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Subject: Where to get wargames in the UK + help me decide what to get rss

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Matteo Harris
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This, obviously, is a question more suited for fellow Brits.
Where do you buy wargames? My local store has a very limited selection of games that im not really interested in and I would prefer not to travel long distances, so ideally an internet supplier. Do any of you buy direct from GMT? If so are there usually customs charges on packages?

I have also found several online uk stockists. grimtree games has a decent selection. The other 2 ive found are boardgameguru and gameslore, although the number of good games that are sold out on those websites is depressing. Does anyone have experience with these vendors, or have another favourite online store?

Also can anyone help me pick between these games, keeping in mind the only war game I've really played before is Twilight Struggle, which I think is an amazing game. Other than that I have an open mind to any genre period or style of game. Anyway the list is:

Reds by GMT Games
1775 Rebellion by Academy Games
Crusader Rex by Columbia Games
Hammer of the Scots by Columbia Games
Pax Baltica by GMT Games
Cuba Libre by GMT Games
C and C: Ancients by GMT Games (Which I can get for a steal at 41.99)

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Colin Raitt
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Leisure games in London and Hexasim in France. Ordering from the states costs more postage, takes longer and you get taxed.
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Stephen Brophy
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I've used Boardgameguru for many years, and before that I used Leisure Games in London. I find Boardgameguru to be a bit cheaper, price wise, and the service from Paul, the proprietor, is good.
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Matteo Harris
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polate wrote:
Leisure games in London and Hexasim in France. Ordering from the states costs more postage, takes longer and you get taxed.


Leisure Games may be useful for games I cant find elsewhere. Thanks!
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Andrew Parsons
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I've bought a lot from both Boardgameguru and Gameslore. IGUK also has a reasonable stock. Prices that factor in postage are decent, particularly if you're buying just the one game. I'll also mention a specialist, Second Chance Games. Despite the name, they sell new as well as pre-owned wargames.
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Gordon Watson
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Nearly all of the wargames I have picked up have come from Boargameguru, Gameslore or IGUK - all of them are very dependable and better on price than Leisuregames (which has the overhead of a bricks & mortar store to support) and Secondchance.

I have picked up the occasional title from 365games and Meeplescorner - both are dependable but have much smaller wargame inventories. Philibertnet in France was also good, with reasonable postage, but the drop in Sterling has scuppered that.

Direct from GMT is expensive due to shipping, import-VAT and the handling charge for raising the latter.
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Kent Reuber
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I definitely recommend C&C Ancients. I also like Hammer of the Scots, and Crusader Rex. (Being in the UK, you should also look at Richard III: The Wars of the Roses). 1775 Rebellion is also fun. Washington's War is also a great short game.
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JP Laurio
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+1 for Hexasim in France. I have ordered several times from them, never any problems, fast delivery, and very reasonable shipping costs.

PS. I don't live in the UK, but as Hexasim was recommended already, thought I would share my opinion on them too.
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Matt Blackman
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I've bought from Gameslore, Boardgameguru and Grim Tree Games all without problem. Leisure Games are excellent, but expensive. IGUK is reliable and often the cheapest - so their stock is also the quickest to go.

From your list the only game I've played is C&C Ancients, and I'm not sure I could fully recommend it. I'd go for one of the others.
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Michael McCalpin
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Boardgameguru worked well for me on the one occasion I have used them.
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James
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Brace for repetition:

Top tier:
Boardgameguru
Gameslore
IGUK

If I have to:
Ludifolie (Fra)
Agora Jeux (Fra)
Second Chance Games (Esoteric but expensive)
Leisure Games
Spirit Games

Also:
Ebay!
BGG Trades!
BGG Marketplace!

The answer to your final question is, obviously, all of them.
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Russ Massey
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NWS Wargaming store is based in the States, but even with postage costs they sell games at a level that works out to give at least a 20% saving on buying by post from the UK.

The Greatest Day is $166 for example. With postage to the UK it comes up to $250. The game itself sells for £250 in the UK, so you're saving the difference in the dollar/pouind exchange rate.
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Will Pearson
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Rutan wrote:
The Greatest Day is $166 for example. With postage to the UK it comes up to $250. The game itself sells for £250 in the UK, so you're saving the difference in the dollar/pouind exchange rate.


So ~£190, plus £76 + £8 Customs charges...
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Andy Daglish
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http://boardgameprices.co.uk is useful, and inaccurate, with the lowest prices sometimes sold out. But it encourages visits to the cheapest sites. Amazon is always worth a try.

If Twilight is the Little-bo-Peep of the CDG world, the clever boys play Hannibal/Wilderness War/Unhappy King Charles, but the trouble is finding one, and then they've played so much they're bored of it.

Reds by GMT Games -- maybe. Ted Raicer's best design, but you don't see it played much. Spirit Games £28.11 [all inc. post].

1775 Rebellion by Academy Games -- yes. Grim Tree Games £49.89

Crusader Rex by Columbia Games -- buy Kingdom of Heaven: The Crusader States 1097-1291 first. GameSeek £43.28 / KoH Grim Tree Games £49.99

Hammer of the Scots by Columbia Games -- yes. Guru £45.39

Pax Baltica by GMT Games -- yes if its still on offer, otherwise I'd play Hammer for now. Games Lore £25.29

Cuba Libre by GMT Games -- I'd avoid buying COIN just yet, whilst playing the copies of others. Grim Tree £43.99. So if you buy a few from Grim Tree, you should save on postage.

C and C: Ancients by GMT Games (Which I can get for a steal at 41.99) -- I used to import them for $29.90 <snork>, total, delivered, tax paid, and the expansions, in ever-increasing numbers. The Vassal implementation is better then the physical game, allows play with anyone in the world, and costs nothing; thus the actual product is good mainly for face-to-face play. Meeples Corner £43.94


And War of the Ring (Second Edition), obviously, but don't play on a school night. Grim Tree again, £53.99. Avoid the expansions.

Quartermaster General is notable because both expansions improve what was a very clever design, albeit with nitpicking caveats, which is the best of good signs. No going back. I haven't yet met anyone unimpressed, apart from a genius EU economist.


And buy some card protectors, Ultra-Pro for example. When you wear them out, buy some more. Then put decks in zip-locs.

And get some clear plastic sheet to lay mapsheets flat.

And the smaller Really Useful-type boxes are very good for miniatures in games.



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Matteo Harris
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Thanks a lot guys. Will look into IGUK and Hexasim

And Andy Daglish thanks a lot for the recommendations!. boardgameprices seems useful too
 
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John McD
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GMT have started doing European distribution on their P500 releases, which avoids customers charges. The first run of it seems to have had some issues that they want to resolve. So I don't know what that means for their next run, but it puts them back in the running.

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Gordon Watson
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BlackSpy wrote:
GMT have started doing European distribution on their P500 releases, which avoids customers charges. The first run of it seems to have had some issues that they want to resolve. So I don't know what that means for their next run, but it puts them back in the running.

I knew they had mentioned they were looking into it when they were changing their office systems but didn't realise they had already done it. What problems did they have?
 
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Sam Smith
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+1 for Boardgameguru. You mention games on their site being out of print but, fi, in my experience this is generally because the game is reprinting (some wargames have quite small runs).

Leisure Games do have one small advantage, if you ever get down to Londontown - an actual, good sized shop a not too long tube ride from central London where you can go and eyeball the stock, if that is your thing. On a similar vein Orcs Nest, while a fairly tiny shop with only a couple of shelves of wargames is somewhere to sneak a cheeky quick fix while the Mrs is shopping in Oxford St.

There are quite a lot of good old (and not so old) out of print wargames and Ive found Second Chance Games (website)good for those. (I realise you may not need this just yet, but give it time ... also others may be reading this).

+1 for QuarterMaster General as a good, quick entry level wargame - I just played the ancient Greek spin-off Victory or Death, which if anything I thought was better. Another good game sort of similar to the ones you list - uses blocks - is the Holdfast series (Holdfast Russia was the 1st).
 
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John McD
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domus_ludorum wrote:
BlackSpy wrote:
GMT have started doing European distribution on their P500 releases, which avoids customers charges. The first run of it seems to have had some issues that they want to resolve. So I don't know what that means for their next run, but it puts them back in the running.

I knew they had mentioned they were looking into it when they were changing their office systems but didn't realise they had already done it. What problems did they have?


I think two things really, the repackaging was slower than some customers appreciated (drama!), it was in shops for some weeks before P500 customers got their copies. Secondly, there didn't seem to be a shipping notification/ communication gap so people didn't really know what was going on.

There is quite a long thread in the Falling Sky forum, page five on seems to cover it... Has anyone in Europe received their copy yet?
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Brian Williams
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I have placed many orders with both GamesLore and Boardgameguru and found both very reliable and with pricing rather better than Leisure Games or Spirit Games. IGUK can work out cheaper for small orders, but I usually place larger orders with GL and Bgguru where the postage tops out and volume discounts apply. I have placed only one order with Hexasim - for games I found difficult to find in the UK - and it seems fine even though it would have been considerably better before the EU referendum and the pound's nosedive against the Euro. The parcel is due to arrive in about 4 hours.

P500 orders are painful - postage is high, delivery is slow, and import duty and administration fee is troublesome in the sense that it has to be paid before a delivery can be scheduled.

If you are considering C&C: Ancients, then you might try Battlecry instead - it is by the same designer, uses what is essentially the same system adapted for the ACW. It has miniatures rather than blocks so you can get playing more quickly by not having to spend time applying sticky labels.
 
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Antonie van der Tweel
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The Commands and Colors system is, for the historical feel of the game, imo only suitable for the Ancient period; and there are lots more of scenario's. Noticed that nobody mentioned Philibert (in France) of Fanen and UGG (in Germany) Although UGG is GMT's distributor in Europe. Can't recommend Leisure Games; had some issues with them in the past.
 
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Michael Rinella
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Take Aim Designs titles are quick to set up, play in 2-3 hours, and easily taught. Area movement maps, impulse system with variable length turns.

Operation Battleaxe: Rommel vs. Wavell, 1941.

Last Battle: Ie Shima, 1945.


Available through the Revolution Games website:

http://www.revolutiongames.us/
 
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Lewis Clark
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Wilderness War is an excellent place to start wargames! And Vassal is great for trying before you buy (nothing will ever beat actually pushing cardboard round)

I mainly use Second Chance games, the selection is as Andy put it esoteric, and I've always had excellent customer service from them.
 
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John Robinson
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Emma
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I use Leisure, Gameslore and Second Chance. Second Chance are more expensive but they have a much bigger range and seem to have more in stock. Always had excellent service from all three.
 
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