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Subject: How many more Bulge, Waterloo, Eastern Front (and others) do we need? rss

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Roger Morley
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I have posted this, because I recently saw that New England Simulations are bringing out a new game called The Jaws of Victory - The Battle of Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket.

Then I thought "Another game on the Eastern Front?"

It made me think of all the other games which simulate war on some of the most famous battles/campaigns in history.

Do we need another Bulge, Waterloo, Eastern Front wargame?

Is there the need for any more?

Is there room for any more?

What can these designers bring to new games on popular battles/campaigns that we as wargamers will find different from all the other games that have trodden that path already?

You wisdom and thoughts most welcome.
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Peter Mogensen
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Some of those "yet-another-game" are actually part of an evolution in mechanics design which I think we should welcome.

A lot of older hex-n-counter games where mostly a matter of reshuffling all your counters along a front-line to get optimal attacks everywhere. Systems which simulate logistical planning, command-control and realistic organizational structure (and maybe even fog-of-war) could add a lot to battles already covered by older games.
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Russ Williams
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JPotter - Bits77
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There's another Stalingrad on KS right now

This is pretty much the history of the hobby, variations on themes.

All creative endeavors, even.

Does the world really need another love song?

While no individual need to own it all (generally unwise to try), there will always be hunger for new in the world.

Sure, there's a lot of Gettysburgs .... but there isn't your Gettysburg yet. Go for it!
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Rich Keiser
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I just checked the pool of chicken blood and crow's wings.

The number is 58

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Patrick Mullen
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nemesisuk wrote:


Then I thought "Another game on the Eastern Front?"

It made me think of all the other games which simulate war on some of the most famous battles/campaigns in history.

Do we need another Bulge, Waterloo, Eastern Front wargame?


Plowing previously plowed ground requires significantly less work than attempting to plow uncleared ground.
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Russ Williams
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nemesisuk wrote:
What can these designers bring to new games on popular battles/campaigns that we as wargamers will find different from all the other games that have trodden that path already?


I think Enemy Action: Ardennes shows that it's certainly possible to make an interesting worthy innovative fun game on a familiar often-treated subject.
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Carl Fung
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nemesisuk wrote:
I have posted this, because I recently saw that New England Simulations are bringing out a new game called The Jaws of Victory - The Battle of Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket.

Then I thought "Another game on the Eastern Front?"

It made me think of all the other games which simulate war on some of the most famous battles/campaigns in history.

Do we need another Bulge, Waterloo, Eastern Front wargame?

Is there the need for any more?

Is there room for any more?

What can these designers bring to new games on popular battles/campaigns that we as wargamers will find different from all the other games that have trodden that path already?

You wisdom and thoughts most welcome.


There's disparity in your examples.

Bulge is on the Battle of the Bulge. But you have different levels within this. Battalion scale plays different from Regimental scale which plays different from company scale. The last won't cover the entire battle (unless huge) so a game like Race for Bastogne (company scale from Clervaux to Bastogne) is different than full battle but could still cause some to groan, "Another Bulge game".

Waterloo is on the Battle itself or 100 Day Campaign, each plays differently.

Eastern Front... well it's not Barbarossa (not another one), Stalingrad (not another one), but Korsun-Cherkassy (wait... how many are there of that one?). It's like saying "Not another WWII game"... but between ETO, East Front, Pacific Theater, CBI, etc. there's so many different campaigns, battles, settings, terrain, types of action, and so on that it can't and shouldn't be easily grouped up into a single discarded bucket.

All games on same/similar topic use a different rules set/system. Some emphasize logistics, some go for the easy rules and passing homage to historical events, others go into such low levels that you are moving multiple stacks of 10 counters everywhere. There's something for everyone, so before pulling the "not another game on XYZ", it should be asked, "what does this game offer that others have or have not?"

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Gregg Keizer
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My monkey's paw said:

Bulge = 0
Waterloo = 0
Eastern Front = Between 52 and 217

[And yes, I've pre-ordered "Jaws of Victory."]
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Rich Perez
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aesthetocyst wrote:
There's another Stalingrad on KS right now

This is pretty much the history of the hobby, variations on themes.

All creative endeavors, even.

Does the world really need another love song?

While no individual need to own it all (generally unwise to try), there will always be hunger for new in the world.

Sure, there's a lot of Gettysburgs .... but there isn't your Gettysburg yet. Go for it!


+1 to Rich K:

Reality is complex/incomprehensible to mere mortals - games are mere reflections of mortal presumptions. So, the more the better


Regards, Rich P

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Jon W
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nemesisuk wrote:
You wisdom and thoughts most welcome.

Not much wisdom here, but I'll offer a few thoughts.

I would first turn the question around and ask you: what game is the perfect iteration of each subject? If there isn't one, well...there you go. If there is one, why is the market behaving irrationally?

As for what can be new or fresh, I wonder if the long list itself is the motivation. Clearly, people are interested in these campaigns. Clearly, no single or even dozen designs are sufficient. Perhaps for some designers, what drives them is the thought that they might be the one who nails it, who creates the definitive game on the topic that obsolesces all the others. And to do that, they really have to dig deep and innovate (otherwise, why bother?).
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Daniel Rouleau
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nemesisuk wrote:
popular battles/campaigns


Popular sells.
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Good thing there's no overkill on Gettysburg.

Meanwhile Poitiers (1356), for example, is a decently well-documented battle for the time, pretty well-known, balanced, and even featuring a cavalry charge, but scandalously undergamed.
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Tom Shydler
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Until they get it right....
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Matt Irsik
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I think it would be interesting to see with how many new games that are seemingly coming out each day, if this is affecting pre-orders and/or sales of these tried and true topics.

For example, I already own Thunder in the East, Proud Monster Deluxe, Russian Campaign, and War Without Mercy, so I figure I have the Eastern Front at the strategic level covered. Even a few years ago, however, I would have jumped at pre-ordering titles like Trial of Strength, A Victory Awaits, etc., just because I love the topic. Instead, I figure that I would rather put my money into games on other subjects or just hold it for something else that I might be interested in. I think you reach the point where you start asking yourself if you'll ever even play a new game more than once when you already have multiple games on the subject.
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Jim Allard
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nemesisuk wrote:


Do we need another Bulge, Waterloo, Eastern Front wargame?

Is there the need for any more?

Is there room for any more?



"Need" is irrelevant. How many are we willing to buy/play is the question. And the market will determine that. Remember, most wargames are very limited productions. Most games on any particular subject are no longer in print. So new game designs for the new gamers. It is a wonderful cycle and us old guys get to benefit from new takes on mechanics and components. It would be very sad if someone decided there were to be no more Gettysburg games and Mark Herman's game was never produced.

JimA
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Roger Morley
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Thanks for the very interesting responses.

Some very valid points have been made.

I can see that new designers bringing to a new game different concepts and ideas, putting their take on the game which could add more emphasis on certain areas like command and control, supply and logistics etc.

There is also the scale or scope of the game. This can have a great impact on both size and complexity, the size of the units, and whether or not the game follows the battle/campaign as a whole or is focus on certain aspects.

What I do not entirely agree with is
"How many are we willing to buy/play is the question. And the market will determine that."
If a publisher is using a pre-order system like GMT's P500 or with kickstarter type systems, then yes, I agree with this statement, as the pre-order system allows the publisher to see how much interest there is in a particular game.
However, those who put out games without such systems in place might do a print run of 1 or 2 thousand copies and hopes its sells well.
Would they know, when they published a particular game what the market is like? Unless they do market research, or they are timing the release with a particular anniversary, then the answer has to be no.

Add to the fact there is a thriving second hand market out there, ranging from Tactics 2 to the latest release from GMT, there is not a great shortgae of games on particular subjects/battles/campigns, their only difference is how they play, scale and scope.

I would love to buy a Bulge game, which suits solo play, but which one would I pick out of the many that are available, new or second hand?
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JPotter - Bits77
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Sounds like maybe you've run afoul of the paradox of choice?

An embarrassment of riches can present management problems, but it sure beats the opposite extreme!
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Roger Morley
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aesthetocyst wrote:
Sounds like maybe you've run afoul of the paradox of choice?

An embarrassment of riches can present management problems, but out site beats the opposite extreme!

Maybe.

Just at times I just feel that certain battles are saturated with games, it makes it difficult to decide which one to go for. A decision made more difficult when new games on the same old battles come out!
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Ron A
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nemesisuk wrote:


I would love to buy a Bulge game, which suits solo play, but which one would I pick out of the many that are available, new or second hand?


Enemy Action: Ardennes

3 games in one: 2 player, or playable solo from either side with a dedicated map and rules for each of the 3 versions. Innovative combat system. Read the review and session report threads for the game for deeper dives.

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Doug Mann
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How many more? I'll let you know when we get there!

And thanks for pointing me to the NES web site. I, too, have now preordered "The Jaws of Victory."
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While I'm not surprised to see this post, I am somewhat surprised to see this post from the OP since apparently he's been a BGG member since 2010. That's more the long enough to realize the real question is "How many more threads on 'How many more games on <popular topic> do we need?' do we need?"

Which of course begs the question of how many more comments making a mocking observation of how many more threads on how many more games on <popular topic> do we need do we need do we need.
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All of them.
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Bill Eldard
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nemesisuk wrote:
It made me think of all the other games which simulate war on some of the most famous battles/campaigns in history. . .

Do we need another Bulge, Waterloo, Eastern Front wargame?

Is there the need for any more?

Is there room for any more?

What can these designers bring to new games on popular battles/campaigns that we as wargamers will find different from all the other games that have trodden that path already?

You wisdom and thoughts most welcome.

What ever the market bears. As long as people are buying them, and the publishers are covering their investment costs, there will be more of them.
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Ted Raicer
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As many as I choose to design. Next up: my Bulge game The Deadly Woods for Revolution.
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