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Subject: Trying to pick out my first wargame rss

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Majin 19
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My friend and I are starting to have game nights, and I'm looking for a good wargame for us to play. So far, I'm considering:

Memoir '44
Tide of Iron
Combat Commander
Conflict of Heroes

Which of these is best to start out with? Or is there another game we should try instead?
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Brian Morris
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Haven't played Tide of Iron or Company of Heroes but I have played the other two.

Memoir '44 is a great starter game. The rules aren't heavy but the game play is a lot of fun and you still have to make smart tactical decisions. It's a great first wargame. I've played it and had a real fun time with other veteran wargamers.

Combat Commander is another fantastic game but it's a bit much for your first wargame. I'd say it was just a hair over mid level complexity wise. I highly recommend the game but not as your first wargame.

So I'd recommend Memoir '44. You'll enjoy it and you can hit the ground running but still enjoy the tactical choices you'll have to make in the game.
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Daniel
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Figure out what war you want to simulate first. Then pick your game based on what you and your friend are interested in.

Memoir 44 is great introduction but it won't be realistic or historical really. You won't get a feel for what WWII tactics were like from playing it. But it's a good card and dice game that has you pushing plastic tanks and soldiers around the board.

You'll find out on this forum that everyone's definition of wargame is slightly different. Some wouldn't call Memoir a wargame. I can recommend Memoir as a game but perhaps not a wargame. I hear Tide of Iron is like Memoir but a little more fiddly.

Conflict of Heroes is a fantastic board game.
I hear good things about Combat Commander.
My favorite tactical squad level game is Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles and would be a fantastic tactical game.

I just got it in the mail, so I can't speak from experience yet, but No Retreat! The Russian Front would be a great wargame at a larger scale.
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Daniel
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I'd say for light conflict-type games, Memoir '44, Axis & Allies, Nexus Ops, or Revised Risk would all be great introductions and fun games. If you want to go a little deeper from there, you can.
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Mateusz Wilk
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My two cents - don't bother with Memoir 44, it's so simplistic that it does not convey many notions that you will encounter in other wargames and its general interest tends to wear off quickly. If I were to suggest one super-simple game it would be Manoeuvre. It has the same disadvantage of not really introducing the player to numerous more advanced concepts, but is A LOT more fun than M44.
From your list I would probably choose Conflict of Heroes, very simple and playable, I think it's the best gateway game among the ones you mentioned. It also looks great, which is good for luring new players.
As I am currently reading the rules for No Retreat! The Russian Front (I want to finally take it off the shelf for the first time, it has remained unplayed for half a year) I think it might be a good introductory greater-scale game (extremely low counter density, simple rules introducing the player to the standard wargaming concepts such as ZOC, CRT and the likes). GMT had some issues with the rulebook (which is not badly written, it just underwent some changes and there were, I think, several versions of it. Furthermore, the designer is very active here on the geek and resolves any doubts very quickly).
You might also want to take a look at A Victory Lost: Crisis in Ukraine 1942-1943 or its sequel, A Victory Denied: Crisis at Smolensk, July-September, 1941 which are also quite simple games (good gateway ones) with a lot of tension.
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R Larsen
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Despite No Retreat the Russian Front being my present #1 game, I am not sure it is entirely beginner level. The first VPG version might be, but I think the GMT version with some additions, is probably just a bit above beginner.

I would think the same for A Victory Lost and Combat Commander.

The other games I dont know well enough.

I would suggest that you go for Commands and Colors: Ancients which is a great yet simple game.
Also consider one of the simpler block games from CG, and I would particularly look into Julius Ceasar which is fast and fun but with a lot of decisions.
Despite not knowing Band of Brothers, it would also seem a good option, if you prefer the WWII era.

Have fun!
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Daniel Lamb
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Majin19 wrote:
My friend and I are starting to have game nights, and I'm looking for a good wargame for us to play. So far, I'm considering:

Memoir '44
Tide of Iron
Combat Commander
Conflict of Heroes

Which of these is best to start out with? Or is there another game we should try instead?


Exciting! I think the answer somewhat depends on the types of games you already play. If you are tackling any games with medium complexity, I wouldn't think that Conflict of Heroes would be a bad choice. The manual does a nice job of teaching you one aspect at a time. It's my favorite on your list.
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John McLintock
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Ignore the nay-sayers against Memoir'44. Sure, it's a wargame-lite, and so it fails on some points of authenticity. But it scores more highly on some other points than its detractors are wont to admit. It's also a hell of a lot of fun; can easily be played in an hour or less- so you could play several games in a typical evening gaming session; and is one of the few wargames which is 'family-friendly', being especially suitable for kids. So there are lots of good reasons to pick M44 as your first wargame, number 1 of which is that it's just a great game.

I'm a big fan of Combat Commander, but I agree with those who say it's not the ideal first choice, so Conflict of Heroes would be my alternative suggestion.
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Igor Zacharjasz
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Guys, seriously... Memoir'44 a wargame? Really?

Combat Commander, Conflict of heroes - good starters for squad level games
Red Winter - excellent starter for company level games
Sekigahara and Strike of the Eagles - if you want to try block games
A Victory Lost and A Victory Denied should also work for you.
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Steve Cox
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rufus stone wrote:


This needs to be combined with Guderian's Blitzkrieg II
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John McLintock
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Igorekz wrote:
Guys, seriously... Memoir'44 a wargame? Really?

Combat Commander, Conflict of heroes - good starters for squad level games
Red Winter - excellent starter for company level games
Sekigahara and Strike of the Eagles - if you want to try block games
A Victory Lost and A Victory Denied should also work for you.

Yes, really: a wargame-lite, like I said. I suggest you try to identify one feature definitive of wargames which is lacking in M44 before you start spouting such pejoratives.
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Steve Arthur
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billyboy wrote:
rufus stone wrote:


This needs to be combined with Guderian's Blitzkrieg II


...but forget it if you've got agoraphobia...
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I think the best choice between the games you have listed would depend on the complexity of other board games you have played. They all have the cool factor of fighting different scenarios during WWII and being fresh every time you play them but have different learning curves. It all depends on how much time you want to spend learning the game vs playing the game immediately.

If most of the games you have played previously were light on rules and took less than an hour, try Memoir '44 or Tide of Iron. If you have already played other non-war-games that took between 1-3 hours and had more complicated rules, then try Combat Commander or Conflict of Heroes.

For beginners, M44 and ToI can be a lot of fun, but the are quite simple and there is a good chance you will out grow them quickly. However, CC and CoH could leave you scratching your head if aren't used to the mechanics of war-games.

Welcome to the wonderful world of wargaming! Your wallet will hate you. laugh


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Rui Serrabulho
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How about Washington's War?

Ins ´t it good to start playing wargames?

Then the EZOC´s can appear...
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Igor Zacharjasz
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JMcL63 wrote:
Igorekz wrote:
Guys, seriously... Memoir'44 a wargame? Really?

Combat Commander, Conflict of heroes - good starters for squad level games
Red Winter - excellent starter for company level games
Sekigahara and Strike of the Eagles - if you want to try block games
A Victory Lost and A Victory Denied should also work for you.

Yes, really: a wargame-lite, like I said. I suggest you try to identify one feature definitive of wargames which is lacking in M44 before you start spouting such pejoratives.


Pejoratives? According to you saying a game is not a wargame is a pejorativ? Interesting...
I didn't say that it is bad game. Actually it is really fun. I play it all the time with my 6 year old son. Btw - he is rally good at this.

I'm speaking only for myself and I'm just saying that infantry and tanks figures doesn't make it a wargame. War-theme maybe... but not a wargame.
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Leo Zappa
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Frankly, if you really want to start playing wargames, I mean, real wargames, I wouldn't go with any of these suggestions. Here's what I'd do - go on eBay and pick up one or more of the following, which while out of print are readily available and cheap:

Afrika Korps
D-Day
The Battle of the Bulge
Stalingrad
Waterloo
Midway

The Avalon Hill Classics. And they are classics for a reason - straightforward wargames easy to get into but providing plenty of wargaming goodness. If it were up to me, these would be prerequisites before anyone played any other wargames - they will provide you a solid foundation of wargaming knowledge, and you can proceed from playing these to playing virtually any other wargames out there. No cards, buckets of dice, stickered blocks, toy soldiers, or other glitzy chrome-y bits - just hexes and counters. Do yourself a favor and pick one or more of these up and discover what wargaming is really all about.

As for the rest of ya,

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Gabriel Gendron
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Igorekz wrote:
Guys, seriously... Memoir'44 a wargame? Really?


Memoir '44 is as much a wargame as Command and Colors series. Would it look better in your eyes if it had GMT printed on the box? Please...
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Majin19 wrote:
My friend and I are starting to have game nights, and I'm looking for a good wargame for us to play. So far, I'm considering:

Memoir '44
Tide of Iron
Combat Commander
Conflict of Heroes

Which of these is best to start out with? Or is there another game we should try instead?



I've played them all. Memoir '44.

It plays fast (less than an hour).
It is incredibly flexible. If you play all of the scenarios in the book and want more, they make all kinds of expansions.
If you want to explore other themes, the designer has used the system in other games: Battle Cry (Civil War), Commands & Colors: Ancients, Commands & Colors: Napoleonics, etc.

Nothing against the other games. If you like Memoir and want to try out new directions, you have plenty to go in.

Have fun!
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Igor Zacharjasz
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gab4tac wrote:
Igorekz wrote:
Guys, seriously... Memoir'44 a wargame? Really?


Memoir '44 is as much a wargame as Command and Colors series. Would if look better in your eyes if it had GMT printed on the box? Please...


Can I have my own oppinion about Memoir'44?
Doesn't matter who is publisher. For me it is not a wargame. Period.
If someone ask me I always say: "Not a wargame".

And don't "please" me

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Seen some good suggestions but I'm not sure why people suggest Memoir '44 as a first war-game. It's pretty much the Candyland of war-games and could be fun I guess, but has no real depth. CC is ok maybe but really seems to be more of a card game which happens to have some counters on a map that don't mean nearly as much as the cards of chaos in your hand. Gets boring fast.

If you want tactical, why not Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1? Easy enough to start with. Even my wife can play this one.
Or if you want beginner operational level you could try something from SCS.
A good block game I think would be Hammer of the Scots.
A lot of the games from Victory Point Games would probably be decent too.
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Warren Bruhn
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psicoserra wrote:
How about Washington's War?

Ins ´t it good to start playing wargames?

Then the EZOC´s can appear...


I totally agree with this recommendation. Washington's War is strategic. The map looks great. Component quality is high. Counter density is low. Historical chrome is good. Rule book length is reasonable. Play time is short, with experienced players being able to knock out a game in 90 minutes.

Washington's War is a good introduction to the many excellent "card driven games" with point to point maps and simple "to hit" style combat systems. From there the new wargamers could move on to Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage, Sword of Rome, Here I Stand, and Paths of Glory.

ZoC and CRT can wait for a time when the new wargamers want to experience some antique wargaming concepts.
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desertfox2004 wrote:


While I agree with the idea that classic games can still be great, and can still be great introductory games, I'd recomend some different ones:

Russian Campaign --- this one because many wargamers think it is the greatest, or one of the greatest, wargames ever designed and printed, and because it has great replay value

Victory in the Pacific --- area control with "buckets of dice" type combat systems are a lot of fun, and this is one of the most respected games of that type, and it's good for many plays
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In making the choice, part of it depends nowhere you're both coming from. If you're both totally new, have in the past tended towards other genres, aren't yet total history nerds or don't expect to be, or aren't deeply ensconced in strategy games like chess that have a plausible relationship to Sun Tzu's Art of War, then I'd recommend the double barrel approach of memoir '44 and Afrika Korps (used).

The first is quick, light and gets some of the basic concepts and history down. Simulation value is pretty low, however. But it's a start to building certain habits and understandings that will carry over. Afrika Korps is cheap, relatively quick and encompasses in one game and short rules almost all the DNA of-- my favorite kind of game -- the more traditional hex-and-counter games.

From there it's easy to slowly spread into the ASL starter kits or Band of Brothers (tactical); the standard combat series (more operational/strategic), or even card-driven stuff like No Retreat. But don't forget a classic like Panzer Leader or the Russian Campaign. but you have to enjoy the first step before you get there.
 
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