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Subject: Do epic battles lead to epic games ? rss

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Arjan Schuthof
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I've got a lifelong interest in epic struggles, battles and conflicts. Many battles are classic. Cannae, Alesia, Jeruzalem, Hastings, Poitiers, Waterloo, Little Big Horn, Gettysburg, Verdun, Stalingrad are but a few examples of an unending list. Many gamers have a genuine interest in military history. Looking from that perspective, are there specific battles that come to your mind that warrant more or better games? I recall for example that many games on Waterloo are bit outdated or have serious flaws.
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Paul
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I would use one of your examples to say no. IMHO Verdun is an interesting and epic battle that does not make a good wargame. I've even worked on my own design off and on for years and I feel the best design approach would contain a sudden-death criteria at the end of February--that is 10 days into the battle. The Germans either force the French off the East Bank or lose.

To steal a quote from another battle, "It is magnificent, but it isn't war."
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Pete Belli
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Quote:
Little Big Horn


A fascinating campaign.

I have owned several games about the Battle of the Little Bighorn and the 1876 Centennial Campaign. None of them are satisfactory.

Creating a successful simulation is a monumental challenge. I've read dozens of books about this battle and I've tried without success to design a board game depicting these events.

To answer your question... in some cases it simply can't be done effectively until somebody talented cracks the hidden wargame code and develops a think-outside-the-box system.
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Arjan Schuthof
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Pete, Does this analysis include the Legion/Khyber Pass Game on Little Big Horn ?
 
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Pete Belli
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schuthof wrote:
Pete, Does this analysis include the Legion/Khyber Pass Game on Little Big Horn ?


First, I've never owned that game or played it.

Based on the discussions I've participated in about that design, it misses the mark.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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I would think that most things on Cannae dont make a great/epic game. While an epic battle having the scenario set up already its doubtful the Roman player would willingly submit themselves to the double envelopment if they knew anything about the original.

Or if the scenario is so orchestrated to the point the Roman player has no real choice but to go forward it would take away the feeling of 'epicness' from the Carthaginian side of "Oh I set up this trap and now they have blundered into it."

Commands and Colors: Ancients has a Cannae scenario, I need to play it, I think it will be fun but hardly epic.
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Charles F.
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Some of the most famous battles are famous because of the far-reaching political consequences which followed.

I'd argue that close-run battles/campaigns/wars tend to be more interesting. So plenty of lesser-known battles may make for better gaming material.
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Bill Lawson
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pete belli wrote:
schuthof wrote:
Pete, Does this analysis include the Legion/Khyber Pass Game on Little Big Horn ?


First, I've never owned that game or played it.


Shocking!
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