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Subject: Need some help: playable hex & counter WW II game rss

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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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I am looking for an exciting Hex & Counter WW II game that:

-Has to be managable (I play Paths of Glory, this might help you determine my level).
-Is operational (thus it should not be tactical nor grand strategic)
-Preferably eastern front (but other suggestions are welcome as well)
-It is okay if it is a monster game (as long as the game system is playable and managable)

I saw several games that drew my attention but still I am not sure what is the right choice:

-Operation Typhoon
-Roads to Leningrad
-Ardennes '44
-Bitter Woods
-Panzergruppe Guderian
-Barbarossa: Army Group North,Center,South 1941

Am I overestimating myself? Hope not!

I would highly appreciate your thoughts on the games I mentioned. Do you think any of these will suit me? Other suggestions are more than welcome!

Thanks!!
 
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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Hallo Lars, Ich danke dir!

I am interested in playing PG, ATS as well as ASL but I want to build up gradually. For the moment Operational Warfare has my preference and want to focus on that first. My next thread will be about tactical advise!!

Tschüß,

Harro
 
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Michael Von Ahnen
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Of your list, Panzergruppe Guderian is the one that I have heard the most positive comments about. I own it, but have not played it.

Not on your list, but what I would recommend:

The Russian Campaign: I have the Avalon Hill version. Listed as a moderate complexity game when it came out, but it is straight forward with only a few special rules.

Battle of the Bulge (1965): This is the early version from Avalon Hill. It has very few special rules, so it is pretty much just a straight hex and counter game. It is old, but can be found on eBay.

Afrika Korps: Again Avalon Hill. It has supply as a added consideration, but has a low unit count, so plays quick and fairly easily.

Onslaught: TSR. A nice, light game of France 1944. Their is not much variation in the counter values, but it has a great supply-turn mechanic that makes it quite exciting.
 
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John O'Haver
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Quote:
-Operation Typhoon
-Roads to Leningrad
-Barbarossa: Army Group North,Center,South 1941


All these games are designed by Vance von Borries and all are well regarded. Typhoon and the Barbarossa series can all be linked ito a monster game but are currently OOP and expensive on e-bay.

Roads to Leningrad is the newest one and incorporates chit draw formation activation, a new twist to a VvB design, at the Divisional level (I think).

I've known Vance for over 10 years. VvB has spent years refining an East Front system that is reasonably consistent across his designs. Thus buyers and players know what they are going to get in a VvB design, a exceptionally well researched OOB and map, a proven design and game mechanics and a well play tested set of scenarios within the specific game.

(The thoroughness in his game designs probably carries over from his main profession. VvB is a tax accountant. Really, would you want your CPA to say, "I didn't research the law completely but your deductions felt right.")

Richard Diem, his local initial main playtester, is part of my gaming group. Althought it's frustrating at times, R.D. plays every game as though he were playtesting it for design flaws. He considers and tries stuff most people would never think of just to see if the design/Victory Conditions/etc. is "broken." Of course this usually doubles our playing time until he satisfied...sigh...but I digress.

(My extremely minor role is making color copies of his maps for playtesting and pre-publication use for free to protect his hand drawn ones and occasionally doing a show and tell demo session of games outside VvBs experience)

ROADS TO LENINGRAD, buy it!


Is this too blatant of a shill?

 
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Leo Zappa
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The two obvious choices are "The Russian Campaign" (TRC)which covers the entire campaign at the operational level from 1941-1945, and "PanzerGruppe Guderian" (PG), which covers the drive on Smolensk in 1941 during the initial invasion. These are classic hex and counter games and are very playable, with short rule sets and a minimum of fiddly chrome rules. TRC has been around for years, and is currently in print from L2 (older Avalon Hill editions are generally available on eBay). PG was originally an SPI game, then bought and repackaged by Avalon Hill, and is soon to be re-released by L2. These are the games you are looking for.

Interesting features for each:
TRC: Double impulse movement (player 1 moves, battles, moves again, battles again - nicely allows for armored breakthroughs).
PG: Hidden strength Russian units (neither side will know how these units will perform until battle), German unit integrity (combined units from the same division perform better).
 
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Dan Taylor
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Russian Campaign is one already mentioned, apparently low complexity.
Russian Front (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/329) is one I've enjoyed. It's of "moderate" (to a wargamer) complexity, but it includes a "basic game" and most of the rules are very simple once you've played. It covers a similar time period to Russian Campaign, but has some very nice features (counters take "hits" instead of just a simple flipping.)
EastFront (by Columbia games), is a block game of the Eastern Front, low-moderate complexity. It's got excellent fog-of-war aspects to it. It's a "block game," so make sure you're interested in the game type before purchase.
On the western front, Bitter Woods is also very good - I think two fairly experienced players could play it to conclusion in 2-3 hours. You don't have to get the most recent reprint - there should be some older Avalon Hill published ones for cheaper.
There's also "Monty's Gamble," a working of the area impulse system in Breakout:Normandy. (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/6353)
Hope this helps!
 
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Adam Starkweather
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Wargamers are a "what's the newest thing" bunch so if you want to learn something and find players, something newer is better....if you have a buddy and what everyone else is playing doesn't matter, that opens it up a bit...

Plenty in the East so while A'44 and Bitter Woods are probably excellent choices for you, I can stick in the east...

Operational games, to me, cover a battle - not a campaign so that knocks out games like Russian Campaign...

Want something new? Roads to Leningrad, Manstein's Backhand Blow (GMT), OCS Games (Enemy at the Gates, Hube's Pocket, Guderian's Blitzkreig II) and EFS (AGN,C,S), Bitter End (Compass), Panzergruppe Guderian (although it isn't out yet in reprinted form - and that is what everyone will be playing) are fine choices.

Ukraine '43 is my pick for you here - niches in best with all of your other games played/interested in and uses a similar system to A'44. So moving to that game will be easy when you want to go out west.

Want something old? Lost Victory (GMT), White Death (GDW), Kirovograd (3W) are great choices and fairly cheap on the secondary markets.

Lost Victory is my pick for you there...

Adam
 
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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Wow, this opens up new perspectives.

You were right about the Operational aspect. The entire Russian Campaign is already too Strategic.

Will have a look a the recommendations!

 
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