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Subject: Question for a Grognard rss

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Perry Fergin
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(Please excuse this question if it sounds impertinent or insulting. I don't mean it that way at all.)

I have played war games, and really enjoyed them. (Specifically, blitzkreig and Panzerblitz.) I haven't really gotten into the war gaming scene, though, (mostly due to lack of time and people to play with.

My question is this: are war games really that different? To someone with limited experience like me, it seems like they are all basically the same: moving and attacking with units on a hex map, taking range and terrain into account, etc. It seems the only difference is in the particular historical battle that is being portrayed. What makes "Hearts and Minds: Vietnam 1965-1975" different than "Barbarossa: Army Group North, 1941"?
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Ron
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perrygf wrote:
My question is this: are war games really that different?

Yes!!! Absolutely!!! They are!!!
You might want to post this question again in the wargame subforum to get more (useful) answers meeple
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McDog
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"My question is this: are war games really that different?"


Nope. It's just that the player is pretending the piece of cardboard is an infantry division instead of a monster or farm.

That and of course the historical study that goes on mostly outside of the gameplay itself, but also within the gameplay.
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Matt Brown
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Depends on a number of things including it being tactical versus strategic, scale, what it is trying to replicate and how historical is it trying to be, etc. It is almost similar to saying Euros are all the same.
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Chris Robbins
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Except for some "families" of games, try playing one using the rules of the other. It's like saying all Euros are just a matter of rolling some dice and moving meeples around.

[Oops. Near duplicate sentiment. I'll leave it up.]
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Boaty McBoatface
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No more then a roll a dice and move around a board type games in different from any other.

Hell you can play one hex and counter game, yet find another whose rules leave you baffled.

Yes many are very similar (and some are exactly the same) but many play so differently that you cannot translate the experience gained in on we to the other.
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Perry Fergin
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PzVIE wrote:

You might want to post this question again in the wargame subforum to get more (useful) answers meeple


I thought of that, but I thought non-war gamers would be interested in this, and wouldn't look there.
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Sim Guy
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There is a great deal more variety in todays games than from the days when the titles you refer to were created, though you can still find plenty of games that match those styles or contain such elements. And that is the word: style. Sure games featuring hexes and counters, odds based combat results tables, fit a given style - and most of the games I play still come down to a die roll (or rolls) to resolve combat. But area movement, point to point, and other movement methods, along with card driven mechanics, block based unit counters, telescoping time and unit scales, chit draw activation, and many other mechanical constructs (that don't imediately spring to mind) have expanded massively on the possibilities of the older hex and counter conventions that a lot of us older players cut our teeth on.

There are a lot of near war games out there that straddle the Euro/wargame lines as well: Game of Thrones, Kingmaker, Small World and loads more. I'm aware of a lot more Euro-style elements making their way into the wargaming world these days.
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Gary Selkirk
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Wargames are different in several regards. Example - The Battle of Gettysburg. This battle has been published by a myriad of Companies and still sells well and / or remains popular. Each designer of a game of the famous battle applies his / her input, the way they interpret the battle and the primary issues they feel are / were important. Also, the battle has been portrayed in hidden movement, secret strengths, blocks, counters, double sided as well as single sided counters. Some games include counters representing each flank of the primary counter. Some games of the battle include dice, others don't, but have layers of casualties represented by 2 or more casualty charts. Then there's the size of the individual units - Regimental, Brigade and even Corps. This doesn't even account for the games that include Officer casualties and replacements.
So, yes - wargames are different and the buyers / players of the games will choose the style they like best.
Remember, I've mentioned only one battle. The number of games representing other battles, campaigns and even wars is astounding.
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