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Subject: Finding my first War Game rss

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Pater Absurdus
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I have been researching what War-game to try/buy. I like Euro's and enjoyed some AT games. I haven't played a "war" game since Risk when I was a teen.

The major considerations for me are: availability (If I can't buy it then I don't want to bother looking into it), cost (it is hard for me to pay much more than $55 when there are so many great games that cost $20-$55), play time (90 minutes would be perfect), # of players (preferably compatible with 2,3&4), interesting theme (civil and world wars don't thrill me), is clearly a war game (not AT or euro in disguise - it can be a combination but not a euro wearing a military uniform), and limited use of dice/randomness.

Through my research I found several attractive looking games. Strike of the Eagle looked the best because it was clearly a war game, could play 2-4 players, used the fog of war element which sounded really interesting, and was priced at $53 on Amazon which seems fairly reasonable.

Here is what I found:
1. Strike of the Eagle:
-$53, 2-4 players, 2.5 hours (has a really cool looking Fog Of War component)
2.A Few Acres of Snow:
-$49, 2 player, 1 hour (Has some minor deck building aspects like Dominion)
3. Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001-?:
-$48, 2 player, 3 hour (best theme of all the war games-it’s the current war and one side plays US and the other plays the Taliban, very interesting)
4. Twilight Struggle:
-$43, 2 player, 3 hour (#1 rated game on BGG of all categories and looks really good)
5. Hannibal:
-$45, 2 players, 2.5 hours (looked great)
6. Memoir '44:
-$40, 2 player, 1 hour (only reason its number 6 is because it looks to have a long set up)
7. Struggle of Empires:
-$36, 2-7, 3 hours (I am not sure if this counts since it is considered a strategy game...)

Am I missing any great titles that fit my criteria?

Thanks in advance for any assistance...
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Alex H.
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Some will tell you that it's not really a wargame but I would recommend Twilight Struggle regardless. It's a great introduction to the Card-driven genre (Labyrinth also being a member of that family but somewhat more complex and fiddly) and has fantastic reply value.
Also, have a look at Julius Caesar for a good block wargame.

Hannibal is another excellent choice but I'd expect it to go beyond 2.5 hours and I don't think it is as accessible as Twilight Struggle, but that may just be a matter of taste. It is certainly a little more complex in terms of rules.

I hear a lot of praise for A few Acres of Snow from my brother (who, by the way, resents the card-driven games in general) but I can't say whether the recently found strategy (Halifax Hammer) really breaks the game or not.
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David Janik-Jones
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There is no way you can go wrong with Twilight Struggle. It's brilliant. One of only two "10" games in my collection. Not a traditional, hex-and-chit wargame in the sense that Combat Commander or Advanced Squad Leader is, but a game of conflict none-the-less.

Strike of the Eagle is also very very good. A Few Acres of Snow? Also very good. Three excellent choices.
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David Boeren
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Maybe look at one of the Columbia block wargames like Julius Caesar or Hammer of the Scots. They're in your time range.

If you are willing to spend more time (several of your titles run well over the 90 minutes you mentioned) check out War of the Ring, it will play up to 4 although 2 is considered ideal.

I've heard good things about Successors as a multi-player wargame but have not tried it myself.

Sekigahara - good 2p game only, LOTS of fog of war

Not saying you can't get Memoir, but be aware it's very light and I'm not sure if it will give you a wargame feel or not compared to the others on your list.

I was recently looking at similar type titles and Warriors of God was high on my list but I haven't gotten to try it yet. I liked the whole aspect of unreliable leaders over time and needing to plan for succession.
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Brad Miller
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If 90 minutes is in there, all you can probably choose out of those is memoir '44.
 
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Edward Pundyk
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If you're just getting started in war gaming, you can't go wrong with any of Victory Point Games' Napoleonic 20 series. Playing time is quick, the rules are fairly easy to grasp and are no more than 6 to 8 pages in length, graphics are pleasing to the eye and there's a great deal of replay value in each game. They work well as a solitaire exercise, as well. Most importantly, they're a lot of fun to play. My personal favourite is Borodino 20.
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p55carroll
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Here's a Geeklist of Starter Wargames just for you (in case you haven't seen it yet).
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+1 for Memoir '44 and Julius Ceasar

Memoirs set up is not so big of a deal if both players participate. The set up usually takes about 5-10 minutes per scenario and one scenario can be played two times, first as Axis and second as Allied for example. It possible for experienced players to play one scenario two times within less than 90 minutes, which indicates that it is rather light game.

And what about Julius Caesar? If you are interested in the wars in that period you should check it out. Blocks make good fog of war element. I have played this twice and the first game took about 2.5 hours with explanation of the rules and the second took about 90 minutes.
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Guido Gloor
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Commands & Colors: Ancients is essentially Memoir '44 with more troop types in ancient times - Rome and Carthage for the most part in the base game. It also happens to be my favorite game

It's really a two player game unless you add Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #5 – Epic Ancients II, at which point it becomes compatible with up to 8 players.
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