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Subject: Enemy Action: Ardennes vs. Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the bear 2nd Ed. rss

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Michael Schneider
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Hi guys

After my first experiences with D-Day at Tarawa and the Hunters I'm looking for another game, which is a decent game solo and which can be played with 2 players.

I somehow fell in love with CoH and the solo expansion...
...but today Enemy Action: Ardennes came along. Yeah great, now I'm torn between the two of them.

Can you give me some Information about these two? (Unfortunately there aren't many reviews of EA:A)

Thanks a lot.
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Carl Paradis
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Ok, so do you own CoH already?

If not, then your main decision is to either buy a tactical game (CoH + Solo) or an Operational Game (Enemy Action Ardennes).

If the physical components are important to you, than CoH is a much better buy. And given the other games you have mentioned, probably a better buy anyway, period. meeple

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Peter
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I own both, and they are very different -- you might consider both because they really are so different in scale.

EA:A is actually three versions of the game in one box (solo as allies, solo as german, two-player).

The designer of EA:A is the same as Tarawa, so if you like it, that is a plus for EA:A. The AI for EA:A is interesting because it can be offensive, rather than defending an island as in Tarawa.

The scale of EA:A is vastly different from COH -- you probably already know that, but you are dealing with full Army's worth of divisions and regiment in EA:A, while in COH is it small combat unit scale.

EA:A is one real battle (battle of the bulge) on a historic map, while COH uses geomorphic map that covers a number of plausible smaller engagements, but aren't really documented from the war.
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Russ Williams
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It's kind of comparing apples and oranges. The only significant thing they have in common is that they're both fun WW2 games with solitaire rules.

CoH + Solo expansion is fun but has a lot more rule ambiguities and confusions and more confusing publisher support/FAQ/etc than EAA. EAA's rulebook itself is bigger and more complex, but better written.

EAA is a single scenario (battle of the bulge) at a larger scale than CoH, which is a variety of tactical battles.

EAA will take much longer to complete the full campaign (e.g. 15 or 20 hours) than a CoH scenario will take.

Both have 2-player and solitaire versions.

licinius wrote:
If the physical components are important to you, than CoH is a much better buy.

But I'll note that from a functional graphic design point of view, CoH's map is in the currently trendy "photorealistic" style with lots of confusing murky ambiguities (e.g. see this thread), while EAA's map has a more classic Redmond Simonsen style clean clear unambiguous style (which I greatly prefer, both aesthetically and functionally).

The large thick chunky counters of CoH seem "deluxe" and all, but they also mean that you get significantly fewer counters in the game. Life is compromise.

For comparison, the counters of EAA are of the same physical quality and size as Combat Commander and many other "SPI style" wargames.
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Gilles Daquin
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Yeah, go for COH. Not that one is better than the other, but COH is easier to deploy and play.

You will probably get more games out of it.

Once you are happy with most of the play time you got out of it and want to switch to a meatier game that you might play (in all likelihood) 2-3 times move to EAA.

Both games have their appeal, but I'd go with COH first to get more games in before being completely sure I move on to something "bigger".
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Michael Schneider
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Wow that wasn't helpful at all.
Don't get me wrong, your answers were.

But I'm not a single step closer to a decision.
The only thing I'm tending more is buying both.

That is tough...
But thank you.
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Rich M
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Get Conflict of Heroes awakening the Bear 2nd Edition with the two add on's (Eastern Front Solo and Fire Fight Generator) You will have a much more approachable, fun and easy to get others to play game than Enemy Action: Ardennes. You also have a very good AI in the Eastern Front Solo for your times you cannot get someone to play. I have both games but if given a choice I would pick Conflict of Heroes every time.
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Carl Paradis
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Rockin Rocko wrote:
Get Conflict of Heroes awakening the Bear 2nd Edition with the two add on's (Eastern Front Solo and Fire Fight Generator) You will have a much more approachable, fun and easy to get others to play game than Enemy Action: Ardennes. You also have a very good AI in the Eastern Front Solo for your times you cannot get someone to play. I have both games but if given a choice I would pick Conflict of Heroes every time.


Good call IMHO. I find tactical games much harder to play solitaire, conversely I find it much more difficult to design a solitaire system for non-tactical games!
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Matt D
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I think the rules for both are available online. Reading them should help you make a decision.
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Michael Schneider
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I went the "sell D-Day at Tarawa, buy both" way.
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Benny Bosmans
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I love the D-Day series by John Butterfield. I played the Dieppe intro to this system (old S&T game) and the D Day at Omaha Beach head.

But I put the Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) combined with the Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansion above these.

The COH rule book has one of the BEST indexes EVER and frankly the Solo expansion has an equally superb index too.

The newer rules on line at Academy Games have just a few better wordings in the rules that cleaned up some misunderstanding, but the core of the game is quite easy to understand.

--

About Enemy Ardennes, I bought it, but didn't play it and as I look around me it is a game that frankly is not played "dozens of times" either because of the MASSIVE number of pages and rules involved.

--

My 105 sessions of CoH played or so in the last year says everything about the replayability of the COH system.

You can put CoH down for 6 months and play instantly with an almost perfect index by the side.


---> The only thing I would advice to ANYONE: take the AP spend system from the solo expansion and use it for the 2-4 player CoH firefights too !

The game is dynamite with the "push your luck" new AP system from the solo expansion. Forget about the fixed or random AP system in the basic game and simply use the AP spend mechanics from the solo expansion.

For those not having the solo expansion: grab the tokens file on the BGG web pages, so that you can play with this mechanic instantly.


Why is this system so AWESOME in CoH solo play? Well : easy: with each STEP the AI takes a new twist compared to what changes on the board both in AI and player unit positions.

The result is a very dynamic game that never plays out in the same way.

Also: the Infantry, Artillery or Tank rules all start from the basic calculations, so each further step in armament rules is quite logical. Already from the very start you "feel" the difference between a normal Inf unit or a MG section and this difference is met with more advanced weapon systems. From the difference between a Pz3 to a T 34 or a KV or Flak 88...

All without these dozens of CRT's that frankly matter less in a system where a possible hit is drawn from hit counters with various outcomes.

If COH were published by GMT, it would have already been long the standard of easy WW2 tactical fighting without the need of 100+ pages of small lettered rules.





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Kevin L. Kitchens
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CarlosSpicyweener wrote:
Hi guys

After my first experiences with D-Day at Tarawa and the Hunters I'm looking for another game, which is a decent game solo and which can be played with 2 players.

I somehow fell in love with CoH and the solo expansion...
...but today Enemy Action: Ardennes came along. Yeah great, now I'm torn between the two of them.

Can you give me some Information about these two? (Unfortunately there aren't many reviews of EA:A)

Thanks a lot.


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Bryan Felsher
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I almost bought EAA last week, as there is a guy who was selling it cheap on Ebay, but then I checked out the rules and watched a video playthrough, where it took fooooorrrreeeeevvveeeerrrr just to resolve a single simple combat, and I realized I would probably never ever play the game as I don't have the patience for that.

 
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Paul Aceto
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EAA has excellent player aids that ease play once you get going. It's not as hard as it might seem.

But EAA would definitely be a bigger jump in complexity from Tarawa than CoH would be.

You will probably want to get both over time.

FYI RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940 is another John Butterfield game that can be played solo or two player.

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mike rosberg
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truep wrote:
I almost bought EAA last week, as there is a guy who was selling it cheap on Ebay, but then I checked out the rules and watched a video playthrough, where it took fooooorrrreeeeevvveeeerrrr just to resolve a single simple combat, and I realized I would probably never ever play the game as I don't have the patience for that.


Was this with the EAA solo rules? I have only played with 2-player rules, and found the combat system to be quite slick;

step 1. attacker can play tactic card(s) (optional)
step 2. defender can play tactic card(s) (optional)
step 3. draw combat chits / apply results
step 4. advance after combat (optional)
 
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Benny Bosmans
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Rekim wrote:
truep wrote:
I almost bought EAA last week, as there is a guy who was selling it cheap on Ebay, but then I checked out the rules and watched a video playthrough, where it took fooooorrrreeeeevvveeeerrrr just to resolve a single simple combat, and I realized I would probably never ever play the game as I don't have the patience for that.


Was this with the EAA solo rules? I have only played with 2-player rules, and found the combat system to be quite slick;

step 1. attacker can play tactic card(s) (optional)
step 2. defender can play tactic card(s) (optional)
step 3. draw combat chits / apply results
step 4. advance after combat (optional)


And this spread over 64 pages of rules... times 3.

btw. I am a fan of John Butterfield. But quite frankly I am very happy we have these flip board rules on some of his games on BGG.

Someone said apples and oranges, he is correct but many wargames have the disadvantage of peeling the fruit endlessly before you consume ... after you come back several months/years later.

The older I am the less fun this peeling gets. John Butterfield is a great designer but I think EAA went just over the top, almost into Mark Herman territory. It is the reason a ... fifth edition TRC climbed to 800 pre orders on P500 in 2 months and they can't stop reprinting the Hunters fast enough.

It is also the reason why I played the CoH system over a 100 times and still admire these beautiful untouched components of EAA with unpunched counters. I am glad Butterfield co designed the CoH solo card expansion, so I get a little bit playability within a smart design.

Games should be played.
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