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Subject: Wargaming Beginner rss

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Sam Middleton
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I had a post over at the wargames forum asking about beginner wargames. This game was suggested and I currently have it in my cart over at NWS and I am just debating on if I really want to invest this heavily in traditional wargames. I have A Victory Denied as well as Bastogne: Screaming Eagles Under Siege in my cart as well. I want to play them, but I am having a hard time committing. So the question is, how is this game for beginners?
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Mike W
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Have you ever played a wargame before? If the answer is no, I would not recommend this game for you.. yet.

The other two games you mention would be easier introductions to wargaming. This one is a step up from those. Now, if you try those and like them, this might be a good next step.
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Matt D
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This game will be a little daunting for a beginner. There's a 16 page starter guide that only covers the first turn.

You're probably better off with the other games you mentioned, although I haven't played them. If you're comfortable with some complexity (although not nearly as complex as this game), I'd recommend France '40. You could also check out some of Victory Point Games small wargames as good starting points (see Objective: Kiev). They're simpler than anything your looking at but should still give you a good idea of what you'll be getting yourself into.
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Scott Shafer
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It is a very good game for beginners. The rules are long, it is the decisions that you make within the context of those rules that are difficult. OCS is a balls out great system! Some of he problems that I have with it relate to unlearning some of the things that I have learned in other games. For e experience, I don't think there's a better game series on the planet. It is worth the trouble to learn.
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Sam Middleton
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Some really good posts. The reason I added it is to save on shipping. NWS is a great store but it doesn't include some of the games that I had looked at and those three were the three he had that were in the thread I asked in.
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Kev.
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I'd question Bastogne.
unless you love the topic.
You might be better served with a different title.
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Sam Middleton
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At this point there isn't really a specific topic I am interested in besides D-Day and Rommel's North African campaign. I've thought about getting the game about the Finnish and the Soviets in the Winter War. Also medieval combat.
 
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Scott Shafer
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Get ASL Starter Kit #1. Lots of people play that. Canadian Crucible is kind of wonky, but it is bargain priced. Special Ops #3 has an interesting game on Tannenburg using the Victory Lost system.
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Sam Middleton
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revshafer wrote:
Get ASL Starter Kit #1. Lots of people play that. Canadian Crucible is kind of wonky, but it is bargain priced. Special Ops #3 has an interesting game on Tannenburg using the Victory Lost system.


I don't think I really want to play ASL. I think it is a great system, but I am looking for something a little bigger in scale. I have a copy of Panzer Grenadier: Battle of the Bulge and I am not having a hard time understanding the rules, but I have a difficult time getting into the game.
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Jim P.
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As Burning Monkey mentioned above, the first turn is contained in a 16 page guide. A lot of it is dedicated to planning not only strategy (which actually takes place in short order) but in planning supply; not only for your side, but understanding the logistics of the other side so that you may plan interdiction of some of their supply routes. Wanting to get that involved in a game can take a few months at least. To paraphrase the old saw, "Amateurs think about tactics; veterans think about logistics."

This fascinates me in all OCS games, but I had to work may way up to it, as we (most) all must do. My recommendation is to begin with tactical strategy - there are many games for this - and get comfort and joy from playing out some of these fascinating skirmishes; then begin taking a bigger bite. It won't take long, but it is very definitely a ramp. Hurry so that we can play OCS with you!


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Mike W
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On the other hand -- if something about this game and/or OCS seems cool to you -- get it. Make this your intro to wargaming. It will be hard, but the motivation to want to play is probably the most important thing.

Some dude taught himself wargaming on A World at War, all 2800 counters and 100 hr playtime of it. You won't get that much respect if your first wargame is OCS, but you will definitely get some.

However, if you are picking up Reluctant Enemies becuase you think it is a intro wargame, be aware it is an intro to OCS, not wargaming.

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Sam Middleton
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egg_salad wrote:
On the other hand -- if something about this game and/or OCS seems cool to you -- get it. Make this your intro to wargaming. It will be hard, but the motivation to want to play is probably the most important thing.

Some dude taught himself wargaming on A World at War, all 2800 counters and 100 hr playtime of it. You won't get that much respect if your first wargame is OCS, but you will definitely get some.

However, if you are picking up Reluctant Enemies becuase you think it is a intro wargame, be aware it is an intro to OCS, not wargaming.



As long as the rulebook is coherent and there is a good example of play then I am fine. Panzer Grenadier that have doesn't have an example of play and at points I don't feel the rulebook is illustrated/organized enough. So it makes it a little difficult to muddle around with.
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I think it's very important to ask yourself who you plan to play with? And what games do they play?

Board wargames, in my opinion, are at their best by far when played face to face. Is there a boardgame group that meets near you? Or do you already have regular gaming opponents who also are interested in wargames? If so, what games do they regularly play? If not, where do you plan to go to find opponents?

ASL is a fantastically fun game to play once you are over the hurdle of learning the rules. But the biggest plus in it's favor is that you can almost always find other ASL players near by. But this isn't necessarily true for other game systems. If you live near a big city you can probably find OCS players. But for many games you will struggle to find anybody willing to play.

One of the lessons I've learned in my wargaming career is that often the games your opponents own are often more important than the games you own yourself.
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Mike W
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Emperor_nero wrote:
egg_salad wrote:
On the other hand -- if something about this game and/or OCS seems cool to you -- get it. Make this your intro to wargaming. It will be hard, but the motivation to want to play is probably the most important thing.

Some dude taught himself wargaming on A World at War, all 2800 counters and 100 hr playtime of it. You won't get that much respect if your first wargame is OCS, but you will definitely get some.

However, if you are picking up Reluctant Enemies becuase you think it is a intro wargame, be aware it is an intro to OCS, not wargaming.



As long as the rulebook is coherent and there is a good example of play then I am fine. Panzer Grenadier that have doesn't have an example of play and at points I don't feel the rulebook is illustrated/organized enough. So it makes it a little difficult to muddle around with.


The Gamers who make the OCS games (they are part of MMP now) are awesome about posting stuff online. You can go read the rulebook and the example of play now, if you want:
http://www.gamersarchive.net/theGamers/archive/ocs.htm
http://www.gamersarchive.net/theGamers/archive/relenemies.ht...

Having an FtF opponent is definitely a plus, but OCS is fun solo too. There is also an active community of OCS players who play on VASSAL, which is a blast as well (live, with a skype phone call is my personal preference).
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Lance G
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Zarmao wrote:
I think it's very important to ask yourself who you plan to play with? And what games do they play?

Board wargames, in my opinion, are at their best by far when played face to face. Is there a boardgame group that meets near you? Or do you already have regular gaming opponents who also are interested in wargames? If so, what games do they regularly play? If not, where do you plan to go to find opponents?

ASL is a fantastically fun game to play once you are over the hurdle of learning the rules. But the biggest plus in it's favor is that you can almost always find other ASL players near by. But this isn't necessarily true for other game systems. If you live near a big city you can probably find OCS players. But for many games you will struggle to find anybody willing to play.

One of the lessons I've learned in my wargaming career is that often the games your opponents own are often more important than the games you own yourself.


Excellent words of wisdom for I have none (in type form).

I'll 1 Up what he said b/c this has been my very similar experience as not having many people I know that wargame nor do I know of any near me for a f2f has created a long and seemingly trudgingly path to figure out what wargames I could handle and mostly understand all on my own without the benefit of a willing f2f buddy to walk me through a game or few.

The ones I have played f2f are those that are owned by others as they are the ones offering a place at the table teaching me. However it has been a Vassal affair for the vast majority of my wargaming and those are from the games I do own and can physically tinker around with them myself when desired.

I wish you the best and would like to say "Play for the enjoyment of gaming and the spirit of comradery ".
 
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Sam Middleton
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Sadly I live in a very rural area and there aren't a wargame group or a traditional wargamer in an hour radius that I could find. So it'd all be solo play.
 
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Ron Balla
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Top Rated Solitaire Wargames -- Active BGG Wargamers -- May 2013

Check out the reviews from the this list. NWS sells most of these games even if they aren't listed on the site. They removed most of the games from their website and are selling direct on EBay but they're very helpful if you call.

I think RE is one of the worst games (series) for a wargame noob to start out on their own. It's a ton of reading and fine, later -once you've been playing awhile, but you should seriously consider games tailored to solitaire play and not too difficult in terms of rules but still rich in terms of strategy; you have a ton of options.

If you really want a bit simpler wargame in the theatre, take a look at [thing=42641][=42641][/]Slouch Hats & Eggshells[/thing] by Legion Wargames. RE is a bit down the road.

EDIT: I think A Victory Denied or A Victory Lost (out of print) are excellent choices for traditional 2 player hex & counter wargames with low rules overhead, great strategy, and relative ease of play for one player to play both sides.
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Martyn Smith
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By no means do I speak as a seasoned wargamer. Instead, I am a three year 'veteran' of the genre, having made the evolution from euro games.

Personally, my very first 'proper' wargame was, indeed, A Victory Denied and, in hindsight, I'd say that I've NEVER regretted that decision, even for a moment.

It is, IMHO, an absolutely authentic wargaming experience and yet an entirely accessible and manageable one. Having said which, at the time it still felt rather daunting to engage with and absorb 16 pages of rules (another poster noted that this is the amount of pages to play the first turn of Reluctant Enemies!)

Again, IMHO, it's best not to see wargaming as a hierarchy of aspirational or respected games - or as some sort of mountain that MUST be climbed. No-one HAS to follow any pre-prescribed route; rather, we are all on our own 'freestyle' adventure!!

So, all I am personally interested in is finding my own 'sweet spot' of wargaming enjoyment - in other words, games that are complex enough and historically interesting enough to regularly make it to my table. For me, this means a rule-set not usually exceeding 24 pages and with a relatively low counter-density.

There are a number of GREAT starting-out games, but one I'd whole-heartedly recommend is Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939 - this will get you straight into the fray and is EXCELLENT solo and with arguably one of the best-written rule-sets ever seen.

Obviously, this is just my two cents - bottom line is to ENJOY your wargaming journey WHEREVER it takes you. I can still vividly remember opening A Victory Denied for the first time and feeling giddy with the excitement that I'd, at last, arrived at what I knew was the kind of gaming experience I'd been longing for.

May you find your 'sweet spot' too...
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Forest Webb
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Just do it...30 years ago my "1st" game was a copy of COBRA included in an S&T mag my neighbor had. From there I progressed to Squad leader and a myriad of other games after.

My advice is you have a brain...just jump in and swim. Most of the forums I've seen usually have several people willing to help if you have questions.
 
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Stephen Harper
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Emperor_nero wrote:
At this point there isn't really a specific topic I am interested in besides D-Day and Rommel's North African campaign. I've thought about getting the game about the Finnish and the Soviets in the Winter War. Also medieval combat.


Hello, Sam.

Reluctant Enemies as a first game for a beginning wargamer might be a bit much, although the rules are supported very well by the example of play booklet that is included. Furthermore, available from the support window on the MMP website is a downloadable extension of the example of play that takes the published one, which covers just the first turn of a sample game, all the way through to the end. As others have mentioned, you can also download the OCS series rules and RE specific rules to see if it is something you want to get involved in right away.

Since you are interested in D-Day, MMP recently published an expanded edition of The Mighty Endeavor, so this is in print and would be a good first game to start with. It is based upon The Gamers' Standard Combat Series, and shares the same base rules as Bastogne. A good North African campaign game to start with is another SCS game called Afrika, but I am not sure if that one is still in print.

Red Winter, the game about a battle between the Finns and Soviets during the Winter War that you allude to above, would also be an excellent first game to start with. The rules are extremely clear, there are good examples of play scattered throughout the rules, and it has an excellent designer's and player's notes booklet. Highly recommended.

Anyhow, no matter what you choose you will have fun. Welcome to a most entertaining and fascinating hobby!

Oh, and almost forgot to mention. If you are way out in a rural area, consider PBEM (Play By E-Mail) games via VASSAL. VASSAL is basically an electronic game board that allows two or more people to play a game on the computer, making moves and sending them back and forth. The VASSAL application is free to download, and also available free to download are hundreds of VASSAL "mods", with each mod being a replication of a specific published wargame, All of this can be found at the VASSAL website, so check it out! Basically, one downloads the VASSAL application, then decides what game to play and downloads the mod for that particular game. One then starts the application, opens a mod from the "mod library", which consists of all the mods that one has downloaded from the website, and starts the game. If that sounds interesting, drop me a line and we can discuss further. I would be happy to try a game with you via VASSAL at some time if amd when you feel ready to give it a try!

Best regards.
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Nicola Ciabatti
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You asked about a wargame for beginners and someone recommended OCS, really? Must be someone who don't want to spread our hobby. shake
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Padraic Kirby
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This is the game you want to start with. It has D-Day, Bulge, Market Garden, East Prussia and Silesia. And it is the simpler SCS and not OCS: The Mighty Endevour, 2014 Edition.

The Mighty Endeavor

Pat
 
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Kev.
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nickcia wrote:
You asked about a wargame for beginners and someone recommended OCS, really? Must be someone who don't want to spread our hobby. shake

Amen. some of the suggestions here just floor me.
No wonder we are in the state we are! LOL.

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Sam Middleton
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I actually was partially taught Panzer Grenadier via VASSAL and Skype about a year ago, but sadly life had to get in the way and I had to stop my sessions with the fellow teaching me. I haven't seen him around to try and pick back up, so... Things happen.
 
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Sam,

Thank you for your interest in Reluctant Enemies.

As I understand it, you have not played a wargame. RE may be too much to start as a beginner war game. When we wrote the Starter Guide (The first turn AAR which comes with RE) we assumed the reader was already familiar with war games and just wanted to learn the OCS. So, it may be best to go with one of the other games suggested here and then come back to RE if the OCS is something you're really interested in.

However, if you are interested in Operation Exporter (the subject matter of RE) then you should at least download the game specific rules to RE from the Gamers Archive. They contain my detailed historical notes and OoB's for the adversaries which you might find helpful.

CHB
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