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Subject: Columbia block games package: help me decide! rss

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Pedro
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I decided I want a block game. I'm by no means a grognard, but I'm not afraid of big rule books and the whole idea of the blocks seems brilliant to me.

I've made a bit of research and I've decided that I can't go wrong with Rommel in the desert. It's WWII, which interests me a lot, it's not too time consuming and it has a very good reputation among my geekbuddies.

I went to the site to order it and what do I find out? Shipping is free worldwide if you make an order over $100. So now I need another game, to reach $100.

I've considered HoTS, Cruzader Rex and Eastfront, for very different reaseons.

HoTS is very well ranked and it seeems like a really good game, however the theme is not very appealing. Cruzader Rex has a more appealing theme, but I'm afraid that it was too simplified to appeal to eurogamers and there's not enough game in there. Eastfront would be a perfect choice if it wasn't for the length and the possibility that I'll be getting europe engulfed, which will scratch the same itch.

Any other suggestions? What do you think of my choices? Help me decide!!
 
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j b Goodwin

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If you haven't played block games, and are not yet a wargamer, try Quebec 1759. It's very approachable and not too long or involved, but it gives a good idea of what block games can do that chit games can't. A good place to start.
 
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Pedro
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The only true wargame I've played was Hannibal: Rome vs Carthague and I love it.

Simplicity is not a real concern for me. I think I can deal with a big rulebook with a smile on my face.

Theme, depth and overall gaming goodness are my main concerns. One of the reasons I'm questioning Crusader Rex is precisely the fear of it being too simple...too dumbed down to attract the average eurogamer into the wargaming world.

That said, I'm sure that Quebec 1759 is a very good game and I've considered, but I don't find the theme very appealing.
 
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Alan Richbourg
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Consider who you might be playing these with and see what theme they are interested in. None of these play well solo.
 
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Flannel Golem
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I always recommend HotS in the block wargame category because: a) it is very approachable, even by non-gamers or block-wargame newbies, and b) it is a fairly well-balanced game. New players often find England has the advantage, but with repeated plays one comes to feel the game favors the the Scots more. The truth is no doubt somewhere in between, but there is enough luck in there that one side or the other can sometimes recover from otherwise-fatal mistakes.
Not so much with CR: disastrous play or cards aside, even with skillful play one side (Arabs) will generally always feel dominant throughout most of the game, which will all come down to the roll of the dice in the last turn to give the game to one side or the other.
I own and enjoy both games, don't get me wrong, but there seems to be a lot more sameness to CR in repeated playings, whereas HotS feels more varied and balanced

From your game ratings I believe you would find Quebec far too simple for your tastes. Haven't played the Front series, but that and RitD aside, I suspect you might find many other block games (including HotS and CR) to be "Eurofied" wargames with relatively simple rules and few exceptions -- on about the same level of complexity as Wallenstein. I'd pick up the Hammer.
 
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j b Goodwin

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If you're not afraid of raw meat, then, Eastfront.

Or Victory: The Blocks of War, but be advised, it is very depended on the scenario.
 
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Pedro
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swandive78 wrote:
If you're not afraid of raw meat, then, Eastfront.


I've considered eastfront too. It seems right the thing I'm looking for: excellent theme (and right up my alley), very good reputation and very highly recommended by my geekbuddies. The only thing against eastfront is the "europe engulfed factor". Since europe engulfed has also captured my eye, and I'll probably get it sooner or later, is it worth it to have them both? I'll probably end up buying both of them, and playing neither.
 
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Hunga Dunga
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Quote:
I'll probably end up buying both of them, and playing neiter.

You are now officially a true grognard!



Eastfront is an excellent game. I personally go for historical era first, then look at how much space the game will take up, then the complexity. If you have room for this one, go for it! Whether or not you get EE at a later date shouldn't disuade you from this super game.
 
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Jeff Yeackle
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pitris,

You may wish to hold off on EastFront (and Europe Engulfed) until Grant makes his new announcements regarding EastFront II, WestFront II, and EuroFront II. EastFront is a great game, but if EF2 is the same *and* includes all the fixes from over the years, it might be worth holding out for that one.

Since you like the WW2 theme, you might want to check out Pacific Victory. The only gripe I've seen is that it tends to be rather tough on the Japanese player. If you find that occurring, changing a few things to correct it isn't that difficult.

Both War of 1812 and Quebec will probably be too simple for you. Wizard Kings is also fairly simple, but when you add the additional armies you get more flavor and complexity. The nice thing about Columbia Games is that they now put all their rules online which is *very* handy. If you haven't read the rules to CRex, you might want to since it's a great game. It's never felt like a euro to me, just a light war game.

Good luck! I know it's tough choosing

jeff
 
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Seth Owen
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Hammer of the Scots is probably a slightly better choice than Crusader Rex because it's more of a free-wheeling game situation. You didn't mention it but Liberty is also another possibility, especially if you find the theme more interesting.
Napoleon is another game to consider, being a meatier game situation than Quebec 1759 or War of 1812 without being a lot more complex.
 
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