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Subject: War game for a non-gamer and gamer rss

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Robbert Vervuurt
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Hi all,

I’m never on this forum, but I’m guessing you are as kind as the “normal” board gaming forum

I recently visited Normandy with my in-laws, and found out that my father in law is actually quite the WW2-nut, specifically D-Day.

He’s not a gamer, but I’m pretty sure he would love to play a game focused on D-day/the liberation of Europe. However, since I never touched a wargame either, I’m wondering if you people can recommend a game fitting our “knowledge” of games?

Again, he is not a gamer, but I am, so it can easily be something a bit more complicated, I’ll just have to learn it beforehand, so I can explain it.

I looked at Memoir '44, what’s the general opinion on that game? I don’t think it has to be a “fancy” game, as in miniatures and fancy design, it’s mostly the tactical part (I think) he would be interested in.

Thanks!
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John Smith
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Looking at your game ratings I would say Memoir '44 looks a good option.

I'm still a bit of a noob at wargames. I played Memoir '44 a while back, which I liked but fancied a step up in complexity.

I have tried Conflict of Heroes, which is still not complex compared with some wargames, I have tried a bit of Band of Brothers (again, not complex for the genre) and Cuba Libre (not WW2!) from the COIN series, which is quite a big step up complexity wise compared with my average Euro game.

But as I slowly wade out a little deeper it actually makes me even more glad to have Memoir '44. I love the other games too but I now think, wow, what a good job Memoir does giving some WW2 flavour in 30 mins or so.

You have a book of scenarios including some beach landings and usually after playing a quick game I love to play the same scenario again but swapping sides.

Downsides? At first I found it a bit limiting that you can only move these units here in this third or that third, depending on the cards you have, but it doesn't really bug me now. And setup can take a little while getting the tiles out. But that's really minor for me.

The base game is solid to me but with the expansions you can make the game a bit more complicated if you fancy.

I am pretty sure it will keep its place in my collection. I do like the toy factor as well. Can't think of any minis I'd rather have than WW2!

Good luck with picking the right game!
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Pete Belli
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Memoir '44 would be a fine choice. One of my favorites!

Another good option with a focus on Normandy in 1944 would be Axis & Allies: D-Day.



It shouldn't be difficult to find a copy.
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Russ Williams
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M44 indeed sounds like a plausible choice of tactical wargame for you.

FWIW a hybrid euro/wargame of possible interest on a similar subject (advancing east to Germany after the Normandy landings, with some emphasis on logistics, not just combat) is 1944: Race to the Rhine.
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Declan Breen
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Robbert not WWII but a good entry point for wargaming

Manoeuvre

Hammer of the Scots
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Jon Gautier

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Memoir 44 is generic and bears little relationship to either WWII combat or Normandy. From what you say, I also think a tactical game would not be as interesting for your purpose as a game on the campaign. I don't mean to offend, but I'm not sure you realize that a true tactical game would offer more insight into WWII small unit combat but much less into D-Day. Put another way, there's not much to distinguish a tactical game set in Normandy from a tactical game set in the Ardennes, other than maybe sand or hedgerows.

Unfortunately, most games on the campaign are large, or complex, or both. There are one or two simpler ones, but they are hard to find. That said, I notice that there are some reasonably priced copies of Victory in Normandy in the Geekmarket. This is a good game, it is an interesting simulation that offers historical insight into the campaign, and it should be reasonably accessible to novice or non-gamers. Good luck.

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M King
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Dieroll Honker wrote:
Memoir 44 is generic and bears little relationship to either WWII combat or Normandy. From what you say, I also think a tactical game would not be as interesting for your purpose as a game on the campaign. I don't mean to offend, but I'm not sure you realize that a true tactical game would offer more insight into WWII small unit combat but much less into D-Day. Put another way, there's not much to distinguish a tactical game set in Normandy from a tactical game set in the Ardennes, other than maybe sand or hedgerows.

Unfortunately, most games on the campaign are large, or complex, or both. There are one or two simpler ones, but they are hard to find. That said, I notice that there are some reasonably priced copies of Victory in Normandy in the Geekmarket. This is a good game, it is an interesting simulation that offers historical insight into the campaign, and it should be reasonably accessible to novice or non-gamers. Good luck.



Playing time 300 minutes? Doesn't sound like an introductory game at all.
Go with M44.
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Jon Gautier

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Well, he didn't specifically ask for an intro game. He also said that while he isn't a wargamer, he is a gamer and thought he could handle some complexity. Add in that his father in law seems to have a real interest in the history, and I'd say that a game like M44, which is barely tethered to reality, let alone D-Day, would be a bad choice and a waste of their time. They might as well set up some toy soldiers and go "pew, pew" for all the historical insight they'd gain from M44.
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Sam Smith
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1944: Race to the Rhine is another to look at - it's not DDay but it is the aftermath. Pretty simple and has more of a resource management feel to it which you might be more familiar with, but also some fighting element. Plus you're competing Allies, no-one's playing the Germans. Designed for 3, but also playable fine with 2.
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Robbert Vervuurt
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Dieroll Honker wrote:
Well, he didn't specifically ask for an intro game. He also said that while he isn't a wargamer, he is a gamer and thought he could handle some complexity. Add in that his father in law seems to have a real interest in the history, and I'd say that a game like M44, which is barely tethered to reality, let alone D-Day, would be a bad choice and a waste of their time. They might as well set up some toy soldiers and go "pew, pew" for all the historical insight they'd gain from M44.


I'm a gamer, my father in law is absolutely not, so in that way, an intro game is preferred. The 300 minute playing time is not going to work for him, haha!

But thanks for the tip and feedback I think the idea of the game taking place on D-Day is enough for him, I don't know how important REAL accuracy is.
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Peter
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A light, shorter game that gives some flavor of the deadly beach storming is D-Day Dice. It's very abstract with a Yahtzee-vibe, if you know that game, but it does has some fun details. And, there is a free print-and-play intro/trial version that could keep you occupied for a casual evening of co-op gaming with your father-in-law.

D-Day Dice: Free Trial Version



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Confusion Under Fire
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I would recommend a small series of wargames which cover the Normandy campaign. Its a Paul Koenig series and includes Paul Koenig's D-Day: The American Beaches,Paul Koenig's D-Day: The Canadian Beach and the last is Paul Koenig's D-Day: The British Beaches. They have a low density of units and the rules are very short and easy to understand. The terrain charts are also included on the map so cuts down on look up time. Each game can be played in about 45 minutes.
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Ronald Hill
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pete belli wrote:


Another good option with a focus on Normandy in 1944 would be Axis & Allies: D-Day.



It shouldn't be difficult to find a copy.



thumbsup


I agree, this would be a good starting game, it's fun, not difficult, it used cards to control the sequence of play and the playing pieces are plastic. The German pieces are based off of German equipment and the Allies are based off of Allied equipment. Playing time is marked at 120 minutes, but, once you get the flow of the game down, I found that it takes about 100 minutes to complete a game. I've played a few times as one side, then played immediately as the other side without feeling the game has gone on for too long.


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Jerry Saner
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I think Memoir '44 is a good choice for anyone who is looking for a game with a good system for resolving combat that adds realism to luck without a ton of analyzing needed for each little thing. I have all of the "Ancients" series as well as all of the "Battlelore" second edition series as well - they both use the same "Command and Color" system of play. These are more "game" then they are "simulation" of events. I am not that interested in "modern warfare" or games about "modern warfare", but I did seriously look at "Memoirs" as a good option if I did want to dabble. I can set up and play a game of "Ancients" in around 90 minutes without a lot of table talk going on. There is enough "realism" for me in terms of combat - probably because this is a block game and not flat cardboard chits. Putting the stickers on 300 wooden block was the most tedious part of game prep. There is also plenty of online support for question about "rules of play". I have played it as a "co-op" game with players who haven't played it and it can be fun to look at the battles from the perspective of both sides.
These are "games". They can be "educational games" as well - you get to learn something about history from setting up and playing the game, and then you can research details to fill out the rest.
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Jon Gautier

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rvervuurt wrote:
Dieroll Honker wrote:
Well, he didn't specifically ask for an intro game. He also said that while he isn't a wargamer, he is a gamer and thought he could handle some complexity. Add in that his father in law seems to have a real interest in the history, and I'd say that a game like M44, which is barely tethered to reality, let alone D-Day, would be a bad choice and a waste of their time. They might as well set up some toy soldiers and go "pew, pew" for all the historical insight they'd gain from M44.


I'm a gamer, my father in law is absolutely not, so in that way, an intro game is preferred. The 300 minute playing time is not going to work for him, haha!

But thanks for the tip and feedback I think the idea of the game taking place on D-Day is enough for him, I don't know how important REAL accuracy is.


Ok, thanks for explaining.
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Michael McLean
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Vimy145 wrote:
pete belli wrote:


Another good option with a focus on Normandy in 1944 would be Axis & Allies: D-Day.



It shouldn't be difficult to find a copy.



thumbsup


I agree, this would be a good starting game, it's fun, not difficult, it used cards to control the sequence of play and the playing pieces are plastic. The German pieces are based off of German equipment and the Allies are based off of Allied equipment. Playing time is marked at 120 minutes, but, once you get the flow of the game down, I found that it takes about 100 minutes to complete a game. I've played a few times as one side, then played immediately as the other side without feeling the game has gone on for too long.




I'll add my agreement to Axis & Allies: D-Day. It takes about 2 turns to get the game mechanics down, and then you'll be good to go. The game actually has a pretty good D-Day feel without a lot of rules overhead.
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suPUR DUEper
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Avalon Hill did a series of games back in the day designed for new players. I wonder if D-Day would work.... Bunch of copies on the BGG market for like 15 bucks.

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suPUR DUEper
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Maybe this one too: Onslaught

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Hunga Dunga
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I recommend Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943

Learn-as-you-play rulebook.

And TANKS!
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Roger Hobden
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Hungadunga wrote:
I recommend Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943

Learn-as-you-play rulebook.

And TANKS!


The perfect introductory tactical wargame.
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Ryan Smith
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Just set up The Greatest Day: Sword, Juno, and Gold Beaches lead him into the room. close the door. He is a gamer now. Playing time doesnt matter anymore. You are welcome devil
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Michael McLean
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Fengzhuxi wrote:
Just set up The Greatest Day: Sword, Juno, and Gold Beaches lead him into the room. close the door. He is a gamer now. Playing time doesnt matter anymore. You are welcome devil


Yeah, the 6000 minutes isn't the play time. That's how long it takes to punch out 16 sheets of counters and lay them out on the maps.
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Ryan Smith
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Yeah, the 6000 minutes isn't the play time. That's how long it takes to punch out 16 sheets of counters and lay them out


Its glorious though and just the hours of setting up the campaign game are already a treat for a ww2 d-day nut
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Oscar Seneru
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It might be a bit complex and long playing for you, but Normandy '44 is a good game that gives some insight into the "whats and whys"of the campaign.

Maybe Breakout: Normandy or Storm Over Normandy would work. I haven't played either, but they both have good reputations. "Storm" is I think the lightest, but all are certainly worth a look, especially if, after breaking the ice, you decide you'd like a step up in class.

All of them are just a bit more manageble than "Gold, Juno, Sword".

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Rob
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The old Avalon Hill D-Day (3rd edition) would probably be a good choice, and it's usually available on Ebay cheaply.
 
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