Jeff S
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I have recently gotten back into board games. I used to play a lot as a kid and teenager, but now I am finding this hobby again. When I was younger I used to enjoy playing war games a lot. I spent most of my time playing Axis and Allies and Risk. I enjoy games that have more strategy and less luck so I guess the dice rolling on these games I used to play have some luck.

I am wondering what wargames are recommended now for someone like me getting back into war games and likely playing with others who do not have a lot of current wargaming experience.

Thanks.
 
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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I guess it depends on how "grognard" you want to go. Many who sail the wargame seas would not put A&A and definitly not Risk in the realm of "Real" wargames.

Are you looking for an accessible strategy game or a serious cardboard-counter-sliding marathon game with all the trimmings?
 
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Ryan Powers
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A bit of a tough question.

Instead of answering, I'm going to ask a few of my own to help narrow the scope of the request.

1) Is there any time period you have eparticular interest in?

2) How complex? I would assume relatively low complexity (for a wargame) is a goal here. I checked your profile hoping for some clues, but there aren't any rated games or anything to base this on, just the opening of this thread.

3) How many players is ideal? 2, more than 2, one?

4) What (roughly) would be an ideal playing time? How long is *too* long?

5) Is print and Play an OK option? OR does ti have to be all ready to go?

6) On a related note: Does it have to still be in print, or is it OK to suggest as long as it's readily available still form sources like ebay, BGG trades, etc.?

Answering some (or all) of these questions will help to find some more appropriate suggestions instead of just a random shot in the dark.
 
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Paul Duroni
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Tide of Iron
Conquest of the Empire
Mare Nostrum
Commands & Colors: Ancients
Memoir '44
Antike

I'll attest to all of these, some ancient, some WWII wargames. These are some of my favorites. There are a lot of other good ones too that would work from the sound of it.
 
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Chris Valk
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Quote:
I have recently gotten back into board games.

First, welcome back to the fold. We've missed you.

I can vouch for a few lighter, 2-player wargames off the top of my head...
A House Divided (grand-strategic American Civil War, captures the flavor of the conflict while being extremely easy to learn and teach -- although playing time can be a tad long)
Age of Napoleon (ditto, for the Napoleonic Wars, uses some very original mechanics that makes the learning curve a bit steeper than A House Divided)
Napoleon (entry-level block game about the Waterloo campaign)
Hammer of the Scots or Crusader Rex (slightly more complex block games)
The Russian Campaign (Avalon Hill classic about WWII Eastern Front, there's a new reprint that's apparently gorgeous).

If you're still into Axis & Allies, there's much more to the line these days (Europe, Pacific, D-Day, minis).
Risk has quite a few new versions, as well. Risk 2210 has a reputation as the best update to classic Risk, although I have not played it.
Nexus Ops is a heck of a lot of fun for 2-4 players -- and it's recently OOP, so grab it if you see it.
 
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Steve Vondra
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Keethrax and the others are steering you right. There are a lot of great wargames out there. what some feel is almost perfect, others will rate poorly, it's`all about what what you are looking for in a game. Do you want Sgt. Rock(9 -2) out in front as you storm the beach? go Tactical. Caesar at Alesia?? Operational is your bag. Or maybe you secretly just wanna take over the whole world? Grand Strategy devil
how about the way the game looks? do you prefer plastic figures with a mounted mapboard, or printed cardboard counters and a folded paper map. There are aficionados of both types of game components.

Start small
Keep your first few games small and simple, save those 800+ counter monsters till you are well versed in some of the basic concepts that many wargames share. These concepts are not hard to grasp, but can be overwhelming on a huge scale.
Whatever you decide, enjoy it! I started with PanzerBlitz in the mid-seventies, and played probably a couple (10 or 12) games before we got it totally right, but we had fun every time. That's what you're gaming for


edited for clarity?
 
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Ryan Powers
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mtnman69 wrote:
Tide of Iron
Conquest of the Empire
Mare Nostrum
Commands & Colors: Ancients
Memoir '44
Antike

I'll attest to all of these, some ancient, some WWII wargames. These are some of my favorites. There are a lot of other good ones too that would work from the sound of it.


I had computer issues while typing up my reply, but as my list looked an awful lot like this one, I think I'll steal it...

I would like to say, that while I find Memoir '44 and Tide of Iron fun games they both end up feeling a bit too "gamey" and not "wargamey" for when I want to play a wargame. Don't get me wrong, they're enjoyable, and I'd not likely turn down an offer to play either one. They both *were* on my list though, so obviously I don't find them to be *too* far removed.

Don't feel bad about not knowing the answer to all my questions, I suspected that would be the case. That's why it said "Answering some (or all) of these questions ..."

Looking at the other suggestions, I'm not sure A Victory Lost is the best place to start. A fine game, but it may be biting off a bit too much to chew right off the bat. It might be a nice 2nd or 3rd step though.

As far as what is print and play, they're games (often free) distributed in electronic formats that you print the game components yourself. There are a few geeklists here on BGG that cover such games, a quick search should turn them up. The upside being that if you have a color printer and some time, the cost is quite low to try one out. (I tend to get nicer copies made at office stores if I like the game, but can give it a quick run or two with a bit more quick-and-dirty homemade copy before deciding to shell out a few more $)

A geeklist full of other geeklists with print and play games can be found:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/23306

further searching would no doubt turn up even more.


 
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Marion Jensen
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Jeff, I feel like we're about on the same page. I've gotten back into boardgames over the last few years. First it was Settlers of Catan, then Puerto Rico. I moved onto many other Eurogames and American style, but I've always wanted to get into the wargame scene. So, this is what I've found...

I bought ASL Starter Kit #1, but without anybody to play with, and after wrestling with the rules over and over, I've not yet played a game. I look forward to it one day, but it might be some time still.

I bought and enjoyed Memoir '44, and I would highly recommend it. However, after just playing Commands and Colors Ancients for the first time, I would almost recommend that one first. A very fun game.

I have paths of glory, but it has suffered the same fate as ALS SK#1. I've yet to play it.

Twilight Struggle is a game that is a bit more on the 'complex' side of things, but I found very enjoyable. I've only played it once, but my brother and I had a good time.

I also bought Wizard Kings, a block game, and although I really want to enjoy the game, I can't help but leave the table feeling a bit unsatisfied. Not sure why, but it just doesn't do it for me. Might be that I haven't found the right set of scenarios.

Anyway, that is my two cents.
 
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Mike Fassio
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The quick and easy answer for the kind of game you are looking for is something like Memoir '44, Battle Cry, or Commands & Colors: Ancients. These are all fairly light wargames with a card driven play system that directs the players to specific actions available to them according to their hand at the time. I personally do not like that kind of play mechanic since it is generally too limiting from a strategic standpoint since you are never really given an opportunity to construct some sort of long term strategy. If you are looking for a more challenging kind of wargame you might want to give GMT Games a look since they stock a wide range of historically based games such as Combat Commander: Europe, Men of Iron, and Twilight Struggle.
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Gaius Caesar
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From the description you give of yourself, you sound a lot like me. I played a lot of Axis and Allies and Risk as teenager. Once I had gotten bored with those, I moved on to hard-core war games, such as Squad Leader and various Napoleonic games, many of which were in the Strategy and Tactics magazines.

Now that I am older, I think it would be unrealistic for me to go back to those very complicated games and still expect my wife and friends to play.

Disclaimer: Below, I put war games in quotes because I am not referring to complex Squad Leader or World in Flames types. You said you used to play Risk, that you were looking for a game with strategy, and my recommendations below are based on this info.

My highest recommendation for a “war game” would be Wallenstein. This is a really superb game that uses the Thirty Years’ War as its theme, but it adds on the Euro game feel of area domination (through construction of various buildings). My wife has not gotten tired of Wallenstein yet, and we must have played it 60-70 plus times. This truly is one of the most fun games I own and frequently play. I don’t even mind getting beaten. (If you would like to try it out before you buy it, visit www.spielbyweb.com for online rules and play. I would be glad to walk you through a game.)

Sadly, Wallenstein is out of print, but you can still find copies if you look. Another “war game” game by the same designer (Dirk Henn) with almost the same mechanics is Shogun, and it is not out of print. (For a really close look at the differences between the two games, check post http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/168831 .)

I hope this gives you a bit more to think about. It is good you are getting back into board games. Let us know which game you choose to get you started again.

All the best!
 
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Ricatoni
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Chula Vista
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My critical wondering would be where did you leave off? What are some of the games you played or dabbled in? That would be the take off point for any recommendations.

If you dabbled in Risk, Dogfight, you would be thrilled with Risk 2210 or Axis and Allies. But if you were dabbling in SPI games such as Napoleon's Last Battles, then Napoleon at Marengo would be a nice way to begin. If you are interested in familiar "faces" The Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kits are gems (now if I could just get someone to play with me!) and would be a great way to get back into it, but Combat Commander: Europe is also a newer cleaner tactical level game that stands on its own without having to tie into an older series.

There are sooooo many good games out there to get back into. And as you can tell by this website there are so many of the games we used to play still going strong.

Good Luck, Welcome Back, and Happy Hunting!
 
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Gaius Caesar
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Oh, I forgot to recommend another game that many may argue is not really a war game—Tigris and Euphrates. T&E is a war game if you choose to initiate conflicts with other players, which can sometimes backfire if you are not careful with your planning (and it could still backfire). This game fits your strategy requirement, and there are NO dice. You could think of T&E as chess-like but a lot more dynamic. Even though the box states the game should be played with 3-4 people, it is just as fun with just 2 players.
 
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SeeKay
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Olympia
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either Squad Leader (obtainable through ebay pretty cheap)

or Advanced Squad Leader starter kit #1. (read the rules then read the tutorial in the files section)

would also recommend A House Divided, Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage, A Victory Lost, Hammer of the Scotts/Crusader Rex/Liberty for more strategic/operational scale options.
 
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