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Subject: Starting with these wargames. Suggestions? rss

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Aaron Gelb
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I have the interest of diving into war gaming. My previous experience has been rather light.

I know

(a)Combat Commander:europe has some card driven elements in it, and I've heard some good things about (b)lock n load...

Are these good games (good rules, not uber difficult, of good value and fun)?

I can comprehend decently tough rulesets after playin and reading for a bit, so should I start with these choices, or would you suggest something else. I want detail and depth, but not something overly complex or confusing..i guess i would like, in the genre of "real wargames", the easier-to-get-into choices.

Thanks!

I've already played most games like attack! and A&A..and i've done the light wargame like memoir and i'm gonna get Tide of Iron...so please just suggestions for "real" wargames..thanks.
 
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Bob Mosdal
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I think some of the standard refinements of this question are:
is there any particular period of history you are interested in?
is there a scale that interests you?
Because there are good recommendations to be made but it's different if you're interested in tactical World War Two vs strategic American Civil War.
 
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bill betts
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While you're looking at MMP's a Victory Lost you might as well consider AFRIKA. Also fairly easy but with a longer time to play a game. This game leads into other games in the series (same basic rules set). Afrika also leads into some hardcore wargames like DAKII.
 
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Aaron Gelb
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thanks, I'll take a look into those...WWII is definitely my area of interest mainly. I loved the way Lock n Load looked, but with those white outlined hexes it gives me a headache! whata shame.
 
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Matt Keyes
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Not to be redundant, but A Victory Lost and Afrika (now 2nd ed.) are definitely both great games. The same rules for Afrika apply for the most part to the game The Mighty Endeavor, which is also fun.

You might want to give these a spin on Vassal. i don't know if the SCS games (Afrika, TME, etc.) are on it or not, but AVL is.
 
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Aaron Gelb
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ok, so doing some looky-louing, i've noticed some of the different scales...but i'm not sure to the exact names...

there is tactical, which i believe is the furthest zoomed in, showing individual buildings that take up one or more hexes, etc, where the chits represent squads and individuals

then there is one more zoomed out, which might represent full platoons or battalions, where a full town may take up one hex..

and then where does it go from there...??

personally, i'm interested in getting into the tactical, the most zoomed in scale
 
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Matt Keyes
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For tactical i'd suggest Combat Commander, Panzer Grenadier, or the upcoming new game Tide of Iron.
 
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Todd Pytel
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asgelb wrote:

there is tactical, which i believe is the furthest zoomed in, showing individual buildings that take up one or more hexes, etc, where the chits represent squads and individuals

Right.

Quote:
then there is one more zoomed out, which might represent full platoons or battalions, where a full town may take up one hex..

That would be "operational".

Quote:
and then where does it go from there...??

The next level up would be "strategic", which is generally characterized by the introduction of non-military factors into the game (e.g. political, diplomatic, economic, etc.) and a time scale in months or years. There are also many games that fall into gray areas between those levels, so the terminology isn't something to take too seriously.

Quote:
personally, i'm interested in getting into the tactical, the most zoomed in scale

Then, besides the fine suggestions for CC:E and L&L, you should at least take a look at ASL and the ASL Starter Kits. They take significant time and effort to learn, but the fact that a significant number of its players have been playing it for the last 20 years (30 if you count the original Squad Leader before it) should be evidence of its quality. The forums here are extremely welcoming and helpful for people getting into the game as well.
 
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Matt Keyes
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One other thought (what i started with)... it's not tactical, but it's super cheap (just pay for shipping): Target Arnhem: Across 6 Bridges.
 
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Phillip Heaton
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If you like tactical WWII, try Sergeants! on the Eastern Front. The game is easy to learn, with only four pages of rules. It is one man equals one counter, so it is very tactical. It is inexpensive; the publisher sells all four games/modules in the series for only $44, plus a small S&H fee.
 
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George Haberberger
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Advanced Tobruk is another squad level tactical game, a little simpler than ASL. Panzer Grenadier, mentioned earlier, is simpler yet (16 pges of rules), but is a step up in scale, units are platoons and a village might occupy one hex.
 
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Azog
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I will kick in my standard recommendations here;

The Advanced Tobruk System -looks- nice; i.e. the components look nice. However, the comments I usually hear about this system are that it is a simpler ASL. It's a tactical game. My only complaint is that the number of scenarios is fairly thin. I want to like this system.

ASL - I don't like it, others love it. The amount of rules for this game is staggering - far more than I'd ever want to dig into. The best description of this game I've heard so far is that it is a "rulebook look-up game". The starter kits are nice, but they don't really prepare you for the mountain of rules that you'll end up needing to play the full game.

Mark Walker's Lock 'n Load - I didn't like this at first, but later on, it grew on me. With "Band of Heroes", you get a nice set of MOUNTED maps, which are beautiful despite the white outlines on the hexes, and absolutely gorgeous counters. The rules are coherent, and play a lot like the old Squad Leader. There's a huge focus on combining cinematic gaming with a historical environment. It's cheap enough that it's worth a risk, and you'll be pleasantly surprised. There's a free demo available on their website. It's squad level tactical gaming at it's best.

The Panzer Grenadier Series - by Avalanche Press. Those who have followed my rantings around here know that I'm a big fan of this series. It's platoon-level tactical combat; it fills a niche between tactical and operation level games. The gameplay is deep, and the number of scenarios you get with the system is huge - over 100 with the Eastern Front Deluxe box. Which is where I would suggest you begin. I only have 2 significant complaints about this system, and that is that they keep going down on the cost of their maps. The older sets that you get off of Ebay all have mounted maps. Nowadays, you get thick cardboard maps. And some of the newest sets, you get thick paper maps (although, they are coated, and quite durable). My second big complaint is that the proof-reading seems to be a bit lacking, and AP doesn't seem come forth with the errata very easily.

Still, the overall system is deep, and worthwhile. It has unique systems which make it worthwhile, and once you look past the minor flaws, it shines. It's very rich in historical accuracy, although some nit-picky grognards will say differently.

The last big system I would suggest would be "The Russian Campaign". Simply because it gives you a firm grounding in an operational-level wargame. It plays relatively quick for this type of game, and the gameplay is fast and furious. Very worth the effort. The rules are simple, but like chess, difficult to master.

Azog
 
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LEHaskell wrote:

It offers only one scenario, but because of random chit pull system, the game has considerable replay value.

Although the rules are simple, the play is quite deep, and requires many deliciously challenging decisions.


I'm much like the OP. I enjoy M44, have seen CC:E, and want to move a little deeper into wargames but stay under 3 hours. AVL looks great, but I worry about the replay value. Oddly, I think Bonaparte at Marengo has great replay value. False concern on my part?

For replay and time value, I'm leaning toward CC:E, but am attracted toward the operational scale of AVL. I'm be interested to hear more on intro-friendly operational wargames.
 
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