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Subject: The "Essential" Wargames rss

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Tony Ackroyd
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Hi all

I've been going a bit nuts with POLL geeklists recently. My latest is a bit of fun to determine the Essential games for each category of games. I included three wargame categories in there (2p light, 2p heavy, 3p+)

For anyone who wants to vote, or suggest anything missing, they are entry #30-32 on this geeklist:

Essential Games by Category - Nominations and Short-Listing [POLLS]

The multiplayer was a late addition to the list so hasn't got many votes.
I'm probably only a light wargamer, so these starting lists are a bit of a stab in the dark.

Cheers
Tony
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Pete
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Good call. I'd just post a separate poll here in the subforum. I was a bit irritated in the main thread watching people who don't play wargames vote on "essential wargames" and vote up non-wargames.

Pete (hopes to see better results here)
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Tony Ackroyd
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Good thought. Here are some alternative versions of the polls which non-wargamers won't contaminate. I've added any other nominations from the main list.

The idea here is to vote for all that you think merit a chance in the Final poll. Here you can vote for as many as you like. In the next poll you need to pick just one.

Poll
Essential Light 2 Player Wargame
13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis
1754: Conquest – The French and Indian War
A Few Acres of Snow
Axis & Allies
BattleLore
Combat Commander: Europe
Commands & Colors: Ancients
Commands & Colors: Napoleonics
Hammer of the Scots
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
Julius Caesar
Memoir '44
Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815
Ogre
Risk 2210 A.D.
Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
Stronghold (2nd Ed)
Tides of Iron
Wings of War: Famous Aces
      429 answers
Poll created by 1000rpm

Poll
Essential Heavy 2 Player wargame
Advanced Squad Leader
Andean Abyss
Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition)
Empire of the Sun
Empires in Arms
Europe Engulfed
Fire in the Lake
For the People
Here I Stand
Horus Heresy
Labyrinth: War on Terror, 2001 - ?
Napoleon's Triumph
Paths of Glory
Rise and Deline of the Third Reich
Star Fleet Battles
The Battle of Five Armies
The Civil War
Twilight Struggle
Virgin Queen
War of the Ring
Wir sind das Volk!
World in Flames
World War II: Barbarossa to Berlin
      434 answers
Poll created by 1000rpm

Poll
Essential 3+ Player Wargame
1812: The Invasion of Canada
1944: Race to the Rhine
A Distant Plain
Andean Abyss
Axis & Allies Europe 1940
Britannia
Churchill
Close Action
Cuba Libre
Empires in Arms
Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar
Fire in the Lake
Friedrich
Here I Stand
Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection
Maria
Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815
Normandy '44
Quartermaster General
Successors (third edition)
Sword of Rome
The Devil's Cauldron: The Battles for Arnhem and Nijmegen
Triumph & Tragedy
Virgin Queen
World in Flames
      362 answers
Poll created by 1000rpm
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Michael Rinella
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Looks more like an essential Hasbro/GMT list to me.

Not one two-player "heavy" area impulse game? It's a whole genre.
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Ryan Witmer
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Even if you think Twilight Struggle is a wargame, it's not within sniffing distance of a "heavy" wargame.
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L. SCHMITT
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Looks like random listing

And what does essential mean... just popular ?
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Jeffrey D Myers
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Michael Rinella wrote:
Looks more like an essential Hasbro/GMT list to me.

Not one two-player "heavy" area impulse game? It's a whole genre.


How about Monty's Gamble: Market Garden, since it should shortly be back in print? meeple
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Tony Ackroyd
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The concept was for someone who could only have a limited game selection what was the Essential game(s) that covered each category.

I confess I was nervous about making the Wargame lists as I really only know the lighter wargames, but I wanted there to be a Wargame category as it was absent in the original list and it was suggested as an omission. The geeklist allows nominations of other games (which I've added above).

If someone wants to take a shot at making alternative versions I'm totally cool with that. Or just have fun saying why these are wrong.
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Alfy Burger
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1000rpm wrote:
Or just have fun saying why these are wrong.


That's the wargamer's way!
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Enrico Viglino
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1000rpm wrote:
I confess I was nervous about making the Wargame lists as I really only know the lighter wargames, but I wanted there to be a Wargame category as it was absent in the original list and it was suggested as an omission. The geeklist allows nominations of other games (which I've added above).


Your nervousness was correct. Basically, you tried to distill a hobby
which is as rich as the modern eurogaming one (but with deeper roots)
into a single category.

Wargaming is NOT some mechanism, like area control (which some lighter
wargamish things use). To match your other categories, you ought to
take the basic wargaming mechanisms and give them the same standing that
your other mechanism categories have. So, there should be a CDG entry
(which could include clearly non-wargames like 1960); CRT based systems
(also not limited to wargames - see Origins of World War II); buckets of dice;
Block games; deck builders; area-impulse; Plotted movement; ect. Otherwise,
you are comparing things on very different planes.

Well, to be fair, you have a couple topical categories (4X (which includes
many wargames) and Economic), but overall, you should impose a uniform
design and drop those as well. A reasonable choice would be to separate
out topic into its own set of lists, because otherwise, there is just
way too much overlap.
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Alfy Burger
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+1. And in addition, I would point out that mixing wargames with euros or boardgames with combat as a mechanism or a theme really muddles the lists. It means that people playing these boardgames will select those titles they know, ignoring everything else. When I see Twilight Struggle at the top of the 2-players heavy wargame list, I mostly conclude that the vast majority of the voters have little experience with anything else.
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Darrell Hanning
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I guess I have a bone to pick with the entire "Essential" approach to things.

After owning and playing nearly a dozen other games - for 50 years - on the Ardennes Offensive, I only now consider Last Blitzkrieg "essential" for those who want to understand that particular battle.

And that's just one battle, on one front, in one war out of the entire history of warfare, and just one person's opinion.

A wargame is as much an information tool as a boardgame, which makes them unlike most other games. What you "learn" from one of them will differ from what you learn in another. As such, no three are "essential". No three can be deemed as being more necessary to own over all the others, and no three can give you anything resembling the full width and depth of wargaming.

Some I would consider "essential" for what they demonstrate about supply considerations.

Some I would consider "essential" for what they show about air superiority.

Some I would consider "essential" for what they show about combined arms operations.

The list goes on and on - armored warfare, trench warfare, hoplite warfare, submarine warfare, ancient warfare, modern warfare, quantity vs. quality, and so on.
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Roger Hobden
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Also, you forgot Case Blue.
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Rex Stites
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calandale wrote:


Your nervousness was correct. Basically, you tried to distill a hobby
which is as rich as the modern eurogaming one (but with deeper roots)
into a single category.



Not to mention the substantial number of non-wargames listed; the number of multiplayer games listed as 2 player; and the number of 2 player games listed as multiplayer.

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Rex Stites
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Mallet wrote:
Also, you forgot Case Blue.


But he did get the correct number of area impulse games. So there's that.
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Enrico Viglino
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DarrellKH wrote:
I guess I have a bone to pick with the entire "Essential" approach to things.


Indeed. 'Essential' for what? I took it immediately as essential for
describing the history of the hobby - for which the given list is
woefully inadequate. You took it as essential for modelling capacity.
I suspect the list maker took it as essential for being able to say
you've played the currently popular games (by the choices given)?

Such expectations probably should be spelled out beforehand. Or,
if it's 'essential' under ANY circumstance you will get to some
ridiculous things - like, "essential because it is so rare" or
"...because it is the worst example of."
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Enrico Viglino
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rstites25 wrote:
and the number of 2 player games listed as multiplayer.



More than one is multiplayer. For some of us, it's massively multi-player.
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Bill Lawson
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I own exactly 3 of the games on the "lists". I'm not interested in any of the others. Not essential in anyway at all to me.
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Rex Stites
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calandale wrote:
rstites25 wrote:
and the number of 2 player games listed as multiplayer.



More than one is multiplayer. For some of us, it's massively multi-player.


multiplayer
 
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Alfy Burger
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I looked again at the "heavy" list. I still think some games have no place there: the COIN games, Twilight Struggle, Labyrinth, Horus Heresy, CoH. That would leave quite a few spots for people to propose what they see as an "essential" game, no matter the definition.

(Personnaly, I'm happy EotS is on the list. It's not the only game I would feel is essential, but I feel my life choices are vindicated enough to make me happy. cool)
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Jeffrey D Myers
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I've played 38 of the games on the lists, and find it a reasonable effort.

The only essential one is, of course, Advanced Squad Leader. meeple
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JPotter
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Why not ask the users of the wargames subforum to suggest wargames they consider "essential"?

Compile all the suggestions, run a poll to rank them and take more suggestions.

Iterate and revise.

Make an ongoing feature of it.

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Bob Zurunkel
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I question whether there is such a thing as an "essential" wargame. I have some favorites that are essential to me, that others would have no interest in playing. And there are games that others find essential that I have no interest in playing.
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Tom
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Besides Squad Leader, the only absolutely essential games are Victory in the Pacific and The Russian Campaign. Paths of Glory approaches essentiality.
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Jose Ruiz
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Just to help out with the definition of "essential", I think that for purposes of this poll it means "great"... I know, it's not much help at all.

I think the word "essential" would be appropriate if you were kidnapped by aliens to some far away planet, and you would be allowed to take only three wargames with you. I'd say that those 3 games would be "essential".
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