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Subject: Looking for something to satisfy my wargaming craze without miniatures rss

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Matteo Harris
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Hello everyone

I posted this in general recommendations and was recommended to post this here so here we go

I have recently had the epiphany that I don't really care too much for the painting of miniatures, but I am a huge history guy and love the idea of recreating or creating battles to play with other people and so am looking for something to fill the gap Warhammer and 28mm Ancients has left.Period doesn't really matter but I would lean towards Napoleonic or Ancient.I am looking for any recommmendations you guys can give me along these two lines:

1)A hex based war-game similar to something like the great battles of history series, or just any good hex game that simulates a single battle at a time. My only issue with these is replayibility. Even if it came with multiple scenarios, I would like a game, if one exists where you can create scenarios yourself

2)This is a very dividing topic which I have read some interesting threads about, but that is to use blocks or just bases, possibly with top down counters like those from www.juniorgeneral.org with common wargaming rules like black powder or hail caesar. Does anyone have experience with this? Do you think it would be enjoyable in the long run?
Something like this but with blocks or bases maybe?:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk23wxCKNZ8
Thanks in advance for any help
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Leo Zappa
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I would think that these two GMT series would be very much in line with your request:

Commands & Colors: Ancients
Commands & Colors: Napoleonics

They use blocks with stickers and come with a plethora of scenarios. They don't have point systems for DIY scenarios but it wouldn't be hard to build your own scenarios by reading up on any battle from their respective time periods and roughing out an OOB for each side.
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Rex Stites
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If you come from a miniatures background, you might want to look into Battles from the Age of Reason (BAR). I've heard multiple people describe it as being a hex-and-counter "miniatures" game in the sense of how handles a lot of things. Each game covers a single battle, but the full battles are typically very large. As a result,they come with different scenarios that cover portions of the battle. You'd be able to invest quite a lot of time in playing through the scenarios and ultimately the full battle before the replayability of a particular game wore off.

You might also look into the La Bataille series games. They're often compared to BAR, so may be more suitable for what you're looking for. There are multiple rulesets out there for La Bat, though. So you'll have to do some research into which you'd like to play.

In GBOH, even if you only play a particular battle once, games like SPQR (Deluxe Edition) come with so many different battles, that it will take you quite a long time to get through them all. A lot of battles occur on a big open plain anyway, so you could use the counter mix to create additional battles you'd like to game.

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Matteo Harris
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. BAR and La Bataille are outside my price range I'm afraid. SPQR though I am interested in! Will read some reviews tonight.

Does anyone have anything to say about my second suggestion?. This still appeals to me a bit more than something like SPQR but am concerned without miniatures it will not keep my attention for long
 
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Joseph Paquet
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If you enjoy minis, then only minis will scratch that itch. Blocks are ok but they will always be a poor substitute for the real thing...
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ROGER DEAL
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What about Squad Leader or Advanced Squad Leader? It has many single battles, easy to 'design you own' battle, hex & counter type game, easy to get and a HUGE fan base.
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Andrew Kluessendorf
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Worthington Publishing is coming out with Hold the Line: The American Revolution which comes with plastic figures - and you can play out American Revolutionary Battles. This was on Kickstarter and I think is expected to release in roughly September.
 
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Roger Hobden
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Lost Battles

Forty games in one.

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desertfox2004 wrote:
I would think that these two GMT series would be very much in line with your request:

Commands & Colors: Ancients
Commands & Colors: Napoleonics

They use blocks with stickers and come with a plethora of scenarios. They don't have point systems for DIY scenarios but it wouldn't be hard to build your own scenarios by reading up on any battle from their respective time periods and roughing out an OOB for each side.


It is a good suggestion. You will have fun with these two and you will still have the feel of miniatures. A nice transition.

Once you have played them a lot, you might want to go for meatier games. However, bear in mind that "simple" doesn't necessarily mean "bad" wargames.
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Hunga Dunga
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Cazzer505 wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions guys. BAR and La Bataille are outside my price range I'm afraid. SPQR though I am interested in! Will read some reviews tonight.

Does anyone have anything to say about my second suggestion?. This still appeals to me a bit more than something like SPQR but am concerned without miniatures it will not keep my attention for long

Lobositz: First Battle of the Seven Years War lists for $55, but can be picked up here for $33. Haven't looked at eBay yet.
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Jason Sadler
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Heroes of Normandie is a light miniatures game in cardboard form. There are scenarios with set forces as well as point-buy scenarios.
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Pokey 64
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The old Avalon Hill Napoleon's Battles.

Miniature rules with "top down" counters (very large ones). Should be an easy find second hand.
 
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Rex Stites
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Hungadunga wrote:
Cazzer505 wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions guys. BAR and La Bataille are outside my price range I'm afraid. SPQR though I am interested in! Will read some reviews tonight.

Does anyone have anything to say about my second suggestion?. This still appeals to me a bit more than something like SPQR but am concerned without miniatures it will not keep my attention for long

Lobositz: First Battle of the Seven Years War lists for $55, but can be picked up here for $33. Haven't looked at eBay yet.


Prague: The Empty Triumph can be had for pretty cheap, too.
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Richard Hellsten
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1) SPQR has been OOP for quite a while and can be very pricy to pick up. The Great Battles of Alexander: Macedonian Art of War has recently been reprinted and similarly has a tremendous amount of battles in the box. You can add Tyrant: Battles of Carthage versus Syracuse and add another huge amount of gaming to the package.

2) In my opinion, no. There are no replacements for miniatures in a miniatures games. Maybe you could look into paper miniature replacements like this.
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Jason R
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If it is just about the painting check out.


http://www.paperterrain.com

I saw a bunch of these set up at historicon and they looked pretty cool
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Matteo Harris
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jr4417 wrote:
If it is just about the painting check out.


http://www.paperterrain.com

I saw a bunch of these set up at historicon and they looked pretty cool

Damn they look good. I might purchase a s tarter scenario with the eventual aim of making my own paper miniatures.
Thanks for all the other recommendations guys. I live in the UK tho and it can be hard to cheaply source even things like GBOH. Heroes of Normandie however is defo going on my wish list, even if it's not exactly what im looking for now.
 
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Mark Mackin
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Hi Matteo

Other than being the wrong era I think Heroes of Normandie is an excellent choice. It is a miniatures game with counters, it has a number of scenarios and a points build system and is great fun to play. If you have an Ipad you can download the digital game (£10.99). If you want to try before you buy and are in the Leeds/Bradford area you are more than welcome to have a F2F game.

Mark
 
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M King
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Airfix Battles
Considerably cheaper than Heroes of Normandie, and it lacks HON's cartoonish quality.

HoN does have a great app version, though. It's the only way I would play it.
 
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Craig Nicholls
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ONUS! Rome Vs Carthage

The Kickstarter for this just finished for the second edition. Top down cards that look like cartoony miniatures. It is played on a flat surface so plays like a miniatures game. There is also a campaign book with a bunch of scenarios and an expansion for extra terrain, fortresses etc.

I backed the Kickstarter and have all this, but haven't yet got it to the table.

Command and Colors ancients is also a great, great game. One of my favourites. If you can, try the epic expansion and scenarios.
 
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Mario Lassnig
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I very much enjoy the Battleground series. They have a historic edition well (Second Punic War, Alexander vs. Persia). It's not hex-based though.
 
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Chad
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You might also want to consider some of the Battleground Fantasy Warfare. It replaces miniatures with cards that you place coins on to represent the units - removing them as they take damage. Everything else plays very miniature like.

IT has both Fantasy (Orcs, Elves, etc.) as well as Historical (Romans, Celts, etc.)
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Andrew N
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Sergeants D-Day (and it's earlier iterations) are very miniatures wargame like, without any painting. The "miniatures" in the latest game are think cardboard standees.
 
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It's not what you have asked for, but maybe you should also consider the possibility of sticking with miniatures, and moving to 3mm scale with a ruleset like, for example, Field of Glory Ancients or FoG Napoleonics. It doesn't take long to paint up masses of these things to a standard adequate for gaming.

Rectangular units not constrained to one of six facings feel to me as if they model battle-scale warfare of these periods better than single hex or even two-hex units constrained to a hex grid. I don't claim to be objectively correct on this, but I have played both ways and that's my preference. It may turn out to be your preference too.
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Joe R

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Cazzer505 wrote:
Does anyone have anything to say about my second suggestion?. This still appeals to me a bit more than something like SPQR but am concerned without miniatures it will not keep my attention for long


Interesting discussion point and even more interesting that few responders have addressed your question. Perhaps paper minis are the proverbial "third rail" of the BGG wargames community?

A lot of people seem to believe that the whole reason for getting into minis is the sheer physical attraction of hundreds of painted little soldiers and tanks. And if you do, then fair enough.

Seems to me there are two reasons in favor of paper minis -- cost and variety. The downside is the lack of graphic appeal, You will have to decide your interests.

For me, the "total cost" of painted figures is just too high. Not just the dollars cost, but also the time and space costs. If I have to paint dozens of little figures and then devote some huge space to storage and play, that is just too much for the number of times I get to play. Paper minis are fine.

Of course, the obvious answer is board games. But board games have their limitations. The cost to publish a board games tends imho to make publishers somewhat to a lot more conservative. If you have to invest time and dollars into getting art ready and then purchase the games and then ship the games and then carry the cost of inventory unsold, you want to make sure you minimize those costs and the easiest way to do that is publish stuff you know will sell. Hence the proliferation of Bulge 44 games. (I know, that is totally unfair to all those folks who have actually designed innovative Bulge games, but I think you get the point -- an innovative Bulge game is a lot safer bet for a publisher than an innovative Zulu wars or Great Northern War game.) As a business model, it makes sense.

But that means that minis rules can take more risks and offer more different -- even "out there" -- mechanics and off the wall periods. If you are selling pdfs over the 'net, you don't have all those costs of art and inventory. You may not make as much up side either, but you don't run the risk of losing your house.

And if you want to explore these varied options without huge investments, then the way to go is again paper counters instead of paint and lead and grass etc.

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Roger Hobden
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The Complete Brigadier


Miniature rules with paper miniatures.
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