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Subject: What's your favorite wargame? rss

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jay white
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Think about all the wargames you have ever played. Which SINGLE wargame is your favorite and why? Is it your favorite to play, or because of the fond memories it conjures of days gone by? Do you still play it regularly? How long has it been your favorite?

I realize we could just look at the top rated wargames on each person's profile, but where's the fun in that?

I think my favorite wargame is TCS: Leros. I really love the TCS (Tactical Combat Series) system, but I've only played 2-3 games from the series so far, so I have to pick a game from those few. The best experience I've had so far with TCS was a 2-day, 4-player Leros extravaganza at a wargame convention here in Vancouver. There aer so many options on how to assault the island, and my partner and I spent weeks beforehand coming up with a plan... and it worked!

I love the system of writing orders, and how it makes for a battlefield experience that you just can't get with other WWII wargames. When was the last time you've moved a battalion along one side of a ridge while they were being flanked on the other side, and actually kept moving them instead of stopping/engaging the flankers? In TCS, these things happen, and it makes for some awesome gaming!

The morale rules and combat effects also feel very "real" to me, even though I'm no soldier. The rules aren't overly complex, but there's enough there to give the system a real depth. Lots of charts n' stuff, which is the way I like it! I prefer the gritty old-school type of wargame to Conflict-of-Heroes simplistic stuff.

I've only been playing TCS for the last 2 years, so it's a very recent favorite. Who knows if it will last. My main wargame has always been ASL, and I would put that in second place. Maybe it'll resurface at the top as time goes on, who knows?

I'm looking forward to hearing what other peoples' favorite wargame is!
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I'll have to go with the classic EastFront. The system is just simply brilliant and really reflects the tension of making those very hard decisions on the eastern front.

My favorite pure wargame.
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Brandon Pennington
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I haven't played a ton of wargames, and most of them have been pretty recent games. That said, my favorite so far I think is Friedrich with Combat Commander: Pacific coming in a close second.

While Friedrich isn't a heavy game by any stretch of the imagination, every game we have played of it has come down to the wire every time. Sweden won the last game with Austria right on the edge of victory.
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James
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For me I would have to say Ambush + expansions. The reason for this is that when I play the game I actually feel part of the squad and also, since I have a difficult time finding opponents interested enough in playing board games I can still play the Ambush series.
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Jeffrey D Myers
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As of right now, it's probably:

The Devil's Cauldron: The Battles for Arnhem and Nijmegen

But then I'm a Market-Garden junkie....
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Chris Drake
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Advanced Squad Leader followed by Stalingrad Pocket by the gamers.
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Jay Sheely
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Combat Commander: Europe is my favorite and I'm looking forward to his new one Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Division
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OMG this is a tough one to answer, and I apologize for the length of this post as I ramble along about it.

At least there is the possibility of picking a game with a bunch of modules and scenarios and calling it "a game" but actually that still leaves some tough choices.

As I was growing up wargaming in the mid-late 70's I would say my favorite game was probably Terrible Swift Sword which my best friend and I played a couple times on my ping pong table in my basement. Gettysburg is just such a classic battle situation for a game anyhow the way it develops bit-by-bit from a meeting engagement to a monster battle. And TSS was like playing miniatures although I did not realize it at the time. Because of the time required there were plenty of other games, including some sci-fi and fantasy wargames but historical ones too like the folios and quads and microgames (AH, SPI and Metagaming were the three companies that made most of the games we played), that we played more often but nothing I liked as much as the couple times we ran through the beast that was TSS. I was enamored of the idea of both Wellington's Victory: Battle of Waterloo Game – June 18th, 1815 and perhaps even more of System 7 Napoleonics, but I can not recall ever actually playing those for more than some abortive starts, so I still pick TSS.

When after a coast to coast move I came back to wargaming in the late 80's, I found that after trying all kinds of games including starting to get into historical miniatures that I mostly wound up playing Clash of Arms' La Bataille series games with one guy and The Gamers' Civil War Brigade series games with another guy at the same club. But my favorite from that time if you include miniatures rules was all the games we played with Tom Coveney's unpublished Napoleonic "mass battle" rules (I still have a copy) he ran at his house or in the dark hidden away back room at the local game store.

If you want something published or non-miniatures I would have to say the advent of the original The Great Battles of Alexander when it appeared at the club was a life-changing experience. I knew nothing about ancient warfare at the time and within a couple years I had read much of what I could find most interesting about the subject and started playing it in miniatures - and by the mid-90's was totally taken by the GBoH games Alex and SPQR.

After another coast to coast move I managed to start playing ancient miniatures tournament games (War Games Rules 3000 BC to 1485 AD, De Bellis Multitudinis, Warrior) mostly since the mid-90's until a few years ago. Now days I would say my favorite game to pick up would be Field of Glory if you counted miniatures, otherwise either GBoH Deluxe Alex/SPQR or else maybe even better one of the Musket & Pike Battle Series games from GMT... maybe Gustav Adolf the Great: With God and Victorious Arms - none of which I am blessed with a chance to play a lot.

But taking the long view rather than just my current tastes it has to be either Terrible Swift Sword or The Great Battles of Alexander: Deluxe Edition. Hard to say, they are separated by too long a time.

EDIT - aw crud, pick just one - well let's say The Great Battles of Alexander: Deluxe Edition then since I gave up being an American Civil War 'buff' a few years ago but still love to study the Hellenistic era.
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Kevin Lloyd
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For me, it has to be Squad Leader. Not only for wargames, but for games in general.
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Dave King
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I didn't think anybody but Americans went in for all that "est" stuff--best this, greatest that, funniest whatever, meanest barb, etc.

There's no such thing as THE favorite wargame. Maybe my favorite tactical game, my favorite operational game, my favorite strategic game, my favorite Napoeleonic game, etc. But single most favoritest ... Nah.
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jay white
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dking232 wrote:
I didn't think anybody but Americans went in for all that "est" stuff--best this, greatest that, funniest whatever, meanest barb, etc.

There's no such thing as THE favorite wargame. Maybe my favorite tactical game, my favorite operational game, my favorite strategic game, my favorite Napoeleonic game, etc. But single most favoritest ... Nah.


The question is meant to force you to think hard about it, but it's nothing to take too seriously. Like, "What's your favorite flavour of pie".
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Martin Gallo
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Up Front! Still the single most engaging game I have ever played.

Next up is probably Blitzkrieg General. Sure it is a simple game, and I probably got spoiled by having a few good years with a good group of guys (not all of whom are wargamers) but I have so many stories from those games. Stories about what happened in the game (Chinese V1 attacks on Japan and German paratrooping into Ireland!) to just goofy stuff guys laugh about while waiting for one player to finish his turn.

Sometimes it is not just the game that makes it good.
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p55carroll
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That is a surprisingly tough question--maybe because I've sampled so many wargames since my first one (in 1968).

My final answer is probably going to be A House Divided. But I have to ponder aloud before I can get to that.

The first strong candidate is The Battle of the Bulge. The 1965 edition is the first historical wargame I ever bought, and I have very fond memories of it. Also, my dad fought in that battle and also played the game with me once. So, there's a whole lot of sentimentality wrapped up in that title. The 1981 upgrade made a very good game great.

But then I have to take a reality check. Fact is, I don't even own a copy of Bulge anymore. And I doubt if I ever will. I just don't enjoy that kind of game anymore. I've tried to get into it several times, but it didn't work. Guess I've outgrown it. Nostalgia alone isn't reason enough to call a game my favorite.

Another contender is Wooden Ships & Iron Men. Received it as a gift; wouldn't have bought it myself. But it surprised me and was the best wargame I'd ever played as of 1976. Only liked single-ship duels, though, and only played FTF once; the rest was solitaire. Sold my copy years ago, and I wouldn't buy it again.

Squad Leader and Up Front could both vie for the title too. Superb games; I got a lot of gaming pleasure and excitement from them. But again, I sold them some ten years ago. And the reason was that I knew I'd never play them again. That kinda takes them out of the running, I guess.

Today I'm an old wargamer, and my tastes have changed drastically. I'll quickly reject anything too big or complicated--and most wargames are too big or complicated for me anymore. Games I've played and enjoyed recently include Ancient Battles Deluxe, Waterloo 20, and Paul Koenig's D-Day: The Canadian Beach. All pretty good, but each leaves a little something to be desired--especially since I've come to realize I place a high value on the aesthetics of game components, and these are basically just DTP games.

I just bought A House Divided this year. I've heard about it for years, but I never got around to buying a copy till now. I'm glad I finally did! It's a terrific game set in my favorite period. It's just light enough and small enough to suit me. Of course, it's also new to me. When the novelty wears off, it may start gathering dust; I don't know.

Right now, though, I guess I'd have to say AHD is my favorite wargame.

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Dan Conley
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For solo play (as well as nostalgia purposes), I'd have to go with Ambush! When I have someone to play with, my current favorite is the Combat Commander series. Great stuff!
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Drew Heath
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coffee demon wrote:
"What's your favorite flavour of pie".


Pecan - without question.

In the absence of pecan, I'll settle for a fresh Key Lime bought at a roadside stand in the Keys.

In the absence of both, I'll go have a Skor bar.

(I can't decide on my favorite wargame, and I only own ~40!)
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Mark Christopher
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A toughie! Star Fleet Battles, Combat Commander: Europe, Friedrich, and Bonaparte at Marengo are right up there, but Napoleon's Triumph just tops them all.
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Ken Hartlen
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Pecan for sure. Although a nice Apple pie is a thing of beauty.

I think favorite wargame would have to be The Russian Campaign.
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James Palmer
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I'm just getting into the wargaming hobby, but my favourite wargame is easily Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42, although I believe it's sequel, Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943, will take its place when it comes out next month.

Coming from more of a euro background, the elegant rule system and high-quality production values really appeal to me, and everyone I play this game with likes it a lot!
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John Di Ponio
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A TOUGH TOUGH question: I have to answer in 3 parts.

I'm with Dan Conley in ref to a solo game...I love Ambush!, owned it since 83 and am always glad to know I can play the series at any time without an opponent.

For Tactical...here is a surprize....Birds of Prey: Air Combat in the Jet Age!! Yes indeed...a game that really draws me into tense battles. Don't worry Advanced Squad Leader series...you are still close to my heart.


For Grand scale games, its The Devil's Cauldron: The Battles for Arnhem and Nijmegen with Streets of Stalingrad (third edition) in a very close second.

I know....not the way the question should be answered....but its too tough to pick just one!!!
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Skip Franklin
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Wacht am Rhein may be my favorite. When I first played the game I lived in the area. I had the opportunity to play the game two winters in a row at the house were four of us US Air Force guys lived. Google Earth search information: Kehr, Hellenthal, Germany.
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Leo Zappa
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A tough and fun question at the same time! For the purposes of this question, I'm going to stick with traditional wargames, versus lighter fare like Axis & Allies and Commands & Colors: Ancients, both games that I love. If I stick to my favorite traditional-style counter-pushers, I'm going to have to go with The Russian Campaign as both my current and all-time favorite. I never get tired of this game and I will always play it. Coming in behind this one is a bevy of games, most from the 70's and 80's, including Victory in the Pacific, Afrika Korps, A House Divided, and Bitter Woods, as well as NATO: The Next War in Europe, Onslaught, and Rise and Decline of the Third Reich. I'd play any one of these in a heartbeat, but The Russian Campaign remains my favorite - the epic scale combined with the relatively simple mechanics result in a game where the players can think about their strategy rather than looking up rule exceptions, and yet it gives a very strong historical feel, with both sides having the opportunity to play offense at different points in the game.
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ASL(SK?) -- have never yet had a game where I wasn't freaking engrossed from beginning to end and where every frickin' die roll made me sweat. (Very close second is Combat Commander).
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Kriegsspiel, though I don't get to play it often enough as it requires a fair amount of preparation and a larger number of participants than most games to work well. But, it is SO worth it when it all comes together.
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Bill Lawson
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The best? Fire in the East/Scorched Earth ! No brainer !
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Lee Massey
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Best Tactical Wargame- ASL.
Best Strategic Civil War Game- For the People
Best Strategic Revolutionary War Wargame-We the People
Best Epoch Wargame-History of the World
Best Sci-fi wargame- Nexus Ops
Best Two-player Naval Wargame-Flat-top
DD
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