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Subject: Hex and Counter Wargames rss

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Hunter Shelburne
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Hey, I was looking for a little help. I have made numerous posts about game recommendations, so sorry if this is kind of repetitive. I have a Card Driven Wargame on the way (Memoir 44), and I'm looking for another wargame, but I'm going to hold off on a card driven one until I know what I like about them. Instead, I am opting for a new Hex and Counter wargame. I have seen many interesting ones, but the unfortunate thing (at least for me) is complexity. I am pretty much only exposed to Panzer Blitz, which gets panned, but can be pretty complex with longer scenarios or bigger battles in general, but thats just my opinion. I don't want to spend a ton on these either, tahts kinda of why I liked the older Avalon HIll titles my dad has had, because of their lower price. Some that interested me, from what I have seen and read:

ASL (It looks interesting, but I don't know if I'mr eady for something that complex

Sergeants! On the Eastern Front (This is a lead runner for me, cheap, and seems to have good reviews, plus a good introduction to squad based games. Is it really that good?)

Downtown: Air War over Hanoi (A different kind of game, but again, this one seems a bit complex. However, the theme seems great, but on the flip side, some have stated it as a bit fiddly.)

Those are just some I have seen, I guess Downtown and ASL are a little complex for me, I'm just looking for something maybe a bit tougher than PanzerBlitz, but a different experience.
 
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Hunter Shelburne
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Saw Combat Commander on there, but its Card Driven, so I'm really not sure about that one.

Also, to clarify, I have played PanzerBlitz, PanzerLeader and Arab Israeli wars, it is all used together with us


ALso, to kind of clarify what I am looking for. An inexpensive hame, or series, that I can delve into. PanzerBlitz is nice, but its kind of like "My dads game", and I am looking for my own system, but something not too far above that complexity. I like Sergeants, but I'm not sure if unit by unit command is that great. Might be into something more squad based, or even something like Panzer, set in a different location, or more streamlined or something.
 
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Colin Hunter
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squad leader isn't bad. Its not ASL but thats both a bonus and disadvantage. Its simpler, but still plenty of complexity. If your thinking steamlined you would have to go for a card driven game. Does it have to be WWII to the present? What about napoleonics or ancients or something before WWII?
 
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Hunter Shelburne
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ibn_ul_khattab wrote:
squad leader isn't bad. Its not ASL but thats both a bonus and disadvantage. Its simpler, but still plenty of complexity. If your thinking steamlined you would have to go for a card driven game. Does it have to be WWII to the present? What about napoleonics or ancients or something before WWII?


I am thinking WWII would be a popular choice, since my main wargaming opponent (my dad) is a more modern war buff. However, when I start card driven games after Memoir, I will probably go with games from the Civil War era like For the People. I'd rather get a fresh start with card driven stuff. But if a game is card driven, and its just really good, go ahead and suggest it, I will check it out.
 
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Andrew Prizzi
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Unless you're specifically looking for a new game, you might try looking around ebay and bgg for some of the simpler old avalon hill games. D-Day, Stalingrad, Afrika Korps, and Battle of the Bulge are WWII. Tactics II and Bliztkrieg are both hypothetical modern scenarios. None of these games has more than 10 pages of rules, and once you know how to play one of them it only takes 5 minutes to learn any special rules and you can play the rest.

For a new game, A Victory Lost, looks very promising. I haven't played it yet, but from what I've read on here I've added it to my "to get" list and think it might be up your alley- simple rules, WWII, hex and counter, 2 players.
 
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George Haberberger
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I'll second Squad Leader, the first game (Squad Leader)or two (Cross of Iron) should be cheap enough on ebay.

Advanced Tobruk is at a similar scale, I just bought a copy of D-Day Rangers on ebay for $20 plus shipping (about half price), but I haven't had a chance to play it yet. It's different than Squad Leader, and a bit less complex.

I like Panzer Grenadier, it's been described as Panzer Blitz with morale. There's only 16 pages of rules, and you can download a demo scenario from their page at www.avalanchepress.com .

 
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Mark Buetow
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You've done well to put Sergeants! at the top of the list. I have Lock n Load BOH to which I compare Sergeants. Seargeants is very, very simple to play. I played it recently with a hard core ASL/wargamer guy and he enjoyed it too. The rules are very simple and the "feel" of the men running around, taking cover, firing, being pinned, etc., is very good. For the price, you can't go wrong; and they keep throwing up new scenarios on their site.

 
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Peter Vrabel
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Well, if no-one else will say the obvious, let me:

If you're interested in ASL, but think it might be too complicated, that try one of the ASLSKs, their simpler and cheaper, and more easily available. And their excellent games in their own right.

Also, a good hex and counter series to start with is The Gamers/MMPs SCS (Standard combat series). The series rules are a thin 8 pages, and the game specific rulebook isn't that much longer. Even better, once you've learned the series rules, you'll have a great start on learning the other games in the series. The MIghty Endeavour is probably one of the best to start with.
 
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Matthew Thrift
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Target Arnhem - Across 6 Bridges by MMP.

It is very much a simple hex and counter wargame. It costs $5.00 delivered to your door. It plays very quickly. If you like it you will like a lot of the older AH games. If you hate it old school hex and counter may not be the way to go.

http://www.multimanpublishing.com/OtherGames/prodta.php

I'll throw in a second/third/forth recomendation for A Victory Lost It is an incredible game. There are bascially 4 pages of rules crammed into 15 pages. What that provides is full color illustrated extensive eaxmples of play. The developer (Adam Starkweather) is very active here and ConSim World and rapildy answers questions. The game is simple, while allowing an appropriate amount of choice. It has an understated elegance in everything from unit activation, to supply, to combat. Bookeeping is at an absoulte minimum. It retails for only $32.

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L Myrick
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Let me second what Peter said, and suggest that if ASL sounds interesting to you but you're not sure about it, definitely jump on the ASL Starter Kits. ASLSK #1 is just infantry and support weapons, while #2 adds artillery. They're inexpensive (somewhere between $20-$30 depending on where you pick them up) and have plenty of depth for a smallish rule set.

Take a look at this site for some interesting analysis of a scenario in ASLSK #1:
http://www.savarese.org/simulation/aslskscenario2.html#Figur...

Lock n' Load is also good (both the Vietnam and WWII games), but the ASLSK's are simpler.

best,

Leland
 
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Scott
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I'll throw in another recommendation for Target: Arnhem, it's cheap (free, you pay shipping), simple (4pages), and a lot of fun.

ASLSK#1 is also another great option it's no more complicated than the other games you mention and tons of fun. For it's cheap price you get a lot of bang for the buck and you can decide to either move into the full game or get the guns and/or tanks Starter Kits as well. Just make sure to add paragraph headings to the rulebook so you know where to find rules (not the best organized rulebook in the world).

Squad Leader is a lot of fun and has the great programmed instruction book that makes it really easy to get into. I think ASL is the better game(it makes more "sense") and there are more opponents out there if you want to find someone else to play against.

Good luck!
 
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Hunter Shelburne
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Lots of good stuff, keep it coming.
 
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Tom Hancock
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Check out FIRE IN THE SKY offered by MMP games. Its very simple/light rules for a hex and counter game, has some innovative mechanics along with a lot of classic ones, and the map and oversized chits are really beautiful. It has some really interesting supply rules and the land combat is abstracted somewhat so that the game mostly concentrates on air/sea warfare. It might be the lowest complexity score for a hex and counter game on the geek. Check it out!
 
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Hunter Shelburne
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hancock.tom wrote:
Check out FIRE IN THE SKY offered by MMP games. Its very simple/light rules for a hex and counter game, has some innovative mechanics along with a lot of classic ones, and the map and oversized chits are really beautiful. It has some really interesting supply rules and the land combat is abstracted somewhat so that the game mostly concentrates on air/sea warfare. It might be the lowest complexity score for a hex and counter game on the geek. Check it out!


Interesting. I will definitely check it out.

Anyone have any other expandable games like PanzerBlitz that are maybe in a different setting or style, with modular boards? That may be a good draw.
 
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Geoff Bohrer
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Weapon wrote:


Anyone have any other expandable games like PanzerBlitz that are maybe in a different setting or style, with modular boards? That may be a good draw.


Funny you should ask...Action Front is pretty close to what you're describing, but won't be out until (probably) January.
 
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Andrew C
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LEHaskell wrote:

If you are interested in operational level games, I would recommend the new release from MMP A Victory Lost. It's got simple rules (and one of the best rulesets I've ever seen!) which introduces many of the conventions of other hex & chit games. It plays quickly and because of the chit pull activation, there's usually very little down time. Easy to learn, tough to master, this one offers some really tough choices. Add to that a great looking board and you've got a winner.


I'll be the third to recommend A Victory Lost. Fantastic rulebook, simply rules with tons of examples, nice bits, single map, great topic (the German attempt to stabilize the front after the debacle at Stalingrad). Just playing my first game now but I can already tell: this one is a winner!
 
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Pete Pariseau
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It sounds like the Panzergrenadier series from Avalanche Press might be what you're looking for. Same scale as PB, but many more topics covered.

For a more complex, more tactical game (squad level), I really like the Advanced Tobruk System from Critical Hit. There are two Basic Games avaialable for ATS which aren't hard to get into.
 
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Hunter Shelburne
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I will definitely get Target Arnhem, since its intro level.

Anybody have some good Card Driven wargames, if I like Memoir? I could probably get one standard Hex/Chit and one card driven, depending on the enjoyment level of Memoir.
 
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Phillip Heaton
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Weapon wrote:
I will definitely get Target Arnhem, since its intro level.

Anybody have some good Card Driven wargames, if I like Memoir? I could probably get one standard Hex/Chit and one card driven, depending on the enjoyment level of Memoir.


I definitely agree with Target: Arnhem. It is a good game, especially for the money.

Sergeants! on the Eastern Front (Russian and German troops) is part of a family of games (Sergeants! in the Sand (British and Italian), Sergeants! Expansion (Americans, French and Vehicles), and Sergeants! Scenario Book 1). All four only cost $44, and when you add in the maps and scenarios you can download from lostbattalion.com, you receive 43 scenarios (at last count) 10 maps, units for 7 nations (they had some Japanese tanks in the Expansion), 4 pages of basic rules, 4 pages of expanded rules - mostly for the vehicles they added, and a bunch of national table to show haw all those different weapons work in the game. Quite a deal if you ask me. Please note that Sergeants! on the Eastern Front only has one map and one scenario that comes with it.

One thing I'm a little surprised to see is that no one has challenged Memoir '44 as a card-driven game. I know that it is listed that way on BGG, but a true card-driven game, to my mind anyway, is one where each card gives you two or more options how to play it.

You start the turn with several cards in your hand. You can use cards for the event portrayed on it, which will help you or hurt your opponent (hopefully); OR you can use the card for its operational value, to move units and/or cause combat. Some games have a third use for the cards, to modify combat.

The card driven games that I consider to be such include: Empire of the Sun, For the People, For the People II, Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage, Here I Stand, Kutuzov (not yet available), Manifest Destiny, Paths of Glory, Paths of Glory II: the Ottoman Fronts (not yet available), Successors, Sword of Rome, The Napoleonic Wars, Thirty Years War, Twilight Struggle, We the People, Wellington, Wilderness War, World War 2: Barbarossa to Berlin. I have probably missed some, but these are most of them. For your first true card driven game, I would suggest Wilderness War. It is somewhat simpler than the others, but it is a very good game.

I’m also surprised that no one has brought up another category of wargames, block games. Most of these games are by Columbia games and include: Bobby Lee, Crusader Rex, East Front, East Front II, Europe Engulfed, Euro Front, Gettysburg: Badges of Courage, Hammer of the Scotts, Hellas: Peloponnesian War, Liberty, Med Front, Napoleon, Pacific Victory, Quebec 1759, Rommel in the Desert, Sam Grant, Victory the Blocks of War, Victoria Cross, Volga Front, War of 1812, West Front, West Front II, and Wizard Kings. I like Quebec 1759 as an introductory block game. It plays quickly and most of the games I’ve played are really close.
 
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Hunter Shelburne
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Wow, a ton of selections. Thanks, I got a lot to pour over.
 
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Mark Mokszycki
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I second the recommendation for Panzer Grenadier.

I also highly recommend the SCS series games from Gamers... they use a common set of rules that is only 6 pages, yet there is a lot of variability between the actual game titles, and the system offers a lot of strategic depth for such a simple system.

Drive on Stalingrad (Decsion Games version) is another good simple wargame. I'm playing it right now and really enjoying it.

Target Arnhem is good for the price (free!) but still not good enough to be in the same category as the PG and SCS games (but perhaps this should be obvious given the much smaller size and production values).

Some of the Strategy & Tactics magazine wargames are very good when you consider that you can pick them up for spare change with a little patience on ebay (often $5 or less). They tend to be hit and miss, so I'd recommend looking over comments and reviews before buying a particular issue game. Sedan Campaign is one of my favs of the newer issues... simple, attractive, and fun.
 
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Adam Starkweather
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hey Hunter, I am glad others have offered some nice comments on my line of games (Target Arnhem, Fire in the Sky and Victory Lost). I think they are great games, but I will leave the recommending of them to others. I am happy to answer any questions you have about them either here or through an IM.

If I might suggest a few choices that I think mesh in well with both your request here and your favorite games on your profile (yes, I peeked)...

Try and find a copy of East Front Tank Leader or Panzer Command. I love them both and think they are nice improvements over PanzerBlitz while still maintaining the same overall period flavor, complexity and scale. I liked Panzer Command so much that I even based my big Market Garden design on the same system. I actually prefer Tank Leader but because of how Market Garden happened, I couldn't make it fit.

Look at those two - both are terrific.

..and feel free to look at my stuff as well.



Adam
 
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