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Subject: Good starting wargame for experienced gamers? rss

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Joshua Speelman
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My friend and I are no strangers to board games. We've played a good deal over the years so we're no newbies by any stretch. We are, however, new to wargames and wanted to know what would be a good one to get our feet wet with. We pretty good at grasping rules so it doesn't have be a "beginner" game but one that would be good for a first time wargamer. Thanks all.
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Robert Wesley
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Well, most folks will inquire as to WHAT "genre" that you prefer? That even pertains for whether or NOT that you like "minis" or the more traditional kinds too. Get BACH! to us with what you'd LIKE, and that might include 'blocks' as well eh?
 
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You looking for two-player or multi-player? Any preferences for era or 'scale' (i.e. 'tactical' - individual vehicles or small groups, 'strategic' - e.g. all Europe on one map etc.)?
 
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Hmmm...

Assuming you have 2-3 hours to devote to a gaming session and want to be finished in one session, I would recommend...

Twilight Struggle
Combat Commander: Europe
EastFront II (experienced players can get through a scenario in about 3hrs - new players tend to take a little longer, but the game is not that complicated once you get going)
Afrika (second edition)
Hammer of the Scots
Manoeuvre
Under the Lily Banners (or any of the musket & pike series - there's 5 or 6)
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Tom Hancock
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Longer game: Twilight struggle. Very euro feel.

Shorter game: Conflict of Heroes. Simple rules too.

Also can't go wrong with hammer of the scots or Hannibal:RvC
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I'm not too much farther along with wargames, so I've got three (perhaps conventional and unsurprising) recommendations for you:

Commands & Colors: Ancients
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42

I've arranged them in order of rules complexity, although sessions of Hannibal will take longer than most of the firefights in CoH. It has often been commented that C&C:A rewards skill more than one might expect based on the fairly simple system, and there are tons of scenarios to play as you get into the expansions. Hannibal will give you a taste of the Card-Driven variety of wargames (Twilight Struggle is even better, but does not have armies and battles). Conflict of Heroes will give you a taste of squad-level gaming. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them, so I recommend you choose the one that has the most interesting theme to you or that looks the most impressive visually. They're all fairly expensive, but lavishly produced. You'll need plexiglass to lay over the C&C:A map, however.

With Commands and Colors you're looking at 1 hour playtimes. CoH says 1-3 hours on the box, which is about right given the range of firefights included. Hannibal will take 3-4 hours.
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Marty M
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Never played a wargame before? Start with Memoir '44 - ultralight & will get you into the mood.

Then move on to Combat Commander: Europe - a considerable step up, but with an exciting & incredibly well written rulebook. It's fast-paced, intuitive and fun.

Then have a go at Twilight Struggle or Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage - a good introduction to CDGs.

After this, try an operational or strategic level hex based game - A Victory Lost would be a good one.

By now, you will be realising that 'wargaming' is a broad church. If you've enjoyed the above games, I would put money on it that you will never look back. You'll be playing Paths of Glory, trying Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1, and scouring eBay for copies of Up Front, Advanced Squad Leader, Bitter Woods (fourth edition), Breakout: Normandy and the like.

Come on in, the water's lovely...........
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leroy43 wrote:
Hmmm...

Under the Lily Banners (or any of the musket & pike series - there's 5 or 6)


Not to divert attention away from the OP's question, but I've been wondering about this series. Would you recommend UtLB over Sweden Fights On?
 
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Todd Pytel
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JohnRayJr wrote:
Not to divert attention away from the OP's question, but I've been wondering about this series. Would you recommend UtLB over Sweden Fights On?

UtLB and TACW are generally considered slightly more approachable (shorter, smaller, battles and fewer special rules) than SFO and GAtG.
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Neal Kegley
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Do yourself a favor and get Valor and Victory (look it up on this site) -- download the files, mount them and start playing a great game... for free! Well, the modicum it will cost you to mount the boards/counters.

Hoss
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JohnRayJr wrote:
leroy43 wrote:
Hmmm...

Under the Lily Banners (or any of the musket & pike series - there's 5 or 6)


Not to divert attention away from the OP's question, but I've been wondering about this series. Would you recommend UtLB over Sweden Fights On?


I bought UtLB because it features the French and I like Louis XIV. As Todd mentions below, it does have smaller battles/shorter scenarios than SFO.

I think the really nice aspect of the musket & pike series is you can pick your areas/nationalities of interest.
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Brandon Pennington
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I highly recommend Valor & Victory and I have just fallen in love with Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42.

A Victory Lost is another good one that is easy to get in to.
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Bill Lawson
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Try a hex and counter game. If you want to start playing wargames I suggest you start where us old timers did. Not necessarily an old game but traditional style.

Afrika (second edition)
A Victory Lost
They Shall Not Pass: The Battle of Verdun 1916
The Civil War
Napoleon's Last Battles


Thats just a few.
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Barton Campbell
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I wouldn't suggest Memoir '44. It's simply not a "wargame." If you want to play these kinds of games, by all means get it. But it's still not a wargame (there is some kind of idea in the wargaming community that so-called "introductory" games will some how ease newbies into the hobby though none of us were eased in with these so-called introductory games).

I would simply recommend A Victory Lost. This game is about as simple as it gets and it's a nail biter. (Remember that it costs 2 MP's to enter as well as exit ZOCs. A lot of people miss this on there first games.

On "introductory games"
Most wargamers would agree that it would be ridiculous to play Risk to introduce someone to wargaming. Risk is not a wargame. But there is the idea that someone vaugely interested in wargaming will be slowly eased into the hobby with games that are vaguely wargames. But games that are "vaguely wargames" are not wargames either. After many years of gaming I have come to a conclusion, people who have been bitten by the wargaming bug, who are older than 14 and if they can handle physics and trig (as I had to do in high school) can handle any normal wargame. And they are eager to also.
If your prospective wargamer is not that interested in wargames, I don't care how many "introductory" wargames you spring on them, they will never get really interested. And actually it's a waste of time. The best way to get into wargaming is to get a great game that is not overly complicated.

I've already mentioned A Victory Lost
Other people have mentioned Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943. I haven't played it and it's not my level of interest (squad) but ...
I also like Roger Leroux' suggestions except for Manoeuvre (another so-called "introductory" game).
I would also add Stonewall Jackson's Way or another of the Great Campaigns of the American Civil War games, Ta
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Marty M
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bartman347 wrote:
I wouldn't suggest Memoir '44. It's simply not a "wargame." If you want to play these kinds of games, by all means get it. But it's still not a wargame (there is some kind of idea in the wargaming community that so-called "introductory" games will some how ease newbies into the hobby though none of us were eased in with these so-called introductory games).


Many of us were.
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elirlandes wrote:
bartman347 wrote:
I wouldn't suggest Memoir '44. It's simply not a "wargame." If you want to play these kinds of games, by all means get it. But it's still not a wargame (there is some kind of idea in the wargaming community that so-called "introductory" games will some how ease newbies into the hobby though none of us were eased in with these so-called introductory games).


Many of us were.


Seconded. And on the off-chance that M44 is lighter than what the OP is looking for (as he said, he's an experienced gamer) I was leaning towards C&C:A anyway.
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Barton Campbell
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Quote:
Many of us were.


I guess you could introduce someone to the Misfits with the Beatles but I would suggest you just give them a Misfits CD first.

PS. I Love the Misfits!!!zombieAnd saw them when Glen Danzig was still with the band.
 
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Joshua Speelman
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Thanks everyone for the responses. I've looked over a lot of the stuff people recommended and I think I'm gonna look at the ASL starter kits. Looks like something that will challenge us. My new question is about ASL specifically. I notice a lot of different stuff for it besides the starter kits. Anything else that you guys would recommend I pick up from that line?
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Marty M
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bartman347 wrote:
Quote:
Many of us were.


I guess you could introduce someone to the Misfits with the Beatles but I would suggest you just give them a Misfits CD first.

PS. I Love the Misfits!!!zombieAnd saw them when Glen Danzig was still with the band.


I was (and remain) a Beatles fan long before I ever heard the Misfits. Nobody who had already heard Helter Skelter could be surprised by anything the Misfits ever did!
 
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Marty M
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Joshua the Gamer wrote:
Thanks everyone for the responses. I've looked over a lot of the stuff people recommended and I think I'm gonna look at the ASL starter kits. Looks like something that will challenge us. My new question is about ASL specifically. I notice a lot of different stuff for it besides the starter kits. Anything else that you guys would recommend I pick up from that line?


No, start with Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1, It is what it says it is - a starter kit. It is excellent value for money and has many hours' worth of play within it. Make sure you like it before spending any money on anything else.

This type of thing will be very different from anything you have played before - there is an excellent series of ASL introductory tutorials here on BGG.

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/35936

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/35938

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/35939
 
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Joshua Speelman
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elirlandes wrote:
Joshua the Gamer wrote:
Thanks everyone for the responses. I've looked over a lot of the stuff people recommended and I think I'm gonna look at the ASL starter kits. Looks like something that will challenge us. My new question is about ASL specifically. I notice a lot of different stuff for it besides the starter kits. Anything else that you guys would recommend I pick up from that line?


No, start with Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1, It is what it says it is - a starter kit. It is excellent value for money and has many hours' worth of play within it. Make sure you like it before spending any money on anything else.

This type of thing will be very different from anything you have played before - there is an excellent series of ASL introductory tutorials here on BGG.


Well my major concern was that the first two starter kits appear to be OOP. I have a guy lined up already with all three starter kits. I was thinking of just getting all three starter kits at once. Are there reprints scheduled for the starter kits or should I get them while I can find them?
 
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One of the games discussed on this GeekList:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/39241
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Barton Campbell
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I don't see how "Helter Skelter" introduces anything that The Misfits did. The horror aspect of the song has to do with Charlie Manson's weird take on the song and has nothing to do with the lyrics or song itself. I love The Misfits for Glen's lush almost Elvis like voice, the footballer like chants, almost screamed background vocals and social commentary dressed in camp horror movie themes. The Beatles song, "Helter Skelter" has none of this. If I was going to pick a progenitor of The Misfits, I think Screaming Jay Hawkins would be more appropriate.

Quote:
I was (and remain) a Beatles fan long before I ever heard the Misfits. Nobody who had already heard Helter Skelter could be surprised by anything the Misfits ever did!


I'm confused. Does this mean you would introduce The Misfits to someone by first giving them a copy of "Helter Skelter"?

Sorry for hijacking this thread. Please ignore us.
 
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Jeff Brandt
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MEMOIR 44 is a good way to get into wargames. Not too difficult, but fun and it will lead you to other games/eras, etc...
 
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Joshua the Gamer wrote:

Well my major concern was that the first two starter kits appear to be OOP. I have a guy lined up already with all three starter kits. I was thinking of just getting all three starter kits at once. Are there reprints scheduled for the starter kits or should I get them while I can find them?


According to the MMP website, Kit's 2 & 3 are available and 1 is "Out of Stock" not "Out of Print". I can't say for other companies, but in MMP's case that's an important distinction that means SK1 will be available again soon as they may well simply need to box up more parts.

I'd say go for all three at once - either new or used - because it gives you a nice big game in itself. You've got 7 maps, 24+ scenarios, 3 1/2 sheets of counters representing 7 (IIRC) armies plus three sets of increasingly detailed rules. Play them in order to learn the system and then have at it using the counters you have to create your own scenarios.

Good luck with ASL - it is a great game that is a heck of a lot of fun. The SK's finally give a way to find that out without to vicious of an investment.

( devil When you're ready, you can decide if you want the full rules ($80) and Beyond Valor ($105) that are the minimum needed to play the full game. Yanks, needed for the Americans, is finally OOP ($95 at Noble Knight, for ex) and will be a long while till reprinted since they have to recreate all the art work from scratch. It's been too long since AH printed what just finally sold out to have any prep work left. )


 
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