Recommend
17 
 Thumb up
 Hide
54 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: good magazine games? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ann Onymous
msg tools
Hi Guys:

Although I've been playing wargames for a long time (don't ask) they've all been boxed games.

Recently I tried two magazine games (from 2011) and they both were terrible in various ways. No names here, but the first was a frustrating bloodless slog featuring command control restrictions which were good at modelling something, just not the campaign we were playing. The second was so ridiculously bad that we actually were left laughing in derision!

Both magazine games I tried seemed not to have undergone any playtesting at all. Is this par for the course?

Enough preamble.

Are there any magazine games that stand up to their boxed cousins. I don't care about availability or age of the magazine games; I just want to know if such a creature actually exists in the wild.

If so, please do tell.

Thanks again, guys!

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There have been plenty of good magazine wargames published over the years. Some of the best eventually got republished in box editions, such as Panzergruppe Guderian. However, in my rough estimation I'd say that for every decent magazine game published, there were/are at least three clunkers. The key is to come to BGG and read the reviews for a particular game before buying them. Really, with BGG, there's no excuse anymore for buying blind. The other thing about mag games is that they often have/need more errata than boxed games. I think that relates to the rush involved in getting the mag games finished in time for the next magazine publication. Again though, come to BGG and you can often find the errata you need to play any of these games.
11 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Edmund Hon
Canada
Maple
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Among the more recent offerings, ATO's Circle of Fire: The Siege of Cholm, 1942 is pretty good.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete Belli
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
...for every decent magazine game published, there were/are at least three clunkers...


Three? More like a dozen.
18 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eddy Sterckx
Belgium
Vilvoorde
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pete belli wrote:
Quote:
...for every decent magazine game published, there were/are at least three clunkers...


Three? More like a dozen.


Not disputing the number, but back in the old days I treat(ed) magazine games more like a historical exploration tool. If it dealt with a rarely visited era and had some novel mechanics I really didn't care much that the game itself was underdeveloped and unbalanced and the rulebook unfinished. These were the days before the internet and the magazine game + articles as a whole offered a unique glimpse into an unknown world.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Judd Vance
United States
WICHITA
Kansas
flag msg tools
Every Man a (K-State) Wildcat!
badge
"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
These are ones that I liked:

21 
 Thumb up
0.03
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Juan Valdez
msg tools
eddy_sterckx wrote:
pete belli wrote:
Quote:
...for every decent magazine game published, there were/are at least three clunkers...


Three? More like a dozen.


Not disputing the number, but back in the old days I treat(ed) magazine games more like a historical exploration tool. If it dealt with a rarely visited era and had some novel mechanics I really didn't care much that the game itself was underdeveloped and unbalanced and the rulebook unfinished. These were the days before the internet and the magazine game + articles as a whole offered a unique glimpse into an unknown world.


This is how I chose to view magazine games as well.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Sinclair
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Storm Over Normandy - is included in the Summer 2015 issue (Issue #6) of Special Ops magazine.

10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
mb
It was compiled three years ago but you might find this geeklist interesting: Best Magazine-Game Wargames by rank.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
But the drumbeat strains of the night remain in the rhythm of the newborn day.
United States
Riva
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
What Price Glory? and The Battle of Bushy Run have worked for me.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M St
Australia
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
notasockpuppet wrote:
Hi Guys:

Although I've been playing wargames for a long time (don't ask) they've all been boxed games.

Recently I tried two magazine games (from 2011) and they both were terrible in various ways. No names here, but the first was a frustrating bloodless slog featuring command control restrictions which were good at modelling something, just not the campaign we were playing. The second was so ridiculously bad that we actually were left laughing in derision!

Both magazine games I tried seemed not to have undergone any playtesting at all. Is this par for the course?

Certainly not. The problem is that such issues with magazine games are usually systemic, i.e. the key variable in whether they occur or not is the publisher, and in second line the designer.

So, the problem may well be a different one. There are numerous occasions, from many different magazines, where playtesters eventually confirmed that playtesting took place - but the lessons and problems discovered were ignored. This may have different reasons, and it occurs for non-magazine games, too, but in magazine games clearly the time pressure for release adds to the difficulty. It seems clear that with some publishers (in particular, DG), simple inability to make sure that playtester comments are taken into account leads to earlier, flawed versions being published. ATO, on the other hand, has a long track record with "chief developers" who will explicitly claim that problems discovered in play are not so bad, and assume all will be fine if some cosmetic changes are made.

I note that those games date from 2011 - that was a time when DG for example was still exclusively relying on "inhouse playtesting", which basically meant the designer and friends were trying it and often not finding the obvious problem. They have tried to address some of this but it seems at the same time the quality of the designs has kept slipping.

So the answer is, no, it's not par for the course, but problems in magazine games remain endemic - the buyer needs to do their due diligence and work out which publishers and designers can be trusted.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zigi Hogan
United States
The Ozarks
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
What's it going to be then, eh?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


I have quite a few modern magazine games but have only played a few; of those the standouts are Operation Anaconda about the first attempt to get Bin Laden; Keren about a little known battle in Africa between the British and Italians; Into a Bear Trap: The Battle for Grozny, January 1995 about the Russian invasion of Chechnya in 1995.

None of these are spectacular but none aren't worth the purchase price and the effort to learn them. I want to give both Not War But Murder and Lilliburlero: The Battle of the Boyne, July 1690 and try as they have a good reputation here on the geek.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Fox
United States
Chandler
Arizona
flag msg tools
Fear cannot be banished, but it can be calm and without panic; it can be mitigated by reason and evaluation.
badge
A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
C3i magazine has had two notable good games included.

Soviet Dawn. Single player States of Siege game. Might not pass your test of being a wargame, but it is a good game that I still bring out when I have a hour or so to kill.

Plan Orange: Pacific War 1930 - 1935. A what-if situation that kicks off WWII in the Pacific about 10 years early. It's an adaptation of the excellent Empire of the Sun. It's a shorter game, and not as wide open as EotS, but it's a fully thought out game that stands on its own merits.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Judd Vance
United States
WICHITA
Kansas
flag msg tools
Every Man a (K-State) Wildcat!
badge
"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another really good one:



It is 30 years old, so it's not as easy to find, but worth it if you can. Just go out to the game's forum page, go to the files section and print off my re-written rulebook. This is a great game, but the rulebook in it blows.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M St
Australia
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
It wasn't great (this was 3W after all) but worked for me.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Karl Kreder
United States
Nuevo
California
flag msg tools
Founder of the The Wargame Bootcamp
badge
My hero Grumpy Bonaparte
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
notasockpuppet wrote:
Hi Guys:

Although I've been playing wargames for a long time (don't ask) they've all been boxed games.

Recently I tried two magazine games (from 2011) and they both were terrible in various ways. No names here, but the first was a frustrating bloodless slog featuring command control restrictions which were good at modelling something, just not the campaign we were playing. The second was so ridiculously bad that we actually were left laughing in derision!

Both magazine games I tried seemed not to have undergone any playtesting at all. Is this par for the course?

Enough preamble.

Are there any magazine games that stand up to their boxed cousins. I don't care about availability or age of the magazine games; I just want to know if such a creature actually exists in the wild.

If so, please do tell.

Thanks again, guys!



How about Plan Orange: Pacific War 1930 - 1935
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joseph Youst
United States
Emeryville
California
flag msg tools
designer
Most mag games need a little work to turn into real classics. Even the good ones like PGG and Cobra had to be tweaked.

I'm biased (I do design and graphic work for DG), but I will say that the Shanghai 37 game that came out just over a year ago is quite good with about 6 rule fixes. I listed these over on CSW in that games' topic folder. It plays like a Sino-Japanese PGG.

I recently did a lot of post development work on this year's 2map Oct War designed by Joe Miranda. Spent a lot of time with it getting it into what I feel is a real playable, historical, and exciting game.

Zhukov's War is another 2 mapper that starts with the July 42 German offensive in the East. It let's u (as the German) decide on driving for Moscow or Stalingrad/Caucasus. Lot's of fun and easy to learn.

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eddy Sterckx
Belgium
Vilvoorde
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
airjudden wrote:
Another really good one:



It is 30 years old, so it's not as easy to find, but worth it if you can. Just go out to the game's forum page, go to the files section and print off my re-written rulebook. This is a great game, but the rulebook in it blows.


Uh ? Must be the re-written rules then, because with the original ones there's no way the US player can lose the game. Got rid of that one not too long ago.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M St
Australia
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
I note that hardly anyone else seems to have that opinion, so perhaps you played something wrong.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
L. SCHMITT
France
Alsace
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Some really good games in Battles Mag, for instance A Week in Hell ( CSR Awarded ), Race for Berlin, Wagram... + WTF 1940 ( not tried myself, I remember a good feedback from M. Herman on the Geek ).
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt & Laurel
United Kingdom
Harrogate
flag msg tools
mb
I can't claim to have played a lot of magazine games, but most of those that I have played have been average at best.

Judd has already listed a few that I also think are a cut above the usual fare (e.g. Not War But Murder and Lilliburlero: The Battle of the Boyne, July 1690), but a few others that I've quite enjoyed are:

Reichswehr & Freikorps (S&T 273)
Pour Dieu et pour le Roy (Vae Victis No.60)
Paris vaut bien une Messe! Les Guerres de Religion 1562-1598 (Vae Victis No.50 - uses a streamlined version of Ben Hull's Musket and Pike Battle Series rules)

It must be quite difficult to produce a good magazine game, given each publisher's reliance on decent ideas/submissions and obvious time constraints. I think this sometimes leads to games using 'tried and tested' (but often pretty pedestrian) mechanics, as anything that's a bit different probably won't get the playtesting time required to iron out all of the little problems.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Judd Vance
United States
WICHITA
Kansas
flag msg tools
Every Man a (K-State) Wildcat!
badge
"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
M St wrote:
I note that hardly anyone else seems to have that opinion, so perhaps you played something wrong.


That's exactly my thoughts. The best I have been able to get is a draw.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron Yoder
United States
Middleton
WI
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've never played a bad magazine game!

Of course, I only play them after they're reviewed. So, there's that.

La Bataille de Vauchamps is phenomenal, and it got me into the larger La Bataille system. I believe it's ATO.

I also really enjoyed Au fil de l'épée. A system, but once upon a time it was only ever in magazines.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Rinella
United States
New York
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
All three of my ATO efforts - Not War But Murder (2007), Birth of a Legend (2011), and Circle of Fire (2014) - were playtested, both by myself initially and then by ATO's developer Lembit and his group in Canada.

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tony Doran
United States
Columbia
Tennessee
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The original The Desert Fox was an excellent game. Needed some errata published (iirc) in Moves Magazine just a couple of months later. The follow-on, Trail of the Fox, was also good, even though it was done by TSR.

More recently, the Decision version of COBRA: The Normandy Campaign was better than the original, as is the current Desert Fox Deluxe
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.