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Subject: Wargames - low luck ones rss

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Hi all,

Recently I played a game of Crusader Rex with my brother. Altough we had a great time he wasnt too happy with the high luck involved in most battles, mainly because my average throw was a lot lower then his.
I do not think Crusader Rex is high on luck, you need to play more games to see how one can play better.

Anyways, the discussion had made me wonder. Can you point me to some wargames that involve less luck.
My definition of low luck:
1) Throwing dice is okay
2) Winning a battle against the odds because one throws the right number is less okay
3) Losing a battle cause of luck is okay
4) Winning the game because tactic or strategy is better

Don't get me wrong, I love games with dice or other luck factors. For example, blue versus gray: my great Army of the Potomoc presses on with more man, anything but a "2" on the dice will win me the battle. I throw a 2... In that case, I can see my general making tactical mistakes against a better Confederate General. At least, thats how I play games, because if there is no luck at all, why bother if you can calculate all your losses.

With that all said, can you point me out to some wargames that:
- Are less dependant on luck (in any form)
- Plays in about 3 hours
- Playable with 2 preferable (maximum of 4)

I think Napoleon's Triumph comes close, I have to read some more reviews about that one. Hope you can point me out to some more great wargames.

If you need more informaton about me or what I prefer, want etc... please post and I try to answer.

Edit:
- And if you could explain why you would recommend a game, I would really appreciate it.
- Sorry for my spelling, understanding English is no problem, writing it however...

Edit2: put in another criterium (number of players)
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Brandon Pennington
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Napoleon's Triumph and Bonaparte at Marengo are the first that spring to mind.

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Stephen Brian
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The old Avalon Hill Kriegspiel. There are no dice at all. Combat is resolved by comparing cross refencing the attacker's attack formation with the defender's defensive position. (I remember the board being more crowded. Maybe I'm thinking of another game with the same combat system.)
 
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Bill Eldard
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Diplomacy

Colonial Diplomacy
 
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Thanks for the quick replies.

TGov wrote:
Napoleon's Triumph and Bonaparte at Marengo are the first that spring to mind.


I will check those out, thanks!



Uncle Pennybags wrote:
The old Avalon Hill Kriegspiel. There are no dice at all. Combat is resolved by comparing cross refencing the attacker's attack formation with the defender's defensive position. (I remember the board being more crowded. Maybe I'm thinking of another game with the same combat system.)


Kriegspiel, I will read those reviews and the rules, thanks!



Eldard wrote:
Diplomacy

Colonial Diplomacy


Diplomacy I know indeed. Altough I am searching more for a 2 player game (or up to 4 maximum). I'll edit my original post to add that.
The diplomacy games I played lasted at least 6 hours each! Ah well, in such games I always die slowly
 
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bleakgeek wrote:
With that all said, can you point me out to some wargames that:
- Are less dependant on luck (in any form)
- Plays in about 3 hours


No. Because that is a contradiction, and if it wasn't it still take the fun out of them.


Not an answer I like to hear, but still a good and valid point you put there. Maybe I want something that isnt possible. What games would youy recomend if you can play it in 6, 10 or more hours?
 
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Hunga Dunga
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Arontje wrote:
2) Winning a battle against the odds because one throws the right number is less okay

In many situations soldiers triumph against the odds...
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Tim Korchnoi
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I can just picture the ghost of Clausewitz looking over this thread, shaking his head shake and muttering over and over again, "Friction."
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Stephen Brian
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Arontje wrote:
2) Winning a battle against the odds because one throws the right number is less okay


"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
Ecclesiastes 9:11
 
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Kent Reuber
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I'm not a big fan of low-luck games, but I know of a couple that haven't been mentioned.

Battle: The American Civil War
Battle: The Napoleonic Wars

Both have no luck; you simply maneuver units adjacent to each other and the highest combat factor in the terrain the unit(s) occupy wins. As I recall the rules are online, but it looks like http://lostbattalion.com/ is offline due to maintenance.

 
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WarpWar has no luck whatsoever.
 
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michael klausutis
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low luck wargames--lets see...any game involving dice for me. I never have any!!! Or is a preponderance of bad luck count?
 
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Romian Tuesta-Vilca
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Manoeuvre

There are dice, but the game also makes use of cards and a gameplay that, IMHO, is, or feels, that strategy is almost always over luck!

Good luck!


Romian
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steve mizuno
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I recommend Afrika Korps. Yea, yea, you can turn the game into a giant die roll, but expert play doesn't really do this. Expert play is more like an intricate ballet, or perhaps more chess like than most wargames. I find it very challenging due to the vast distances some units travel, and the way the game plays.

2nd recommendation: Midway. (1964). Although there are some die rolls, they tend not to be the compelling reason for victory or defeat. Pick up a copy and play it through - I invite you to read my review here, or the 3 strategy articles I have on tap here as well.
 
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Hungadunga wrote:
Arontje wrote:
2) Winning a battle against the odds because one throws the right number is less okay

In many situations soldiers triumph against the odds...


But there is (most of the times) a good reason why they triumph, better equipment, trained, morale, position, terrain, command, communications etc.
I dont mind losing at all as long as I have a great time gaming (altough I do try to win). It's just that other people tend to react negatively if they throw double 1 and thats the only way they can lose.

kentreuber wrote:
I'm not a big fan of low-luck games, but I know of a couple that haven't been mentioned.

Battle: The American Civil War
Battle: The Napoleonic Wars

Both have no luck; you simply maneuver units adjacent to each other and the highest combat factor in the terrain the unit(s) occupy wins. As I recall the rules are online, but it looks like http://lostbattalion.com/ is offline due to maintenance.


Thans, I do not mind luck at all, but I would like to play games where there is less luck involved. I will check those games out, thanks.



anarchy wrote:
WarpWar has no luck whatsoever.


Will delve into that one, thanks.



Romian wrote:
Manoeuvre

There are dice, but the game also makes use of cards and a gameplay that, IMHO, is, or feels, that strategy is almost always over luck!

Good luck!Romian


Good point! I have that one already
Better play it more i guess, only played it once
What do you think of Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage? I havent played that one yet, but reading the rules it also gives me the feeling it has less luck. As is Twilight Struggle, that one I played a few times.


soltan gris wrote:
I recommend Afrika Korps. Yea, yea, you can turn the game into a giant die roll, but expert play doesn't really do this. Expert play is more like an intricate ballet, or perhaps more chess like than most wargames. I find it very challenging due to the vast distances some units travel, and the way the game plays.

2nd recommendation: Midway. (1964). Although there are some die rolls, they tend not to be the compelling reason for victory or defeat. Pick up a copy and play it through - I invite you to read my review here, or the 3 strategy articles I have on tap here as well.


Thanks, Afrika Korps sounds great as you describe it. And I will read those articles of Midway.
 
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If you're interested in Afrika Corps and Midway, then maybe you should also look at the old AH title Frederick the Great. That game really feels like chess with hexes given the logistical nature of warfare in the 18th Century. Mind you, battle is a really chance thing in this game (as it was during that time) and throw of the die can have horrendous consequences but battles usually are few and far between. So like the other poster talked about with Afrika Corps, if you are an experienced player, you'll spend most of your time in FTG maneuvering your forces. But there will always be that threat of big battle in the background....but if you take too many risks and force too many battles, you will pay for it, especially in leaders which are vital in FTG.
 
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Arontje wrote:
Hungadunga wrote:
Arontje wrote:
2) Winning a battle against the odds because one throws the right number is less okay

In many situations soldiers triumph against the odds...


But there is (most of the times) a good reason why they triumph, better equipment, trained, morale, position, terrain, command, communications etc.


I agree, but isn't always possible to model all of those things in a game. Which is why a die roll is substituted for some of those factors.

Of course, many times encounters are determined by plain luck...like finding a couple of cigars wrapped in your enemy's battle plans!
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I would second Friedrich and you can also add Maria which uses a very smilar combat system. Though cards are used to resolve battles, experienced and skillful players would either always win or come second (just have a look at the list of players in the finals of all Friedrich World Championships

The cards add tension to the game, but luck really plays very little role in it...
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I think the best suggestion for you was Napoleon's Triumph. Some have suggested that a game with out luck is unrealistic, but I would counter that 1) a game with perfect knowledge of your opponent's forces is also realistic, and 2) no board game is truly realistic.

NT does not have any random elements, but does force you to deal with the fog of war, which can be just as difficult and generate just as much excitement. And it is capable of re-creating Austerlitz with a great deal of accuracy in three hours. Great game (and yes, I am biased).
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alexeigartinski wrote:
I would second Friedrich and you can also add Maria which uses a very smilar combat system. Though cards are used to resolve battles, experienced and skillful players would either always win or come second (just have a look at the list of players in the finals of all Friedrich World Championships

The cards add tension to the game, but luck really plays very little role in it...


I agree with those choices also. Friedrich is a great game, and I can't wait to try Maria.
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alexeigartinski wrote:
I would second Friedrich ..The cards add tension to the game, but luck really plays very little role in it...

The cards add LUCK!

 
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Hungadunga wrote:
Arontje wrote:
Hungadunga wrote:
Arontje wrote:
2) Winning a battle against the odds because one throws the right number is less okay

In many situations soldiers triumph against the odds...


But there is (most of the times) a good reason why they triumph, better equipment, trained, morale, position, terrain, command, communications etc.


I agree, but isn't always possible to model all of those things in a game. Which is why a die roll is substituted for some of those factors.

Of course, many times encounters are determined by plain luck...like finding a couple of cigars wrapped in your enemy's battle plans!


Very true indeed, thats why I do not mind a bit of luck in games. Just trying to fill my basket with different kind of mechanics so I can choose a game to my current mood

Blue versus gray, the card where your general gets hit, but it is his sword instead of the person, talk about luck.
 
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Good old AH games: Panzer Leader and Panzer Blitz. If you are good in counting and gathering your forces you just can't be beaten. There is no more than 16,66% chance you don't eliminate your opponent if your forces prevail numerically. Only "6" on die can save his/her unit in such situations.
 
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nightbomber wrote:
There is no more than 16,66% chance you don't eliminate your opponent if your forces prevail numerically. Only "6" on die can save his/her unit in such situations.


That never happens.
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Sphere wrote:
nightbomber wrote:
There is no more than 16,66% chance you don't eliminate your opponent if your forces prevail numerically. Only "6" on die can save his/her unit in such situations.


That never happens.


Frankly, it really happened many times, when I played those two great titles.
 
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