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Subject: Please recommend a tabletop system for me! rss

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Anton Kratz
Japan
Yokohama
Kanagawa
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I am interested in starting tabletop wargaming with a friend.

My profile, I'm
* over 25 yrs old
* familiar with real-time strategy games on the PC
* like games involving deep strategy and/or tactics (like chess, shogi)
* like fantasy & SF (WWII is fine too, but I have no interest in other historical periods at all)

I already have one friend as a possible second player who basically fits the same profile.

I have read on BGG about several tabletop systems, but can't decide with which to start. I have never played a tabletop before but am intrigued by the whole concept. I wonder which tabletop is "best" for me, so I hope BGG can recommend me a system.

I would like to play a tabletop which involves a lot of thinking, planning and actual tactics (I don't know if such a game even exists).

I know that there are very complex cosims, but I am asking about tabletop systems in particular (no hexgrid).

I have read the Warhammer 40k 5th ed. rulebook, and although I haven't actually played it I wonder whether these rules translate into a really demanding game. Are all tabletop systems about the same in respect to strategy/tactics or are are there huge differences?

Also, I have actually no interest in assembling and painting figures (but I don't mind playing with unpainted figs), I am just interested in the gaming aspect.

It's ok if the game costs some money but I am not prepared to invest hundreds of euros. So it would be good if it has some kind of starter box available.

Systems I have read about and which I consider: Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer 40k, Confrontation 3rd ed, Confrontation Age of Ragnarok, Warmachine. Of these, which would you say has the "deepest" system? I.e. which requires the most tactical style of play. Or do you have another recommendation? Thanks!

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Reverend Redd
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Bremerton
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Warmachine. Faster, more elegant gameplay, less numbers to crunch, more focus on tactical decision-making than simply crunching the odds. Also, it promotes and rewards offensive-style play rather than defensive turtling, as is a problem with many of the other systems you mentioned. It's easy to learn, not bogged down with endless details and modifiers, and when playing it, you really get reminded of what it's like to have a set of testicles.

That's my two cents.
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Alexei Gartinski
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Amman
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Warmachine Prime Mk II no doubt! You can start with 4-5 miniatures' battlepacks and the quick start rules, gradually expanding your collection.

The game flow is quite intuitive: at first many individual capacities and their interaction might seem a bit daunting (though nothing compared to Confrontation or Warhammer ), but after a couple of games you'll be managing those of your battlegroup quite easily. Due to the varied capacities of your opponents (and numerous army combinations) the game is also highly replayable. In short, go for it!
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Kai Scheuer
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Eppelsheim
Rheinland Pfalz
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Since you're a beginner, I'd recommend a game from the "song of .." series like e.g. Song of Blades and Heroes. The rules come in PDFs and you can obtain them directly from the publishers site:
http://ganeshagames.blogspot.com/

Pros:
You may use any miniatures you come across - no specific miniatures from a certain company are needed.
Plays fast - usually less than 1 hour per match.
Simple - Units have 2 stats each that can be easily remembered after a couple of plays.

Cons:
Don't know any

All in all I'd say the song of .. series is a highly tactical tabletop, since you can make plenty of use from terrain as well as from the morale system.

If you are looking for a really challenging system, AND if you can speak/read German, I can highly recommend Level II.
Level II is a sci fi skirmish tabletop meant to be played with only a couple of fighters per side. Apart from giving you the possibility to play with any miniature you like, your fighters are customizable like in no other game:
Each fighter has a basic point value that raises (of course) according to the weapons, skills and other stuff you equip the character with.
Using the same creation mechanics you can customize crafts as well as robots.
Level II basically permits you to throw any miniature in your posession into battle and gives you the rules to do so.
Additional to the fighter customization rules, Level II is a highly tactical tabletop, since the fighters tend to bite the dust easily. So cautious advancement and partisan tactics is more advisable than standing in the open, shooting at everything that comes into sight and trusting the armor to ward off damage.
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Scott Mellon
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Confrontation is a good choice. I havne't played it, but I play the very similair AT-43, which is the sci-fi version. You can get starter boxes prepainted with IIRC 1000pts for $50US. It's a great game in which you need to consider your force construction, pre-plan your order of activiation of your units every turn, and has two different types of objectives on the board to deal with.

One objective type scores you reinforcement points, allowing you to bring more units on the table. The other objective type scores you VP's to win the game.

Only infantry can hold objectives, but vehicles are very powerful.

I've enjoyed every game I've played of it.



Warmachine is also good, but more expensive, and will require model construction at a minimum. If you don't like game winning combo's, ala magic the gathering, don't play this one.
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Gary
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I'd second Kai's suggestion of Song of Blades and Heroes as a good starting place. You just need a few dice, some figures and you can be playing in minutes.

The Games Workshop rules might be the worse choice available, given that you don't want to collect figures and want something with strategic depth.

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Slev Sleddeddan
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Victoria Park
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What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
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Keep in mind that strategy and tactics are very different animals. 40k, for example, is light on strategy, high on tactics.

GW games are all about collecting/painting. They do give you access to a wide range of opponents once you have painted armies, but if it's not what you're into, it's not worth the price of admission. They're also mostly tactics over strategy (with a few exceptions like Epic and Warmaster).

Confrontation and Warmachine have more strategy, but are still tactical games by dint of their style. They are less focused on the painting/collecting aspect.

You're ideal game, however, perfectly describes Hordes of the Things.
 
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Chris Schenck
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Dayton
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If you're not absolutely dedicated to having miniatures, and you're willing to work with cards instead,
you should check out Battleground.

This game provides a rich tabletop wargame experience at a very low price. It's highly portable from location to location, and stores very compactly when not in use. What other tabletop system allows you to pick up a whole new army for less than 15 dollars (12 euros)?

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Urmas Kask
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Classic Battletech is probably my absolute favorite in scifi themed tabletops.

If you are looking for something more current, I've heard a few good things being said about Monsterpocalypse.
 
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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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agashamirv wrote:
Confrontation is a good choice. I havne't played it, but I play the very similair AT-43, which is the sci-fi version.

I'll second that.
-ruleset is great
-pre-painted minis' quality is in the top tier (though IMO the AT-43 minis look better than the Conf. )
-with one base box you have everything to play several sessions at once. No dyi, no painting, no nothing.
-theme-heavy (for both AT-43 and Conf.)
-cost is decent
 
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Charles Sutheland
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Kennett
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Good day,

For tactics and a good feel for a little more realistic system I would second the Stargrunt 2 system.

Pros-
The rules are free
heavy emphasis on leadership, morale and troop quality
Solid rules for artillery, snipers, medics, support, campaign
Can fit any time period from WWII to sci-fi
You can use any minatures/figures you want
Lots of resources on the net for house rules and settings
no points system

Cons-
Wont have all the flashy bits of some of the other systems
Requires a little work to get your setting up and runnin
no points system

We have really enoyed it in both sci-fi, WW2 and modern settings. Best squad level tabletop system I have played hands down. Just takes a little time and practice to get the hang of things.

Charles
 
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Brian Kassler
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I have to chime in for Classic Battletech. Excellent, and it only gets better with the addition of vehicles and infantry. However, it does use a hex grip map. (Still one of my favorites, though)

I also recommend Battlefleet Gothic. It is a GW game (sorry... ) and is part of the specialist games line, which means it cane be a little difficult to find anywhere but from GW. On the other hand, all the rules, markers, and templates you need can be downloaded from their website. All you need to buy are minis. It is/was one of the best games that GW made. Elegant system, games flow very well. It does emphasize tactics over strategy, though. Still, I highly recommend it and wish I could get it to the table more often...
 
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Vernon Evenhuis
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+1 for Song of Blades and Heroes. It can be used with any fantasy minis you have and is great for beginners. It's also very fun!
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Chris Turner
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Good Luck, it's a really difficult type of game to get into but can be well worth it.

My top choice for you would be AT-43 by Rackham. AT-43's system is extremely fun, uses a modern turn sequence I find is better than Warhammer40K and the miniatures are cheaper and already painted.

Warhammer 40K is about getting a ton of miniatures on the table and then clumping them together into a giant close combat in the middle of the board. I'd say it's de-evolved from it's roots since 2nd edition.

Confrontation 3.5 is the deepest system of those you listed from what I've played (All but Warmachine, which looks good but simple). You will need to find the miniatures and put them together (not easy) and if you want the full experience-- paint them.

Warhammer Fantasy Battle is very fun, even with it's antiquated turn sequence. You need a LOT of miniatures for the game.

Blood Bowl is extremely tactical-- but it's a Football/Rugby game with fantasy monsters. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/15985/blood-bowl-livi...

Don't discount the Lord of the Rings battle game either.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3563/lord-of-the-ring...
 
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Charles Bame
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Well, here's another vote for Warmachine. It is relatively inexpensive to get started and the setting is just SO BIZARRE - I love it!
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