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Subject: Looking for a Wargame suited for beginners rss

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Lucas Grote
Sweden
Växjö
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Hi,

A couple of friends and I are thinking about getting into wargaming. The problem is that there are just too many games out there and we have no idea which ones are good, fun to play and suited for beginners.

We are looking for a game that:
- is in print and readily available
- is mostly skill based and as little luck based and has as little random elements as possible (no massive amount of dice rolling, etc)
- not too simple but not needlessly complicated either
- doesn't take forever to play, between 1-3 hours would be perfect
- doesn't necessarily have to be overly realistic as long as its fun to play


Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Dallas Tucker
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Napoleon's Triumph is a game that fits pretty much all of your specifications. The initial learning curve is a bit high, but the game is rather simple [it is not a game that you can learn piece by piece, as everything fits together quite tightly]. A few games should be enough to master the rules so that you don't have to consult the rulebook much (or at all).
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Leonardo Martino
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I'd say Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan.

Dont be too hard on point 2: there's always some luck in wargames (Napoleon's Triumph and Bonaparte at Marengo don't follow that path but that's another story)...
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Pokey 64
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Rodger Wilkershank
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Maybe check into some of the Lock 'n Load Publishing, LLC. games.

World at War, Nations at War, Nuklear Winter '68 and All Things Zombie would be pretty good introductory wargames.
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Kyle Mann
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Fontana
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Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles

Incredibly elegant and easy to pick up (my first [and still only for now] wargame).
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Matt Brown
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p4warrior wrote:
Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles

Incredibly elegant and easy to pick up (my first [and still only for now] wargame).


Although there's lots of dice rolling.
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Buddha Meeple
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Combat Commander: Europe if you're not scared by ability to only give orders you have drawn as cards (besides strategy on the map there is also strategy on hand management level).
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Mark Ramsey
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Hammer of the Scots should fit. There is dice rolling, but there are a lot of other mechanics that offset that luck element.
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Matt Brown
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godunow wrote:
Combat Commander: Europe if you're not scared by ability to only give orders you have drawn as cards (besides strategy on the map there is also strategy on hand management level).


And again fails the "as little random elements as possible" requirement. It's well known for it's chaotic play.

While clearly in the medium range, Strike of the Eagle uses no dice, has card play, but the random draw is nicely mitigated while keeping it strategic.
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Tim Koppang
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ChillerONE wrote:
A couple of friends and I are thinking about getting into wargaming. The problem is that there are just too many games out there and we have no idea which ones are good, fun to play and suited for beginners.

Question for you: are you interested in any particular era of history? I know for me, learning about the history of the conflicts is one of the primary things that draws me to certain games. If the same holds true for you, that will change what I would suggest. As you can see from the responses above already, the world of wargaming is vast and varied. It helps to be able to narrow things down on the basis of what interests you the most.
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Tim Koppang
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VanMark wrote:
Hammer of the Scots should fit. There is dice rolling, but there are a lot of other mechanics that offset that luck element.

Good game, but I think Julius Caesar is better, especially for a beginner.
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Louis Garwood
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Memoir 44 is always a good recommendation. It gets you exposed to cover/line of site/movement points without being too complicated.
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Kyle Mann
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Phagocyte wrote:
ChillerONE wrote:
We are looking for a game that:
- is in print and readily available
- is mostly skill based and as little luck based and has as little random elements as possible (no massive amount of dice rolling, etc)
- not too simple but not needlessly complicated either
- doesn't take forever to play, between 1-3 hours would be perfect
- doesn't necessarily have to be overly realistic as long as its fun to play


Chess


Gave me a good laugh. But seriously, what keeps games and especially wargames from being dry, deterministic affairs is often a healthy element of luck. Dice rolls are your friend!
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Lucas Grote
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First of all thanks for all your suggestions so far! I will check out these games further once I get home from work. (especially this very peculiar game called "Chess", you might be onto something here )

Yes I am aware that almost all wargames use dice. What I meant is we are looking for one were not everything is decided just by the role of the dice so that strategic decisions matter more. So when you win it feels like you bested your opponent with skill, not luck.

So some dice rolling is ok as long as its still strategic.

Also for our first game it doesn't matter what scenario or what era its set in.
 
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Paul Procyk
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You may also have historical interest in this.

Pax Baltica

It is one I am seriously thinking about adding to the collection after having read Massey's Peter the Great.
 
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Jason H
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ChillerONE wrote:
So when you win it feels like you bested your opponent with skill, not luck.


Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage



When you win in this game that's exactly how you'll feel. Even when you loose you'll be itching to get back into battle, thinking about how you'll do this first then that.

Look no further.
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Josh Malbon
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VanMark wrote:
Hammer of the Scots should fit. There is dice rolling, but there are a lot of other mechanics that offset that luck element.


Hammer of the Scots is awesome. There are enough different things going on and the asymetrical play is a great start to war gaming.

Memoir '44 is a great game, but might be too lucky for you. Because the dice and cards control a lot.
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Nikita Startsev
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I think Strike of the Eagle - is your game to choose - easy to learn, diceless and not too long.

VanMark wrote:
Hammer of the Scots should fit. There is dice rolling, but there are a lot of other mechanics that offset that luck element.


Sekigahara - liked it much better than Columbia game series.
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Nikita Startsev
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matthean wrote:
godunow wrote:
Combat Commander: Europe if you're not scared by ability to only give orders you have drawn as cards (besides strategy on the map there is also strategy on hand management level).


And again fails the "as little random elements as possible" requirement. It's well known for it's chaotic play.


Not so sure about chaotic. Yes it's lucky based but still a very strategic and deep.
 
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Frank Hastings
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I posted this awnser for another thread with the same question, I recently use Fading Glory to introduce a non wargamer to the genre.

If you want an introduction to the classic wargaming conventions that will help you in learning more wargames down the road then Fading Glory from GMT is something you should seriously look at. Highly recommended as a starter wargame. http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/96749/fading-glory
 
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Jeff K
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ChillerONE wrote:
So when you win it feels like you bested your opponent with skill, not luck.


Then you are in luck, because that describes basically every wargame I have ever played! err... except for the fact that I usually do not best my opponents!

Seriously, I comment because I see this sentiment being expressed a lot and it is bizarre to me. Being new to wargames you may not know this yet, but you will learn that in war, things rarely go your way all of the time. It is unrealistic to expect it to do so. Your job is to make sure your plans survive even the chaos of war. The good news is that requires even MORE skill than if there was no luck at all!

If this wasn't the case, we'd probably all just save a lot of time and flip a coin. You can get a lot more games in thataway!
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Lucas Grote
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So I have tested the waters a little and played a few wargames.

Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles: This game is simple but the rulebook is so horribly written it took a while before we could play without consulting it every other second. Once we learned the rules we did enjoy this game somewhat even if there was much confusion about decoys, LOS and it felt like Op fire dragged the game out too much (I move one hex, you wanna fire? I move one more hex, you wanna fire? I move another hex you wanna fire?). Still this game is all about luck, a couple of bad roles and you're toast. We haven't played all scenarios yet but it definitely felt like some are set up so that one side can't win.
All in all I didn't regret buying this game but it is not one I would recommend to beginners.

Twilight Struggle: I know this game is hyped and beloved by all and won awards and stuff but I didn't like it. It just isn't what I had in mind when I meant "wargame". This game could be about a political election or about a growing crops on a farm and they wouldn't have to change the rules just rename stuff. To me Twilight Struggle is not a wargame.

Hearts and Minds: At first I thought "great, a Twilight Struggle rip-off" but boy was I wrong, this game is a "real" wargame.
There is a major downside, though. I haven't played enough to be entirely sure but it seems like it is VERY hard for the blue player to win and depending on what year it is even impossible. Thats a shame because the concept is awesome.

Games that I haven't played yet but definitely want to try are: Sekigahara, Red Poppies, Nothing Gained But Glory, Saints in Armor and Iron & Oak (although I have no idea when they'll release that in Europe).
 
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Ed Bradley
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I played one game of Infidel and thought to myself "this would be great for beginners".
 
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Greg Wajda
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Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42

Programmed rulebook, beautiful second edition production.
 
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