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Subject: Modern warfare, askind for advice rss

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Jordi Ros
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Having enjoyed the nice, easy (and quite gamey) Boots on the Ground i am searching for a nice squad level modern warfare game. Already have my eyes upon Lock 'n Load Tactical: Day of Heroes, but i want to know the experts' opinion out there, what other game could you reccomend?
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Jon Gautier

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Fire Team
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Andrew N
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It's not quite "modern" anymore, but Firepower is quite versatile.
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Kent Reuber
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wernervoss wrote:
It's not quite "modern" anymore, but Firepower is quite versatile.


Firepower uses counters for individual soldiers rather than squads.

The term "___ level" can be used in two ways: it's either the size of the individual unit or the size of a typical action. So a "platoon level" game could have platoon-sized unit counters or it could use fire teams or individual soldiers to form an action that is about platoon size.
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John Cleaver
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I haven't played it yet, but Ambush Alley looked pretty good and it's on my wish list. If you want a "heavier" game, MBT (First Edition) is great and is on the P500 list at GMT, as well as available on Ebay.
 
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Jordi Ros
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Actually i think the individual units in Firepower make it interesting, i am not sure about its availability... I was thinking about something more easy to find...
 
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p55carroll
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desper_taferro wrote:
Actually i think the individual units in Firepower make it interesting, i am not sure about its availability... I was thinking about something more easy to find...

Used copies of Firepower are pretty easy to find, IME. And it's a very good game--worth taking a look at.

In fact, here is a copy available in Spain right now, for 40 euros.

Also it's the all-time favorite of
Judy Krauss
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... and she evidently has a LOT of wargaming experience.
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Marcus
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I'd stick with a Lock'N Load game if you want a modern era tactical game. The only L'NL modern era game currently in print is Lock 'n Load: Forgotten Heroes – Vietnam, 2nd edition plus the expansion ANZAC Attack.

MBT (second edition) is another option if you want a detailed tactical armour game with infantry squads playing a secondary role. Lock'N Load focuses on infantry and is less complex and detailed in comparison to MBT.

I like Lock 'n Load Tactical: Day of Heroes, but it is out of print and less versatile (in terms of units and scenario potential) than Forgotten Heroes. I also like Lock 'n Load: A Ring of Hills, but that has been out of print for awhile but should be reprinted soon.

I'd actually not recommend Firepower due to all the weapon charts and list of modifiers (ie. choose burst or semiauto fire, look up range, look up to hit number, +/- modifiers, then roll to hit) which slows down the pace of the game.

Lock'N Load plays faster, looks better, and is well supported by Line of Fire magazine (new units, new scenarios).

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p55carroll
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Speaking of Lock 'n Load, there's also Lock 'n Load: Heroes of the Gap. Hypothetical, but modern.
 
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Jason Cawley
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Boots and Saddles is a platoon level game with single vehicle or squad steps.

On the computer there is Combat Mission Shock Force, set in Syria.

Everything else out there is pretty poor in comparison to those two, IMO. Just as game designs, I mean
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Zigi Hogan
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What's it going to be then, eh?
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The only modern warfare game that I play much (I have a couple more but they haven't been played as yet) is Operation Anaconda. It is a good game by Joseph Miranda that uses a chit pull mechanic (I'm not a huge fan of chit pull but I am warming up to it, thanks Chariots of Fire!) and a lot of hidden information (which in this game is great fun!).

I am not sure how easily you are able to get S&T, Modern Warfare, etc. on the continent but this issue of S&T (#276) can be found rather cheaply online.

I'm not sure if this helps at all but there it is!
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R K
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Operation Anaconda is a good game. It's interesting because it models an actual conflict that happened, has actual orders of battle for the different Western forces, and has some neat mechanics for simulating the role of civilians, media, intelligence, and airpower in these kind of conflicts. I believe counters mostly represent individual platoons.

Another game at a similar scale and with interesting mechanics is Into the Bear Trap from Against the Odds that showcases the Russians in Grozny, Chechnya. I would say it's a bit more finicky and not terribly well balanced, but it is cheap and easy to find and provides an interesting take on urban operations.
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joe mcgrath
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I've considered Into The Bear Trap - the only game I know of about this fascinating battle, but I just can't get past a map depicting urban combat in Grozny rendered in pastel colors. Irrational, I know, but I'm stuck there. That and it uses those annoying Soviet-style unit symbols instead of the familiar NATO ones.

Another squad-level modern urban combat game is Phantom Fury, which simulates the Marine takedown of Fallujah in November, 2004. This is a game that's gotten good reviews and is visually striking, witH beautiful map and counter graphics. I really wanted to like this game, but it just didn't work for me. In fact, my lightly-used copy is on sale on eBay at a bargain price as we speak...
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Mike Hoyt

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I really like Force on Force for modern tactical. I'm not a painter so I use the figures from Battlefield Evolution which are often available on e-bay.
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Prawn King
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Anaconda I can agree with if you are looking for a fixed scenario with a lot of period flavour and multi-national, multi-service units to deal with.
I thought it was good and it played out like a documentary on the subject. You might find the rules just slightly daunting if you are new to the hobby.

I put out an AAR on the games own page if you are interested.
Best wishes,
Andy
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Jason Cawley
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Unfortunately, "Firepower" kind of sucked as a game design. Very, very dated by now. If you like that sort of thing, though, there is a superior version of it for the computer called Tac Ops. Also a dated computer game at this point, but at least you get double blind etc.
 
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p55carroll
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JasonC wrote:
Unfortunately, "Firepower" kind of sucked as a game design.

That's a matter of taste. This review gives a fair description of the game's pluses and minuses, I think.

Quote:
Very, very dated by now.

If you mean there are no weapons or scenarios for the years since about 1985, yeah. Thirty years of modern combat are missing from the game.

But if you mean the art of game design has advanced so far that this old game isn't worth playing, IMO that's just not so. Wargames published today may emphasize different things and feature different mechanisms, and some players may have gotten used to the newer style--but that's all. It's a matter of taste. I suppose if you're coming from a Boots on the Ground perspective (as the OP is), FP might seem quaint and old-fashioned. But it's a helluva lot less gamey and more realistic (despite all its shortcomings).
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Marcus
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Good review of Firepower, just read it.

In terms of game design, I think Firepower is as good as or not better as it's contemporaries in most aspects.

I do like the chit method of activation which creates uncertainty, randomness and the fluctuating initiative of close quarter battle. The action point system is still used in modern computer games like the Jagged Alliance series, the isometric Fallout games and XCOM (usually turn based tactical games).

What I didn't like about Firepower was the constant need to refer to charts and tables. Throw a grenade, check the grenade spread diagram, roll a die. Check blast damage and add modifiers and so on. Combat resolution with ranged weapons was even more painful.

The combat mechanics used by Firepower are a good example in my mind of the number and data crunching work that computers do so well but if used in paper wargames, are often not fun, klunky, fiddly and slow down the pace of the game (by too large a degree).

Platoon, a stripped down design based on Firepower, might be more enjoyable and quicker playing.

Tactical wargames imo should play quickly in order to try and capture some of the immediacy and quickly changing fluid nature of combat. Hard to do that if you need to spend a couple of minutes resolving the effects of a single machine gun burst.
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p55carroll
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monstrooper wrote:
Tactical wargames imo should play quickly in order to try and capture some of the immediacy and quickly changing fluid nature of combat. Hard to do that if you need to spend a couple of minutes resolving the effects of a single machine gun burst.

I know what you mean. But sometimes I've appreciated just the opposite.

Gunslinger is a pretty extreme example. Players might spend several minutes drawing, cocking, and aiming before a shot finally gets fired. In effect, it's a slow-motion gunfight--and that's very cool! My feeling when I used to play it was Wow, this is great: In real life I wouldn't have a second to think about any of this, but in the game I can explore just how everything works.

A lot of old wargames were basically time-and-motion studies. They weren't supposed to capture the real-time action; they slowed everything down and segmented it into phases so that players could analyze it all in a fairly leisurely way.
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Thibault Nguyen
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Hi Jordi,

the game URBAN OPERATION by Nuts! Publishing should match your interest!

Check it out: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/179251/urban-operations
In pre-order since yesterday, already more than 120.

There is also an interesting interview with the author:
http://bigboardgaming.com/urban-operations/
 
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