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Subject: What should my first Hex and Counter game be? rss

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Kevin Chamberlain
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I have 3 qualifications:

1) The game must still be in print. (That leaves out ASL doesn't it?)
2) Must have a lot of counters and rules. As complicated as you can with these guidelines.
3) Must be available for purchase NOW.

I have never, ever played a war game with just counters. My war games to date are Memoir 44 and Axis and Allies. I want one with great flexibility with dynamic beginning setup, unlike A&A.

Please help me out. I have been purchasing a lot of game lately and now the wife won't let me get another until Christmas. And I can only get one at Christmas so it has to be one that knocks my socks off! Remember, the more rules and chits it has the better!

Thanks
 
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Mike Betzel
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You may want to check out Viktory II. It isn't all that complex but it certainly has a lot of flexibility and every game is different due to the random terrain tile setup. Comes with lots of terrain hex tiles, puzzle-like border tiles to hold it together and plenty of small plastic figures although there are only four types (infantry, cavalry, cannon and frigate).

I'm not much into war games so I can't suggest anything else and I'm sure there are plenty of other titles that fit the bill. Still, when you mentioned dynamic beginning setup, Viktory II immediately popped into my head.
 
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Kevin Moody
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Quote:
And I can only get one at Christmas so it has to be one that knocks my socks off! Remember, the more rules and chits it has the better!
There's only one game for you.

GMT's A World at War. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/7614

Let us know how it goes?


 
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David Bohnenberger
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Well, there are a LOT of choices. If you're really looking for "lots of rules, lots of counters", the whole Gamers/MMP Operational Combat Series would do. There's also GMT's East Front series, but I notice that only Army Group South is still in stock, so maybe that's not the best of them.

One that I actually played to completion last year and was extremely impressed with was GMT's Ardennes '44. See http://www.gmtgames.com/nna4/main.html. And there are still a few copies in stock. IIRC you can alter the starting setup within limits.
 
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Bruce
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Jumping from A&A to Mega seems crazed, but if you're looking for the Mega of Megas in print:

-Advanced Squad Leader Rules + Beyond Valor
-World in Flames Final Edition

Now, if you want a hex and counter-based wargame you'll actually ever play, I would recommend:

-The Russian Campaign (Avalon Hill 3rd Edition - Ebay, or L2DesignGroup 4th Edition)
-ASL Starter Kit # 1
-Lock & Load
-Target Arnhem (Free from Multiman Publishing)
 
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James Lowry
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As you should have gathered by now, ASL is in print. (There are modules that aren't, but the parts you need to get started are.)

But really, it comes down to what interests you? You've given some indications, like the dynamic start. You say you don't mind lots of rules and counters, but I'd be cautious of getting in over your head the first time.

Are there any periods of history you're interested in? Are you a SF or Fantasy nut? Are you interested in the grand sweep of a war, or would you like to work on some tactical challenges?

Without that, I can say most everything mentioned so far would not be a bad choice. The Russian Campaign in particular isn't as heavy as you say you want, but is a classic that will stand a lot of playing. (And gets of to a fast start with the initial German attack demolishing the Russian frontier.)

ASL has a large 3-ring binder for a rule book (for adding in extra sections and corrections later). But requires purchase of Beyond Valor as well. (Maybe you can use this to pressure your wife into getting 'two' items.) Assuming you get it and like it, there'll be plenty more to buy that add on to the basic framework. Also, the Journals are afforable on their own and have extra scenarios too. Anyway, if a detailed system of WWII tactical combat sounds of interest, you may wish to pursue this. (Without the 'most bang for the item', I would recommend you get your feet wet with a Starter Kit though.)

Star Fleet Battles is a tactical game of starship combat in a variant of the original Star Trek's universe. It is, in its way as detailed as ASL, but it tends to a low counter density (2, often; a late war Kzinti fleet can put a surprising number of counters on the board, but I don't recommend that...). As a game system, the initial Basic Set also has a lot of replaying in it as you try out the different races and ship types. Federation Commander is a faster and simpler version that also handles fleet actions (more counters) better.

Both of these have the advantage of being large games that are also small in the scope of an individual scenario.

Hmm. I'm about to betray my ignorance of the current state of the industry. What are current 'big games' for the ACW and Napoleonics? (For my own info as well. I'd like to know what would the current equivalent to VG's The Civil War be?)
 
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bill betts
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If you are interested in DAK2 then I would reccommend Afrika by MMP. It has the same map as DAK at a larger scale (smaller map). Some of the concepts are the same but Afrika is much easier to learn and play. A good warm up for DAK@
 
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Chris Drake
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Agreed, Afrika II is a fun game but I don't know about playing it and then jumping to DAK II. He did say he wanted one with a whole bunch of counters though.
 
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Scott Alden
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Why not just give regular Squad Leader a try?
 
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Leo Zappa
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TedTorgerson wrote:
1) The game must still be in print. (That leaves out ASL doesn't it?)

check

2) Must have a lot of counters and rules. As complicated as you can with these guidelines.

check


3) Must be available for purchase NOW.

check, or money order for $400 plus shipping.



http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/22843

Have fun. I think this one will keep you occupied until Christmas, say 2050.


Yes - this would be the perfect choice - 9000 counters and 7 full size maps. Basically build an addition onto your house devoted to this game, quit your job, get delivery pizza every night for dinner, and you might have a chance to finish this game in the same amount of time as the war itself took!
 
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Jeff Paul
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The thing about ASL, is that it is not "one game"

There is the rulebook:

Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook $80

Then 12 base modules

Beyond Valor ASL Module 1 $95
Paratrooper ASL Module 2 OOP, Retired
Yanks ASL Module 3 $60
Partisan! ASL Module 4 $15
West of Alamein ASL Module 5a OOS
For King and Country ASL Module 5b $80
The Last Hurrah ASL Module 6 $35
Hollow Legions Module 7 $38
Code of Bushido Module 8 OOS
Gung Ho! ASL Module 9 $65
Croix de Guerre ASL Module 10 $45
Doomed Battalions ASL Module 11 $72
Armies of Oblivion ASL Module 12 $112

Then the starter kits

ASL Starter Kit #1 (OOS, Reprinting) $24
ASL Starter Kit #2 $28
ASL Starter Kit #3 $34

And let's not forget the Historical modules, Journals and third party products. Good luck if you can call this "one game"

One other issue, though there are over 400 published scenarios, you had stated you wanted a dynamic set up. Many scenarios have fairly restricted starting positions (though many do have a fair amount of flexibility).

Your best answer, this is a big game system, and a big step up. Find someone to help you through the learning curve. Good luck


 
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Wolfgang Kunz
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BooChihuahua wrote:
I have 3 qualifications:

1) The game must still be in print. (That leaves out ASL doesn't it?)
2) Must have a lot of counters and rules. As complicated as you can with these guidelines.
3) Must be available for purchase NOW.

I have never, ever played a war game with just counters. My war games to date are Memoir 44 and Axis and Allies. I want one with great flexibility with dynamic beginning setup, unlike A&A.

Thanks


Why do I think that you are joking us? So you played Memoir and A&A and now want to do something more?

I second or third "A world at War". But you may also consider "World in Flames Deluxe" with all of the expansions included. devil

Other games are the mentioned "War in the Pacific Reprint edition" - yes, go for this. Or maybe "Wacht am Rhein" or "Streets of Stalingrad". They might come short on the rulebook (under 100 pages) but they have maps and counters enough.

My suggestion: Try to agree with missy on a sum of money (in telling her how much War in the Pacific for example cost) and then go and buy some wargames from GMT / MMP or where-ever and build up on complexity and theme.

Otherwise, if you not really someone who bites his teeth deep into something for a good deal of time, you're wasting your money (IMHO) and just earn frustration.
 
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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Hold on....

Wacht am Rhein or A World at War are TINY games...

check out WAR IN THE PACIFIC

Exactly what you want: lot's of counters: 9000 and lots of maps.
AND lots of rules for only 420 US$!!

Hope to read your session report in 2010 when your first game ended.

Good luck!

-sorry, just noted Ted has recommended this one already, anyhow another vote for WAR IN THE PACIFIC-
 
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Scott
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Two suggestions

Target: Arnhem- Free from MMP's website. It doesn't have a ton of counters but it will definitly be a step up from what you've been playing-and all you pay for is shipping!

Squad Leader- I found plain, old basic Squad Leader to be a great intro to hex-and-counter games. It meets most of your standards and is much easier to get into than even the ASL starter kits because it has a programmed instruction book and much cleaner rules that than the starter kit. Plus, its a good first step into ASL, there are differences but Squad Leader has many of the same basic concepts. Should be pretty cheap on Ebay or here-perhaps you can get it in trade.
 
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Kevin Chamberlain
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Thanks for the replies everyone!

I am not joking at all, I want my next war game to be a Hex and Counter game with a lot of depth. I am still looking at each game mentioned so far. Thanks again. I'll let you know what I've decided.
 
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Manuel Pombeiro
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Aldie wrote:
Why not just give regular Squad Leader a try?


It's OOP, and that's one of the conditions stated!! LOL
 
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Hilary Hartman
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There are multiple copies of the original Squad Leader for sale on Ebay, right now...

It's a great introduction to a much broader wargaming world!
 
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Adam Starkweather
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Just my two cents here as a wargamer for over 30 years...

You don't get depth with complexity. In fact, it is most often the opposite. Complexity to depth is pretty much inversly proportional. Rules tend to push play into defined areas - the more rules, the fewer choices.

So the game with the most complexity is very different from the one with the most depth of play.

Just my opinion of course

Adam

 
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Thumis Dalidalisa
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I'd recommend "Bitter Woods." This has a lot of excitement and some "chrome" within a nice clean set of rules. It's balanced has nice components. It's been through many editions and is now as polished and clear as a diamond. Designer Randy Heller is also quite dedicated and responds to inquires promptly.

Check out the replays at ConSimWorld for more of a feel.
 
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Chris Milne
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One thing I haven't seen anyone ask is: what period of history are you interested in?

ASL is a good recommendation for flexibility and variety, but it's not cheap and I honestly think you'd be better off finding a local ASL player and using their set to play (if you're anywhere near a big city, there's bound to be a few). Try before you buy. It may not be to everyone's taste, but there are also plenty of people that would rather play ASL than any other game.

I'm not honestly convinced that going for a big complex game is your best course of action, though. So I'll recommend something smaller, cheaper, and easier to play: A Victory Lost from MMP. Great fun, pretty damn good history, and it's about to become generally available (once it finishes shipping to the pre-orderers).
 
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Michael Von Ahnen
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If you games to date are Memior '44 and Axis and Allies, I would not recommend ASL. It is several orders of magnitude more complicated. If this is the direction you want to go, you should do the Starter Kits.

The Russian Campaign is a moderately complicated hex and counter game. It is my favorite for this level of complexity.
 
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