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Subject: Rate these multi-player wargames from top to bottom! rss

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Leo Zappa
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Aliquippa
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My wife, who rocks, has told me to order myself a game for Christmas, which she will then wrap for me! I have narrowed the field to four multiplayer wargames (our group usually has four people at a typical session, sometimes 3 and sometimes 5 - two player wargames rarely get to the table anymore). Here are the games - all recent creations and all touted as multiplayer (and I believe all GMT products):

* Sword of Rome (2004) formation of Rome
* Wellington (2005) campaign in Spain
* Soldier Emperor (2003) strategic Napoleonic
* Soldier King (2002) Seven Years War

Things that are important to our group:
1. Playable to completion in one (average 6 hour) sitting.
2. Moderate complexity (on par with War of the Ring or TI3).
3. Flexible design which does not foster scripted play.
4. Eye candy.

Based on the given criteria, how would rate these games, with a "1" denoting the best choice, and "4" denoting the least desirable?
 
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Joe Steadman
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Evans
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Sword of Rome (2004) is the only that interest me...
 
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John Burt
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Saskatoon
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The only one from the list I have played is SoR, and I would rate it as fairly highly. I put it on the list of things my wife can buy me for Christmas...
 
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Karl Deckard
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Seattle
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The only one I own from that list is Sword of Rome, but you might also have a look at Wilderness War.
 
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Brad Miller
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Definately Sword of Rome or Wellington. Depends on which style you like better. SoR is supposed to be really long. I think the "Allies but trying for the individual win" of Wellington sounds pretty interesting.
 
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Robert Zwiers
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You should definitely get yourself a copy of Age of Renaissance! (I know, this was not in your list of four AND is out of print, though not that hard to get by)

1. It lasts about 1 hour per player (3-6 players possible)
2. The complexity of the rules is not that high
3. Since cards have a major influence on play, there's no scripted play
4. It's eye candy for sure!

BTW: It's more about attacking for market control than actual warfare, but the experience is GREAT!
 
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Mike Pranno
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I have played all four games. And taking all four of your criteria into consideration, my ranking would be:

#1 Wellington
#2 Soldier Emperor
#3 Sword of Rome
#4 Soldier King

Sword of Rome is my favorite, BUT it sometimes feels scripted and is also probably the worst looking (though far from ugly) when compared to the other three.

Soldier Emperor primarily eeks out SoR because of the # players the game supports plus the better presentation.

Wellington is not as scripted as other CDG's simply because of the larger deck compared to how many cards are dealt out each turn.

Soldier King takes a light blow because of the rules nad balance issues.
 
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Clark D. Rodeffer
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Ann Arbor
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I know it's not going to be out in time for Christmas, but for next year, you might want to look at Here I Stand: Wars of the Reformation (also by GMT).

Clark
 
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Chris Talbot
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The only one on that list I've played is Soldier Kings, and the rules need a lot of clarification (perhaps there is errata or an updated rulebook online, though?). We seemed to run into issues that weren't covered in the rules about every 45 minutes or so while a group of us played it last week.

Chris
 
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