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Subject: Which 3 Wargames Could Unite The World In Perfect Harmony? [SIGH] rss

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Paul Cornelissen
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I got this idea after slogging through these recent threads...

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/837833/the-one-wargame-that-... (Thanks, Mallet)

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/839587/oh-its-like-risk-is-i... (Thanks, cstimpson)

While it might be (nearly) impossible to identify the ONE wargame EVERYONE might play, and the fact that many wargamers have, at one time or another, had (ahem) a common citizen inquire about our beloved hobby, I wondered is it possible to create a short-list of 3 wargames that could bring BOTH parties together?

In other words, is there a Holy Grail set of 3 wargames that could best appease the voracious appetite of a seasoned grognard AND entice an interested novice who knows nothing about eZOCs or supply lines to the same table for 2 or 3 hours of FRIENDLY face-to-face competition?

This idea is also indirectly connected to this thread...

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/825757/wargamings-biggest-en... (Thanks, sxmpxr)

I'm VERY interested in attracting more folks to this hobby, but I'm a bit saddened by some of the posts in that third thread. I suppose we wargamers are who we are, finicky and fussy all around, but if we could peal off and redirect some of those curious Euro-gamers into our niche, we'd all be for the better.

As a conversation starter, I'd like to propose the following 3...

No Retreat! The Russian Front (Strategic, 2011 Charles S. Roberts Award Winner)
Commands & Colors: Ancients (Blocks)
Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Division ("Old-school" tactical hex-n-counter)

Okay, now let 'er rip!

P.S. Case Blue... HA, beat you to it!

P.P.S. Let's not get into one of these discussions...

 

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Zhe Leng
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Well, I think as least you should put Axis and Allies into the list, if you don't want to include Risk in it.
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Arnaud MOYON
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Cry Havoc (all the basics of wargame in this old but still great game)
Commands & Colors: Ancients (very attractive, simple and fun)
Combat Commander: Europe (I know this is much more difficult but I can tell it works with new gamers)
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Gordon Watson
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ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
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- Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage (A great game and the Euro players will recognise the area majority aspect and it includes a nice Euro style card game as a combat resolution mechanic).

- Napoleon's Triumph (Wooden blocks, no dice and it looks great - it's also a brilliant game)

- Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 (if you want tactical WWII combat this would be my choice. Although Combat Commander has some very clever mechanics it is more complex than ASL:SK and is significantly more chaotic)


I think the suggestion of No Retreat! The Russian Front is quite a good one but am less convinced about the suggestions of the various strains of the Command & Colo(u)rs games - I would have thought them a bit too luck prone for most Euro gamers.
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Mark Christopher
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Largo68 wrote:

While it might be (nearly) impossible to identify the ONE wargame EVERYONE might play, and the fact that many wargamers have, at one time or another, had (ahem) a common citizen inquire about our beloved hobby, I wondered is it possible to create a short-list of 3 wargames that could bring BOTH parties together?


NO! Now stop asking.



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Shane Beck
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Risk
Axis and Allies
Memoire 44devil
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Max Way
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General entry: Risk. Because it is simple, and fun for the first few plays (or with 1.5 minute turns played out on a computer), and leads the young apprentices down the path to wargaming: next, Risk 2210 or Risk Godstorm, followed by Risk Legacy, then on to the chit-based games like Small World and Combat Commander.

Squad-level entry: I'd have to pick Axis and Allies Miniatures (or maybe War at Sea) over Axis and Allies. There are some people I know who refuse to play AA (any of the variants) simply because of the time factor and perceived complexity. Playing a set-piece scenario with AAM, new individuals can pick up the dice and start rolling. There's a bit of tactical manoeuvring, lots of pretty models (an advantage for bringing in non-gamers if set up at a gaming convention), a reasonably fast playing time, and a good bit of fun.

Monster Game entry: Total War, because it is truly the wargaming saga for the ages... and both wargamers and non-wargamers appreciate a good laugh.
 
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Michael Dorosh
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Largo68 wrote:


P.P.S. Let's not get into one of these discussions...

 



Somebody please explain that particular meme to me because I plain ol' ain't gettin' it.

Not sure I want to, pretty sure I don't need to, but it's been in enough threads for me to believe I might as well at least try.

TIA
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Michael Dorosh
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Shane Beck wrote:
Risk
Axis and Allies
Memoire 44devil


Squad Leader
Advanced Squad Leader
Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1

The perfect trifecta.
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p55carroll
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Commands & Colors: Ancients
Napoleon at Waterloo
Victory in the Pacific

All suitable for both newbies and grognards, together these cover the whole span of military history, touching on three popular periods. The tactical, operational, and strategic dimensions are all at least touched upon lightly. NaW demonstrates traditional hex-and-counter wargaming, while C&C:A shows card-driven wargaming and VitP reveals area movement and buckets-o-dice combat resolution (also affording opportunity for strategic thinking). IMO, a typical Eurogamer would be willing to give all these a try, and a die-hard wargamer wouldn't flatly reject any of them.
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Martin Gallo
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
Largo68 wrote:


P.P.S. Let's not get into one of these discussions...

 



Somebody please explain that particular meme to me because I plain ol' ain't gettin' it.

Not sure I want to, pretty sure I don't need to, but it's been in enough threads for me to believe I might as well at least try.

TIA
Other names for it (that do not really need pictures) are: Pissing match, butting heads, acting like children, king of the sandbox, boorish behavior, degradation of the thread into name-calling and other derailing tactics.

The slightly short explanation is that people, being people, tend to sometimes overreact to something someone types and choose to "champion their point of view" to the point that the thread becomes useless. Get more than one and it only takes a few posts.
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Martin Gallo
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I think if you are trying to get newbies interested in wargaming that leaving anything ASL off the list would be appropriate. It is not a game for beginners.

No Retreat seems like a good choice because it has simple rules except that there are some critical decisions that will mess u a beginner and might scare them off. It takes a certain amount of dedication to keep at this hobby.

M'44/Battle Cry seems like a good choice.

One thing to consider is period of interest. It is MUCH easier to get people interested in a game if it is about an era of history they know something about or would like to learn more about.
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Michael Dorosh
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martimer wrote:
I think if you are trying to get newbies interested in wargaming that leaving anything ASL off the list would be appropriate. It is not a game for beginners.

No Retreat seems like a good choice because it has simple rules except that there are some critical decisions that will mess u a beginner and might scare them off. It takes a certain amount of dedication to keep at this hobby.

M'44/Battle Cry seems like a good choice.

One thing to consider is period of interest. It is MUCH easier to get people interested in a game if it is about an era of history they know something about or would like to learn more about.


For some reason, I'd have to believe a true solitaire title should be on the list, too, if only because most gaming is still done that way.
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Andrew Kluck
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Up Front
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
For some reason, I'd have to believe a true solitaire title should be on the list, too, if only because most gaming is still done that way.

I don't believe it is done that way--or ever was. Not true solitaire.

Most wargaming has been done, and still is, by a single player playing both sides of a game designed for two (or more) players.

Designed-for-solitaire games have two big downsides: (1) the player has to operate a manual AI in addition to making normal game moves, and (2) the game can never be played head-to-head with anyone else.
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Eric Lai
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Which 3 Wargames Could Unite The World In Perfect Harmony?

I can think of 4:

Third World War Series

By winning World War 3, you could bring on the thousand year Reich.
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Martin Gallo
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Garfink wrote:
Which 3 Wargames Could Unite The World In Perfect Harmony?

I can think of 4:

Third World War Series

By winning World War 3, you could bring on the thousand year Reich.
How about Nuclear War?
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June Hwang Wah
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Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
Breakout: Normandy
Squad Leader
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Michael Dorosh
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
the game can never be played head-to-head with anyone else.


Win-win if it keeps chip-eating social outcasts from spilling drinks on my carpets and hardwood floors.
 
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OK, another attempt to slice and dice the wargaming universe to find some happy nexus where we can all sit at the same table. I'm not entirely clear on if this is supposed to be aimed at only new players, or a mix of new and established wargamers. Seems to me that it would make sense to build a group of three games for noobs and another set of three for vets. If I carry this idea through, my two sets might look like this:

Noob set:
Axis and Allies 1942
Battlecry 150th Anniversary edition
Storm Over Stalingrad

All relatively easy games with some variety in mechanisms, scale, and theme. Also, I believe all are in print which is probably an important consideration for noobs.

Vet set:
The Russian Campaign
Commands and Colors Ancients
Washington's War

A nice mix of engaging games spanning classic hex and counter to CDG design, all playable in a single setting. I did not include any strictly solo games since I figured those would go against the spirit of the exercise, that being identifying games that gamers would be willing to play with just about any other wargamer.
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Michael Dorosh
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
Michael Dorosh wrote:
For some reason, I'd have to believe a true solitaire title should be on the list, too, if only because most gaming is still done that way.

I don't believe it is done that way--or ever was. Not true solitaire.

Most wargaming has been done, and still is, by a single player playing both sides of a game designed for two (or more) players.

Designed-for-solitaire games have two big downsides: (1) the player has to operate a manual AI in addition to making normal game moves, and (2) the game can never be played head-to-head with anyone else.


But seriously, I don't think anyone here honestly needs the history lecture. Let me clarify nonetheless. Since playing solitaire has always been such a large part of the experience, if selecting three games are intended to convey to a newcomer the broadest possible gateway into the world, it should reflect that world as accurately as possible and provide as much insight into what it has to offer.

A solitaire title would be a good way to do that. As for never being able to be played with anyone else - that's not true, necessarily (you can always play co-operatively, for one, and there are two-player variants even for some solitaire titles, B-17 for example, though they were not all that fulfilling). But really, who said face-to-face play was the gold standard? For many people, it clearly is not.
 
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Jim Ransom
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desertfox2004 wrote:
OK, another attempt to slice and dice the wargaming universe to find some happy nexus where we can all sit at the same table.


Hmmmm. We've already seen that wargamers can't agree on ONE wargame that most players would agree is good and enjoyable to play. I suspect there will be little convergence on opinions on a Top 3. This seems like an exercise bound to fail, although sure to bring forth lots of discussion and opinions. Which is ...OK. As Stuart Smalley would say.

Can't we all just get along...?
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
Since playing solitaire has always been such a large part of the experience, if selecting three games are intended to convey to a newcomer the broadest possible gateway into the world, it should reflect that world as accurately as possible and provide as much insight into what it has to offer.

A solitaire title would be a good way to do that.

That's where I disagree. I don't think designed-for-solitaire games like Ambush! and Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations have ever been "such a large part of the experience." They're fine games, and they have their fans, but I don't see them as at all representative of what wargaming is all about. To me, it would be grossly misleading to include such a game. They're examples of the exception, not the rule.

Quote:
As for never being able to be played with anyone else - that's not true, necessarily (you can always play co-operatively, for one, and there are two-player variants even for some solitaire titles, B-17 for example, though they were not all that fulfilling). But really, who said face-to-face play was the gold standard? For many people, it clearly is not.

I agree with all that. I'm just saying that if we're trying to come up with three wargames that together represent the whole of what wargaming is, a designed-for-solitaire wargame would stand out like a sore thumb. Might as well look for a chit-pull wargame or an area-impulse wargame or a wargame with LOS checks or a wargame with politico-economic subsystems. Or a computer wargame.

A lot of wargaming is done solitaire, and that'd be a good thing to get across. But from what I've been able to gather, the vast majority of solo wargaming entails just playing both sides against each other. That can be communicated to the newbie just by saying, "Oh, by the way, you can just play both sides of this game against each other if you don't have an opponent or if you want to just study or practice."
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Wendell
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Well at least these three games cover a lot of history...
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Paul Cornelissen
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lengzhe wrote:
Well, I think as least you should put Axis and Allies into the list, if you don't want to include Risk in it.

Good point, and an obvious miss on my part (re: Axis & Allies: 1942).

You are right, I do not want to add Risk. I didn't say so in the original post, but I'm specifically interested in excluding that entire family of games from this discussion. I think there are plenty of meaty wargames out there more worthy of a slot.
 
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