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Subject: Wargames with the best components? rss

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Ryan Jenkinson
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After 2 years of beginning my board game hobby, I've finally began to look into wargaming. I've found I like more and more complex games and realized wargames are a whole new genre I know nothing about. So now I'm in search of a 1-2 player wargame for a relative beginner that isn't afraid of complex rules but would still like the game to somewhat ease you into its complexity and is intuitive.

Now that I've begun my research, I see most of the greatest wargames are decades old, out of print, and (no offense) don't look very pretty. I'm not saying they don't have amazing gameplay... but for my first wargame, I want it to look good too

So, with my initial research, I've found that this may be a great choice for my first game that fits all of above: Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943.

It's got great art on the boards, multiple maps, the chits are very informative and have nice images, it's user-friendly without needing tables or charts, and the game slowly introduces you to it's complexity in layers with the included scenarios.

What do you guys think? What wargames do you stare at in awe when it's all set up on the table? And don't think that your definition of great components has to fit mine... if you have your own opinions, lets hear them!
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Joel Langenfeld
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transcend11 wrote:
After 2 years of beginning my board game hobby, I've finally began to look into wargaming. I've found I like more and more complex games and realized wargames are a whole new genre I know nothing about. So now I'm in search of a 1-2 player wargame for a relative beginner that isn't afraid of complex rules but would still like the game to somewhat ease you into its complexity and is intuitive.

Now that I've begun my research, I see most of the greatest wargames are decades old, out of print, and (no offense) don't look very pretty. I'm not saying they don't have amazing gameplay... but for my first wargame, I want it to look good

So, with my initial research, I've found that this may be a great choice for my first game that fits all of above: Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943.

It's got great art on the boards, multiple maps, the chits are very informative and have nice images, it's user-friendly without needing tables or charts, and the game slowly introduces you to it's complexity in layers with the included scenarios.

What do you guys think? What wargames do you stare at in awe when it's all set up on the table? And don't think that your definition of great components has to fit mine... if you have your own opinions, lets hear them!

While there's certainly nothing wrong with an attractive visual presentation, the eye-candy is far below "Usability", "Playability", and "Affordability" in my list of priorities.
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Konstantinos
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SkunkyBeer wrote:

While there's certainly nothing wrong with an attractive visual presentation, the eye-candy is far below "Usability", "Playability", and "Affordability" in my list of priorities.

i totally agree with you but, Triumph of Chaos looks awesome
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Bill Lawson
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Mark Christopher
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Napoleon's Triumph. Absolutely gorgeous when it's all set up.

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Ryan Jenkinson
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SkunkyBeer wrote:

While there's certainly nothing wrong with an attractive visual presentation, the eye-candy is far below "Usability", "Playability", and "Affordability" in my list of priorities.

Absolutely, I feel the same. I don't mean to understate the importance of everything related to gameplay, but it's a big plus if it's both a great game AND has great presentation.
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Bob
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The best component to have for most wargames is an opponent... devil

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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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transcend11 wrote:
So, with my initial research, I've found that this may be a great choice for my first game that fits all of above: Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943.
As an entry game, that's an excellent choice. The components are indeed top notch, and the game is easy to learn, so if the topic interests you I'd say go for it.
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John Brady
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For me, it's Lock n' Load/Band of Heroes...those maps are amazing, and the counter art is very nice as well. Check out the Heroes of the Blitzkreig module--productions values for that one are just unbelievable.

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Richard Savage
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I think that CoH is more than an entry game, and this from someone that's played every tactical game out there, including ASL (of course.) As you progress in the scenarios you have hidden units, smoke, mines, artillery, and now even aircraft. Also CoH has one thing that ASL doesn't....unit facing for the infantry. I'm not knocking ASL, but if you have a newbie wanting to get into wargaming, introducing him or her to the CoH games is a step in the right direction. Once they have CoH down, getting into ASLSK's or ASL proper is a much easier transition.
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Edmund Hon
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billyboy wrote:

The best component there is a big enough room and table to play Case Blue!!
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Steve Carey
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madDdog67 wrote:
For me, it's Lock n' Load/Band of Heroes...those maps are amazing, and the counter art is very nice as well. Check out the Heroes of the Blitzkreig module--productions values for that one are just unbelievable.

Or Nations at War: White Star Rising, also from LnLP, would be an excellent choice if you wanted to ease into things.
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Hunga Dunga
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transcend11 wrote:
Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943.

It's got great art on the boards, multiple maps, the chits are very informative and have nice images, it's user-friendly without needing tables or charts, and the game slowly introduces you to it's complexity in layers with the included scenarios.
CoH is a really good tactical wargame.

For me, a game has to be user-friendly. The information on the map, the counters, and any necessary charts must be clear and easy to read. That's all I ask in the looks department. Anything above that is bonus.

But if there isn't a good game lying underneath all of that, I'm not interested.
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Richard Savage
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There's a good game lying underneath that too!
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Mr Pavone
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Join the army, the wargames at NTC, JRTC and Hoenfels, Germany are excellent with real military equipment representing real military equipment!
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p55carroll
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I've looked at a lot of wargames over the past forty years, and frankly I don't think any hex-and-counter game is much for looks. All that two-dimensional paper and cardboard goes against my aesthetic grain.

That said, the best I've seen is in the Lock 'n Load series. I haven't seen CoH, but I understand it's comparable--and the BGG photos make it look darned good (for a board wargame).

Many wargamers turn to miniatures to get a pleasing visual effect and nice 3-D components. But for the best ones, you have to collect and paint them yourself (or pay through the nose to get someone else to paint them). Even then, I don't personally care much for the look.

I do like the look of a fine chess set (also backgammon, go, and other traditional games). Many Euro games look very good. Some Ameritrash games are pretty good-looking too. Wargames are generally so-so at best.

Block games are a bit of an improvement over hex-and-counter games. Still not my cup of tea, though; I don't like the way the blocks crowd the board and lap over their hexes or areas (or points, in point-to-point games).

My advice, if you're going to get into hex-and-counter wargames, is just what others above have said or hinted at: don't worry about the components. When you're playing the game, your mind and imagination will be thoroughly engaged, and the physical look of the game won't matter.

The samurai Musashi said a master swordsman does not have a favorite sword. Likewise, a chess master can do just as well with a cheap plastic set as an expensive, high-quality set. And a wargamer can delve into a game even if it has a black-and-white unmounted mapsheet and plain pink-and-blue unit-counters.

If you find the components really mean a lot to you, you'll probably gravitate toward block wargames or miniatures sooner or later.
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Chris Drake
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Does it have to be in print? Streets of Stalingrad is a beautiful game, great play aids, nice maps and nice counters. On the other hand it is complex, I've owned it twice and I wanted to play it but found it rather cumbersome (I would like to pick it up again when I retire), but it sure is nice to look at.
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Steven
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My favorite component style was referred to above: The Gamers series.

I think one of my favorite all-time set of components, though, is The Killing Ground. Downtown is really freakin' good too.
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Joel Langenfeld
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
Likewise, a chess master can do just as well with a cheap plastic set as an expensive, high-quality set.

Once upon a time I played chess competitively. What you really want is a knight that looks like a knight and a bishop that looks like a bishop. No matter how much someone shells out for the silver-plated Lord of the Rings set (with light-up Tower of Sauron!), if you can't tell the difference between Gandalf and Sauromon from across the table, your game will suffer.

Edit: Spillen
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Alan Richbourg
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The Valley Games edition of Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage is awesome. Or at least mine is, since I have painted minis, that were only available pre-order.
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Enrico Viglino
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'best' is very subjective.

I still really like the old SPI games, with the drab
matte maps and counters.

On the other hand, there's something nice about full color printing too -
although it usually comes with a lot of annoyance in terms of slippery
counters and maps.

All told, I think I'd rank Terrible Swift Sword: Battle of Gettysburg Game as the most appealing
I've seen, with Europa Universalis on the other end (although the thin
AWE counters are a pain).
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Dan Conley
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Hard to argue with Napoleon's Triumph mentioned above!

I like the look of C&C: Ancients, especially the Epic version with all those blocks on the boards! I'm also a sucker for an Overlord setup of Memoir '44.

In terms of the actual map itself, Triumph of Chaos has been a long-time favorite.
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Hunga Dunga
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calandale wrote:
there's something nice about full color printing too -
although it usually comes with a lot of annoyance in terms of slippery
counters and maps.
Full color counters have their + and -.

On the one hand, the use of silhouettes greatly improved not only the look of games, but also the ease of identification. Moving to full color three-quarter shots of armor, well, while the counters on their own look cool, I'm not sure they add to ease of identification.
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Abe Delnore
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Oslot wrote:


i totally agree with you but, Triumph of Chaos looks awesome

I hated the look of Triumph of Chaos, specifically the counters and cards. Much too cluttered and garish. I wish the graphical style of the boxtop and map had prevailed.
 
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Thomas Heaney
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pavo6503 wrote:
Join the army, the wargames at NTC, JRTC and Hoenfels, Germany are excellent with real military equipment representing real military equipment!

Too muddy, dusty, hot, and cold . . . and they only let you play if you join their "club," and their rules when you're a member are really weird.
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