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Subject: Best wargames suitable for tournament play? rss

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Bernard Hopkins
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What are the best wargames that are excellent for tournament play? They need to be 2 player and playable to conclusion within around 3 hours. Rules that can be quickly grasped after a quick read through. Which are the games that lend themselves to the development of new strategies and to chess-like game-play, where players are always thinking a move or two ahead?
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Carl Paradis
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I really like this one, but it some games can be a bit long to finish (4+ hours). Use the scenarios.

A House Divided
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Malcolm Cameron
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Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit

The mother ship (Advanced Squad Leader itself) is great for tournament play too.

But your "ease of learning" criteria means it is the starter kits (for now ...)

If you are potentially buying, go for Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit Expansion Pack #1

It is: in print; not expensive; self-contained (notwithstanding a name that hints otherwise).

And it has infantry, guns and tanks alone or in combination


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Tim Benjamin
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I think Buffalo Wings (the easiest version of the Fighting Wings games) would work well with the inclusion of 'chess' clocks to add spontaneity and keeping things moving. It can handle many arrangements: 2-player 1v1 & 2v2 or multi-player of maybe up to 4v4 for brisk tournament play.

(I am NOT the expert here.)
 
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Judd Vance
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Washington's War: 90-120 minutes.
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Robert Ridgeway
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for multi-player, "Origins of WWII" can be played in a single day, since each game takes no longer than an hour, requiring only 5 hours for each player to play each Nation.
 
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Karl Kreder
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I help run the The Wargame Boot Camp for Strategicon conventions in Los Angles. We have run a lot of war games for people. Some of my suggestions for for your criteria:

d10-1 Manoeuvre by GMT Games. Light, easy rules, and you have eight different factions in the box that means you can have four different two player games at the same time.

d10-2 Washington's War by GMT Games. Another fairly light on rules game. Also the designer but rules in the back specificly for tournament play.

d10-3 Battlecry by Avalon Hill (Hasbro). We just had Richard Borg as a guest at our last convention and he was wonderful! In the final round of the Battle Cry tournament he played three players at once, and won two of them. This is a quick game (less than two hours) and the rules are easy to teach. Actualy most of Richards games will work (Command & Colors Ancients, Napoleon, or Memoir '44 are the ones I know)

d10-4 D-Day Dice by Valley Gmes. this just came out on kickstrater and you might not have it yet, but a free copy can be printed out. The game is easy and takes less than an hour.

d10-5 No Rtreat! The Russian Front by GMT Games. This one is a little more to teach but can be done in two to three hours.

There are other games that a little more complex or take a little more time but this is a good stat. How it helps
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Pokey 64
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Stratego

Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation

The Battle for Hill 218



 
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401k? More like .357
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The Hell of Stalingrad
Spearpoint 1943

Both are fast, furious, and you can play plenty of drops in a sitting.
 
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Reinhard Mueller
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Arctic Jack wrote:
What are the best wargames that are excellent for tournament play? They need to be 2 player and playable to conclusion within around 3 hours. Rules that can be quickly grasped after a quick read through. Which are the games that lend themselves to the development of new strategies and to chess-like game-play, where players are always thinking a move or two ahead?

I would have suggested Napoleon's Triumph, but you ask for quickly grasped rules.
What about Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan, very easy, explainable rules and fast gameplay.
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Kent Reuber
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I've played in both Commands & Colors: Ancients and Commands & Colors: Napoleonics tournaments. All players play the same scenario twice, switching sides. Tournament ranking is counted by the total number of victory points collected. The nice thing about the C&C games is that they only take an hour or so to play, so you can do a tournament round in an afternoon.
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Bill Eldard
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A number of the Columbia block games make for excellent tournament games:

War of 1812

This is a personal favorite. Easy to learn, both land and naval operations around and on the US-Canadian border, and lots of options.

Hammer of the Scots

This one is very popular at Prezcon.

Julius Caesar

I haven't played this one, but block game tournament champions I know praise this game as one of the most balanced and fun of the genre.


 
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Marstov
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Wilderness War has a scenario just for tournament play. It should take about 2-3 hours, and it's a very good game.
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Andy Daglish
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Arctic Jack wrote:
What are the best wargames that are excellent for tournament play? They need to be 2 player and playable to conclusion within around 3 hours. Rules that can be quickly grasped after a quick read through. Which are the games that lend themselves to the development of new strategies and to chess-like game-play, where players are always thinking a move or two ahead?


Given these strictures, tournaments that worked very well included Quatre Bras from Napoleon's Last Battles and A Bridge Too Far: Arnhem from Westwall: Four Battles to Germany. The former is the better choice, and its something more than its 1d6 70s-era SPI CRT might suggest. Also there is your chess-like feel as new units show up each turn, and surely competitors will move on to their next game will new ideas based on what just happened.

Problems with others on this list include length, crapness, simplicity or an overdependence on chance factors, where its hard to recover from a reverse, suggesting multiple play in league form is better than a knockout.
 
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Andy Beaton
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Hammer of the Scots and Crusader Rex are both good quick learns.
2 de Mayo as well, but it might be too small and quick.
 
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Maybe except for the "chess-like game-play" part: Empire: The Macedonian Punic Wars, 350-150BC
Yes, this is probably very different from what you imagined, but it is available for £5.00 per copy (including shipping!) from The Society of Ancients and somehow fits your description
 
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D T P
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Anzio, or better it's 6th Edition, Italia.
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Napoleon at Waterloo
or any single quad game from Napoleon's Last Battles...
Quatre Bras
Ligny
La Belle Alliance
(probably not so much Wavre)
All these very simple to learn, still grog-friendly, and quick to play
I'd be less sure, but you might also consider a similar set of games like the Great Medieval Battles quad. But I'd personally expect the Napoleonics to draw better and they are also much more widely played (so debugged) games anyhow.
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David Dockter
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List of game tournies at WBC; king of the competitive wargame tourney:

http://www.boardgamers.org/gamelist.htm

...or check out the tournies run last year there:

http://www.boardgamers.org/yearbook11/

Given your 2 to 3 hour requirement (game length), I'd recommended:

Washington's War

Wilderness War

Hannibal

If you want to go retro, go with 1776 (use a clock - first 9 months of 1776 campaign game - brit bids victory cities to capture).

If you want to go cult of the new, Sekigahara.

WW2? I suppose you would have to go tactical; would give a nod to Combat Commander....unless you want to go retro - then go Anzio (Avalon Hill).

If you want to go cult of the new, No Retreat: Russian Front.

All of those games are fairly easy to learn to play (would recommend you have a pre-one hour session before your tourney begins where you'll teach the game - that is all it will take). Additionally, all the games are a blast to play.

Make sure you give away some cool trophy; for example, the GM of Wilderness War at WBC gives away a real tomahawk. arrrh
 
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john f stup
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GETTYSBURG by Martin Wallace
 
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xlhrider wrote:


Yeah, but you better know your stuff when it comes to Anzio; you've got guys that have been playing it in tournaments since the Nixon Administration that know every possible move like Kasparov. You step off Turn 1 the wrong way, they will tell you why they'll wind up beating you by Turn 12.
 
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