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Subject: The 5 wargames that will remain (if I ever have to cut my collection) rss

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Gilles Daquin
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Ok, should I have to fill a suit case and run away, here are the top 5 wargames that I would keep


Beyond Valor
Eastern front, tense, tactical, more scenario that you can dream of, great replay value, friends for life, anywhere in the world. I suspect that ASL took most of my cognitive space to absorb other sets of rules and that is why now I tend to go for quick and simple.


Path of Glory
So tense, agonizing decision all the time, long - medium and short term planning, all combined in an easy to play wargame. Owning a few other games from Ted Raicer, I suspect that this one is a combination of talent and luck to have made it, IMHO, almost the perfect game


Commands & Colors: Napoleonics
Good fun, easy to play Napoleonic games - good in flavor, cards making evrything simple, scenarios are not always balanced but who cares when you can play both sides fast?


The Russian Campaign
A bit outdated, but will still take it out for a game. Really, if I had a russian front strategic game to take with, this would be the one. Come on here, uggly duckling...



Napoleon: the Waterloo campaign
Again, a fast play game, that shows you what the Waterloo campaign was all about, what could have been done, what where the alternatives.


What are your 5 wargames that will remain, and why?

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to go deeper in additional games from my collection and change my mind... I reserve the right to be open minded and change my mind, I reserve the right to keep my existing collection and most definitely to increase it.

This is in now way a committing declaration of intention to cut my collection.


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Twilight Struggle
Regardless of whether it is your idea of a wargame, it is simply the best two-player game ever made: tense, thought-provoking and downright fun.


Washington's War
The three adjectives I use to describe Twilight Struggle also apply to this one.


Hammer of the Scots
I love the conflict between the slow and powerful English and the nimble Scots (again, also true of the previous game, but substitute Americans for Scots).


Triumph of Chaos
The game that got me back into wargaming. Quite a bit more complex than the other three, but like the previous two, each side has very different challenges. Also, the period of history I'm most interested in.


Angola
Must admit that I've only played it solo, but it has great, innovative mechanics. Not sure if I will ever play it as it is supposed to be played, but I'm not letting go of it.
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David Janik-Jones
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Combat Commander, Up Front, Breakout Normandy, Fields of Fire! The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!
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One. Owned since release. Nearing 2,500 plays. I'll die with an Up Front card in my hand, probably.


Two. Just brilliant.


Continuing with this theme. This doesn't count toward my five since this is an expansion of the one above. whistle


Three. See descriptions above. [Most likely will be replaced with Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944 when it gets released later this year.]


Four. Love. Hate. Love. Hate. Love. Hate. Sigh. Innovative, yup. Awful rules, yup. Unnecessary Vietnam and Korea bits, yup. Still wouldn't get rid of it again (a fourth time) even though it sits on the shelf mocking me.


Five. What can be said about this masterpiece that hasn't been said by those who know great wargames. Elegant and brilliant game.
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Nicola S
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My take is from a "solo" wargamer persepctive, so somewhat biased.

Here they are (in no specific order):


Carrier
An engaging experience throughout. Difficult to learn, even more difficult (impossible?) to master but never the same. And, while designed solitaire from the ground up, you sometimes ask yourself "who" is on the other side.


D-Day at Omaha Beach
Much the same I said about Carrier above can be said about this game. On top, this one is for a battle on ground, as well as using a very clever mechanic that does away with dice entirely.


Hornet Leader
The original, 1991 GMT edition.
I have owned this game for almost 25 years and I still play it from time to time (on average once a year). I find it immersive and with all the expansions I think it has enough longevity to last me another 25 years (e.g. Falcon Leader, the North Korean campagin, etc.).
I have not tried the new edition: I confess I do not feel the need. Which is a tell-tale of how much I like this game.


The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43
One of those "experiential" kind of games pioneered by B-17 QotS. You play this more for the narrative and to crave for that "I want to see what happens next" feeling than to really "win" battles or engagements. Nevertheless it does deliver the experience and with the huge fan base you can also implement several mods to never grow tired of the game.


????????
I still have lots of games in my collection I have to try, so I reserve this place for a later time when I will have a better picture.

Ah, the same disclaimer as Tifast applies here!!
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Jim F
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Where the heck did this interest in WW1 come from?
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So many hours of fun (and frustration) with this one. My Hannibal always seems to fail his vital intercepts/retreats or interruptions but I can't stay mad at him for long.



Perfect match - great game meets total obsession. Plus OCS is my favourite operational system, bar none.



Not just the best game with 'unhappy' in the title but one of my all time favourites



My choice for WW2 tactical, probably because I'm not a rivet counting tank nut.



The joy of the rulebook, the joy of the game, just a great system at its best with SPQR (before it got deluxe or simple).
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Edward Pundyk
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In no particular order, these are my five keepers:

No Peace Without Spain!

Nations in Arms: Valmy to Waterloo

End of Empire: 1744-1782

Clash of Monarchs

Pax Baltica

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David Janik-Jones
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Combat Commander, Up Front, Breakout Normandy, Fields of Fire! The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!
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Jim F
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Where the heck did this interest in WW1 come from?
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gets a bonus GG for his new avatar.
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James Brown
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[q="DaveyJJ"]

One. Owned since release. Nearing 2,500 plays. I'll die with an Up Front card in my hand, probably.



They will have to pry my copy out of my cold dead fingers!!!
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Mark Mahaffey
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I actually just did such a winnowing... The survivors:
(EDIT: added some reasons)

Joe Balkoski's Stonewall Jackson's Way

Still the best two-player system I've played, and my all-time favorite maps.


Mark Herman's Peloponnesian War

Brilliant solitaire system on an important war.


Fantasy Flight's War of the Ring

Just plain good fun, and a surprisingly balanced tournament game.


Neal Schlaffer's Guerilla

Asymmetrical design that is perfect for odd numbers of players.


Ed Beach's Here I Stand

Probably the best single game I've ever played, it's like Civilization plus Game of Thrones with obscure Reformation history thrown in.
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Judd Vance
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I'd grab the games my kids got me for birthdays and Christmas and make sure I had my laptop, so I could access everything else on Vassal. devil
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Tony Doran
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1. Next War
2. Anzio
3. Desert Fox
4. Empires of Apocalypse
5. AETO/APTO/AOI
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Sean McCormick
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My list would look like this:

1.


It is arguably the perfect wargame. It takes a few plays to grok the system--I would say about five--but it rapidly becomes tremendously intuitive. Beautiful aesthetics, quick gameplay, perfect bite-sized Vassal files...it literally can't be beat.

2.


I've played more Up Front than any other game, and it has been time well spent. No tactical game has come close to capturing the uncertainty of combat, nor rewarded simple fire and movement tactics to the same extent. You don't ever need to move past Scenario A to get your money out of this one.

3.


The best of the squad level tactical systems by miles, and the simplest to play. I'll nudge Ghost Panzer above Screaming Eagles due to the slightly tweaked rules and my preference for the Eastern Front, but you can't go wrong with either.

4.


I am a tremendous fan of games that achieve their simulative value through their mechanics as opposed to by bolting on chrome. Sekigahara has a simple thesis about the dominant role of clan loyalty in the campaign and builds the entire game engine around it. The lovely aesthetics don't hurt, but it's the game engine that is the true star here.

5.


Too soon? It's rare when I sell off a game and then find myself scrambling to replace it. I did so for Napoleon's Triumph, which I began to understand just after I sold my copy, and I did it for US, which I sold on the basis of the size of its footprint, only to immediately regret the decision. Now I don't have the time or space I once did, and as a result I will never play the campaign game. However, the plentiful smaller scenarios provide tremendous longevity, and the basic mechanics are nothing short of wonderful.
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Sean McCormick
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7downup wrote:

1. Maria. Tense, elegant, beautiful. My favourite game - that's all games, not just wargames - and rare in that is designed for three players (and really works). You could frame the map and put it on the wall as art....


2. Twilight Struggle. It might not be a wargame, but it is definitely a conflict game, and that's close enough for me. It's also a tense, elegant game - like Maria - but with quite different mechanics. I've pimped mine with plastic tanks for the MilOps and score markers and rockets for DefCon, space race and turn track, because the original card board chits wore out and frayed....


3. Sekigahara. The most beautiful artefact in this list. A sleek design that incorporates the chrome into the core mechanics. A work of scholarship and a work of art, as well as an outstanding game design...


4. Holdfast - Russia. The case study for maximum distillation of rules? It can be learned in 10 minutes, no problems, yet delivers plenty of agonising decisions (especially for the German player) and makes thematic sense. I'm steadily pimping mine though, because the game is great but the components perhaps a little utilitarian...


5. Strike of the Eagle. The best implementation of 'fog of war' that I have encountered that can genuinely be played by two, without an umpire. That it is actually quite straight forward and fast playing to boot is quite an achievement. If only Academy Games would release the next in the series, my wallet is open and ready...

And one that didn't quite make it...


The Guns of Gettysburg. It's gorgeous. I admire the creativity of the design. I want to like it, but I just.. don't.. get it... Maybe it's just too clever for me...


Funny, I have both Friedrich and Guns of Gettysburg hovering just below my list. And I agree--GoG is incredibly seductive, but it doesn't quite click with me. On the other hand, I had the same initial experience with Napoleon's Triumph, so I'm willing to keep at it until everything falls into place.
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J-P Latvala
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First one is going to be Paths of Glory. I still think it's the most enjoyable (no, nothing to enjoy about to lose half of your armies as OOS) game I have played.


Second is going to be Friedrich. I just started couple of months ago playing this game and what a game it is! Easy to learn the rules, but still so much to learn about the tactics. I didn't know which one to place here on this list, Maria of Friedrich. I think I'll keep both of those as long as I keep breathing.


Third is going to be Combat Commander: Pacific. There is so much to play here, no scenario is going to be played the same way twice.. and after that there is the random scenario generator also, which I haven't even tested yet.


Fourth is Napoleon's Triumph. I haven't even played it yet, but it was pretty hard to get on my collection and those great things I have read and heard about it.


Fifth place... hmm.. hard to choose, because there's so many games I will keep and play as much as I can. But let's raise Polis: Fight for Hegemony for this list. It's kind of euro-wargame, but fun to play. I really like battle card mechanism in this one, it's kind of like the one in Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage, but still it is better in my mind.

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Marty M
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Up Front

Always interesting, always tense, always enjoyable. I can't imagine ever getting tired of Up Front.



Combat Commander: Pacific

I love the Combat Commander series, and the random scenario generator gives an almost infinite number of scenarios. CC: Pacific has a slight edge over CC:Europe, in my opinion.



Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945

Fantastic game which nicely distils the complexities of logistics over a theatre of operations covering nearly half the world's surface into a tense, exciting & elegant game.



EuroFront II

And its component parts, EastFront II and WestFront II. I love this system and the way it models command & control, and the concentration of resources. The combined eurofront game adds another level of strategic complexity. This game inspired me to build my own wargame table to accommodate its whopping 45'' x 68'' map.



Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939

Fascinating game on an interesting and assymmetrical battle in an interesting & assymetrical war. Lots of 'traditional' mechanics you'd expect to see in a hex & counter game at this level, but with several unique twists which effectively model the difficulties of moving and fighting in this terrain & environment. Loads of different scenarios featuring different stages of the battle, and an excellent lengthy campaign scenario.
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Steven Mitchell
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The Top 5 in my profile is close enough, so I'll go with that:


Virgin Queen — so many of my favorite gaming experiences come from this and Here I Stand.


Burma — OCS is my favorite system and this my favorite game in the system. Much prefer this to the wide open steppes of Russia.


Empire of the Sun — my favorite treatment of WWII PTO, a conflict that I find is always full of interesting strategic and tactical challenges and logistical puzzles.


The Eastern Front: 1914-1917 — another favorite operational system. Not quite as logistically intricate as others, but still great fun. I went with this entry in the system since it provides both the greatest number and the greatest variety of scenarios


Musket & Pike Battle Series — I'd have to think longer about which single game from the series to go with, but this system easily makes the cut.
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Simon DeSmet
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1. OCS Burma - The OCS game I have enjoyed most.



2. Korean War - The system is almost as satisfying as OCS but requires a bit less time. Also has some great strategic level decisions.



3. Sekigahara - favourite lite war game.



4. Reluctant Enemies - Accessible OCS



5. Stonewall Jacksons Way - all the good operational gambles in an easy ruleset.



Though atm I probably wouldn't drop either Fading Glory or Enemy at the Gates (which i recently acquired).

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David Janik-Jones
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Combat Commander, Up Front, Breakout Normandy, Fields of Fire! The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!
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7downup wrote:


The Guns of Gettysburg. It's gorgeous. I admire the creativity of the design. I want to like it, but I just.. don't.. get it... Maybe it's just too clever for me...

You're not the only one. I actually prefer the visual look of this to NT (even with the inverted topographic colouring), and the way units flow semi-randomly onto the board over the course of the battle, but I just don't get it. NT was a breeze, this one I stumble every single moment playing it or reading the rules.

elirlandes wrote:


Fascinating game on an interesting and assymmetrical battle in an interesting & assymetrical war. Lots of 'traditional' mechanics you'd expect to see in a hex & counter game at this level, but with several unique twists which effectively model the difficulties of moving and fighting in this terrain & environment. Loads of different scenarios featuring different stages of the battle, and an excellent lengthy campaign scenario.

I actually strongly expect that Mark's Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944 will replace Combat Commander: Pacific on my list of five.
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Jason Sadler
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After you spend a bajillion dollars collecting a game, you are obligated to keep it. Fortunately, I love it.


The abstracted card version of the bajillion dollar baby. I also love it.


This is the CDG that still sets my heart on fire. I like others, but there is just something about the complexity level, theme, and play that keeps me coming back to this one.


Big, bold, and beautiful. I really want the GTS games for other battles more than this one, but this is the one that is out now and it would be the one I keep.


I tried to like Simmons designs for a couple years and failed miserably. I played this with my dad a few times and something fell into place and I understood this game and retro-actively learned to love BaM and NT. Unfortunately, I had gotten rid of them.
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John Rogers
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1) A rip-roaring "ten hour simulation that has been compressed into a tiny box until all that remains is its hot glowing core. It evokes narrative with every game, even every action. It is complex and unwieldy and impatient and glorious". User MScrivner.



2) While most war games concern themselves mainly with boots on the ground tactics, the COIN series dares to ask the socio-economic, religious, ideological, and political questions driving the conflict. The nuts and bolts are equally incredible: an ingenious method of card-assisted play and turn order, menus of asymmetrical actions and goals, and a level of player interdependence rarely seen in games.



3) Where many a wargame seem weighed down by rules and charts, Sekigahra is decidedly elegant in presentation and play. Far more simple than I initially supposed, it is this simplicity that allows for the subtleties of movement, allegiance, and hidden forces to take center stage.



4) I have played the Commands and Colors family of games well over a 100x and while each iteration offers something unique, CCA works best for me. Troop diversity, leaders, battling back, and a comparatively austere presentation combine to make this my favorite Borg design.



5) An incredibly thematic retelling of the Cold War. Twilight Struggle's use of cards, defcon/military operations, coups, and realignments result in a tense and engaging 3 hour experience.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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Games I want to play on VASSAL: ASL, ASLSK, GMT CDG's I own
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Igor Radic
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1.)

Fast playing (true) filler..(ok yea sure)
2.)

I wish i have more games from GBoH system..

3.)


4.)

A masterpiece is destined to remain unknown...

5.)

I hate it and love it at the same time!
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p55carroll
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Games are like songs: you never get tired of playing the best ones over and over, and you can enjoy them all by yourself.
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Hmm ... which five would I keep?

A House Divided


For some reason I've always been drawn to the American Civil War, but I haven't found many wargames I like that are set in that period. I like this one a lot--enough that I've bought the first three editions and am thinking of getting a copy of the fourth edition just for completeness. It's also good to have a strategy-level game around to play.


The Battle of the Bulge


The first historical wargame I ever bought; and I once played it with my father, who fought in the actual battle. So this one has sentimental value. But every time I've played, I've also found it an exciting, interesting, satisfying, enjoyable experience. May be lacking in historicity, but it's still a fine wargame.


Lock 'n Load: Forgotten Heroes – Vietnam


I gave up ASL years ago, but I missed the exciting, up-close combat action. I looked for a much simpler game that might be just as exciting, and I found it here. In some ways I like LnL better than SL or ASL. In any case, it certainly scratches that tactical-combat itch. If it's not the last word in realism, I don't care anymore; nothing is.


Mustangs


I'd keep this only because I haven't done enough with it yet. I was looking for a good, playable air-combat game, and it looks like this fits the bill. I had fun with it the few times I played. I also downloaded fan-designed rules to expand the game from World War I to the present, and I've yet to try those.


The Ironclads


This one's at the bottom of my list because I can't seem to play it and can't seem to let it go either. It can be pretty tedious to play, but it's also a very detailed, exciting wargame. And it's my only naval wargame. It also ties back into my favorite period (see #1, above, on my list). I'll have to try this game at least once more.


Runner-up: Ancient Battles Deluxe

I like this small, fast-playing set of wargames. I bought everything in the series, but so far I've played only half a dozen scenarios or so. I'd like to get back to this and play it some more.
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Jason Sadler
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Well, if we all have to run away, let's try to run away to the same place. I haven't seen a game I wouldn't play yet.
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Andrew N
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