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Subject: What would you begin with? rss

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gustav brissman
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Am very intrested in boardgames and war so thought about begining to play some..
However do I not know whats best to start with, saw two games that looked quite intresting. Bitter woods 4th edition and the classic ASL.
Want a game with good graphic and good rules of course.

What do you think is best to begin with?
 
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Karl Deckard
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A Victory Lost
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gustav brissman
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How advanced is ASL compared to other games? want a game on a smaller scale , squad / brigade
 
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Todd Pytel
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There are at least three other "intro wargame" threads just on the first page of the Wargaming forum. Have you read those?

As for "good graphics and good rules", those are both rather subjective terms. ASL has very functional graphics, but they're not what I would describe as "attractive". Other games have much prettier counter and map art, but some people feel that only gets in the way. It depends very much on your definition of "good" in this context.

Ditto for rules. In my opinion, ASL has the best set of wargame rules ever created - but that's because I value completeness, detail, and consistency over other qualities like brevity and readability. People that like short, readable rulesets despise ASL.

There are a great many threads and Geeklists here that address the question of where to start with wargaming. Spending some time reading those might help you be more specific about what you're looking for.
 
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Bill Eldard
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bleakgeek wrote:
I would begin with ASL, then work your way up to the grand strategical level.


I'd never recommend ASL to a novice, because if he gets discouraged with trying to learn it -- and trying to find an opponent -- he may give up on wargames all together.

A Victory Lost is a good recommendation and introduction to WW2 games.

A House Divided is a fine strategic American Civil War game to start out with.

Napoleon (Columbia Games) is a block game and good starter for Napoleonic Wars. Hammer of the Scots is another great block game to cut one's teeth on.



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Bill Eldard
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passover wrote:
How advanced is ASL compared to other games? want a game on a smaller scale , squad / brigade


That's a wide range.

Squad = 10-12 soldiers

Brigade = 2000-6000 soldiers

The lower end is strictly tactical; the other end is operational.
 
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ASL is great, but it's too complex for a novice to start with. Try something small like Totensonntag or Target Arnhem: Across 6 Bridges.
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Miguel
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Although I would classify myself primarily as a eurogamer nowadays, I have also recently started playing wargames.

I started with Napoleon (columbia games) with the intention of working my way up to Rommel in the Desert. Frankly, I was a little disappointed with Napoleon as it's not simple enough to explain quickly (combat is a little fiddly) and yet although I did enjoy the game the few times I played it the actual gameplay felt like it would get repetitive (two main strategies seem to dominate). I did eventually "upgrade" to Rommel in the Desert and although I've only played once I have to say I loved it. It's a somewhat complex game but the payoff is there (it's not REALLY complex either... far less than ASL would be). The Block game Fog of War works much better here and really lets the system shine. It also has the advantage of having scenarios that play anywhere from 1 hour to a whole day for the entire war. If I were you, and I was interested in the block game concept, I'd give this one a try (I haven't played Hammer of the scots, but I hear that's a good one too)

I then tried a couple of card driven war games, Wilderness War and Hannibal:Rome vs Carthage. They are totally different experiences from the block games and very fun in their own way. Wilderness War is more complex than Hannibal, and the subject matter might not interest everybody (I'm french canadian, so it interested me). Hannibal seems good, but it doesn't really feel like a war game because there is it's mostly about area influence (won by conquest, lost by loss of confidence). That's not a knock on the game, as I really like it so far, but it's worth knowing.

I've also purchased Lock n' Load:Band of Brothers (a more traditional hex and counter type game). Although the rulebook is initially difficult to follow, the game itself is rather simple (there is added complexity once you add vehicles, but since this can be done gradually there isn't much to know up front) and there is a very good introductory scenario at their website which uses a low number of units and is a beautiful way to learn the game without getting overwhelmed. There are also very good play aids available here which summarize the rules in a very easy to understand package. There are many varied scenarios included in the game, most rather small scaled (defend this building, take that bridge, infiltrate that camp, etc) so if you are looking for something approachable at this scale i"d say it's a good bet.

Depending on your preferences, any of these would make excellent semi-introductory games.
 
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Runs with scissors
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Who are you going to play against? Do you have an opponent in mind? What are their interests.

I'd be hesitant to make my first wargame too complex. Also you might not find anyone to play it with. Do you have anyone to play against? If not, you might consider some games that play well solitaire. Too often I hear about wargamers buying a game, reading the rules, setting it up, looking at it a while and then putting it away forever.

If you want a good solitaire consider Silent War.

It sounds like you are ruling out block games. I think that they would be worth looking at because they are simpler and have a lot of flavor. The fog of war added by not seeing the opponents counters adds a lot of tension. Take a look at EastFront II or Europe Engulfed.
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Ken F
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Well, I was going to suggest Battle for Germany just because it's cheap and can handle up to 4 players. It's also old school, so playing this one will introduce you to many common elements found in wargames. But...I noticed you are located in Sweden. From what source would you purchase your wargames, and do they carry most of what's available in the U.S.?
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Dan Conley
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Another vote for A Victory Lost! OR Hammer of the Scots if you prefer the theme. I'd steer away from ASL for awhile. It's pretty complex stuff and pretty intimidating even to some long-time gamers...(like me!!!) blush
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Bill Eldard
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boneroller wrote:
Well, I was going to suggest Battle for Germany just because it's cheap and can handle up to 4 players. It's also old school, so playing this one will introduce you to many common elements found in wargames.


That's an excellent recommendation, boneroller. I had forgotten about that one.

Battle for Germany is not only a great introductory game, but in the basic 2-player game, each player plays strategic offense and strategic defense by controlling either the Western Allies and the East Front Germans, or the Soviet Union and the West Front Germans.
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Oh, heck. Do what I did, start with the hardest thing you can find and dive right in - based on my interests, I chose Rise and Decline of the Third Reich in 1979 as my first wargame.

It got me hooked.

So, why not just go ahead and get Bitter Woods - it is supposed to be the best Battle of the Bulge game made, and its presentation is awesome. Sure it has detail, and a lot to learn, but it is Rich, Deep, and satisfying.

It's like choosing your first beer - do you really want to start with rot gut Pabst Blue Ribbon, or Sam Adams?

Getting a simple 'intro' game might leave you feeling empty and asking if wargamers know what they are talking about as to historical simulations being deep.

Those block games are not that deep - sure they are fun, but if you want to get into the intricacies of a campaign, or study tactics, or the details of a National level war, buy the hard games.

Skip the hamburger - go for the fillet!

----------

Battle For Germany and Victory Lost are good choices - not Hamburger - more like Sirloin, but not fillet mignon.
 
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sbszine wrote:
ASL is great, but it's too complex for a novice to start with. Try something small like Totensonntag or Target Arnhem: Across 6 Bridges.


I disagree. The ASL Starter Kits are great for those wanting to explore WW2 tactical games - if the interest is strong, the difficulty is not a big concern.

My second games were Squad Leader/Cross of Iron in 1979 - as a young lad of 16 - piece of cake to get into, mostly because of a strong interest.
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Robert Wilson
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Wilhammer wrote:
sbszine wrote:
ASL is great, but it's too complex for a novice to start with. Try something small like Totensonntag or Target Arnhem: Across 6 Bridges.


I disagree. The ASL Starter Kits are great for those wanting to explore WW2 tactical games - if the interest is strong, the difficulty is not a big concern.

My second games were Squad Leader/Cross of Iron in 1979 - as a young lad of 16 - piece of cake to get into, mostly because of a strong interest.


well put

I forgot that my interest in wargaming was sparked by Dauntless, Air force etc , and we played Squad Leader at age 16/17 also


another game that looks promising is world at war: Eisenbach gap

World at War: Eisenbach Gap
 
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gustav brissman
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Thanks for the awnsers, It´s many suggestions, have looked on everyone and some seems very tempting, it helped to clear up my mind a bit..I hope.
I do sure have a lot of friends to play with, but don´t think they are as dedicated as I am.
Yeah, relized that there is quite big difference on brigade and squad, thought about brigade as beeing company or battalion some hundred men at or so.
Well.. it´s not easy to chose between hundreds of potential games, it´s quite amazing how so many have been made. Then you go to a game/book shop in Sweden you might see some boring Axies and Allies of you are lucky.


Want a game with deep that I can play for a long time.


Wilhammer wrote:
Oh, heck. Do what I did, start with the hardest thing you can find and dive right in - based on my interests, I chose Rise and Decline of the Third Reich in 1979 as my first wargame.

It got me hooked.

So, why not just go ahead and get Bitter Woods - it is supposed to be the best Battle of the Bulge game made, and its presentation is awesome. Sure it has detail, and a lot to learn, but it is Rich, Deep, and satisfying.

It's like choosing your first beer - do you really want to start with rot gut Pabst Blue Ribbon, or Sam Adams?

Skip the hamburger - go for the fillet!


haha, maybe you´re right, buying ASL is if I have understood it right, buying and engine that you can play for years. But you need a lot of extra modules right?
 
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Mr Lovegrove
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Personally I would aim for SL rather than ASL because, as the name implies, its simpler and more straightforward. There are also plenty of scenarios in the box and you don't need a string of supplements (although I do recommend Cross of Iron).
 
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