Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
40 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Complete newbie starting out rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Murray Lewis
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
Good at learning, useless at playing
badge
No secret message here
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey guys, I've only very recently (i.e. this month) decided to get into tabletop wargaming, having wanted to do it for some time.
Simply put, my question is this; what game is best for me to get as my first ever wargame?

I'd like some kind of modern scenario (WW1-onwards) that's not overly complex. I am a poor student who can't afford to spend lots of money on a game yet, so it also has to be easily available and cheap.

I'd like to play a game that will lead on to bigger and better things, but still be fun to play for many years.
Similarly, I'd like a good amount of realism, but not so much that I am overwhelmed or have to read hundreds of pages of rules.

I'd also like a game that I can play by myself as well as with others.

I have been considering maybe getting a box of Squad Leader, but I am worried that this will be too advanced for my first game.

Can you give me any help?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
0,07 Geek Gold
Italy
flag msg tools
Vendo tutta la collezione, clicca sul mio profilo per prezzi e disponibilità
badge
Vendo tutta la collezione, clicca sul mio profilo per prezzi e disponibilità
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you wanna enter in wargaming and you never played a wargame, ASL I think it's too much...

A very good game not easy not difficult, good realism and absolutely enjoyable is Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear. You have hex and counters, and the advantage to be introduced into wargaming through a step by step method. Then, in future, you can step up a level

EDIT: another easy game is Memoir 44. There are tons of expansions and, with the upcoming expansion, is getting more & more interesting
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ernest Schubert
United States
Polk Township
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Wow, that's tough. You're asking a big question there...

Could you narrow it down a little?

Are there any subjects that really appeal to you?

Like WWI, WWII - Eastfront, WWII - Pacific warfare or maybe post WWII, like Korea or Vietnam.

Would you prefer a particular scale?

Like, would you prefer tactical games where the units represent squads or platoons vs strategic games where the units represent corps and armies?

Setting?

Air war, Naval warfare, Land war?

Single game - or Series?

Like ASL, or PanzerGrenadier...these are game systems with modules that cover many different subjects in WWII tactical combat. Good from one point of view... you learn the rules once, and can play a wide variety of settings. But bad if you are obsessive and on a budget, because you have so much to spend your money on.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Murray Lewis
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
Good at learning, useless at playing
badge
No secret message here
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, sorry for being a tad vague - I don't want to needlessly restrict myself, but from the questions you've asked:

I'd be interested particularly in WW2 western front or Vietnam.

In terms of scale I'd prefer a tactical game, controlling squads or even individual soldiers, but a strategic game would still be good.

I'd like a game that has its main focus on land warfare, but aspects of air or naval could be included.

As far as single games vs series goes, I see your point about learning one ruleset and then having many subjects you can cover and this seems like a good idea, as long as it doesn't mean that I end up having to buy several games to get the same amount of gameplay as from one 'single' game.
It could go either way on that I think; I'm not a particularly obsessive collector, but I'd also like to feel I don't have to spend lots of money.

EDIT: That Memoir '44 game looks good. Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear also looks very good, but is also more expensive :p
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Buetow
United States
McHenry
Illinois
flag msg tools
Combat Commander Archivist
badge
Move! Advance! Fire! Rout! Recover! Artillery Denied! Artillery Request! Command Confusion...say what?!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would recommend Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 or ConflictCombat Commander: Europe or Combat Commander: Pacific.

But these are a bit expensive.

A really inexpensive jump into the hobby would be Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1. HOWEVER, unless you're really brilliant (and I'm not saying you aren't) you will learn that best from someone who can teach you, either Face To Face or on VASL (the online java-based game playing engine).

If you want to get into wargaming, Memoir will not do it. It's a wargame, but it's not a wargame like you're talking about.

On the other hand, if you've really never ever played a game with fighting in it, then Memoir could be a mild place to start. Though for a true war feel, I think Commands & Colors: Ancients is a better game (same system as Memoir).

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rod Batten
Canada
St. John's
Newfoundland
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Have a look at some of the free "print and play" wargames first.

If you haven't had much experience with wargaming yet, I'd suggest looking into a couple of Lou Coatney's free games. They aren't complex, they may take a little bit of effort to print, mount and play, but they're small and straightforward and may give you some idea of how you want to proceed. 1st Alamein and Moscow Attacked are both free, can be printed in monochrome (boring looking but super cheap) or with some of the user-added colour maps and counters. Both are also decent introductory wargames.

Another game to consider is Battle for Moscow (first edition) which is also free and recommended as an introduction to wargaming. The printing expense is minimal and the work required to produce a playable game is well worth the effort.

If they aren't to your taste, post a bit more on what particular area and level of detail/control you want to have. There are many non-free alternatives which require no work or printing to play, but if you're just starting out, I recommend starting small.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vincent Waciuk
Canada
Ottawa
flag msg tools
Drokk!
badge
Get ready. Justice is coming. Judge Dredd: Mega-City One.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just as a suggestion, you might take a look at:

http://www.freewargamesrules.co.uk/

It lists lots of free rule sets that you can try out and if you check out ebay you can get cheap plastic soldiers to command. I've seen lots of around 300 for about £6 plus shipping.

You might find something you like until you have a few more pennies to spend.

Cheers.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Talbot
Canada
Fort Smith
Northwest Territories
flag msg tools
Be seeing you... -Alphonse
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Does MMP still have copies of Target Arnhem: Across 6 Bridges available? If so, that's a good, inexpensive way to get into war gaming. Also, if you want tactical games, Sergeants! On the Eastern Front from Lost Battalion Games isn't a bad way to go (although it's eastern front rather than western). It's also inexpensive.

Chris
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Bohnenberger
United States
Swarthmore
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You can get Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 fairly cheap. It's not too difficult to learn and definitely leads to much more.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Here are a couple links to places where you can download free demos of two very good wargames on your topic of interest:

Panzer Grenadier
(read about it, then scroll to bottom of page to find rules & demo)
http://www.avalanchepress.com/line_Panzer.php

Lock 'n Load
(this is the download page; click Home if you want to read about the game)
http://www.locknloadgame.com/_store/download.asp?Category=11

The downside of these free demos is that you have to print them out and assemble them yourself. But it's not too hard; once everything's printed, all it takes is scissors and glue, and maybe a sheet of cardboard.

Both these demo games will introduce you to popular series of wargames that share the same rules. If you like the demo, you have a number of different games to choose from, and you'll already know most of the rules. If you're on a really tight budget, you can even make up some new scenarios of your own using the demo components.

Oh, and here are the BGG links for the above-mentioned games, so you can read about them here:
Panzer Grenadier: Eastern Front
Lock 'n Load: Forgotten Heroes – Vietnam

The above-mentioned games are of medium complexity, however (rules about 15 pages each), and you might want to start out with something simpler. Suggestion for that:


Another light and fairly inexpensive approach is to try one of the Victory Point games, such as Paul Koenig's D-Day: The American Beaches. This game works well for solitaire or against an opponent. It's small and fairly simple, yet it has the look and feel of a "real" wargame. VP games also has some ultra-simple wargames for the complete newbie (e.g., Strike Force One)--but you might find some of them too small and simple. You'll find VP wargames here (along with prices), and I believe you'll find all the VP games newbie-friendly:
http://victorypointgames.com/

Other recommendations above are also good. I just wanted to give you some less expensive options.

Welcome to wargaming!

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bartow Riggs
United States
Antelope
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Actually if cheaper(inexpensive) is desired, and you write that it is, then the ORIGINAL Squad Leader is an excellent idea. Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 is newer and uses the same programmed approach but is more expensive.

Also the Advanced Squad Leader Starter kits will give you good play value for the money but the original Squad Leader has "more."
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BartowWing wrote:
Actually if cheaper(inexpensive) is desired, and you write that it is, then the ORIGINAL Squad Leader is an excellent idea. Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 is newer and uses the same programmed approach but is more expensive.

Also the Advanced Squad Leader Starter kits will give you good play value for the money but the original Squad Leader has "more."


However, Squad Leader is out of print. So you'd have to get it through eBay or something.

EDIT: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 appears to have just been reprinted (per a post below), so you're in luck there.

I haven't seen the Starter Kits myself. But I did play a lot of the original Squad Leader--and offhand, I would say it's a real challenge for a "complete newbie." I'd been playing wargames for over ten years before I bought that game, and it was pretty hard for me to learn (even with the "programmed instruction" design that allows you to learn the rules a few pages at a time).

I haven't seen Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 either, but from what I've heard, it's easy to learn and has lots of potential for future expansion. It costs a bit, though. And it's probably not the best game for solitaire play.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Barnett-Lewis
United States
Hayward
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Given what you've said, I'd suggest either of these:

1) Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 - a very inexpensive gateway to the series
2) Panzer Grenadier: Battle of the Bulge - a good place to try the PG series since you prefer the western front to the eastern front. That's ok - I do too

This geeklist may be of help: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/354669

EDIT: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 is in print as even a quick check of the MMP website http://www.multimanpublishing.com/ASL/aslsk.php shows.devil

William
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll toss in another vote for Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42. It's my first hex and counter wargame and I'm loving it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
What preview button?
United States
Medford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry I don't have anything intelligent to add about wargaming, but just wanted to say welcome to the 'geek. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ernest Schubert
United States
Polk Township
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
I like the PanzerGrenadier series from Avalanche Press. The up-sides are...

All the major modules are stand-alone games, so you don't have to buy more than one game, unless you want to. Some of the smaller modules require you to have one or more of the major modules - but the website will tell you what's required.

Very broad range of theatres covered - Europe, east and west front, and lots of esoteric stuff, like the Finns. Also the desert war, and the Pacific Theatre.

You can download and print out the whole current rule book from the website - so you'll have an absolutely perfect idea of what the game is like, and like Patrick says - they even have a do-it-yourself sample game, so you can play before you pay...

Another game company that I can recommend is Pacific Rim

here:http://www.justplain.com/

check out their 'Just Plain Wargames' - not much flash, but nice solid games. Look at BASTOGNE: CROSSROADS OF DEATH ... in particular. I like the game alot. The description should suggest that it's very solitare friendly.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Barry Roy
United States
Montclair
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Memior 44 is the place to start. With all due respect, any of the asl or pg titles would likely be overwhelming. After memior 44 - try out one of the columbia block game titles.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nikola Pajvancic
Hungary
Budapest
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You can always try Valor & Victory - it's more complex than Memoir, simpler than ASL, it's free to print and it looks (and plays) like a real professionaly published game.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Holmes
United Kingdom
Shipley
West Yorkshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Murray said this ...

MurrayL wrote:
I'd like some kind of modern scenario (WW1-onwards) that's not overly complex.


and this ...

MurrayL wrote:
..but not so much that I am overwhelmed or have to read hundreds of pages of rules.


and this ...

MurrayL wrote:
..I have been considering maybe getting a box of Squad Leader, but I am worried that this will be too advanced for my first game.


mmm ... let's see ... what shall we recommend ... Oh I know ... ASL. A game that is Overly complex, has hundreds of pages of rules and is definitely massively advanced for a first time wargamer. I could SCREAM!!!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BarryRoy wrote:
Memior 44 is the place to start. With all due respect, any of the asl or pg titles would likely be overwhelming. After memior 44 - try out one of the columbia block game titles.


Yes, ASL is definitely too complicated for a "complete newbie." I'd steer clear of that if I were you. Panzer Grenadier might also be too much to bite off at first.

Memoir '44 is a very popular game, and it's newbie-friendly. It's decidedly lacking in realism, though (to the point where many hardcore wargamers don't consider it a real wargame at all). And it doesn't lend itself to solitaire play (though you could manage).

This does bring up an important consideration, though. There are at least three kinds of wargames to choose from, and you might want to explore these a bit and see which catches your interest most:

Hex-and-Counter Wargames
This is what most people have recommended so far. These games cover a wide variety of scales, periods, and scenarios. They're sometimes plain-looking, but they can be very convenient and interesting.

Miniatures Wargames
Usually this involves collecting and painting metal miniature models, using special rule sets to conduct tabletop battles with them. It can be an expensive hobby, but if you really like miniatures, it's the way to go. Nowadays, you can buy board wargames that use plastic miniatures as playing pieces. One of these is Memoir '44. Others are Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition and Tide of Iron.

Block Wargames
These games are played with wooden blocks on mapboards. At least two companies make games of this type; the best known is Columbia Games. For a look at block wargames, you can start here:
Victory: The Blocks of War








4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy M
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
mmm ... let's see ... what shall we recommend ... Oh I know ... ASL. A game that is Overly complex, has hundreds of pages of rules and is definitely massively advanced for a first time wargamer. I could SCREAM!!!


People were suggesting the starter kit rather than full blown ASL. I still wouldn't pick it as a first war game, but it is nothing like as complicated as your post would suggest.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
N.D. Tepe
United States
North St. Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My nickel's worth:

Start here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/6177

There are enough different scales/styles etc that you should be able to decide if you'd rather play tactical games, strategic games etc. Also think about what you want out of your wargames. Would you prefer an open-ended game with generic units that capture the essence of the period/campaign or would you prefer a game that is actually an interactive and exhaustive study with a very specific order of battle, special rules etc? Take your time, try the freebies (most of which are quite good) and save your wallet.

Welcome to wargaming and welcome to BGG.

You'll find a wide variety of opinions here on what constitutes a "conflict simulation" or "wargame" and a lot of "controversy" about what is or isn't a wargame. Ignore all of it. It has no bearing on what YOU will find FUN.

Read any and all rulebooks online when possible and proceed with caution, because what most wargamers think is simple or easy, is usually complicated. devil
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Barnett-Lewis
United States
Hayward
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mr_mrholmes wrote:
Murray said this .. (snippers)

mmm ... let's see ... what shall we recommend ... Oh I know ... ASL. A game that is Overly complex, has hundreds of pages of rules and is definitely massively advanced for a first time wargamer. I could SCREAM!!!


And why, pray tell, is the 12 page rule book of ASLSk #1 too complicated? Frankly anyone with enough intact brain cells to post here has more than enough intelligence to handle the SK's if they want to. The OP may not want to, but that's a very different thing than this apparent presumption that he is inherently unable to handle this "overly complex" game.

In the end, he's the one who will decide what is too much for him and what is not. Hopefully he'll prove to be able to have some fun as well despite your fears for him.

William
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In case you're confused by all the replies and want a nice, simple, FREE, proven entry point into wargaming (and if you can stand to start with a Napoleonic battle, which is really a nice place to start), go here:
http://www.alanemrich.com/PGD/Week_03/PGD_NAW_rules.htm


Or if you're really in a hurry and want to play an introductory hex-and-counter wargame on your computer right away, download Strike Force One here for free:
http://www.wargames.otopia.co.uk/html/downloads.html
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Patterson
United States
Iowa City
Iowa
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you can swing it, Conflict of Heroes is probably the place to go. It has a programmed approach to learning the game, very nice components, and most/all of the elements of tactical WWII games--except that it's on the Eastern Front.

I'd put in another plug for Combat Commander: Europe, which, among its many other virtues, has a random scenario generator that extends the game's replayability beyond the scenarios in the box. Besides cost, the down side would be--well, might be--its card-driven nature. I think it adds a good dimension to the game, but if you think you'd get frustrated not being able to move or fire with a unit becuase you lacked the right orders, then it wouldn't be for you. While very clean, CC:E's rulebook is perhaps also not brand-new-wargamer friendly, although it does have a nice, extended example of play.

Though I rate Memoir a 10, I agree with those who don't think this is the game you want. It sounds to me like you want tactical richness, and Memoir sacrifices most of that for quick and solid playability.

In other respects, I bow to the superior experience of the wargamers on this thread.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.