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Subject: Which block wargame? rss

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Jerry Schippa
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I've been given a challenge by my wife...Build us a shelving unit for our office to hold our books and games, and I may purchase 6 new games of my choice.

I've decided on the following
Memoir '44
Istanbul
Thebes
Suburbia
TBD
A block wargame

I'm stuck between the popular Hammer of the Scots game which covers a topic I'm interested in, is a more typical block game, and has an interesting wintering mechanic; and Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan which is also well regarded, has a unique card driven gameplay and simple rules from what I've heard.

I'm new to wargames in general...Well except for the detailed simulation of Risk...So I'm looking for my block game to offer a good next step above memoir, have a good fog of war and bluffing mechanic to it, yet still be accessible.

Which one would be a better fit?
Which one do you prefer?
Any other thoughts?

Thanks!
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Josh Malbon
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Hammer of the Scots is a great game. My first wargame after, Memoir'44.

But I think Julius Caesar is a better block game. Hammer is fun. The wintering is cool, but after 4-5 games the battles seem to always happen in the same areas.

In Caesar, there is a lot more manoeuvring available.

Sekigahara is fun too. I've only played it once, but enjoyed it a lot. I'm looking forward to playing it again.

Caesar would probably be my favorite of the bunch. But all 3 are great games.
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Christopher Bouthner
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I recommend Julius Caesar I am by no means a block game expert but I will say Julius Caesar is a great game, easy to learn with alot of depth. Maneuvering and reinforcing troops is card driven and it has dice based combat. There are some special powers thrown in for good measure. Overall alot of fun.

Honestly though all of the ones you mentioned have great reputations, it probably would be best to go with the theme you enjoy the most. For me it was ancient Rome.
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Ryan James
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I have only played Sekigahara, but man is that a great game. If you're looking for an intro block war-game that is highly regarded as being a great intro to them, stop looking

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dukane wrote:
... which covers a topic I'm interested in ...


This sounds like a tipping point in the decision-making process to me.

Hammer is a great game, and holds up well despite being quite old now. It's not hard but has some interesting chrome you'll have to come to grips with. I'd recommend it pretty easily.

(This doesn't mean that other block games aren't good. Sekigahara would be a find choice also. But if you have two good war games and one covers a topic you want to explore... well, why not go for it?)
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Tonny Wille
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Let me start with saying that both are very good games. I do enjoy Hammer of the Scots more but that is my personal feeling and I'm pretty sure that a lot of other people would rather play Sekigahara. I found the topic of Sekigahara less interesting and wasn't sold on the card mechanic. I sure can see why other people like it and don't mind playing it.

I do believe that it takes longer to finish a game of Hammer but if you find the topic more interesting...

Other people here mentioned Julius Caesar which would be a great pick as well. Either way... you can't go wrong
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dukane wrote:
I've been given a challenge by my wife...Build us a shelving unit for our office to hold our books and games, and I may purchase 6 new games of my choice.

I've decided on the following
Memoir '44
Istanbul
Thebes
Suburbia
TBD
A block wargame

I'm stuck between the popular Hammer of the Scots game which covers a topic I'm interested in, is a more typical block game, and has an interesting wintering mechanic; and Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan which is also well regarded, has a unique card driven gameplay and simple rules from what I've heard.

I'm new to wargames in general...Well except for the detailed simulation of Risk...So I'm looking for my block game to offer a good next step above memoir, have a good fog of war and bluffing mechanic to it, yet still be accessible.

Which one would be a better fit?
Which one do you prefer?
Any other thoughts?

Thanks!


I am in similiar situation, I am completely fresh when it comes to block wargames; just started adding them to my collection - and after few suggestions on this very forum I bought Julius Caesar and Sekigahara - both bought about week ago.

As for now I am after my first game of Julius Caesar and I must admit, it is really great starting point when it comes to block wargames. Rules are really simple (but note that there are some tricky exceptions) yet provides really deep strategy and amphibious movement means that there is a lot of room for both players for maneuvering and attacking on the whole map. Also Fog of War gives room for bluffing and provides a lot of thrills.
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dukane wrote:
I've been given a challenge by my wife...Build us a shelving unit for our office to hold our books and games, and I may purchase 6 new games of my choice.

I've decided on the following
Memoir '44
Istanbul
Thebes
Suburbia
TBD
A block wargame

I'm stuck between the popular Hammer of the Scots game which covers a topic I'm interested in, is a more typical block game, and has an interesting wintering mechanic; and Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan which is also well regarded, has a unique card driven gameplay and simple rules from what I've heard.

I'm new to wargames in general...Well except for the detailed simulation of Risk...So I'm looking for my block game to offer a good next step above memoir, have a good fog of war and bluffing mechanic to it, yet still be accessible.

Which one would be a better fit?
Which one do you prefer?
Any other thoughts?

Thanks!

I always think it's wisest to follow your interests. For most of us, historical interest is the primary factor that distinguishes wargames from other games. Games lead to books and books lead to games in an ever widening circle; that's the process that has kept me interested from the very beginning.
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Fields of Despair: France 1914-1918

This looks interesting. It's a new release from GMT.
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Jerry Schippa
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truflepig wrote:
Fields of Despair: France 1914-1918

This looks interesting. It's a new release from GMT.


Yeah, WWI is another interest of mine, but the game length and more moving parts makes me think this would be a good second game if I can find someone who would regularly play this type of game.

Which is something im aware of going into this...I may only play this type of game a few times per year at best. My game group in general likes to play less than 1 hr games that play large groups...But some of them have a wargame background.

As for my original two games, while I'm going in more interested in the history of Scotland, the mechanics of Sekigahara look equally as attractive.

The comment about HotS becoming a bit too similar after a half dozen plays concerns me quite a bit.

Thanks for the input!
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Jerry Schippa
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Sphere wrote:
dukane wrote:
I've been given a challenge by my wife...Build us a shelving unit for our office to hold our books and games, and I may purchase 6 new games of my choice.

I've decided on the following
Memoir '44
Istanbul
Thebes
Suburbia
TBD
A block wargame

I'm stuck between the popular Hammer of the Scots game which covers a topic I'm interested in, is a more typical block game, and has an interesting wintering mechanic; and Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan which is also well regarded, has a unique card driven gameplay and simple rules from what I've heard.

I'm new to wargames in general...Well except for the detailed simulation of Risk...So I'm looking for my block game to offer a good next step above memoir, have a good fog of war and bluffing mechanic to it, yet still be accessible.

Which one would be a better fit?
Which one do you prefer?
Any other thoughts?

Thanks!

I always think it's wisest to follow your interests. For most of us, historical interest is the primary factor that distinguishes wargames from other games. Games lead to books and books lead to games in an ever widening circle; that's the process that has kept me interested from the very beginning.


Yeah, I've read more books since I started playing boardgames in the past few years than I ever have before outside of school.
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James Thompson
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Sandmanx82 wrote:
I have only played Sekigahara, but man is that a great game. If you're looking for an intro block war-game that is highly regarded as being a great intro to them, stop looking


This

... it looks beautiful on the table too!
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Thom Goodsell
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dukane wrote:

I'm stuck between the popular Hammer of the Scots game which covers a topic I'm interested in, is a more typical block game, and has an interesting wintering mechanic; and Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan which is also well regarded, has a unique card driven gameplay and simple rules from what I've heard.


Having played both of them once, I'd land on the side of Sekigahara. It's a little lighter rules-wise, I think, but involves lots of tense decisions. It's also beautiful on the table. It's also dice-free, which may be a pro or a con, depending on whether you'd rather hope for a 6 or hope for the right card draw.

The wintering mechanic in Hammer is definitely interesting, but I play with one person who has declared he'll never play another game with that type of mechanic (which also appears in Columbia's Richard III). So I'd be cautious in assuming that it will be interesting in a good way to everyone you play with.

They're both good games, so you probably won't go wrong with either. But I prefer Sekigahara.
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Don Lynch
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Crusader Rex, 2d edition, 3d crusade.

Wicked good. Lots of timely decisions to make.





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For once, I will stick to the options you've presented instead of throwing up suggestions of my personal favorite block games (it would be easy for you to figure out anyway).

I own and have played both of your options many times.

Hammer is a good choice because it is one of a set. That is, if you like it, you can obtain other titles that are similar (Liberty, Athens and Sparta, Crusader Rex, Richard III, Julius Caesar). That's good if you decide you like the system, but bad if you begin to get bored with a feeling of "sameness." On the other hand perhaps you'll be tempted to try other Columbia Games titles that depart from the ABC system. Full disclosure, Hammer of the Scots is my least favorite of the Columbia titles that I own.

Sekigehara is also a great game. It's one of a kind. That's good in the sense that it offers a different block game experience from pretty much any other block game out there. It's beautifully produced with excellent components. But if you want to find other titles that have similar mechanics, good luck.

I'm a Columbia Games loyalist. When I first encountered block wargames, Columbia (actually, Gamma Two in those days) were the only producer of this genre and there were only 4 titles. I love their games. However, in this case I am going to suggest Sekigehara. Between those two, I think it's the better title. If you decide you like blockgames, you can pick up a Columbia title then. In that case, I would recommend trying one of the original four (Quebec 1759, War of 1812, Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815 or Rommel in the Desert) because it will give you a good sense of the evolution of the genre, pre-ABC (which is where most people jump in these days). Crap, I did what I said I wouldn't do... gulp

erm...

'nuf sed
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Derry Salewski
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I love hammer and teach it to people a lot. JC is good too.

The japan game feels like a hand management game with blocks tacked on. I don't hate it but it's not my favorite.
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Jerry Schippa
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Well this afternoon I found out someone in our game group owns practically all the above mentioned games and has agreed to loan me Sekigahara if I teach it to him when I return it. Deal!!!
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Josh Malbon
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Heh heh, Awesome! Have fun, Jerry.
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Jerry Schippa
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Sorry to drag this back again, but wow am I having fun just learning the game. Here are my first impressions so far.

1. Why don't other games write rulebooks like this? It reads like a spec book...And that's incredibly easy to read and navigate!

2. The board won't lay flat, making it hard to stack. But I imagine it will after some time.

3. The card driven system gives me a similar feel to one of my favorite games (Arboretum), and really gives me the feel of where I'm strong and where I'm vulnerable. Really digging that.

4. Combat can escalate quickly and go wrong quickly too. I'm playing solo, just to get a sense, but Im starting to get the feel for where the bluffing and strategy comes from when building an army.

5. During my play (currently in week 6) I was certain the black side had a clear advantage over the gold side. Then, in week 6, I decided that gold should be more aggressive and push black out of Tsuruga and two other locations. Gold won all three and completely flipped the board state on its head.

Playing solo obviously has limitations with a game like this, but I'm REALLY loving what I'm seeing!
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Latecomer to thread, but ya, Sekigahara and Julius Caesar(sp?) both are great, and very different games.

Glad to read you are enjoying it.

Sekigahara doesn't lay flat? Been a while, but i don't recall having that problem. I think there's a tried/true method of putting heavy books on top overnight? For Caesar, i put a piece of glass on top.

Just to pipe in one more suggestion that i think has been missed, take a look at holdfast russia sometime.

Hope to read your first 2p session report
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Jerry Schippa
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BlinkyJOH wrote:
Latecomer to thread, but ya, Sekigahara and Julius Caesar(sp?) both are great, and very different games.

Glad to read you are enjoying it.

Sekigahara doesn't lay flat? Been a while, but i don't recall having that problem. I think there's a tried/true method of putting heavy books on top overnight? For Caesar, i put a piece of glass on top.

Just to pipe in one more suggestion that i think has been missed, take a look at holdfast russia sometime.

Hope to read your first 2p session report


I'll try and remember to do one.
 
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Do some serious research on Thebes before you buy it. It's a serious luck fest. I outplayed both my opponents to get to the good treasures, but I pulled squat while they pulled the high value stuff. Sold it.

If you can get past the thought that's it's all luck then buy it. But, I'd stay away. There's too many other games out there that are so much better.

 
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Sekigahara is fantastic, and I'd second Julius Caesar before getting into something heavier (but still great)like Fields of Despair.
 
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Jerry Schippa
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Wolkster wrote:

Do some serious research on Thebes before you buy it. It's a serious luck fest. I outplayed both my opponents to get to the good treasures, but I pulled squat while they pulled the high value stuff. Sold it.

If you can get past the thought that's it's all luck then buy it. But, I'd stay away. There's too many other games out there that are so much better.



We played it and like it. The luck was frustrating at times, but it was fun to watch someone take 6 pulls and get a book while everyone else cheered the giant failure!

I've also since scratched Suburbia off the list in favor for Captain Sonar and am considering Mice and Mystics for that last game. I like RPG style games but my wife doesn't and hates high fantasy...But she thinks the mouse idea is really cool. So I'm kind of looking to fill in a few holes in our collection...Wargame, group game, adventure game and a some that we already know we like.

But thanks.
 
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Oh good, you've played it so know what to expect.

I just joined a gaming group that plays Tuesday nights. One guy showed us how to play Dice City. It's a game I would have never even put on my want list, but after playing it I've made a trade offer for a copy here on BGG. He said it was his 15-year-old daughter's favorite game and I can see why.

It's got me interested in city builder/dice games.

Oh, and to stay on topic... when a friend comes over to play ASL his son brings over Julius Caesar to play with my 18-year-old. They have a blast and he really likes it. Only downfall, is that it looks like it might be OOP, but is going to be reprinted. I like Rommel in the Desert and Hammer.
 
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