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Subject: Suggestions for a tactical combat game for 2+ players rss

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Vivienne Raper
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My husband and I are looking for a tactical combat game. Our ideal criteria are:

1. Good with 2 players, but can be played by more
2. Themed fantasy/sci-fi or horror. No historical battles, e.g. WW2
3. Needs a board - I hate crawling about on the floor with rulers to calculate line of sight, etc.
4. Ideally uses a small number of troops. Again, I don't enjoy spending hours setting out an army of 400 zombies
5. Maximum 4 hours playtime background.

For background, we own Descent and love the fighting/tactical combat system, big miniatures and fighting through dungeons. But we find Descent gets nasty very quickly because we play viciously to win and the dungeon master/overlord can make moves the heroes can't plan around. For example, playing traps, unpredictably speeding up monsters or turning heroes against each other. This feels like the overlord is cheating: kind of "When you carefully positioned your army to outwit me, did you seriously expect a battle? Sucker! I have the giant, unexpected falling anvil of doom that will kill all your troops before they can fire a single shot. Game over. I win because I am cleverer than you."
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Ed
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Earth Reborn
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Vivienne Raper
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ed95005 wrote:


Looks promising - will check it out! Any other suggestions?
 
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Yep, absolutely Earth Reborn.

I already made this decision for you and kindly provide a short list of what you are now required to do

1) klick link above
2) browse pictures, read reviews
3) realize that this game offers everything you wanted and more
4) get excited
5) get really excited
6) come to the conclusion you needed this game yesterday
7) race to your FLGS and buy it
8) race back home and rip open the shrinkwrap
9) start reading the rules for the first scenario
10) set up the first scenario and force the very first person you encounter to be your opponent
11) Enjoy a ton of fun and the probably best tactical miniature boardgame you can get at the moment.
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Ron
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Space Empires: 4X would meet your criteria meeple
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gelo adrao
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I suggest summoner wars, it's cheap, quick and expandable if you want.
 
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David Robert
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Have a look at BattleLore as well. Though it as a healthy amount of figurines, you can play smaller scenarios and cut down on setup time. Other than that, it seems to meet all your criteria and I've yet to play a game that didn't leave me intrigued and immensely satisfied. Only downside would be it's OOP and you'd need two copies to play it with more than two people. Come to think of it, those may be some pretty hefty downsides. Still, it's well worth having at least a look at. Fantastic game.
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Brian McCormick
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Get Earth Reborn if "tactical" is important to you. The game is less-so a "game" and more-so a "game system". There are so many rules packed into the base set that it feels like it came with several expansions (a common sentiment among ER fans). It's also sci-fi/kinda horror (includes zombies, torture, and cheesiness). It plays from 2-4 players, and there is no "overlord", just a good ol' brawl. If the idea of blowing up a wall, running in through the hole behind an enemy, and then stabbing them in the back all in one action sounds cool to you, then Earth Reborn is the way to go.
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Alexei Gartinski
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Try playing Descent without the Overlord, but pitching a team of Heroes against each other. Basically allow each team to draw the Overlord cards and spawn "friendly" monsters. You can have any objectives: to kill all members of the opposing team, to find and capture a treasure, to escape the dungeon, you name it... Here's your perfect tactical combat!
 
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David Dixon
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One word for you: HEROSCAPE.

Ahem.

Good with two players--yup.

Themed fantasy/sci-fi/horror--yep, and robots, and vikings, and elves, and dragons, and giant bugs, and zombies, and the Wild West and...

It doesn't have a "board" per se, but it uses a customizable system of plastic hexes which make range calculation and movement (you can leave your tape measure in the tool box).

Small number of troops--again, yes, although you can grow your army choices as large as you like, you'll never field more than a few squads at a time.

Maximum 4 hours playtime--you can play a few games in 4 hours, even if you've never played before.

I cannot recommend this game highly enough.

Diis
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veemonroe wrote:
My husband and I are looking for a tactical combat game. Our ideal criteria are:

1. Good with 2 players, but can be played by more
2. Themed fantasy/sci-fi or horror. No historical battles, e.g. WW2
3. Needs a board - I hate crawling about on the floor with rulers to calculate line of sight, etc.
4. Ideally uses a small number of troops. Again, I don't enjoy spending hours setting out an army of 400 zombies
5. Maximum 4 hours playtime background.

...


OK, four out of five gives you Necromunda: it doesn't have a board (so yes, you do need to check line of sight but not necessarily on the floor) but it does have scenery and clicks on everything else on your list. Of course, some figures would be useful (rather than cardboard chits) but if you are playing with husband and friends you don't have to get GW's horrendously priced minis -- I'm sure you could find reasonably cheap substitutes (and you won't need more than a dozen for each side unless you are very lucky).
 
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Martin Larouche
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Dust Tactics, maybe?

It's WWII, so it goes against your criteria of non-WWII... but then it's a WWII with lasers, mechas, plasma guns, power armors and some aliens that will be released probably next year.
 
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Jim Wilde
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Summoner Wars is my recommendation. It's a fantastic and simple tactical combat system that uses cards instead of miniatures. Each card represents a single combatant, though there are also cards for spells and other events that happen during the battle. The game is fantasy themed, and each army has an entirely different feel to it. A game can be played in an hour to an hour and a half with 2 players. Multi-player games are possible, though it slows down the game significantly. The game is at its best with 2 players.

The game is extremely portable too, mainly because the board that comes with the base game is basically a heavy paper board. There is, however, a solid cardboard type board that is available. Also, Summoner Wars: Master Set is due out any time... haven't seen it here yet anyway. It comes with the nice board and new factions. Can't wait to get it.

I don't know anything about Earth Reborn, so I cannot compare the two games. I just know that my wife likes Summoner Wars even though she's a non-gamer. It's simply a great game that I feel you should look into.

Hope this helps!
 
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Shane Larsen
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It is Earth Reborn.
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Rodney Sheldon
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How about Battle of Westeros? It is the revamped Battle Lore. It is based on the Song of Ice and Fire books by George RR Martin. It is an excellent tactical fantasy game. cool
 
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Johan Haglert
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Perturabo wrote:
Yep, absolutely Earth Reborn.

I already made this decision for you and kindly provide a short list of what you are now required to do

1) klick link above
2) browse pictures, read reviews
3) realize that this game offers everything you wanted and more
4) get excited
5) get really excited
6) come to the conclusion you needed this game yesterday
7) race to your FLGS and buy it
8) race back home and rip open the shrinkwrap
9) start reading the rules for the first scenario
10) set up the first scenario and force the very first person you encounter to be your opponent
11) Enjoy a ton of fun and the probably best tactical miniature boardgame you can get at the moment.
How long do you feel the scenarios last and how many times do you think it's ok to play them again? I suppose one at each side atleast is ok.

I know the map don't seem that repetitive through out all the scenarios bot do you feel it's a game you can play over and over again or is the fun in playing through each scenario/story and that's it?

I would agree though, I'm willing to try it out myself even though I think the cards look bad and would prefer more / different units. But the whole experience seem awesome. I know for instance Drakkenstrike traded it away for someone who traded it away though .. and that some feel it's too much setup.
 
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aliquis wrote:
How long do you feel the scenarios last and how many times do you think it's ok to play them again? I suppose one at each side atleast is ok.


The length of the scenarios is highly different. As the 9 scenarios provided are basically nothing more than a very extensive tutorial length increases with increasing scenario number. The first one lasts around 45-60 minutes whereas for the sixth one you should expect something between 2-3 hours.
Repeated play is not a problem. I myself introduced the game to several friends and therefore played scenarios 1-3 (especially 3) quite often. While you exactly know the victory conditions the game itself will probably unfold very different to the one before, because there are so many possible approaches.
Examples: victory condition in scenario 2 is getting the salemite professor across the map into his laboratory.
Outcomes I experienced:
- the professur ran like hell, forcing the NORAD player to react quickly
- he stayed behind, hidden and in cover behind a tree, letting his bodyguards take care of the enemies and then entered the laboratory
- he moved together with his zombie bodyguards when NORAD chose not to confront him directly but instead set up a trap and wait inside the building for him to enter (which didn't work because Jack Saw created a new door)

And that is scenario 2, using only four basic rules.

aliquis wrote:
I know the map don't seem that repetitive through out all the scenarios bot do you feel it's a game you can play over and over again or is the fun in playing through each scenario/story and that's it?


There is a Scenario Auto Generating System (SAGS in short) provided in the last section of the rulebook. I couldn't try it myself yet due to the everchanging opponents but say is that it creates very good random scenarios which are fun to play. So yes, I think it is a game you can play over and over again. Already the included scenarios provide a ton of replayability thanks to the multitude of options once you leave the basic rules (movement, LOS, shooting, interrupting).

aliquis wrote:
I would agree though, I'm willing to try it out myself even though I think the cards look bad and would prefer more / different units. But the whole experience seem awesome. I know for instance Drakkenstrike traded it away for someone who traded it away though ..


Unit variety is indeed small, but thanks to the different equipment and character special abilites their actual purpose in the game can vary a great deal. So far no complaints, however I would buy an expansion with more units in it as soon as I could get my hands on it. Just for the sake of having more units to choose from (as if there are not enough options...).
The cards are indeed not the nicest design but they are ok. Once "ingame" you won't notice their looks anymore.


aliquis wrote:
(..) and that some feel it's too much setup.

True. Setup IS a pain. But that's true for every single miniature game with a modular game board. Space Hulk, Doom, Descent, Hybrid - they all need their time. But for Earth Reborn I gladly pay the price because I know I'm in for an awesome experience.
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