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Subject: The results are in ... rss

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Alecc
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2014 Golden Geeks, Wargame category:

Winner - Fire in the Lake
Runner Up -The Battle of Five Armies
Runner Up - 1944: Race to the Rhine

Thoughts?
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Mike Oberly
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FitL is my wargame of the year, the other two aren't really wargames as most of the people in this forum view them. (I realize that some wouldn't regard FitL as a wargame, either) I have The Battle of Five Armies, and I think it's a very good game, but not a historical wargame. (obviously) I have not played 1944: Race to the Rhine, but I do know it's more of a euro/ hybrid with a historical theme than a wargame - again, as most in this forum view them.

Looks like a pretty typical BGG best wargames award. It is what it is, and it doesn't bother me.
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Yodlaf Peterson
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My own "Sergio" for the best wargame(s) of 2014 goes to:

The Finnish Trilogy (MikuGames)

Runner-up: Yellow Jack (Red Sash Games)
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Val Ruza
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It is an accurate representation of what the majority of BGG users like and think are wargames. I am pleased that the publishers, designers and artists of those games were recognized for a job well done.
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Eddy Sterckx
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Fire in the Lake is a well-deserved winner, but I would have liked to see Heroes of Normandie in the top-3 as well.

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Geoff C
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fitl....totally over rated imo.
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Well I said it in the main thread and I'll paraphrase it here, I now have the same respect for the Golden Geek awards as I do for the Mensa Awards for best board games.

But now onto my thoughts for the wargame category. FitL is a good game, certainly no worse than the previous three COIN games that have preceded it. But it's been done before and as such I don't think it provides anything revolutionary or evolutionary to the genre.

I'll say the same about tBoFA. It's an excellent 2-player game using tried and true mechanics from WotR. It does a great job of immersing you in the battle and provides tough choices in card/hand management.

Race to the Rhine is a Weuro in my book. Perhaps even more on the Euro side. WWII theme alone does not make a wargame. But them's probably fightin words for another hundred threads on what defines a wargame.

I think my choice would have gone to Codeword Cromwell: The German Invasion of England, 8 June 1940 or perhaps even Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game. There's a game that's managed to take the solo wargame down to a tactical team level with some innovative game mechanism evolved from the DVG commander series. As for multi-player wargaming, I might have even gone with 1714: The Case of the Catalans which uses the CDG mechanics but has interesting ways to increase/decrease your will to fight which in turn affects you options. Again, innovation as well as a lesser covered war topic.

Anyway, FWIW, there's my 2 cents worth. Cheers.
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R K
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I must be missing something, I don't see any wargames on that list...
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Øivind Karlsrud
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My vote for 2014 would go to Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe. I'm sure
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would agree.

It's definitely a wargame, I think it's way more fun than COIN (although I haven't played FitL), and since FitL is the fourth COIN-game, USE is much more innovative too.
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Andrew N
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I'd have a agree with the previous expressed sentiment that it fits with what I would expect from this site, which is dedicated to board games in general and not wargames specifically. At least FitL won, I'd have been more disappointed if either of the runners up had. That said, I was pretty bummed out when I saw the selection for voting, so I was pretty sure I'd be unimpressed with the result.
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Jim F
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wernervoss wrote:
I'd have a agree with the previous expressed sentiment that it fits with what I would expect from this site, which is dedicated to board games in general and not wargames specifically. At least FitL won, I'd have been more disappointed if either of the runners up had. That said, I was pretty bummed out when I saw the selection for voting, so I was pretty sure I'd be unimpressed with the result.


At the risk of just being an echo, my thoughts match very closely those of Andrew. It's bothered me in the past but now I accept it's just a feature of life on BGG.

I haven't bought FitL as something about the way my brain is wired up makes the COIN series a struggle rather than a pleasure - I respect the design rather than enjoy it. I did watch Mark Herman's video on it and that was a lot of fun, but mainly because he's a really interesting guy to listen to. I'd play it if I was asked though.

Battle of the Five Armies looked okay but I don't have a strong interest in fantasy so I took a pass on that one.

I have played a couple of games of RttR and while I think it's a well-designed games and almost bought it just because it looks so beautiful, it is definitely on the euro side and I felt a lack of engagement with the way conflict was resolved - essentially matching them with certain types of supply.

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R K
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Though it doesn't meet my criteria of a wargame, I would be interested in trying a COIN game, possibly A Distant Plain because I'm interested in the topic. They must be good games on some level given the success.

But a big part of me just doesn't get Volko Ruhnke...am I alone here? I don't care for Wilderness War at all, and a big part of me rails at the thought of COIN as some kind of generic abstract system that is being re-skinned to death. Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cuba, the Gallic Wars...seriously? I can't wait to see the next GMT Panzer module on the War of the Roses.

Someone sell me on COIN, I want to like it.
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Leo Zappa
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So essentially, the top three finishers in this year's GG wargame voting were two euros and an ameritrash game. Par for the course, I'd say.

Note - I like ameritrash games and have been known to play the occasional euro, so I have nothing against those genres.
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Luka Kovač Plavi
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I got a distant plain a while ago, still didnt manage to play it, but why does any wargamer need to be encouraged to try the COIN?

It is asymmetrical 4 player game about guerilla warfare, with innovative design, and covers very interesting topics (see what i did there ) - whats not to like?

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Leonardo Martino
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rykirk wrote:
I must be missing something, I don't see any wargames on that list...


YEP!!!
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desertfox2004 wrote:
So essentially, the top three finishers in this year's GG wargame voting were two euros and an ameritrash game. Par for the course, I'd say.

Note - I like ameritrash games and have been known to play the occasional euro, so I have nothing's against those genres.


I wouldn't say FitL is a euro by any commonly accepted definition of the term. I don't think anyone would even think of calling COIN-games euros if they didn't have wooden components.

I have no problem calling FitL a wargame, I just think there were published better wargames in 2014.
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Russ Williams
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rykirk wrote:
a big part of me rails at the thought of COIN as some kind of generic abstract system that is being re-skinned to death. Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cuba, the Gallic Wars...seriously?

"re-skinned" makes it sound like there are no differences between the games' rule systems, just slapping on different art.

I don't see the core COIN system being used and mutated in different games as being any different from e.g. traditional hex-and-counter concepts (movement points & terrain costs, odds-based CRTs, etc) being used in different games. Are various e.g. tactical Civil War, US Revolution, Napoleonic, Ancient etc games all just generic abstract systems being re-skinned to death?
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oivind22 wrote:
desertfox2004 wrote:
So essentially, the top three finishers in this year's GG wargame voting were two euros and an ameritrash game. Par for the course, I'd say.

Note - I like ameritrash games and have been known to play the occasional euro, so I have nothing's against those genres.


I wouldn't say FitL is a euro by any commonly accepted definition of the term. I don't think anyone would even think of calling COIN-games euros if they didn't have wooden components.

I agree; the weird "not a real wargame, it's just a euro" statements about FitL remind of similar comments about Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Division, which seemed similarly motivated by its use of wooden cubes for its initiative system.
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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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russ wrote:
rykirk wrote:
a big part of me rails at the thought of COIN as some kind of generic abstract system that is being re-skinned to death. Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cuba, the Gallic Wars...seriously?

"re-skinned" makes it sound like there are no differences between the games' rule systems, just slapping on different art.

I don't see the core COIN system being used and mutated in different games as being any different from e.g. traditional hex-and-counter concepts (movement points & terrain costs, odds-based CRTs, etc) being used in different games. Are various e.g. tactical Civil War, US Revolution, Napoleonic, Ancient etc games all just generic abstract systems being re-skinned to death?


That's a fair point, but in the case of Cuba Libre, for example, I've seen the opinion expressed that the Syndicate and Directorio factions have been rather boosted in terms of the importance in order to give sides that are roughly equivalent to those in Andean Abyss.
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Salo sila wrote:
russ wrote:
rykirk wrote:
a big part of me rails at the thought of COIN as some kind of generic abstract system that is being re-skinned to death. Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cuba, the Gallic Wars...seriously?

"re-skinned" makes it sound like there are no differences between the games' rule systems, just slapping on different art.

I don't see the core COIN system being used and mutated in different games as being any different from e.g. traditional hex-and-counter concepts (movement points & terrain costs, odds-based CRTs, etc) being used in different games. Are various e.g. tactical Civil War, US Revolution, Napoleonic, Ancient etc games all just generic abstract systems being re-skinned to death?


That's a fair point, but in the case of Cuba Libre, for example, I've seen the opinion expressed that the Syndicate and Directorio factions have been rather boosted in terms of the importance in order to give sides that are roughly equivalent to those in Andean Abyss.

That seems a separate issue from whether the games are just the same rulesets "re-skinned". (I haven't played Cuba Libre, and I have no idea about whether the game factions's strengths are realistic or not.) (And are there really no "real" / traditional wargames which boosted one side's strength a bit somehow for play balance purposes?)

I know just from reading the FitL forums that there are a variety of rule differences between the COIN games, e.g. I believe that the North Vietnamese army is the first insurgent army which also has regular troops in the series. And various operations & special actions & other rules are different among the games (sometimes causing confusion for people who already know one and bring their assumptions while learning another).
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Judd Vance
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rykirk wrote:
But a big part of me just doesn't get Volko Ruhnke...am I alone here? I don't care for Wilderness War at all, and a big part of me rails at the thought of COIN as some kind of generic abstract system that is being re-skinned to death. Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cuba, the Gallic Wars...seriously? I can't wait to see the next GMT Panzer module on the War of the Roses.

Someone sell me on COIN, I want to like it.


You don't need to be "sold" on it. Stop trying so hard. You don't like it. There are plenty of other wargames out there. Play ones that you enjoy and don't have to be "convinced" that they there is some mystical deeper meaning that you are missing.

And yeah, I agree with you about COIN: the French can "win" the American Revolution? Yeah.... COIN isn't about insurgencies. It's a way to paste a 4-player Euro game of King of the Hill on to a different map.
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oivind22 wrote:
I wouldn't say FitL is a euro by any commonly accepted definition of the term. I don't think anyone would even think of calling COIN-games euros if they didn't have wooden components.

I have no problem calling FitL a wargame, I just think there were published better wargames in 2014.


Characteristics of a Eurogame:

1) A well-balanced mechanic with a theme pasted on top as an afterthought. Often, the theme is an abstraction, used as a means of teaching the mechanic.

Why is it if my faction acted on the last card that I can't act on the next card? Never before has a side doubled-down its resources for a big push? See that part about the abstracted theme used to teach the mechanic.

Is a theme pasted on to it? Well let's see, isn't that in every COIN game?

Don't they all involve controlling an area by having more pieces than all of the other factions put together? And isn't that factored into one of the faction's victory conditions?

Don't they all involve some type of support for or against and that value (x2, x1, or x0) multiplied by the population of that region and that factor determines one of the side's victory conditions?

Here, a picture speaks a thousand words: I posted this picture over on a discussion on the Game Box to demonstrate that this is just a theme pasted over the mechanic. Look at how these are pictures basically show the same thing in 2 different games:



I played Cuba Libre and then I played FitL and it felt like I played the same game. They were as "different" from each other as Ticket to Ride and Ticket to Ride: Europe.



#2) No Player Elimination. All players stay in the game until the end and then you sum up victory points.

Yup.


#3) Dull as hell.

Yep.
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airjudden wrote:

And yeah, I agree with you about COIN: the French can "win" the American Revolution?


Of course they can.

All they need to do is beat the British with their American proxy army as IRL and NOT go bankrupt in the process.

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As someone who enjoys both euros and wargames, I must say I view these threads in a similar way to mac vs. Windows threads - an opportunity for me to eye-roll at both sides!

Do continue.

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Congrats to all the winners.

I love FITL, but I'm sorry to see Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe didn't make the list.

BTW, all this arguing about "is it a euro or is it a wargame" is silly and counterproductive. You either like it or you don't, and it's fine either way.

I never understood why people feel the need to trash something they don't like when it is purely a matter of personal taste.
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