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Subject: How do I get my board game group to play wargames? rss

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Jake Kolodny
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So I have always been into games that are often more complicated than most people are used to, and I have always loved wargames. While my board game group are all wargamers(As all of them are players of Paradox video games, as the group met up on the Paradox forums), we have never really played any complicated games, as often times they are all too lazy to read any rules in advance. When I showed them one game I wanted to play (Dragon Pass), they felt it was too complicated. I know they are capable of playing the games, but they just are not willing to. How should I go about changing this?
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Karan R
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One at a time with the topic they are interested in
Slow and steady
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Roger Hobden
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How about Viktory II ?

Never played, but it seems super-simple and quite abstract, so non-treathening.
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Roger Hobden
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Do they have any interest in a specific historical period ?

This is the usual starting point for historical wargamers.

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Jeff K
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Harshax wrote:
...While my board game group are all wargamers ... often times they are all too lazy to read any rules in advance .... they felt it was too complicated.


These statements are at direct odds with one another.
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Jake Kolodny
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Xookliba wrote:
Harshax wrote:
...While my board game group are all wargamers ... often times they are all too lazy to read any rules in advance .... they felt it was too complicated.


These statements are at direct odds with one another.


Think about it like this - they learned the rules for a few games awhile ago and haven't felt learning anything as complicated since.
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Rex Stites
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Xookliba wrote:
Harshax wrote:
...While my board game group are all wargamers ... often times they are all too lazy to read any rules in advance .... they felt it was too complicated.


These statements are at direct odds with one another.


You are inferring an implicit "board" before wargamers. The OP's post makes it clear that they play computer wargames.
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Jeff K
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Harshax wrote:
Xookliba wrote:
Harshax wrote:
...While my board game group are all wargamers ... often times they are all too lazy to read any rules in advance .... they felt it was too complicated.


These statements are at direct odds with one another.


Think about it like this - they learned the rules for a few games awhile ago and haven't felt learning anything as complicated since.


My point is that this attitude is not a harbinger of hope for you to introduce wargaming to your group, as this is not a trait that is common amongst folk who enjoy that particular genre.

I suspect that it may not really be a good fit for your group and that you may not have a good experience if you try and force the issue. If you are looking at multiplayer games, I would suggest something like Nexus Ops. Good luck!
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Ben Schomp
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Harshax wrote:
I know they are capable of playing the games, but they just are not willing to. How should I go about changing this?


Easy, you have to lie.

"This game is super simple."
"All the fun of an awesome wargame, none of the complicated rules!"

I never expect anyone to even pretend to open a rulebook before coming to gamenight. I'm hosting, its up to me to have the rules down cold and be able to explain them in a way that people can jump right in and play. Usually this means getting the basics out there, starting a turn and explaining the endgame conditions or odd exceptions once people are in the flow.

It sounds like your group plays games more on the fantasy side of things? Low complexity fantasy wargames you should be looking at are Nexus Ops and Wizard Kings.

Anything remotely hex-and-counter looking (like Dragon Pass) is going to scare any off anyone who isn't specifically looking for such a game. Other games to consider that have worked well for me are 1775: Rebellion and Cosmic Encounter.

Sure the games I've listed may or may not be true "wargames," but you can't just drop WiF on people ... its all about a little deception, dropping a piece of bait ... then reeling them in!
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Kent Reuber
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How many players will the be? Most wargames are 1 vs. 1. Some, e.g., Memoir '44: Operation Overlord involve two sides but with multiple players on a team. If you want multiple players all out for their own empire, there are fewer choices, but I can think of:

Warparty 4 player fantasy game
Dune A really good game. I plays best with 6. Dune has been re-themed as Rex: Final Days of an Empire.
Wizard Kings has already been mentioned.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Xookliba wrote:
My point is that this attitude is not a harbinger of hope for you to introduce wargaming to your group, as this is not a trait that is common amongst folk who enjoy that particular genre.

I suspect that it may not really be a good fit for your group and that you may not have a good experience if you try and force the issue. If you are looking at multiplayer games, I would suggest something like Nexus Ops. Good luck!

Jeff nailed it. Your best hope of getting your group to play the complex wargames you're interested in is at gunpoint (and that won't end well).

You need a buddy who's already interested in those games. If you can't find one locally consider finding one here and playing via Cyberboard or Vassal.
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Jack Stalica
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One game answer: Angola

This is a brilliant - and IMO best - multi-player war game out there. The rules and sub-systems are straightforward and not uber-complex. It does take time to play but it can be shortened with experience or played over two sessions.

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Jake Kolodny
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Sphere wrote:
Xookliba wrote:
My point is that this attitude is not a harbinger of hope for you to introduce wargaming to your group, as this is not a trait that is common amongst folk who enjoy that particular genre.

I suspect that it may not really be a good fit for your group and that you may not have a good experience if you try and force the issue. If you are looking at multiplayer games, I would suggest something like Nexus Ops. Good luck!

Jeff nailed it. Your best hope of getting your group to play the complex wargames you're interested in is at gunpoint (and that won't end well).

You need a buddy who's already interested in those games. If you can't find one locally consider finding one here and playing via Cyberboard or Vassal.

I think it all depends on how well Twilight Imperium goes, seeing as it is the most complicated game we will have played together.
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Roger Hobden
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1812: The Invasion of Canada is an ingenious, simple wargame for 2 to 5 players, that is designed with the possibility of playing any combination of teams, from 1 against 1, to 2 against 3).

If they find that game too complicated, then it would be best to consider them a lost cause, for the moment at least.

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Jack Stalica
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Mallet wrote:
1812: The Invasion of Canada is an ingenious, simple wargame for 2 to 5 players, that is designed with the possibility of playing any combination of teams, from 1 against 1, to 2 against 3).

If they find that game too complicated, then it would be best to consider them a lost cause, for the moment at least.



Too "Euro-y" IMO. Angola is a real war game.

Agree with the 2nd point though...
 
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Fredrik Norr Dax
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I could see something like Battle Cry: 150th Civil War Anniversary Edition or Memoir '44 work well. They look darn attractive and are easy to teach. Once they've been introduced to those, you might be able to introduce them to heavier games.
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Jack Stalica
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AFnord wrote:
I could see something like Battle Cry: 150th Civil War Anniversary Edition or Memoir '44 work well. They look darn attractive and are easy to teach. Once they've been introduced to those, you might be able to introduce them to heavier games.


Yeah, got to admit that MM'44 is a good way to go - but only for intro's sake.

I hate the game for anything else.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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jstalica wrote:
Mallet wrote:
1812: The Invasion of Canada is an ingenious, simple wargame for 2 to 5 players, that is designed with the possibility of playing any combination of teams, from 1 against 1, to 2 against 3).

If they find that game too complicated, then it would be best to consider them a lost cause, for the moment at least.



Too "Euro-y" IMO. Angola is a real war game.

Agree with the 2nd point though...

Too Euro-y for whom? He said he's teaching them Twilight Imperium, and pinning his hopes on that.
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Brad Miller
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Weuros come to mind.

Friedrich or Maria perhaps Perikles,. Two player I'd suggest Hammer of the Scots or Washington's War or Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage. Multiplayer CDG I'd suggest Successors (third edition).
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Jack Stalica
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No way for Successors - No Berg garbage please.

What? Do you want to turn them away from war games permanently by this chrome-y mess?
 
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Roger Hobden
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jstalica wrote:
No way for Successors - No Berg garbage please.

? ? ? ? ?

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Pstt …

You should order this from Amazon before continuing to post anything on BGG



whistle

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Greg Sager
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Start with a non-wargame, like "Twilight Struggle'.
Tell them it's like "Risk".
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Ron A
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Couple of ideas:

Spearpoint 1943 taught that to a Navy pilot buddy who knows abot Medal of Honor and stuff like that, but never played a (board) war game before. One drawback, only 2 player.

Nuclear War might be way too much towards thematic side of the scale, but again, another game you can easily teach to people that have no exposure to board war games

Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game don't have it but seems like it would be easy to learn

1944: Race to the Rhine another one I don't have, but as a (w)euro hybrid this might work out

 
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Lance Runolfsson
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Try holding a gun to their heads.
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Confusion Under Fire
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Sometimes a wargame can be learnt by one player and he can then explain it to the other players in a much simpler way than reading the rules. It really depends ow much wargame knowledge they already have. I wouldn't like to teach someone about movement allowances, movement points and terrain factors if they were going to lose interest soon after but if they already have a decent knowledge of how these things work then you might just be able to teach someone the nuances of each individual game.
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