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Subject: What's the best game in GMT's Musket & Pike series for beginners? rss

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Andrew Kluck
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Hudson
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My friends and I are interested in exploring the system. The three of us don't know how to play yet but collectively already own Saints in Armor, Nothing Gained But Glory and Gustav Adolf the Great: With God and Victorious Arms. I understand they all share the same living core rules, but are tweaked some depending on the scenarios. It makes sense to me for everyone to collectively put their grey cells together on one game first.

Which of the three should we start with, or is there one we don't have that's even better as an introduction?
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Dan Joyce
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Saints in Armor the smaller scenarios are a good place to start.
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Roger Hobden
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My only experience with this game system was Fleurus, a short and "balanced" scenario from Saints in Armor.

It is 2 or 3 times more complex then Combat Commander: Europe.

The main core of each turn is quite simple and straightforward :
"Activate a wing (or try to pre-empt someone from activating their wing)
Try to see if you can activate it again.
Etc."

Part of the complexity comes from one hundred small details or exceptions that you have to remember for each different category of unit, and their possibilities of action depending on the state they are in (disorganized, etc.). The other part of the complexity comes from the way the rules are written, and the way in which each rule and it's exception are introduced in the text. Detailed design notes breaking down the rules into logical sub-sets would have done wonders to introduce this game system to the wider audience that this system deserves.

Apparently, it takes about four or five plays to get to fully master the rules.
I don't doubt that at all.

That being said, it is one of the games I want to try to play again in 2014.
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Lance Runolfsson
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Mallet wrote:

Apparently, it takes about four or five plays to get to fully master the rules.
I don't doubt that at all.

That being said, it is one of the games I want to try to play again in 2014.


I have played it almost every Sunday for the last year and have not "mastered" the rules. But I must like it on some
level I did not go completely vomitose until just recently.
I recommend Nothing Gained But glory for the small scenarios and lack of double sized units
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Jason Smith
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The best volume in the series for beginners is Under the Lily Banners, but of those you have listed, Nothing Gained But Glory is probably the best choice.
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Fleurus from Saints in Armor is a good place to start. As others have said, the system is very complex, and it requires significant effort and dedication. The good news is that the effort is well worth it, and the system is very rewarding.
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Enrico Viglino
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Each of these is more challenging, in terms of terrain, than some of
the earlier entries.

In the case of NGBG or SiA, I'd strongly suggest avoiding the FIRST
scenarios, as they are particularly painful.
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Cpl. Fields
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I'm probably in the minority here, but I'd recommend the Breitenfeld scenario from Gustav Adolf the Great: With God and Victorious Arms. Yes, it's big, but there is virtually no terrain to worry about and few special rules, so you can focus on the core issues of command, manoeuvre, and combat. Plus, you're playing one of the most famous and dramatic battles of the war.

Since both the smallest and the largest of scenarios require you to know all the rules, I don't think size should be the deciding factor. Terrain and lots of special rules are what make some of the scenarios in the series more difficult to play than others. Saints in Armor is my favourite game in the series and all the battles are small, but it also has the most difficult battlefields in terms of terrain. I would consider Breitenfeld to be easier to play than any of the scenarios in SiA.

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