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Subject: Recommendations for smallest most in-depth wargame. rss

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Jonathan Townsend
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I customarily take a wargame with me whenever staying away from home and am always on the lookout for a conpelling small-footprint wargame with really good replayability.

As I write I am at a campsite having played the two postcard wargames I have (Mortain, and Some Poles Apart) whilst my partner and son sleep on't morning. Whilst lovely and diversionary these two (the games!?) leave me hungy for something more satisfying.

The footprint should be about a foot by a foot (30cmx30cm) at most. A war themed game is fine too. The clincher is replayability that is not just down to random elements but thought provoking elements.

Can anyone recommend something?
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Øivind Karlsrud
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Several squad level games have small scenarios. ASL SK#1 scenario 2 is played on half a map, I think. This means you can keep the map folded, which means the size is about A4 or US letter size. Official ASL scenarios are in my experience solid and replayable, and this seemed like no exception when I played it. There are also some magazine games with small maps, like Unconditional Surrender! Case Blue. Also have a look at Victory Point Games. They have some small games. Just stay away from the States of Siege solitaire games, if you want meaty decisions.
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M St
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If you're willing to print your counters on postcard material or mount them yourself, this page has a couple of games on Ligny, Quatre Bras and Waterloo that have an A4/Letter sized map. (The system comes in two versions, one takes a separate A4-sized sheet with markers, the other not.) Playing time is in the 60-90 minutes space.

The whole point of the system is to give the individual units a more complex "state" than usual (fatigue, disruption, straggling, orders), so the state of the units is as important as their positions on the map. Each unit is a complex entity rather than just 3 ratings on a counter.

http://www.dbai.tuwien.ac.at/user/mst/games/from/from.html

Edmund Hudson has produced multiple maps for Waterloo, depending on which artist's style one likes.
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Harvey Dearden
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Ancient Battles Deluxe has card maps that are approximately A3 in size and may meet your requirements.
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James
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I'd have a look at South Pacific: Breaking the Bismarck Barrier 1942-1943. It's a pretty meaty set of rules, its replayable and - despite having cards- solo friendly.

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Sam Smith
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[=ie shima][/] would fit the bill, I think, and is vg solo. Though really for camping I'd have thought something electronic was easier (and I love my cardboard)! :)
 
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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It's like the opposite of the Designer Edition!

(I remembered that ScottE had posted this; going to his profile, I was dismayed to see that he'd posted 922 other game images!! but fortunately this was on like the third oldest page of his uploads.)
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Jonathan Townsend
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

O/ivind - ASL is a nice idea. It'll require some prep to make sure all the possibly needed counters are there without carrying too many. US:CB is the right footprint but it was not my cup of tea.

Marcus, FROM is a great idea (I like the At All Hazards system), especially since you include optional chits to reduce the footprint by obviating the tracking sheets. As long as I remember my tweezers! I will pnp this ASAP.

Harvey, I have Ancient Battles in pnp, the footprint is just right! In fact I played it at the same campsite (in a caravan/mobilehome) about 4 years ago! I kept all the bits in a pizza box so that the map and counters could be temporarily put away on a shelf.

James, South Pacific looks very tempting. I traded away EoTS some time ago after being unable to come to grips with a) WW2 PTO operations combined with b) card driven play. I look at every game with a. I can, since I find that fascinating but difficult. I got EoTS again to give it more time but it sits in it's shrink still on back-back-burner. SP might give me the bite size I need to get into M.Herman's take here. However, for trips away I wonder about playing time...

samwise46 wrote:
[=ie shima][/] would fit the bill, I think, and is vg solo. Though really for camping I'd have thought something electronic was easier (and I love my cardboard)!


Sam, the Ie Shima game I'll have a look at. I do have several games on digital and keep trying with vassal, but I really dislike glaring screens and miniaturized maps. When we get the hologram projector thingy I may be in.

Rusty, I love that wooden box, might have to laminate my pizza box or something...
If I could get some good historical microgames...I have lots of microgames et al, many interesting ideas (Blackhole, Warpwar, etc etc) but these days they don't gain the enjoyment of my attention like they used to be able to, unless they are historical.
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James
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Agip wrote:


James, South Pacific looks very tempting. I traded away EoTS some time ago after being unable to come to grips with a) WW2 PTO operations combined with b) card driven play. I look at every game with a. I can, since I find that fascinating but difficult. I got EoTS again to give it more time but it sits in it's shrink still on back-back-burner. SP might give me the bite size I need to get into M.Herman's take here. However, for trips away I wonder about playing time...



Empire is a bit of a pain in the arse to learn. I find Mark Herman's rulebooks like that. I started with Plan Orange and found it a pretty painful read. Once you crack it the game is pretty straight forward, in terms of rules, but very hard in terms of doing anything clever. Takes a few disasters to get a feel for it and the situation in the full game is pretty complex.

Super system though and the South Pacific rules are shorter the the Empire rules. Game time is 2 hours.


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suPUR DUEper
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Manoeuvre might do the trick.

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Tim B
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I've been having a lot of fun playing Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles. The footprint for many of the battles is small and you can carry the whole game in one box. Also, the rules are considerable lighter than ASL, but gives a good sense for what I imagine combat is like.
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Scott
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moujamou wrote:
I'd have a look at South Pacific: Breaking the Bismarck Barrier 1942-1943. It's a pretty meaty set of rules, its replayable and - despite having cards- solo friendly.



This! It is much more manageable than its parent game because there are less strategic options to choose from. A great way to learn the system.
 
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Jonathan Townsend
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CT1001 wrote:
I've been having a lot of fun playing Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles. The footprint for many of the battles is small and you can carry the whole game in one box. Also, the rules are considerable lighter than ASL, but gives a good sense for what I imagine combat is like.


Thanks Tim, do you know if the First Edition is playable with the current ruleset or have components changed?
 
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Jonathan Townsend
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moujamou wrote:


Empire is a bit of a pain in the arse to learn. I find Mark Herman's rulebooks like that. I started with Plan Orange and found it a pretty painful read. Once you crack it the game is pretty straight forward, in terms of rules, but very hard in terms of doing anything clever. Takes a few disasters to get a feel for it and the situation in the full game is pretty complex.

Super system though and the South Pacific rules are shorter the the Empire rules. Game time is 2 hours.




I got the rules, that was okay, whilst playing a whole game solo one night when working a lonely nightshift. The problem for me was working out PTO strategy itself whilst also coping with all the options and distractions a CDG system presents (at least until the card options are assimilated and held in ones concept-space). ie. I couldn't do anything clever and the game was so demanding it would take a long long time before returning on its investment. Worth it? I wasn't sure. We may get there via South Pacific...!
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Jonathan Townsend
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TedW wrote:
Manoeuvre might do the trick.



Thanks alot Mr. DUEper, the footprint and amount of scenarios fits the bill. Unfortunately that kind of rapid card play does not hold my attention long solo.
 
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Tim B
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Agip wrote:
CT1001 wrote:
I've been having a lot of fun playing Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles. The footprint for many of the battles is small and you can carry the whole game in one box. Also, the rules are considerable lighter than ASL, but gives a good sense for what I imagine combat is like.


Thanks Tim, do you know if the First Edition is playable with the current ruleset or have components changed?


Hmm - good question. I have the "Remastered" set, so not really sure about the First Edition. I do believe that the counters have changed, but not sure if you can use them with 2.1 rules. The new 2.1 rules are here if you want to check them out: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/82184/rules-21
 
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michael colbert
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as mentioned before, magazine games may also be another option; S&T is an obvious one, but I recently received a game from Vae Victus magazine that might fit the bill as well as far as size, historicity etc.
michael

there are other magazine games out there but I'm still a newbie. . Others will be better placed to add to the list.
 
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Stephen Jacobsen
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Table Battles could be a good option. Checks most of your boxes. Might be too light.

It's a print on demand game, that doesn't [currently] do EU shipping, but all that publisher's games are available as a print-and-play via WargameVault.


I'll do a -1 for Manoeuvre. I like it quite a bit, but I'd be reluctant to solo it.
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Nicola S
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Ciao Jonathan!

My two recommendations ‘off the beaten track’ would be:

Smokejumpers
Not a wargame, but small footprint and uses a hex map and you are fighting...fires! What more could you ask for a game to be taken on a camping trip?

Damocles Mission
Ok, I admit this is not a wargame and it doesn’t even have a hex map, or a map to start with! But it is really immersive, unfolds like a good sci-fi novel (think Andromed Strain or 2001), and has you wanting to play more and more to discover what the artifact is all about...
Oh, and uktimatley, it is from the great SPI, must count for something, no?

For a more ‘mainstream’ wargame, maybe this (haven’t played it, though!):
Destruction of Force Z

Ci vediamo a Bracciano.
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Russ Williams
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Another idea is the solitaire/coop Tetrarchia, which comes in a nicely portable cloth pouch with roll-up mousepad style board. Defend Rome vs barbarians.
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Barton Campbell
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try the Print and play Unconditional Surrender! Case Blue.


edit: posted wrong Case Blue.
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Jonathan Townsend
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bartman347 wrote:
try the Print and play Unconditional Surrender! Case Blue.


edit: posted wrong Case Blue.


Agip wrote:
US:CB is the right footprint but it was not my cup of tea.
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Jonathan Townsend
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SJacobsen159 wrote:
Table Battles could be a good option. Checks most of your boxes. Might be too light.

It's a print on demand game, that doesn't [currently] do EU shipping, but all that publisher's games are available as a print-and-play via WargameVault.


I'll do a -1 for Manoeuvre. I like it quite a bit, but I'd be reluctant to solo it.


Good idea. It looks like an interesting game but my worry (based on playing another of Tom Russell's games and reading much of what he posts) is that he whittles a thing down to a very good game but less of what I enjoy in a wargame.
 
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Jonathan Townsend
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mlcolbert wrote:
as mentioned before, magazine games may also be another option; S&T is an obvious one, but I recently received a game from Vae Victus magazine that might fit the bill as well as far as size, historicity etc.
michael

there are other magazine games out there but I'm still a newbie. . Others will be better placed to add to the list.



Gosh, I really am being spoilt for choice! The list is endless...!
Thanks for the suggestion.

(edited to remove a mountain of spaces entered by a snozzing kitten)
 
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Robert Stuart
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Agip wrote:
CT1001 wrote:
I've been having a lot of fun playing Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles. The footprint for many of the battles is small and you can carry the whole game in one box. Also, the rules are considerable lighter than ASL, but gives a good sense for what I imagine combat is like.


Thanks Tim, do you know if the First Edition is playable with the current ruleset or have components changed?

It's playable with the current ruleset. (It's also playable with the original ruleset, although play has fewer die rolls with the current ruleset).

If playing with the current ruleset just keep in mind that, on the infantry counters only,

this: 6 5 2 converts to this: 6/5 5,

and this: 5 6 3 converts to this: 5/3 6

Take the third number, subtract it from the first, and add one: that becomes the proficient firepower (the number after the slash). (The second number on both counters is the range; that, of course, stays the same).
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