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Subject: Tactical WWII suggestions rss

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Nick Wade
Australia
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This has been asked a few times but nothing I have seen that quite matched my criteria. I am looking for a tactical WWII game with the following characteristics.

Playable solo (not necessarily purpose-designed for solo).

Balanced a bit more toward simulation than game.

Attractive, realistic graphics.

Infantry-based with vehicle support (as opposed to armour-based).

Preferably in-print.


Not ASL because of the time and money investment required.

Conflict of Heroes looks fantastic but it seems a bit too gamey as opposed to simulation?

Not Panzer Grenadier as it looks a bit gamey from what I've read.

Not Heroes of Normandie as it looks too cartoonish.

Not Combat Commander as it doesn't look to be suitable for solo play.

Fighting Formations looks good, but I'm not sure about solo play?

Don't know much about Band of Brothers or Lock n Load.

Not sure what else there is.

Thanks!
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Holman
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It shakes up the usual hex-and-counter paradigm, but it meets all of your requirements (and then some) other than being in print: Fields of Fire

The latest GMT newsletter lists the 2nd edition as coming in 2nd quarter 2017.
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Holman
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Combat Commander is a problem for solo play because it depends on secret hands of cards.

Fighting Formations is much more solo-friendly. While there are a small number of hidden cards involved, they are mostly tangential to the main action. Available actions (what the card hand does in CC) are determined by a track that is always visible to both players.
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Sean McCormick
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Bands of Brother is fantastic and meets all your criteria. Fighting Formations is a fine game as well, and is available quite cheaply.

Fields of Fire is a solo design and is arguably the most realistic tactical game on the market as far as capturing command and control, but it's not as fluid and fun to play as the aforementioned two games.
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Aaron Yoder
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I enjoy soloing Combat Commander. I just got Band of Brothers, and it's a great game, but solo is problematic with the Decoys (a large part of the game).

Conflict of Heroes was a snoozer for me. I liked it well enough as an entry game, but there was no meat on those bones. Too bad, because there's a solo-specific expansion.
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Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
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ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
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The ASL starter kits - starter kit #1 has only 8 pages of rules - you will be up and playing in an hour and for less than $30. You will need to go to Starter Kit #3 to get the vehicles - and that does add some additional complexity but it's still manageable.
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Eduardo
Brazil
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I think TCS (series) meet your criterias.

Take a look at Canadian Crucible: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/59008/canadian-crucible-b...

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L. SCHMITT
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If you want some vehicles, just forget Combat Commander. I find it far too gamey anyway.

Eduardo, is TCS really interesting in solo ? Of course, you can write order sheets for both sides, but it seems a bit weird to me.

And what about Lock'n Load ? I'm not sure for its solo playability as I remember of hidden events, but seasoned players will clarify this point.
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Roger Hobden
Canada
Montreal
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La Bataille de France, 1940
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Eduardo
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santino el cato wrote:
Eduardo, is TCS really interesting in solo ? Of course, you can write order sheets for both sides, but it seems a bit weird to me.


Well, yeah, it is somewhat strange, but I think writing some 2-3 order sheets for each side and then random selecting them gives a cool solo game. Just don't overthink them.
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Ubergeek
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Bryan Felsher
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I would suggest Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944.

It solos great. Whether it is infantry supporting armor or vice versa is a matter of debate, but it is combined arms with lots of different unit types. Game scenarios are from 30 minutes to 40 hours, with the average scenario taking 1-3 hours. I didn't find it nearly as complicated to learn as many are making it out to be as the 11 tutorial scenario's teach the game in bite-size pieces. If you enjoy figuring out puzzles, then you'll like it. I haven't found a way to "game" it. It is a great simulation, but also a really fun game.
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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seanmac wrote:
Bands of Brother is fantastic and meets all your criteria.

Well... I think quite a few of the scenarios are broken without decoys/hidden units.

Also, if he rejected games for looking too cartoonish, he better have a look at the Ghost Panzer counters.

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M St
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M St
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santino el cato wrote:

Eduardo, is TCS really interesting in solo ? Of course, you can write order sheets for both sides, but it seems a bit weird to me.

On the contrary, the opsheets make it easier since they mean you can't simply do anything you want to. You make a plan, but then the game makes you stick to it and limits your ability to react to how you see the battle developing.

Also, the greatest strength of TCS being its command system, the greatest weakness is that the command system is not airtight and leaves (intentionally) room for interpretation, and that is avoided in solo play. If you play solo, you have the same interpretation by both players.
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Sean McCormick
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kuhrusty wrote:
seanmac wrote:
Bands of Brother is fantastic and meets all your criteria.

Well... I think quite a few of the scenarios are broken without decoys/hidden units.

Also, if he rejected games for looking too cartoonish, he better have a look at the Ghost Panzer counters.



Yeah, that's true. There are relatively easy ways around the decoy issue, though.
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Benny Bosmans
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I played over 100 games of Conflict of Heroes in just over a year.

That says it all really...

That was over all modules available. From the famous SOLO expansion to Awakening the Bear scenarios, Firefight Generator etc...

The argument of it being gamey no longer makes sense by the way as you can replace the fixed or random Action Point (spend) system with the spend system of the NEW solo card expansion. This way you can hop from unit to unit AND go back without "gamey" mechanics. Like the computer version of it.


There is even a BGG member who created tokens to use the new spend system without the need of the solo expansion cards ...


CoH gives you a perfect feel how SMG differ from small arms units and how a PzIVf behaves towards a KV Tank without the need of having a Master degree and 2 dozen of CRT tables with endless +/- variables that end up with a die roll ... any way.


To me in SOLO mode COH is the only true successor to Ambush but this time with endless replayability of each scenario.

I played ASL infantry only rules for years, but frankly this game beats it in game mode while still gives a great insight in how the different arms interact with each other.

The solo expansion is simply the BEST AI of any wargame I know.

In 2-4 player games : Just replace the fixed basic AP spend mechanics with the new solo card spend mechanics (or the token draw system based on it that you can find on the BGG website file section).

Link: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/130410/unit-spent-che...

It is by far the best money I spend on a game if viewing played hours...


(edited to put the link to the free to use "spent-check counters" file)
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Kurt
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The Great Silicon Valley
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If you don't mind pushing around miniatures are cardboard counters on a table top, Nuts! is very good man to man combat in WWII. It's designed for solo play, but can be played coop and head to head.

Nuts! Final Version
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Simon Millar
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I agree %100 with the recommendation for Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944 an amazing game plus the components and rule books including a whole book of historical and design notes is stellar. I think ASL is still the best tactical WWII game and you don't have to spend too much to get your foot in the door. Solo ASL is also an out of print but incredible module that is a game all by itself. I know it's not tactical but Enemy Action: Ardennes is the best solo WWII I have experienced by a long shot.
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John Middleton
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M St wrote:
santino el cato wrote:

Eduardo, is TCS really interesting in solo ? Of course, you can write order sheets for both sides, but it seems a bit weird to me.

On the contrary, the opsheets make it easier since they mean you can't simply do anything you want to. You make a plan, but then the game makes you stick to it and limits your ability to react to how you see the battle developing.

Also, the greatest strength of TCS being its command system, the greatest weakness is that the command system is not airtight and leaves (intentionally) room for interpretation, and that is avoided in solo play. If you play solo, you have the same interpretation by both players.


Agree 100%.

The TCS series is excellent solo. You can write up a couple of plans and randomly select one for variety.

Same as soloing the old AH 1914.
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kevin halloran
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carnforth
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I recently picked up AH's Thunder at Cassino and have enjoyed it solo. Frequently available on ebay quite cheap. I have also got but not yet played the other games using this system, Storm Over Arnhem, Turning Point Stalingrad and Breakout Normandy.
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Andy Daglish
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Hattusilis_III wrote:
Playable solo (not necessarily purpose-designed for solo).

there's the revamped Airborne Commander.


Quote:
Balanced a bit more toward simulation than game.

OK, but how would you know if it wasn't?


Quote:
Attractive, realistic graphics.

most of them Lets face it, 95% of graphic designers have their head in the clouds, drive puce PT Cruisers and don't read car reviews. And they're expensive. Airborne Commander has a grey rectangular painting-by-numbers thing.


Quote:
Infantry-based with vehicle support (as opposed to armour-based.
All ten Combat Commander products


Quote:
Not ASL because of the time and money investment required.

dated it may be, but its the only game in town, and essentially a military historical exercise of the sort the academics either don't study or get wrong.


Quote:
Conflict of Heroes looks fantastic but it seems a bit too gamey as opposed to simulation?
Rikki the Magic Pixie goes to visit Daisy Bumble in her tumbledown cottage?


Quote:
Not Panzer Grenadier as it looks a bit gamey from what I've read.
Issuing the free module stopped a few casual purchases.


Quote:
Not Heroes of Normandie as it looks too cartoonish.
but its honest


Quote:
Not Combat Commander as it doesn't look to be suitable for solo play.
Neither is the subject.


Quote:
Fighting Formations looks good, but I'm not sure about solo play?
didn't you say something about 'simulation' a while back?


Quote:
Don't know much about Band of Brothers or Lock n Load.

The first is what will be recommended most. The designer published a photo of all the books he read prior to designing the game, which was reminiscent of the old joke about the Vice President Agnew's library burning down [both books lost, one not coloured-in yet].

Quote:
Not sure what else there is.

there's Memoir 4F which is almost fine apart from the scenarios.
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Rich Post
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theDEADareMANY wrote:
I agree %100 with the recommendation for Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944 an amazing game plus the components and rule books including a whole book of historical and design notes is stellar. I think ASL is still the best tactical WWII game and you don't have to spend too much to get your foot in the door. Solo ASL is also an out of print but incredible module that is a game all by itself. I know it's not tactical but Enemy Action: Ardennes is the best solo WWII I have experienced by a long shot.


Another vote for Operation Dauntless and the other game in that family Red Winter. Both fantastic.

Another I would recommend is Panzerblitz: Hill of Death. The Carentan expansion is especially great. Action is driven by Ops Chits which you draw randomly so it solos very well. Infantry based but with plenty of supporting weapons and vehicles. The in game tactics feel right to me, although I'm not an expert.

It's to be followed up with Panzerblitz: East Front in the next couple of years.



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Peter
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Old School Tactical fits most of your criteria, and I don't see it mentioned yet. Perfect information game. I think the argument with this choice would be simulation value. I don't find it gamey at all, but I don't yet have a feel for it being simulation first, game second. Visually, the maps are great, and counters good as well.

I actually enjoy Combat Commander just straight solo with no changes, but it is not everybody's cup of tea with the cards.

Fields of Fire is awesome for command and control and obviously solo as it is only a solo game.

Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansion works really well, and I echo the above comments it feels way less gamey than the base game.

Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles has a solo-recommended mode to deal with the decoy counters. I find it isn't exactly like the base game, but actually works very well for me. Like Fields of Fire, this one gives a good feel for tactics that you can really understand and use, based on the suppression mechanic.

Based on your criteria (especially simulation), I'd suggest Fields of Fire or Band of Brothers.

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Florent Leguern
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Saint-Martin-d'Hères
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aforandy wrote:

Quote:
Don't know much about Band of Brothers or Lock n Load.

The first is what will be recommended most. The designer published a photo of all the books he read prior to designing the game, which was reminiscent of the old joke about the Vice President Agnew's library burning down [both books lost, one not coloured-in yet].


D'you happen to have some link to provide to that picture ? I'm curious ^^
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