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Subject: Help me choose new card driven wargame rss

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Loveland
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I was in the same boat—Paths is loved here on the Geek, but I have zero interest in that particular war. So I waited for the reprint of WW2:BtB. I have yet to get it to the table, but Chris Farrell's session report gives me hope.

http://homepage.mac.com/c_farrell/iblog/C1070818615/E2006081...


Bottom line for me is: My wargame time (and money) is slim and precious, so I don't want to waste it on themes I don't care about. Get what you know and like.
 
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Kevin Moody
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Ditto to everything Pete said.
 
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Rich Shipley
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I'm not sure why someone would consider were the genre is heading when making choice of which game to play. In any case, aren't the recent Empire of the Sun, Epic of the Peloponnesean War, and Triumph of Chaos toward the heavier end?

I'm also not sure if most card games are all that great for solitaire play. If I was playing solo, I'd probably go with games where you pull activation chits. It provides some unpreditability and you don't have to pretend you don't know what the other you knows.
 
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Jeffrey D Myers
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In order of speed of play, shortest to longest (with the primary scenarios), it goes Twilight Struggle, Wilderness War, Shifting Sands, then BtB/PoG. All excellent games!
 
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Jeffrey D Myers
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The avatar is quite nice!
 
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Chester
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I've played most of the games mentioned. Here's my take:

Paths of Glory: The one I most want to play, if I could pick any of them. I am well-versed in WWII history, but very very little on WWI. I played Barbarossa to Berlin first and thougt I'd like it better. Truthfully, PoG seems to be a bit more fun. There just are more fronts, more different ways you can choose to apply pressure to your opponent. I also enjoy the hand management from the staggered decks, which B2B has only the two-part decks to PoG's 3.

Barbarossa to Berlin: A fun over-view of the ETO of WWII. There is a huge Blitzkrieg massacre of the Russians early, but the cards, weather rules and time eventually swing things back the other direction. North Africa is a fun side theater, but doesn't usually make a huge impact. One frustration with PoG is that the US really don't ever enter the game. With B2B they will. The amphibious invasions are fun events.

Wilderness War: It has not been my experience that WW is all that much shorter than PoG or B2B. Certainly not as short as Twilight Struggle. I love the theme and the production of the game, but the common draw deck is a negative to me. Disparities in the luck of the draw seem to be compounded with a common deck...because if I draw a great hand...the chances are better that you drew a crappy one. Certain reinforecement cards can have a large impact, and if not drawn make things much harder. Also, I never have felt comfortable with the French strategy. I know people say you should do Indian raids, but I have never been able to get enough VPs that way to stay in contention.

Shifting Sands: This is a game with a very very similar engine to Paths of Glory. There are a few significant differences. I find less tension in deciding to play cards for OPS or events, because much more of the events bestow move/attack marker placements. However, some of the events seem more interesting. When Torch occurs, there are massive changes to the game as a whole new front emerges complete with dozens of units. I really enjoy this one, but my guess is that it will settle in behind PoG and maybe B2B on the replayability list. I have a personal interest in this particular theater of WWII, so part of my appreciation for the game may be based on that.

Twilight Struggle: This has a boisterous following, but I'm not an enthusiast. I like a lot of the facets of the game. I really dig the innovations this game brings. But I just feel like the luck of the draw and the 50/50 nature of many die rolls just introduce too much luck for this game to be satisfying to play. There are a couple cards that, while they may not be "broken" are certainly not fun. Red Scare/Red Purge for example. If you happen to draw this one 2 or 3 times cycling through the deck....that's probably the game. If your opponent plays it on you more than once, it can be very frustrating. Plusses for TS are that it plays in a short amount of time, has low complexity, and many people find the theme fresh and engaging.

The game you really want is probably Hannibal. That's short enough and fun. Its also going to be pretty tough to obtain a copy. Short of that, if you are willing to master the rules and become familiar with a few playings....Paths of Glory is my recommendation. Sure, its got a following on the Geek. But there's also a good reason for that. If your interest in the era suggests B2B or Shifting Sands instead, I dont' think you can go wrong with either of those.
 
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Bill Eldard
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Ditto to everything Pete said.


I concur.
 
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Jeff Thompson
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I skimmed the responses but didn't see anyone answer your question about the new version of B2B.

In short one of the complaints about B2B is that the Axis can play nothing but Ops in the first few turns and grind the Soviets to dust. There's no chance for the Soviets to play their Events which add to their war production when the tide turns.

The new version allows for more of the Soviet cards to be played as both Ops and Events. This allows the Soviets to respond militarily against the onslaught of the Axis while being able to build up the Events that make the game fun.

Will this create a new Axis strategy that doesn't require 100% Ops from the start of the game? Or is it merely a way to rebalance the game against the current best play strategies? Only time will tell.

This is a very good discussion about what most consider the top of the CDG wargames. (I'd add For the People is a good game but specific to the American Civil War and may not be interesting to you.)
 
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Jay Stainbrook
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"Paths of Glory" and "Twilight Struggle" share the card-driven mechanic, but feel like entirely different games with very different playing times. Maybe picking a wargame by mechanic is not the way to go? I don't know, I'm just asking. Classy avatar.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/16398
 
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Severus Snape
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Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
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Pax Romana is not really a CDG--just read what Berg & Company have to say. If it was really a card driven game, then it would tank to the bottom of the depths. And this comes from a guy who rates Pax a "10."

BtB is more akin to card-driven-drivel. It seems so scripted and forced as to feel robotic. In addition, you have the frustration of not being able to do anything in Africa, or in the West, while you are in the midst of Barbarossa. If you have read one decent book on WWII in Europe, you know how maddening, and how much of a farce, BtB is. On the other hand, the components are first class and it looks pretty. It's also card-driven-drivel. goo
 
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Necessary Evil
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No one has mentioned For the People. I am also buying a lot of CDG's of late and For the People is high on my list. I also picked up 30 years war super cheap on ebay. It may not be the best CDG but with the latest rules it appears playable.

-M
 
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Jay Stainbrook
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malloc wrote:
No one has mentioned For the People.

-M


I was going to suggest "Blue vs Grey", but I figured the ACW much like the American War for Independence might not interest a Welshman.
 
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Severus Snape
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Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
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Owen 1815 wrote:
Bentlarson. Thanks for your comments. Feel free to come off the fence and tell me what you really think about the games!? Don't be shy. Gotta be honest I just checked your profile out as I was entrigued by your forthrightness, I notice you have also rated 101 other games at a "10" which leaves me bemused? Also 47 games rated as 1? I'm not really sure what my question is but I can't help but feel I should be asking one. "What gives?"


Me?! Sit on a fence?! Only if I am nailed to it.

Owen, I have a nefarious plot to undermine from within, the ratings' system on BGG.

We all know how purely objective it is, how rational and how scientific (this is where I wish I could write with all the colour and flair of GROGnads). My evil desire is to warp the ratings' system; here's my plan (shhh . . . don't tell anyone):

If I really like a game, I will rate it a "10."
If I am unsure, indifferent, or it leaves me going "whatever," a "5."
If it blows like a hurricane, or sucks like there is no tomorrow, a "1."

So, tell me, Owen, what are my chances of blowing up the BGG ratings' system "real good"?

I am not into this nonsense of: 2.3 or 3.5 or 9.455. Those who leave such ratings either a) have way too much time on their hands; b) lost their chance to "get a life" back in 1983; c) are trying to create the ultimate game called "splitting hairs" or "how many angels can dance on the head of a Geek?"; d) have way too much (self-) confidence in their ability to "rate" games; or e) all of the above.

Owen, if you read my profile, you saw my use of the F.E, Adock comment. It helps me to remember that how we rate games is not a science, but an art, and art is subjective. Perhaps science is as well, but that is another debate for another day, and by heads more scientific then my own. Adock also reminds me to have a bit of humility in my "diatribes from way on high" (even in this one) about games, history or life.

Way too many geeks treat the whole ratings' system, or a particular game, or genre of games, as if they are reincarting the Christian-Muslim wars of the Crusades. "Agree with my opinion or I'll cut your head off while I scream ULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULUL!" Besides being loud, such behaviour is hard on one's throat.

I "love" certain games. I feel blessed (and for me, the term "blessed" has spiritual overtones) that I have these games, that I sometimes have time to play them, that there are great geeks who have traded with me, and so forth.

Owen, read my "1" ratings for WWII:BtB (barf to bag) and TNW (The Nutball Wars pretending to be a wargame about The Napoleonic Wars) to see me, ahem, at my "lowest." And if you look at my top ten, you'll see me, well, you can finish the sentence.

Glad you like Pax. And if you get BtB and love it, I won't call you in Wales and scream ULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULULUL! Promise.

goo




 
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Severus Snape
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Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
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Owen,
I am part mature thinker, part goof, and that sort of thing. My comments must be taken with the proverbial grain of salt, or maybe even a 5kg bag of salt. I am waiting to see what happens as a result of my comments about the 9.4555 type ratings. There could be a bunch of "what the . . . ." as a conseqence. gulp goo
 
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Klaus Knechtskern
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Owen,

if your visit Essen maybe its possible to presuade you in person to select POG. Me and my main gaming buddy knew nearly nothing special of WWI when we started playing POG. My buddy till now bought approx. 20 books on WWI to get more knowledge...
 
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Stuart Connor
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Owen 1815 wrote:
As for Wilderness war, I had pencilled that a long time ago but there literally is no supply in Britain.


I picked up a copy from Second Chance Games a couple of weeks ago, it's still listed on the website so maybe there is at least one more copy available.

http://www.secondchancegames.com/




 
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Steve
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I bought PoG 2 weeks or so ago. My first real wargame. I've obviously never played BtB but PoG is *great.* I recommend it. I've figured out a way to play solo that works for me and doesn't split my brain in half and have already started playing cyberboard games--I don't have any local opponents and the game is long.

Don't be intimidated. You'll miss some of the exceptions in the first 2-3 games. But the game is great and seems really well balanced to me with just a little allied advantage. There are many fronts to concentrate or ignore and that's what I really love about it.
 
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Robert R
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I've only played Shifting Sands and TS, both great but very different games. I'd say go with the historical period that interests you the most. This aspect alone influences GREATLY how much I want to play one of these gems (sometimes more so than nifty mechanics).

Me? I love the north african campaign, WWII in general, american civil war (have both B2B and FtP but never played), and the Cold War.
 
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Andrew Young
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What did you choose Owen?
 
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Tiggo Morrison
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Owen,

Which CDG did you choose in the end? I'm just at the start of my quest for one, after having just surfaced from a very heavy session of "Epic of the Peloponnesian War", I agree with wht you said, a bit too heavy on administration for my tastes. Anyway, at the moment I am torn between "Paths of Glory" and "Triumph of Chaos".

Hasta etc,

Tig.
 
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