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Subject: I loooooove wargames/strategy games...but I suck! rss

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Aaron Gelb
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I love strategy war games.....axis and allies, attack! with expansion, and i'm interested in getting into heavier war games. Like my karate Sensai once said, "Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect."

My group of friends don't allow for frequent games due to our schedules, so i can't always play these games as much as I would like.

I guess what I'm saying is, even though I rarely find myself winning games, I still thouroughly enjoy playing them..for me losing is almost as fun as winning..as long as a get a few good customized turns!

Any advice, besides playing more, that you think could make me a better strategic minded player? And any games out there that are hugely fun to play, even if you lose most of the time? blush
 
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Alan Richbourg
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I'll email a guide I wrote for a similar minded guy. Hope it helps.
 
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Kurt La Botz
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Try www.viktorygame.com, Viktory II.

Patton I wouldn't give a hoot and a holler for anyone who lost and liked it.

Also try atgamesonline.com and look at Watchtower.

Puller in the Chosin to the Marine artillery if the army infantry pulls so much as an inch off that hill blow them all to Hell
 
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Wade Broadhead
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I seem to lose often as well lately at strategic games (mostly to IT wizes and engineers), but I'm using gaming and my job enforcing/reading city codes to balance each other and feed off each other.

Things to keep in mind....

1st games are tough regardless. Don't be too hard on yourself. Try and play quickly, so you can have another shot and don't bog down the game. Second loses are a tad more painful for me

That said, pay attention to details. The unit abilities, interactions, cards etc are crucial of course, and realizing when you can do what, makes a big difference. Second games usually tell you how much you've learned. Try to avoid thinking "crap, I could have activated that unit, collected money there etc".

Look ahead one or two turns. Look ahead WITHIN the turn. A special card or unit or role may allow you to do something for free later you were ready to "pay for" now. TI3 is a good example of this.

Don't forget to do everything you're allowed to do. Don't forget special roles, abilities, etc. Use some pennies or some type of dice to remind you how many actions you’ve used up etc.

Oh big one I've been missing. Play AGAINST people too. A lot of these cool strategic games like Goa, Caylus, PR, TI3 you get so bogged down on your own plan you forget what your opponent is doing. Making some moves to thwart him/her is usually a good idea. I've had some runaway Leonardo and Goa games lately for this reason.

Don't overpay and learn when to not move/play. Strategic auction games etc, can kill you by overpaying for something. Also, there are good times to end your move, when another move doesn’t really help.

Be Patient. Sometimes saving resources for a later turn can be a good move and catch others in the poor house. A counterattack may be more devastating after a player has exhausted his forces in a war-game even though it looks fearsome at the time. Just wait for new opportunities to present themselves if your current position doesnt look good.

If it doesn't seem right it's probably not. Applies to work more than anything, but I've seen, and I've actually done this: ask the moderator/teacher questions on weird outcomes/abilities etc. SO many times I realize we were playing a rule wrong, sometimes it's crucial!

Just some ideas for strategic games in general. Hope this helps.



 
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Troy Davidson
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I also lose a lot at wargames, but I just keep trying and reading session reports and reviews on the games. That way I see what others are doing and try to learn from it.

Also, if you don't get games out often, try VASSAL (http://www.vassalengine.org/community/index.php) and play online.
 
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John Di Ponio
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I have about 50/50 chance on a wargame (sure seems like worse odds sometimes!). It's all about who you play and your tactics!
I have become a much better player with age and can be credited to KNOWING the limits of any certain game. (especially evident in ASL) Missing a specific rule can realy turn the tide in a wargame.

I do a lot of casual study on WWII tactics, which is where most of my gaming lies, but I have another nice read that jolts the mind. Sun Tzu's Art OF War is a good book. Not to memorize, but just to get ideas into your mind. SOunds trivial, but works well in some cases.

I would like to view Alan's ideas on this subject as I have only taken to historical study and rules familiarity road to winning...or at least being competitive!!!!!

There is another book; The Art Of Wargaming by Peter Perla. It can be a bugger to find and may be avaliable for download. Its a good read nd gives you the history of wargaming and some mechanics that are helpful.
 
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Barry Kendall
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A good way to get better at wargames is to play them solitaire. This forces you to learn the rules thoroughly. It also evens out the luck, since you're rolling for both sides. In addition, by doing your best with both sides, you learn about the strengths and weaknesses, attractive avenues of advance and worrisome vulnerabilities each side has.

It isn't always necessary to play a solo game through to conclusion. Say you want to experiment with early-game approaches in A&A. Play three full turns, note the results, set up and do it again until you have identified certain optimal early attacks and places not worth investing a lot to defend.

Another way to get better at wargames is to play people who are somewhat more experienced than you are and who have the kind disposition to teach you rather than just drub you to build up their pathetic little egos.

Teaching can take place in two ways: either by a player suggesting that you might not want to do a certain thing, or by seeing a player carry out an effective plan and learn through being defeated by that plan. Either way, you glean something useful each time you play.

Another important consideration is that winning is not everything. The PROCESS of playing a wargame is immensively satisfying. You're orchestrating a complex series of interactions, you're vicariously experiencing "the challenge of command," and you're creating an epic that unfolds as you play, turn-by-turn. Winning is icing on the cake, but sometimes, doing well in a losing cause is just as pleasing.

Playing a wargame also provides the opportunity to gain a measure of insight into history. Not all wargames are created equal in the history department, but rare is the time when I don't come away from a game without new insight into some aspect of history or historical possibilities. The benefits of playing such a game last far beyond the time of play.

All this, of course, is in addition to the pleasure of playing with other gamers of a compatible sort on those occasions when you can get together for a game.

You don't have to be the top gun gamer to have fun in this hobby.
 
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Kevin Nieman
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asgelb wrote:
I guess what I'm saying is, even though I rarely find myself winning games, I still thouroughly enjoy playing them..for me losing is almost as fun as winning..as long as a get a few good customized turns!


I don't have much advice to help you become a better wargamer, but I think what makes you a gamer is your ability to enjoy the game, win or lose.

I've played many games, and my ojbect is always to win. However, I get so much enjoyment from the playing of the game that winning is just the icing on the cake.

Good luck on your journey toward "true-grognard."



 
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Alan Richbourg
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John, et. al,

I doubt my article is really ready for prime time, but I've made it available anyway on my NIE website at http://www.geocities.com/athos_10/NIE/ Scroll down to "How to Win guide" if you want to download it.

It's pretty basic, for example, the person who read it first had never formed a real overall plan before in games, he just started winging it right off the bat for every game. So he got the idea that making a plan might be a good idea ...

The article points out that after a few general principles, you really need to understand game-specific strategies. The article doesn't provide these game specific strategies for you, so you have to get that some other way (more reading, study, experimentation, etc).

Also, I also highly recommend reading Sun Tzu's Art of War.
 
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Colin Hunter
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Firstly as some one else pointed out tactics, tactics, tactics are key. Before you win a strategy game you must have the fundamental tactics down. It is a almost a given that you must make no tactical mistakes to win. That means

-Know the rules in side out. If you feel like you are not sure on a particular rule read it till you are

-Concentrate on not making simple mundane mistakes related to the rules

Once you have nailed the basic fundamental decision you can concentrate more on overall strategy. This is in general much trickier, particularly if you are playing multi player games that only one person can win. The above comments about strategy are great (so heed their advice).

A note about multi player games with multiple factions:
Negotiation is the key. Remember people will always back stab you if you have no stick to go with your carrot. So negotiation is about stick and carrot, with out both you are either a defenceless player with many riches or a bully that needs to be taken out. Winning from behind is often the best way to win, but sometime strength is essential to victory and so you must take the lead early. Again the advice about Sun Tzu's art of war is good, but basically do what works... Think about how your strategy interacts with your opponents and how it increases the likely hood of success. Also don't be affraid to comprimise, only poor players swear life long vendettas or make childish decisions to throw the game away.
Good luck
 
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Adolfo perez
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Preety good advices over there...I wan't to add two more:

- Use emotionally intelligence. That is: be caferefull about the reason for what you're taking a decision. At any moment ¿Are you doing really the best move or are you trying to save your honor? ¿Are you retaliating another player? ¿You want that territory/card/tile because just looks great?

It could seem a silly advice, but a friend of mine often loses strategy games because he take decisions like "Dammed, I failed to take that territory, but I'll take it no matter if it's the last thing I'll do in my life"

- Be flexible. Everyone likes to play by a particular game style or bases his play in a particular component of the game. Try another styles and probably you would improve your usual style of play. ¿You like to play agresive? Try a game playing conservative. ¿Don't like to spend the game money in spies? Buy them in one game and learn what you have obtained from them.
 
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John Lopez
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Dante_Cubit wrote:
asgelb wrote:
I guess what I'm saying is, even though I rarely find myself winning games, I still thouroughly enjoy playing them..for me losing is almost as fun as winning..as long as a get a few good customized turns!


I don't have much advice to help you become a better wargamer, but I think what makes you a gamer is your ability to enjoy the game, win or lose.

I've played many games, and my ojbect is always to win. However, I get so much enjoyment from the playing of the game that winning is just the icing on the cake.

Good luck on your journey toward "true-grognard."





True 'dat.
 
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