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Subject: How Many Wargame Geeks Used This As A Learning Experience? rss

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Pete Belli
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Strike Force One was published by SPI during the 1970s.



Designed to be an introductory game that would draw people into the wargame hobby, thousands (?) of copies were mailed out to prospective customers.



Strike Force One depicted a potential conflict between the Soviet Union and U.S. forces in Europe. The game included just ten cardboard counters.

 


Although quite simple by wargame standards Strike Force One featured many familiar concepts and a set of rules more extensive than those found in an average 21st century Euro game.

So, how many of you old-school wargame geeks learned to push stacks of counters around with Strike Force One?
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Robert Wesley
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Well, I sure didn't, as I was already too far "gone" within these, before this ever had seen: "the light of day!" I even have the ULTRA-*RARE* version from within the pages of an "Army" magazine!
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I got started with Avalon Hill before SPI existed, but I'm betting more people learned with Napoleon at Waterloo than Strike Force One.
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Pete Belli
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Quote:
...I'm betting more people learned with Napoleon at Waterloo than Strike Force One.


Good point.

I had played SPI's Borodino before Strike Force One appeared.
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Ron K
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I learned that this was a horrible tool to bring others along and avoided using it. Nappy at Waterloo still was the best in the late 70's for me for bringing in other gamers into core hex and counter wargaming.
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Very late to the party here, but -

I certainly recall, and recall playing this. However, like the others, I had already been gaming, at it was more as a simple, quick game than as a learning tool.

And I agree, Napoleon at Waterloo was a much better tool, and just a more fun game.
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Dan Edwards
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Victory Point is reprinting this geezer, along with an "expert expansion".

Huh?
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Ron K
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Bloodybucket wrote:
Victory Point is reprinting this geezer, along with an "expert expansion".

Huh?


Not hard to imagine an expert expansion - just about anything added to this overly simplistic clunker would warrant that classification.
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pete belli wrote:

So, how many of you old-school wargame geeks learned to push stacks of counters around with Strike Force One?


I didn't. But I did use the game to briefly rekindle my wargaming spirit a couple times.

Though I'd been wargaming for a number of years, I subscribed to S&T magazine when SF1 was a freebie. And I took it with me on vacation once and ended up playing it with an old wargaming friend. We hadn't played wargames for a few years, and it was fun playing this little gem for old times' sake (though it was a new game for both of us).

Then, after being out of wargaming for even more years, I happened upon an online version of this game and played it solo. Brought back lots of memories--and much to my surprise, it had a bit of interest to it.

Yeah, there are only so many options, and you exhaust the possibilities after a few games. But there's a lot to be said for a very small, accessible wargame. Most wargames, IMO, err in the opposite direction and are too long and/or complicated.


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Lance McMillan
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By the time "Strike Force One" (SFO) came out it was way too late for me to use it as a "learning experience" -- I'd already been an avid wargamer for perhaps 15 years at that point. However, I've used it quite successfully to teach n00bs, especially very young ones, the basics of wargaming. Most recently, I was asked to review VPG's reissue version for an article in an upcoming issue of "Paper Wars," and managed to dragoon my neighbor's 5 year old daughter into playing. SFO certainly isn't a great game, and even calling it good is stretching things, but it does fill a much needed niche for an absolutely bare-bones introductory game quite nicely, and in that role I think it's unsurpassed. Yes, there are other intro games out there, but they're more involved/complex than SFO -- you can (as I've done) use SFO to get someone who litterally can't read or do simple math to play a wargame. I don't know any other hex-n-counter game that can make that same claim.
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RaDiKal wrote:
I learned that this was a horrible tool to bring others along and avoided using it. Nappy at Waterloo still was the best in the late 70's for me for bringing in other gamers into core hex and counter wargaming.


My brother taught me wargames on it in 1979 (I was 5). I just taught my daughter on it (she's 4).

I think it's a *great* tool for teaching youngsters how to play. This might not have been its intended purpose--after all, when this game was published, most wargamers were of the dorky, non-breeding variety.
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Neopeius wrote:
This might not have been its intended purpose--after all, when this game was published, most wargamers were of the dorky, non-breeding variety.


That is so wrong. If you were 5 in 1979, I was a daddy before you were born!
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Sphere wrote:
Neopeius wrote:
This might not have been its intended purpose--after all, when this game was published, most wargamers were of the dorky, non-breeding variety.


That is so wrong. If you were 5 in 1979, I was a daddy before you were born!


Hehehe. I take it all back.
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Pete Martyn
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Pretty sure my wargamer father broke this one out the first time I started to show an interest in his collection. I was itchy to get to the more complicated stuff, but he insisted on playing this one first. Looking back, it was probably a decent idea -- it showed me the basics without overwhelming me in numbers and intricacies.
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Joshua 龙海峰 Hockaday
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Well I used this game to introduce one of my students to war gaming. I live in China, and the rules were simple enough for me to communicate with my limited Chinese. We actually played this and Memoir '44 (with simplified rules) and the student liked Strike Force One better (I prefer Memoir '44 ).

I asked him why he liked it better. He said because it is simpler. We are going to try it again with the advanced rules next time. After that we will probably play again with the expansion rules.
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Lewis Goldberg
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I echo the thoughts of those above who said they used it with the young ones. Didn't have SF1 when I started my oldest son into wargames, but when #3 son showed an interest, I did use it with him, and it worked. Now he's played several 'regular sized' games with me. Even my youngest daughter will play SF1, and has shown a little interest in going to the larger games.
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Playing this game again (daughter is now 6) really gives me an appreciation for it. It's just big enough to simulate the sort of tactical decisions one will make dozens of times in any given hex n counter game.

What really impressed me is that I haven't played this game with my daughter in almost a year, yet she remembered virtually all the rules, even the "no retreating into a ZOC (she calls it 'flypaper')" rule. I was very impressed.

So, yes, Napoleon at Waterloo is a better game, but this is an excellent learning too, and just right for little ones.

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I teach it to all of my college students. They play it in class over two weeks -- the Basic Game during the first week (I call it the "tutorial level" for these video gamers) and VPG's Expert Game (called "the higher levels"). And, you're right, they find this, their first experience with a hex-and-counter wargame, very memorable.

As I see them again in later game design courses, the influence is still there in their game concepting, prototypes and designs. "You know, Mr. Emrich, like in that game you taught us during our first quarter..."

I can attest that after teaching it to several hundred college-age hard-core video gamers, there is still plenty of magic there. And, MAN, those kids are competitive! My favorite part, though, was their questions about "that time period" and what was being simulated by the game (an attack at the Fulda Gap).

Alan Emrich
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Sphere wrote:


That is so wrong. If you were 5 in 1979, I was a daddy before you were born!


You, sir, are old.

Well, I wasn't a daddy in '74 (I'd have gotten a cut in my allowance for sure if that happened!), but I was indeed a wargamer.
 
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lgoldberg wrote:
Sphere wrote:


That is so wrong. If you were 5 in 1979, I was a daddy before you were born!


You, sir, are old.

Well, I wasn't a daddy in '74 (I'd have gotten a cut in my allowance for sure if that happened!), but I was indeed a wargamer.


Time to be mean. devil I was -4 years old in 1979.
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It was to late or me also as a learning game since I cut my teeth on the AH Classic's so was a grognard before SPI came into being. But I slightly played it when I got my free copy.

Then played it a whole bunch being a tester on the VPG Update & Expansion of the game.

But I will ever so often dig out either the VPG or SPI versions for something really quick & easy
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