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Subject: Avalon Hill's all time best sellers rss

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Brian Morris
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Esteemed BGG member Ronald Fajarit recently posted in a thread something I had forgotten. That in The General Magazine Avalon Hill would occasionally publish a list of it's top 20 all time best selling games. He was kind enough to share this list from The General volume 27.2 which was the final time the list was published in the magazine. The list ran with the following header.

"Titles are place on the All-Time list only after having sold in excess of 100,000 copies while under the Avalon Hill Banner."

Yeah. Figure all of these titles listed below have more copies floating around or in land fills than there are copies of Twilight Struggle.

That aside I had to laugh seeing Outdoor Survival being listed as the all time best selling game in Avalon Hill's history. It was a fact I had forgotten from my days when I subscribed to The General although it shouldn't be a surprise when you think about it. There has to be a copy of Outdoor Survival in every friggin thrift store in the country. It's like there's a law that they have to have a copy to be able to be a thrift store.

So I was thinking. Despite the fact that Outdoor Survival is the top selling game of all time for Avalon Hill I doubt many wargemrs today have ever actually played it. I have...twice! We all died the first time but the second game I managed to make it to a stream and survived while everyone else died. We never played again.

Which brings me round about to the actual point of this thread which is this. How many of the top selling Avalon Hill games of all time have you actually played and which games today have been played by the most people. Thus here is the top 20 games list in order and the poll.

Poll
Which of these games from the list of all time best selling games of Avalon Hill have you played at least once?
  Yes No
Outdoor Survival
Facts in Five
Panzerblitz
Squad Leader
Third Reich
Panzer Leader
Tactics II
Luftwaffe
Statis-Pro Baseball
Blitzkreig
Acquire
Football Strategy
Diplomacy
Paydirt
Midway
D-Day
Afrika Korps
Wizard's Quest
War at Sea
Feudal
      605 answers
Poll created by mrbeankc
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Mike Oberly
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I played every single game on this list, but I'm pretty sure I played Feudal most of all, so that's my vote.

Edit: misunderstood the question, so updated my vote.
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Steve
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I've played 5, but the copy of Diplomacy I played wasn't an Avalon Hill published one.
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Tiggo Morrison
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Quote:
but the copy of Diplomacy I played wasn't an Avalon Hill published one


ditto.
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Brian Williams
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stuarttigger wrote:
Quote:
but the copy of Diplomacy I played wasn't an Avalon Hill published one


ditto.


Me too. I don't suppose it's a complete accident that all three of us are British and the Gibson's version was cheaper and more widely available.

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Tom Swider
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The claim is interesting. There is a reasonable chance (world wide) that 100K copies of these games have been printed and sold to distributors of various types. I think AH treated their business as more of a book publishing effort than a game store. For example, KB Toy & Hobby would often have very large quantities of these games marked down to $4.Scored backup copies of Dune that way.
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Rob Francis
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I still have nightmares about Third Reich.

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Roy Bartoo
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I'v played 15 of those games, and of those 15, my most played would be Paydirt. We wore the numbers off a set of dice, played two complete seasons.
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Bill Eldard
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seacook wrote:
stuarttigger wrote:
Quote:
but the copy of Diplomacy I played wasn't an Avalon Hill published one


ditto.


Me too. I don't suppose it's a complete accident that all three of us are British and the Gibson's version was cheaper and more widely available.



Whereas I played Diplomacy on the AH edition, but Feudel on the 3M edition.
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Andy Parsons
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RandomLetters wrote:
I'v played 15 of those games, and of those 15, my most played would be Paydirt. We wore the numbers off a set of dice, played two complete seasons.


Paydirt is also my most played. Back in the mid-eighties when I had time on my hands, no regular opponent, and programming in BASIC was easy, I devised a simple programme to play against. I played a whole San Diego Chargers season ('78?) and tweaked the programme as I went along to reflect my play calling tendencies. By the end of the season the computer was gratifyingly tough to beat.

Paydirt is among six games on this list that I have definitely played. I recall playing something called Outdoor Survival by mail, but I'm not sure how close a relationship it bore to the boardgame, so I haven't said yes to that.
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I had thought I read somewhere that Outdoor Survival became one of the top selling games because the map board was used so much by early D&D gamers.

I only played it through VASSAL because I wanted to see what the gameplay was like.


Edit: D-Day. Outdoor Survival. Third Reich (currently). And Wizard's Quest, here. I HAVE Panzer Leader, but haven't played it yet.
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The only one I've never played is Football Strategy. We had a copy of Outdoor Survival in our high school library and games club and played that one regularly. Like oneoldgamer (below) I never understood the hate that sometimes rears itself for the game, it was fun. We were lucky the librarian was a gamer and allowed us one corner and two tables to leave unfinished games set up until the next afternoon. There were a lot of Diplomacy and Kingmaker fights in that corner. The games themselves were kept in the library office, not on the shelves, and couldn't be checked out.
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M King
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Lhowser wrote:
I had thought I read somewhere that Outdoor Survival became one of the top selling games because the map board was used so much by early D&D gamers.

I only played it through VASSAL because I wanted to see what the gameplay was like.


I read the same thing, but I thought the whole system was used, not just the board. Which makes sense, since it was like a proto-rpg with "hit points" and inventory and random encounters. I really don't understand all the hate for this game. My friends and I played it a ton. You had to make optimal choices and get a little bit of luck. Sure it was long, but a LOT of games back then were long. Sure, you died frequently, but that made it a challenge worth undertaking.

My most game on this list is either Feudal ( my friend and I both owned it and had huge battles combining both sets) or Blitzkrieg. We led the armies of the blue and pink nations into battle many times

Great idea posting this, thanks.
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Ben Delp
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I wouldn't call it hate, but my friends and I found Outdoor Survival incredibly BORING. So much so that we house ruled handguns so our counters could shoot each other and liven things up.

I will say that the counters are accidentally very funny. The final-stage "prone man" counter really is just begging to be someone's avatar.

I'm slightly embarrassed to say that I've probably played Wizard's Quest the most. Hope that doesn't wreck my wargamer cred. Well, who am I kidding? Of course it does.
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Wendell
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Exactly half, from the heavy (Third Reich) to the light (Feudal).
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Eric Johnson
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Facts in Five, Panzerblitz, Squad Leader, Panzer Leader,
Tactics II, Luftwaffe, Statis-Pro Baseball, Blitzkreig, Acquire,
Diplomacy, Midway, D-Day, Afrika Korps, War at Sea, Feudal
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Bruce Jurin
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I played 12 - but a lot depends on whther we are talking about AH versions. I played the original versions of Feudal, Facts in Five, and Acquire, and some versions of Diplomacy (don't even remember); these were clearly big sellers but are we talking about the AH version runs only?

In terms of hours played, Third Riech was a clear favorite of mine, I thought it was a great game for the time, until I played and became a lifetime World In Flames player. In terms of most games played on this list, probably Luftwaffe.

To me the most interesting thing about polls like this is remembering how great I thought the games wre back then, but when I compare them to what we have now ......

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Nick South
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Paydirt is my most played game on the list. I didn't get into war games until adulthood. I played about half the games on the list, but only a handful of times.
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Andrew MacLeod
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Weird...the only games I've played on that list are games that the majority of respondents haven't played! With two exceptions: Acquire and Diplomacy. Both Acquire and Diplomacy I've played the AH versions, as well as other editions in the case of Diplomacy.

OOPS! Squad Leader, I've played, too! shake
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Steven Mitchell
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As I write this, only seven have been played by half of those voting — only two of which by two-thirds. And six have been played by less than a third. Call me an old school curmudgeon, but that probably explains a lot of wargame wishy-washiness on BGG.
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Peter Collins
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Played 13 of them. Probably played Acquire the most. Lots of Feudal. because they were the ones I could get others to play.

Solitaire? Probably Panzer Leader.
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Michael McCalpin
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Great fun to see this poll. I wonder how different the answers would be to, "Which of these have you played since 1990?", because I for one have played exactly zero of them since 1990 though I had played twelve of them before then.
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Bruce Jurin
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mmccalpin wrote:
Great fun to see this poll. I wonder how different the answers would be to, "Which of these have you played since 1990?", because I for one have played exactly zero of them since 1990 though I had played twelve of them before then.


I may have played Diplomacy once or twice since 1990, none of the others on this list; however I have played other AH gamers not on the list. I've played Advanced Civilization and Dune, which we think IF you can get 5 or 6 players, is still an absolute classic. I've also played Magic Realm and Freedom in the Galaxy.

May say something about wargamers and 'big sellers' .......
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Andrew MacLeod
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And when, exactly, are we playing Churchill again?
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Breunor wrote:
mmccalpin wrote:
Great fun to see this poll. I wonder how different the answers would be to, "Which of these have you played since 1990?", because I for one have played exactly zero of them since 1990 though I had played twelve of them before then.


I may have played Diplomacy once or twice since 1990, none of the others on this list; however I have played otehrh AH gamers not ont he list. I've played Advanced Civilization and Dune, which we think IF you can get 5 or 6 players, is still an absolute classic. I've also played Magic Realm and Freedom in the Galaxy.

May say something about wargamers and 'big sellers' .......


I have played Outdoor Survival, Squad Leader (not ASL), Acquire and Diplomacy since 1990. I've also played other AH games not on the list (especially Wooden Ships&Iron Men) since that time.
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All but 5 for me (the naval games, two of the sports games, and Feudal).
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