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Subject: First wargame - Memoir 44, Tide of Iron or ??? rss

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Jeff Gross
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Been playing mostly euro games. Looking to buy a wargame. Primary players would be me and a 15 yr old son. Might want to play with more than 2 occasionally but not very often. Don't want something too heavy.

Leaning towards Tide of Iron because it can play 2-4 but would buy Memoir 44 if it is a much better games.
 
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Jake Waltier
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Memoir '44 is much easier to learn and teach than Tide of Iron. If accessibility is a concern, I suggest Memoir '44. However, my chief suggestion is to try both first if at all possible.
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Brad Miller
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Yeah, much as I don't like Mem 44 much, (preferring Battle Cry and C&C:A), tie of Iron hasn't really gone over very well I don't think. Read the comments for it.

BattleLore might be a good choice.

Others:
A House Divided
Washington's War (CDG not out yet but similar to We The People)
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
Richard III: The Wars of the Roses (Blocks!)
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David G. Cox Esq.
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A wargame?

Hmmm?

I have been playing wargames for 30 years and don't think that Memoir is really a wargame. It is a fine game but too much detail has been abstracted for the sake of simplicity that the simulation value is highly lacking.

Tide of Iron is okay. You might also consider Axis & Allies.


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Merric Blackman
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Memoir '44 or Combat Commander: Europe would both be good choices.

Tide of Iron isn't worth it.

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Stefan Daniels
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Well, if you're a euro-gamer I'd consider Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 as a start. It represents an actual wargame closer than Memoire '44 does; and as stated, Tide of Iron can be finicky for the actual gameplay involved. The other nice thing about CoH is that you'll learn some widely used wargame ideas such as 'line of sight', 'movement', 'tactical response' and strategic use of terrain. You can also learn these things in M'44 but in a much more limited sense, IMO. From CoH you could easily graduate to such games as Combat Commander: Europe, Hammer of the Scots/Richard III: The Wars of the Roses, Napoleon's Triumph, and beyond (The Burning Blue and Europe Engulfed). In my limited wargaming experience, if it's got nice plastic minis it either is a very limited wargame (not really something you're looking for) or is a different type of game masquerading as a wargame.

I'd also recommend CDG's such as Twilight Struggle, it's decendent 1960: The Making of the President (which has some really nice euro and 'press-your-luck' mechanics) and then onto such monsters as Pursuit of Glory.

Finally, I'd look at Canvas Eagles. As a father and son project you could easily have a great looking game that plays better than just about anything else in my entire game collection. It's addictive (can you tell?), simple to teach new players, and rewards multiple plays with better and better win results. Highly recommended.

Whatever you do, make sure to have fun, don't get too frusterated with the sheer weight of some of the wargame rulebooks. It's takes time, but eventually you'll be able to look at a pure wargame rulebook with a straight face and actually know what the heck is being written about because you've got wargame experience with other games.

Enjoy!
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It depends on how much of an intro to wargaming you want. M44 will introduce elements of wargaming and is fast-moving. I find it fun its own right, so IMHO you can't go wrong with it.
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Shane DAmico
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Let me get this out of the way first. Some will say that Memoir '44 isn't a wargame. No it isn't a deep, tactical, "takes hours to perfect your strategy" wargame.. but, do you move around plastic infantry, tanks and artillery on a world war II battlefield? Yea, you do. Sounds like a wargame to me. I think it's a fantastic first wargame.

Axis and Allies is another good first wargame. Any of the Axis and Allies games have very simple rules. A very different perspective of battle then Mem '44 because you are controlling a much broader army across whole countries, not just single, zoomed in battle scenarios.

And as another suggested, if you are looking for something closer to what many people would call a "traditional" waregame then Conflict of Heroes is a good choice. CoH Awakening the Bear was suggested, but the follow up game, CoH Storms of Steel might be a better choice. From everything I've read they revised some of the rules in the second game and made it a lot better.
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If you're coming from a Euro background then you may find the typical wargame length of play a bit shocking. Many of the games suggested here take an afternoon to play or longer. Memoir '44 is the exception and is really sort of a euro-wargame that plays two matches in a bit over an hour.
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Leo Zappa
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You haven't played wargames up to now, and you want to get into them with your teen son. In that case, Memoir '44 is a fine choice. It has hexes, line of sight, ranged combat, terrain effects - a great training ground for the aspiring wargamer. It's also well supported and has plenty of expansions that slowly layer more detail onto the system. I've been playing wargames since the '70's, and I'll vouch for M44 as a great start into the hobby.
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jsgross wrote:
Been playing mostly euro games. Looking to buy a wargame. Primary players would be me and a 15 yr old son. Might want to play with more than 2 occasionally but not very often. Don't want something too heavy.

Leaning towards Tide of Iron because it can play 2-4 but would buy Memoir 44 if it is a much better games.


BTW - M'44 supports 2 to 6 players playing in two teams, so no concern regarding having more than 2 players on occasion. And of course, if you go to playing Overlord with 2 sets, you can play up to 8 people (4 per team) - it's a lot of fun!
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Memoir '44 is currently my favourite game, so it would be odd for me not to recommend it. Get it now!
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Jeff Gross
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Thanks for all the info. Based on what I've read, I'm going to go ahead and pick up Memoir 44. Then, I will look into the other games that were mentioned.
 
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David
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Make sure you check out Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel. I sold Memoir 44 as it doesn't hold a candle to COH. Having said that your son may enjoy Memoir as a primer for more meatier games.
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Mike M
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It may be too late but I'll also push for Conflict of Heroes. It is easy to learn, yet still is a real wargame in which you employ real tactical principles. And it doesn't involve plastic army men (but does have excellent components).
 
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Thales Martins
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I would go with Conflict of Heroes, because there is the possibility to play with 4, 2x2, or Axis & Allies, for more players.
If you just want a 1x1 game then I would recommend, Combat Commander, or Command & Colors, but it is not a WWII game. Remembering that those 2 are more dificulty.
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Bartow Riggs
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I much prefer C&C: Ancients but I think based upon your criteria Memoir 44 is a great choice.

But it really isn't a wargame except in theme and the system is much better suited for Ancients theme than WWII.

Personally, I would get Washington's War if I were you.
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Leo Zappa
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Sheep wrote:
It may be too late but I'll also push for Conflict of Heroes. It is easy to learn, yet still is a real wargame in which you employ real tactical principles. And it doesn't involve plastic army men (but does have excellent components).


Why do people always take shots at the use of plastic soldiers in this game? Here is the exact same information provided by the M'44 plastic soldiers and the rules of the game, if you reimagine them as traditional "wargaming" counters...



If the game came with counters like these, instead of plastic soldiers, does it all of a sudden make this a better game, or a "real wargame"? I've played traditional wargames since the 70's, and I frankly think the way this info is communicated in M'44 is far more elegant than had Borg and DOW gone the traditional counter route. Now, truth be told, I'd actually be OK either way, but my point is that the same information is conveyed using either method, and I don't see why use of the more elegant method is frowned upon by some. That is, unless some people are uncomfortable playing a game with plastic army men, lest they and their game not be taken seriously enough by bystanders. Not a problem for me, since I know that either way, I'm just playing a game, but maybe others feel differently?
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Mike M
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desertfox2004 wrote:
Sheep wrote:
It may be too late but I'll also push for Conflict of Heroes. It is easy to learn, yet still is a real wargame in which you employ real tactical principles. And it doesn't involve plastic army men (but does have excellent components).


Why do people always take shots at the use of plastic soldiers in this game? Here is the exact same information provided by the M'44 plastic soldiers and the rules of the game, if you reimagine them as traditional "wargaming" counters...


Sorry, it was a cheap shot and I apologize.

Plastic vs. counters/blocks doesn't really affect my enjoyment of a game either. I do have a preference for blocks over plastic after playing both BattleLore and C&C:A extensively but that may have more to do with the unit diversity the blocks allow. But then I couldn't imagine playing War of the Ring without the plastic miniatures. And my positive opinion of counters is mostly confined to Conflict of Heroes' 1" counters combined with a ruleset that doesn't require much stacking.
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Richard Sampson
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desertfox2004 wrote:

Why do people always take shots at the use of plastic soldiers in this game?

My personal issue with the plastic pieces in general is it takes so freaking long to set up and move the pieces, and they don't have any info on them. If they were little chits, I could put them on the board and be ready to play in no time, and then move them easily without worrying about them falling over. Also the plastic takes up too much room on the hex. It's not a problem most of the time, but the 4-tank groups are annoying and we usually put a marker out and replace it once a tank is destroyed. Another major issue (and this is a much bigger problem in ToI) is they don't have info on them so you have constantly to look at a chart. In M44, there are so few types (in the base game) that it is pretty easy to memorize how they move and fire, but when there are several types of units or you are learning the game, you spend a lot of time looking up information (which is almost always present on chits). For the most part, M44 is not too bad in these areas so I enjoy it, but these are pretty much the reasons why ToI never comes out anymore.
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ras2124 wrote:
desertfox2004 wrote:

Why do people always take shots at the use of plastic soldiers in this game?

My personal issue with the plastic pieces in general is it takes so freaking long to set up and move the pieces, and they don't have any info on them. If they were little chits, I could put them on the board and be ready to play in no time, and then move them easily without worrying about them falling over. Also the plastic takes up too much room on the hex. It's not a problem most of the time, but the 4-tank groups are annoying and we usually put a marker out and replace it once a tank is destroyed. Another major issue (and this is a much bigger problem in ToI) is they don't have info on them so you have constantly to look at a chart. In M44, there are so few types (in the base game) that it is pretty easy to memorize how they move and fire, but when there are several types of units or you are learning the game, you spend a lot of time looking up information (which is almost always present on chits). For the most part, M44 is not too bad in these areas so I enjoy it, but these are pretty much the reasons why ToI never comes out anymore.


I agree that as unit types multiply, the plastic guy format with associated unit capability charts becomes more and more unwieldy. With M44, as you note, there are only 3 basic types of units, so plastic pieces are manageable. The block with symbol format used in C&C Ancients allows the system to work with more unit types, since more info is conveyed on the sticker (it is essentially a stand-up counter). An advanced M44 with stickered blocks might be a cool idea!
 
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Leo Zappa
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BTW - since I noted that I used this expression twice in this thread already, I figured I might as well make fun of myself before someone else does...



Yeah, I'm just another crusty ol' wargamer...
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Judd Vance
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jsgross wrote:
Been playing mostly euro games. Looking to buy a wargame. Primary players would be me and a 15 yr old son. Might want to play with more than 2 occasionally but not very often. Don't want something too heavy.

Leaning towards Tide of Iron because it can play 2-4 but would buy Memoir 44 if it is a much better games.



If you are used to Euros, I'm going to guess you like the easy rules and simplicity of the game play (not an insult -- an observation, I play them, also).

In that case, I would say Memoir. If you like that, then work your way up to the other. I think you'll really like Memoir.
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Judd Vance
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da pyrate wrote:
A wargame?

Hmmm?

I have been playing wargames for 30 years and don't think that Memoir is really a wargame. It is a fine game but too much detail has been abstracted for the sake of simplicity that the simulation value is highly lacking.



I asked a buddy a few weeks ago if he thought Memoir would be classified as Ameritrash, since it seems to have some of the same things: chrome, theme, and lady luck. Upon much consideration, he said he thought it would be more of a wargame than Ameritrash.

I tend to agree. It isn't as detailed as many of my Avalon Hill and Victory Game standards, but I figure just because One-Page Bulge isn't as complex as The Battle of the Bulge doesn't move it to another category, just like Bulge doesn't suddenly become "not a wargame" because it's not as complex as The Longest Day.

Them's my thoughts. But opinions are like bungholes: everyone has one and they usually stink.
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Jay Sheely
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I'ld get Tide of Iron if you're concerned with 'outgrowing' your chosen game too quickly. Memoir was terrific fun that we really got tired of in less than 10 plays.
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