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Subject: Good Entry Points into Wargame Series rss

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p55carroll
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I'm looking (from a distance) at some wargame series. Odds are I'll break down and buy a game in at least one of these series, sooner or later. But the first game in the series isn't always the best entry point. So, what is?

Looking for recommendations from those who've had firsthand experience with these games.

OK the two main series I'm looking at are:

Great Battles of History (SPQR (Deluxe Edition) et al)

ACW Brigade Series (Three Battles of Manassas et al)


. . . and then there are a couple series people have recommended:

Lock 'n Load (Lock 'n Load: Forgotten Heroes – Vietnam et al)

Panzer Grendadier (Panzer Grenadier: Airborne et al)


 
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Guy Riessen
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Panzer Grendadier -- Elsenborn Ridge, hands-down. (no way on Airborne!)
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Ernest Schubert
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The only series you mention, that I have experience with is Panzer Grenadier....

I think that the down-loadable rules, and the free download intro game are a fine way to figure out if you like the system...

As to any of the other modules...

The game is simply not complex enough (rules wise) to require any sort of 'programmed instruction' method... like you might find with something like ASL. The game does take a little time to understand - there is a 'technique' to playing the game.

So, as far as the modules go - pick the subject that interests you the most. Be careful about some of the smaller expansions - they require one or more base modules to play - they need the boards or counters from the main basic modules.
 
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Todd Pytel
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GBoH - Either The Great Battles of Alexander: Deluxe Edition or SPQR (Deluxe Edition). Those are the two flagships from the series and neither is really more complicated than the other. But if you've got a thing for some other time period, by all means play what interests you. Most of the games in the series are quite similar. The only ones that are oddballs are War Galley (being naval warfare) and Caesar in Alexandria (being a single battle rather than scenarios, as well as mixing land/naval ops). Devil's Horsemen is also known for having enormous scenarios, so maybe isn't the best starter unless you're really into Mongols.

CWBS - Probably Three Battles of Manassas - you get several relatively small and straightforward battles, and it's widely available. Champion Hill or No Better Place to Die would also be good ones if you're more interested in those battles.

Both are very cool game series.
 
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Paul Franklin
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One thing to keep in mind about Panzer Grenadier is that the only module playable via VASSAL is Airborne. So, if you're looking for remote opponents, you're kind of stuck with that one.
 
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Guy Riessen
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I'm serious, you don't want Airborne--PG has balance issues on the gmae boxes released prior to Road to Berlin. Easterm Front-Deluxe, which is the one available now, suffers less than the earlier modules, but still has issues. All the modules are good, and you'll find gems in the plethora of scenarios in any of them, but the modules released after Doug McNair joined Avalanche are immeasurably better in terms of balance--that means Road to Berlin and Elsenborn Ridge. Elsenborn Ridge is smaller with (only!) 35 scenarios, but it is much cheaper too, and therefore I believe makes a safer "test entry" into the system. But, if you want to jump right in Road to Berlin comes with (iirc) 75 scenarions.

Airborne has balance issues, and 20 scenarios which don't do a good job showcasing the system--poor LOS, tricky specific rules which aren't well written, and almst no armor. Both Road to Berlin amd Elsenborn have a great mix of medium length scenarios, playable in an evening, plus some short playable in an hour or so, and some long which take more than one session to finish. Tanks feature heavily in both as well. great stuff--pick 'em both up.
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Will Green
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For the Great Battles of History I would recommend starting with The Great Battles of Alexander: Deluxe Edition. There are a number of scenarios and additional ones are available through a variety of resources.

ACW Brigade Series ~ I would recommend No Better Place to Die. There are so many good titles from this series, it really is hard to go wrong.

Airborne ~ well, I'm with the others...steer clear. The Panzer Gren. series is good, once you get the knack of the system. There are more scenarios to these games than virtually any game out there...112 to the Eastern Front PG game.

Lock n' Load is good, though I like Combat Commander: Europe much more, (even without tanks...).

Cheers!
 
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Ernest Schubert
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I don't have the new release of 'Airborne' for PGren... I have the older one. It came bundled with Battle of the Bulge. I haven't really played it at all... it was punched, and some of the scenarios were pretty managable so I tried it...but then I fell back on my old method of just grabbing a handful of counters and goofing around - like I did with PanzerBlitz years ago. The whole West Front is not of much interest to me, so I never really bothered to give either game a real test... not once I got hold of the original Panzer-Grenadier and Heros of the Soviet Union. I don't much care about play balance in solitare play.
 
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