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Enemy Action: Ardennes» Forums » General

Subject: Am trying so hard to like this game....but failing to :( rss

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Chris
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A few months ago I splurged and bought this game. At first I was appalled by how difficult (to me) the solo game was to play. After completely failing to get anywhere at all I watched the very fine series of videos by enzo622 on playing the GS. These helped and I was able to limp along and half play. I saw 'half play' because it seemed as though I constantly forgot to apply various minute rules and steps. Got frustrated and put it up for a couple of months and recently got it back out to play the AS solo (which is why I bought the game). Unfortunately, it seems as though I have forgotten everything that I had fought so hard to learn initially and am in the process of re-learning.

I am still waiting for it to get fun though. After consulting and endlessly flipping pages on every step. Looking at lists of options, narrowing it down to a viable one, only to have to now refer to an entirely different chapter or section of rules that applies to the aforementioned option. And wondering the entire time if I am doing it right at all.

I almost feel as though I am researching and writing a college essay instead of playing a game that I wanted to enjoy. What am I missing here and has anyone else had a conclusion similar to this? I am fully prepared to learn that I am a dum-dum and am to dim to play this but I really, really wanted this to be different.
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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compressorman wrote:
A few months ago I splurged and bought this game. At first I was appalled by how difficult (to me) the solo game was to play. After completely failing to get anywhere at all I watched the very fine series of videos by enzo622 on playing the GS. These helped and I was able to limp along and half play. I saw 'half play' because it seemed as though I constantly forgot to apply various minute rules and steps. Got frustrated and put it up for a couple of months and recently got it back out to play the AS solo (which is why I bought the game). Unfortunately, it seems as though I have forgotten everything that I had fought so hard to learn initially and am in the process of re-learning.

I am still waiting for it to get fun though. After consulting and endlessly flipping pages on every step. Looking at lists of options, narrowing it down to a viable one, only to have to now refer to an entirely different chapter or section of rules that applies to the aforementioned option. And wondering the entire time if I am doing it right at all.

I honestly feel as though I am researching and writing a college essay instead of playing a game that I wanted to enjoy. What am I missing here and has anyone else had a conclusion similar to this? I am fully prepared to learn that I am a dum-dum and am to dim to play this but I really, really wanted this to be different.


Subscribed. I played this two sided when I first got it (as suggestion to learn the rules itself), but that's been a year or two. Now after playing D-Day at Omaha Beach, from the same designer... I wonder if this is going to be very rote and procedural (which I don't really like) vs. a wargame where the AI actually controls the enemy like Conflict of Heroes.
 
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Jim Cote
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I'm gonna play the 2p game solo. Then there's no AI to deal with. Just play the 2 sides as best you can.
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Tim Korchnoi
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I hear you.

Generally speaking, I love Butterfield's designs but in the end the topic did this one in for me. I know this may sound WWII wargamer Un-American, but I really don't like Bulge games. I have one in my collection: FAB Bulge and that is all the Bulge I will ever need.

I eventually traded my copy away for Barbarossa: Kiev to Rostov.
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Chris
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catosulla wrote:
I hear you.

Generally speaking, I love Butterfield's designs but in the end the topic did this one in for me. I know this may sound WWII wargamer Un-American, but I really don't like Bulge games. I have one in my collection: FAB Bulge and that is all the Bulge I will ever need.

I eventually traded my copy away for Barbarossa: Kiev to Rostov.

I am working with this game as I type this (love the battle of the bulge btw) but am not getting anywhere. Wish conflict of heroes made a bulge game and I hate to say this but I wish that I had my $100 back. I don't like to complain or disparage a game that some love but sheesh
Chris
 
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Chris
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ekted wrote:
I'm gonna play the 2p game solo. Then there's no AI to deal with. Just play the 2 sides as best you can.

I wish I could do this. But when I attempt to do this in wargaming I find myself playing the 'good guys' really intelligently while the 'bad guys' make less than optimal decisions. Lol
Chris
 
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Peter Kossits
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Once you get used to it, it plays pretty smoothly and starts feeling like a game against another player. It might take a game or two until the rules stay in the box more than open in front of you.

Going by your collection it looks like this is probably a little heavier than what you are used too. No big deal.
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Russ Williams
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Heh, coincidentally I just set up a GS game today, my first play of EAA in a year! (I have 14 past logged plays, most of the GS full scenario.)

I like it, but certainly it takes a few plays before the various procedures get sufficiently programmed into your brain, and for a game of this complexity and rulebook length, it seems very normal and expected to me that you'll need to pause and check rules occasionally, and very often if you're new to it. I've been playing Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit weekly for the past few months, so having to pause and check rules is no big deal to me. But if you're not used to this kind of rule length+complexity, then indeed it may well seem frustrating.

Even though I have to check stuff, I'm confident now that I'm playing correctly (or close enough to "correctly" that I'm satisfied). The bigger reason I don't play EAA more often is that playing the full scenario takes me so long (a couple of full days if it goes the full length). Of course if I'd play more often, then I'd get faster...
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Jon Gautier

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It looks like new copies are going in the Geekmarket for $80 to $100. If your played copy is in decent condition I bet you could recoup $60 or $70 on it.
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Martin Åkerlund
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compressorman wrote:
What am I missing here and has anyone else had a conclusion similar to this? I am fully prepared to learn that I am a dum-dum and am to dim to play this but I really, really wanted this to be different.

There are no mysteries here. The solo modules are just really complex and you need to be prepared to spend time learning the game(s) little by little. Note the 4+ complexity rating here on BGG - and that's including the relatively easy 2P module.

The recommendation is to start with said 2P game, and play a scenario or two to learn the basics. Then proceed to GS, which is somewhat less complex than AS. If you know the basics well before moving to GS, you have a great shot at learning that module. I you're still playing EAA after that, it shouldn't be a big deal to switch to AS.

The rules and play aids are really good, as usual in J.Butterfield games, but I agree it's still "a process" to fully learn the solo modules. Obviously, it's easier if you have previous experience reading complex war game rules. For those who haven't and find themselves stuck, I would recommend learning from someone who knows the game well (via Vassal for instance). I'm sure there are people out there who would gladly help out.

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Ken
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I played both solitaire games many times when I first got the game. They did have a steep learning curve. But, once figured out, the games played smoothly and I thought it was very enjoyable.

If you start with the suggested 1P game (I forget which side), the transition over to the other side goes rather smoothly (at least it did for me...but it is like learning a new game in a lot of ways too).

If you are not having fun, sell it and try something else.

Not everyone is going to like every game.

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Francis K. Lalumiere
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Also, don't forget the excellent flip book in the file section: it makes it a lot easier to go through turn after turn, making sure-ish you're not forgetting anything.
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james zajicek
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well.....I don't agree....

To me GS is as close as it comes to the perfect solo game.....

the fun comes from trying to use the cards properly...complications come
from much later in the game..not in the early turns...

Actually I have started several games...learning rules comes pretty easy..
but managing the cards is the skill that needs to be acquired ...I haven't
yet...

Am starting again...hoping to get the right cards for a middle attack...
and can't wait to see what happens....

And months from now (with luck) I can advance to the AS game
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Christopher Senn
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compressorman wrote:
A few months ago I splurged and bought this game. At first I was appalled by how difficult (to me) the solo game was to play. After completely failing to get anywhere at all I watched the very fine series of videos by enzo622 on playing the GS. These helped and I was able to limp along and half play. I saw 'half play' because it seemed as though I constantly forgot to apply various minute rules and steps. Got frustrated and put it up for a couple of months and recently got it back out to play the AS solo (which is why I bought the game). Unfortunately, it seems as though I have forgotten everything that I had fought so hard to learn initially and am in the process of re-learning.

I am still waiting for it to get fun though. After consulting and endlessly flipping pages on every step. Looking at lists of options, narrowing it down to a viable one, only to have to now refer to an entirely different chapter or section of rules that applies to the aforementioned option. And wondering the entire time if I am doing it right at all.

I almost feel as though I am researching and writing a college essay instead of playing a game that I wanted to enjoy. What am I missing here and has anyone else had a conclusion similar to this? I am fully prepared to learn that I am a dum-dum and am to dim to play this but I really, really wanted this to be different.


I loved Johns DDay at Omaha. Probably best solo experience i ever had. So why not try something that offers more tactics and more depth.

Unfortunately I couldnt get into the game. While both games are considered "operation", this game is just too much. I never played a bulge game before. Didnt know the battle was this expansive. A chit is a division pretty much. Thats too big.

Plus the idea of adding up 9-15 counters, making a mess everywhere, seeing which unit in a stack can actually move when you play a card. It was frustrating to add up all those values and logistically move and sort each chit. It was a nightmare.

Plus i dont know how i feel about the randomization of modifiers. Defender in the open -1. Defender in the open +1.

I played on 2p,solo, it was a lot easier to learn that way. Unfortunately about 8 hours into the game, you are doing the same thing over and over and there isnt much change to the situation.

I think Im going to stay away from Bulge games after this one. Unless its specific battles during the Bulge. I mean one small portion of the bulge is probably over 50,000 men. Why keep doing games that include the whole Bulge Offensive? Narrow it down.

I saw The Battle of the Bugle: Celles gameplay, and it looks more appealing. Covers all the bases.

As someone who just got into wargaming im going to be more aware of the chit mechanics before making a purchase.
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Ken Knott
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I would happily take it off someone's hands for $65. Send me a PM.
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Grove123 wrote:
As someone who just got into wargaming im going to be more aware of the chit mechanics before making a purchase.


This is one of those things I wish I'd learned sooner than later. But it's a valid point, and I wanted to highlight it. I'm also still relatively new to wargaming and every time I find myself bored or frustrated, it's usually related to the scope of the game (strategic vs operational vs tactical). It doesn't seem like it should matter that much (and maybe for some it doesn't), but learning this about my own preferences has really helped.

On topic: I own this game and it intimidates the hell out of me
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