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Subject: Less expensive alternative to "Battles from the Age of Reason?" rss

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Dave Johannsen

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I would like to dip my toes into the waters of detailed simulation of eighteenth century tactical warfare. I believe that "Battles from the Age of Reason" (BftAoR) is the definitive embodiment of this genre. However, as games from this series command prices commensurate with their detail, I'm wondering if there is a less expensive way to get a taste of this sort of gaming. So can anyone recommend a game from the dark past (so that a "playing copy" can be cheaply purchased) or a "magazine game" that might give a similar playing experience to BftAoR (if not the scale, at least the level of tactical control that BftAoR gives)? If I decide that I like the era and this kind of experience, then I'm all in; again, I just want to find a cheap way to get a taste of this style game.



Dave
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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If you want "tactical control", I'm not sure you want to simulate battles from the 18th century.

[Edit]
Sorry for the early morning snark.

What is it about BAR that you are looking for in another game, and what are your other parameters? There isn't a lot to choose from, but there are a couple options.
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kevin halloran
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Well, there is Leuthen fought by Frederick the Great in 1757 and available in Victory Point Games Drum & Muskets series. There is also Clash of Monarchs, Friedrich and Maria but these may not be what you are after. I remember an S&T magazine game from the 1990s on The Seven Years War. I am awaiting Legion Games Blenheim and GMT's Frederick the Great's Greatest Gamble but not sure when they will appear.
 
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Alasdair Campbell
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Prussia's Glory I and II give you pretty good value for money. I can't comment on the Prussia's Glory system though. The BAR system is great if you are interested in the period, the linear warfare, and are looking for a game system which gives a very good narrative.
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kevin halloran
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That's a good call, Alasdair. Silly of me not to mention them as I bought both on ebay a couple of months ago!
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Dave Johannsen

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sdiberar wrote:
If you want "tactical control", I'm not sure you want to simulate battles from the 18th century.

[Edit]
Sorry for the early morning snark.

What is it about BAR that you are looking for in another game, and what are your other parameters? There isn't a lot to choose from, but there are a couple options.


I understood what you were saying, and certainly there is nothing to apologize for.

I want a simulation where you really have to get down in the weeds, specifying formation, mounted or dismounted, a game with a variety of units (each with different characteristics), something that models short range of (personal) command and low rates of fire, etc. Right now, I'm not interested in an operational level treatment of this era.

Seven Years, American Revolution, Napoleonic, etc. I'm not overly concerned with simulating any particular conflict at this point. I just want to get a taste for the nuts and bolts of the thing.

Maybe Flintlock?
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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You'll have a lot more options with tactical Napoleonics. But if you want that level of detail, the games will necessarily be big and therefore on the expensive side.

If you want to stick with 18th century, you can pickup some BAR games for around $50 secondhand (I was able to do so in the last couple years).

Ben Hull's Musket & Pike Battle Series gives excellent tactical detail for the 17th century, and most of the battles are small enough to fit on a half map.

For Napoleonics, I leave suggestions to others more knowledgeable (I do not usually look for that kind of detail, so cannot recommend a specific system).
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Michael McCalpin
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BAR sounds like exactly what you are looking for, and as much as I like Prussia's Glory, it is zoomed out one level of detail from what you describe. One alternate you might consider is La Bataille de Vauchamps, which as a magazine game looks to be ~$20 cheaper than the cheapest BAR title and provides and introduction to the La Bataille series series, which is by most accounts untidier than BAR, but which should stratch the itch you are telling us about. Good luck.
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Dave Johannsen

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mmccalpin wrote:
BAR sounds like exactly what you are looking for


Thank you. Maybe I should just suck it up and toss down the ~$65 (the cheapest BAR entry point, including shipping) for a used copy of one of the BAR games. I've generally wargamed WW II and later (with a couple of dabbles with WW I), so have never tried anything from this era (in fact, I've only read a couple of books on the American Revolution and have only a dim notion of what the Seven Years War was about). This unfamiliarity with the historical period is why I've been a bit of a cheap-skate (if it doesn't capture my imagination, I know that I won't play the game). It seems like copies of Prussia's Glory II can be had quite cheaply, so I will mull over the cost difference vs. the difference in "what I think I want."


Again, thank you to everyone, you've given me some titles to compare.


Dave
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Eddy Sterckx
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djohannsen wrote:
Maybe I should just suck it up and toss down the ~$65 (the cheapest BAR entry point, including shipping) for a used copy of one of the BAR games.


The great thing about it is that if you later decide you don't like it, the resale value is still there.
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Hunga Dunga
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Lobositz: First Battle of the Seven Years War directly from the publisher is less than $60.00 including shipping. You should be able to find a used copy on eBay or CSW Marketplace for less.

Worth every penny, though!
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Steven Goodknecht
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I've never owned it or played it but the old GDW's Torgau might work for you. Battalion/regimental level, 200 yards per hex. I've seen it sell on eBay in the $25-$35 range. It rates well here on BGG and I recall it as being highly regarded.
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Christina Kahrl
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There's also the Vae Victis duo of Les victoires du Maréchal de Saxe: Fontenoy 1745 – Lauffeld 1747 and Hastenbeck 1757, which is more at the Prussia's Glory level of detail.
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John Middleton
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The Vae Victis game is excellent.

Torgau is also very good.


For true tactical depth though, the BAR system is the way to go. The Battle of Fontenoy: 11 May, 1745 is the best place to start, as you get the small game Melle in it as well as the larger Fontenoy.

Also the Bar Primer is geared towards this set.


It isn't anymore expensive than most GMT games, and much, much better.
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Charles Vasey
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djohannsen wrote:
mmccalpin wrote:
BAR sounds like exactly what you are looking for


Thank you. Maybe I should just suck it up and toss down the ~$65 (the cheapest BAR entry point, including shipping) for a used copy of one of the BAR games. I've generally wargamed WW II and later (with a couple of dabbles with WW I), so have never tried anything from this era (in fact, I've only read a couple of books on the American Revolution and have only a dim notion of what the Seven Years War was about). This unfamiliarity with the historical period is why I've been a bit of a cheap-skate (if it doesn't capture my imagination, I know that I won't play the game). It seems like copies of Prussia's Glory II can be had quite cheaply, so I will mull over the cost difference vs. the difference in "what I think I want."


Again, thank you to everyone, you've given me some titles to compare.


Dave


Prussia's Glory is way too simple for your interests. The answer is BAR unless this comes out in the meantime

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX/.1ddb0ae0/23
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Dave Johannsen

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Thanks everyone. I will just take the plunge on BAR. As many point out, several of the BAR games (i.e., those that haven't been long out of print) can be had at prices that aren't out of line with any other game.

As I've never gamed this era, I had held out hopes that there would be some old Avalon Hill or SPI game that I could have at my doorstep for $20-$25, just to try something of comparable detail and of this same era. As there doesn't seem to be any game that fits this description, then I don't mind spending the $50-$60 to try BAR. In fact, yesterday I ordered a Christopher Duffy book so that I can start learning something about combat from this era (I was a grunt in the Marines, so am much more comfortable with WWII and later).


Dave
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John Middleton
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Get Les victoires du Maréchal de Saxe: Fontenoy 1745 – Lauffeld 1747, a mentioned earlier, if you want a cheap game in addition to BAR.

It is a good, relatively simple game within this period.

The linked game is a special edition Vae Victis folio game with die cut counters.

It is available from GMT - http://www.gmtgames.com/p-407-the-victories-of-marshal-saxe....

 
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Jeb
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djohannsen wrote:
Thanks everyone. I will just take the plunge on BAR. As many point out, several of the BAR games (i.e., those that haven't been long out of print) can be had at prices that aren't out of line with any other game.

As I've never gamed this era, I had held out hopes that there would be some old Avalon Hill or SPI game that I could have at my doorstep for $20-$25, just to try something of comparable detail and of this same era. As there doesn't seem to be any game that fits this description, then I don't mind spending the $50-$60 to try BAR. In fact, yesterday I ordered a Christopher Duffy book so that I can start learning something about combat from this era (I was a grunt in the Marines, so am much more comfortable with WWII and later).


Dave


Stay tuned to the Clash of Arms website. There is a new BAR game in development regarding some of the smaller American Revolutionary War battles. It should be a great game to learn the system with.

The best game to learn bar with in my opinion is The Battle of Fontenoy: 11 May, 1745. It includes the battle of Melle which is a fun little game.
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Dave Johannsen

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jeb123 wrote:
Stay tuned to the Clash of Arms website. There is a new BAR game in development regarding some of the smaller American Revolutionary War battles. It should be a great game to learn the system with.


I'm intrigued. Today I also ordered "The Continental Army" by Robert Wright, so I'll be ready when the game hits the shelves!


Dave

P.S. Nice Tarawa photo for your avatar, Jeb. Semper Fi.
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GRS

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How about Bloody Fields of Mollwitz ?
 
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Dave Johannsen

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Thank you to everyone for all the suggestions. After all the positive comments about the series, I decided that I really wanted to try BAR. When eBay offered up an unpunched copy of Brandywine & Germantown for about $60 (shipped), I took the plunge. After I finish learning/playing Gulf Strike I'll jump in on BAR.


Dave
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John Middleton
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Ha, Gulf Strike.

And here we thought you were serious about eventually having time to learn and play BAR.


That was a good deal for Brandywine!
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Andrew Franke
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Hold the Line: Frederick's War
 
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Jeb
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djohannsen wrote:
Thank you to everyone for all the suggestions. After all the positive comments about the series, I decided that I really wanted to try BAR. When eBay offered up an unpunched copy of Brandywine & Germantown for about $60 (shipped), I took the plunge. After I finish learning/playing Gulf Strike I'll jump in on BAR.


Dave


Great battle.

I grew up very close to the battlefield (5 minute drive). The battlefield has not changed very much over the past 240 years. There are a number of special rules for this battle. The normal series is easier than this game so keep that in mind.
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R. Beef
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You may also want to get this - it is available in the digital version.

The CSW BAR forums are very active for your questions

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