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Subject: What videogames do you feel captures that "wargame" experience well? rss

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Moe45673
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By this, I mean being a commander of some sort.

Games that really do it for me

Company of Heroes - The only thing I don't like about this game is that it's realtime. Otherwise, it's an excellent operational level game

Empire: Total War (with DarthMod) - an amazing game that appears to be about domination through military when it's really about making enough cash to finance your army. The realtime battles are very well done with realistic maneuvers and tactics, and the strategic game kicks ass

Frozen Synapse - Perhaps the greatest squad based game ever made. Absolutely no randomness, pure chess-like outthinking your opponent. Can PBEM. Wonderful game you can play over and over.

Game I am looking heavily at:

Crusader Kings II

I really like things like supply lines and economies in my games. Diplomacy and the like are awesome as long as they don't get too involved.

So, what's given you that immersive experience? I'd love to hear from the more experienced out there
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Jon Gautier

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Hands down: http://www.videogamegeek.com/videogameseries/6028/combat-mis...
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Moe45673
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Thanks, never heard of it. I'll do some research!
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Enrico Viglino
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The stuff that most touches on what I like most in boardgaming
are the Paradox interactive games. Still, I'd far prefer playing
less detailed boardgame versions than be stuck in front of a computer.

I get a kick out of a latecomer (independently designed) to the paradox
stable, Mount&Blade. It has a very different focus from most of their
games, being a first person slasher - with small unit operations
in medieval (and other) eras. I was very worried to hear that it was taken
up by a label, but much less so when I found out just which one.
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Marc Nelson Jr.
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The Steel Panthers series.
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Peter
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Close Combat Series, I especially love the 1st game in the series.
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Will (JR) Todd
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Currently I like Men Of War: Assault Squad

http://www.menofwargame.com/games/assaultsquad


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Lance Runolfsson
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I can name computer games I like, or at least have liked at one time or another. I'll stick only to ones that are not problematic on Windows 7.
Operational Art Of War
John Tillers Campaign series
John Tillers Battle Ground series
All of the above available at Matrix Games
and
Civilization V
In some ways they all sort of kind of feel like board games. BUT I have never run into a computer game that was as transparent rules wise as a board game. No matter how long I spend playing any computer game. No matter how well I think I might know one. There is some kind of crap that is going to happen. That seems to defy the internal logic of the game as thought I understood it.
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Nicholas
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Crusader Kings II is fun, but doesn't have a wargame feel at all. Plays much more like a historcial A Game of Thrones sim.

My current favorite is Unity of Command - best computer wargame to come out in the past few years, I think.

I'm also a big fan of the Combat Mission series, mentioned above, for semi-realistic WW2 tactical combat.

Kind of cheating, but the best at capturing a wargame feel is probably Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear!!
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Luke Morris
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I've always loved the Total War series. Empire and Napoleon being my favourites due to the era. Rome is great fun too.
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Cavan Cunningham
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SSG Battles in... series (Italy, Normandy...), also teir Battleground game.
Panther Games Command Ops The Bulge and their series...no hexes! Command & control modelling. Great AI..
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Panzer General. Sadly, none of the sequels had the great interface that made PG such a pleasure to play.
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cpcunningham wrote:
SSG Battles in... series (Italy, Normandy...), also teir Battleground game.
Panther Games Command Ops The Bulge and their series...no hexes! Command & control modelling. Great AI..

Yes, all of the SSG games are tops in this regard. If you can find any of their 1980s games, they were probably more up to representing the frustrations or real world commanders (fog of war, units not moving when they should).

http://www.videogamegeek.com/videogame/86520/decisive-battle...

http://www.videogamegeek.com/videogame/84444/battlefront-cor...

For naval battles, the top titles are Long Lance and In Harm's Way. No other naval game has ever come close in recreating the historical confusion in those battles, including friendly fire (and yes, I have fired on my own destroyers occasionally in those games just as the real admirals did).

http://www.videogamegeek.com/videogame/112239/long-lance

This is obviously so obscure today that VGG doesn't even realise there is a PC version. I'm pretty sure Simulations Canada has some copies still stashed away somewhere.

Warning: comes with no on-screen graphics! :-)
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michael connor
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I've played most of what's out there wargame-wise. Vietcong will always be the one that totally hit my sweetspot for it's incredibly immersive experience; story-lines, character interaction and aesthetically dramatic locales. From desperate hilltop outpost defences, rainy jungle fighting, wading in dark waters, tunnel ratfights and shootouts in temple complexes, I have yet to experience any vid. game that gave me as much pleasure as that one. Unfortunately, it's a no-go on Win7; but thanks for the memories!!
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Aswin Agastya
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Ok, it's not realistic. Not even wargamish. But gives quite an experience as a commander.

Jagged Alliance 2.
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Erik Syvertsen
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Rome: Total War was the one that definitely first gave me that "wargame" vibe. I've been back and forth from "meh" to "cool" on the other games in the series, but I've got big hopes for Rome: Total War 2.

EDIT: When I think about it, the first "wargame" I played away from the table would be Avalon Hill's Midway Campaign, which I fondly remember receiving for Christmas along with the disk drive for my Commodore 64. It was the first game I transferred from tape drive to floppy disc.
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Martí Cabré

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I played a lot a couple of Close Combat Series and almost all Paradox titles as well as some Total War titles. I found all of them superb to my tastes, even though it's been maybe three or four years since I last played them.
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Martin Larouche
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It's not the most "wargamish" videogame, but Tom Clancy's End War is the only videogame that actually puts you in the commander's seat and not in some kind of "God's" that oversees a battle from above.

The view of the battlefield is provided only through cameras your troops carry with them or through unprecise satellite feeds. Your troops also react solely to your vocal commands (which work amazingly good).
There's isn't a ton of units: riflemens, engineers, tanks, transports, gunships, artillery and mobile HQs. But what's there is incredibly balanced.
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Caleb
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My favorite video game wargame of all time is definitely Nectaris/Military Madness (first released on the Turbografix 16!!). The DOS version has a ton of expanded units and levels, but most of the levels felt more 'puzzle like' in that there was only one solution to avoid getting wiped out. The initial levels on the moon (from the original game) were the most well-designed.

It's been republished in various forms over the years, including Playstation and even on Android. It's a wonderful game, and simple enough that it could almost be a board game (not a TON of calculation and no hidden info).
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Martin Larouche
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cannoneer wrote:
My favorite video game wargame of all time is definitely Nectaris/Military Madness (first released on the Turbografix 16!!). The DOS version has a ton of expanded units and levels, but most of the levels felt more 'puzzle like' in that there was only one solution to avoid getting wiped out. The initial levels on the moon (from the original game) were the most well-designed.

It's been republished in various forms over the years, including Playstation and even on Android. It's a wonderful game, and simple enough that it could almost be a board game (not a TON of calculation and no hidden info).


The latest version of Military Madness/Nectaris is available on XBOX Live Arcade.
I agree about the "puzzle" part. It feels definitely more like a puzzle to solve than a true wargame at times.
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Mark Johnson
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Moe45673 wrote:

Frozen Synapse - Perhaps the greatest squad based game ever made. Absolutely no randomness, pure chess-like outthinking your opponent. Can PBEM. Wonderful game you can play over and over.


I have high hopes for this one. I'm looking for a small strategy pbem/async game I can play with my son who's away at college. He's in Linux (or Android), while I'm on Windows (or iOS). This may fit the bill perfectly.

I'd love to find something that scratches the same itch that the OLD Hasbro Interactive Em@il Games version of X-Com.


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Raphael Rondeau-Côté
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Neopeius wrote:
Panzer General. Sadly, none of the sequels had the great interface that made PG such a pleasure to play.


Panzer Corps replace PG1 very well in my humble opinion and it's fun as hell laugh
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Jeff Hicks
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For Grand Strategy games I'd say, hands down, Hearts of Iron 3. See IGN's review here: http://www.ign.com/articles/2009/08/13/hearts-of-iron-iii-re...

This is probably as close to WiF or AWAW (or some other similar form of masochism) as any video game I've played.

Some great things about it:
-- Massive scope (economics, internal politics, diplomacy, production and logistics, research and technology, intelligence, oh and combat) and scale (global); but it allows you to hand over control of any of this to the AI, so you can focus on one small aspect of the game if you so desire (especially useful while you're learning)

-- You can pick any country you want to play as and a wide range of starting times. Sure, you could start as Germany in '41. Ever the contrarian, I started a game in 1936 as Guatemala. That's right. Guatemala.

-- Lots of historical touches. My Guatemalan leaders apparently are real generals / politicians of the day. The tech tree is scaled to time but not totally tied to it. That is to say, you could plow all of your resources into getting The Bomb. But don't expect to get it even by late '43: key technologies are tied to dates and research is penalized if the current date is too much ahead of when it actually happened.

I could go on, but get the game and see for yourself. I've barely scratched the surface (commanding one small Guatemalan division and putting the rest on auto pilot) but I know that I'll be peeing this onion back for years.
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Moe45673
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cmy2k wrote:
...but I know that I'll be peeing this onion back for years.


Sounds painful

HoI3 does sound really cool............ but difficult! I think I'll ease into it with CK2 because these grand strategy games still overwhelm me. Even Civ4 still does. Once the undercurrents of what drives these games is a little more clear, I can look at HoI3!
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Jim F
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Where the heck did this interest in WW1 come from?
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cmy2k wrote:
For Grand Strategy games I'd say, hands down, Hearts of Iron 3. See IGN's review here: http://www.ign.com/articles/2009/08/13/hearts-of-iron-iii-re...

This is probably as close to WiF or AWAW (or some other similar form of masochism) as any video game I've played.


-- Lots of historical touches. My Guatemalan leaders apparently are real generals / politicians of the day.


+1 for this game. I found myself reading in a WW2 memoir about one of the transport ships I'd remembered from using it in the game. Now that's historical detail!

Steep learning curve but rewards effort.

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