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Subject: Another New To Wargames Recommendation Thread rss

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The LawDog

California
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I know, I know, there are other threads on this. I've taken a look. And it appears the main starting places may be Hammer Of The Scots, Commands & Colors, BattleCry, and Memoir '44. However, I was looking for additional recommendations from maybe GMT, Columbia, or other similar wargame companies. I am not partial to any period or War. Blocks or Hex/Counter is fine. And definitely 2-player. I'm OK with dice-rolling and cards. Time-wise, 1-2 hours is fine, even may consider a 3-hour. Definitely feel free to recommend anything even if very long.

Low complexity obviously to start -- nothing too overwhleming. Something that is fun to play and easy to get into but nonetheless has some strategy/tactics.

My father-in-law likely will be one of my opponents and he is a a fan of the Civil War and WWII and likes Naval history. But he would need something with low complexity (like me).

Happy to take any and all recommendations, the more, the better.

Thanks in advance. And Happy Labor Day!!!
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The LawDog

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Thanks, I will check it out
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Enrico Viglino
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Eugene
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A House Divided for ACW
Midway or Victory in the Pacific for WWII naval.

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Ted Spencer
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Lake in the Hills
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Can't go wrong with No Retreat! The Russian Front. Uncomplicated, low/no stacking, solid wargaming. In print.

It's the GMT reworking of VPG's No Retreat!, which is good, too, but the GMT treatment brings together all the expansions, much better component quality and a mounted map.

There are few counters and set up is very quick. Tear down is equally quick.

You will have to think! But nothing is overwhelming. Plus, there is great support here on BGG.

I've played the game well over 30 times since January and it never fails to entertain, frustrate, educate, thrill and surprise. A great game to learn the basics, and come back to.

For what you're looking for, the only thing you're regret is how long it took to get it on your table!

That's hex & counter. For block games, try Rommel in the Desert. Also in print. An altogether different experience. Few pieces, quick set up, easy to play. Just follow the rules. In print.

In your shoes, if I had to choose between the two, I don't know which one I'd choose.

Good luck!
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Eugene
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I thought Julius Caesar was the best of the block games I had tried.
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Brad Miller
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I will second A House Divided

EDIT: And I also agree for WWII Naval. VITP is great and simple.
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Chris B
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garygarison wrote:
I thought Julius Caesar was the best of the block games I had tried.


+1
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Mike Szarka
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Windopaene wrote:
I will second A House Divided


Out of print but easy to find and an excellent choice. Doesn't matter very much which edition you get either.

A great introductory block game is War of 1812. Very easy and has great replayability. Also I agree with the suggestion of Julius Caesar which is a bit easier than Hammer of the Scots. For naval I would suggest Wooden Ships & Iron Men but as it is 35 years old I expect it has been superseded by other games (although I don't know which ones).
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Enrico Viglino
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mcszarka wrote:
For naval I would suggest Wooden Ships & Iron Men but as it is 35 years old I expect it has been superseded by other games (although I don't know which ones).


I wouldn't. The rules are rougher than they need to be,
and indeed, the game was beaten out. If you like the
sailing ships, I'd suggest Fighting Sail: Sea Combat in the Age of Canvas and Shot 1775-1815 as
the best intro (though I haven't looked at GMT's offerings
yet, even though I own them).
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Gregory Amstutz
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Nations at War Series is a pretty cool series. I've only played the first one so far, White Star Rising, but there are others. They are all quick and easy, platoon level WWII games. In essence, they are slightly stripped down/modified versions of the World at War Series
line of games, which are based on a hypothetical US/USSR WWIII scenario.
Either one of these would be a great choice, as would any of the Conflict of Heroes games, which are also WWII.

A final recommendation would be the free Print & Play wargame Valor & Victory. A less complicated example along the lines of Advanced Squad Leader. And don't let the print n play scare you - there is an authorized person on BGG who has been given license by the games creator to produce copies for sale -
Andrew Tullsen
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VANCOUVER
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Joe Thompson
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It's tough finding games that play in 1-2 hours. But worth doing, long play times can really put beginners off.

You might want to look at Waterloo 20 from VPG. That's quick and will introduce some hex and counter concepts.

Command & Colors: Ancients needs a lot of preparation the first time you play it (several hours of stickering blocks), you also need to come up with a way of organising the blocks - even if this is just using baggies. The game is accessible and fun once you get past this hurdle.

Of the Columbia block games I've had most success with Hammer of the Scots, and personally think it's better than JC. I tried Julius Caesar with 3 beginners and none of them really took to it; I think you need some familiarity with the map and where you can raise troops to guide your play.

Finally I suggest you read the rules for prospective purchases, not just reviews. You can also use vassal (vassalengine.org) to have a look at the board and get an idea of the feel of the game.
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Paul Spak
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if easy to learn, (relatively) quick & fun. My vote for ACW would be Decision Games 'Blue & Gray'. WWII suggestions would be AH's Afrika Korp, or Staligrad. Have fun!
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Lard Head
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I'll second the suggestion of the Conflict of Heroes series. They have a relatively low overall complexity to begin with and make it even easier to get rolling with their "programmed" rulebooks. You read a short section of rules and then play a firefight or two with them before returning to the book for another section. You continue that process until you have all the rules. You can also get added replay out of earlier scenarios by going back and playing them with the more advanced rules. Gameplay is quick (short scenarios play in under an hour with the longest scenarios weighing in somewhere around 3 hours, 1-2 is pretty average). The current base games in the series are Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 and Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943. Hope that helps. Good luck and happy gaming!
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bruinrefugee
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You already mentioned it, but Memoir 44 is a real good introduction into war-gaming. It's light, quick, and gives some of the flavor -- plus it's real easy to understand. My son just turned seven and he learned how to play it over the weekend; at least for now he looks like he's hooked.

Granted, it doesn't have the depth or sense of broader realism of some games -- but damn it's tactile!

Afrika Korps is an oldie but goodie that you can find on ebay for about $10 (so it takes some time to get) that has low density and some feel for North Africa. It has some real limits, but it's a nice switch into entry level hex-and-counter wargames.

Another one to think about is "Defiant Russia" from Avalanche Press. It's a relatively quick-playing (say 2 hours) tour into the Eastern Front but with a limited number of pieces. Avalanche has their issues -- and I'd recommend ignoring the ahistorical rule that the Germans can't exploit (do second attacks) on the first turn -- but it's only $19.99, so it's not terribly hard on the pocketbook either.
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Enrico Viglino
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bruinrefugee wrote:

Another one to think about is "Defiant Russia" from Avalanche Press. It's a relatively quick-playing (say 2 hours) tour into the Eastern Front but with a limited number of pieces. Avalanche has their issues -- and I'd recommend ignoring the ahistorical rule that the Germans can't exploit (do second attacks) on the first turn -- but it's only $19.99, so it's not terribly hard on the pocketbook either.


A lot of these were showing up on ebay, for far less.

I think I paid $6 for my copy (plus shipping).

Haven't seen it for a bit.
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bruinrefugee
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calandale wrote:
bruinrefugee wrote:

Another one to think about is "Defiant Russia" from Avalanche Press. It's a relatively quick-playing (say 2 hours) tour into the Eastern Front but with a limited number of pieces. Avalanche has their issues -- and I'd recommend ignoring the ahistorical rule that the Germans can't exploit (do second attacks) on the first turn -- but it's only $19.99, so it's not terribly hard on the pocketbook either.


A lot of these were showing up on ebay, for far less.

I think I paid $6 for my copy (plus shipping).

Haven't seen it for a bit.


I think I saw somewhere that it's going out of print. But I keep seeing copies floating around in various places. I think it's a fun little game -- although darn, it seems to be hard to beat the Russians. The distances just get to be too much near the end or I'm not very good. Probably a bit of both.

I forgot to mention it IS a buckets of dice game...so there's that to keep in mind too.
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Kent Reuber
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I usually recommend Yankees & Rebels and War to Axis: Warfare in Normandy from the Italian maker GIOGAMES.

Yankees and Rebels is a slightly more detailed version of Battle Cry: units are divisions and the number of figures per division varies by its manpower. Gettysburg is included, but there are generic tiles and a blank map which can be used for other battles.

War to Axis doesn't use terrain tiles, but the maps are giomorphic, allowing you to combine the maps as you like. Units are battalions and armor/AT gun companies. I've posted reviews for both the Gio Games. Rules for both games can be downloaded from the Gio Games (http://giogames.it) website.

One game which I picked up this weekend which looks entertaining is Mayfair's new game Test of Fire: Bull Run 1861. It's done by designer Martin Wallace who has dabbled in euro/wargame hybrids. Supposedly it can be played in under an hour. The rules look quite reasonable. Another interesting note in the personnel list for the game is the presence of Iron Crown Enterprises Coleman Charlton and Peter Fenlon. While ICE was known for their roleplaying, they did produce their only wargame title on the subject of Manassas.
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The LawDog

California
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Thanks for all of the great recommendations!!! You folks are great!!!
 
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Chris Heap Senhouse
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Here's what I would recommend:

Hammer of the Scots and Julius Caesar have good time length and pretty easy to digest rules, only a few special things to remember.

Hannibal is a little more complicated but is a good step up from that.

The Battles of the American Revolution series by GMT is a nice, light hex and counter system.

Commands and Colors Ancients or Napoleonics are both good and fun, 1 to 1.5 hours.

After those, I might move to Washington's War, Wilderness War, and No Retreat!

Chris
 
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The LawDog

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Thanks for the suggestions Chris
 
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Aleksije Zhukov
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You should consider Hold the Line.
 
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