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Subject: Is there a step I should take between M44 and this?? rss

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Rob D
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Hi,
I'm relatively new to the board gaming hobby..mostly being pulled into it by Euro Games. I have however played a whole lot of Memoir 44 and enjoy it very much. The whole theme of WWII is fascinating to me, which I guess is good since so many games seem to use it.

I was looking at this game and reading all the good reviews on it. I went to the GMT site and downloaded the rule book and it seems fairly heavy especially in comparison to M44. Of course, that's just with me reading the rules and not having the game in front of me to look at things and follow along. I'm just wondering if for me as a relatively new board gamer, there is another step I should take on the difficulty scale when going from Memoir straight into this game. So I'm going back and forth on committing to this game.

I mostly play games with my girlfriend. She likes Memoir 44 and was able to pick up on it quickly when I taught her. She still gets confused occasionally on the rules. For example, she'll forget little things such as attacking into hills only being -1 dice for tanks as opposed to most other terrain which is minus 2. I often need to correct her on stuff like this. She is obviously not as heavy a gamer as I would consider myself. She has fun playing the game though, and I think she doesn't feel too much pressure memorizing each rule as I'm sort of the "rule enforcer" and I let her know when she's making an error whether in her favor or mine.

With all that said, I just don't know how often I would get to play this game. I know there's Vassal and all that, but that seems to be pretty hit or miss for finding opponents. Besides, it's always better to have live opponents. I haven't yet branched out into any kind of regular gaming group..so it's often me throwing this stuff at the girlfriend in order to be able to satisfy my new obsession. Mostly she doesn't mind. Again though, so far it's been lighter Euro style affairs, and my one foray into the war gaming genre has been the "lite" war game M44. I'm not sure if this game would scare her off. I'd hate to buy it and have it sitting on the shelf with me dying to play it and having nobody to play it with.

I'm itching to get into something with more meat than M44. Granted, I love that game, but I'd definitely like to get going on some more sim oriented games. Being new, I'm not ready to start looking at something like ASL. I am however looking to broaden my horizons in the war game genre. I'm just wondering if in my current situation there's something I should be looking at as a step between M44 and a game like Combat Commander.

 
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mike hibbert
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I think that CC:E should be a fairly painless step up from M'44. The rules are more complex, but with some patience with reading the rules and some repeated play of the first scenario then I think you will be fine.
 
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Chris Askew
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Hi Rob, welcome to the obsession.

I too mostly play with my Fiancee. She is by no means a 'gamer', but will play ythe occasional game to pacify me.

She likes Memoir and its sister game Battlelore, but CC:E is a massive step up in terms of complexity. I'd be wary of making such a large jump with your other half if she occasionally gets rule confusion whren playing Memoir.

I may be wrong, but Fantasy Flight's Tide of Iron might be an easier, if smaller step up.
 
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Luís Evangelista
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I have to agree with Chris on this one. I believe Tide of Iron is a smaller step up, although not that far from CC:E

And it has another for factor: you would keep on dealing with lots of plastic minis... cool
 
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M King
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I agree with those saying CC:E is a big step up from M44. My son and I are on our fourth or fifth CC:E game and I'm still spending massive amounts of time with my nose in the rulebook. And the playbook. And the terrain chart. And the players aid card. And the...well you get the picture. And I'm a guy who grew up on Avalon Hill wargames. Coming from Euros, I think you'd be lost for quite a while.

Tide of Iron does have the cool minis, and it is less complicated than CC:E. Its rulebook is long, but that's because it is written in a narrative style. The BGG page has a good player's aid/rules summary. Look at that, at the rules posted online (either here or at Fantasy Flight Game's site--I can't remember), and at the video tutorial at FFG's site. That will give you a good picture of the game's complexity level.

 
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Alan Kaiser
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There was a recent GeekList wanting recommendations for wargames at the lighter end of the complexity spectrum with short rules. You should find some good choices that meet your needs in that list:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/29256
 
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Rob D
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Thanks guys. I did have a peek at Tide of Iron. I'm also certain that I'll be getting Battlelore since M44 is a hit here. It's possible in fact that Battlelore might be the step up in difficulty we need to start with. It's got enough familiarity towards M44, but adds in another layer with bold units, lore and the war council, and the specialist cards if you get an expansion.

Perhaps I'll give Tide of Iron more than the passing glance I gave it before. My only reservation with that one is the sheer size of it. I saw it in my FLGS and couldn't believe the size of the box. With M44 and eventually Battlelore I'm not sure if bringing another box full of plastic minis into the apartment would gain me any favor with the misses.
 
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Daniel Corban
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From how you describe your gaming partner, I would say CC:E is a no go. Battlelore or Commands & Colors: Ancients would be good. I actually find that C&C:A is the perfect spouse game, since the scenarios are often weighted toward one side, and I pick the weaker side. Battlelore is more luck based and simpler if that is needed, but it feel like a waste after playing C&C.
 
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Marty M
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If your opponent struggles with M'44, probably not. If you can find an opponenet who has no problem with M'44, then dive right in.

CC:E is definitely a step up from M'44, but it really is a beautifully simple system once you are familiar with it.
 
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Bob Hansen
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If you weren't talking about a light-gaming girlfriend, I would highly recommend Combat Commander: Europe. I like both Combat Commander: Europe and Tide of Iron about equally. They each have their merits. I like being able to push tanks around a battle field, but then again, the Combat Commander: Europe card activation system is pretty neat, too.

As far as where to go next with her, are you even sure you want to scare her off with another wargame? I don't know a lot of girls that would play wargames on their own. I think many just do it to appease us guys. So, unless you want to pacify her with a rousing game of Mall Madness or the My Little Pony Game, you may want to rethink getting another wargame to play with her

That said, if you do go for another wargame, go with something equally as light. BattleLore as mentioned is good. So is Commands & Colors: Ancients.

Good luck! I JUST got my wife to like playing Ticket to Ride, so I have a long road to wind on down yet.
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Rob D
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After thinking about it and hearing what everybody has to say here I definitely think CC will be too much. It's not that she doesn't get M44..she has no problems with it, it's just that I occasionally have to correct her on little things like the amount of dice to roll on certain attacks. Even that's becoming more and more rare. Still though, I can't see her going too much deeper into the war game genre. I should be happy enough that she indulges me with a game like M44. I think it would be easier to introduce a game with a fantasy theme such as Battlelore, which also happens to have similarities to a game she already knows than it would be to try to throw something like CC at her. I guess I'll just have to try to branch out and find some other gamers in this area so I can indulge my need for more involved gaming experiences.

If she ever were to get into something like CC or even TOI it would probably be from watching me play somebody else and the curiosity factor from that. This way the game could possibly be explained to her without the pressure of being completely bewildered and having to play a side against me. In the end though I guess I should accept that she probably won't go for these type of games and be happy that she enjoys playing board games at all.

I also probably need to give it some time. Since I'm new to the hobby I've kinda been hoarding games. And she is the one who of course has to sit at the table and play them with me. So I've been throwing a lot of new stuff at her. As soon as she learns one I've got something else in the pipe line ready to go. LOL. I don't know why she puts up with me.
 
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Stephen Harper
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Try C&C:Ancients. Similar to M44, but a little more complicated. The best of the C&C series in my opinion. If your mate likes it, then on to Tide of Iron or CC:Europe!
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David desJardins
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You might try Manoeuvre. I've only played 1 1/2 games so far, but it definitely seems more interesting than M44, and no more complicated.
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kixdsky wrote:
As far as where to go next with her, are you even sure you want to scare her off with another wargame? I don't know a lot of girls that would play wargames on their own. I think many just do it to appease us guys. So, unless you want to pacify her with a rousing game of Mall Madness or the My Little Pony Game, you may want to rethink getting another wargame to play with her


My Little Pony? Really??? That's assuming quite a bit, don't you think?
 
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Bartow Riggs
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I second the recommendation for C&C:Ancients. I like the battle back rules better than Battlelore and Ancients is generally quicker to play. Pluse it has good period "feel."
 
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Peter Appleton
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I would recommend Tide of Iron if you want a different game that's a step between M44 and CC:E.

Battlelore and C&C:Ancients are good - but they are basically variations on the M44 system, but probably different enough to be worth a go if you really enjoy that system.
 
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Bob Hansen
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DaviddesJ wrote:
You might try Manoeuvre. I've only played 1 1/2 games so far, but it definitely seems more interesting than M44, and no more complicated.

Thanks to your recommendation I checked this game out and ordered it.
 
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Joe Bickley
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Frankly I would not reccomend tide of Iron over CC:E. TOI is actually mechanically more complicated, and the miniatures doo more to limit game play than enhance it. The differences between TOI and CC:E are largely in detail and not complexity. It takes about the same time to get the rules down, and in CC:E you are much more richly rewarded.

That being said, unless your GF has a solid interest in WWII, CC:E will not be the game for her.

Between Battlelore and C&C:A, however, I would go with C&C:A, as it is simply the best ancients wargame I have ever played.
 
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Brian Knoll
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I'd second David's Manouevre recommendation. I was able to easily introduce a non-gamer friend to it, and it's one of his favorite games now. I also feel that it has much more strategy involved than M44.

 
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Chris Montgomery
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pavobueno wrote:
Try C&C:Ancients. Similar to M44, but a little more complicated. The best of the C&C series in my opinion. If your mate likes it, then on to Tide of Iron or CC:Europe!


As for the suggestions so far, C&C:Ancients is too similar to be a "step-up" from M44. It is essentially the same game with slightly different mechanics set in the Ancients period. Pass on it unless you like the ancients. While I enjoy the M44, BattleLore, C&C:A line of games, each module is only interesting from the other because of it's chrome/theme. The OP says he enjoys WWII-themed games, so I am not sure that C&C:A is for him, or his girlfriend. Though you both would easily pick up the rules because they are from the same designer using essentially the same game engine.

If the OP would like a "step up" from M44, I would recommend Tide of Iron - it's got an Ameri-trashy feel with gobs of dice and is only barely passable as a simulation of WWII tactical combat (similar to M44), but it is Oh. So. Fun. If your girlfriend forgets rules, though, she might be frustrated with this title. Also, set-up time can be a bear since there's lots of pieces and lots of chrome, and you need lots of table space. This is my favorite "beer and pretzels" game for light wargamers. If you get this one, check out the various Tide of Iron threads to get some balanced scenarios; or, if you're feeling magnanimous, pick an unbalanced scenario and let your girlfriend play the superior side.

I also thumbed David DesJ's suggestion of Manoeuvre. Even though I haven't played it, I have heard very good and interesting things about it.

I think both of the above games fit excellently into the "next step" category you are looking for. Obviously read up on any games you're thinking about buying to see how your girlfriend might like it.

Also check out the regional BGG threads, drop a post and see if there's some gamers near you and/or some gaming stores that might let you branch out for other opponents.

Concerning CC:E, the game is a bear to learn, but not to play. If you are like me, you will struggle through the well-written rule book several times, and when you play you will likely misinterpret several rules, forget a few, and then play again trying to correct your mistakes. The game is complicated to learn, but easy to play.

If you personally feel ready to move on to something WWII tactical that is way more complex than Memoir 44, then CC:E is definitely the one to get. It is my (and many players') favorite WWII tactical. Of course, you did post on the CC:E gamepage, so go figure.

If you are worried about opponents, don't be. There is a growing on-line community to support it, you can find opponents (other than your girlfriend) on this website and VASSAL. VASSAL is hit or miss, but not if you set up a game before hand through BGG. There are even people on BGG that can teach you the game. There are tutorials on how to use the VASSAL mod.

For more information on other WWII tactical games, I would recommend my review on the Tide of Iron page that compares it to Conflict of Heroes: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/352674/comparing-the-inc.... Conflict of Heroes, while not my favorite tactical WWII game, it a good one for introducing hexes and counters, and it uses programmed learning, so as you read the rules, you learn how to play a little bit at a time.

Anyway, best of luck, and welcome to the hobby!
 
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David Janik-Jones
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Barry Doyle's brilliant print-and-play tactical WW2 game Valor & Victory is a step up up from M44 and ToI into the world of hex-and-chit tactical WW2 wargames that I'd recommend.

It features awesome rules that make sense, superb gameplay mechanics, it's free, has a great community around it here on BGG.

It's like Advanced Squad Leader "Lite" for those of us who want a great tactical WW2 experience without a whole lot of rules overhead. We want to play the game, have it seem tactically right, and have fun, not read 50 pages of rules to do it. Highly recommended.

If you like it, then move up to the (much more expenisve but still very good) CC series.
 
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Daniel Corban
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This thread is two years old. I sincerely hope that the OP has moved on to more complex games by now.
 
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David Janik-Jones
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dcorban wrote:
This thread is two years old. I sincerely hope that the OP has moved on to more complex games by now.


Didn't notice that. I hope he has as well.
 
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Mark Buetow
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dcorban wrote:
This thread is two years old. I sincerely hope that the OP has moved on to more complex games by now.


Or, better yet, that he's enjoying whatever games he's playing. shake
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Chris Montgomery
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But, it's also for posterity in that another person might have a similar question. Even though it's two years old, doesn't mean someone won't find it useful later.

Chris
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