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Subject: Reds versus A Victory Lost versus A Victory Denied? rss

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Matt Logan
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Reds! The Russian Civil War 1918-1921 or A Victory Lost or A Victory Denied
I'd greatly appreciate your input on which game you would recommend from those based on the following criteria:

* Chit-Pull mechanic
* Low counter density
* Reasonable chrome. More rules than exceptions!
* Theater doesn't matter. I'm interested in all.
* Play time doesn't matter.

Thank you!
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Rex Stites
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Matt Logan wrote:
Reds! The Russian Civil War 1918-1921 or A Victory Lost or A Victory Denied
I'd greatly appreciate your input on which game you would recommend from those based on the following criteria:

* Chit-Pull mechanic
* Low counter density
* Reasonable chrome. More rules than exceptions!
* Theater doesn't matter. I'm interested in all.
* Play time doesn't matter.

Thank you!


There's a video playthrough of Reds! here that might give some insight into it.
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Robert Factor
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Although I own all three, I can certainly vouch for A Victory Lost as a solid fit to your criteria. Uber-easy and quick setup times and a very solid rules set; chit-pulling (and the Manstein/STAVKA chit mechanic) make it pretty exciting even when soloing.
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Andy Loakes
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Only played Reds of those three - really enjoyed it.
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Osprey
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The Bobby Factor wrote:
Although I own all three, I can certainly vouch for A Victory Lost as a solid fit to your criteria. Uber-easy and quick setup times and a very solid rules set; chit-pulling (and the Manstein/STAVKA chit mechanic) make it pretty exciting even when soloing.


Totally agree.
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Kurtis Swekla
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Another great chit pull game with your previous requirements is A Most Dangerous Time: Japan in Chaos, 1570-1584 It has a bit of chaos to it, but loads of fun with relatively straightforward rules and no chrome.
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Robert Factor
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doughboyca wrote:
Another great chit pull game with your previous requirements is A Most Dangerous Time: Japan in Chaos, 1570-1584 It has a bit of chaos to it, but loads of fun with relatively straightforward rules and no chrome.


Good call. And -- interestingly enough -- by the same designer (Tetsuya Nakamura) who did A Victory Lost.
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Matt Logan
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rstites25 wrote:
There's a video playthrough of Reds! here that might give some insight into it.


Thanks for the link. I have never heard of that site before. I watched Marco Arnaudo's review of Reds, and he got me all excited about it. However, there's plenty of good buzz on A Victory Lost. I think I am ruling out A Victory Denied unless someone else wants to weigh in on that one.
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Matt Logan
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doughboyca wrote:
Another great chit pull game with your previous requirements is A Most Dangerous Time: Japan in Chaos, 1570-1584 It has a bit of chaos to it, but loads of fun with relatively straightforward rules and no chrome.


Whoa, I missed this one. Thanks! Oh man, it's card play as well. But I noticed it's got twice the counters and rulebook as well. The chaos part does not bother me, and that map looks awesome.
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Kurtis Swekla
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I would say same number of counters as AVL (haven't played Reds or AVD). and the counters are mostly in stacks as I believe there is no stack limit. If you like anything bit different and Japanese history then you should definitely check out A most dangerous time. The card play is more for enhancements and not card driven. AVL is good too and solos a lot better if that is your thing.
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Kevin Moody
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I encourage you to give A Most Dangerous Time a try someday, but it's a lot more challenging to grok and IMO loses a lot if you play it solitaire.

I'm a little biased towards A Victory Lost. Just a little.
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Pete Pariseau
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A Victory Lost. Reds! has lots of chrome - there's more chrome than game, IMO.
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Max Bogatov
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I have played all this games and I vote for AVL.
Reds! is very different from AVL and AVD. It is strategic game and has a lot of special rules. You have to know history of Russian civil war very well to enjoy it. If not you will faced with a lot of illogical rules.
I have played it twice and it was fun (because I`m from Russia), but it is unbalanced in favor to Reds. It was in reality so it isn`t designer`s mistake but was planned by him.
Between AVL and AVD I prefer the former. It had more simple rules, but more interesting game options. In AVD you have to go far and far by your tanks and mech units (as German). There is no intrigue where - only one way through Smolensk. All of chits are available and you just choose what to use this turn.
In AVL (as Soviet) you have to decide before the game what chits you will not use during entire the game! This is strategical planning, you determine a direction of the main strike, which armies will be more active and which will be activated only by the Stavka chit. As for me it gives more replayability and intrigue to the game.
The one thing that I regret is absent in AVL (but present in AVD) is Logistic chit. It would give more uncertainty to supply.
So I vote for AVL though I have traded all this games because I want to try Mark Simonich`s operational games for WW2 (Ukraine`43) and Ted Raicer`s Clash of Giants series (it has chits too) for WW1.
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Matt Logan
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Thank you everyone for all the great input. I am going to go with AVL, but I am now strongly looking at AMDT as well.
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Gr Wr
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While it looks like you've made a decision, I'd like to recommend Reds! The Russian Civil War 1918-1921 as worth getting as well. I feel it fits your criteria well. It was one of the first wargames that I purchased, but I was able to easily internalize the rules, so the exceptions were not a big problem. The counter density is very manageable. The chit pull activation, with The multiple fronts for the Reds, vs. The multiple factions for the Whites, gives the game an interesting amount of asymmetry without being overwhelming to learn.

I've only played solo, so the 2-player experience may be different, but I think it's an underrated game. I recommend giving it a try.
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Carl Paradis
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I recommend Reds! The Russian Civil War 1918-1921.

I dislike the other two and have given them away. But I don't want to bore you with a rant why they did not fit my game preferences. meeple
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Matt Logan
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licinius wrote:
I recommend Reds! The Russian Civil War 1918-1921.

I dislike the other two and have given them away. But I don't want to bore you with a rant why they did not fit my game preferences. meeple


Please rant away. I read your comment on AVL and you mentioned the chit-pull as a negative. How did that mechanic work for you in Reds?
 
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Jason Cawley
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A Victory Lost. Not close, by far the best in the set.
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Carl Paradis
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Matt Logan wrote:
licinius wrote:
I recommend Reds! The Russian Civil War 1918-1921.

I dislike the other two and have given them away. But I don't want to bore you with a rant why they did not fit my game preferences. meeple


Please rant away. I read your comment on AVL and you mentioned the chit-pull as a negative. How did that mechanic work for you in Reds?


I don't find that the situation in AVL is covered adequately by using a chit-pull system given the time/scale and frontlines.

In Reds the situation is more fluid, more open, and with many small battles in specific areas of the front. Not so in AVL. Anyway check the critics on BGG they explain it much better then I can do.

I was very very disappointed by the AVL game, more so by the second installment, and I'm certainly negatively biased since I disliked the games so much: your experience may vary. If you want to give the system a try, definitely go for AVL (the other one is really bad IMHO gulp ).

If the main criteria is chit-pull, then these games below are really great (and the others in the Glory Rule System too), that type of more tactical battles are well portrayed using chit-pull:

Glory

Triumph & Glory: Battles of the Napoleonic Wars 1796-1809

Edit: the great redeeming feature of "Chit-pull" system is that they are excellent for solitaire play.
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Jon Gautier

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It is amazing how opinions can differ.

Reds has virtually nothing substantive in common with AVL and AVD. They are all wargames, they all have maps and counters, and they all use a chit pull activation mechanic. They are different wars, different scales, different combat systems; pretty much different rules altogether. You might as well get peoples' views on every other chit pull game out there, for all such comparisons might mean. I guess it is meaningful if you have your heart set on a chit pull game, but for my money, there are many other criteria that mean more to me in choosing a game, such as topic, scale, designer, deleloper, publisher, and production quality. Even whether a game is card-driven is far more meaningful to me than whether it is chit pull.

To not like AVL is one thing, there are many who don't. But to say that the situation in AVL is not fluid just beggars belief. I'm having a hard time thinking of games that do offer a more fluid, open, varied and freewheeling game than AVL.

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Carl Paradis
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Dieroll Honker wrote:

To not like AVL is one thing, there are many who don't. But to say that the situation in AVL is not fluid just beggars belief. I'm having a hard time thinking of games that do offer a more fluid, open, varied and freewheeling game than AVL.



OK what I meant by my comment is that in Reds! the fluidity works because of the game situation, not so in AVL. The multiple activations feels clunky and can lead to absolutely bizarre situations. Here are some comments about the game that IMHO describe the issue I had with the game pretty well:

A cartoon of a game with ugly counters and no simulation value. Clunky old ZOC-retreat mechanics combined with a totally luck-based chit draw sequence that can see the same units move and attack many times in a row while the opponent just sits there and gets surrounded, a very bad thing in a ZOC-retreat game


Biggest flaw is that its way, way too long for what it is. German player can go to the movies, watch the movie and come back while the russian player plays his STAVKA turn and not miss a thing.


Bog standard 1970s ZOCker wargame except for the chitpulls... which make no sense since they make some units stick in place and other lurch forward multiple times. Might make sense in an ACW tactical game... doesn't make sense in a WW2 operation environment. Classic "Action-over-Function" design that is exciting to play but bears no relation to history in how you play.

But, hey, a lot of people like the design. So I and others might completely be wrong about it.

So even if I much prefer Reds! The Russian Civil War 1918-1921, and other chit-pull games, I certainly don't dare telling that AVL is not worth a try! On the contrary. The game has some nice features, as the really amazingly great rulebook .
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Jon Gautier

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So you agree that AVL is fluid.
 
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Carl Paradis
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Dieroll Honker wrote:
So you agree that AVL is fluid.


Yes absolutely, in fact it's way much fluid/unpredictable for the game situation in the way it's portrayed vs the historical situation and it can lead to weird game ploys (the Stavka chit for example). An "activation chit" crapshoot if there is one.

I don't think that chit-pull is THE way to do for WWII operational games. It will work well for American Civil War or Napoleonic Tactical battles, or the "chaotic" Russian Civil War (and for that game because for the way the Fronts are defined it works well).

But in games with a more defined front line, WW2? Not sure.

Anyway AVL is a fair game worth gaming for sure, and the rulebook is great. The sequel? Naaaah. arrrh
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Jon Gautier

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But before you indicated that it wasn't fluid. But in fact you think it too fluid. Ok.

I do agree with you that the rulebook is great, Vincent did a fantastic job, he is one of my favorite rules writers.
 
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Carl Paradis
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Dieroll Honker wrote:
But before you indicated that it wasn't fluid.


Well, this is not exactly what I said.

Heck, give me the benefit of the doubt, please: I am not a native English-speaker. If you want to argue about English-language semantics then I'll most certainly lose the argument. meeple

Next time I'll write in French, just to be on the safe side.
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