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Subject: Tactical WWI 1914 Game? rss

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Lance Runolfsson
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I'm pretty sure I saw on some Geek list some WWI (1914)tactical game company or platoon sized units. That is supposed come out in say the next 6 months or so. Ring any bells with anybody?

In the mean time I'd like to know about any tactical WWI games You all all may be familiar with. I got the old SPI "Soldiers" game in fact played scenario last Saturday night.
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Stig Morten
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Red Poppies: WWI Tactics and Trenches of Valor are tactical WWI
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Stig Morten
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The Battle of Tanga 1914
Could this be it?
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Pelle Nilsson
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The next game in the Infantry Attacks series (Infantry Attacks: Fall of Empires?)?
 
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Glen Kehoe
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Try looking at Trenchzone and its expansion Trenchzone Expansion: Tactical Advantage. Its not 1914 but is a great WW1 game.
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Lance Runolfsson
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pelni wrote:
The next game in the Infantry Attacks series (Infantry Attacks: Fall of Empires?)?


Yep that's the one did not realize that one installment is already out
Infantry Attacks: August 1914
But this commenter brings up a potential deal breaker.

"Would be a "10" if there were other artillery rules
come on, pre-planning artillery missions for 40 (!) rounds is not really fun "

Thanks for all the replies so far. I actually have Tanga 1914 up as wanted in trade.
 
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Pelle Nilsson
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LanceRunolfsson wrote:

But this commenter brings up a potential deal breaker.

"Would be a "10" if there were other artillery rules
come on, pre-planning artillery missions for 40 (!) rounds is not really fun "


I have not played a scenario big enough for that to become a problem. Try smaller scenarios or those where you will only set up your artillery for direct-fire.
 
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M St
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Landships! Tactical Weapons Innovations 1914-1918 is the best I've seen. Allows you to follow the tactical developments over the course of the war, and the artillery rules are both less onerous and more historical than those of Infantry Attacks. The expansion, Infernal Machines, covers some interwar conflicts such as the Russian Civil War and the Russo-Polish War.
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p55carroll
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Not the game anybody here is looking for, but just for the heck of it I'll mention an oldie: Soldiers. I had some fun with that back when it was new.
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Aaron Silverman
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pelni wrote:
LanceRunolfsson wrote:

But this commenter brings up a potential deal breaker.

"Would be a "10" if there were other artillery rules
come on, pre-planning artillery missions for 40 (!) rounds is not really fun "


I have not played a scenario big enough for that to become a problem. Try smaller scenarios or those where you will only set up your artillery for direct-fire.


Check the CSW discussion board for the game -- various people have come up with other ideas for running the artillery. I haven't played it yet myself, so that's all I've got for ya.
 
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Pelle Nilsson
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M St wrote:
Landships! Tactical Weapons Innovations 1914-1918 is the best I've seen. Allows you to follow the tactical developments over the course of the war, and the artillery rules are both less onerous and more historical than those of Infantry Attacks. The expansion, Infernal Machines, covers some interwar conflicts such as the Russian Civil War and the Russo-Polish War.


Maybe you mean the (19 pages of) artillery rules in the expansion Infernal Machines? Because the original artillery rules in Landships were very basic as I remember them, you just pick a target and roll some dice. But the expanded rules were too much for me to bother to try to learn. Maybe the expanded rules are good, but seem to be in need of lots of abstractions to make playable.

Arillery is difficult. I have not found a system I like so far. WW2 and later are easier, because of radios and more direct control, but in a war when the delay for calling in indirect fire was often several hours (not always, which complicates it even more), and the target was often "the trench-line opposite 2nd battalion" (not anything like a specific "hex XY") it just isn't enough to simply pick a target and roll for communication/spotting/hit.

It's also on a higher level of command than what you see in most tactical games. Unlike ww2 where it makes sense that a company commander can call in support (and have it almost immediately), it is a bit odd if a player in a ww1 game has 1-2 battalions on the map but is allowed to call in very specific artillery attacks on enemy units. They had trench-mortars for that kind of low-level support. In fact most ww1 tactical battles would play well if you only used artillery for abstract preliminary bombardment and defensive barrages, but only let the player control mortars. Depends on scale of map/units of course.
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M St
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pelni wrote:

Maybe you mean the (19 pages of) artillery rules

5 pages, if I recall correctly - 19 pages is the whole thing.

Quote:
in the expansion Infernal Machines? Because the original artillery rules in Landships were very basic as I remember them, you just pick a target and roll some dice.

Either. The Landships rules are IMO still better than the Infantry Attacks rules although they allow some fairly gamey behavior. The Infantry Attacks artillery rules are not just insanely laborious, they are also overly restrictive.

Quote:
But the expanded rules were too much for me to bother to try to learn. Maybe the expanded rules are good, but seem to be in need of lots of abstractions to make playable.

Actually, they are not that complex, just badly presented. (Which to be sure is the big weakness of the Landships rules in general.)

You can represent all the different ammunition and barrage effects in a single page table, what makes the rules so long is that they are written so as to maximize the repetition of the fill text. (It does boggle the mind that this was done intentionally.)

http://www.dbai.tuwien.ac.at/user/mst/games/misc/landships_t...

http://www.dbai.tuwien.ac.at/user/mst/games/hr.html

Clash of Arms asked me at the time whether I would give permission to include the table in the second expansion, Real Weapons, and I did. At this point though it looks as if Real Weapons will never see the light of day.
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Pelle Nilsson
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I just checked and we were both wrong. The Infernal Machines rulebook is 48 pages, the artillery rules slightly over 9 pages. That is still a lot of rules.

To me those rules (Landships in general) is too focused on technical details and chrome, and too many optional rules to consider (I prefer them to not exist at all).

I could be suspected for being biased (and probably I am, slightly) since I did rules proofreading for Infantry Attacks, but I prefer that game. The only thing I had disagreements on with the designer (that was not fixed before the game was released ), was the artillery plotting rules, and I think it is telling that it is the same thing everyone else also mentions. Not saying that all other rules are perfect, but I think they work. I think the plotting can be easily house-ruled to work better, as mentioned above. (In my defense I was complaining about Landships long before I saw Infantry Attacks.)
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Lance Runolfsson
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pelni wrote:
LanceRunolfsson wrote:

But this commenter brings up a potential deal breaker.

"Would be a "10" if there were other artillery rules
come on, pre-planning artillery missions for 40 (!) rounds is not really fun "


I have not played a scenario big enough for that to become a problem. Try smaller scenarios or those where you will only set up your artillery for direct-fire.

I'm glad to hear that. One of the things I was thinking about that comment. Was that most of the Arty on that tactical scale in 1914 should be direct anyway. So I was wondering how they put in so much plotting. So if I'm hearing you right there are plenty of scenarios where that is not a problem?
 
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Pelle Nilsson
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Hm. I don't know for sure how many scenarios are without need for plotting, or without need for much plotting. Might not be most, or even many. I can count them later tonight and post the results here.
 
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Lance Runolfsson
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pelni wrote:
Hm. I don't know for sure how many scenarios are without need for plotting, or without need for much plotting. Might not be most, or even many. I can count them later tonight and post the results here.


thanks!
 
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Pelle Nilsson
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OK, I did some quick calculations how many target hexes there is to plot for each scenario (amount of ammunition multiplied with number of guns). Probably some errors in there though, and I didn't read all special rules. Also for scenarios where there are both off- and on-map artillery, I only counted the off-map plotting, so for some scenarios you might end up plotting more than the numbers show (but this was only a few scenarios, maybe 5, and if you do not like plotting artillery you probably do not plot most of the on-map guns anyway). Will post the numbers as a file on the game page.

Anyway, there are 9 scenarios (of 40) with no plotting at all, 4 scenarios with less than 20 hexes to plot per side. And if you are willing to go up to 30, 40, ... there will be more. Not easy to put a limit for when there is "much plotting". (If you are fine with 100 hexes per player (eg 10 guns firing 10 turns each) there are 22 scenarios you can play.)

If you do not like to plot artillery, avoid scenario 36, where the Russians plot 468 hexes, the Germans 400, and that is not including a big number of on-map guns.

Of course these numbers do not say much about how time-consuming the plotting is. Maybe there are some obvious targets and you just let a few guns hit the same hexes every turn anyway, so it doesn't matter if each has 10 or 50 turns of ammo.

(I should post this as a new thread in the forum for IA instead, yes. Will do that when I post the file. This is all slightly OT here.)
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Lance Runolfsson
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And again thanks
 
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j b Goodwin

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Red Poppies is great. I've probably played about a dozen or so games so far. Bloody.

Trenches of Valor...well, let's say one game didn't do enough for me to try it twice, although I may give it another shot.
 
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Timothy Burke
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Miniatures does it well with Through The Mud and The Blood
 
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Lance Runolfsson
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bactrian5 wrote:
Miniatures does it well with Through The Mud and The Blood


I have been slowly building 1914 Russian and German 15mm armies for years.Even though this is one of my favorite topics these armies for some reason keep back burnering. I got two or three more 24 figure battalions done done a month or two ago then felt like stopping again:^(
 
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M St
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pelni wrote:
I just checked and we were both wrong. The Infernal Machines rulebook is 48 pages, the artillery rules slightly over 9 pages.

I think you're wrong again, a significant proportion of the 48 pages in the "rulebook" are scenarios.

Quote:
That is still a lot of rules.

Fine for a game that shows the development of artillery over a 20-year period in which artillery was essentially the queen of the battlefield...

Quote:
I could be suspected for being biased (and probably I am, slightly) since I did rules proofreading for Infantry Attacks, but I prefer that game.

Probably, and it would have been more appropriate if you had mentioned that ahead of time.

Landships is not perfect by any means, but I vastly prefer the "give me the war in a box" approach to the "slice it as thinly as possible so I have to buy a dozen boxes to see the 1918 fighting" approach of the Infantry Attacks series.
 
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Pelle Nilsson
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M St wrote:
pelni wrote:
I just checked and we were both wrong. The Infernal Machines rulebook is 48 pages, the artillery rules slightly over 9 pages.

I think you're wrong again, a significant proportion of the 48 pages in the "rulebook" are scenarios.


Yes, well, OK, sure, but it was the amount of artillery rules we discussed.

Quote:
Quote:
That is still a lot of rules.

Fine for a game that shows the development of artillery over a 20-year period in which artillery was essentially the queen of the battlefield...


Subjective. For me it is too much. I agree artillery is important though (somewhere you can find a thread where I describes my idea of a ww1 artillery-game, in which infantry is abstracted to almost not being present at all on the map; I imagined that on a higher level though).

Quote:
Quote:
I could be suspected for being biased (and probably I am, slightly) since I did rules proofreading for Infantry Attacks, but I prefer that game.

Probably, and it would have been more appropriate if you had mentioned that ahead of time.


But I did? I mentioned it before saying anything positive about IA (my only earlier opinion expressed was implied by saying I dislike the artillery rules of all ww1 games I have played).

(I hope you didn't take my first mention of IA in this thread as a recommendation, it was a guess what game-to-be-released-in-2012 the OP was talking about. If it was a recommendation I would have linked to an existing game.)

Quote:
Landships is not perfect by any means, but I vastly prefer the "give me the war in a box" approach to the "slice it as thinly as possible so I have to buy a dozen boxes to see the 1918 fighting" approach of the Infantry Attacks series.


Sure. I agree. That is a good thing about Landships. Very nice maps too, and first scenario(s) I played was fun enough for me to play again. If the OP finds a cheap copy I would not recommend not buying it. My bgg rating for it is a 5. If someone had not brought up the artillery rules, the subject that so easily gets me into rant-mode, I would most likely not have commented on the game at all.
 
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