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Hammer of the Scots» Forums » General

Subject: HotS or Strike of the Eagle rss

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A Brave New Geek
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Hi all,

Has anyone played both or could give some advice? Cheers. Been recently paying Washington's War and 1989 with a mate and we were looking to try out a Block game.
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Dan Poole
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I have played both and enjoy both. Personally, I like SotE but I LOVE HotS. HoTs is simpler, less fiddly and involves dice rolls ro resolve combat. SotE involves simulataneous hidden placement of orders on blocks, then everything is resolved. Its a larger scale game with more scenarios. A very, very brief summary of the 2:

HotS
- Pretty much the same game (2 scenarios)
- Uses numbered cards to activate groups of blocks; has some event cards
- Uses dice to hammer out battles (no pun intended)

SotE
- Uses cards for multiple purposes such as reinforcements, combat, events
- Multiple scenarios
- Beautiful board
- Slightly more complex
- More Chess-like in that you try to gues what your opponents orders are. Combat does not involve any dice rolls
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Harmonica
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I have played both and prefer HotS.

HotS is a clean and clear gamesystem with a higher replay value. SotE fails somwhere. It has too many event cards which you rarely use but have to read every time the cards are dealt. The order system adds a nice twist, but feels somewhere artificial. Some cards are way too strong and can ruin an exciting game. I also don't like the separation of the game in two fronts.
 
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A Brave New Geek
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Thanks Dan. In your opinion are they of comparable duration? Also, which would you recommend as a good block game for starters?
 
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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abravenewgeek wrote:
Also, which would you recommend as a good block game for starters?

Hammer of the Scots was my first block game, and it led to the purchase of about 20 others, so you may want to avoid it.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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abravenewgeek wrote:
Has anyone played both or could give some advice?

I've played both, but they're utterly different games so I'm not sure how to make a comparison. My suggestion would be to follow your historical interests, and go with the one whose subject sounds most interesting.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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abravenewgeek wrote:
Thanks Dan. In your opinion are they of comparable duration? Also, which would you recommend as a good block game for starters?

That's easier to answer: Hammer of the Scots introduced the modern Columbia Games system; playing it will give you a major leg up on playing the others that they've released subsequently. Strike of the Eagle is sui generis; I've never played another game quite like it.

Personally, I've been playing block games since Gamma Two came out with Quebec 1759 forty years ago, so I've seen it all and am more drawn to something that's different. I'm also not sold on the way Columbia is applying essentially the same system to games spanning a couple of millenia, and was happier in the old days when the systems for their games were more diverse.

But for someone starting out and wanting to explore the world of block wargaming, Hammer of the Scots would undoubtedly be the better first step. It is at the heart of the genre, while Strike of the Eagle is an outlier.
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Phil Lewis
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The best part is that there's no bad choice here.

HotS is certainly easier to set up and a cleaner system overall. Game play is tense right off the bat. Just two scenarios, but there's a lot of replayability. As for component quality, the blocks are great and the cards and map are nicely done. It currently ranks as my number four game overall. I'll never pass on a game.

SotE is as much card-driven wargame as it is block game. Lots of decisions on every single card--they can be used for additional orders, for combat, for resupply, or for the event. The orders system adds even more fog of war than normal block games--both sides place two order chits per front on individual armies. These are revealed then executed in specific order. This one also offers great replay value and works perfectly for two or four players. Set up time can be painful--many of the blocks don't start at full strength. Oh yeah, a mounted map. That said, with a few more plays, SotE will certainly crack my top ten.

If you want something with the card-driven aspects of Washington's War and 1989 but with the great fog of war you get from block games (and hidden orders similar to A Game of Thrones), then SotE is the choice. If you want to depart from the card-driven format and go with the definitive block game, then it's HotS. You really can't go wrong.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Phil knows his post is a good one, else he wouldn't have thumbed it.
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Dan Poole
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IMO HotS is an excellent block game for starters. Its a pretty easy game to grasp, though wintering may be a bit confusing at first. Its my second favorite block game; Rommel in the Desert is my favorite (which I never get to play). There are ones with simpler rules, but in my opinion they feel watered down. As far as duration goes, HotS is shorter than SotE.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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voynix wrote:
IMO HotS is an excellent block game for starters. Its a pretty easy game to grasp, though wintering may be a bit confusing at first. Its my second favorite block game; Rommel in the Desert is my favorite (which I never get to play).

I'm a huge fan of RitD, but I never get to play it either.

voynix wrote:
As far as duration goes, HotS is shorter than SotE.

Shorter than the campaign. There are 2-player scenarios in SotE that are shorter than HotS. And that does bring up another point - the ability to play with 3 or 4 is a nice feature in SotE's favor.
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A Brave New Geek
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Much appreciated everyone. Thanks for all your comments. I think I will read the rules of both and then make a decision.

Man, I love this hobby.
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NICK KOUKOS
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Could I just put you in a slightly bigger dilemma? Have you seen Sekigahara?
 
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A Brave New Geek
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Yes and great advice! Thanks. My mate has the game and I will try and get it when gmt reprint. I went for Julius Caesar in the end. It's just what we were after.

Er... And SotE.
 
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Oleg Lazarev
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"Have you seen Sekigahara?"


If we are talking about block games with absolutely different game mechanics, than "Napoleon's Triumph" is also the option.
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