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Subject: Any lone-wolf naval (or air) wargamers here? rss

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p55carroll
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I've never been into naval warfare, but I keep thinking of getting into it--for one peculiar reason:

I like games where I can get into nitty-gritty detail, but I'm put off by tactical land-warfare games (e.g., ASL, Lock 'n Load) because of the terrain complexity and LOS issues. I also like games with very few units.

I have some fond memories of playing Wooden Ships & Iron Men solitaire. Strictly ship-to-ship duels (I don't like anything bigger, because then it gets to be too much of a chore).

I've had my eye on The Ironclads, and I've glanced at some naval miniatures games.

Then again, I look at a game like War Galley and want to run screaming from the room. Way too many ships! And I don't even especially like ships. But I kinda like the ancient period.

So, I'm wondering . . .

Is there some good naval game out there that would enable me to just plunk down two (or maybe three or four) ships, fill out stat cards for them, and start playing? And have a really fun game without a lot of LOS checking? And even be able to play solitaire?

I also keep coming across Wings of War: Deluxe Set and wondering if that game, or some other air-combat game, would fit my bill. WoW appeals to the kid in me, I guess; I've always had a fondness for WWI planes.

But basically, I just want to be able to make some little guys hit each other--in interesting and creative ways--and I don't care that much whether the little guys are ships, planes, tanks, soldiers, spaceships, or what. As long as there are only a couple of them at a time and the game is complex enough to hold my interest and keep me absorbed and amused.

Any suggestions?
 
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J.L. Robert
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Believe it or not, Axis & Allies Naval Miniatures: War at Sea is a surprisingly good system that's clean, fast and easy to pick up. Add the bonus of 3-dimensional, plastic figures, and you have a fun and solid game that will draw interest when it's in play.
 
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Brian White
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If you can get your hands on Ironclads, it is a great game and is along the lines of what you're looking for. The rules are terribly written, but once you get past that they're not very complicated. And, it's definitely suitable for solitaire--I play it that way all the time. You occasionally have to worry about shorelines or other ships blocking line-of-sight, but it's nothing like in Squad Leader and such.
 
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Paul Day
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I would recommend

for Age of Sail Naval Combat - Kiss me Hardy!

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/27121

for WW2 - Victory at Sea

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/25972

for air

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/26764

The two Toofatlardies games rely on chit pull mechanics to regulate movement and firing so are very suitable for solo play

You could also easily adapt Victory at Sea to the same chit pull system - that way you would never able to predict the order of firing and movement so there are always surprise results

All are suitable for small engagements, but are miniatures games rather than boardgames (although card playing pieces can easily be found)

All are light rules that give very enjoyable games and can be purchased as pdf downloads or printed sets

 
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Tim Benjamin
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We've been having a great time playing GWAS with the Dreadnought tactical rules. We'd been working out a lot of bugs and will report on them as time goes on. (Discussion of 1st Battle Scenario, Med. ed.1 is already there.)

 
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AKA Halston Thrombeaux
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For solitaire play, Wings of War: Burning Drachens is what you want, as it gives you balloons and ground units such as AA guns and trenches to fly against solo

Ironclads: Hearts of Iron is a more modern game for ironclad combat, should be out sometime next year
 
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p55carroll
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toku42 wrote:
For solitaire play, Wings of War: Burning Drachens is what you want, as it gives you balloons and ground units such as AA guns and trenches to fly against solo


Yeah . . . I'm just not sure about this WoW thing. I'm sure it's fun, but it looks light, and I think I'm after a more intense experience (i.e., immersion in a ton of intricate rules so that I'm dragged into the vicarious experience and can't come up for air till the game's over). I suspect The Ironclads might do the trick.

 
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Mark Buetow
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Close Action might suit you. It's very detailed but can certainly play ship duels. The only caution is that with plotted movement, you'd have a little too much knowledge but as long as you're honest with your self, you could probably make it work.

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Lance McMillan
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I'm a retired naval officer with extensive sea duty experience. I'd suggest you check out either Markus Stumptner's "Solomon Sea" or Ben Knight's "Victory at Midway." Unfortunately both are out of print, but are probably the most realistic and accessible games on carrier warfare that have ever been produced. They're great fun to play, easy to learn, and provide great insight into the operational nuances of managing a Task Force at sea without bogging you down with pointless trivia.
 
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Todd Pytel
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Silent War isn't duels exactly, but would seem to fit a lot of what you're looking for.
 
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Donald Acker
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Hornet Leader II (www.dvg.com) is a great solitaire air game. You manage a squadron of F/A-18 Hornets in various real and imagined conflicts. Expansions add other carrier aircraft and campaigns.

It is available print & play or in Vassal. There is also a demo in Vassal.
 
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Xander Fulton
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This might sound like a strange suggestion, BUT...I think this might actually be exactly the game you are looking for.



Star Fleet Battles: Captain's Edition Basic Set

...if for no other reason than it does play very much like a 'sit two ships down, duel it out, marking off damage as you'. And if you like "nitty, gritty details" without having to worry about LOS or terrain...well...SFB is the game for you (although there ARE terrain rules - nebula, black holes, asteroids, etc - almost all battles take place in plain, empty space, or in the clear vacuum around a planet).
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Mark Drake
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Xnader has a point about SFB.I would also like to add Full Thrust for spaceship combat as well.The rules are free and wont take much time at all for you to read enough of the rules to have two ships hammering away at each other!

http://www.groundzerogames.net/index.php?option=com_content&...

Also check out Fleet Books 1+2 from same site for more FT.

For WW2 aerial games I use A&A Games "Scramble!"

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/23962

For WW2 naval coastal warfare also look at A&A Games "action Stations!"

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/25421

The above two rules sets I use with Clash of Arms games airplane and ship counters for some excellent solo gaming.

Whatever you choose,have fun!

Mark
 
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p55carroll
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XanderF wrote:
This might sound like a strange suggestion, BUT...I think this might actually be exactly the game you are looking for.



Star Fleet Battles: Captain's Edition Basic Set

...if for no other reason than it does play very much like a 'sit two ships down, duel it out, marking off damage as you'. And if you like "nitty, gritty details" without having to worry about LOS or terrain...well...SFB is the game for you (although there ARE terrain rules - nebula, black holes, asteroids, etc - almost all battles take place in plain, empty space, or in the clear vacuum around a planet).


Others have mentioned that to me in the past. But lately I've been getting very mixed signals about it. Some say SFB is all about guessing what your opponent will do, so it doesn't work at all as a solitaire game. Except for "monster battles" (which apparently means a ship fighting some space creature instead of another ship), which do not seem to be highly regarded.

 
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Xander Fulton
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
XanderF wrote:
This might sound like a strange suggestion, BUT...I think this might actually be exactly the game you are looking for.



Star Fleet Battles: Captain's Edition Basic Set

...if for no other reason than it does play very much like a 'sit two ships down, duel it out, marking off damage as you'. And if you like "nitty, gritty details" without having to worry about LOS or terrain...well...SFB is the game for you (although there ARE terrain rules - nebula, black holes, asteroids, etc - almost all battles take place in plain, empty space, or in the clear vacuum around a planet).


Others have mentioned that to me in the past. But lately I've been getting very mixed signals about it. Some say SFB is all about guessing what your opponent will do, so it doesn't work at all as a solitaire game. Except for "monster battles" (which apparently means a ship fighting some space creature instead of another ship), which do not seem to be highly regarded.



While it's true the monsters are "not highly regarded", that's largely because the competitive version of the game is SO MUCH SUPERIOR to any solo offering. It's not that they are bad on their own - and between the various modules, there are a LOT of monster battles.

But, it's true, they really aren't good for a lot more than learning the system/rules.

I think you'll find that true of most 'naval' games, though. With no real 'battlefield terrain' to worry about, ships and fleets tend to operate as a homogeneous force almost all the time. A chit-pull system for activation is entirely inappropriate for naval games. And given how ponderous ships are, pre-plotted movement is common (actually, the rule, unless the tactical game scale is quite high up). The only thing really left for naval battles is weapons fire result, and if the ONLY element not in your complete control on both sides is due to chance...

Well, it's rather like solitaire 'Chess'. Or maybe even 'Battleship'. The entire 'game' is in out-thinking your opponent, and when you can read his mind...
 
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Xander Fulton
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..the contrast being tactical land wargames, of course.

There is a LOT fairly left to chance, here. You are dealing with swarms of individual soldiers, who all have a valid place to 'flee' when panicked. The battlefield has many leaders, who control small groups of men to rally from morale loss or inspire to charge, and may do so at different rates.

As a result, morale checks for individual squads makes sense. Unit activation by chit-pull systems (or similar) make sense. The 'solo tactical wargame' experience is possible because the long-term battle strategy for each side is usually obvious from the start - and thus, isn't as critical as the ability to exploit unexpected advantages in morale or activation, and mitigate unexpected morale collapse (for example).

With naval battles...I mean...the fleets are huge lines of dozens of warships, with many hundreds of men on each. Let's see a sailor TRY to route from a secondary turret - they aren't going to get very far! The ships just aren't going to break formation. If you know what 'you' are planning, and what your 'opponent' is planning...well...you know the entire battle beforehand, with the exception of the random die rolls from weapons fire. And, I guess, that doesn't seem to me much of a game.
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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Carrier or Tokyo Express, if you can find them.
 
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