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Subject: Skirmish game recommendation wanted rss

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Ola Mikael Hansson
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I am looking for a good Skirmish game.

What I want:
* Grid-based mechanics (squares, hexes, etc.).
* Fantasy / Sci-Fi / Alternative-history / Ancient / Medieval setting.
* Different units to feel different, and have different abilities.
* Rich in tactics.
* Available at retail here in the UK (or coming soon).
* Variety - either in the base game or through expansions.

What I do NOT want:
* Mechanics relying on using measuring tape, or such.
* Realistic setting from the last few centuries - i.e. no real WWII, American Civil War or Napoleonics. (I don't mind alt-history versions though, if they add sci-fi or fantastical elements.)
* Extremely high complexity - I'm fine with Federation Commander level of complexity, but Star Fleet Battles level would be too much for this to actually hit the table.
* Overly dominated by luck.
* Minis that must be painted (I am okay playing with unpainted minis as long as they are distinctive enough - I am fine with cardboard chits or such as well).
* Out-of-print / ridiculously expensive games.
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Maxim Steshenko
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Okko? whistle
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Earth Reborn

There you go. This is the game you described.
Modular gameboard, different characters with different abilites, different equipment that can change the purpose or role on the battlefield of a character significantly, very well designed rules, loads of different approaches to the very same scenario, interaction with pretty much everything possible, luck is a factor (of course, it uses dice) but can be mitigated (or pushed, it's up to you), tells a different story every time...

That is the game you want. Full stop.

Buy it - and then enjoy it.
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TS S. Fulk
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Claustrophobia is one of the best and is getting an expansion soon. Beautiful minis and tiles. Very cool setting.
Incursion is also quite good, uses very large and thick cardboard minis (excellent quality)—you can buy unpainted metals if you wish (but I know you don't want to, yet)
Okko: Era of the Asagiri is very tactical, but very luck-based in the core set. With Okko, Era of the Karasu expansion, the luck is mitigated somewhat.

I hope this gets reprinted in English (it's still available in Czech). I think I bought the last English copy (got it from boardgameguru.co.uk)
Dorn is extremely tactical and has luckless combat. Much like Okko, you really have to think and plan before you move a figure. You just can't go "well, these guys all run up here," or you'll get everyone killed.

I'm sure I've forgotten many others sitting on my shelf or on my wishlist.



unic wrote:
I am looking for a good Skirmish game.

What I want:
* Grid-based mechanics (squares, hexes, etc.).
* Fantasy / Sci-Fi / Alternative-history / Ancient / Medieval setting.
* Different units to feel different, and have different abilities.
* Rich in tactics.
* Available at retail here in the UK (or coming soon).
* Variety - either in the base game or through expansions.

What I do NOT want:
* Mechanics relying on using measuring tape, or such.
* Realistic setting from the last few centuries - i.e. no real WWII, American Civil War or Napoleonics. (I don't mind alt-history versions though, if they add sci-fi or fantastical elements.)
* Extremely high complexity - I'm fine with Federation Commander level of complexity, but Star Fleet Battles level would be too much for this to actually hit the table.
* Overly dominated by luck.
* Minis that must be painted (I am okay playing with unpainted minis as long as they are distinctive enough - I am fine with cardboard chits or such as well).
* Out-of-print / ridiculously expensive games.
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Kevin J
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Summoner Wars! Go get it now! If you don't have any starter sets in your area (they've been sold out for a while), then the Master Set (6 different factions and everything you need to play) will be coming out very shortly!

Other than that, possibly Song of Blades and Heroes, but SW really hits every box on your checklist.
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Jonathan Harrison
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Earth Reborn; see comments:
unic wrote:
I am looking for a good Skirmish game.

What I want:
* Grid-based mechanics (squares, hexes, etc.). Squares. LOS is in 45-degree angles.
* Fantasy / Sci-Fi / Alternative-history / Ancient / Medieval setting. Post-apocalyptic Earth with a rich story.
* Different units to feel different, and have different abilities. Unique characters, each with his or her own abilities.
* Rich in tactics. Yes, yes—yes!
* Available at retail here in the UK (or coming soon). I assume so. It's been out since 2010.
* Variety - either in the base game or through expansions. Double-sided modular board. Official random scenario generator. An expansion (new factions [characters]) planned, but no date yet.

What I do NOT want:
* Mechanics relying on using measuring tape, or such. Easy and quick LOS.
* Realistic setting from the last few centuries - i.e. no real WWII, American Civil War or Napoleonics. (I don't mind alt-history versions though, if they add sci-fi or fantastical elements.) Realistic tactics and play, but nearly otherworldly setting.
* Extremely high complexity - I'm fine with Federation Commander level of complexity, but Star Fleet Battles level would be too much for this to actually hit the table. Universal Head got this into 4 pages.
* Overly dominated by luck. Other than (1) drawing activation tiles to add to your growing collection of available commands and (2) rolling for hits and weapon jams, it's all skill.
* Minis that must be painted (I am okay playing with unpainted minis as long as they are distinctive enough - I am fine with cardboard chits or such as well). Extremely detailed minis. Beautiful stuff.
* Out-of-print / ridiculously expensive games. Nope. In print. $44 in the states at NWS, so I assume similarly cheap elsewhere. Get it before the first printing sells out, though!

You simply cannot go wrong with Earth Reborn.

Here's my session reports, if you're interested some blow-by-blow.

And here's the definitive review.
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Jim Wilde
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Summoner Wars: Master Set
Neuroshima Hex!
Battletech Introductory Box Set
TZAAR
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p55carroll
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I've wanted something similar in the past, so I've done a bit of searching.

Aside from Heroscape, however, I can't think of anything that meets all your criteria. You may have to collect (and maybe paint) your own miniatures and rewrite miniatures rules to be playable on a hex grid (and then make your own hex-grid map or overlay or buy one).

One thing that comes to mind is GURPS Basic Set (Third Edition - Revised). It's an RPG system, but it includes a stand-alone man-to-man combat system that works with any period, any genre, and it uses a hex grid. (I believe the system was made available separately as Man to Man, but I haven't seen that.) You could use that as the basis for creating the kind of game you want.

Otherwise, all I can think to suggest is Chain Reaction 3.0: Swordplay (and other titles from Two Hour Wargames (THW Game Design)). It's free, and it's fun. But you'll have to come to terms with finding or making your own board and game pieces.
 
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Aaron Morgan
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Seconding Okko, Heroscape, and Earth Reborn, and tossing in a recommendation for HeroClix.
 
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Ola Mikael Hansson
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tssfulk wrote:
Claustrophobia is one of the best and is getting an expansion soon. Beautiful minis and tiles. Very cool setting.

I have just recently bought this, am looking forward to giving it a go, but from reading the rules, it looks tactically simpler than what I am searching for here.

Quote:
Incursion is also quite good, uses very large and thick cardboard minis (excellent quality)

I will have to read up about this one - new to me.

Quote:
Okko: Era of the Asagiri is very tactical, but very luck-based in the core set. With Okko, Era of the Karasu expansion, the luck is mitigated somewhat.

Same here - new to me, will have to read up about it.

Quote:
Dorn is extremely tactical and has luckless combat. Much like Okko, you really have to think and plan before you move a figure. You just can't go "well, these guys all run up here," or you'll get everyone killed.

Yeah, I was looking around for this one not that long ago and couldn't find a copy in any UK shop.

Thanks for the suggestions!
 
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Ola Mikael Hansson
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tatoolo wrote:
Summoner Wars! Go get it now!

I would, if I only could! It is already near the top of my want list - a strategy game with both board play and deck customization aspects (I am a fan of customizing my deck / forces before the game) - I am eagerly waiting for the Master Set to become available over here.
 
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Ola Mikael Hansson
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
Earth Reborn; see comments:
unic wrote:
I am looking for a good Skirmish game.

What I want:
* Grid-based mechanics (squares, hexes, etc.). Squares. LOS is in 45-degree angles.
* Fantasy / Sci-Fi / Alternative-history / Ancient / Medieval setting. Post-apocalyptic Earth with a rich story.
* Different units to feel different, and have different abilities. Unique characters, each with his or her own abilities.
* Rich in tactics. Yes, yes—yes!
* Available at retail here in the UK (or coming soon). I assume so. It's been out since 2010.
* Variety - either in the base game or through expansions. Double-sided modular board. Official random scenario generator. An expansion (new factions [characters]) planned, but no date yet.

What I do NOT want:
* Mechanics relying on using measuring tape, or such. Easy and quick LOS.
* Realistic setting from the last few centuries - i.e. no real WWII, American Civil War or Napoleonics. (I don't mind alt-history versions though, if they add sci-fi or fantastical elements.) Realistic tactics and play, but nearly otherworldly setting.
* Extremely high complexity - I'm fine with Federation Commander level of complexity, but Star Fleet Battles level would be too much for this to actually hit the table. Universal Head got this into 4 pages.
* Overly dominated by luck. Other than (1) drawing activation tiles to add to your growing collection of available commands and (2) rolling for hits and weapon jams, it's all skill.
* Minis that must be painted (I am okay playing with unpainted minis as long as they are distinctive enough - I am fine with cardboard chits or such as well). Extremely detailed minis. Beautiful stuff.
* Out-of-print / ridiculously expensive games. Nope. In print. $44 in the states at NWS, so I assume similarly cheap elsewhere. Get it before the first printing sells out, though!

You simply cannot go wrong with Earth Reborn.


Thanks for the detailed analysis of how this meets up to my wants in a game - I think Earth Reborn is indeed what I want! (... or at least, one of the skirmish games that I want - there could be others as well.) I have moved this near the top of my want list thanks to your thorough recommendation
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Ola Mikael Hansson
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Teloric wrote:

Interesting recommendation - I hadn't really thought of this as a skirmish game. Is there much movement / maneuvering in it? My impression was that it mainly consisted of placing tiles and then they sit in place until battle is resolved.

Quote:

I'm worried about complexity and play time for this one - to make it an interesting skirmish, seems like one would want several mechs per side, and then I think there would be too much record keeping and the game would take too long... at least, that's my impression from reading about it.

Quote:

Not sure how this counts as a skirmish game? I already own it though, and find it a decent abstract game - neither the best nor the worst in the Gipf series, in my opinion.
 
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Jonathan Harrison
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unic wrote:
Thanks for the detailed analysis of how this meets up to my wants in a game - I think Earth Reborn is indeed what I want! (... or at least, one of the skirmish games that I want - there could be others as well.) I have moved this near the top of my want list thanks to your thorough recommendation

You're welcome! I myself am eagerly waiting on my second copy to arrive, so I can use both sides of as many tiles as I like in my own scenarios. If I had to choose only three games to play from now on, I'd choose Go, DAK2, and Earth Reborn. It's that good. Thanks for the tip, by the way.
 
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Ola Mikael Hansson
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EitherOrlok wrote:

Heroscape seems to not be very available any longer in the shops here.

Quote:
tossing in a recommendation for HeroClix.

Definitely not for me - I loathe collectible component, and random distribution which means I don't know what I will be getting for my money.
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Hoyle A
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heroscape may be hard to get, but it's worth it. You can probably find it on ebay. The Swarm of the Marro set and the Underdark set can still be found some places and aren't terribly expensive. One set of each will give you plenty of terrain for 2 players. Two sets of each would allow for bigger maps. add in some booster packs and you're golden. check heroscapers.com
 
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Dan D
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Nobody mentioned Tannhäuser? Odd. Seems to fit most of your criteria quite well.
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As others have said, Tannhauser and Earth Reborn.

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