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Subject: Recommendations For a Euro Game Purchase By Lifelong Wargamer rss

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Tom Cundiff
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I've been a wargamer for over 45 years. Never purchased a Euro game, with maybe the exception of Civilization/Adv. Civilization (if one classifies it as a Euro). If I were to consider purchasing a Euro style game (not one that is a card game) then what should I consider purchasing and why?
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Richard Dewsbery
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If you have five friends, Quartermaster General. A fast-playing Euro themed on WWII.
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L S
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Given your history in wargaming, I'm assuming that you're open for the heavyweights:

Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America
Terra Mystica: Big Box
Dominant Species

All three are excellent games that make good use of typical Euro mechanics. Dominant Species is probably as close to wargaming as a worker placement/area control Euro can get. Power Grid is still very confrontational but a bit less cutthroat than DS. For a wargamer, the conflict in Terra Mystica might feel a bit too indirect - even though that's somewhat expected in most Euros, and since you're explicitly looking for one, it might not be a problem.

The other obvious Euro heavyweights (Caverna, Agricola...) probably have less appeal because there, the competition is really indirect.
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Russ Williams
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As a fellow wargamer, I imagine you'd enjoy something with the spatial element of maneuvering on a map. So yeah, Power Grid is great (as L S just proposed) (or probably Terra Mystic or Dominant Species, but I've not played them, I've just seen them often praised).

Also consider Concordia, a great one with very clean elegant rules and interesting strategy which my wife and I got into this year.

504 is a radically unusual modular euro; you use 3 different rule modules of 9 each time you play, always on a map of hex tiles. One of the rule modules is even a wargame combat module! Caveat: some people love 504 and think it's a great cool idea (I do) but many people hate it and think it's overly complex for what it is.

Other possibilities which I enjoy and recommend: a couple of classic old Knizia games on hexgrids: Samurai and Through the Desert. Also perhaps consider Taluva, but many would say this is getting more into "abstract" than "euro" territory.

Another hard to classify one worth checking out: Neuroshima Hex! 3.0

For a more serious simulation type (euro? wargame? hybrid?) game, check out Wir sind das Volk!
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Thanee
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Cundiff wrote:
If I were to consider purchasing a Euro style game (not one that is a card game) then what should I consider purchasing and why?


Why do you feel like you need one?

Might help pointing you into the right direction?

Bye
Thanee
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Michael Weber
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Having played hex'n'counter war-games over 30 as well and as of now having basically stopped doing so, I would recommend NOT trying war-game-"euro-ish" style games like Kemet or Wallenstein or the like - you will most likely end up not liking them as they are too "abstract" or have too little detail to them.

Having said that, I think Dungeon Lords may be a good idea if you can muster 4 players and like a fantasy setting.

It might be a good idea so start of solo with Mage Knight Board Game or the newer, lighter Star Trek: Frontiers. They make perfect solo games, make your brain hurt and thus ease you into the world of Euros. (They use cards, though)
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Matt Gustafson
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+1 Dominant Species
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Kent Reuber
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Here's a few Euro game with conflict:

Tigris & Euphrates
Condottiere
Shogun/Wallenstein (second edition)
Conquest of Paradise
Hellas
 
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Matt Brown
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Euros with Teeth
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Cundiff wrote:
I've been a wargamer for over 45 years. Never purchased a Euro game, with maybe the exception of Civilization/Adv. Civilization (if one classifies it as a Euro). If I were to consider purchasing a Euro style game (not one that is a card game) then what should I consider purchasing and why?

If you've been a wargamer for that long and managed to resist the 20 year-long craze that is the eurogame... what exactly is having you consider purchasing a euro in the first place? I mean no disrespect, but frankly I feel a precise answer really is not that important, and that therefore any more or less popular, easily obtainable title will do.

In practical terms: go to the Strategy Games subdomain of this website, and bring up its top-100 (which is here, by the way). Then pick a random number from 1 to, say, 25, and get the game associated with that number. You can do the same with the Family Game subdomain here, although there are more card games in there so I suggest broadening the range to 50, and selecting anew if you chose a card game.

Enjoy whatever you end up with!
 
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Bill Eldard
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Cundiff wrote:
I've been a wargamer for over 45 years. Never purchased a Euro game, with maybe the exception of Civilization/Adv. Civilization (if one classifies it as a Euro).


It's not.

Cundiff wrote:
If I were to consider purchasing a Euro style game (not one that is a card game) then what should I consider purchasing and why?


If Advanced Civilization feels like what you'd expect in a Euro, I would recommend some of the games by Martin Wallace. Wallace's designs tend to bridge the Euro-NonEuro gap.

Mythotopia is multiplayer deckbuilding design that drives action on the gameboard as players battle each other for territorial gain.

Princes of the Renaissance is IMHO Wallace's finest design. It's very rich in historical theme, but feels like a Euro. Fortunately, I believe this one has recently been republished.

Steam is one of his railroad games.

Euros you should take a look at include . . .

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar

Evolution: Climate

Small World
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Tom Cundiff
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I've been playing a game produced long ago by Avalon Hill called "Down With The King" which I imagine to be a Euro style game before there were Euro style games, and I've been enjoying it. [If anyone wants to kibbutz, here's the link to our play by forum here at BGG http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1593/down-king/forums/194 ] It seemed to me that maybe there could be some Euros that might be fun (I know, that's sacrilege for a wargamer to express - may the gods of PanzerBlitz forgive me, mea culpa).

I found Condotierre and Princes of the Renaissance caught my fancy.

Dominant Species I looked up. I had first envisioned this as a space based game with species from differing solar systems competing to destroy the others. Boy was I wrong. An interesting concept upon which to base a game.

 
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Nicholas
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Dominant Specie is a great game. You have worker placement, but direct conflict as well. And it's from GMT, so you probably know what to expect from the publisher.

Polis: Fight for the Hegemony comes to mind as well. Very euro-ey ressource management, but with direct conflict as well.

Another recommendation earlier was Wir sind das Volk!. I personally don't really like it, but it is a well designed game (Richard Sivel, who designed Friedrich/Maria) and I can imagine that it would really fit your requirements.
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Marcus
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I'd recommend the following euros which have conflict, direct interactions with your fellow players and favour smart aggressive plays:

Samurai Another +1 for this game. Simple rules, but a good amount of tactical play. This was the 1st eurogame that I played and purchased waaay back in 1998. Still have it and enjoy playing it.

Tigris & Euphrates Classic Knizia game. Well timed aggressive plays can be truly devastating to your opponent(s), and what wargamer would not like that?

Dominant Species Another +1. One of the more thematic euro style games out there. And you get to kill off other player's animal species. What's not to like?

El Grande and Tammany Hall Both are classic area control games that I think may appeal to wargamers.

Antike II Very much streamlined Civilization type game with armies and fleets for conquering your opponent's regions.

Kemet One of the better known euro/thematic game hybrids which rewards attacking.



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Tom Cundiff
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Antike II seems to catch my eye.
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Steve
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The most conflict-oriented Euro out there is Hansa Teutonica, but the conflict is far different than a hex & counter wargame. I think it'd be a great introduction to what Euros can do.

I played hex & counter wargames long before I tried my first Euro.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Cundiff wrote:
It seemed to me that maybe there could be some Euros that might be fun (I know, that's sacrilege for a wargamer to express - may the gods of PanzerBlitz forgive me, mea culpa).

This reminds me of the one time, many moons ago, when I went to a music store. Those have long since vanished from the general street view, so you can imagine how long ago that was! In any case, I was looking for The Chemical Brothers' latest CD (their second or third I believe), and when I found it I asked the store clerk whether I could listen. As it turned out he was a bit of a fan of that band himself, and so we got on to chat a bit more, which was fun and cool despite my extremely limited knowledge of techno house at the time. Eventually I decided I wanted the CD, so I handed over the disc's jewel case for him to insert the disc and seal the thing. Plus another case of a CD I had also intended to buy, but did not need listening to: some special recording of one of Sergei Rachmaninoff's piano concertos. You could see the guy's brain short-circuiting all over the place while he tried to reconcile what I wanted to purchase, and having to reconsider my level of coolness in that I also listened to ... yuck!... classical (ptooey! ick! cooties!) music.

So, back to the here and now: seriously, who gives one iota what you think fun or not, let alone that such opinion would hold sway over your own.
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Tom Cundiff
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Thank You, Gentlemen, for the advice and knowledge about a subject of which I have no knowledge. It's good to know there's gentlemanly gamers out there willing to share their inestimable knowledge about things unknown to others. In way that's like the teachers we had in school; they help others to learn things of which they otherwise would have no knowledge. I appreciate your help.
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Kevin D.
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If you're willing to invest more $ than the average Euro check out Food Chain Magnate and/or Antiquity. Amazing games.
 
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Bill Eldard
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Cundiff wrote:
Antike II seems to catch my eye.


Antike II
has been very popular with the wargamers I've introduced it to. As a former wargamer who plays Euros exclusively now, I think it's one of the better lite-civ games out there. The rondel mechanic is particularly good.
 
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Tom Cundiff
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I was thinking it looked rather like a cross between Columbia Games' "Sparta and Athens" and Civilization. Owning both, I thought the subject matter and the treatment seemed ... well, not foreign to me. In considering the various suggestions here, I think I find myself leaning toward games with which I can identify. I remember when Gygax came out with D&D it seemed so foreign I wouldn't go near it ... and still haven't. Familiarity to what I've known seems important at some gut level.
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Drew
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+1 for Concordia

My father is a life long wargamer and I have tried a lot of different Euro games with him. Concordia is the only one that he has asked to play again.
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Under the paving stones, the beach
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Cundiff wrote:
I've been playing a game produced long ago by Avalon Hill called "Down With The King" which I imagine to be a Euro style game before there were Euro style games, and I've been enjoying it.


DWTK? Don't get me wrong, I really like the game. But it takes hours to play, has unbalanced starting positions, a ridiculous amount of random activty tables and your main character can die on an unlucky dice roll.

Not only do I not see it as a proto Euro, it's one of the most old school Ameritrash games I own.

That isn't to say you shouldn't try out a Euro, you might well enjoy one. (And others are far better placed to advise on that than I am). Just that if you want the same kind of kick you're getting from DWTK you need to be looking elsewhere for it.

There's three candidates that spring to mind for that.

Kremlin is worth looking at. Again, it sometimes gets seen as a "proto-Euro", although I personally think saying that about a game that contains random death rolls is pushing it. But it might well fit what you're wanting.

Succession: Intrigue in the Royal Court is vastly underated. Assuming you don't mind some heavy take that elements (and the fact you like DWTK suggests that isn't an issue), check it out.

The most obvious one though is Henry VIII: Intrigue in the Tudor Court. The designer has said that the aim was to make a more streamlined version of DWTK and it's really good. (Streamlined in an Ameritrash sense; it still takes way longer than most euros). Assuming you're ok with print and play, I highly recommend it. It's pretty much replaced DWTK in my group.
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Tom Cundiff
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I've often thought I'd like to own Kremlin. Forgot its existence. The other two games you named are also interesting and seem good choices.

I'm interested in what the difference is between Ameritrash and Euro games. In fact I never heard the term Ameritrash before. Don't know its definition. Without devolving into some kind of flame war, can you define these and their differences? Like I said, I'm a long in the tooth wargamer. I had assumed anything that wasn't a wargame was a Euro, without knowing there were nuances within that genre.
 
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Russ Williams
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Cundiff wrote:
I'm interested in what the difference is between Ameritrash and Euro games. In fact I never heard the term Ameritrash before. Don't know its definition. Without devolving into some kind of flame war, can you define these and their differences?

The BGG Glossary (found under the Help menu) gives OK first pass definitions.

Quote:
I had assumed anything that wasn't a wargame was a Euro, without knowing there were nuances within that genre.


Euro is not the opposite of wargame; it's just one of various types of game, just like wargame is. E.g. there are also abstract strategy games, party games, children's games, etc.

(FWIW I'd personally say that euro is also a more nebulous category than wargame is. (Not that "wargame" is exactly unambiguous...) For some people "euro" means only thinky relatively complicated brain burners like Caylus and Le Havre, and for some people "euro" also includes simpler family games like Catan and Carcassonne, sometimes called "German style" etc games.)
 
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