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Subject: Games similiar to Standard Combat Series rss

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Ek T
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So, I did search the forum and Google before posting...and I don't think "advanced search" is going to help with this one (hex and counter, WW2)...

I really enjoy SCS, but:

- too many of the games are "monsters" or almost "mosters" (2 maps, more than two hundred or so counters)
- subject matter I don't care about too much (WW1, East Front)

What I do enjoy and looking for:

- I can learn one ruleset and play other games with the same/similar ruleset
- one to two counter sheets
- not tactical and not grand strategy (I'm fairly new to wargaming so I don't exactly know what scale SCS games are...operational?). I think I like battalion, company scale...
- Isn't overly "complex" (I have Ardennes '44 and I'm excited to try it out, but man, there's some confusing and seemingly overly complex stuff in there)
- WW2 or later (WW3 is cool); however, if close enough to my list of wants, I think I would try ACW or Napoleonics
- Western Front, North Africa, often not-gamed situations (Fallschirmjäger, you will be mine one day!)
- one mapper
- ZOC

What I have, want or had that is not SCS that seems to fit the bill:
- Spanish Civil War (GMT)
- Bitter Woods (Avalon Hill)
- Crisis: North Korea (GMT) - the Next War series in standard mode seems to fit this bill but I'm not willing to invest in a game I will only play half of

A game series that I've looked at that seems to come close:
- East Front series by Vance Van Bories (I know I said I don't like East Front...but for the right game, I may try it). Also, I'm not convinced of chit-pull mechanic...

Anyway, I hope this is clear and you knowledgeable people can help.

Peace.
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Steven Mitchell
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Quote:
I can learn one ruleset and play other games with the same/similar ruleset


To be perfectly frank, SCS wouldn't really satisfy this anyhow. The 'series rules' for SCS are not much more than the boilerplate rules already standard to most operational hex-and-counter games. That's not meant to impugn the series or any of the games (I own quite a few), but only meant to point out that the 'series' aspect of SCS is very, very loose.

Van Bories's East Front is a very good series, but it is also going to definitely end up being on the complex end of things. Just a precaution.

Given what you've indicated and what you've played before, I'd recommend some of the operational games by Mark Simonitch: Normandy '44, The Caucasus Campaign, France '40, &c.
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Marcus
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Both of the following games designed by Mark Simonitch, so they have some commonalities:
France '40 - simpler than Ardennes'44, two different scenarios.
Ukraine '43 - East Front with 2 maps and 2 counter sheets.

Decision Games has a whole series of Modern and WWI/WW2 folio games that use the same system (Fire & Movement), but I don't know which titles are any good. Many games in the series use smaller maps (17"x22") with 100 counters.

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Rich Post
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patton1138 wrote:

Given what you've indicated and what you've played before, I'd recommend some of the operational games by Mark Simonitch: Normandy '44, The Caucasus Campaign, France '40, &c.


+1
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Hunga Dunga
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Take a look at MMPs A Victory Denied or A Victory Lost.
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Gary Mengle
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Are you looking for something meatier, rules-wise, than SCS?

I ask becuase the von Borries East Front Series seems to be the very antithesis of what you're looking for: huge multi-map games with 600-1200 counters and heavy rules. I like these quite a bit, but given your stated criteria they seem to be a poor fit. They are also not chit pull games.

Unless you're talking about Roads to Leningrad and Roads to Moscow, which are east front chit pull games from von Borries but use a different rules set and are not part of the East Front Series. The Roads series meets your physical critera pretty well, provided you don't mind more complex rules than SCS has.

I would also put the Simonitch battlation-level games (Normandy '44, Ardennes '44, Ukraine '43, France '40 and the upcoming Holland '44) at very roughly that complexity level. Simpler, really, but there's more variation between the games although they share a lot of mechanics.

The GMT Next War series are both larger than you're indicating you want as well as quite complex; other than that I have no experience with them.

Personally, I highly recommend the Simonitch games and the Roads series. I also think Hunga's suggestion of A Victory Lost and A Victory Denied are probably good choices for you.
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Robert Stuart
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There are a number of games that would fit your requirements. The Simonitch games France '40 and The Caucasus Campaign have been mentioned; in addition there's the one-map game Normandy '44 and, of course, his upcoming Holland '44: Operation Market-Garden.

The SCS game Bastogne: Screaming Eagles under Siege is an excellent one-mapper.

The games Battles of the Bulge: Celles and Gazala: The Cauldron are even smaller, half-map, but have depth and are excellent operational-level games.

With simpler rules but no lack of playability, there is Beda Fomm and the upcoming Hellfire Pass.

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Darrell Pavitt
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Decision games have not one but three separate magazines with games in addition to their folio series (Strategy and tactics, World at War, Modern War)

Almost all of these are one map- one counter sheet affairs, and many of them use similar rules sets.

The biggest drawback is that Decision tends to release games in an unpolished state (read: missing sometimes vital information such as tables, set ups, workable rules).

Definitely a case of doing some research before purchasing.
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Steven Mitchell
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Ardwulf wrote:
the von Borries East Front Series seems to be the very antithesis of what you're looking for: huge multi-map games with 600-1200 counters and heavy rules. I like these quite a bit, but given your stated criteria they seem to be a poor fit. They are also not chit pull games.

Unless you're talking about Roads to Leningrad and Roads to Moscow, which are east front chit pull games from von Borries but use a different rules set and are not part of the East Front Series.


Yeah, the chit thing confused me too. (But EFS does have a number of one-mappers in each module.) But I think you're right that he may have been thinking of the two Roads games. Good choices.
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Chris Thompson
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Have you played the SCS titles Heights of Courage or Yom Kippur? They are pretty low counter density, and I think one map (maybe 2?) but not overwhelming in scope.

I would also recommend mmps A Victory Lost.

Personally, I would also like to see more SCS titles that are SMALLER in scope - or at least counter density.
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Carl Fung
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Ardwulf wrote:

I would also put the Simonitch battlation-level games (Normandy '44, Ardennes '44, Ukraine '43, France '40 and the upcoming Holland '44) at very roughly that complexity level. Simpler, really, but there's more variation between the games although they share a lot of mechanics.



Just to note, the mentioned Simonitch games are not all battalion-level. Normandy '44 and Ardennes '44 are regimental. Ukraine '43 and France '40 are mostly divisional. Only Holland '44 is battalion scale. The series ranges in unit scale and map scale but all play the same.

The SPI Quad games fit much of what you are looking for, of course, they are out of print but they are very straight forward and often one map.
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Gary Mengle
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calvinboy24 wrote:
Ardwulf wrote:

I would also put the Simonitch battlation-level games (Normandy '44, Ardennes '44, Ukraine '43, France '40 and the upcoming Holland '44) at very roughly that complexity level. Simpler, really, but there's more variation between the games although they share a lot of mechanics.



Just to note, the mentioned Simonitch games are not all battalion-level. Normandy '44 and Ardennes '44 are regimental. Ukraine '43 and France '40 are mostly divisional. Only Holland '44 is battalion scale. The series ranges in unit scale and map scale but all play the same.

The SPI Quad games fit much of what you are looking for, of course, they are out of print but they are very straight forward and often one map.


Ah, quite right. I recently hopped on that description in reference to what I had been calling the "Simonitch Apostrophe System."
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Mike Stoddart
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What about Avalanche Press' WW2 Battles Series? I think most of the games are small and the rules (though badly written, at least in Gazala 1942) are not too complex.

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamefamily/24403/avalanche-pre...
 
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Ek T
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Quote:
I ask becuase the von Borries East Front Series seems to be the very antithesis of what you're looking for: huge multi-map games with 600-1200 counters and heavy rules. I like these quite a bit, but given your stated criteria they seem to be a poor fit. They are also not chit pull games.


Ah, thanks for that. As much research as one can do, sometimes it's hard to keep all this information straight. I will avoid.

Quote:
The Roads series meets your physical critera pretty well, provided you don't mind more complex rules than SCS has.


Will do some more research and keep an eye out! Thanks!

Quote:
I highly recommend the Simonitch games


A lot of people seem to be. I do have Ardennes '44 (and got it cheaply) so I can try the "system" and see if I like it.

Quote:
The SCS game Bastogne: Screaming Eagles under Siege is an excellent one-mapper.


I have that one half-set up right now, actually. The situation is interesting and hits all of my wants: fairly low counter density, not too much rules overhead, and company/battalion scale.

Quote:
Decision games have not one but three separate magazines...Definitely a case of doing some research before purchasing


It's hard to determine which of those games are worth the time/investment. People seem to hate them or like them.

Quote:
Have you played the SCS titles Heights of Courage or Yom Kippur?


I have Yom Kippur and plan to buy Heights one of these days. Thanks!

Quote:
the mentioned Simonitch games are not all battalion-level.


Thanks for that. The thing about the Simonitch stuff is that they don't cover "unique" situations...That's what I like about SCS -- Yom Kippur, Heights of Courage, Fallschirmjäger, Karelia '44, Guadalajara -- it covers topics that I don't think are often gamed.

Thanks for all the suggestions. If there's more, keep them coming. Oh yeah, I just realized SCS hasn't really covered the Pacific...



 
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Hoss Cartwright
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Combat! by ideal, based entirely on the TV "combat series"

Glad i could help .

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Gary Mengle
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spektacles wrote:
A lot of people seem to be. I do have Ardennes '44 (and got it cheaply) so I can try the "system" and see if I like it.


Ardennes '44 is one of the bigger ones in the family, map-wise. Normandy '44 is one map and a managable number of counters, and (from my understanding) perhaps a hair simpler. Ardennes '44 may have smaller scenarios, though.

Quote:
I have that one half-set up right now, actually. The situation is interesting and hits all of my wants: fairly low counter density, not too much rules overhead, and company/battalion scale.


This is a dynamite game and my current favoritie SCS title. I think it hits the perfect note for SCS for all the reasons you mention.

I haven't tried any of the WWI SCS titles. The combination seems weird to me.

Quote:
It's hard to determine which of those games are worth the time/investment. People seem to hate them or like them.


Keep an eye on the ratings and chitchat here and maybe also on ConsimWorld. Magazine games in general are hit and miss; this isn't a thing unique to Decision Games, although one could also make a separate case that Decision in general is hit and miss.

I picked up S&T #299 (The First Crusade,) which is a point-to-point, one-map solitaire exploration of the topic and while it has not yet hit my table (soon!) it looks good to me so far. Desert Fox Dexluxe from S&T #300 is getting good talk from what I am seeing. It is oversized, however, by magazine game standards.

You might also give the ASL Starter Kit and Decision Mini and Folio series a look.

If you don't mind going with heavier rules, you might give OCS a look... but most of the titles in that series currently in print are also monsters. Sicily II, however, is a one-mapper with 2 countersheets and is very managable. I got it to learn OCS on. Same deal with Reluctant Enemies, covering an underserved part of WWII.

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Hunga Dunga
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Von Borries "Roads" series is excellent, but even though they are one-mappers with relatively low number of counters, there's a lot going on. Personally I love the games, but many consider them to be too fiddly.

I recommend you read the reviews here on BGG. Borries' "proto-roads" games, "Kasserine" and "Bataan!" are also worth consideration.
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Mike Stoddart
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Wha about the Victory in the West series? Some of them share a core rule set although they might be a touch fiddly. I'm thinking Grenade, Patton and Sicily.


https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamefamily/5624/victory-w...
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Ek T
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stodge wrote:
Wha about the Victory in the West series? Some of them share a core rule set although they might be a touch fiddly. I'm thinking Grenade, Patton and Sicily.


https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamefamily/5624/victory-w...


I actually have Sicily! Doesn't seem too complicated, either. Thanks!
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spektacles wrote:
stodge wrote:
Wha about the Victory in the West series? Some of them share a core rule set although they might be a touch fiddly. I'm thinking Grenade, Patton and Sicily.


https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamefamily/5624/victory-w...


I actually have Sicily! Doesn't seem too complicated, either. Thanks!


There is a recent game using this system from MMP, VCS Salerno which is worth checking out.
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I'm playing Waterloo 1815: Fallen Eagles and really enjoy it.

It would scratch a nappy itch!

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Alexandre Carmel-Veilleux
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The Next War series game with standard rules are a step up in complexity.

Korea is quite large and two maps, it's also out of print now.

Taiwan has a lot of counters but relatively few of them are in use at any given time (shipping troops to Taiwan is not always easy.) There are two main game map, the map proper (standard 22x34) and the naval display. The naval rules are quite complex. Once you understand them, they play fast enough and most of the complexity is present in the standard game naval control rules (which are really game specific rules)

India-Pakistan is significantly simpler. Single map, moderate unit density and no naval rules to get bogged down on. Pakistan does not have a full map offensive standard rule scenario but both sides do get to be on the offensive and defensive (reminds me of the ebb and flow of Heights of Courage in SCS.)
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Peter Hutchinson
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Have you tried any in the FAB series yet?
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