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Subject: Trying to expand my Wargaming Horizons rss

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Gregory Bay
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I am a novice wargamer with a wonderful wife who enjoys many of the games we play. Most of what I have right now are squad based games and some cdg's: Washington's War and Twilight Struggle, as well as the Band of Brothers games and Commands and Colors and Hold the Line series.

We like games that do not take more than three hours typically.

I am trying to find a game that covers more than a battle but a whole conflict or at least a more significant piece of one. I don't know what these games are called but this is what we are looking for.

Any ideas?

Thanks for your help!
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Enrico Viglino
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baymonkey wrote:


I am trying to find a game that covers more than a battle but a whole conflict or at least a more significant piece of one. I don't know what these games are called but this is what we are looking for.
!


Strategic or Operational.

But, Twilight Struggle (Global Geopolitical Strategic), and Washington's War (strategic)
certainly qualify.

There are many many games at these scales on most topics you might want to
look at. Give us a few eras of interest, and we can give you good suggestions.

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john f stup
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A HOUSE DIVIDED is good place to start for a strategic level game of the whole Amer. civil war that doesn't take a long time to play. there are also Amer. revolutionary games out there that cover the whole conflict that are fairly short also. but it is hard to find a WWI or WWII game on that level that plays in a reasonably short time.
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Marcus
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Since you like Washington's War, I'd recommend Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage. Similar game system, only slightly more complex. Playing time can be 3 hours, but on average, probably a bit longer (a long evening, maybe 4-5hrs).

Also, maybe one of the Columbia block games that should play under 3 hours: Hammer of the Scots, Julius Caesar, Rommel in the Desert, or Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815 (these are the block games I've most enjoyed playing).

MM
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Ahmed Hadzi
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CASE BLUE
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Robb Minneman
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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I'm about to get called a heretic here by my fellow wargamers, but...

Anything in the Axis & Allies series seems like it fits your requirements if you want to explore WWII.

As previously mentioned, A House Divided is in your wheelhouse for the American Civil War.

Neither of these games are perfect historical simulations, but for covering the broad strokes of a conflict they're pretty fair. For strategic-level games in the 3 hour time window, you're going to trade a lot of realism/historical fidelity for playability.

Edited to add: Someone has previously posted a lovely graphic covering the differences between "Tactical", "Operational", and "Strategic" level gaming. You might find the distinctions between them informative for helping you select a game. You can find the graphic here. The rest of the thread is pretty good, too.
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The 16th century São João Baptista, also known as Botafogo (Spitfire) was a Portuguese galleon warship considered the most powerful warship in the world at the time.
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Try this one. Is a great game about the war of the Spanish Succession, with Bourbons against The Alliance. Is card driven, in a point to point map which you are already familiar with. Will give a broad perspective of the conflict. Easy to play, and very rewarding.


No Peace Without Spain!
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C Sandifer
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monstrooper wrote:
Also, maybe one of the Columbia block games that should play under 3 hours: Hammer of the Scots, Julius Caesar, Rommel in the Desert, or Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815 (these are the block games I've most enjoyed playing).


I'll second these, though I'd replace Rommel in the Desert with Richard III. Rommel is great, but it's not the best starter block game.

Other suggestions: Sekigahara, Fading Glory.

Fading Glory easily fits within your timeframe, it's a blast to play, and it contains 4 games in a single box. And if you play all four in a row, it counts as a campaign instead of a battle.
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Gregory Bay
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First off, thanks for the thoughtful responses.

Second, I need to give some more information about what we have played. We like CDG's. The three we have played are Twilight Struggle, Washington's War, and Labyrinth. We like all three. I picked up a copy of Wilderness War but found it to be a little to much. We just could not seem to wrap our heads around the rules for some reason. I also tried Paths of Glory but put it back into the box for the same reason. I am interested in Hearts and Minds as well as Mr. Madison's War.

The major thing with a game's rule set surrounds the fact whether they are intuitive or not. If a rule set has too many "if this then this" language, we seem to lose the big picture. This is in part because we do not have the familiarity with the genre that others share.

Concerning Axis and Allies, we enjoy the 1942 second ed. I am just looking for something the provides, how shall I say it, more?

Third, concerning genre we are open for just about anything.

We are just trying to move away from squad/tactics based games to ones that handle the bigger picture. As well, I would not mind a game that goes over the 3 hour mark if it is one we could walk away and easily come back to.

Again thanks for your ideas and I hope this post will help churn some more. We enjoy the wargame genre a lot, but we have found it hard to get into, for publishers will list a game as being somewhat complex but their somewhat complex assumes you are familiar with many of the mechanics already. On the other hand, I can pick up a complex euro game and have no real issues, in part because of my familiarity with mechanics.

Thanks.
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Gregory Bay
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Again on the eras of interest. I like WWI and WWII. As well, the American Revolution, Napoleon, Ancients. We also enjoy learning about eras we know nothing about.
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Edward Pundyk
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mpires wrote:
Try this one. Is a great game about the war of the Spanish Succession, with Bourbons against The Alliance. Is card driven, in a point to point map which you are already familiar with. Will give a broad perspective of the conflict. Easy to play, and very rewarding.


No Peace Without Spain!


I would say that this game will usually take slightly longer than 3 hours to play, but it does fall into the category of games you could walk away from and come back to without much trouble. It really is a satisfying game that provides many options for both players and lots of replay value. One of my top ten wargames of all time.
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+1 for:
A House Divided
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan
Fading Glory

Also maybe try:
Wilderness War
War at Sea (third edition)
The Russian Campaign (fourth and fifth editions)
Quebec 1759
Fortress America
Superpowers
Forged in Fire: The 1862 Peninsula Campaign
Texas Glory: 1835-36
1775: Rebellion

Out of print but common enough to find cheap:
Afrika Korps
D-Day (3rd edition)
Hitler's War
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Stephen Harper
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Give Hellenes a try. Gives a really good perspective of the Pelopponesian Wars. Card driven block game. Excellent game. You can review the rules at the GMT site. Very good example of play comes with the game.
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Eric Stubbs
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baymonkey wrote:
First off, thanks for the thoughtful responses.

Second, I need to give some more information about what we have played. We like CDG's. The three we have played are Twilight Struggle, Washington's War, and Labyrinth. We like all three. I picked up a copy of Wilderness War but found it to be a little to much. We just could not seem to wrap our heads around the rules for some reason. I also tried Paths of Glory but put it back into the box for the same reason. I am interested in Hearts and Minds as well as Mr. Madison's War.

The major thing with a game's rule set surrounds the fact whether they are intuitive or not. If a rule set has too many "if this then this" language, we seem to lose the big picture. This is in part because we do not have the familiarity with the genre that others share.

Concerning Axis and Allies, we enjoy the 1942 second ed. I am just looking for something the provides, how shall I say it, more?

Third, concerning genre we are open for just about anything.

We are just trying to move away from squad/tactics based games to ones that handle the bigger picture. As well, I would not mind a game that goes over the 3 hour mark if it is one we could walk away and easily come back to.

Again thanks for your ideas and I hope this post will help churn some more. We enjoy the wargame genre a lot, but we have found it hard to get into, for publishers will list a game as being somewhat complex but their somewhat complex assumes you are familiar with many of the mechanics already. On the other hand, I can pick up a complex euro game and have no real issues, in part because of my familiarity with mechanics.

Thanks.


If you like Twilight Struggle, then 1989: Dawn of Freedom is easy to recommend.

No Peace Without Spain! is very good indeed, and it's less complicated than Wilderness War: less chrome, fewer event cards. I'm not familiar with Mr. Madison's War, but I think that complexity-wise it's on par with Wilderness War. A Few Acres of Snow is a thought.

I'll also echo recommendations for Fading Glory (though this is a set of tactical battles rather than an operational/strategic treatment) and Sekigahara.
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Rommel in the Desert.

Why?

Because the map is small, it is not intimidating.

The counter density is low, you won't feel overwhelmed.

The manual is short, so you won't take long to learn the mechanics.

It's a real honest to god wargame, not something quasi wargamish like Axis and Allies, this is a genuine wargame.

The game is about planning, it's about thinking, it has bluff and mind games as it uses blocks, you don't have god mode seeing everything.

It doesn't take forever, so you won't feel pressured there.

And it is still on sale (always helps).

There is nothing about this game that will turn away a newcomer to wargaming.
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C Sandifer
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Catherine the Great wrote:
There is nothing about [Rommel in the Desert] that will turn away a newcomer to wargaming.


Except its complexity?

I'd agree with you if someone were teaching the game, perhaps. But learning RitD from the rulebook is more difficult than you let on. I'd already played a half-dozen block games before tackling Rommel, and learning it still wasn't trivial. The Rommel rules are quite a bit more complicated than the others listed above.

I also think that Hellenes is probably a step above the "starter" block game category. Just my opinion.
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Gregory Bay
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Thanks for all the great ideas!
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Block games (especially those already mentioned) are wonderful and offer deep two player experiences and a high replayability value.
You should also think about Strike of the Eagle:
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/83734/strike-of-the-eagle
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Roger Hobden
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Catherine the Great wrote:
Rommel in the Desert.

Why?

Because the map is small, it is not intimidating.

The counter density is low, you won't feel overwhelmed.

The manual is short, so you won't take long to learn the mechanics.

It's a real honest to god wargame, not something quasi wargamish like Axis and Allies, this is a genuine wargame.

The game is about planning, it's about thinking, it has bluff and mind games as it uses blocks, you don't have god mode seeing everything.

It doesn't take forever, so you won't feel pressured there.

And it is still on sale (always helps).

There is nothing about this game that will turn away a newcomer to wargaming.

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Roger Hobden
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Hitler's War

You can get either the AH version or the Metagaming version on the BGG marketplace.
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Sean McCormick
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The best strategic games at that scale, time and complexity point are Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan, Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage and Julius Caesar. If you can rustle up more players, I would also highly recommend Friedrich or Maria.
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Andy Daglish
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pavobueno wrote:
Give Hellenes a try. Gives a really good perspective of the Pelopponesian Wars. Card driven block game. Excellent game.


Not really. The major military difference between the Classical and Hellenstic period was in siegecraft: in the latter period they could effectively besiege and assault walled cities, in the former period they could not, and the classical Peloponnesian war was defined by this phenomena. Cities fell by starvation, treachery and changes of political will only.
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Andy Daglish
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Our next step, back in the summer of 96, was Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage, and its still one of the best three.
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Enrico Viglino
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aforandy wrote:
pavobueno wrote:
Give Hellenes a try. Gives a really good perspective of the Pelopponesian Wars. Card driven block game. Excellent game.


Not really. The major military difference between the Classical and Hellenstic period was in siegecraft: in the latter period they could effectively besiege and assault walled cities, in the former period they could not, and the classical Peloponnesian war was defined by this phenomena. Cities fell by starvation, treachery and changes of political will only.



Tell that to Tyre.

I'll agree with the early Hellenistic era, but by the time of Alexander,
siegecraft was definitely well under way.
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Gregory Bay
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What are your thoughts on Age of Napoleon?
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