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Subject: Games Pretty enough to play. rss

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Lance Runolfsson
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Had a friend over for a game of Dennewitz 20last night. First time I've known the guy to play a board game in 20 some years (miniatures guy). When we were finished he said " that was fun, these games are pretty enough to play now."

Any body else seen more people to play now that games are Prettier?

Interesting part is I like the way that game looks. And a lot of other games I've bought lately. But I actually wish the units were not quite as busy with the decorations. The prettiness sort of detracts from function!
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Warren Bruhn
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Part of it is the maps.

The best looking large hex map I've ever seen is Eurofront II from Columbia Games. The blocks could use more than 3 colors though.

The best looking small hex map I've ever seen is The Devil's Cauldron from MMP. The counters look very very good too, some of the best ever.

Three very good point to point maps are Paths of Glory, Sword of Rome, and Washington's War. The cards also look good in those games, and the pieces in Sword of Rome look good too.

Merchants & Marauders has a great looking area map, great looking cards, and cool plastic ships that miniatures painters can have fun painting.
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Jim F
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Maybe its my miniatures background but l like games that look good as well as play well. Or it may be that I'm just shallow. Agreed about TDC although the use of historical symbols for the German units and NATO symbols for the Allies got a bit confusing.
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Lance Runolfsson
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Ashiefan wrote:

it may be that I'm just shallow.

That's exactly what my what my friend Reid said after we played Dennewitz. I prefer a good looking game but i also like the units to be clean enough so that I can tell what they are at a glance.

Ashiefan wrote:
Agreed about TDC although the use of historical symbols for the German units and NATO symbols for the Allies got a bit confusing.


I remember running into a game back in the day that had the German symbols. I found the them confusing to.
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Jack Smith
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It's certainly the maps. Many are works of art that wouldn't look bad framed on the wall.
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Edward Pundyk
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The map for Amateurs to Arms! is suitable for framing. It is a work of art.
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Triumph of Chaos turns heads.
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Richard Diosi
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I'm not sure the artwork has actually drawn more people into the hobby since the 60-70's but it is undeniable that the last 10-20 years has seen a remarkable upgrade from the old 2 and 3 colour maps that I grew up with. The last decade especially has seen some dramatic shifts to wargame map "prettiness".
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Art Bugorski
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DocStryder wrote:
I'm not sure the artwork has actually drawn more people into the hobby since the 60-70's but it is undeniable that the last 10-20 years has seen a remarkable upgrade from the old 2 and 3 colour maps that I grew up with. The last decade especially has seen some dramatic shifts to wargame map "prettiness".


I think it's much easier to kindle someone's interest with a product that looks good. Hell, I'm still tempted to get into WH40k despite knowing how expensive it is and how evil GW are.
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Robert Stuart
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Well, it has an effect on my wife, who generally frowns on me setting up games. Although I work hard enough, so that's not the issue... and it's not as if I don't waste time, at times, so that's not the issue either...

However, I've noticed that with pretty games, she seems much happier. What's a pretty game, in her eyes? The first time I noticed this was with Tigers in the Mist. She liked it (not to play, heavens no, but for me to leave set up over several days). I have a good sense of what she considers attractive, and try to limit my overnight setups to those games.

This summer, when we'll be home, I'm going to set up Liberty Roads.
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Andrew Laws
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I might be in the minority but my interest in wargames has more to do with a love of maps than of history, and if wargame maps looked like they did in the 70s I wouldn't be playing wargames. I realise a stick and an old metal dustbin was considered a good Saturday night in 1975 but still, I don't know how you guys did it back then.

The accessibility of the technology means there really aren't any excuses for shitty maps any more. A copy of Adobe Illustrator and 20 hours spare time to sink into the learning curve and you too can design maps that look like this:

 


Which makes me wonder about ASL's persistence with a 30 year-old style that modern teenagers could probably out-do on their mobile phone on the bus to school. At some point they are going to have to upgrade or die with their fanbase. Non?

EDIT: Just for comparison:



If anything the VASSAL version looks a little clearer than the one I got in my box from MMP
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Gabriel Gendron
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Hands down the games from the following publishers all have high quality artwork:

Multi-Man Publishing
Lock 'N Load Publishing
Academy Games
GMT
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Joel K
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moly19 wrote:
Triumph of Chaos turns heads.

Delightfully ambiguous--could be head-turning as in "WOW! Look at that!!" or "turn to vomit in the nearest receptacle"...
 
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Ryan Powers
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:


Which makes me wonder about ASL's persistence with a 30 year-old style that modern teenagers could probably out-do on their mobile phone on the bus to school. At some point they are going to have to upgrade or die with their fanbase. Non?


While there are some newer style maps that I like way more than ASL maps, I would take an ASL style map over that one every single time. To me, it boggles the mind that you think that it looks better. It looks exactly as you describe. Someone with minimal training coughing up a map. Not sure why you think that's a good thing.

Don't get me wrong. I'd gladly play on it. But it wouldn't be because it looks better.
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Ryan Powers
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Ashiefan wrote:

Maybe its my miniatures background but l like games that look good as well as play well. Or it may be that I'm just shallow. Agreed about TDC although the use of historical symbols for the German units and NATO symbols for the Allies got a bit confusing.


Since you use the actual symbols for *almost* nothing it *almost* doesn't really matter.
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Andrew Laws
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keethrax wrote:

While there are some newer style maps that I like way more than ASL maps, I would take an ASL style map over that one every single time. To me, it boggles the mind that you think that it looks better. It looks exactly as you describe. Someone with minimal training coughing up a map. Not sure why you think that's a good thing.


I know you meant to hurt my poor ickle feelings, but:

a) My point was precisely that anyone with minimal training can cough up a playable map, therefore the professionals have no excuses.

b) I wasn't suggesting that the home-made map was better than your beloved ASL, just that at some point ASL is surely going to have to be upgraded?

c) I can't stop laughing at the thought that the ASL maps WEREN'T the result of someone with minimal training 'coughing up a map'.

d) I grew up in Yorkshire so you'll have to do better than that.



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Jim F
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keethrax wrote:
Ashiefan wrote:

Maybe its my miniatures background but l like games that look good as well as play well. Or it may be that I'm just shallow. Agreed about TDC although the use of historical symbols for the German units and NATO symbols for the Allies got a bit confusing.


Since you use the actual symbols for *almost* nothing it *almost* doesn't really matter.


Except in the first play when I mistook the mortar symbols for HMG units. That made quite a difference...whistle
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Sim Guy
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Components at all levels have come a long way since PanzerBlitz was considered the best in show. You only have to look at Panzerblitz: Hill of Death to see a good example of how far. Just about every publisher realizes that nice looking components and attractive maps are essential to sales. But the temptation to put a lot of detail into them can cause some unintended consequences, such as counters that have so much on them that aged eyes (like mine) can't read, or maps that are so busy that it's hard to pick the unit counters out on them. I ran into this last phenomenon when playing Panzer Grenadier: Cassino '44, Gateway to Rome; the maps are beautiful - near photo-imagery quality depictions of the Cassino battlefield. But I kept missing units - especially the Germans - in the pedominantly black and grey parts of the map. After a while, I started to get a little eye strain from the effort of picking the units out.

I like the level of detail that can be put into the components of todays games, but I also appreciate components that are functional and clear. It certainly depends on the game, but I think there needs to be a balance of detail, form, and function. After all I'm going to play the game, not frame it, no matter how suitable it may be.
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James Lowry
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
b) I wasn't suggesting that the home-made map was better than your beloved ASL, just that at some point ASL is surely going to have to be upgraded?

If the other maps aren't better than the ASL maps, why does ASL need upgrading?

I have to say, some the best looking tactical maps ever done are the original four SL boards. The color pallet in those is just so vibrant and inviting it sucks you into wanting to play.

Sadly, the new SK-style kills that. Thankfully, the full set is now consistent, instead of having 20 different background green colors. And many of the boards have improved in looks with the transition. It's very much an averaging thing.

At least there's still HASL:
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Andrew Laws
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surprise

Now we're talking.
 
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Ryan Powers
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Ashiefan wrote:

Except in the first play when I mistook the mortar symbols for HMG units. That made quite a difference...whistle


But in theory you don't need the symbol for that. All the relevant play mechanic information that differentiates the two is encoded in the numbers (and colors).

Engineers on the other hand are the one thing I can think of that isn't encoded anywhere but the symbol and possibly the text for the name in some, but not all cases.
 
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j b Goodwin

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I was entering a WBC tournament for Hammer of the Scots one year, and my friend and I were the last players to be entered, so they paired us together. We had only played on the first edition set, but we had a later edition put in front of us. One of us said, "Oh, we get to play with the pretty cards!" The tournament master shook hjis head and looked at us, and said, "We don't really don't say 'pretty' and 'wargame' in the same breath."

My friend and I just laughed.

Still, a valuable lesson...
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Ryan Powers
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:

I know you meant to hurt my poor ickle feelings, but:


I had no intention whatsoever of hurting your feelings. Apparently growing up in Yorkshire made you softer than you think if that got under your skin.
Quote:

a) My point was precisely that anyone with minimal training can cough up a playable map, therefore the professionals have no excuses.

Playable? Sure. Which is completely irrelevant to "pretty" unless the prettification actively interferes.

Even you admit that the ASL ones look better even though they're often decades old. So I'm lost as to if you have any sort of point at all.

You can't have it both ways.

You can't say both "see how easy it is to make pretty maps" and "well this map that I'm using to 'prove' my point isn't actually prettier after all" and hope for your argument to hold any water.

Quote:

b) I wasn't suggesting that the home-made map was better than your beloved ASL, just that at some point ASL is surely going to have to be upgraded?


That makes so close to no sense that I don't even no where to start. I mean, on the surface "at some point ASL maps will need to be upgraded" is probably true and I would love to see it. But at the same time, your support so far is "because someone can whip up a inferior map like *this*"

Umm... how does that support your position?

Quote:

c) I can't stop laughing at the thought that the ASL maps WEREN'T the result of someone with minimal training 'coughing up a map'.


As compared to your map it demonstrates exactly that. It looks better by your own admission.

You're talking out of both sides of your mouth here, and the logical fallacies inherent in such shenanigans make a useful conversation to much work.

Quote:

d) I grew up in Yorkshire so you'll have to do better than that.

Clearly, and very sadly, I do not since you did take offense as your tone indicates. Further since you're stance and supporting arguments do not mesh with one another, I think I'll be done with this part of the thread.
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Andrew Laws
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Breathe Ryan, breathe.

I know you consider yourself quite the logician but you are whipping yourself up into one of your trademark frenzies over stuff I never said.

keethrax wrote:

Quote:

a) My point was precisely that anyone with minimal training can cough up a playable map, therefore the professionals have no excuses.

Playable? Sure. Which is completely irrelevant to "pretty" unless the prettification actively interferes.


Where did I say it was pretty and/or prettier Ryan? My point, which I will clarify was that the proliferation of inexpensive drawing software means that a perfectly playable map that won't make your eyes bleed is easily made by anyone with a home computer. If that's what amateurs can do, then imagine what the pros can do.

keethrax wrote:
Even you admit that the ASL ones look better even though they're often decades old. So I'm lost as to if you have any sort of point at all.

You can't have it both ways.

You can't say both "see how easy it is to make pretty maps" and "well this map that I'm using to 'prove' my point isn't actually prettier after all" and hope for your argument to hold any water.


What point am I proving Ryan? In the original post I end my musing about ASL with a friendly "non?" to encourage people to reply with their thoughts on ASL. Like James Lowry did. That's a classy way to win an argument, even if that 'argument' is in your own mind.

My back-pedalling since was me furiously trying to diffuse what I could sense was brewing and hopefully prevent the inevitable. An off the cuff remark, a postscript, a musing, a muttered idea, about ASL needing to update the look of their mapboards has, in your mind, become 'my position'. The map wasn't really linked to ASL originally I was just talking out loud.

soblue

keethrax wrote:
Quote:

b) I wasn't suggesting that the home-made map was better than your beloved ASL, just that at some point ASL is surely going to have to be upgraded?


That makes so close to no sense that I don't even no where to start. I mean, on the surface "at some point ASL maps will need to be upgraded" is probably true and I would love to see it. But at the same time, your support so far is "because someone can whip up a inferior map like *this*"

Umm... how does that support your position?


Ummm... It doesn't Ryan, because I don't have a position. The map wasn't offered in evidence for my grand and intractable 'ASL maps are awful BECAUSE it is possible to make a map like this at home' argument because I wasn't making one.

keethrax wrote:
Quote:

c) I can't stop laughing at the thought that the ASL maps WEREN'T the result of someone with minimal training 'coughing up a map'.


As compared to your map it demonstrates exactly that. It looks better by your own admission.

You're talking out of both sides of your mouth here, and the logical fallacies inherent in such shenanigans make a useful conversation to much work.


Do you think you've perhaps over-reacted?

Again.
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Matt Irsik
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I think the COA version of Napoleon at Leipzig has one of the most beautiful maps in my game collection. The COA Struggle for Europe series also has some very nice maps in it as well.
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