Severus Snape
Canada
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"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me." Blaise Pascal
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"There is yet faith, but the faith and the hope and the love are all in the waiting." T.S. Elliot
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There are ~300 pages of supporting evidence included with the boardgame
.

Really. I guess I missed it in your review. Maybe because I had to scroll through all those pages of "supporting evidence."

I realize that the internet makes it difficult to do this sort of thing (list detailed supporting evidence in a way that makes it possible for people to follow an argument), but I have seen too many reviews that list the rules, sing kumbiya, and then invite others to come along on the rah-rah bandwagon. And woe be to those who beg to differ.

Michael, of course you love the game, and have every right to love the game. Likely, when I receive my copy, I will embrace it; I will be shocked, and out a lot of money, if I do not.

But why is it that when someone's opinion is challenged, in this case yours, do people get all huffy and puffy, in this case you? If you are going to make such strong assertions, then don't get your back up if someone insist that your prove it. If you cannot do this, stop writing reviews. If you only want people who agree with you, set up your own website and only allow the right kind of people to enter your cyber doorway.

The internet makes it wonderfully easy to share opinions, and terribly difficult to do hard thinking. And if we did not insult each other, I imagine half the traffic would shut down in a heartbeat.

Sphere does not like the idea of people jumping on the "got my game today bandwagon," as if these few minutes of harmless fun will ruin anyone's day. My pet peeve is the poorly supported argument, which passes for most of the "reviews" on BGG. And when those poor reviews are filmed, now you are really rocking.

Michael, I will leave you to your game and your the Lost Battles' fan club. Naysayers, even those who like Lost Battles, are not allowed around these parts.

goo



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Michael Akinde
Norway
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bentlarsen wrote:
But why is it that when someone's opinion is challenged, in this case yours, do people get all huffy and puffy, in this case you?
Huffy? I'm not quite sure where you get that from, but of course tone is hard to communicate through writing.

Now if I could meet you at a Con over a drink, I'd be more than happy to discuss for hours on why the historical quality of LB is so excellent. Probably way more hours than is healthy. On a message board - sorry, but I just don't have the time to summarize that much information - particularly not when there already exists an excellent book + several years worth of public discussion on the Strategos and LB mailing lists covering the subject in far more detail than I could ever hope to do. If you wish for the supporting arguments, read the book. Browse the mailing lists. And - of course - make your own decision.

That I state in a review that LB has the highest historical quality of the ancient battles game I've played does not make it a fact; like all reviews, it is an opinion - nothing more, nothing less.
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Andreas Lundin
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like all reviews, it is an opinion - nothing more, nothing less.
Surprising how few people understand this, and act accordingly.
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Jef Addley
United Kingdom
Leatherhead
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bishuk wrote:
bentlarsen wrote:
I always appreciate people who say that they are not going to knock something and then they go and promptly do it. Which you did.

I don't get it, where did he knock any other games?

All he did was mention some others he has played which sets a context to his gaming background. At the start of the post he has come right out and stated his 'bias' but also only mentions these other games in an attempt to show where LB is different.

I had already bought the game before I read this review so have no particular axe to grind but I can't agree with your assessment of the posters intentions.
Dont get it either .. didnt see him knock any other game.. may be a bit gung ho pro LB but thats all

..and having got my copy now i am starting to feel the same way
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Stefan Koller
United States
Austin
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Strategy wrote:
bentlarsen wrote:
But why is it that when someone's opinion is challenged, in this case yours, do people get all huffy and puffy, in this case you?
Huffy? I'm not quite sure where you get that from, but of course tone is hard to communicate through writing.

Now if I could meet you at a Con over a drink, I'd be more than happy to discuss for hours on why the historical quality of LB is so excellent. Probably way more hours than is healthy. On a message board - sorry, but I just don't have the time to summarize that much information - particularly not when there already exists an excellent book + several years worth of public discussion on the Strategos and LB mailing lists covering the subject in far more detail than I could ever hope to do. If you wish for the supporting arguments, read the book. Browse the mailing lists. And - of course - make your own decision.

That I state in a review that LB has the highest historical quality of the ancient battles game I've played does not make it a fact; like all reviews, it is an opinion - nothing more, nothing less.
I think there's two different concerns here. BentLarsen picked you up on a comparative value judgement - you said the game was superior in historical accuracy to other games - and asked you to back up that value judgement. In response, you simply deferred to Sabin's own 300 page book.

But in all fairness, and without having read that book (though it, like the game, is on its way to my doorstep), I'd be vastly surprised if the book gives you a point by point comparison of LB to other game systems like GboH. And without such a point by point comparison (obviously selective, we don't want you to waste hours of your spare time here on BGG) the comparative praise for LB rings a bit hollow, especially since you made it a core assertion of your review.

You know, the issue is less: whether or not all of us are inclined to believe you (I believe we are), the issue is simply that we'd like to have reasons to do so, because that is essential in the critical appraisal about such beliefs - whether one's own or someone else's. And not only is opening up beliefs to critical appraisal what reviews are all about, it's also pretty much the corner stone of ancient philosophy, if I may add so.

"The unexamined boardgame review is not worth writing"

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Michael Akinde
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Windjammer wrote:
But in all fairness, and without having read that book (though it, like the game, is on its way to my doorstep), I'd be vastly surprised if the book gives you a point by point comparison of LB to other game systems like GboH.
The book gives you a detailed breakdown as to why and how the game is designed the way it is. There may not be a similar breakdown for GBoH, DBM, or most of the other systems but it certainly provides the tools required to compare and contrast what LB is trying to do with its model.

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And without such a point by point comparison (obviously selective, we don't want you to waste hours of your spare time here on BGG) the comparative praise for LB rings a bit hollow, especially since you made it a core assertion of your review.
The review already points out what I feel is the key point: games in Lost Battles very easily play out in a historical manner, simply because the historical approach will often be the best/least risky one in the game system. IMO, that in itself is impressive; I can't think of any other set of rules that manages this without adding battle-specific rules.

This is part and parcel with the other aspect I like - that LB does not encourage a-historical tactics. Of course, it "cheats" a bit compared to most other games - inasmuch as a primary reason for this feature is the choice of scale. By playing on the grand tactical level, LB avoids getting bogged down in the kind of vague an easily exploited details where historical accounts give us little useful information, e.g., why the Triarii are wasting their time in a third line, when they could be extending the battle line or fighting cavalry instead (a very common use for them in most WRG rules).

Sure, I can go into detailed mode on this kind of stuff, but frankly I find that kind of discussion pointless - especially over the internet. Peoples assessment of something so nebulous as historical evidence will inevitably have great disconnects. What you can take from the review is what I believe based on my experiences and preconceptions. If your experiences and preconceptions lead you to another conclusion, that's cool too.
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Todd Pytel
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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I've been playing LB the last few days and reading through various threads here to help clarify my thoughts about it. Your review is excellent all-around, but this particular bit toward the end really clicked for me...

Strategy wrote:
By pulling the player out to the grand tactical level, Sabin succeeds in removing most of the elements that allow players to behave in an a-historical manner, while still maintaining the interesting decisions.
This neatly summarizes a lot of what makes LB what it is. Traditionally, ancients wargamers are used to dealing with a lot more detail than the sources actually support. We want a bunch of unit types with very specific morale and combat ratings, detailed simulation of missile troops, precise rules to reflect formation, and so on. But ultimately, we don't really know all that much about those things. And the result is that most conventional ancients games give us a lot of specific rules that inevitably get twisted in ahistorical ways, which often leads to further iterations of even more specific rules to try and force the original concepts to be applied historically. It's all just rope to hang ourselves with. LB's well-researched design-for-effect approach coupled with it's hefty helping of abstraction creates something that seems to generate the right kind of thinking without exerting too much obvious effort to make that happen.
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