Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Some Old Sayings...For Board Gamers

- If a meeple falls in the forest, does it still score 2 points?
- A penny saved is a penny put aside for your next game order.
- Let a smile be your strategy.
- Don’t put off until tomorrow the game you can play today.
- Idle hands means it’s not your turn.
- Look before you leap or you’ll soon fall behind in VPs.
- Fish and visitors stink in three days but some games stink right away.
- He who lives in a glass house has a house-sized display case for his games.
- A fool and his money are soon out of the game.
- Don’t look a gift meeple in the mouth.
- A rolling stone will be chased by the cat and batted under the refrigerator before you can grab it and put it back on the table.
~~~~~~~
O.k., that’s enough of that silly stuff. What’s been on my mind lately?

Quite unexpectedly I find myself curious about other types of war games besides the C&C system. I read the rules for Combat Commander: Europe and followed some threads on BGG. This left me interested but still hesitant. A lot of people are enjoying it very much but when I asked myself what I was really looking for, here’s what I came up with:

1. Freedom. I want the freedom to move whatever units I feel the need to move and attack wherever I feel the urge to attack.

2. Short. I think 2-2 ½ hours is a good length for me and my husband.

3. Rules. I need rules that make sense so that I can remember them instead of constantly looking things up. And preferably without dozens of steps/phases in each turn.

Everything else is up for grabs: minis or counters, hexes or point-to-point, card-driven or not.

Someone pointed out the video of Tide of Iron, which I watched and found interesting enough to follow up on the Geek. A day later, the rules were posted (thank you very much, Fantasy Flight) and I’m totally intrigued by this one. It sounds like it has everything I want and more. Tanks, troop transport, specialized units, three levels of elevation, squad building and transferring men between units. And rules that, for the most part, make sense. Yep, I’m very interested!

So what happens next? The release date gets postponed, of course! Oh, well; that gives me more time to devour the rules and make sure it’s what I really want. You know the old saying: Purchase in haste; repent at leisure.

Mary

13 comments:

Ryan Walberg said...

It's a good idea to wait. As with all Fantasy Flight games, I'd wait for a bit *after* Tide of Iron comes out to see if it works or not. I'm interested in ToI but the Ops Fire bugs me and the fact that it's exclusive to the Americans and Germans is keeping me away for now. I guess we'll see how the expansions shake out.

As for CC:E, I'm with you on the lack of control. I haven't played, but will soon (someone else's copy), and I'll let you know how that goes.

Great post!

ekted said...

If it's completely quiet, it's probably my turn.

ekted said...

I'm with you on ToI. I was hopeful but cautious of another FFG release with a long rulebook. My first pass through found none of their typical design flaws and ambiguities. And I like the game to boot. My only concern at this point is how many scenarios will come with the game, how many they will have online, and how well tested they are. I don't want to HAVE to buy expansions just get more scenarios.

Gerald McD said...

Excellent one-liners!

sodaklady said...

Jim, how many scenarios do you think would be a good number? I think with the way that you can set up your units in different ways each time offers more replayability so 10-12 would be sufficient to keep this game fresh for a long time.

Tim said...

CC:E hits 2 of your 3 points (the one it fails is the "can move whatever you want, whenever you want:), so it might still be worth a look.

It especially shines in the rules - they are very clear, and are quite good at laying everything out in enough detail to be useful (but not overwhelming either).

The time-frame seems about right, too - a friend and I just played CC:E scenario 4, a fairly involved one, in about 2.5 hours (with some rules lookup, as we were using new sections of the game - mostly artillery).

Not sure how big that first issue is, but thought it worth mentioning that CC:E hits pretty well the other two you mention.

sodaklady said...

Thanks, Tim. I haven't crossed CC: E off the list altogether but ToI is definitely in the first spot right now.

Fellonmyhead said...

I've got one:

A game on the table is worth two on the shelf.

The old "wargame" Tank Battle from MB fulfills your requirements almost totally, but probably lacks sufficient detail to be properly classed as a wargame. I think it's good fun, though.

I think the "freedom" criterion has to be the most difficult to ahieve - every system has restrictions on freedom in one way or another.

Strabo said...

If it's freedom you're looking for, try the ASL starter kits. They have as much freedom as any wargame, and scenarios never take much more than 2 hours.

ekted said...

"I think the "freedom" criterion has to be the most difficult to ahieve - every system has restrictions on freedom in one way or another."

I'm not so sure. BC/M44/C&CA/BL are the only systems I've seen where you need to have a card to do anything with a unit on this 3rd of the board. This is the exact feature, to me, that takes them out of the realm of being a real wargame. It is an arbitrary restriction that is not there simply to abstract something more complex.

If the "restriction" is that if I move this unit they will get mowed down, that is fine as it is still my choice. If the "restriction" is that I can't move this unit because they are pinned or I have moved them already this turn, that feels real.

Cards that provide flavor, external factors, events, etc. are fine. Cards that tell you everything you can and can't do cross way over the line.

ekted said...

"Jim, how many scenarios do you think would be a good number?"

I'd like to see 20 in the box and at least as many official ones online. Some of them just won't be as interesting for me, so I'd like the selection to be large enough that there's always something good.

I'm sure there will be tons of great user-submitted scenarios as well. As long as they have a rating and statistics system in place, we'll be able to find the best ones easily.

Coldfoot said...

Slicker than snot on a crokinole board?

Fellonmyhead said...

ekted: I'm not so sure. BC/M44/C&CA/BL are the only systems I've seen where you need to have a card to do anything with a unit on this 3rd of the board. This is the exact feature, to me, that takes them out of the realm of being a real wargame. It is an arbitrary restriction that is not there simply to abstract something more complex.

An abstraction of which works as elegantly as the C&C system is hard to come by.

Whether you're referring to such a restriction or one placed in a more simulative role, the freedom to move and/or attack with any chosen unit is just as unlikely.