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Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Entry Point? rss

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Nick Axmaker
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Hey all,

I recently graduated from a Master's program (yay me!) and so will probably have bit more drive to do the research and whatnot to play some of the bigger games again finally. However, I have never gotten into the wargaming scene before, other than the random lurking on these forums and random other strategy sites.

I'm not really looking for a miniatures game, which is a good thing since I don't think those are really talked about here. But I am looking for a game with a relatively easy entry point (preferably not too expensive as the whole income/job thing hasn't really happened yet) that has replay-ability. I need it to be able to hold interest longer.

It'd be great if it was able to be played solo up to as many as 4 people, though 1-2 players is just fine. I don't know that I have any other people that are in the area that would be interested in playing with me other than just my brother in law anyway.

As for time period, it doesn't really matter... I'm a big history buff in the World Wars, so perhaps that'd be ideal, but an American Civil War game might allow me to get my wife interested, maybe.

Oh, and I do have Memoir '44 and do enjoy that game, for sure... looking for the next step after that, maybe?

Anyway... any ideas? I'm relying on your expertise to help me get started!

Thanks again,

Hobse
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Ted Spencer
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What level of decision making are you (+3) looking for? Do you want to make decisions for individual troops, squads, companies, divisions, armies? Do you imagine yourself deciding which fence to hide behind, deciding which road best gets supplies to the troops, or which island to take next?

Each game is going to have a level at which the majority of game decisions are made. Each level has it's own challenges and fun. I mention this because you're looking for an entry point and there are a lot of them.
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Tyler
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Victory Point Games have a lot of entry-level titles that are affordable and fun. GMT has done deluxe versions of some of their games -- No Retreat! The Russian Front is OOP but can still be had at a very reasonable price here on the BGG Marketplace. It's essentially a 2-player game (GMT published a solitaire kit in C3i #26), but I've had a blast playing it 4-player, with two to a side. It's fun to see how negotiations develop among teammates.

It includes a lot of the intro-to-wargame essentials -- supply, zones of control, combat results table, unit step reductions, and adds a card mechanic that is fairly innovative. It does all of this with very few counters, so you won't be manipulating stacks of cardboard with tweezers. Another plus, the components are beautifully done. As to the scale, you'll be commanding army groups and fronts across the Soviet Union and Greater Germany.

There are a thousand other entry points, but that's my recommendation.

Well, that and Case Blue. whistle
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rod humble

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Miniatures actually are discussed here a lot
Bolt Action
Is a WW2 skirmish commercial set which I think is the best wargames ruleset since DBA.

But assuming no interest there then I would recommend two in print cardboard games.

Battle for Moscow (second edition)
Classic low complexity hex and counter. Available from Victory Point Games and a C3i magazine.



Nations at War: White Star Rising
Fast low/mid complexity platoon level WW2.


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Enrico Viglino
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Oh stop it. There might be a few people who can jump from Memoir to
OCS, but it would be a serious rarity.

I'd suggest getting some of the 'basics' down first. And, there
really is no better place to start than the PnP version of
Napoleon at Waterloo. Dunnigan knew what he was doing. From there,
you start to learn fundamental concepts which apply to most traditional
wargames - without anything added on. Yeah, it ain't the best game
in the world; but it gets core concepts down that I doubt any modern
designs manage as effectively.
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Steve Willows
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I agree with Enrico but I also slightly prefer Battle for Moscow for this purpose. One reason is that soak-off attacks as seen in NaW are rarely seen anymore, at least I don't see them but maybe I don't get around much . Also, each side plays differently in Battle for Moscow and thus teaches different things.

The Axis is on the offense and has all the neat toys, but must learn how to effectively employ them in a race against time. The Russians have to learn the art of ordered delay and withdrawal, and how to use terrain and Zones of Control to his or her best advantage to get that done.

That said, either game will do.
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Greg Wajda
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Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42
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Brandon
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rodvik wrote:
Nations at War: White Star Rising
Fast low/mid complexity platoon level WW2.
I would also suggest their World at War Series which White Star Rising's system is based off of as well because it has much more modern equipment in a Cold War gone hot setting if you want something with variety that isn't World War II or something else from the Arab-Israeli Wars.
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Brett Christensen
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I will third the Battle for Moscow (VPG or C3i versions). It has a lot to offer a beginner and it's inexpensive.
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wajdag1 wrote:


Pick up the 2nd Edition of this. Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) It's a great gateway game. Supports 1-4 players. You'll still enjoy pulling it out to play sometimes even after you have outgrown it. Also, while solitaire rules are included, a full on solitaire expansion with AI is releasing shortly as well.
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Chris Drake
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Bastogne: Screaming Eagles under Siege or Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 if you want to move Squads around.
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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Excellent points of entry:

Bastogne: Screaming Eagles under Siege WWII (as Chris Drake suggested))
A Victory Denied: Crisis at Smolensk, July-September, 1941 WWII
A Victory Complete: The Battle of Tannenberg, 1914 WWI

All great games (all from MMP games) to get yor feet wet.
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Rex Stites
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Although not a traditional war game, Andean Abyss fits your criteria of being playable from 1 - 4 players. It has pretty decent actual solitaire rules and imo has a lot of replay ability as solo game as it is a CDG where you take 12 of the 72 cards out of play each game. Also, when playing completely solo there are three bots you are playing against whose play are driven by the random nature of the deck, so each game will play out quite differently.

If you are looking for a more traditional war game you might try looking at Ardennes '44, it's OOP print and has quite a few counters, but the rules are relatively simple and straight forward. You might also try Infidel, it has some smaller scenarios that aren't as bad as Ardennes for setup purposes. Those two were some of my first forays into true wargames. Infidel is probably quicker to play and setup, but its rules were a little more difficult, whereas Ardennes has a longer play/setup time, but the rules seemed pretty straight forward.
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Joseph Hayden
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Take a look at any of the games in the Standard Combat Series. They are basic from a rules stand point, but give you lots of in game decision points. Learning the system opens up many battles from various wars, with game specific rules providing each game with it's own unique flavor. The biggest gripe most people have with the system is how a-historical the battles can be.
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Tom McCarthy
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Another vote for Lock 'n Load's World at War/Nations at War series. They're easy to learn, play quickly, and plays well solitaire due to its chit-pull activation mechanism.
(Most importantly, they're a lot of fun)
Check out World at War: The Untold Stories as an entry point there.
 
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Warren Bruhn
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Hobse wrote:
It'd be great if it was able to be played solo up to as many as 4 people, though 1-2 players is just fine. I don't know that I have any other people that are in the area that would be interested in playing with me other than just my brother in law anyway.

As for time period, it doesn't really matter... I'm a big history buff in the World Wars, so perhaps that'd be ideal, but an American Civil War game might allow me to get my wife interested, maybe.


"Card Driven Games" aren't great for solitaire, but they can produce a pretty tense and entertaining game, and include a lot of historical chrome. I'd suggest these two:

WW1 - CDG - Paths of Glory (2 player)

ACW - CDG - For the People (2 player)

The only game that I can think of that fits the bill for being playable solitaire to 4 players is the old game Conquistador. It's not so much a wargame as it is a struggle against attrition and natives. But that's what makes it OK for solitaire or multiple players.

 
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Enrico Viglino
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Warren Bruhn wrote:

The only game that I can think of that fits the bill for being playable solitaire to 4 players is the old game Conquistador. It's not so much a wargame as it is a struggle against attrition and natives. But that's what makes it OK for solitaire or multiple players.



Andean Abyss would be another fitting into that 'not really a wargame'
but has 1-4 player rules.


Not sure if the OP is looking for designed for solo, or simply
not particularly difficult to solo.
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Nick Axmaker
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calandale wrote:
Warren Bruhn wrote:

The only game that I can think of that fits the bill for being playable solitaire to 4 players is the old game Conquistador. It's not so much a wargame as it is a struggle against attrition and natives. But that's what makes it OK for solitaire or multiple players.



Andean Abyss would be another fitting into that 'not really a wargame'
but has 1-4 player rules.


Not sure if the OP is looking for designed for solo, or simply
not particularly difficult to solo.


Not particularly difficult to solo. ;P

All of these are excellent suggestions. I was surprised by the lack of CDG stuff, particularly the Command & Colors games, which are highly regarded by the local game store (which is more board game centric, over being particularly wargaming centric).
 
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BrentS
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Hobse wrote:


All of these are excellent suggestions. I was surprised by the lack of CDG stuff, particularly the Command & Colors games, which are highly regarded by the local game store (which is more board game centric, over being particularly wargaming centric).


If you enjoy Memoir, both Commands & Colors: Ancients and Commands & Colors: Napoleonics are good steps up in complexity and play value (or so I understand, never having played Memoir), maintaining the same core C&C mechanics while offering quite different play experiences, both from Memoir and each other (so you wouldn't just be playing a re-theme of the same game). Neither genre was listed in your periods of interest, though. Battle Cry is the C&C game which would satisfy your ACW requirement but I believe it would be equivalent to Memoir in complexity, or even simpler.

Brent.
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Judd Vance
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Hobse wrote:
Hey all,

I recently graduated from a Master's program (yay me!) and so will probably have bit more drive to do the research and whatnot to play some of the bigger games again finally. However, I have never gotten into the wargaming scene before, other than the random lurking on these forums and random other strategy sites.

I'm not really looking for a miniatures game, which is a good thing since I don't think those are really talked about here. But I am looking for a game with a relatively easy entry point (preferably not too expensive as the whole income/job thing hasn't really happened yet) that has replay-ability. I need it to be able to hold interest longer.

It'd be great if it was able to be played solo up to as many as 4 people, though 1-2 players is just fine. I don't know that I have any other people that are in the area that would be interested in playing with me other than just my brother in law anyway.

As for time period, it doesn't really matter... I'm a big history buff in the World Wars, so perhaps that'd be ideal, but an American Civil War game might allow me to get my wife interested, maybe.

Oh, and I do have Memoir '44 and do enjoy that game, for sure... looking for the next step after that, maybe?

Anyway... any ideas? I'm relying on your expertise to help me get started!

Thanks again,

Hobse


First of all, congrats on the master's degree, Nick. You get a pat on the back, a warm wargame forum welcome, and you get your own Sho Nuff Meme...

Now when I say, "Who's the master?", you say, "Nick Axmaker."




Now, to answer your question, maybe this can help: click this Geeklist:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/134875/my-war-games-sorted...

Where I sort my collection from easiest to hardest. Find a complexity level that you feel comfortable with, then find a theme that interests you, and you are off and researching if it is for you. You can read comments, reviews, even Geekmail me for more info.

If you like Memoir and want Civil War, I really enjoyed Battle Cry: 150th Civil War Anniversary Edition a whole lot. Even better graphics and plastic than Memoir and a similar system.

If you like small unit tactical WWII action, Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles uses 7 pages of rules to get you off and running. The system is slick and very realistic.
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Jean_Paul Sartre
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rodvik wrote:
Miniatures actually are discussed here a lot
Bolt Action
Is a WW2 skirmish commercial set which I think is the best wargames ruleset since DBA.

But assuming no interest there then I would recommend two in print cardboard games.

Battle for Moscow (second edition)
Classic low complexity hex and counter. Available from Victory Point Games and a C3i magazine.



Nations at War: White Star Rising
Fast low/mid complexity platoon level WW2.




^^^ This. I've found a lot of mini players here. Looking at the Bolt Action starter set myself, comes complete with plastic miniatures. Looks like a good entry point to the game.
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