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Subject: Hex-based wargames for at least 4 players? rss

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Moritz Krohn
Germany
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Hi,

me and my group really enjoy playing games like Shogun, Axis & Allies, Game of Thrones, Diplomacy, War of the Ring etc, in short: Global strategy games where you conquer provinces.

Well, I guess my friends don't even know that there are wargames beyond these good old risk principles. But I do know, since I have browsed a lot through the BoardGameGeek database recently . Now I'm really intrigued to introduce more tactical kinds of games, and also I can't get hex-tiles out of my head. But all of these games I stumbled over so far were either too dry/complicated/unappealing and/or designed for no more than 2 players.
I never played any game of this type yet (except for maybe Panzer General on pc), but it has to support at least 4 players and it hast to be visually appealing at least to some degree in order to not immediatly scare off my miniature-cosseted group. Same goes for complicacy! Historical accuracy is not required, fantasy would be as fine as WW2 or almost anything else. These 'Battlelore' and 'Battle for Westeros' games look perfect for a start, but they do support only 2 players.

So can you recommend me a game to get my group hooked ? Remember: At least 4 players, not too dryly presented, not too complicated. I can still raise the bar with following purchases once the genre is established.
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Tobias
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Any of the Conflict of Heroes games fit the bill. Start with Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42. The pieces may look intimidating compared to what you are used to, but the game mechanics make this an easy game to learn.
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Jim F
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Who knew trench warfare could be such fun?
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StercusCaput wrote:
Any of the Conflict of Heroes games fit the bill. Start with Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42. The pieces may look intimidating compared to what you are used to, but the game mechanics make this an easy game to learn.


Agreed. Can be taught in ten minutes once you have had a couple of play throughs yourself.
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Jordan
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I haven't played it, but Nexus Ops was a wargame I was looking into getting. It's 2 to 4 players and has those delicious hex tiles. heh.
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Mayfield
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Victory: The Blocks of War
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Howard Avis
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Any of the Commands and Colours family would suit. It is technically for 2 players only but 4 shouldn't be a stretch. It works brilliantly with more than one copy to stretch the width of the battlefield. It's very easy to learn, plays fast, is not too complicated and is a lot of fun. Also have a look at Memoir '44. It gets a lot of play at my game club and is very easy to learn.
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I haven't played a hex-based wargame since high school when Avalon Hill was going strong. I have been considering getting a copy of Viktory II, but haven't played it yet. The playing board/map is scalable for 2-8 players.
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Moritz Krohn
Germany
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Thank you very much for your recommendations. Both Games look very intriguing. Victory also made me stumble upon Wizard Kings which looks interesting, too. However they all seem to be hard to come by for a decent price, at least over here in Germany. Wherever I look pricing ranges from at the very least 50€ to 90€ (not to speak of all those shameless ~300€ offers). Might be that these games are well worth it, but part of me refuses to pay more money for a few handful of paper tokens than for a game like Shogun with 437 beautiful miniatures ninja .

I'm looking forward to more recommendations, if there are any . Otherwise I'm probably going to practice patience until I might get blessed with a reprint or on eBay.

P.S. Ah! More ideas! Memoir 44 and Commands & Colors look great! In fact I knew about the existance of both, but the descriptions only stated 2 player gameplay possible, so I went on sadly. Now that I look closer I'd like to buy Commands & Colors immediatly. Sadly it turns out to be as hard to get by as those games mentioned above . I wonder if these games are so easily stretchable to 3 or 4 players, then maybe Battlelore and Battles of Westeros are as well (as I would slightly prefer them over Memoir)?

P.P.S. Viktory II looks nice, too. But 97,79$ if I want to have it shipped to Europe?!
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Robert Washington

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It is critical to note that all the C&C games can expand the number of players by even numbers only - it's by team play and thus can only work with 2 or 3 players per side.


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Brian Korreck
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Tide of Iron can be played with 2 or 4.
Victory: The Blocks of War
I have introduced Friedrich and Maria(3-players) to my incipient game group who began with Axis and Allies. They are not hex-based, but they are a HHUUUUGGGEEEE hit.
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Moritz Krohn
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Really? Why not let 2 smaller armies face 1 large? Or fight 1 vs 1 vs 1 in a custom setup?
 
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Chris Jeris
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I encourage you to take at least one look at Here I Stand, Ed Beach's game about the wars of the Protestant Reformation. Not because it fits your criteria -- it doesn't. It doesn't have a hex map, it's very likely too long and complex for your group, and (despite being very nicely produced for a map-and-counters wargame) it probably fails the visual appeal test as well.

What it is, however, is a fantastic example of multiplayer game design, with six factions having six genuinely different play styles, and an incredible richness of historical incident behind it. How many games have a Henry VIII Pregnancy Table, burnings at the stake (for Papal VP!) and a card that you can play on Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, to cripple him with gout? I offer it as an example of the games that are out there if you and your group decide you like that kind of thing.

The rules can be downloaded from the game's GMT Games page. A sequel, Virgin Queen (covering the Elizabethan period immediately following), comes out next month.
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Moritz Krohn
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Thank you, Chris! I'm not at all fixed to hex tiles, any new experience of multiplayer wargaming is very welcome. 'Here I stand' looks really nice, and presentable enough. I'm also very much into history, but I doubt that the members of my group are as much(at least most of them are probably not). So I wonder how much of a fun and challenging game it still is if you don't value its historical aspects?
 
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Jon Zielinski

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I think someone mentioned it but check out Tide of Iron. Not difficult and you and a friend can take control over one army and work together a strategy to win vs. your foes. I've not played with four but the game is pretty easy and fun.
 
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Damien Seb. ●leoskyangel●
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I play games not to win, it's the gathering that's important - Thanks for the tip Cate108!
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Have a look at Ventura.
 
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Chris Jeris
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Reign_of_Light wrote:
Thank you, Chris! I'm not at all fixed to hex tiles, any new experience of multiplayer wargaming is very welcome. 'Here I stand' looks really nice, and presentable enough. I'm also very much into history, but I doubt that the members of my group are as much(at least most of them are probably not). So I wonder how much of a fun and challenging game it still is if you don't value its historical aspects?


To a player who doesn't care that much about the history, I think a game like Here I Stand -- or any proper wargame, really -- might feel like it is complicated for no good reason. The number of special cases and picky details in the rules is remarkably small considering the scope of the game, but very large compared to non-"wargame" games.
 
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Moritz Krohn
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Thank you for all your recommendations so far!

My wish list looks like this now:
1. Commands & Colors - Ancients
2. Tide of Iron
3. Friedrich
4. Here I Stand
5. Victory - The Blocks of War
6. perhaps Conflict of Heroes

So I have a good idea now of what games to buy next. Nethertheless I'd still love to hear about more great (> 3 player) wargames, if there still are any you like to recommend .
 
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Matteo Badinelli
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Traken wrote:
I haven't played it, but Nexus Ops was a wargame I was looking into getting. It's 2 to 4 players and has those delicious hex tiles. heh.


If you want to introduce wargame concepts in a simple way this is the best choice: you'll find terrain effects, combat modifiers, hidden objectives e super nice minis.
 
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P. L.
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HEROSCAPE

ok sorry not really a wargame but so much fun >_<

besides that one more vote for Tide Of Iron.
 
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Moritz Krohn
Germany
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OUH! Never heard about Heroscape! It looks amazing, so customizable! But also a bit childish, so how challenging is it really?
Even though we are new to wargames, we still already are accustomed to a lot of strategizing and plotting. Axis & Allies, Game of Thrones, Diplomacy etc aren't exactly simple games, and we usually shun games that are just "simple & fun" and lack a certain epicness.
That's why I prefer getting Tide of Iron over Memoir 44, and that is also why I am bit doubtful about Heroscape, Nexus Ops, Ventura and Viktory II of those that were mentioned in this thread. Simplicity and 'Quick to learn/play' aren't really requirements of mine, I just wanted to avoid that time and complexity go completely through the roof .
 
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P. L.
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Reign_of_Light wrote:
OUH! Never heard about Heroscape! It looks amazing, so customizable! But also a bit childish, so how challenging is it really?
Even though we are new to wargames, we still already are accustomed to a lot of strategizing and plotting. Axis & Allies, Game of Thrones, Diplomacy etc aren't exactly simple games, and we usually shun games that are just "simple & fun" and lack a certain epicness.
That's why I prefer getting Tide of Iron over Memoir 44, and that is also why I am bit doubtful about Heroscape, Nexus Ops, Ventura and Viktory II of those that were mentioned in this thread. Simplicity and 'Quick to learn/play' aren't really requirements of mine, I just wanted to avoid that time and complexity go completely through the roof :) .

in that case I recommend TOI.
Heroscape is exactly the "simple & fun" game. build an army, move, attack.

TOI has the right mix of simplicity and depth. even though as mentioned before you can only play it in teams.

I don't know if you ever heard of Battletech. that's hex based game too and the rules go from simple to very complex. ruleswise it's VERY customizable. and you can play small skirmishes as well as epic battles or whole campaigns running weeks if you want to. I can REALLY recommend it if you're into Sci-Fi. The setting itself is awesome and there is a very active community in Germany. also the 25th anniversary set came out last year. it has everything you need for a very acceptable price.
 
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Oliver Kiley
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Space Empires: 4X is a newer (2011) game that is a wargame/empire builder hybrid in a way that looks quite nice. Check it out.
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Guido Gloor
Switzerland
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Commands & Colors: Ancients with Epic Ancients supports up to 8 players, and is quite fun with most numbers, but unless you get the full complement of 8 players it's little more than an embellished 2-player game where both sides are played by multiple people at the same time (that can each control one or several flanks of their own).
 
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Sam Miller
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It's by no means a deep wargame, but I can highly recommend Neuroshima Hex! Lots of tactical decisions, lots of Mexican standoffs, plays well with 4 players, and usually runs an hour or less.
 
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David Cheng
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Titan
 
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