Ben Smith
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I play mostly euros, but I love Twilight Struggle and Commands and Colors: Ancients. I think the eastern front is interesting, what with the magnitude and severity of it.

I would like to buy a wargame which is on the easy side to play, and which teaches you something about history. As it is, I don't know much; I couldn't tell a Tiger from a Hellcat. Well, maybe I could, but you get the point. Thus Conflict of Heroes looks good and I'd like to give it a try.

However, which of the two games (AtB or SoS) do you think would be better to play first? They each have self-cointained rulesets right? Thanks for your advice!
 
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Massimiliano della Rovere
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bents wrote:
I play mostly euros, but I love Twilight Struggle and Commands and Colors: Ancients. I think the eastern front is interesting, what with the magnitude and severity of it.

I would like to buy a wargame which is on the easy side to play, and which teaches you something about history. As it is, I don't know much; I couldn't tell a Tiger from a Hellcat. Well, maybe I could, but you get the point. Thus Conflict of Heroes looks good and I'd like to give it a try.

However, which of the two games (AtB or SoS) do you think would be better to play first? They each have self-cointained rulesets right? Thanks for your advice!


I would say both
You can read the rules for Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 + Conflict of Heroes Expansion Pack: Map Board #6 – The Marsh on the academy website:
http://www.academy-games.com/images/stories/downloads/CoH_Ru...
 
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Spyros Gkiouzepas
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I think that SoS will have a programmed instruction manual as well. That means you read a few pages of rules for the basics and play a scenario. Then you read a new rule or two and play the next ect. I do not think that complexity will be a problem. The game is fairly simple, you can teach the basics in 5' and all the rules in 15'.

You shoulhd chose according to what you like more, Barbarosa or Kursk. The differences are that AtB has 5 mas (+1 expansion Map) and less counters for each army than SoS (4 maps but more counters)

AtB has hills woods and villages. SoS will have more open maps and More tank battles from what I hear.

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Chris Montgomery
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Joliet
Illinois
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Wait for Storms of Steel. The designers have changed the way the counters look and there are some other changes. Plus, it's close to publication (within a few weeks, I understand). If they later issue a new counter set for AtB, then buy it then.

And, yes, I own AtB, and love it, but SoS is the next evolution. If you're only going to get one, get SoS.

Chris
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Joao Geada
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Well, we're all guessing about Storms of Steel at this point, so take all our opinions with a pinch of salt.

Anyway, my approach was to get both

The reasons are many:

1- Awakening the Bear (AtB from now) occurs earlier in WWII, so units are not as deadly yet. This leads to more maneuvering and more close in fighting. It is also a bit more infantry heavy than later in the war.
Thus, the two games do not overlap much (other than both being eastern front)

2- AtB is simpler in terms of the units you have to manage and think about. Fewer tanks, no planes.
Mind you, my experience so far with the system matches most everyone else's: the system is incredibly easy to learn to play. Playing *well*, hmm, that is an entirely different thing. You have to learn the appropriate tactics for each situation. The rules never get in the way, but that doesn't make the game, per-se, easy. Anybody can march units across the map; actually having those units achieve their objectives requires good play.

3- Getting both sets allows me to play *now*, while waiting for Storms of Steel. Never been much into the whole 'delayed gratification' thing.
And it is not as if getting AtB means not getting SoS.

4- Getting both gives me extra maps and extra counters, always useful.
And sooner or later you're going to create your own firefights and having lots of available terrain variety adds spice to the mix.

Conflict of Heroes has been an unusual wargame for me: it is one of a very select few games my son will actually ask to play :-)
This game definitely gets a lots of outings onto the dining room table, so I consider it money extremely well spent.
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Ben Smith
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Thanks for all the advice! I decided to buy AtB first, and if I play it enough, I'll get SoS. Infantry is a little more interesting to me, at the moment; I don't know much of anything about Kursk.
 
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Todd Reed
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Clayton
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I would like to hear your impressions after a few games.
 
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James Palmer
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I'll throw in a few thoughts for anyone who might be deciding the same thing.

What makes Awakening the Bear easier to learn:

* less variety in units (so fewer unit-type-specific rules to learn) and terrain types.
* Lots of people on here have already played it, so it's easy to find answers to questions

What makes Storms of Steel easier to learn:

* new counters (and modified rules to go with them) mean less unit-specific rules to remember - for instance, no need to remember now which units get a bonus in CC or have a turret, this information is on the counters now.
* rules are cleaner overall, especially around combat. For instance, the "divide by 2 if colours don't match" rule is unnecessary now, and overall I'd say the rules are clearer and cleaner.

Where they're both equally easy to learn:
* Programmed instructions - you'll learn the rules gradually as you play each firefight - neither game pushes you quickly to learn a huge amount of rules.
* All unit types act very similarly - once you know infantry, learning vehicles (and even airplanes) involves very few additional rules.

In the end, I'd say you're overall doing very well no matter which game you start with, and I would say go with what interests you more as far as theme goes (AtB is definitely more infantry focused, while SoS has larger focus on vehicles.)
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dustin boggs
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BC
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It is also may be important to note that sos will have more of the 'big name' vehicles like the tiger tank where as coh had older vehicles (being earlier in the war) including panzer II up to the panzer IV. So you may automatically be more familiar with the kursk game based on equipment issued at the time.
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