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Subject: Ardenne '44 or Iron Tide:Panzers in the Ardennes? rss

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Charlie Sheppard
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I'm looking to add the "ultimate Bulge game" to my collection. Which of these two would you choose and why? Are there others I should be considering?

Note that I've ruled out Bitter Woods and FAB. They both sound like great games but they seem to offer lower complexity/less simulation in order to make them more playable. Not what I'm looking for in an "ultimate" game.
 
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Jason Roach
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Good question, but from what I understand, they are hard to compare. The systems are very different and they very well respected Bulge games.

Anyway, I have not played Iron Tide, However, I have played A44 and I can highly recommend it. The A44 system is perhaps one of the best WWII systems at that scale on the market and it has just the right amount of “Bulge” chrome.

-Jason
 
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Mark Aasted
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If you're looking for the ultimate bulge game, have you considered Wacht Am Rhein?

Why did you rule out Bitter Woods?
 
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Charlie Sheppard
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MarkEA wrote:
If you're looking for the ultimate bulge game, have you considered Wacht Am Rhein?

Why did you rule out Bitter Woods?


I'm not familiar with Wacht Am Rhien II. I'll check it out.

I ruled out Bitter Woods based on some comparisons written by a few geek buddies who've played both. Of the two, Ardenne '44 sounded like the better title.
 
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Wolfgang Kunz
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Short answer: Both

Iron Tide has some nice chit draw system which makes every game different so playing a scenario often don't let you know beforehand if the unit is green or elite. I like these systems very much because you don't have "THE" optimal solution for a scenario but have to change your strategy based on the troops you "encounter".

Ardennes is just good and so much different than IT that it can be bought too.

I also would suggest "Wacht am Rhein II" which is offically OOP AFAIK but you should be able to grab a copy. Use the "new" rules - downloadable at CSW or maybe here - still not an easy game but a complete game. Be aware - this is a monster with a whole bunch of counters and (beautiful) maps.
 
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Jason Roach
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charshep wrote:
MarkEA wrote:
If you're looking for the ultimate bulge game, have you considered Wacht Am Rhein?

Why did you rule out Bitter Woods?


I ruled out Bitter Woods based on some comparisons written by a few geek buddies who've played both. Of the two, Ardenne '44 sounded like the better title.


I have played both and I agree; If it is between those two, go with A44.

As to WaMR II, be careful. Aside from the fact that I think it has too much detail for the scale (detail for the sake of detail), I have heard that the rules were a mess. A good buddy of mine who's wargame "takes" I respect, sold his because of both of those reasons.

Another game to check out may be Dark December. I have played it, and it has a much better "Bulge" feel compared to Bitter Woods, and it is not that much more complex. However, for the right mix, go with A44.

-Jason
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Wolfgang Kunz
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Jason Roach wrote:

As to WaMR II, be careful. Aside from the fact that I think it has too much detail for the scale (detail for the sake of detail), I have heard that the rules were a mess. A good buddy of mine who's wargame "takes" I respect, sold his because of both of those reasons.

-Jason


Yep, therefore go for the - BGG calls them - "Consolidated Rules". They are so good that they can be called "official" and by what I know / understand will be the base for the next edition. Joe Youst has given me this answer considering the rules: "Mike Junkin has put together a new set of rules that have my blessing. He has retained 99.9% of the rules I developed. These rules will be used as the 3rd edt. draft next year when we reprint the game."

Considering the detail / scale: "more than 2,200 counters, 4 maps" - regardless how you call a game this size - it needs devotion. This game has it's strength / weaknesses. But if one looks for the "ultimate" Bulge game it surely is one that should be considered - given the size I can't think of an even more "ultimate" game.

IMHO Ardennes, Iron Tide and the other Bulge games I know and played like Bitter Woods and the upcoming FAB are on their own fine games that I'm glad I didn't miss.

As said "WaR II" is not a game I would suggest when one asks for a Bulge game but would be surely high on my list after one asked for the "Ultimate" game - but I would make sure we understood ultimate the same way. One of my "ultimate" 2nd WW games is "War in Europe" - 9 maps, 3000 counters but I have to admit that I did not check WiF - which will be on my list after "The Longest Day" and "Case Blue".
 
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Charlie Sheppard
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Great feedback guys. Just to clarify, when I say I'm looking for the ultimate Bulge game I'm looking for what people consider to be the best Bulge game, whatever "best" might mean to them, regardless of how involved it is. OCS is my favorite system so I'm not afraid of detail or game length, but "detail for the sake of detail" isn't what I mean when I say "ultimate". Maybe "definitive" is the better description.
 
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Jason Roach
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I am not sure about Iron Tide, but I certainly found that A44 played very differently when compared to Bitter Woods. It has a much more realistic overall feel and you seem to have a lot more options. Recently, I have been playing a lot of A44 as another friend and I are moving through the WWII fronts in our game schedule. To that end, we played Deluxe Bitter woods a few times right before playing Ardennes 44, so it was very easy to compare and contrast the two games. While we were playing Bitter Woods, I kept thinking of how much more I liked the A44 system. In fact, I ended-up selling my copy of Deluxe Bitter Woods. For Dave, it was a bit of a shock, as he had never played the game and was used to flying around the map in Bitter Woods. However, that issue was entirely strategy and tactics related and after a game or two, he began to adapt his approach.

-Jason
 
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