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Subject: Taking the plunge . . . at some point, anyway rss

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Joseph Knowles
United States
Virginia
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I graduated from Ticket to Ride to Memoir '44 and now I'm thinking of diving into the big, scary world of hex and counter wargames (though I don't have the money to shell out for another game right now) Where should I start . . . whenever I actually can?

I'm thinking one of the International Games Series might work well. Those seem to be games in the vein of the classic hex and counter type, yet they don't seem overly complex and difficult at the same time. I actually downloaded the VASSAL module for A Victory Lost and started toying around with that a bit after reading the rules through. I think I'm getting the hang of it (or at least the hang of the few phases of the first turn that I've worked through so far). Am I on the right track, or should I look elsewhere?

My chief interest in military history is the American Civil War (naturally, since I'm also a reenactor of that time period). However, reading How the North Won got me thinking that I'd really like to read up on military history from other eras, of which World War II is one. That book gave me at least a little bit of knowledge of basic military strategy (interior lines, lines of supply, etc.) that I think could be used in other wargames. It's just that when I look at some of the ACW games here, they seem like they're stepping it up in complexity just a tad bit more than I think I might be ready for.

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Fabian
Switzerland
Bern
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I am not well read on the subject, so take this with many grains of salt, but have you checked out Conflict of Heroes? It's the one I've been looking into for this very same purpose.
 
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Mark Christopher
United States
Salem
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In the wonderful game, Bonaparte at Marengo, this is how to get nasty Frenchies out of a village.
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Be not afraid! Most of the time, wargame rulebooks make wargames appear far more complicated than they are. Don't agonize about finding "the right next step" game. You've mentioned that you like the ACW and also want to learn about other wars, like WWII. There are plenty of games to choose from for each era, depending on the scale (tactical vs. strategic), length of play, and so on.

For the ACW, I've enjoyed, and found easy to play, Blue vs. Gray and Gettysburg: Badges of Courage and am eagerly anticipating The Guns of Gettysburg.

For WWII, if you want tactical level, Combat Commander: Europe is ridiculously fun. For operational, the Standard Combat Series of games from MMP is fantastic. I'm less versed in strategic WWII games; the various Axis & Allies games and both Europe Engulfed and Asia Engulfed are fun. There are also games that focus on the air, on the sea, convoy actions, and so on.
 
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Benjamin Maggi
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Loudonville
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You could also check out Blietzkrieg, which is a very old game that is surprisingly simple to learn and play, AND is very cheap. You could probably score a copy off of EBay delivered to your house for under $15.
 
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p55carroll
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Minnesota
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If you're not set on a hex-and-counter game, I recommend A House Divided as a great ACW wargame to start with.

Another good line of wargames to look into is Victory Point Games

Also, have a look at this Geeklist on Starter Wargames.
 
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David Janik-Jones
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
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Up Front fan, Cats were once worshipped as gods and they haven't forgotten this, Combat Commander series fan, The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!, Fields of Fire fan
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Slywester Janik, awarded the Krzyż Walecznych (Polish Cross of Valour), August 1944
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I know WW2 isn't your first passion, but you can not beat the fantastic rules of the print and play WW2 tactical game Valor & Victory. Highly recommended.
 
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Joseph Knowles
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone! This was very helpful.
 
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