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Subject: What is the "Harpoon" of ground and air warfare ? rss

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Scott Muir
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While reading my new Harpoon rulebook, a thought occured to me. I began wondering, since Harpoon and it's other two rules sets for WWI and WWII are the most realistic naval miniatures sims out there, what the most realistic system for ground combat out there (WWI, WWII, and modern). Then I started wondering the same thing about air combat in those eras.

The only set of rules off the top of my head for ground combat WWII would probably be ASL (Or maybe ASL translated to miniatures).

Opinions ? Suggestions ?
 
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Wulf Corbett
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For modern period, probably MBT (first edition) and Air War: Modern Tactical Air Combat in terms of detail, but I found Harpoon more playable than either (and a bit more up to date).
Advanced Squad Leader and Over the Reich for WWII.
Wings is my choice for WWI in the air, but the closest I can think of for ground war is Landships! Tactical Weapons Innovations 1914-1918.
 
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Ray
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For air? Whistling Death or anything else by JD Webster and his circle of players. (and on the operational side you want The Burning Blue)

To research the subject read the air game reviews of these two designers who have played most of the history of this genre:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/collection/user/jdakapluto?rate...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/collection/user/pilotofficerpru...
 
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Joe Lott
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well one thing about Harpoon and other naval games, as that naval similuations are easier to get 'accurate' then others, becuase there is a lot more pure science, behind it, along with the medium being so perdictable in action (not to say that the sea state is always calm, just that if the sea state is x rating, we know what that means). But I would have to go MBT and Air War also.
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I will second Fear God and Dread Nought for what it is worth, awesome game (needs a inter-war Pacific War what-if expansion). That said not a Command at Sea Referee's Guide or Harpoon (1st & 3rd edition) fan at all myself.

Air, WW1... Knights of the Air does have a lot of airplane data, I'd LOVE to know of one like that which is a better actual air combat game (a la Mr Webster)
Land (tactical mind you), WW1... a big hole because I can not bring myself to say Landships! Tactical Weapons Innovations 1914-1918 / Infernal Machines / Real Weapons, but hopefully Infantry Attacks: Fall of Empires will fill that void - again not a real hugely detailed game though so not your answer probably.

honourable mention for WW1 land operational detail-data-monster... Home Before the Leaves Fall: The Marne Campaign 1914

In short none of those WW1 land tactical games is going to really scratch the "huge data base" kind of itch however. I would like to know of one that does. Probably have to go to a miniatures land game like Over the Top, Command Decision Series Game?

But I can do better for WW2/modern...

Air, WW2... Achtung: Spitfire!, Over the Reich and Whistling Death no doubt solid - in fact Achtung Spitfire scenarios with a WD rules update and played with minis would make me drool
Land (tactical), WW2... Panzer (first edition), Armor and 88 just for the volume of data (since you like Harpoon) way, way over the amount in ASL (and btw now there is also Panzer Miniatures in the same system)... but... you must be kidding, right, I can't wait to see the controversy this question generates...

my vote for massive data crunching ww2 air operational goes to Battle Over Britain
honourable mention for massive operational ww2 land games, everyone will have their own for this but for me... The Campaign for North Africa Lust in the Dust is really in a category all of its very own thank you Richard Berg

Air, modern... The Speed of Heat (slightly more to it than the much older Air Superiority, Air Strike and Desert Falcons and SoH is just a much more fun game especially with Korean War gun-armed jets) no doubt solid (I am not going to vote for Air War: Modern Tactical Air Combat sorry)
Land (tactical), modern... MBT (first edition) and IDF (Israeli Defense Force), dated but for purposes of this post I am actually an OCD time traveller from the Cold War pre 9/11 era , see note for ww2 above as it has been stated that these are a continuation of the same series for all intents

honorable mention for sci-fi both operational and tactical... BattleFleet Mars with the full 3D "physics-correct" tactical battles (again, not gonna go with Star Fleet Battles here)

me I do not mind the 1:1 air games but for land games while I love seeing all the data (I grew up on Angriff! calculating millimeters of penetration versus armour) I really prefer the units to be platoons or better yet companies/battalions (after all I like battalion-unit pre-c20th games too). Give me a ww2/modern game the scale of Gazala: The Clash of Armor any day.
 
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John Kovacs
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While, in my opinion, Air War: Modern Tactical Air Combat and MBT (first edition) are good, if not great games (remember, I did say "in my opinion") they are out-of-date. Air War: Modern Tactical Air Combat was last updated in 1979 and MBT (first edition) was published in 1989.

I agree with the J.D. Webster recommendation for air combat games (modern or WW2). I don't own any recently published modern ground combat games, so I won't offer an opinion on them.
 
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Wulf Corbett
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Infomanohio wrote:
I agree with the J.D. Webster recommendation for air combat games (modern or WW2).

I would have suggested Air Superiority & Air Strike instead of Air War: Modern Tactical Air Combat, but I think the latter is a better match to Harpoon.

I found both excessively detailed to the point I couldn't be bothered playing them...yuk
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James McHaffey
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
Infomanohio wrote:
I agree with the J.D. Webster recommendation for air combat games (modern or WW2).

I would have suggested Air Superiority & Air Strike instead of Air War: Modern Tactical Air Combat, but I think the latter is a better match to Harpoon.

I found both excessively detailed to the point I couldn't be bothered playing them...yuk


Air Superiority is the perfect match for Harpon. Both are so mind numbingly boring I never even bothered to punch the counters. I'd start to drool and lapse in and out of conciousness after staring at all the chart and tables...
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Ray
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oh and there is some good commentary in this geeklist:

The Third Dimension - tactical
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/8330
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William Barnett-Lewis
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I never found a air game that I liked so no comment on that.

However when I was in the Army and stationed in Germany, we used to play the heck out of Assault: Tactical Combat in Europe – 1985. THAT game is easily Harpoon 4's equal on land. Detailed, very accurate, and yet actually playable despite some very realistic C3I rules made for a way to blow things up and give you the fantasy that if the balloon went up tonight you might live to see sunrise tomorrow devilsobluezombie

A few years ago, after GDW had long since gone, I puttered around with updating it to then current data (via Jane's & the like) but in the end it was more trouble than it was worth for something I couldn't have afforded a license to.
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Xander Fulton
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If you want "Harpoon 4 in the air", then Birds of Prey: Air Combat in the Jet Age is really the ONLY option.

Truly modern land warfare is...a much more challenging matter, altogether.
 
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Xander Fulton
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
Infomanohio wrote:
I agree with the J.D. Webster recommendation for air combat games (modern or WW2).

I would have suggested Air Superiority & Air Strike instead of Air War: Modern Tactical Air Combat, but I think the latter is a better match to Harpoon.

I found both excessively detailed to the point I couldn't be bothered playing them...yuk


This is, btw, the reason I've not really played much in H4 (although, because I'm sick, I still WANT to).

Realistically, the detail is too much. It's way more than we KNOW. What's the hit ratio of a CWIS at 1km with a passive detection against a pop-up ASM deploying countermeasures? The game knows. Do you actually think anybody in REALITY knows? Hell no! It's never been tested enough to determine odds to the exact percent.

Heck, even something as simple as the odds of a hit of a third-generation SAM against an aircraft fielding 2nd-gen decoys and 2nd-gen ECM. The game gives exact values for these, but it's obviously ridiculous to think that precision to the extent the game describes is KNOWABLE, when the systems simply haven't even been USED in combat.

Now, that's fine and all if this is a fun game...but it's really not. It acts like a simulation. So.....you'd kind of expect it to simulate something, however, it gets so down in the weeds that it really can't. It's feigning precision it doesn't have.

IMHO, Shipwreck! is a better idea. It realizes these things are largely unknowable, so focuses more up-scale a little - more intended for fleet action...even LARGE fleets...than individual ship-on-ship.
 
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Bob Roberts

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Define "realistic"...
 
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