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Subject: Looking for Intro War Game rss

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Dan Grant
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Hi,

I was thinking of getting a War Game for 2 players but wasn't too sure what I should get since I haven't played one before.

I currently own 1989: Dawn of Freedom but was thinking about getting a game that has unit movement since Dawn of Freedom seems to have few similarities with other war games out there.

Games I have been considering include:
Sekigahara
Conflict of Heroes series
Commands and Colors series
COIN series
Fading Glory

Thank you for any input
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Andrew Kluessendorf
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You might want to consider one of Columbia Games offerings - like Julius Caesar. The rulebooks are typically about 8 - 10 pages and are pretty easy to get playing quickly.

Edit: The rulebook is also available on-line at Columbia Games website. Also you might want to check out the following review: A Comprehensive Pictorial Overview: The newest kid on the Columbia Games block, with the newest blocks for the Columbia Games kid.
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Russ Williams
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Julius Caesar (good interesting block game with rules shorter than your candidates)

Battle for Moscow (second edition) (an intro classic-style wargame shorter play time and simpler than the other candidates)
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Michael Carter
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What are you looking to get out of a war game? COIN isn't going to give you the unit movement aspect. They are closer in abstraction level to 1989.
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B. L.
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Conflict of Heroes. The rules are introduced gradually in each scenario. I can teach a new player the rules to the first scenario in ten and it plays in 30 to 45. It is a game you can grow with as each scenario adds a little more to the game. Also a solo expansion is coming out this summer (or at least I hope it is).
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Moe45673
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I think Commands And Colors throws you into a lot of traditional wargamey ideas, especially concerning terrain plus how cavalry, artillery, and infantry interact (such as formations and stuff). It doesn't do stuff like reinforcements and supply lines and throws limitations (in a gamey sense) by only allowing one to give the orders he has in his hand... but these limitations are needed. However, despite many saying it's simple, there are charts and a lot of rules and exceptions to keep in mind. This is not something to bring out for the uninitiated, IMO

I've never looked into the Conflict of Heroes series because (and I have no problem with others doing this) I just can't bring myself to play Germany in WW2. Otherwise, I'd be all over it.

I don't think block wargames will prepare you for wargames at large, though they are excellent games.

And then of course, there's Academy Games' 1775: Rebellion. It's really kindergarten for wargamers, but it's an excellent kindergarten! Great game, interesting decisions, great components.

I haven't looked into Fading Glory, sorry, but check this thread out: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1129380/c-and-c-napoleonics-...
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Phil Hendrickson
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How heavy are you looking to go into war gaming? If you want to start on the more accessible end to try it out, you might consider:
Memoir '44 or
1775: Rebellion

I have not played Memoir, but some people really like it - especially board game players that want to venture into WWII games. However, some deep war gamers do not consider it truly a war game.

I have played 1775, and it is a very good game. A photo of the game being played might look like Risk, but game play is nothing like it. 1775 is quite a good historical battle game, with interesting tactics and strategies. Yet it is quite accessible for players who are not ready for the heavy stuff.

If you want the heavy stuff, just ignore these ideas.
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Steffen Eichenberg
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Hold the Line

It is historical, not as random as Memoir 44 (or the rest of the C&C line), has very easy rules, some optional rules to get a bit more detailed with time, geomorphic map and several different scenarios.

I think it is a perfect entry level wargame.

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Daniel Blumentritt
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Fortress America

If you like Axis & Allies but want a shorter game ... FA is not only quicker, but just a better all-around game, and also more balanced.

If you want to try out Card-Driven Wargames, Washington's War is a very good intro.
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Zigi Hogan
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Battle for Moscow (second edition) is always a safe bet as an intro to hex and counter wargames. It provides most wargame conventions (eg. ZOC, Movement, Combat Results Table or CRT) and you can get it fairly cheap from Victory Point Games which is a top shelf company to deal with or you can get a print and play version.

I got my first copy as a b&w print and play and I had all of $.28 in it. I then got a very nice copy out of C3i magazine #25.

I use BfM regularly to get Euro gamers to try out a wargame. Most have enjoyed it.
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James C
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Please note that 1775 is very different game than the others.
1775 is an "area control game" like Axis and Allies, Risk, etc. it's about winning a war by conquering territories.

Most of the other games listed are tactical "battle games," where the objective is to win a particular battle. Terrain, line of site, unit positioning, etc. all matter.

So I'd suggest you need to think about what type of wargame you would prefer.

Among the battle games, allow me to endorse:

Command & Colors Ancients (battles between Rome and Carthage, Athens and Sparta, etc)
Hold the Line (US Revolutionary War battles)

You should be aware that Command & Colors, Memoir 44, and Battelore are all card-driven. This means, you can't move any old unit, but need to have the right cards in your hands to move particular units.

This initially turned me off, but it grew on my. Indeed, Command & Colors Ancients is currently my favorite game.

Hold the Line, and Conflict of Heroes, are action point driven. Each player has a limited number of action points each turn that are used to activate, move, and a order units to battle. I actually prefer that approach.

Finally, in terms of complexity, from light to moderate complexity, I'd order the games as follows:

Memoir 44
BattleLore
Command and Colors Ancients
Hold the line (esp if one uses the optional advanced rules)
Conflict of Heroes.

One more thing: with the exception of Conflict of heroes, these are all rather light games. That said, memoir and ancients have "overlord " / "epic" versions that combine two game boards, accommodate up to 8 players, and can last 2-3 hours.
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What Price Glory?

Easy rules, cheap, a better representative of "true" wargaming than the others you're looking at.

S.

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Christopher Taylor
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Those are all darn good games.

I'll just throw out Combat Commander: Europe, too. Great game! It has an excellent rulebook, one of the best. The whole series is very well supported, with lots of expansions in many theatres of the war, so you can pick and choose what interests you.
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Dan Grant
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I'll take a look at the games listed so far.
I'm looking for it to be somewhat complex since I think me and the people I would be playing with could handle it. Obviously I don't want to jump in to something like Advanced Squad Leader or something though. Maybe 1 or 2 rungs above an intro war game.
 
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Daniel Blumentritt
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In that case, if you're going for a CDG, you might prefer Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage - especially if the maneuvering aspect of warfare particularly appeals to you.
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Steve B
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I consider every war game I own suitable for beginners. This is because I am a beginner at war gaming as well, and have played all of these with my girlfriend who has never played any other war games, and they have always worked out to be pretty easy to understand, and great fun! (the most important factor!).

My 4 faves:

Combat Commander: Pacific - This is a fantastic game! We love playing this. Quite quick to set up a scenario and the rulebook is flawless. The scenario guide has some example plays but we really didn't need them, the rules are clear enough. You order your troops by playing cards, and the game has a really cool "event" system, where events such as sniper attacks can happen throughout the game, adding a super fun unknown element of a dynamic battlefield to the game.

ASL Starter Kit #3 - An introductory game that helps new gamers get into the ASL system. I recommend Starter Kit 3 after you have played Combat Commander, as Starter Kit 1 and 2 will probably seem pretty easy, but kit 3 introduces tanks!

Paths of Glory - A fantastic game, and completely different from the 2 above. Based in WW1 and you control entire armies throughout Europe. I found it pretty hard to actually buy, but eventually found one copy of it in a store (the 2004 version).

Commands & Colors: Ancients - I guess this is a very common choice. It took us an entire evening to initially set up the game. You have to put stickers on every block (hundreds of blocks). The game itself is very fun and extremely easy to learn, which I guess why it is one of the more "mainstream" games. I recommend it but prefer Combat Commander.

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Daniel Blumentritt
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Paths of Glory is a diabolically clever game, but hardly beginner material for the vast majority of people.
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Steve B
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Statalyzer wrote:
Paths of Glory is a diabolically clever game, but hardly beginner material for the vast majority of people.


Not so sure man! Like I said, I am a beginner with war games, but am finding Paths of Glory a great game. But I am not sure if this intro wargame is for someone who has never played a board game before, or someone who has already played board games. I.e. I got my first war game after I had already being playing games like Agricola. The original poster of the thread is a Terra Mystica fan, which is WAY harder to learn than Paths of Glory. But maybe he wants a wargame for someone else to learn.

To put it into context, I have both Terra Mystica and Paths of Glory. I am finding Terra Mystica just a bit too intimidating to get into. So much stuff going on. But Paths of Glory - awesome!

If you are at the level where you are comfortable learning games like Terra Mystica, then I think an "intro wargame" should not be just the most simple wargame, but rather, one of the better wargames (without the zillion rules that full ASL has).
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Dan Grant
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The listed 8 hours play time for Paths of Glory makes me doubt I will be able to convince anyone to tough it out as their first wargame though
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Steve B
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ChrRome wrote:
The listed 8 hours play time for Paths of Glory makes me doubt I will be able to convince anyone to tough it out as their first wargame though


I've heard of longer Monopoly games, but fair enough! If time is a factor I totally recommend Combat Commander. 2 hours to complete an entire scenario, rather than having a map set up over 3 evenings taking over the living room table Out of my 4 first wargames, Combat Commander is the most fun for me. My first was Commands and Colors Ancients, which is good but I just found it lacking the depth that I heard wargames had (so that is why I recommended some "heavier" games as an introduction too), but Combat Commander seems awesome so far. Im still itching for more though, only been war gaming for about 2 months now!
 
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I just ordered my first COIN series game. Someone in my game group remarked that it resembled heavier area-control Euros, so there's something to think about.
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Leonardo Martino
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Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan
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Christopher
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I know these are not on your list, but it is easy (for me) to recommend Hannibal or Washington's War as introductory war games. Both feature a balance between militaristic and political conflict - allowing you to have one foot in 1989 and another in a "war" game.

For more complexity, For the People, an unparalleled card driven civil war simulator, currently tops my list of hottest games.

Edit: grammar
 
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David McCarson
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mlcarter815 wrote:
What are you looking to get out of a war game? COIN isn't going to give you the unit movement aspect. They are closer in abstraction level to 1989.


Agreed. I can see the same "is it a wargame?" argument we saw with Twilight Struggle crop up.

That said, I've enjoyed the COIN series (and its second cousin, once removed Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?) immensely. It will be interesting to see how (if?) other games handle insurgent warfare.

Cuba Libre in particular has the factions whaling on each other from the first card to the last propaganda card...
 
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