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Subject: Would like to break into war gaming... Advice and recommendations appreciated! rss

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Rolly Duckfield

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As the title suggests I'm looking into war gaming. I've played several games recently that have started an itch I can't scratch by playing economy builders anymore. I've played and loved Twilight Struggle (although its status as a wargame, is held to be dubious by many) Conflict of Heroes and War of the Ring. I've also recently found Paths of Glory in storage and am trying to arrange an online game of that.

What I am looking for is a game that's rules are not overly complex for someone who is not classically trained in these kinds of games. I prefer the First World War over the second as far as theme goes but not critical. As far as a game based around a battle as opposed to a theater, I am of no opinion on that matter, but I worry some about chit overload.

Thanks for reading and your help!
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Brian Morris
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On WWI these are games I would recommend you take a look at and see if any grab you.

Breakthrough: Cambrai (area impulse is fantastic. My favorite WWI game)
Pursuit of Glory (Same card system as Twilight Struggle)
Drive on Paris (Part of the Standard Combat Series)
Bloody April, 1917: Air War Over Arras, France (New from GMT designed to play solitaire)
Rock of the Marne (Also Standard Combat Series)
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Pete Belli
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Ottoman Sunset looks interesting, and it is a solitaire game. This allows you to fool around with it at your own pace. I've enjoyed other games in this series.

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Carsten Bohne
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mrbeankc wrote:
On WWI these are games I would recommend you take a look at and see if any grab you.

Breakthrough: Cambrai (area impulse is fantastic. My favorite WWI game)
Pursuit of Glory (Same card system as Twilight Struggle)
Drive on Paris (Part of the Standard Combat Series)
Bloody April, 1917: Air War Over Arras, France (New from GMT designed to play solitaire)
Rock of the Marne (Also Standard Combat Series)


Hm, why suggest Pursuit when the OP states that he's just starting up with Paths of Glory? Bloody April is a cool game, but maybe a bit overwhelming for a beginner with regards to counters. And Drive on Paris is a bit expensive to acquire...

That being said, SCS as an entry point into hex-and-counters wargaming is a good entry point, or perhaps Napoleonic 20 if you're into a different era. Or Battles of the American Revolution?
For me, Paths was absolutely fascinating though. Try it and then experiment...
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Steve Arthur
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I've always thought that MMP's Standard Combat Series games would be a good place for beginners to start...there's a nice range of topics with a reasonably straightforward set of basic rules...that they also look quite nice is a bonus..a slight caveat - some are better than others so some research here on BGG is recommended
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Brian Morris
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dasher47051 wrote:


Hm, why suggest Pursuit when the OP states that he's just starting up with Paths of Glory?


Why not? Pursuit uses a similar system as Twilight Struggle and Paths of Glory so he will be familiar with the system. It covers WWI which he specified but in the middle east so it covers it differently than Paths does. It's also a great game.

True Drive on Paris is out of print but even so I have seen it recently at reasonable prices although Rock of the Marne or Operation Michael are definitely more affordable options I agree.
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Carsten Bohne
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Oops, I missed the explicitly stated interest in WWI... Now I understand where that Bloody April suggestion came from!

Trenches of Valor for a bit of trench warfare. Small footprint, inexpensive...
Somme 1918 focussing on a wider stretch of entrenched front.
To The Last Man! (the new printing is about to be released) for the full western front in a manageable size.
A Victory Complete: The Battle of Tannenberg, 1914 for a very fluid early Russian front game, also inexpensive...
Great War at Sea: Jutland for some naval gaming...
Der Weltkrieg Series is probably not the point to start from, but if you want to hit the ball out of the park...

Link edited...
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Andy Daglish
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Trenchzone

You'll want a false moustache and a gold-topped malacca cane to wave the men forward.
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Ahmed Hadzi
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Combat Commander, it made me sell all of my CoH and never to look back, and I see you have CoH and ToI in your collection both of which are easily made obsolete by CC.

Space Empires 4X, not the era you are looking for, but very good game non the less with very nice and simple rule set.

Red Winter, once again WW2 game, with simple rules and low counter density, excellent game with concepts which are applied in more complex games.
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Gordon Watson
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I will chip in with a recommendation for Grand Illusion: Mirage of Glory, 1914.

A very enjoyable and manageable treatment of the opening Schlieffen plan manoeuvers and subsequent 'race to the sea'.
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Mike Hoyt

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You'll also want to get comfortable with the various scopes/scales that wargamers talk about, because it can help better define your intersts and you'll get better suggestions.

Strategic - covering the whole war, or a large portion. You are moving armies and fleets, sometimes down to Corps or even Division level. No ranged fire

Operational - typically a campaign, maybe a large battle. You are moving Divisions or battalions, maybe companies, individual capital ships..

Tactical - down in the weeds. Companies, but more common is platoons or even squads. Ranged fire. Smaller actions, often of a generic sort.

All three are interesting and I suspect most of us go up and down the scale ladder as the mood or topic strikes.

I'm not that in to WWI, but an excellent tactical game of WWII is Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles

Have fun!
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Michael McCalpin
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I might suggest Guns of August, which depicts the opening campaign on the Western Front in WWI. The rules are very brief and straightforward. It also has a couple of scenarios that are handy for a quicker game or a learning game.
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Enrico Viglino
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Best starting WWI game: World War I hands down.
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ahmedhadzi wrote:
Space Empires 4X, not the era you are looking for, but very good game non the less with very nice and simple rule set.


Another vote here for Space Empires; while it's not WW1/2, it's a nice entry point for hex-and-counter, with simple rules and a nice industry/research aspect. Damn fun as well.

Hell, even my fiancée picked it up in 2 games, and before that the most complex game she'd played was Monopoly.
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Rolly Duckfield

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Thank you everyone for your responses! Seems like I have some tough choices ahead of me.
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Tom Willcockson
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Reds Might be a good one for the WWI era. Basic wargame mechanics and not overly complicated and recently republished by GMT.

Grand Illusion Also by GMT, for the opening months on the Western Front. Another Racier game and not too complicated although more of a historical sim I think (which is a plus for me).

Breakthrough Cambrai Would probably be a good and simple, however I think the reviews have been somewhat mixed perhaps, but I'm willing to give it a chance.

Pursuit of Glory In the same system as PoG but perhaps a little overly complicated. Not sure this would be a good one to try after PoG.

WWII Barbarossa to Berlin Probably be a better companion game to PoG, basically the WWII version of Paths of Glory.

ASL Starter Kit #1 And for WWII there is always this one. Very simple stripped down version of ASL and certainly no more complicated than PoG, with scenarios that can easily be played in an evening... and a blast to play once you learn it. Also very inexpensive (if they can keep it in stock).
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Moe45673
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Commands & Colors: Napoleonics is an amazing game for figuring out if tactical wargaming is your thing. The great thing about wargames, imo, is that its theme is rarely slapped on. The mechanics are tied to the theme. C&C:N includes mechanics that work very well with unit types, formations, etc
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william bauer
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For introductory level hex and counter WWI games, I really like Ted Raicer's Clash of Giants games - each one has two separate games, they play well via Cyberboard if PBEM is your thing, and they play FTF in a reasonable time frame - nice looking components (as always with GMT) - somewhat novel mechanics and scenarios

Clash of Giants II
Clash of Giants

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ahmedhadzi wrote:
Combat Commander, it made me sell all of my CoH and never to look back, and I see you have CoH and ToI in your collection both of which are easily made obsolete by CC.

...


I second this excellent series, with its well-written rulebooks, many scenarios and replayability.

I also recommend Combat Commander's cousin, Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Division.

It all depends what era of history (and its associated wars), but if you would like to try tactical-level (squads, individual tanks, etc.), then these 2 games are the best place to start, as a new player, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION ...
 
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Chris Rush
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Looks like the choice is clear: get them all.
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calandale wrote:
Best starting WWI game: World War I hands down.


+1

And Red Winter
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Moe45673 wrote:
Commands & Colors: Napoleonics is an amazing game for figuring out if tactical wargaming is your thing. The great thing about wargames, imo, is that its theme is rarely slapped on. The mechanics are tied to the theme. C&C:N includes mechanics that work very well with unit types, formations, etc


I agree that Commands & Colors: Napoleonics is an excellent choice. I'd also recommend GMT's Fading Glory, as a great way to jump into the Napoleonic 20 system.
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Rolly Duckfield

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TonyClifton wrote:
I heard the guy that the guy that played Phil Collins passed away today. Just a bad day all around.


Thanks for all the suggestions. I've got it down to 3 or 4 or 8 by now. I'll just have to do a bit of research, reading through rule books, etc. In the interim, if anyone is willing to play with an almost complete rookie, I've got the PoG rules down. Mostly. Anyways, thanks again. Most of the games made the long "Eventually" list of games I've been keeping.
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Khan Doomy
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I am fan of Raicer's The First World War. I introduced it to some non-war-gaming people and they liked it. Equally good as an intro is Strike of the Eagle. A great game enjoyed by my non-wargaming friends.

With Respect
KT
 
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