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Subject: Modular map in war games / war game board games rss

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Martin Röseler
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Hi.
I am new to this kind of game. I am interessted in war game board games. With this I mean board games in the category of war games or with this kind of mechanics. Like a "war game out of the box". For example Warhammer 40K is not what I want because I don't want to buy all the pieces seperatly. I want a war game like board game where everything is in the box.
I know already of some games of this kind like Heroes of the Great War: Limanowa 1914, Paths of Glory or I think Memoir '44.
But somehow most of these games have a fixed map. So you play a tactical game over and over on the same map. Is this a problem for replayability? After the third play will you almost always follow the same strategy? Like putting an artillery here and rushing fast for city X and so on?

Are there board games with war game characteristics and a modular map where you have to develop a new strategy every time (or almost every time) you play the game?
Is a fixed map a problem for replayability?
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Andreas Kaiser
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Space Empires: 4X comes to mind. And maybe Runewars.
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Eddy Sterckx
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You mentioned Memoir '44 - in it the "map" is always different based on the scenario you play. If you really want to go all-out and never have the same map and setup twice, try a system like Johnny Reb III
 
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Martin Röseler
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A quick view on images of Johnny Reb III makes the impression that this is a war game where you have to buy a lot of miniatures seperatly. Is this true?

Maybe the other question was not so clear. Do you think a not modular map is a problem for replayability?
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Brandon
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BountyHuntA wrote:
A quick view on images of Johnny Reb III makes the impression that this is a war game where you have to buy a lot of miniatures seperatly. Is this true?

Maybe the other question was not so clear. Do you think a not modular map is a problem for replayability?


Chess is always played on the same board. Do you feel that this impacts its replayability?
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Eddy Sterckx
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BountyHuntA wrote:
A quick view on images of Johnny Reb III makes the impression that this is a war game where you have to buy a lot of miniatures seperatly. Is this true?


Yes. It was just an example of a system that's never the same twice, even if you re-fight the "same" battle.

BountyHuntA wrote:

Maybe the other question was not so clear. Do you think a not modular map is a problem for replayability?


It's only a problem if you think it's one - some people can replay the same game on the same map hundreds of times, others want more variety.
 
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Dominik Baerenzung
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The whole Command and Colors Series
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamefamily/50/commands-colors
is like this. The board is only green and the modular tiles do the rest.
Combat Commander: Europe , Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 or Advanced Squad Leader solves this problem with many boards, ASL uses also Overlays.
Some boards are completely modular.
But one thing is to copy reality by a modular board the other thing is to take a real existing map. I guess you can play a WWII game again and again on the big scale worldmap and you would never become bored. Take games like Axis Empires: Totaler Krieg! there is so much to do you can't copy your last approach even if you want


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Juno
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BountyHuntA wrote:
Are there board games with war game characteristics and a modular map where you have to develop a new strategy every time (or almost every time) you play the game?

Off the top of my head (and my shelf): Up Front and Fields of Fire
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Rich Shipley
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There are many wargames with modular maps.

In games like Memoir '44 and Hold the Line: The American Revolution, you place terrain tiles on a blank map to create a battlefield. You choose one of many scenarios to set up and play.

In other games, like Combat Commander: Europe, there are many generic maps that can be used for various scenarios having different forces and objectives. In some of these games, the various maps are called "geomorphic" because they can be joined together in different ways for larger games. The Conflict of Heroes series, Advanced Squad Leader, and some other tactical games are like this.

Games about historical battles and campaigns will usually have a fixed map, but can be part of a series that share a common set of rules. Once you are comfortable with the general rules, you can start playing a new game in the series without too much time spent learning the game.

My favorite wargame has a fixed map and starting positions, but also has 110 unique cards that drive the action so no two games are alike. Other games include random events generated by chit pulls or charts that provide variety in play.

And even some stand-alone wargames with fixed maps and objectives are replayable as evidenced by people continuing to play them over decades. It has worked for games like chess even longer than that.
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Seth Owen
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The scenarios feature different units, victory conditions and other variations such as using different parts of the map, so replayabilty is not an issue. And many games, such as Memoir '44 use overlays to vary the map.
 
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Tony
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Manoeuvre may fit the bill. Out of the box you get different armies and a bunch of map sections which can be pieced together in an almost infinite number of configurations.
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Russ Williams
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BountyHuntA wrote:
Are there board games with war game characteristics and a modular map

Yes, very many tactical games use different maps for different scenarios. (Either by literally different physical maps, or geomorphic map tiles put together in various ways, or terrain overlays placed onto a map, etc etc)

Quote:
Is a fixed map a problem for replayability?

Not necessarily. Extremely replayable games with fixed setups like Chess, Shogi, Go, etc clearly prove that.

There are plenty of replayable wargames with fixed setups.

Others might get boring soon. It simply depends on the particular game.
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Eurojuegos Buenos Aires
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BountyHuntA wrote:
Maybe the other question was not so clear. Do you think a not modular map is a problem for replayability?


Well, you've got some great advice already on titles, but I would like to point out that the variety of the scenario setup is only part of the variety of a game, and that variety is only part of what makes a game re-playable. In some games mentioned before, not even a great part.

There are other elements that enhance the game's replayability, such as depth, interaction or uncertainty. Particularly in multiplayer wargames, different opponents will play differently, and interact differently among each other, adding to the game's variety, even if the initial map, forces setup and objectives remain almost the same from game to game. Think for example games with a heavy negotiation element such as Diplomacy, A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) or Churchill.

In terms of depth, you need to have some permanence in the scenario to explore different approaches to a somewhat similar problem. Figuring out these possible approaches may be a good deal of the charm of the game. Some degree of studying of the opening moves in chess or Twilight Struggle is advisable for high level play, and that can only be attain with a lower starting variety. On the contrary, role playing games focus more on variety over depth, since no two encounters are alike, unless you like grinding over your computer.

Finally uncertainty, by means of hidden information, luck of the draw (cards) or luck of the outcome (dices). They may provide enough variety for the game to avoid being scripted (solvable) from the start. Many wargames, particularly solo games, use uncertainty a lot, since (when used well) it can enhance a game's narrative, even using very similar elements.
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Roel
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World war 2 series of Zvezda, by far the best.
 
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Bill Massey
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I agree about the C&C system. You get multiple scenarios to start with, each one can be played many times with different results due to the mix of cards and dice, and there are many player created scenarios on the web to add to the set in the box.
 
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Enrico Viglino
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For a long long time. At least as far back as PanzerBlitz, geomorphic,
modifiable maps have been used for small scale tactical scenarios.

It doesn't make sense in larger scale (at least for historical) games though.
Not many people want to play the battle of Waterloo on some random terrain.
Even sillier if you start looking at something strategic, like Paths of Glory (mentioned in the OP),
although there are fantasy games which do just this.

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Brian Korreck
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Victory: The Blocks of War
 
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Irish not Kraut!
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another bump for Manoeuvre, small scale, plenty of variety, appealing theme. For €28 or so it works out very good value. Components looks good too.
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