonight to resolve it."

I bet I'm missing a fairly thematic game that would really play well sans computer assistance, with an unchanging I-go You-go structure and no elaborate shared card deck tweaks. Anything spring to mind?
 
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ys xxx
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As modern as it can get: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends
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Nigel Twine
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Near Portsmouth
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"You do not stop playing games when you get old; you get old when you stop playing games." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
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I was thinking about this the other day too. None of the S&T`s are on VASSAL but many of them could be played PBEM. Especially if someone were willing to act as a facilitator. Simply a neutral party to roll the dice when needed or keep track of hidden information/orders/cards/chits, etc. With such a person double-blind games could be played too.

Three regulars could rotate through many games. Taking it in turn to be ref/ump/arbitrator.
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Chris Robbins
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Alcoa
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Nigel66 wrote:
I was thinking about this the other day too. None of the S&T`s are on VASSAL but many of them could be played PBEM. Especially if someone were willing to act as a facilitator. Simply a neutral party to roll the dice when needed or keep track of hidden information/orders/cards/chits, etc. With such a person double-blind games could be played too.

Three regulars could rotate through many games. Taking it in turn to be ref/ump/arbitrator.


For the dice at least, there are online servers that send results to both/all sides via email which would expose any effort to keep rolling until you like the outcome.
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Rob Steward
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Meridian
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I'm thinking games where you can do a lot in your turn might be best (to keep the game moving forward at the best pace). Games with "micro-turns" would probably be the worst.

Tikal might work well, since each turn is 10 action points. (You'd want to avoid the auction variant, which I find to be not worth the trouble anyway.) Even though there is an action which lets you exchange treasures with the other player, the other player has no choice in the matter, so no input would be required.

Terra Mystica would probably also work. (The only decision the other player makes during your turn would be whether to accept Power if you build next to them. They could just as easily make that decision at the start of their turn, without changing anything I can think of.)

Dos Rios has an action point system (and a ton a brain-burn). However, I can't recall with any certainty that there are no interactions from the other player during your turn. I think that's the case, though.

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Soren
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Tikal is exactly the sort of game I've always avoided in real-time because of its notorious brain-smooshing capabilities, but which looks like it would be a good candidate if I have 24 hours to consider my next move. Of course, I could really use 72 hours, because hoo boy, am I ever lousy at games.
 
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Paul Procyk
Canada
Ottawa (Orléans)
Ontario
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There was a variant article in the Avalon Hill General magazine that allowed you to play AH's Victory in the Pacific by mail. I actually did play this by snail mail. It was quite entertaining. They did modify the play order somewhat to speed play and provided randomized die roll tables to conduct your battles.

Of course all of this can easily be handled by VASSAL or their equivalents these days.

I have been considering setting up an email version of

Dominant Species

as I think that the interactions during another players turn are minimal. It will also allow us to play this six player without worrying about down time.
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Khet would work here
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PJ Killian
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Watertown
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Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001-?. Card-driven wargame with no response cards (and so therefore no interruptions.) You'll need something like ACTS to handle the card side of things, though.
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Soren
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I just realized that although it would take a mighty long time, Axis and Allies 1941 (and probably its many A&A predecessors for all I know) seems like a total peach for this format; combat is not interrupted much at all, and the area movement would be easier to convey via email than dealing with a hex-and-counter numbered grid.

I should have pointed out that as far as dice rolling and such is concerned, I trust in my fellow man completely to just tell me what he rolls...!

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Daniel B-G
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Leeds
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Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization is probably a decent shout.
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Meligar the Sorceror
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If you want a game where you can happily indulge your analysis paralysis why not try a PBM? There are wargames out there that last years, building empires and knocking them down all played on a get your orders in by a specified date and have them processed by a moderator so no tables turned over because your opponent swears he rolled a dozen hits in a row.

There are plenty out there though:
http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/pbm_list/commercial.html
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Austin Andersen
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I imagine any abstract game with open information would work. Examples: chess, go, connect 4, etc.

As far as what is best, I would go with Pixel Tactics or Pixel Tactics 2. These games aren't complete open information, but because both players draw from separate decks, it should make play by mail possible. Things could get a little complicated because players sometimes have a chance to intercept and more or less interrupt a person's plan of attack.
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Soren
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bbblasterfire wrote:
Examples: chess, go, connect 4, etc.


My in-box just filled up with three dozen different requests to play Connect Four via international snail mail. Thanks a lot!
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