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Subject: Multiplayer wargame for 2-3 hours? rss

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Jeff Brown
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I'm looking for a Multiplayer wargame that plays in 3 hours or less for the High School game group that I sponsor. I already have Nexus Ops and I'm looking for something meatier with more strategy and decision making. The main ones I'm considering include with thoughts about each one:

A Game of Thrones- I'm concerned about balance issues, is this fixed by the expansions? Also is it likely to play in 3 hours or less?

Shogun- The rethemed Wallenstein- All my geek buddies say Wallenstein is to random to come up with a coherent strategy. I like my decisions to matter over randomness. Is it playable in 3 hours?

Perikles- looks like its doable in 3 hours and it looks fun but is it really a wargame?


Which would you choose for such a group or is there a better one I'm not considering?

Thanks for your recommendations
 
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Brad Miller
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Nexus Ops
Warrior Knights, might run too long though)
Friedrich (ditto)
Shogun isn't really a wargame
Antike (has war in it)

I've run out of ideas at this point
 
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Will DeMorris
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Based on your criteria I second Friedrich.


-Will

 
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Origins of WWII

Wizard's Quest
 
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Jeff Brown
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Friedrich looks interesting but is it playable in 3 hours or less?
 
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Ubergeek
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Game of Thrones is more of a diplomacy game with war events.

Shogun is definately a Euro game and not what I'd put in a wargame category.

Perikles is another Euro/Hybrid. There is combat involved to claim points from the battles of the period but it's also an influence/politics game.

You might consider some of the Axis & Allies:Europe or Pacific games. Friedrich is also a very good game using cards to determine battle outcomes.

History of the World might fit the bill as well and can come in right around 3 hours. Unfortunately some other good games like Conquest of the Empire or Britannia come in at about an hour per player.

If you're considering Perikles, also take a look at Byzantium and Antike if you like games which cover a certain time frame or have some historical flavor to them.

Memoir 44 can be played with 4 players also (with 2 sets) but is mainly a 2 player game.
 
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Kent Reuber
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These are Euro/Wargame hybrids, or perhaps "Euro games with conflict".

Joan of Arc. Plays up to 6, with a listed playing time of 3 hours. Players are nations in the Hundred Years War attempting to expand their empires, build fortresses, etc.

Samurai and Katana. A similar game to JoA above, but set in Samurai period Japan.

Condottiere. (Not really a wargame.) A card game of the Italian Wars. Players attempt to conquer provinces in Italy trying to build power bases of contiguous provinces.

Dune. Plays up to (and best with) 6. Best if players know the books.

Cosmic Encounter. Each player plays a race of aliens with special powers who attempt to conquer other planets.

Vinci. Plays up to 6. Players play a series of civilizations that expand, come into conflict, then go into decline.
 
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Colin Hunter
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I would second dune... but it is long
 
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Josh Foeller
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Why not try Avalon Hill's (Hasbro's) Diplomacy? Although it is not a wargame per se, it contains conflict, competition, etc. Playing time is quite manageable. Full games can last awhile, but play can be stopped at just about any time while still providing a fun experience. Also, given the low component density, the board setup can easily be recorded and games finished over multiple sessions.

Additionally, it is cheap and readily available (Though it might be technically out of print these days?), a potential bonus for a sponsor of a high school game group. Some might even argue that it's mildly educational, though maybe you shouldn't point that out to the kiddies until after they a play a game or two. Other advantages: Simple to explain and play (check the Geek for useful rules summaries), it can accommodate up to seven players.
 
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Pokke
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I second Diplomacy and A game of Thrones .

Other games to consider:

Victory! is sold with different sets of blocks so that you can play it with 4 (or even more) against each other. Or if you stick to the original box with two teams. It's generic so you can adjust the amount of troops to get shorter or longer games.

Other blockgame(s) are EastFront , WestFront and when you want to combine both EuroFront . Probably too long for 2-3 hours.

There's this game called Attack but I still prefer Axis & Allies over that one.

The older AH game Advanced Civilisation .

And of course: IMHO the best multiplayer "wargame" of them all: Struggle of Empires .
It's playable in a few hours, it does not have a huge amount of rules, it's great fun, requires serious thinking in order to win. But it's not really on a tactical level, so no masses of troops fighting each other.

Hope this helps?
 
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John Di Ponio
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The suggestion above, Friedrich, is a good pick...but KNOW the rules to help the students and you should get a 2 to 3 hour game!

I like Viktory II by Pete Morrison. The game requires quitea bit of strategy and is not a 'RISK' type game as it has been compared to by some! It can be played with anywhere from 2 to 6 players now....but Pete is in the mists of making an expansion to host up to 8 players. The game is VERY easy to learn and teach and you could get 2 games in in a session...maybe 3 depending on the amount of players and their skill!
 
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CHAPEL
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Pokke wrote:


And of course: IMHO the best multiplayer "wargame" of them all: Struggle of Empires .
It's playable in a few hours, it does not have a huge amount of rules, it's great fun, requires serious thinking in order to win. But it's not really on a tactical level, so no masses of troops fighting each other.
?


This would top my list as well. Easily playable in a 2-3 hour range, and can accommodate up to 7 players without batting an eye. Getting to know the "special" tiles may be a bit of a curve, and if that daunts you then go with Conquest of the Empire with the Wallace rules set.
 
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Daniel Val
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And don't forget Risk 2210AD (It could go up to 3 and a half hours)
Also, Monsters Menace America...if you consider it a wargame.

A safe bet is probably Nexus Ops.
 
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Kurt La Botz
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I'd go with Viktory II you can extend game play by increasing board size. The games play takes a lot of thinking to set your strategies you will need more then one strategy before the game ends. The games play is meaty with easy to learn rules.
 
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Necessary Evil
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Diplomacy, while a great game will never finish in 3 hours.
A Game of Thrones is a poor (imho) substitute for diplomacy. Its just not my favorite gaem and I do not recommend it.

Fredrich is Great and playable in 3 hrs. Best with 3 players but I think it can do 4. Not so good with 2.

Shogun / Periklese are certainly more euro than wargame.

My suggestions:
Nexus Ops
Struggle of Empires / conquest of the Empires (eagle)
Gamarauders
Mare Nostrum
risk 2210
-M

 
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Raindog
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I consider Shogun to be a wargame. I have Wallenstein (and I have ordered Shogun), and it is my favourite game. It has great atmosphere (guess the same goes for Shogun) and beautiful pieces. I definately feel like fighting a war when playing! A four-player game lasts for about 2 hours.

I agree that Viktory 2 is a great alternative. I have played it alot and it is great fun with easy rules and beautiful playing pieces.

Antike is a third alternative. Also a very quick and good game. plays in 2 hours.

Or you could always buy two sets of Memoir 44.

 
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Jeff Brown
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All of these sound like good suggestions. The only problem is that 3 hours is the upper edge of how long we can play as the game group doesn't go any longer than 3 hours. I have gotten some games in the past that were supposedly 3 hours but in the practice took much longer (Conquest of the Empire) so I ended up trading it.

The process of saving the game got to be more than it was worth.

It sounds like some of these games might be in that category but I don't know for sure.

I already have Nexus Ops I was just looking for something meatier to go with it.

Thanks everyone for all of your wonderful suggestions keep them coming if you've got them or if you have any comments on things so far.

Jeff
 
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Raindog
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To finish a game of Diplomacy in three hours you will have to be high on amphetamineor play in Matrix-bullet-time-style (I have no idea of how to do that in real life).
 
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