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Subject: Choosing a game rss

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Danut
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Hello

I want to buy a wargame and I am having problems choosing one. The reason is I don`t know which of them will have a better fluency in gameplay. My experience in wargames is limited so far,the only game I`ve played is Memoir 44. The reason I chose to left it behind is because I consider it to be too unrealistic,the main problem beeing the firepower of the units and that it remains the same even if the unit is weakened. So the games I am talking about are Command and Colors Ancients and Napoleonics. I know that Napoleonics is more realistic than Ancients,but Ancients has a higher rank so I am confused in having a decision. What will you choose if you were me?
 
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danutzek wrote:

My experience in wargames is limited so far,the only game I`ve played is Memoir 44. The reason I chose to left it behind is because I consider it to be too unrealistic,the main problem beeing the firepower of the units and that it remains the same even if the unit is weakened. So the games I am talking about are Command and Colors Ancients and Napoleonics. I know that Napoleonics is more realistic than Ancients,but Ancients has a higher rank so I am confused in having a decision. What will you choose if you were me?

The thread Looking to get into CC. Where to start? explains the difference a bit. There have been more details discussions about this, but I can't find them right now. Both are as "realistic" as their abstraction level allows.
Personally I consider C&C: Ancients a good choice, but beware of the expansionitis. I recently succumbed to buying C&C: Ancients Expansion Pack #1: Greece & Eastern Kingdoms, because of the great scenarios that are included which e.g. make much better use of the terrain tiles.
An additional gem which I'm very happy to have bought is Lost Battles, it looks beautiful, short setup and play times and includes many scenarios. And in certain cases the combat strength reduces for spent units (the equivalent to losing half of the blocks in C&C: Ancients), so this might suit your taste better in this regard. It is expensive, but cheaper than C&C: Ancients with one expansion
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Jim Patterson
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Neither C&C: Ancients nor C&C: Napoleonics is going to be a radical departure from Memoir, as they all employ the same basic C&C system. If your main problem with Memoir was, as you suggest above, the fact that units don't lose strength as they lose pieces, then you may want to give C&C:N the nod, of the two, as Ancients maintains the same full-strength-until-eliminated mechanic. Personally, I don't have much problem with that at this level of abstraction, as the design goal, as I understand it, was to emulate the idea of effective fighting force. That is, as long as a unit had at least one block, it was cohesive and effective; once the last block was gone, the members of the unit may not all have been killed but the unit lacked enough cohesion to fight.

I wouldn't call any of the C&C games realistic, even in the wargame sense, as too much is abstracted out. However, I like both Memoir and C&C:A (haven't played C&C:N yet) as games, and I suspect you would find either of Ancients or Napoleonics as doing a better job than Memoir of re-creating some sense of the period's tactics. The C&C system just doesn't do a very good job, I don't think, of modeling WW2 fighting.
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Petras Ražanskas
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Ancient battles were more often won or lost due to crushed morale than physical losses, and that's precisely what loss of blocks represents. A unit with 1 block is still pretty much the same size (thus, the same battle capabilities) as a unit with 4 blocks, but it is that more likely to fail. That is exactly the reason why "Rally" card works the way it does – the blocks it adds are not dead soldiers resurrecting, they are broken troops rallying.

Just wanted to clarify and explain why your assessment of C&C:A being unrealistic is not really correct.
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Wulf Corbett
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Yes, as long as a unit fighting purely with melee weapons could maintain a fighting front line, it would fight on exactly as before. The primary reason for ranks of ancient troops was to replace frontline losses, and provide morale boost (or possibly a little "gentle persuasion" if the front line proved reluctant...) Even with massed ranks of pikemen, only the first couple of ranks would actively fight the enemy, the next couple would stick the pointy end in the direction of the enemy to dissuade his advance, and any others would just wait for any opportunities.

So fighting on at full strength to the last block is actually pretty realistic for ancients. Not so for WWII though...
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Danut
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Thank you all for the feedback.

Personally, the Napoleonic era is more interesting to me. However, based on what has been said here, I would probably find Ancients game play more interesting.
 
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One thing to take into account is that with Ancients - if you like the system you will have great difficulty getting the expansions. It may be years before they are reprinted.

With Napoleonics you should have no problem getting all the expansions you want.

Both games are great. Napoleonics feels more strategic - you have to set up your orders in your hand before advancing otherwise your troops get massacred in a halfhearted offensive. There are interesting combined arms tactics using artillery. Infantry can go into squares against cavalry. But some people find it a slower game.

C&C:Ancients is much more brutal and quick. You don't need to play with the care and delicacy that Napoleonics uses. The armies tend to crash into each other and wear each other down. Strong units can wade into the lines of the enemy and at least have a chance of being successful, creating complete carnage of the opposing force's lines. That doesn't happen in Napoleonics.

Each game plays out quite differently and it amazes me how they capture the essence of their era's using very simple and similar rules.

I would still advise getting the era that you find most interesting.
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BrentS
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capadotia wrote:


C&C:Ancients is much more brutal and quick. You don't need to play with the care and delicacy that Napoleonics uses. The armies tend to crash into each other and wear each other down. Strong units can wade into the lines of the enemy and at least have a chance of being successful, creating complete carnage of the opposing force's lines. That doesn't happen in Napoleonics.



I understand you didn't mean this as a criticism of Ancients but it does sell it short. Ancients is at least as tactically nuanced as Napoleonics and I feel requires more subtlety in unit positioning and timing to play well. There is a greater onus in Napoleonics to wait and build a hand before initiating decisive action, while in Ancients there is generally more dynamic interaction from the start, with a more pressing demand to think and act cleverly on your feet. Among many elements, the importance of leader positioning and the evasion rule are central to its success as a tactically rewarding game.

I'm not criticising Napoleonics....I love both games.....but depicting Ancients as the heavy-handed lesser cousin of Napoleonics is a misrepresentation of its real qualities.

Brent.
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Robin Reeve
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jpat wrote:
I wouldn't call any of the C&C games realistic, even in the wargame sense, as too much is abstracted out.
I fundamentally disagree in the case of CCA.
All wargames make use of "design for effect" abstractions.
I have played the GBoH series, with their much more sophisticated mechanics, tons of markers and unit status variants.
CCA allows to reach very comparable results, much faster and with cleaner, simpler rules.
In that sense, it is quite realistic, from a wargaming perspective.
I don't care if abstractions lead to the same effect as more evident mechanics (e.g. CCA does not use the "flank" notion, but intelligently has the "boost morale" by neighbouring units simulate the flank problems ; same for the morale erosion expressed by the block losses - which is so often confused with the physical losses of the units).

Of course, if by "realistic" one thinks "simulation", I would say that not a single board wargame is a simulation in the purest meaning.
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