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Subject: Best Area Control Wargames? rss

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Paul Franklin-Bihary
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I have a bit of money from Christmas and have none of this sub-genre in my collection even though I'm a big wargamer.

Give me advice, people. What area control wargames are great and why should I get them?

For a bit of background, I tend to like relatively simple and relatively short wargames like Washington's War, A House Divided, Sekigahara and the like. But I also love ASL.
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rexbinary
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The MMP edition of Storm Over Stalingrad is a great area move game. I also consider Victoria Cross II great, and of course Breakout: Normandy as has already been mentioned.
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Iain K
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I believe you mean the "Area-Impulse" genre ( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamemechanic/2021/area-imp... ) . Area Control is a Euro game genre.

Breakout: Normandy is the absolute best in class, other favorites of mine include Monty's Gamble: Market Garden and the great grand daddy of them all Storm over Arnhem. Also noteworthy is Not War But Murder.
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Warren Bruhn
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If your interests include naval warfare, then I'd refer you to Victory in the Pacific, definately a great area control wargame.
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mochara c
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I love Warriors of God but I could see some wargamers not digging it as much as some of the other recommendations. It's pretty high scale and fairly abstracted, but it's so much fun.
I did not expect to like it but it's one of my very few "10"s
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Judd Vance
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I'll second a few recommendations.

Victory in the Pacific is really great. It is out of print, but is going for $20 on the Geek Marketplace.

Storm over Arnhem is indeed the granddaddy. It is going for as low as $30 on the market place.

If you were going for only one, I would probably recommend Storm Over Stalingrad. It is the easiest one, but very sweet. It is going for $20-25 on the Marketplace and $29 on NWS online.

I hear great things about Breakout: Normandy. It is on my wishlist, but it's costly. I think NWS has it for $50.

Good luck.
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Isaac Citrom
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Over on Consimworld, someone asked what is everyone's favourite Multiman Publishing (MMP) wargame.

Brian Youse, one of the head cheeses at MMP, said this about Storm Over Dien Bien Phu:

My favorite MMP game?

Probably MGMG until Dien Bien Phu comes out, then it won't even be close.

I've said it before, i'll say it again. Dien Bien Phu is a 2 to 2.5-hour game with a lot of tough choices, follows the historical narrative very well, is very competitive, and is probably my favorite game (and i've been gaming since I was 13, 34 years now...).


The highlighting is mine. You'll have to take that for what it's worth given the obvious conflict of interest.


Also, the Fast Action Battles Series (FAB) have been very well received.
.
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Jason Albert
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I’ll second Storm Over Arnhem. Played it for the first time in twenty-some years a couple weeks ago, and another time since then. So much fun both times – a total brow-mopper. SoA is very simple, but quickly gets you acclimated to the committed/uncommitted mechanic and its many ramifications. Great stepping-stone to more chrome-filled area-impulse. (And now that I think about it, it'd make a great entry point to wargaming in general.)

As a result of the good experiences, I have Breakout:Normandy in the queue for my first to learn in ’13.
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rexbinary
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moly19 wrote:
I love Warriors of God but I could see some wargamers not digging it as much as some of the other recommendations. It's pretty high scale and fairly abstracted, but it's so much fun.
I did not expect to like it but it's one of my very few "10"s


Good call. I'm not sure how I forgot about this one as I like it so much.
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suPUR DUEper
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While not quite the same type of Area Control like Washington's War, Age of Napoleon might fit the bill. So might Manoeuvre

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Eric Walters
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Battle of the Bulge?
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Origins of World War II is archetypical.

If I'm understanding the genre correctly--both players can put pieces in a space over the span of more than one term? (as opposed to two players moving into the same space and fighting until one leaves/dies)

Twilight Struggle fits the bill, too.


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Justin Hoffman
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citizen k wrote:
I believe you mean the "Area-Impulse" genre ( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamemechanic/2021/area-imp... ) . Area Control is a Euro game genre.

Breakout: Normandy is the absolute best in class, other favorites of mine include Monty's Gamble: Market Garden and the great grand daddy of them all Storm over Arnhem. Also noteworthy is Not War But Murder.


I'll second (or probably "tenth" by now) the recommendation for Breakout Normandy. What a great game [though I think it's also sitting atop the rules-density pyramid for A-I games, if that sort of thing is a consideration when buying. Unlike a lot of games, however, I think B:N's payoff is well worth the effort].

I'm a bit more lukewarm on Monty's Gamble than a lot of folks as it feels kind of, err, fragile, I guess, to me. The first couple of turns seemed to have a really enormous impact on determining outcome, so the rest of the game could devolve into a real grind without hope of victory. That said, I've only played it a half-dozen times against 2 opponents, so it may simply be a result of our play style and/or my own crappy play. I liked it, but it just didn't have the same legs as the 3 Avalon Hill A-I games.

Ian's suggestion of Not War but Murder (also designed by MG:MG's Mike Rinella, published in Against the Odds mag a few years ago) is a good intro to this style of game.

While it's a slightly different sort of animal, I really dig Storm over Stalingrad. It's got a fair amount of give-and-take and "oh hell, how am I going to put all these fires out" of the "classic" A-I games, but the tactical cards make the gameplay a little more "freewheeling" for me. Plus, it's both pretty easy to learn (under 10 pages of rules, I think) and can be played in an evening. (I've also played Storm over Port Arthur all of once--interesting but it felt a little under-cooked.)
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Kyle Seely
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rexbinary wrote:
The MMP edition of Storm Over Stalingrad is a great area move game. I also consider Victoria Cross II great, and of course Breakout: Normandy as has already been mentioned.


I'll second Victoria Cross II. Obviously a very small-scale conflict, but beautiful maps, counters and overall production quality. Plus, a really fun game - fairly simple, and very quick, which is nice when you don't have a lot of time/space for something heavier and/or bigger.
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Jim Cote
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citizen k wrote:
I believe you mean the "Area-Impulse" genre ( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamemechanic/2021/area-imp... ) . Area Control is a Euro game genre.
Breakout: Normandy is the absolute best in class, other favorites of mine include Monty's Gamble: Market Garden and the great grand daddy of them all Storm over Arnhem. Also noteworthy is Not War But Murder.

Only by BGG's broken definition. Area Control is quite correct here. Euros almost always use Area Majority when they incorrectly say Area Control. Area Impule is almost as useless a term as Worker Placement.
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Malcolm Cameron
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What do people think of Breakthrough: Cambrai?

I have had it staring at me from the shelf for the past year. I am tempted by the subject and I like Area-Impulse games but for some reason have not dived in.

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Benny Bosmans
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Peso Pete wrote:
Thunder at Cassino and Breakout: Normandy are two of my favorites. Many folks like Turning Point: Stalingrad but I never warmed to it.


Personnaly I would put Turning Point Stalingrad with Breakout Normandy on top. The other AH games of this serie are a bit lacking, both in coverage as in excitement.

What I like in TPS is the extreme good map detail and epic scope of the pitched battle, while Breakout Normandy has more valid gameplay for both sides.

I played several other games with this aera mechanic, but frankly the Avalon Hill games clearly stand out.

Also the brand new Battle of the Bulge on the IPad is a very good fast alternative when playing the campaign game against an internet player.

Clearly all these games show that wargames don't need hexes per se.
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Igor Zacharjasz
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I don't know if it is the best game but surely my favorite area control wargame - Angola
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Michael Barlow
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Warriors of God is fun. 100 Years War, Robin Hood, Richard III, Joanne D'Arc, all that.
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Carl Paradis
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I think there are some good ones coming out next year (2013), too.
 
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Alan Tomaszewski
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I also strongly recommend VITP. There is also a wonderful tournament hosted by Glen Petroski in Kenosha WI. ever year in March. Swiss tourney rules its open to newcomers and veterans alike. Search the web for Glen under AREA ratings and his contact info is there.

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Sean McCormick
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I own Breakout: Normandy, but I'm apparently in the minority as I don't care for it. I think the area impulse mechanic makes the most sense when covering lower level urban combat, so I prefer both Storm over Arnhem and (especially) Thunder at Cassino. The progressive shift to larger and larger scale battles using a system designed for squad or platoon level combat is what turned me off to the system as a whole.

I'll second the recommendations for Victory in the Pacific and Age of Napoleon for strategic level area games.
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Carl Paradis
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Alan7012 wrote:
I also strongly recommend VITP. There is also a wonderful tournament hosted by Glen Petroski in Kenosha WI. ever year in March. Swiss tourney rules its open to newcomers and veterans alike. Search the web for Glen under AREA ratings and his contact info is there.



Indeed. Victory in the Pacific is an excellent game. Shame that it's not being reprinted yet. cry

And there are some on sale for a mere $20 on the BGG marketplace! Quite a steal!

Victory in the Pacific

P.S: Enough game acronyms, please! It's not Consimworld here.


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Michael Taylor
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Malcolm C wrote:
What do people think of Breakthrough: Cambrai?

I have had it staring at me from the shelf for the past year. I am tempted by the subject and I like Area-Impulse games but for some reason have not dived in.



I think Cambrai is rather weak. Whereas in most wargames, you can overcome a bad turn at the beginning of the game, with B:C, if you have a bad first turn as the Brits, you might as well pack it up and start over again. Maybe it's just "historical", but when the British drive starts to stall, it nosedives straight down. While this is acceptable after a couple turns, and makes sense after a couple of days of fighting, to have it happen on the very first day of the offensive is frustrating.

It does have some interesting mechanics with the way the British armor degrades after fighting.

Mike
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Tim
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Warriors of God is also what came to my mind when I saw your list. It is also a great game to play solo.
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