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Subject: Looking for wargame. rss

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Jarratt Davis
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I haven't played a "real" wargame in years and recently have just escaped from exile in computer MMO and game land. Anyway one of my favourite oldies on the PC is "Close Combat: Invasion Normandy" and I was looking for something similar. I'm not really interested in debating whether or not it's an ok game (or even classed as a war game - I guess it's a hybrid rts), but what I would like to know of is if there is a medium level (non-computer) wargame that: a) is around the same scale, b) is of the same subject matter, c) is worth having (of course), and d) (preferably) is still in print?

ASL is too heavy and would probably fry what is left of my brain, and "Memoir '44" is too light (I already own it anyway). I had wondered whether or not "Combat Commander: Europe" fit the bill but I'm not %100 sure about the scale, or about what scenarios it covers. So a wargame with meat, but not too many bones.

Thanks very much for any replies!
 
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Kurt La Botz
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I would say the only draw back might be that CC from what I here has no armor, you might want to wait for FFG's Tide of Iron Take a look at it on there web site www.fantasyflightgames.com, the rules have just been posted and there is a video on the playability
 
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Andrew C
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Combat Commander would work if you can live without the armor. Another good choice is Lock n' Load: Band of Heroes. As the previous poster noted, Tide of Iron might work, but we haven't had a chance to actually play it yet.
 
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Michael B
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Recently I've been playing through CC2: A Bridge Too Far again... Such a great series if you're into that kind of game! There's nothing like that tense silence while you're waiting for your weak PIAT team to hurry up and reload before they get stomped on, and then that wonderful metallic explosion as they set a Panther on fire.

I haven't found a boardgame yet that captures the feel of close combat yet. From what I've seen, I think A&A minis comes the closest, but I just can't bring myself to go for the collectable game.
 
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Stephen Harper
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ibemichael wrote:
Recently I've been playing through CC2: A Bridge Too Far again... Such a great series if you're into that kind of game! There's nothing like that tense silence while you're waiting for your weak PIAT team to hurry up and reload before they get stomped on, and then that wonderful metallic explosion as they set a Panther on fire.

I haven't found a boardgame yet that captures the feel of close combat yet. From what I've seen, I think A&A minis comes the closest, but I just can't bring myself to go for the collectable game.


Actually, the original SL game plus just the first one or two expansions - after that it got too complicated)gave me that feeling. Many times you would get down to the end-game with some German/American squad toting panzerfausts/bazookas who would be all by their lonesome against some tank(s).
 
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Ken Feldman
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You might want to try one of the Advanced Tobruk System (ATS) games. The basic rules weigh in at 4 pages and cover the sequence of play, infantry combat and morale. You can add more rules as you progress into more advanced scenarios. The full rules are 60 pages, but they cover all of the theaters (Western Front, Eastern Front, Desert, and Pacific) of World War II and all types of combat units (artillery, armor, aircraft...) Each of the boxed games has the 4 page basic rules.

If you like Normandy scenarios, Against All Odds, D-Day Rangers and Scottish Corridor are good games to get. My favorites in the series are Advanced Tobruk, Berlin - Red Victory and Arnhem.
 
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Lee Kennedy
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CC:E is a great game. Don't let the lack of armor put you off. You can get a sense of the game before you decide by reading some of the session reports and the rules.
 
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Stephen Harper
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Oops, forgot to mention: Sounds like L&L: Band of Heroes might be a good choice for you. A step down in complexity from SL, but definitely not "boney"! I like L&L enough to have all its modules on order.

I am playing CC: Europe right now, and am enjoying it immensely. Check out the reviews and after-action reports in BoardGameGeek to see if it appeals to you.

Tide of Iron? All I can say is I have it on order. It looks like a blast. See the demo video on Fantasy Flight's website.
 
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Barry Kendall
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The "Lock 'n Load" games are the first that came to mind. I'm also looking forward to "Tide of Iron," but it sounds like you might want a bit more meat than that. Research both before making a buy.
 
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Mark Christopher
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In the wonderful game, Bonaparte at Marengo, this is how to get nasty Frenchies out of a village.
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Combat Commander: Europe has been like gaming crack for us, too. Indeed, after each time we play, I want to watch Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers again. It really delivers a fun, fast game with a great narrative, sitting surprisingly nicely in the space between a beer-and-pretzels wargame and something like Squad Leader.
 
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Richard Irving
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Quote:
I had wondered whether or not "Combat Commander: Europe" fit the bill but I'm not %100 sure about the scale, or about what scenarios it covers.


Scale is 100 ft per hex.
Time scale: each card played represents a few seconds.
Size of map for all scenarios: 10x15 hexes, 1000' x 1500' (That's ~35 acres or ~26 football fields.)
Time to play is about 2 hours or so. (Even with teaching, it hasn't taken much longer.)

Units represent: Squads of 10 men, teams of 5 men and individual leaders. No vehicles are present in the game (The deigner felt they would overpower the game--especially in such a small area.

The 1st edition Europe include Germans, Americans and Russians. Volume 2 (Mediterranean) will have British, French & Italians. Pacific will probably be the third edition.

Europe's 12 scenarios each with their own map. The maps cover cities, open field & farmland, forests, bocage, hilly terrain, etc. (Mediterranean will include desert maps and more "Mediterranean flavored maps) In aditional, there is random scenario generator to creat a wide variety of situations.

Is it fun? I think so, I have only played a dozen or so times in the month I've had it.
 
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Jarratt Davis
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Wow, thanks to all for your suggestions and taking the time out to reply!

Ok so it sounds like it may boil down (mostly) to CC:E and LnL:BoH. I think I might try and get both as from my brief research on the respective websites, they both look like they would scratch slightly different itches. Also is CC:E only available through "Project 500"? Or can it be bought through "normal" online game stores? BTW the lack of vehicles doesn't bother me too much in CC:E, even if I do enjoy the tense infantry vs tank battles in CC:Invasion Normandy.

Tide of Iron interests me as well but, from my reading of the rules as well as the promotional video, it might not be quite what I'm looking for at this time. Even though I'm a sucker for nice game pieces, or miniatures of any sort really.
 
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Charles Vasey
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I didn't enjoy CC:E at all, but it has many fans. If you don't want the original Squad Leader then the Lock n' Load Games should do the trick. Combat Commander is closer in style and scale to Up Front.

Both is, of course, a good compromise....
 
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Jarratt Davis
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ibemichael wrote:
Recently I've been playing through CC2: A Bridge Too Far again... Such a great series if you're into that kind of game! There's nothing like that tense silence while you're waiting for your weak PIAT team to hurry up and reload before they get stomped on, and then that wonderful metallic explosion as they set a Panther on fire.

I haven't found a boardgame yet that captures the feel of close combat yet. From what I've seen, I think A&A minis comes the closest, but I just can't bring myself to go for the collectable game.


That was the first one in the series that I bought and played, as I had missed out on the original. I've had all of the rest of the series since then, but for some reason I enjoy Invasion Normandy the most (A Bridge Too Far comes a close second).

I like facing the Fallschirm-Jaeger and (in this game at least, no idea if it's historically correct) their 12cm mortar. The mortars are more (again - in this game) a psychological threat than a physical one if you are prepared for facing them (the AI at times isn't that bright, although sometimes it can be nasty and surprise you), but the first time I played and they caught me unawares has never been forgotten. *BLAM* "What the heck was that?!?!" Which reminds me - I surprised and took out one of them last night by sending my recon unit around behind through the hedges and behind enemy lines. Always get a lot of satisfaction catching those blighters unawares.

Playing the Germans is a lot of fun too - especially successfully denying the US trying to land on the beach where your forces are extremely limited.

Although they are often compared to RTS games, I think they are a whole lot more "realistic" than any traditional RTS (I'm thinking the Command and Conquer style) I've ever played. They play a lot more like a light to medium level turn-based wargame in real-time mode. Of course they aren't as complex as something like ASL, but definitely one of the more fun computer distractions for part-time wargamers. Some of the features (of Invasion Normany at least, my memory is fuzzy on the earlier games) include:
- You have very finite resources which you have to look after. Especially the Germans. Troops cannot be thrown around with abandon like a normal RTS games. Once lost, they are gone forever. One of my pet peeves with typical RTS games on computers is this idea of "infinite" (although they are often limited in such a way as limited materials on a map) resources and the throw away nature of your forces.
- Line of sight (including terrain, buildings etc.) and cover plays a huge part in the game, you must use tactics otherwise your troops will be slaughtered in the blink of an eye(like some of mine were last night when a heavy MG caught them running between hedges). eg. When commencing assault over a wide open area use smoke, smoke, smoke and/or keep your heads down.
- Tanks are very vulnerable in the hedgerows without infantry to support them, and lethal to infantry if they spot them out in the open.
- Orders are not instantly carried out, and the troops will not always obey them either. In fact there are times when they will disobey orders given and do something rash like charge towards the action because of an impatient officer while you wildly click on them shouting "No, go back you fools! I need that lane guarded!"
- They all have names, gain medals etc. and you can get attached to them ie. care about what happens to them.
- I also like the fact that your battles "permanently" change the battlefield map. eg. Buildings are damaged and reduce in cover ratings (well the graphics change and they certainly seem to provide less cover, but as all numbers are internal it's a little hard for me to say for sure), tanks you destroy stay where they were etc. This lead to one particular heatedly contested map being absolutely congested with dead tanks in one place to the point where you could no longer travel down the road unless you were on foot, due to a clash between a US and a German armoured regiment.

PS I have some of the A&A minis, but I'm not into collectable games either. Plus the ones I do have I think I'd rather use the pieces with some of the freely available miniatures rules you can get online.
 
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Jarratt Davis
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Charles Vasey wrote:
I didn't enjoy CC:E at all, but it has many fans. If you don't want the original Squad Leader then the Lock n' Load Games should do the trick. Combat Commander is closer in style and scale to Up Front.

Both is, of course, a good compromise....


I figure that getting both might be best although I don't think either is entirely what I am looking for. They are as close as I'm likely to get right now, and will scratch the itch well enough. I'm afraid I just don't have the mind, memory or time required to be a real "Grognard" these days (if indeed I ever was one) - which is why I'm looking toward the lighter end of the spectrum. Of course too light and I'd get bored with it all pretty quickly, too heavy and it will never get played.

Anyway, thanks again to all for your help. It's very much appreciated.
 
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Bill the Pill
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Kenfeldman wrote:
You might want to try one of the Advanced Tobruk System (ATS) games. The basic rules weigh in at 4 pages and cover the sequence of play, infantry combat and morale. You can add more rules as you progress into more advanced scenarios. The full rules are 60 pages, but they cover all of the theaters (Western Front, Eastern Front, Desert, and Pacific) of World War II and all types of combat units (artillery, armor, aircraft...) Each of the boxed games has the 4 page basic rules.

If you like Normandy scenarios, Against All Odds, D-Day Rangers and Scottish Corridor are good games to get. My favorites in the series are Advanced Tobruk, Berlin - Red Victory and Arnhem.


And Omaha is coming soon for ATS.
 
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