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Colin Hunter
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Auckland
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To approach the Other in conversation is to welcome his expression, in which at each instant he overflows the idea a thought would carry away from it. It is therefore to receive from the Other beyond the capacity of the I...
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In this episode Colin and Paul discuss WWII Tactical Wargames, including Advanced Squad Leader, Advanced Tobruk System, Lock’n Load, Conflict of Heroes, Combat Commander, TCS, Panzer Grenadier and others. This episode also features Moritz Eggert, reviewing Combat Commander. There is also a new contest to win a copy of ATS Stalingrad Large Hex edition.

Link to podcast
http://thenoisebeforedefeat.podbean.com/2010/06/03/episode-1...

You can enter the competition by posting under the the contest post with the appropriate answer.
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Colin Hunter
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To approach the Other in conversation is to welcome his expression, in which at each instant he overflows the idea a thought would carry away from it. It is therefore to receive from the Other beyond the capacity of the I...
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Re: The Noise Before Defeat Episode 10 - WWII Tactical Game and Contest for ATS Stalingrad
I have made a separate post for entry into the contest. You can find it here.
http://thenoisebeforedefeat.podbean.com/2010/06/03/episode-1...

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Paul Franklin
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Wow, up to 10 (not including lost episodes). Thanks for all your work on this episode Colin!
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M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N
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Mein Luftkissenfahrzeug ist voller Aale
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My favorite part was when that hot sounding girl tells the story about how she got soooo excited when she finally won a game of ASL that her top flew off.

Keep up the great work.
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Paul Franklin
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Yeah, well we have that effect on women. They can't resist us wargamers.
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M King
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Just curious--why was Up Front included, but other man-to-man games were excluded as being "skirmish" games? Up Front seems about as skirmish level as you can get.

Also, you seem to have a bias for rules-heavy games. The lighter the game, even if it is as elegant and flavor-full as Conflict of Heroes, the less you seem to like it. What's up with that?
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Paul Franklin
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We excluded other skirmish games because we were trying to stick to strictly tactical games. Skirmish games have a different flavor and may even find their own podcast at some point in the near future. Although, come to think of it, are there a lot of skirmish level wargames? There are a couple, but not many that I can think of off the top of my head. But that's never really been my arena either.

I won't presume to speak for Colin, but I just enjoy heavier games. You could argue that Conflict of Heroes and Panzer Grenadier, while at different scopes (squad v. platoon) have about the same number of pages of rules, and PG might even be easier, rules-wise.

For now, I'm off to order GD '42 and see when Colin and I can squeeze a game in.
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Colin Hunter
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To approach the Other in conversation is to welcome his expression, in which at each instant he overflows the idea a thought would carry away from it. It is therefore to receive from the Other beyond the capacity of the I...
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I just typed a response and now I lost it by typing cancel. Ok I'mg going to paraphrase my response.
oneoldgamer wrote:
Just curious--why was Up Front included, but other man-to-man games were excluded as being "skirmish" games? Up Front seems about as skirmish level as you can get.
Largely because upfront is awesome Not really, more because it had been ages since I played and I forgot that it was skirmish, although maybe I could make an argument that it is actually effectively a fire team game

Also upfront is quite a seminal game and I've played it. I haven't played many skirmish games, although I own ambush.
Quote:

Also, you seem to have a bias for rules-heavy games. The lighter the game, even if it is as elegant and flavor-full as Conflict of Heroes, the less you seem to like it. What's up with that?
I had a big long response to this, but a couple points. Firstly i like good light games, in particular Combat Commander, I'd say I like about as much as ASL, I just didn't talk about it because Moritz was going to. Secondly I don't have a problem with light games, but their lack of rules is not much of a benefit for me personally, so I don't see that as an attraction over other games, it is neutral (largely). So the reason I don't like CoH, it just isn't fun for me, whether that is a combination of lack of depth, large amounts of luck, lack of tension, lack of historic feel, gameyness or what ever else, it just isn't something I want to play all the time. Is it a good game? sure, it meets the needs of its target market superbly. It just isn't a supernaturally good game for me.

For the record my three favourites are
1st TCS
2nd equal ASL and Combat Commander
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M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N
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oneoldgamer wrote:

Also, you seem to have a bias for rules-heavy games. The lighter the game, even if it is as elegant and flavor-full as Conflict of Heroes, the less you seem to like it. What's up with that?


Funny thing about CoH........I find it completely devoid of "flavor"....
I've eaten Mexican food that has more WW2 chrome than this game

The game seems like one of those love it or hate it deals.......
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Paul Franklin
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At the risk of alienating some of our listeners, I agree with you Tony. It didn't feel like much when I played it either.

That being said, my first time through TCS I didn't really enjoy the game. In fact, that's actually true for more than a few games. I'm starting to learn that I need to go back and try them a couple of times before I can make a full judgement.

I would happily play Conflict of Heroes again, given the opportunity. I'll reserve any further judgements on it until then.
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David Rauscher
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Mount Victoria
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To be fair, Colin was quite enamored of Warriors of God, which has a very simple ruleset, but quite complex play. A game which was reviewed in one of the lost episodes (3?).

I think the problem is that "simple" rarely works in wargames. There are a few exceptions, but simple wargames tend to really be more war-themed games in my mind. What people want captured in a wargame - either directly in the rules or in the "feel" of the game - simply requires more complexity, particularly for a strong "conflict simulation" game.

With regards to Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42, I think that's one of the difficulties with CoH for some of the experienced gamers. There is an elegance to CoH's ruleset, but the feel of gameplay can break down in some scenarios, and a certain gaminess creeps in. I generally felt that was an okay sacrifice for the straight-forward gameplay, though I do wish the scenario design was stronger - some are good but others are really weak. So I can understand why a some war gamers are a bit underwhelmed by CoH, but also why people can feel a bit frustrated by the apparent dismissiveness.
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M King
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I don't understand how people can accuse COH of gaminess and not find CC:E gamey. To me it seems to rely very little on your use of correct tactics, and everything to do with how well you play the card game part of the design. I think what bugs me the most about CC:E is the fact that the whole card activation system which worked so well in Up Front, seems really intrusive at the higher scale of CCE. I can imagine a squad all ducking their heads and being unable to fire. But an entire company suddenly going silent as enemy troops advance on them...that seems odd to me.
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Colin Hunter
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To approach the Other in conversation is to welcome his expression, in which at each instant he overflows the idea a thought would carry away from it. It is therefore to receive from the Other beyond the capacity of the I...
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oneoldgamer wrote:
I don't understand how people can accuse COH of gaminess and not find CC:E gamey. To me it seems to rely very little on your use of correct tactics, and everything to do with how well you play the card game part of the design. I think what bugs me the most about CC:E is the fact that the whole card activation system which worked so well in Up Front, seems really intrusive at the higher scale of CCE. I can imagine a squad all ducking their heads and being unable to fire. But an entire company suddenly going silent as enemy troops advance on them...that seems odd to me.
To be honest, gamey isn't my primary complaint, it is that CoH is not particularly interesting to play. I agree to some extent that CC:E has some gameyness. The difference to me, is that CC:E has a clear intent behind its design and how/what it chooses to simulate. I don't get that from CoH really. To me the intent is about making a tactical game that is easy to play and has a resource mechanic. Something like TCS for example clearly has a design intent around staff work and command, CC:E the chaos of squad level combat, etc... I don't think it is necessary for a game by any means to have such clearly defined parameters. At the end of the day though, it is the criticism I'm least concerned about. There is much more risk management and interesting play for me personally in something like CC:E than there is in CoH. Obviously it is personal taste right?

If you feel being unable to fire ruins the game fine, both games though are reasonably gamey in this regard. I mean you get exactly the same thing in CoH as you do in CCE an entire platoon (neither game features companies to be honest very often) can be silent because you ran out of CAP. Sure good play would prevent this, as it would in CCE.
edit: On further reflection I see what you are getting at, but the super hero thing in CoH is equally annoying for me.

The point is games are amalgamations of many different features. For me the relatively shallow nature of CoH compared to many of the other games is a big turn off, there is much less for me to consider and hence it is less interesting to play for me personally. That doesn't mean there is nothing to consider or even that this is a bad thing, but out of personal taste I like games with scale and a lot going on. This probably why I like TCS best out of all the games to be honest, although a massive ASL game is quite appealing devil

Really when it comes down to feel, we can only point to our own experience and own sensibilities. We can point out things that are or are not games in any game, but what matters is how feel when we play it. If you play CC:E and find it gamey, fine, I have no beef with that, but don't tell me the CoH is any different in that regard.
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James Lowry
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On the beginning notes -

Yes, the Avalon Hill version of Napoleon used the exact same blocks as the Gamma Two version.

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Paul Franklin
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Cool, I was wondering about that (re: Episode 9 - Block Games). I don't know that Avalon Hill published all that many block games. This must have been one of the few I'm guessing.
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