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Subject: It's a Niche Game ... but you love it rss

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So, I started the whole what over-covered game is your guilty pleasure and what game from that topic do you think is the standout.

Now...let's look at the opposite on a great suggestion from the prior thread.

What games do you have that cover the most obscure battles and which one or two would you recommend for someone who wants a great game on a less well known topic?
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Tuukka
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Tornio '44

I'm too tired to write much about this, but I think there are only two games of Lapland war, both from the same designer. My relatives fought in Tornio.
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Eddy Sterckx
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How about the Soviet-Polish war of 1920 ?

Strike of the Eagle



Copy & paste from my comments :

2015-07-16 : I saw this game for the first time back at Spiel 2010 - some Polish guys were there with a super-sized version of a block wargame on a point-to-point map called The Eagle and the Star. It looked like something that would interest me so I stopped to talk to them. They were very pleased somebody actually knew about what is really an obscure and virtually unknown war in the West. They were looking for a publisher to get wider distribution and I remember thinking "good luck with that given the subject". But they did it. Academy Games picked them up and 5 years later I'm actually playing the game in a very good-looking production.

Ok, about the game : It's a very streamlined relatively quick-playing low/medium complexity game where you spend most of your time thinking about your tactics & strategy instead of leafing through the rulebook looking up combat & movement modifiers. This is a game of maneuver and bluffing/out-thinking your opponent, not about calculations to get the perfect combat odds. I literally didn't even have 2 dozen units and I worried about each and every one of them on what orders I would give (or not) - made me really feel like the army's commander and that's what wargaming is all about.
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Bandenkrieg - Hell Behind the Eastern Front

Even in a segment of wargaming that offers immense variety, and from a publisher that revels in the obscure, this one is pretty out there.

Available for use with ASL or ATS, this concerns Partisan action in Belarus, so basically a Bielski Bros. affair. The curious thing is, though, that the partisan aspect isn't the unique thing here 'cos, as we all know, scenarios for partisan activity is nothing new in the ASL realm;in this case it's the Axis OB that is peculiar. The Nazi units working in Belarus in 1943-44 were there mainly to keep the civilian population in order and in check. The SS Dirlewanger Brigade were a cowardly, ill-equipped and unenthusiastic bunch who were just kind of sent to Belarus and then forgotten. They were joined by an SS Police Battalion who were, by all accounts, even more cruel, as well as The Schuma, yet another police brigade, this one comprised of Ukrainian nationalists, Soviet deserters and criminals repurposed to maintain "order". They didn't "police" so much as terrorize.
Many special rules help define these thugs, as well as the local partisans, in game terms. Despite the somewhat unsavoury topic this set has a ton of flavour (see what I did there?) and is a set that I always look forward to trotting out.
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Paul
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"Capitaine Conan," by Roger Vercel (1934).
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I would say The Siege of Port Arthur.

It's really obscure, and a good game. I think (please correct me if I'm wrong) it's the only game on the siege itself.

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Sean McCormick
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I don't get the sense that the War of Austrian Succession gets a whole lot of play, but this and Friedrich are some of the great designs of the last 15-20 years. You do need to be comfortable with a heavy dose of abstraction, however.

One of the least gamed theaters of WW2, but this is a clean, accessible design, with a beautiful map and superb designer support and documentation.

Another pinnacle of design. Perhaps the best game I can think of for capturing its subject matter through mechanics rather than chrome.



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Lance McMillan
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The war which resulted in the founding of modern Turkey (out of the ashes of the collapsed Ottoman Empire) is covered by both Ataturk! and Byzantium Reborn.

What makes this conflict particularly fascinating to me is that the Kemalists are facing such a variety of different opponents (Greeks, Italians, French, Bolsheviks, Armenians, and bandits), each of whom have very different goals. Although they aren't really working together (and there are in-game rules that prevent them from effectively cooperating), the situation is really tense because any one of those enemies might achieve its individual objectives in such a way that it completely undermines the whole Turkish position, so they can't just ignore any enemy entirely -- they have to prioritize allocation of resources in such a way that they can defeat one enemy while holding the others temporarily at bay. A really interesting situation...
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Kurt Keckley
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Fields of Despair - GMT P500.
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
How about the Soviet-Polish war of 1920 ?

Strike of the Eagle






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Bob Wooster
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"He who runs with aggression, walks without dignity."
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seanmac wrote:
I don't get the sense that the War of Austrian Succession gets a whole lot of play, but this and Friedrich are some of the great designs of the last 15-20 years. You do need to be comfortable with a heavy dose of abstraction, however.

One of the least gamed theaters of WW2, but this is a clean, accessible design, with a beautiful map and superb designer support and documentation.

Another pinnacle of design. Perhaps the best game I can think of for capturing its subject matter through mechanics rather than chrome.




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Karl Kreder
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I am surprised that On To Paris! hasn't been mentioned, not many games on the Franco, Prussian War. While is has a lot of rules, the rule book is 64 pages it seems like it will be a really good game.

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tim allen
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"The Marcher Lords; the Norman Conquest of Wales", by Microgame Design Group. Dunno why I like this game, but I do.
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Andrew S
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A pretty small part of the Cold War but it had a huge impact on South Africans of my generation, and it's a very fine 4 player wargame, great fun.
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Carlo Marinozzi
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I had fun with this one, The Chaco War, fighting for the water wells, deciding how to use your precious few trucks, the ebb and flow of the war as the two sides enter the enemy territory, one of Command best in my opinion
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Eddy Sterckx
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seanmac wrote:
I don't get the sense that the War of Austrian Succession gets a whole lot of play,


We played it last week

The real point I was going to make is that the game is 7 years old and still has a respectable number of plays each month - 31 in November - which is nothing to sneeze at as every regular contributor to the "games only you played this month" geeklist can tell you.
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Zigi Hogan
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What's it going to be then, eh?
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Chandragupta is a great game covering the Indian sub-continent with elephant stompy goodness from the GBOH system!

Keren is one of the best magazine games I have played (I haven't played Not War But Murder yet) that covers a battle in WW2 that I didn't know occurred until I got this game! Interesting treatment of a battle between British and Italians in Eritrea in north east Africa that offers some interesting choices in who fights and who hauls supplies over the difficult terrain.
Spoiler (click to reveal)

No other game covers the horny martian invasion so well!
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Robert Martin
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Red Star/White Eagle: The Russo-Polish War, 1920

A wonderful game I can't praise enough.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Heads of State
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Kyle Beach
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1914: Serbien Muss Sterbien

Great game and even more amazing history that is little known.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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Games I want to play on VASSAL: ASL, ASLSK, GMT CDG's I own
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seanmac wrote:
I don't get the sense that the War of Austrian Succession gets a whole lot of play, but this and Friedrich are some of the great designs of the last 15-20 years. You do need to be comfortable with a heavy dose of abstraction, however.

One of the least gamed theaters of WW2, but this is a clean, accessible design, with a beautiful map and superb designer support and documentation.

Another pinnacle of design. Perhaps the best game I can think of for capturing its subject matter through mechanics rather than chrome.

Great picks. If I had to pick one, I would probably pick Red Winter, since it's a very niche topic. But I guess The War of the Austrian Succession is pretty niche too, and Maria is one of my favorite games.
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Kent Reuber
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The Marcher Lords -- the Norman invasion of Wales
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Steven Goodknecht
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Although I believe most people have heard of the Crimean War, there are few games on the subject. Crimean War Battles covers the four major battles of the war and utilizes a game system that shows the players how a smaller, well-trained army can fight and defeat a larger, poorly-trained army. Morale rules the battlefield, as it should in a 19th century simulation..

One of my very favorite game systems.
 
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michael connor
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Nicaragua



Is simply the best integration of military, political, social/class/ideology and foreign intervention elements ever seen in a game, a insurgency warfare game. And rare among wargames, not just a military simulation but one that gives the 'big picture'. Seriously needs a make over. Much better than those gamey "COIN" drone-bot offerings.
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Tom Swider
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Battle of Sluys - the only naval battle in the 100 Years War.
Played it once and had a lot of fun with it. Should give it another go in 2017.
Wonderful name for a game, too!

Right Fierce & Terrible: Sluys 1340

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Ian Schofield
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Red Sash Games has a whole series of games on the War of the Austrian Succession, at the "operational" level.

Ian
 
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Brian Train
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xmfcnrx wrote:
Nicaragua



Is simply the best integration of military, political, social/class/ideology and foreign intervention elements ever seen in a game, a insurgency warfare game. And rare among wargames, not just a military simulation but one that gives the 'big picture'. Seriously needs a make over. Much better than those gamey "COIN" drone-bot offerings.


Such a seminal game, not the first on Nicaragua - that was Central America.
Joe Miranda maintained that his design was in every way a response to that bellicose, complex, kinetic and quite apolitical panzer-pusher (in intention if not in content, though a couple of tank regiments do show up in the mix).

One of my favourites and it inspired me to work out a family of insurgency games including
Tupamaro (Urban guerrillas in Uruguay 1968-72, first on that subject),
Shining Path: The Struggle for Peru (Peru 1980-95?, first on that subject),
Algeria: The War of Independence 1954-1962 (Algeria 1954-62, first on that subject),
Andartes (Greece 1947-49, first on that subject),
Kandahar (southern Afghanistan 2009-10, second on that subject but I worked on the first, BCT Command: Kandahar)
and the just-published EOKA (Cyprus 1955-59, first on that subject, BGG entry coming soon).

The GMT COIN system was partly inspired by some material in these games, so it's like a vague second or third cousin to this game, kinda sorta... I mean they are both about insurgencies after all....

Brian
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