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Subject: Wargame for me and my teenage son? rss

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Craig Duncan
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I am seeking recommendations for wargames that meet the following criteria:

** They shine with 2 players

** Moderate playing time (90 minutes or less, say)

** Medium weight

** Lots of replay value

** Appealing to a 14 year old boy

Some possible choices =

Commands & Colors: Ancients
Memoir '44
1775: Rebellion (I like the fact that this can stretch to 4 players)
BattleLore
A Few Acres of Snow

Any other suggestions? Any comment on which of these games (or a new suggestion) best meets my criteria?
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Wendell
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I think any of those would fit the bill. Does your son (or do you) have a specific area of interest? Sometimes easier to start with a topic (a war or a battle or a scale, etc) that you like and work from there to identify a game.
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Liam
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I'd just go right ahead and buy Memoir '44.

In 90 minites you can probably play most of the scenarios twice, thus each taking the opposite side and tallying up VPs across the two games. You can also be sure he'll have has best mate round for a game or two.

I'd argue it's more light weight than medium and some grognads will say it's not a 'wargame'.
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Chris
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I'd guess Memoir '44 would be the obvious choice, however since... ooh... Monday, I've found out about 1775 and REALLY REALLY want that as my entry to war games. It looks great, and also looks old and stuffy at the same time, like a good war game should (and Memoir '44 doesn't). It's meant to be very accessible, despite the front of the box looking like the jigsaw you had to amuse yourself with when you went to you boring old grandparents when you were young. The artwork really might be an issue with a 14 year old.

Also note though that the Overlord expansion lets Memoir play 6.
 
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Craig Duncan
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Yes, I'd been thinking Memoir '44 too for the obvious "eye candy" reason (my son is a videogamer, so I suppose eye candy matters to him).

Just curious: I've heard it said before that Memoir '44, C&C, Battlelore are not "real" war games. I'm not a wargamer myself (I'm looking to give it a try) so I don't really understand this comment. Can anyone explain?

Also (and again, just curious): Any opinions as to which of these games is the most "strategic" and which the least?
 
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Helmut Hohberger
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If you want to try something a bit meatier than the games mentioned, but still within your parameters, you might give Combat Commander: Europe a look. Most scenarios shouldn't take more than 90 minutes (or maybe 2 hrs, on the outside), and the rules are not too difficult to grasp.
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Brad Harmer-Barnes
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Raf Cordero
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cdunc123 wrote:
Yes, I'd been thinking Memoir '44 too for the obvious "eye candy" reason (my son is a videogamer, so I suppose eye candy matters to him).

Just curious: I've heard it said before that Memoir '44, C&C, Battlelore are not "real" war games. I'm not a wargamer myself (I'm looking to give it a try) so I don't really understand this comment. Can anyone explain?

Also (and again, just curious): Any opinions as to which of these games is the most "strategic" and which the least?

I am brand new to wargaming, so please take what I say with a grain of salt.

Memoir '44 feels like a Thematic board game that is about war. There are a lot of card draws that drive what you can and can't do, and while tactics are important sometimes you just...get unlucky in a way you can't mitigate. Memoir plays quite a bit like the Euro/Ameritrash (more Ameritrash) games on my shelf.

The wargame I've chosen to sharpen my teeth on is Field Commander: Rommel. This game is, to my knowledge, a more traditional wargame. I have counters with full strength and reduced strength sides, there is supply and re-supply concerns associated with moving, I have more to think about when it comes to reinforcements, etc. This does not feel, in any way, like a normal Euro/Ameritrash board game. It's a different kind of thinking.

Clear as mud?
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Mike Pranno
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Ratatoskr72 wrote:
If you want to try something a bit meatier than the games mentioned, but still within your parameters, you might give Combat Commander: Europe a look. Most scenarios shouldn't take more than 90 minutes (or maybe 2 hrs, on the outside), and the rules are not too difficult to grasp.
Agreed. Both Combat Commander: Europe and Commands & Colors: Ancients are the first two games my 10-year old son chooses when he is in the mood for a heavier two-player game. I am going to wait only a year or two more before I get him started on Squad Leader.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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From the left field arrives Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game.
- The miniatures are great-looking, pre-painted, and affordable.
- You can get playing very quickly using the quickstart rules.
- Can be played casually and very strategically, dice give everyone a chance in the game, and you can play in teams (if you have enough ships).
- Add all the normal rules and try it for size (play and see what you think), and then buy more stuff. (Two Core Sets are recommended, then you can buy whichever ships interest you.)
- You can build your fleets combining ship-specific pilot cards and upgrades, and the point systems keeps the opposing fleets balanced.
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James C
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Those are all great options.
+1 M44
+1 CCA
+1 1775

Allow me to add Hold the Line.

Always tons of fun, and may be the way to go if you're not thrilled with Borg's card-driven / left-center-right mechanic (featured in M44, CCA, and Battlelore).

Allow me to also add that from your initial list, 1775 is not like the others. 1775 is an area control WAR game, whereas the other games listed are tactical / BATTLE games.

I've recently looked very closely at Conflict of Heroes. A step up in complexity, however. Yet to play it, but it looks amazing.
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For something a little different, let me add Polis to these excellent suggestions.
 
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Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
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War of the Ring (Second Edition) maybe?
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Kirk Groeneweg
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My son (12) and I play 1775 and really like it. I can highly recommend it. It's a beautiful game, has some strategy and dice rolling. I always let my son pick the cubes for turn order. More too keep him engaged that way. It's a good war game, but also a really good area control game IMHO.
 
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George Ramos
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I'm disagreeing a bit with what the word "wargame" is turning out to be on this thread. I would say that Memoir '44, Battlelore, and 1775 are not wargames. They are wonderful board games that have a "war" theme. If that's what you're looking for, then I'd choose Command & Colors: Ancients. You may also want to investigate the classic Axis & Allies (there are lots of A&A flavors out there, use BGG to find the one that's best for you).

For a "proper" wargame that's entry level, I can recommend:

Manoeuvre
Quebec 1759
Hammer of the Scots
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Sam Cook
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If you have the cash, you could pick up the recently released deluxe edition of Ogre. I would say that meets all of your criteria pretty well.
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Craig Duncan
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greekramos wrote:
I'm disagreeing a bit with what the word "wargame" is turning out to be on this thread. I would say that Memoir '44, Battlelore, and 1775 are not wargames. They are wonderful board games that have a "war" theme.

I'm curious to hear more about the difference between a proper war game and a game that simply has a war theme. Can you explain this a bit?
 
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Bill Eldard
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I recommend the Columbia block game War of 1812.

It was first published in 1973 ("old, stuffy . . ."), but has been improved over the years with a few rules modifications.

- Rules are rather simple -- 4-6 pages I think.

- Both sides play offense and defense.

- Mainly a land game, but the naval competition on the three lakes (i.e., Erie, Ontario, and Champlain) is critical to the land campaigns.

- The Fog of War inherent in block games ads to the tension.

- This is the bicentennial of the War of 1812
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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cdunc123 wrote:
I'm curious to hear more about the difference between a proper war game and a game that simply has a war theme.
Elitism. devil

*duck*
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Mike Pranno
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greekramos wrote:
I'm disagreeing a bit with what the word "wargame" is turning out to be on this thread. I would say that Memoir '44, Battlelore, and 1775 are not wargames. They are wonderful board games that have a "war" theme. If that's what you're looking for, then I'd choose Command & Colors: Ancients. You may also want to investigate the classic Axis & Allies (there are lots of A&A flavors out there, use BGG to find the one that's best for you).

For a "proper" wargame that's entry level, I can recommend:

Manoeuvre
Quebec 1759
Hammer of the Scots
Just for the sake of argument, what about Manoeuvre makes it a wargame over Memoir '44?
 
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C Bazler
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cdunc123 wrote:
I'm curious to hear more about the difference between a proper war game and a game that simply has a war theme. Can you explain this a bit?

Yeah, I've never understood this. Can't there be such a thing as a "light" wargame?

It's not like anyone says "Lords of Waterdeep isn't a real Euro game" or "Tic Tac Toe isn't a real abstract game." They just lie on a spectrum of easy to learn/light to difficult to learn/heavy.
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Kent Reuber
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cdunc123 wrote:
Just curious: I've heard it said before that Memoir '44, C&C, Battlelore are not "real" war games. I'm not a wargamer myself (I'm looking to give it a try) so I don't really understand this comment. Can anyone explain?

Many people view "real" wargames as the old school hex and counter games. The Commands & Colors games are much closer to miniatures games than they are the standard hex and counter systems. Many people don't like the frustration of not being able to do what you want with your units; for me, the tense decisions of picking one thing to do when you want to do two or three things is what makes the game system shine.

When Richard Borg talks about his Commands & Colors system, he says that he was trying to create a game that plays like the way battle descriptions read.

cdunc123 wrote:
Also (and again, just curious): Any opinions as to which of these games is the most "strategic" and which the least?

What I like most about C&C Ancients is that you have more options even if you don't have cards to order units: units can battle back in melee when attacked, and skirmishers and cavalry can evade attacks, falling back towards the main battle lines. BattleLore has the ability to battle back, but Memoir has neither. So, I woulds say that Memoir is the least strategic, but if you like WWII, it's still well worth playing.

By the way, I much prefer BattleLore 1st edition to the revised 2nd edition. I don't like the way the 2nd edition emphasizes abstract "victory points" above the destruction of the opposing army.
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Chris
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Seems odd that the "is memoir 44 a wargame?" question arises here, given this weeks Dice Tower Showdown... http://dicetowershowdown.libsyn.com/dts011-dice-tower-showdo...
 
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cdunc123 wrote:
I'm curious to hear more about the difference between a proper war game and a game that simply has a war theme. Can you explain this a bit?

Are you familiar with the "No true Hammer of the Scotsman" fallacy?
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If Axis and Allies is a wargame, then so is Viktory II, and better IMHO excepting the minor bit of history you get exposed to with A&A. Viktory 2 has combined units, attack from multiple directions, and integrated supply. Also, particularly if you have the physical game, you can resize it for longer more developed battles or keep it the short knife fight of a typical 2 player game. The online version is good for enforcing fog of war (though it has been awhile since I hunted it down).

Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan is set in historical Japan, is 2 player only, uses blocks for fog of war, and replicates uncertaain loyalties of your own armies. It will likely run a longer than your 90 minutes though until you get very good at it.

Axis and Allies... are people seriously suggesting it can be played in 90 minuts? I think it would take much longer according to my recollections.

 
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