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Subject: Once a Year game purchase... rss

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Nathaniel Torson
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It's my birthday Thursday, so I get to buy one new game. Problem is, when you get to buy one game a year you want to make sure it's a good'un.

I'm looking for a good strategy wargame, with area control,medium crunch mechanics and good player interaction with minimum downtime. I love sci-fi, fantasy and historical (my biggest lament being that no one around here plays Warmaster Ancients), so theme isn't a big deal outside of it being well implemented and flavourful, i.e. not just tacked on as an afterthought. It must also allow 4 or more players.

I'd like to keep the expense down, and I prefer to buy my games from thewarstore.com for that very reason.

To give you an idea of what I'm looking at, I love TI3, but one of my group already has it. I'm also a big fan of Battle Cry and love TOI, both of which I already own (TOI being my birthday pick from last year).

I've been vacilating between Age of Conan, which is realtively easy and quick (and I love Conan) but sounds a military/conflict heavy wargame, and Warrior Knights (with Crown & Glory) which is more involved and a bit more complex but covers a wider variety of activities than AoC (neogitation, trade, religion, technology, etc.) and is semi-historical.

So help me out. Age of Conan, Warrior Knights or something else that might scratch that itch?
 
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Paul Imboden
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Friedrich.

Warrior Knights is butt.
 
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Jeff Hinrickson
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From the one's you are looking at I would go with Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game, agreed that Warrior Knights isn't that good - I wouldn't say it's butt though.

Also, another good one in my opinion is Shogun.
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Neil
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I haven't played this yet, but I've heard great things about this game from people I trust: Successors (third edition). Apparently the design has been honed to perfection.

I played Shogun and loved it, so I'll second that recommendation. That would be a safe investment, I would think.

Have you tried A Game of Thrones (first edition)? You should investigate that title too. I've heard amazing things about it but I haven't had a chance yet to try it (it is very popular in the game scene around here).
 
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Mike Frantz
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StarCraft: The Board Game might be something to look into. Little quicker to play than TI3.
 
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Luca Galli
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Neuroshima Hex! for the win
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Mitch Willis
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The epic rules for Commands & Colors: Ancients (an evolution of Battle Cry) allow for multiple players...but you'd need 2 boards and maybe an expansion so the cost would probably be a bit high. You might also try Napoleon's Triumph...
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B C Z
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Maxwell Luther wrote:
It's my birthday Thursday, so I get to buy one new game. Problem is, when you get to buy one game a year you want to make sure it's a good'un.


I hope you get the golden ticket and get to tour the factory.
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Scott Roberts
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I don't think you can go wrong with Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42. Get the swamp board too if this is the only new game for a year.
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Chris Palmarozzi
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jjloc wrote:
From the one's you are looking at I would go with Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game, agreed that Warrior Knights isn't that good - I wouldn't say it's butt though.

Also, another good one in my opinion is Shogun.


I disagree. I much prefer Warrior Knights to Shogun. I haven't played Age of Conan.

In fact - if you specifically want more than just combat and can stomach a game that plays 60-75 minutes per person to play properly I would even recommend it. There's very little downtime, players are always interacting, the politics come to life better than TI3 (though I would say is still not fully realized). I like the combat system better than comparable games too. I would definitely recommend the expansion.

If you mainly care about combat then Starcraft seems reasonable, though I haven't played it.

What length are you looking for?
 
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Nathaniel Torson
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Here's my take on them...

1. Friedrich: Looked at it and while it looks very interesting, it only covers the war aspect. Plus, for some reason, the only historical period I've never cared for is the Colonial/Napoleonic/Squares and Muskets period.

2. Shogun: Again, a very interesting game, but I'm one of the few who have the original Gamemaster Series Shogun which is very similar in theme and playstyle.

3. Successors: I love the period. It's one of my favourites, actually, and the mix of ways to win is right up my alley. It is under serious consideration.

4. Game of Thrones: I've considered this one before, but I'm not really moved by the setting. The books really didn't do it for me and I think if I had to choose between the two, I'd go AoC instead, as I really love those stories.

5. Starcraft: Really not my cuppa as I've never liked RTS games on the computer.

6. Neuroshima Hex: Too close to the Post-Apocalyptic RPG supplement for Barbarians of Lemuria that I'm working on. I'm getting my fill of that type of setting and, besides, it appears to be strictly a war oriented wargame.

7. Command & Colours Ancients: That looks like a seriously cool game. My only reservations are, again, it's all about the battle, it's only 2 player and it's really expensive to get both it and the Rome vs. the Barbarians Expansion (another favourite period of mine and mandatory if I buy the base game). It's about $25 more expensive than I was planning on.

8. Napolean's Triumph: I love the thematic nature of the game, where it looks like you're an actual general looking down at the unfolding battle. The rules look extremely intriguing as well. But again, it's strictly a war centered wargame, although if there was an ancients version of the game I'd probably let that slide.

9. Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear!: Looks cool, but my WWII itch is already being well scratched by TOI.

10. Warrior Knights: I have to comment on the detailed remark on this one. I really want the ability to win by other than military means, like in TI3 where I won strictly by diplomacy last time. I also don't mind an extended playing time (if my love of TI3 is any indicator), especially if the player downtime is minimal (I hate sitting around for 3/4 of an hour in longer games). About 60 minutes/player is about the top of that for me, but I understand you can modify that by shifting the VP levels up and down if you're in a hurry. I read one review that set the limit to 7, crowned a player king, and then continued the game from there. It seemed much quicker yet still allowed them to get to grips.

Keep 'em coming...
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Henrik Lantz
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Maxwell Luther wrote:
Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Here's my take on them...

2. Shogun: Again, a very interesting game, but I'm one of the few who have the original Gamemaster Series Shogun which is very similar in theme and playstyle.


Beep beep beep, wrong answer!!!
Now, I have only played the original Shogun, but from watching video reviews and the reading the rules of the new Shogun, I would say they are nothing alike. I hope someone who has played both can add to this, but I am pretty certain they are very different.

Maxwell Luther wrote:

5. Starcraft: Really not my cuppa as I've never liked RTS games on the computer.


The boardgame is on a "galactic" level, having the players fight over planets, and it feels very different from the computer game. The rules are pretty darn complicated, but apart from that I think this game would be perfect for you.

A more old school ameritrash game that probably would appeal to you is The HellGame. Gaming doesn't get more themed than this.
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Neil
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Hey Max/nathan: I'm curious to know what games you own and like. How about putting your games (if there are too many, your top games) up on your collection database here on the 'geek?
 
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Mitch Willis
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Maxwell Luther wrote:
7. Command & Colours Ancients: That looks like a seriously cool game. My only reservations are, again, it's all about the battle, it's only 2 player and it's really expensive to get both it and the Rome vs. the Barbarians Expansion (another favourite period of mine and mandatory if I buy the base game). It's about $25 more expensive than I was planning on.


You're right about the cost and it being just about the battle...however, it can handle more than 2 players (up to 8) with the epic rules. There's an overall commander and each player on the team is in charge of a section of the battlefield (left, center, right); orders are passed but it's up to the section commanders to implement them as they see fit. But I'm sure it would drive the cost up a good deal more...you'd definitely need 2 boards and an expansion or 2 as well. Since you like Ancients, I'd highly recommend it if you come into a financial windfall any time in the near future...

A couple of others you might consider would be Sword of Rome and Empires of the Ancient World (if you can find it; I think it's OOP)...

And another one that I almost forgot that might appeal to you is Perikles...
 
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Bartow Riggs
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Although the different factions each win by a points score, they use dramatically different mechanisms and abilities to get there.
 
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Nathaniel Torson
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RE: HENRIK

I meant theme, more than anything. I already have a game that captures the Sengoku Jidai period pretty well and is fairly quick and easy.

Starcraft just has no appeal for me from what I've read and seen.

Hellgame... wow, I mean that's just...wow.gulp Really not my thing...

RE: NEIL

Done and done.

RE: MITCH

I will definately be getting C&C:A if I come into a some money.

Sword of Rome looks even better than Successors, due to the different cultures involved. My only problem, and this is with both of them, is that I can't seem to find a cheap copy of either. This is the same problem I had with tryign to find a cheap copy of Here I Stand, which would be a win for me, because I love the era of the Reformation and the variety that game offers.

Perikles looked too abstract for my tastes.
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Leo Zappa
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Britannia May be a bit on the "military-heavy" side, but a great area-control, sweep of history game - new FFG 2008 printing is the best.
Warrior Knights Sound just like what you are looking for, and you are correct, you can adjust the victory level to fit the time frame you have (we generally increase the point level, since at the default level it sometimes seems the game is over before the really good stuff gets going).
Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game I just picked this up and haven't played it yet, but based on the War of the Ring, which I have and have played a number of times, I think it would be a good fit, though again leaning to the "military-centric" side of the spectrum.
A Game of Thrones (first edition) Another good one, with "Diplomacy"-like game play.

As for Shogun, I've played it and while it's a tight design, it's not necessarily fun, and certainly not as fun as the old, unrelated (in terms of mechanics) Ikusa, which remains a great game to this day, perhaps the best of the old MB "Gamemasters" series.

All in all, I'd recommend Warrior Knights, especially if you liked TI3.
 
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Nathaniel Torson
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RE: LEO

That was a timely suggestion of Britannia, Leo, as I just finished reading a few reviews on it right before I checked back on the thread! I was seriously thinking it might be an option as well and the educational value of the game is really appealing.

Shogun/Samuria Swords (I have the original) is an excellent game. I only wish I had a copy of Conquest of the Empire to go with it. That series was classic.

I think I'm leaning towards Warrior Knights for various reasons:

1. I have a lot of miniature wargames, so while I do love miniature combat, I really am looking for more options in a large scale, empire building game (back in the day, we spent more time negotiating, exploring and building in Mighty Empires than fighting). It seems that WK has plenty of variety.

2. With the Crown & Glory expansion, the game seems truly playable with as few as 2 and as many as 6 players. My group averages around 4, but once a year or so we get a full group of 6, and I do like a 2-player game now and again.

3. While Here I Stand, Sword of Rome, C&C:A, Age of Conan and Brittania are all at the top of my 'must have' list now, the first two are unavailable to po' folk like me, the third and fourth are too concetrated on the miltary aspects, and the last only loses out because of the lengthy playing time and the fact that a good game really seems to require 4 players.

4. WK seems very similar to TI3 (which would be a no brainer choice if one of my fellow gamers didn't already have it) in many ways, with a lot of variety.

5. Ok, this is a weird one, but the pseudo-historical theme is neutral enough that I could actually use Warrior Knights as a 'campaign game' for any of my miniature games, playing out battles using DBA, HotT, Warmaster, whatever. I could do the same for Conan (and the setting is one of my all time favourites) but it would strictly be Hyborian in nature.

Any other comments before I make a final decision today? I want to order this afternoon so I can have it by the weekend...
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Mark Buetow
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Viktory II Might be a bit pricey...but worth every penny!
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Conquest of the Empire
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Nathaniel Torson
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The decision was made and an order placed for...

...Warrior Knights with the Crown & Glory expansion (and I cheated a bit and purchased Citadels while I was at it, as I've always wanted that game and it was under $20).

In the end, it barely edged out Age of Conan and Britannia, but thanks to you people I now have a bunch of other games I'm drooling over now as well shake. As well as the afore mentioend contenders, I'm going to scour the land for used or ebay copies of Here I Stand, Sword of Rome, and C&C: Ancients. Thanks, Geeks...
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Bartow Riggs
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Maxwell Luther wrote:

The decision was made and an order placed for...

...Warrior Knights with the Crown & Glory expansion (and I cheated a bit and purchased Citadels while I was at it, as I've always wanted that game and it was under $20).

In the end, it barely edged out Age of Conan and Britannia, but thanks to you people I now have a bunch of other games I'm drooling over now as well shake. As well as the afore mentioend contenders, I'm going to scour the land for used or ebay copies of Here I Stand, Sword of Rome, and C&C: Ancients. Thanks, Geeks...


I think Warrior Knights is a good choice. You can determine how long the game lasts by varying the amount of influence points in the pool. You'll need to experiment with the proper amount in that pool because too little and the game ends just when it is getting interesting. I think the game suggests 15 influence per player but I would start with a little more than that I think.

 
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Happy Birthday and enjoy your game. Save Conan for next time It's a really great game but you've made some good choices too. It's hard picking out a game when there are so many great ones out there. You can always use BGG trades.
 
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Nathaniel Torson
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Bartow Riggs wrote:
I think Warrior Knights is a good choice. You can determine how long the game lasts by varying the amount of influence points in the pool. You'll need to experiment with the proper amount in that pool because too little and the game ends just when it is getting interesting. I think the game suggests 15 influence per player but I would start with a little more than that I think.


I got the Crown & Glory Expansions to help the players get to grips with each other faster and I plan to use a variant I read abount on the C&G page where you play to 7 Influence, crown someone and then play to 18. That should last an hour per player, if what I've read is correct.


Helenoftroy wrote:
Happy Birthday and enjoy your game. Save Conan for next time It's a really great game but you've made some good choices too. It's hard picking out a game when there are so many great ones out there. You can always use BGG trades.


Cheers! And I'm pretty sure Conan will be next, if for no other reason than my deep inborn desire to 'Crush my enemies, see them driven before me and hear the lamentation of their women!' arrrh Seriously, I dig me some Conan, by Crom, and it only lost out by a tiny bit. I only made a final decision when my wife said 'Hurry up and order! We've got to mail the taxes!'

(Ok, the pirate smiley wasn't totally fitting, but it'll have to do until there's a barbarian smiley crushing, driving and hearing lamentation available...)
 
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Chris Palmarozzi
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Congrats. Hope you enjoy it. I'd even offer to play it sometime if where you are in Texas is around Austin.
 
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