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Subject: OCS for Con - where to start rss

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Wolfgang Kunz
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My buddy and me are going to out annual CON this year and we' ll stay there for a whole week. We intend to play something "bigger" and my buddy wants to play OCS - a system I'm familiar with (but no expert) while he has to learn it.

He is a good wargamer and we usually play various types of games (right now: ASL SK) together (we decided for now to go thru all of our ASL SK stuff and then start with BV anew).

While it might be obvious (how to start with OCS: use Tunisia) I wonder what would also be good w/o needing an experienced OCS player for the full fun (like with the latest release: Baltic Gap).

I was also thinking about sparing him the full beachhead rules (so no Sicily even if he is interest in this topic).

Since I own every OCS title beside GB II (on preorder) I was suggesting DAK II (lot of scenarios) or something "smaller" from Case Blue or Hube's Pocket (1.5 mapper) or even Korea.

He was interested in Sicily, Burma, Tunisia or whatever I would bring on the table (never give me this option devil ).

Our time frame will be: 4 days playing ftf from 10 to 10; approx. 2 days against other people (shorter games).

Since I over- / underestimate some thing here is my question:

Which module would you suggest and which scenario / campaign useful for a Con?
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Colin Hunter
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So you have two days? We played Tunisia Last year at a 2 day con, but didn't quite finish, I think it is closer 3 day game, maybe more, with a Newb it would be tough. I don't know a bunch about Korea, it might be a good choice though.

Baltic gap is large and would take too long I think, perhaps you could play the September scenario, although there are a lot of counters.

Burma seems doable, we might play one of the campaigns this year. I could see finishing a campaign game, one of the shorter ones probably in two days.

DAK2 is a great choices, but it is the most complex of all the games. I'd probably go for this as it has some pretty manageable scenarios, although I haven't played, so I'm not sure how fun it would be (should be alright I imagine, its a great game).

How beginner is your friend? If he is too new it is quite likely he will collapse, so make sure you give him the easier side. Also has he played any games? or are you throwing him in the deep end? If he hasn't played, I suggest Burma, teach him the intro scenario to learn the basics of the rules, then run the first two scenarios (the one that introduces the paradrops and one other shorter one). After that he should be close to ready for a longer 10+ Turn one. If you can do this before the con I'd recommend it.

The more I think about it, maybe Case Blues edge of the World scenario would be perfect. You might finish that in two days and you could play the germans (which are much harder from memory). It is also small enough that it might be a good one to learn the system on.
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Wolfgang Kunz
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ibn_ul_khattab wrote:
So you have two days?


Quote:
we' ll stay there for a whole week.


Quote:
Our time frame will be: 4 days playing ftf from 10 to 10; approx. 2 days against other people (shorter games).


At least over here 4 + 2 is 6

(could not resist this punch - no harm meant).

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Colin Hunter
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Sorry it wasn't clear to me if you meant 4 days with 2 days doing other stuff. So you have 4 possibly 6 days?
In that case you should be able to finish any of the smaller games, Burma, Tunisia etc... If your opponent can handle it, you could try Baltic Gap, Not sure you would make an entire campaign, but you might, make 2 months, which is the september campaign I mentioned before. If you have 6 days you could definitely make a 3 month campaign. If you have more than 1 person per side, you might manage a campaign, maybe.
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Andrea Olivieri
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Race for oil from Case blue!
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Jack Smith
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I only have a few titles but I would consider:

Baltic Gap - apparently this has some good, smaller scenarios but I don't know more than that.

Tunisia - The race for Tunis scenario is considered a good introduction and it's 14 turns, a decent length. It does not have the arrival of the 8th Army on map B which cuts a lot of time and counters out. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/320015/tunisia-example-o...

Burma - This has low counter density but very tight on supply (although simpler supply rules as a result) so maybe not a good beginners choice. Small beginner errors can lose the game. But there are some good scenarios in it (considered some of the best in the series) which you will have time for.

Sicily - I don't have this but apparently you can remove the landings to make it shorter and easier.

DAK2 - This has a training scenario called operation compass, a good way to start I think http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/169626/dak2-example-of-p...

Games like Hubes pocket have very high counter density which will be very fiddly for a new player.

If I had a choice I would go for Tunisia-The race for Tunis follows by DAK2. If I had Baltic Gap I would look at those scenarios first though.

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John Kisner
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I think DAK has too many special rules for new players, and the East Front games too many units for 2 players (at least 2 new players). But as mentioned above, there are some scenarios that would work well in Case Blue.

Korea is really great, but keep in mind a new player could get discouraged if he's running UN and gets pushed into Sea of Japan (so have him run the Comm). You would be able to get into the Chinese intervention period if you start the full campaign, and thus get the full tour of the Korean landscape.

I think Tunisia is really good too, in that both sides are attacking and defending. Again, you would start the Campaign Game and just play until the convention is over (but probably wouldn't finish).

Sicily would also work well, but I think it ranks below Tunisia.

Trumping all the above, though, is Subject Matter. If your friend wants to see Stalingrad or Burma or Kasserine, this is probably more important than trying to find the right length of unit density. First pick the game, then the specific scenario.
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John Kisner
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By the way, since I designed it I should also mention some of Baltic Gap's selling points:

1. It was designed with the v4 series rules in mind, so there are no nagging worries about little things that might need ironing out in the game-specific rules.

2. It has a 2-map maximum footprint, which is about as small as you find in convention-length OCS games.

3. It has some after-publication scenarios that allow you to end campaign early.

4. The Soviet Army is really powerful, but there isn't an overwhelming number of tank formations to run. The bulk of both sides is Leg, which is easy to move since their "reach" is fairly limited. This makes them fun to run -- they have quality + quantity. The downside is the German side is relatively passive, since they are so outnumbered on the ground and in the air.
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Wolfgang Kunz
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Thanks so far to all who have answered. Went thru the modules last night and it looks we are down to the following:
- Burma (which I'm not sure off because of the special supply situation)
- Baltic Gap (I take the Germans and let him have all the fun)
- Sicily (I saw the scenario that started after the landings so I thought this might be a good starting point - sparing us the special landing situations).
- Tunisia

Dropped DAK cry but might consider the 2 Case Blue scenarios. Have to have a closer look this weekend.
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German Mike
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Where are you going? HexaCon?
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Colin Hunter
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I've thought a bit more about it. I'm leaning towards Tunisia, you can get it done, I think in close to 4 days, I'll bow to John's experience, but we got about have of it done in a full day and a half. I admit the second half would be longer, but I think while you may not finish, you will get a pretty good way though in 4 days and I'm sure you will finish in 6. It is also pretty manageable.

Burma is one of my favourite OCS titles, I love the battle of manoeuvre and it is a little shorter and less counter intensive than Tunisia. I'd imagine you could get the shorter campaign game done maybe, that might also give time to teach the game a bit. I wish I was there dude, I would so help out, you need to buy an airline company and fly us OCS nuts there
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Wolfgang Kunz
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DaMilli wrote:
Where are you going? HexaCon?


Yep - or "EuroHexaCon" since there is AFAIK a HexaCon event in the States too - but ours is wargaming only as you might know.
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Wolfgang Kunz
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ibn_ul_khattab wrote:
I've thought a bit more about it. I'm leaning towards Tunisia, you can get it done, I think in close to 4 days, I'll bow to John's experience, but we got about have of it done in a full day and a half. I admit the second half would be longer, but I think while you may not finish, you will get a pretty good way though in 4 days and I'm sure you will finish in 6. It is also pretty manageable.


Hmmmm, I had hoped to avoid Tunisia since I'm playing this most of the time because of the good intro into OCS but I know you are right.

ibn_ul_khattab wrote:

Burma is one of my favourite OCS titles, I love the battle of manoeuvre and it is a little shorter and less counter intensive than Tunisia. I'd imagine you could get the shorter campaign game done maybe, that might also give time to teach the game a bit.


Not bad also. Was thinking in trying the small scenarios / Learning scenario with him and see how it works out. It is a completely "different" OCS than the Eastfront but I know he is interested in the theater (which would follow Johns advice).

I don't have enough experience with Baltic Gap right now. But I don't want to be the passive player when going to a Con and I also don't want to have my buddy take this role (aka. the Germans) since I don't want to see him drop this system because the experience was "to boring". If Hans Kishel had speed up Case Yellow I would be more sure what my buddy would have chosen.

ibn_ul_khattab wrote:

I wish I was there dude, I would so help out, you need to buy an airline company and fly us OCS nuts there


I assume it would be cheaper than stuffing you guys into a labeled bag with enough food for a week and fly you over paying the USPS costs for airmail

But the only thing I can help you out with is free rooming. Maybe you reconsider it now that you know

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Mitchell Land
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Manstein's Backhand Blow scenario from Enemy at the Gates is eminently playable in that time if you have 4 players. For two players, it might be a bit much.
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