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Subject: The story continues - what to buy next? rss

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Martyn Smith
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In very difficult financial times (it's a LONG story... snore )I have been given the ok from my wife to purchase One Game...

Before this chance, it felt as if there were LOADS of games I wanted and yet, now that the opportunity has arisen, I feel stultified by choice and could use some insight.

I'll give a little bit of background info and would then really appreciate it if anyone felt inspired to advise me as to the best way forward.

Right.

I am still very new to wargaming and still occasionally dip back into my euro games.

Today, for instance, my son and I finished our first ever game of the newly-arrived Dominant Species. We absolutely LOVED it - I can hardly think of one single thing to fault about it from the clear and ultra-accessible rules to the uber-engaging graphics to the fascinating game mechanics. It was also very stimulating from a thematic point of view and we will be getting it on the table again ASAP.

I sold Twilight Struggle to get the money for DS and I am thinking that it's the best gaming choice I've EVER made

I started on Memoir 44 last year after an introduction to it from a local wargamer and I still enjoy it. Quick and easy to set up, not weighed down with complicated rules and you get to push little tanks around - what's NOT to like???

We then moved onto Commands and Colors:Ancients which we've played many, many times and has become rather a go-to game for us when all else fails. It's a pretty straightforward affair and engrosses us from start to finish. We also play each battle twice, swapping sides and loving every moment of the combat.

Shortly after, I got hold of Warriors of God which again had a great deal to commend it. A very atmospheric map, large, easy-to-read pieces and a great to-and-fro mechanic with plans cast aside at the last moment as another noble suddenly bites the dust. I have great memories of playing this...

A short excursus into Richard III left us cold - uninspiring rules, the lack of a clear sense of purpose and a claustrophobic sense of pointlessness. We sold it immediately.

I then wanted to go a little 'deeper' and so acquired the HUGELY enjoyable A Victory Denied that my son and I (he is 17 and is very much sharing this board-gaming odyssey with me...) love to play together. The rules were troublesome to me in the beginning and weren't exactly intuitive for a brand-new-wargamer and yet once it all started to click we knew we were onto something good.

This led to Infidel which was almost a bridge too far as the rules and mechanic, being so new to me, were almost incomprehensible. Many patient and knowledgeable posts and answers from BGGers later and my son and I had a barn-storming gaming experience although, for the moment at least, I am not sure that we want rules at this kind of complexity.

I had a look at Combat Commander Europe but I was put off by another epic set of rules.

I was also intrigued by Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles, which seemed to potentially scratch a lot of my current itches gaming-wise. Likewise, Lock and Load - Band of Heroes is interesting as is Storm over Stalingrad.

Sekigahara is on order, as is Battle for Souls and some CC:A expansions (all paid for by selling other games and Christmas money from last year!)

By the way, I am certainly NOT out to condemn or judge any of the games I've mentioned or to overly praise others. By its very nature, this task is, I acknowledge, profoundly subjective and I fully realise that what doesn't work for me may well work wonderfully for others. The thing is, I am of course looking for a game for me and I have no desire whatsoever to impress or annoy others with my choices. I do, however, want a game that hits my own particular 'sweet-spot'. And there's the rub - I don't know yet exactly what my sweet spot is... shake

So, if you've been patient enough to get this far - what have you felt in regard to my journey thus far? Where do you think I should go next, given where I've been?

Any help/advice/insights are gratefully received...

Cheers
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Quote:
I had a look at Combat Commander Europe but I was put off by another epic set of rules.
The rules are actually a model of clarity (same designer as DS), and are only the first 8 pages. The rest of the rules are really reference text. I can't recommend it highly enough. And if you can figure out A Victory Denied, CC:E isn't more complex than that!

My second recommendation would be EastFront II, an absolutely epic game, uses blocks, and is a really elegant system. If you don't like the price, but are intrigued by block games, Rommel in the Desert is a solid second option, but is arguably more complex rules wise than EF II.
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Antonio B-D
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Combat Commander has the best rules (in regards to errata and clarity) in the wargaming industry.

The jump from Command and Colors is not very steep and the replayability is AWE-----SOME. Once you have played all the scenarios once in each side, you can try playing "DYO" scenarios which people rave about.

The main drawback for Combat Commander is price and that you will be seeking for Med, and the Battle Packs and Pacific in no time.
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Iain K
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Your best bet is to find people who's commentary agrees with yours. They like what you like, and dislike what you dislike.

Then make them geekbuddies. Look at what else they like and be wry of what they dislike.

Ask the forum at large what you should buy and they'll pour advice on you. But find people whose advice you respect and that's golden.

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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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I wanted to suggest EastFront II but Leroy beat me to it.
Since you can only buy 1 game I better make sure the advice is solid.
You have an opponent so I can wholeheartedly recommend EFII; I am convinced both of you will love this game.
I consider myself an experienced wargamer and EastFront is still my number one game: easy core system with tons of scenario's and almost unlimited replay value. Yes, the initial investment might be a bit higher but the value is unsurpassed imo.
The map of EastFront II is huge so if space is an issue, hunt down a good copy of the original EastFront.
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I can't recommend Combat Commander highly enough. Excellent rules, and an obscene amount of replayability in one box.
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Andy Daglish
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thechangingman wrote:
Dominant Species It was also very stimulating from a thematic point of view
Hard to describe the theme, though.

Quote:
I started on Memoir 44 last year after an introduction to it from a local wargamer and I still enjoy it. Quick and easy to set up, not weighed down with complicated rules and you get to push little tanks around - what's NOT to like???
the madder scenarios usually get cited.

Quote:
We then moved onto Commands and Colors:Ancients which we've played many, many times and has become rather a go-to game for us when all else fails.
which by comparison happens rather frequently, I guess. You want to look for the same thing in other games, but there aren't many. Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage is one.
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Jooky
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Chalk up another vote to give Combat Commander another try.
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Judd Vance
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You might need to define a little more of what you are looking for. If you are looking for a squad level WWII game, as you seem to point to with Memoir 44 and comments and CC:E, Band of Brothers and Band of Heroes, the question is what are looking for.

I would say go with Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles. If you want light fun, unrealistic playing with loads of replayability, I would say you don't need Combat Commander because you already have Memoir. Something like Advanced Squad Leader is going to go outside of your complexity tolerance, so with that said, it is a "battle of the Bands" (Heroes and Brothers). Band of Heroes has "hero" units and can give you little more of that narrative (crazy stories you tell over a beer) that CC:E gives you. Band of Brothers is going to give you more realistic play with a fraction of the rules. In Screaming Eagles, 7 pages has you playing infantry-only scenarios and 4 more have you playing vehicles (tanks, field guns, trucks), which is something lacking in combat commander. I have both Bands, and I have been a lot more impressed with Band of Brothers because in my opinion, it does everything better with a lot less rules, and I don't like to read rule books.

Beyond that topic, I would say stay away from block games. Richard III is a good one and if you didn't like it, I don't think you are going to like many of the others.

If you want to cross reference complexity with topic, here is a Geeklist I have been working on that might help you:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/134875/my-war-games-sorted...
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Jooky wrote:
Chalk up another vote to give Combat Commander another try.
Same here. If you liked Chad Jensen's ruleset for Dominant Species, then I think you will like his ruleset for Combat Commander Series as well.
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Kyle Seely
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OCS has some of the best rules I've read so far. But those games may be a bit more on the complexity scale than you're looking for.

I think Combat Commander is an excellent choice if you are limited in purchasing power - lots of scenarios, tons of support in C3i, great replay ability, low complexity, deep strategy, tons of action.
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I should also add that if you choose Combat Commander, I'll drive up to Bourne and teach it to you if you like.
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Brian Morris
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Another big recommendation for Combat Commander and I generally don't like WWII tactical wargames.
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Martyn Smith
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Goodness - that's a pretty compelling case for CC:E!!!

I have to be really honest, however, and say that I still feel somewhat drawn to, what seems to me, the more straightforward and accessible BoB:Screaming Eagles...

I get the feeling that one way or another I'll end up with CC:E, but that Eagles might represent an apposite stepping-stone to get me there.

Am I being too cautious? Or just afraid that I won't be able to grasp the more complicated game?

I love this 'choosing stage' of buying a new game and yet the shadow of AP is casting long towards me...

Thanks for all the helpful advice and insights. Please help me to push on over this last ridge...
 
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thechangingman wrote:
In very difficult financial times (it's a LONG story... snore )I have been given the ok from my wife to purchase One Game...
It's not the time period you're after, but otherwise Fading Glory is a good fit. It's accessibly, playable in under an hour, you can add extra chrome as you gain experience.

Another thing to consider is getting into playing games via Vassal. If your opponent owns the game you don't have to. A great way to try things out.
 
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If You preordered Sekigahara directly from GMT, You'll be able to get Combat Commander: Pacific (the best in the series for me, and the only CC game still in stock) at half-price, but You'll have to wait for their Fall Sale.
 
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