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Subject: You REALLY don't know what you're missing! rss

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Ted Spencer
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If you identified yourself as an Abstract board gamer, I think there would be many games you “must play.” Go and Chess, at least. Checkers and Backgammon are arguably “must play” games for Abstract board gamers. Possibly even Mancala, which goes to show the rich, varied and long history of Abstracts.

I think Eurogames, too, with a much shorter history, has at least one “must play” game, Settlers of Catan. I mean, how could you call yourself a Eurogamer if you haven’t played it? There might be something equivalent for Thematic and other types of gamers, I don’t know.

I can’t think of an equivalent for war games. I can think of a lot of “should play” games. I can think of a lot of war games I would highly recommend. But I can’t think of one war game I believe every wargamer “must play.” When I get close to saying that, I usually shift from “must play” to “you don’t know what you’re missing.”

There are a few war games that have kept my interest long enough to play until I am relaxed with the system, very few rules look-ups, got a firm grip on mechanics, game flow and how to win. When this happens, I either drop the game because I’m bored with it, or I keep playing because it’s just now starting to get REALLY interesting!

In these cases, more subtle and interesting stuff keeps bubbling up. I see stuff I wouldn’t have imagined after only three, four, five plays . When I play a wargame this much, I “get” the game and the game’s “got” me. I will want to play it and if you don’t, I’ll tell you “you REALLY don’t know what you’re missing.”

Do you have a war game like this?
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Roger Hobden
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superflat wrote:

I think Eurogames, too, with a much shorter history, has at least one “must play” game, Settlers of Catan.


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Andrew N
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I think that there are some differences between wargames and both abstracts and Euros that may explain this. For one thing, I think there is a much wider variety in wargames. There's the topical subject (WWII, Napoleonic, etc), scale (Strategic, Operational, Tactical, and subsets thereof), map type (hex, area, point-to-point), warfare type (land, sea, air), and so on and so forth. If someone isn't interested in the specific set of all of these variables, then there's a good chance they won't be interested in the game. With Euros and abstracts, I feel like there are a smaller number of basic types and theme especially is less important to irrelevant.
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Severus Snape
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People are just too people-like to be cornered into a "must-play" category. I can name CDG's, but there are plenty of Grogs for whom CDG's are just not grognards enough. I can praise Empires in Arms to the hilt but have a volley of objections thrown my way--too long, too complex, too dated, what do Aussies know about game design and can teach us Americans, etc.

The "must play" category is best left on the table of each gamer, for to each his or her own.

If there is but one game that everyone should at least learn and play on a serious level, I would have to say chess, one of the granddaddies/momma's of gaming.

goo
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Osprey
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"Must play" wargames would be most of the early stuff that started the hobby like the Avalon Hill classics (Waterloo, Afrika Korps, Stalingrad) along with several of the early SPI fare. It will allow you a greater appreciation for the hobby and allow you to experience the evolution of wargaming not to mention the fact that they are still great games. Also good for introducing newcomers to the field.
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David Janik-Jones
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The only wargame I have consistently played and owned over the 31 years since it first came out is Up Front.

Every wargamer should play it once.
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K G
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Peso Pete wrote:
The only wargame I have consistently played since it first came out is Frederick the Great. Like Chess and Go, it is an easy game to learn but a very difficult game to master. Since much of the game is figuring out when to fight a battle and when to avoid battle, it is not going to appeal to everyone (or even most wargamers). However, if you want to know why it is a travesty that Frank Davis is not in the Wargaming Hall of Fame, this is why. A timeless classic that inspired countless games ever since.


Preach it, brother! A really fine game!
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Wendell
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Ironically, I have not played many of the "must play" AH classics (Waterloo, Anzio, Stalingrad, etc).

If you're interested in strategic WW2 games, give WIF a try some time. Even just a short campaign, to get a taste for it, if time & space limits mean you don't expect to become a WIF regular...
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Osprey
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wifwendell wrote:
Ironically, I have not played many of the "must play" AH classics (Waterloo, Anzio, Stalingrad, etc).

If you're interested in strategic WW2 games, give WIF a try some time. Even just a short campaign, to get a taste for it, if time & space limits mean you don't expect to become a WIF regular...


Well Wendell, then you should play them. But I'd love for you to teach me WiF too!
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Michał M.
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I don't think wargaming as a hobby has those "must play" games.
WHy should I, as a guy who is interested almost only in ACW, play some "must play" games covering, let's say, East Front?
I don't care about this topic as a gamer.
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Gordon Watson
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superflat wrote:
Checkers and Backgammon are arguably “must play” games for Abstract board gamers.

You'll have a lot of the abstract gamers up in arms by calling Backgammon an abstract and they are a very tetchy lot - in the same way that most wargamers don't regard 'Small World' as a wargame they would regard anything with dice as not an abstract - they prefer a narrower definition of their niche along the lines of '2-player combinatorial' games.

back on topic - I'm a wargamer of nearly 30 years standing but have never played any of the AH/SPI classics - 'Squad Leader' and 'Up Front' yes but nothing like 'The Russian Campaign',or Waterloo. So I don't really think there are any 'must play' wargames - although if you were a tactical WWII player then you should at least try some flavour of SL.
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Judd Vance
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wifwendell wrote:
Ironically, I have not played many of the "must play" AH classics (Waterloo, Anzio, Stalingrad, etc).

If you're interested in strategic WW2 games, give WIF a try some time. Even just a short campaign, to get a taste for it, if time & space limits mean you don't expect to become a WIF regular...


Dude, if I lived in Virginia, I'd be knocking on your door. I've alwasy wanted to see what the hubub is all about. I figure it's got to have something to it, since I don't see guys named: ASLBob, OCSBill, or WaWJudd.
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Wendell
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airjudden wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
Ironically, I have not played many of the "must play" AH classics (Waterloo, Anzio, Stalingrad, etc).

If you're interested in strategic WW2 games, give WIF a try some time. Even just a short campaign, to get a taste for it, if time & space limits mean you don't expect to become a WIF regular...


Dude, if I lived in Virginia, I'd be knocking on your door. I've alwasy wanted to see what the hubub is all about. I figure it's got to have something to it, since I don't see guys named: ASLBob, OCSBill, or WaWJudd.


Well, my door is in Minnesota now...
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Severus Snape
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DaveyJJ wrote:
The only wargame I have consistently played and owned over the 31 years since it first came out is Up Front.

Every wargamer should play it once.


David, where do we get a copy without giving up a kidney, or two?

goo
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suPUR DUEper
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wifwendell wrote:
airjudden wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
Ironically, I have not played many of the "must play" AH classics (Waterloo, Anzio, Stalingrad, etc).

If you're interested in strategic WW2 games, give WIF a try some time. Even just a short campaign, to get a taste for it, if time & space limits mean you don't expect to become a WIF regular...


Dude, if I lived in Virginia, I'd be knocking on your door. I've alwasy wanted to see what the hubub is all about. I figure it's got to have something to it, since I don't see guys named: ASLBob, OCSBill, or WaWJudd.


Well, my door is in Minnesota now...


That damn witness protection program is costing us taxpayers a fortune....
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TRUE abstract gamers will not play games with dice!

But, yeah, Catan is the Case Blue of Eurogaming.
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Peso Pete wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
Ironically, I have not played many of the "must play" AH classics (Waterloo, Anzio, Stalingrad, etc).



I haven't played an AH classic in years, but I remember Afrika Korps, Anzio and Russian Campaign being my favorites when I did. 1914 is pretty good if you play with the SPI Revision which forces the French to attack at the beginning of the campaign (which they did historically). I remember Panzer Leader being fun as well although that fun factor depended largely on which scenario you played since some of the scenarios were better than others..

However, since I haven't played any of them in a number of years, I guess that proves that they are not "must play games" for me.


Then you already "must played" them!
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TedW wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
Well, my door is in Minnesota now...


That damn witness protection program is costing us taxpayers a fortune....


As long as he halts his uranium enrichment program, I'd say it's worth the money.
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Severus Snape
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Quote:
TRUE abstract gamers will not play games with dice!


Nor their brains, because if they had any brains they would be playing--wait for it--CASE BLUE!

goo
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Andrew N
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wifwendell wrote:
airjudden wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
Ironically, I have not played many of the "must play" AH classics (Waterloo, Anzio, Stalingrad, etc).

If you're interested in strategic WW2 games, give WIF a try some time. Even just a short campaign, to get a taste for it, if time & space limits mean you don't expect to become a WIF regular...


Dude, if I lived in Virginia, I'd be knocking on your door. I've alwasy wanted to see what the hubub is all about. I figure it's got to have something to it, since I don't see guys named: ASLBob, OCSBill, or WaWJudd.


Well, my door is in Minnesota now...


Speaking of, if you don't mind teaching a newbie, I'd love a lesson on WiF at a 1st Minnesota meeting, sometime.
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Andrew N
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bentlarsen wrote:
DaveyJJ wrote:
The only wargame I have consistently played and owned over the 31 years since it first came out is Up Front.

Every wargamer should play it once.


David, where do we get a copy without giving up a kidney, or two?

goo


I made trade offers to just about everyone that had a copy listed as for trade on BGG, until I finally made a deal with someone!
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Wendell
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wernervoss wrote:


Speaking of, if you don't mind teaching a newbie, I'd love a lesson on WiF at a 1st Minnesota meeting, sometime.


That might be do-able. Would have to be something like the one-map Barbarossa scenario, something that could be done in a few hours not weeks...
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Judd Vance
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wifwendell wrote:
airjudden wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
Ironically, I have not played many of the "must play" AH classics (Waterloo, Anzio, Stalingrad, etc).

If you're interested in strategic WW2 games, give WIF a try some time. Even just a short campaign, to get a taste for it, if time & space limits mean you don't expect to become a WIF regular...


Dude, if I lived in Virginia, I'd be knocking on your door. I've alwasy wanted to see what the hubub is all about. I figure it's got to have something to it, since I don't see guys named: ASLBob, OCSBill, or WaWJudd.


Well, my door is in Minnesota now...


That explains how you and David were able to play Mark Herman's new game. I scratched my head and thought, "Wow! He'll buy a plane ticked from Virginia to Minnesota just to play a Mark Herman prototype? Crap. I'm not even that dedicated!" I always said Mark Herman only knows awesome, but he's about to finally understand what "not awesome" is ... me!

This actually makes me feel better.
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Ted Spencer
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wifwendell wrote:
If you're interested in strategic WW2 games, give WIF a try some time. Even just a short campaign, to get a taste for it, if time & space limits mean you don't expect to become a WIF regular...
Reading you for years, I know WIF is a game where I REALLY don't know what I'm missing! Would love to try a few sessions to find out what that is! Anyone own a copy in my neck of the woods?
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Tom Swider
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Malaggar wrote:
I don't think wargaming as a hobby has those "must play" games.
WHy should I, as a guy who is interested almost only in ACW, play some "must play" games covering, let's say, East Front?
I don't care about this topic as a gamer.


Agreed ... wargames are too context rich whereas with German games and abstract games that the themes are generally tacked on.
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