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Normandy '44» Forums » General

Subject: Best operational game for wwii ? rss

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I have read some reviews that said this is probably one of the best operational games for the ww2. I wonder which is the point that makes it so unique compared with liberty roads or the mighty endevor.( I'm planning to buy a new game for holidays and I would appreciate some comment from experienced players.)

Thanks!
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Michael McCalpin
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The scale is very different between Normandy '44 (covers the first few weeks of the campaign in Normandy itself) and the other two games, which cover the whole west front campaign into Germany. In some sense, that spoils a direct comparison, but I'll tell you what I know anyway.

I have read the rules for Liberty Roads but have not played it, while I have played Mighty Endeavor (second edition).

Liberty Roads has some clever mechanisms to force the Germans to behave somewhat historically (you gotta keep Hitler happy), and a support chit mechanism that keeps each engagement interesting. The rules seem simple, and the session reports speak well for it.

Mighty Endeavor did actually play like the historical campaign with a minimum of rules fuss, and I certainly respect that. It did feel a bit like someone had a system of game mechanisms and glued it to the situation, though, by which I mean I didn't feel historically immersed in the decisions the leadership on either side were making. Just my sense of it.

Normandy '44 drills down into more details, particularly those related to getting enough units and supplies ashore or trying to hold the Allies in place with very limited supplies long enough to bring up some Panzers. Part of this is a function of the regimental scale and the focus on the landings and early build-up, but part of it is Mr Simonitch's demonstrated talent for creating game systems that offer detail and historical feel without unduly burdening the player. He told me once a design philosophy that explained it well, something like: "If I keep forgetting a rule while playtesting, I imagine the players will too, and I figure out a way to make the game work without the rule." The resulting game is tense, plays easily, and feels real.

Is it the best? I dunno, but I like it a great deal. Check out my session reports (here and here) and see if they speak to you.
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Tom Stearns
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I may not be adding much more to what Michael already stated, but I'll chime in anyway.

I have played Liberty Roads and it was a fun challenging game. For a game in this topic at that scale it would probably be my choice. I have Mighty Endeavor 1st Ed but I haven't played it. And frankly not sure if I will. I have a lot of experience with SCS games and have become increasingly disenchanted by the lack of detail. The units and thus the games just feel so generic. I have sold all my SCS games including It Never Snows. I still have TME but like I said it may never see the table.

Full disclosure here. Normandy'44 is one of my all time favorite games and Mark Simonitch my current favorite designer. N'44 is as Michael said a different scale than the other two. I prefer this scale to the others. It is a tense game and difficult for the Germans to win, but not impossible. I've done so. It plays really well with 1,2 or 4 people. Of the three it's the only one I could recommend without hesitation. A bonus is having learned to play N'44 it will be easier to learn Marks other games.
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Rob Francis
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“"To Aetius, now consul for the third time: the groans of the Britons ... The barbarians drive us to the sea; the sea throws us back on the barbarians: thus two modes of death await us, we are either slain or drowned".” ―Gildas
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gohrns wrote:
A bonus is having learned to play N'44 it will be easier to learn Marks other games.


Agree with all that has been said. I've played Normandy face to face 4-5 times but the best thing about it is that it has served as a gateway to Ardennes '44, Ukraine '43, The Caucasus Campaign and France '40 which I play solo. All use variations of the same rules. They would be a superb collection of subject matter if you were writing a Phd on how wargame rules reflect specific military issues unique to certain campaigns.

Fantastic games, superb rules, brilliant designer.

The only rules/ game series I may like more is Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939 and the forthcoming Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944 which is again, a different scale.
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