Welcome to this new section and what are wargames?

Miniatures, board wargames and computer games related to WWII.
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Jason Pipes
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Welcome to this new section and what are wargames?

Post by Jason Pipes » Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:43 pm

Welcome to the latest section on Feldgrau.com! This new section will be a place to discuss all aspects specifically related to board wargames with an emphasis on the WWII era. Some examples of these wargames include series like Advanced Squad Leader and Europa, and individual games like Panzer Leader, Panzer Blitz, Bismark, France 1940, Crimean Shield, Operation Spark, DAk, Afrika, and many, many others.

If you are not familiar with what a tabletop wargame is I highly recommend that you read the following info mostly taken from a pamphlet by Franch Chadwick and originally published by GDW, a wargame company no longer around.

Tabletop wargames include board wargames and miniatures. Board wargames are games that conist of physical maps, counters to represent units and leaders, and printed rules and charts. Miniatures wargames are tabletop wargames played using actual miniatures of men, weapons and vehicles. Instead of maps and counters to represent a battle or war, one uses terrain and painted figures and models in various scales and sizes.

Introduction to Board Wargaming

Board wargames are games dealing with wars or battles. But a wargame is much more than just a reenactment of the event; it is dynamic: it re-creates the situation and underlying conditions of the event, showing the major factors which influenced the outcome. It is also competitive: two players vie against one another to win the game, creating a drama and intensity in game terms which echoes that of the real battle. The combination of the two--dynamic and competitive--results in a game that is both exciting to play and representative of the event.

People play wargames for many reasons. They enjoy playing highly competitive games. They have an interest in history (either in general or in military history specifically)--an interest in the events that shaped the world we all live in. Wargaming is a hobby, and, as in other hobbies, sharing your interest in wargaming with other gamers in the hobby is fun.

A board wargame is a wargame that uses a map-board and counters as its basic elements. Although board wargames come in many forms, most have four common features: a map, counters, rules, and charts.

Wargaming is a hobby that has been growing and expanding for decades. By its very nature, each game available is very different from every other game, but all can be categorized into one of three types: board gaming, miniatures gaming, and computer gaming.

Map

The map shows the area where the battle was fought, depicting important terrain, roads, or other features that influenced the course of the battle. A map usually has a grid superimposed on it. Hexagonal grids are most common because they are efficient and easy for players to use, but other grids (squares, irregular-shaped areas, and so on) are possible. Whatever the form, the grid helps to position the playing pieces and to regulate their movement and combat.

Counters

The counters represent the historical forces involved in the battle and are usually square, die-cut pieces of cardboard. The printing on them specifies the type of military units they represent, their nationality, and their combat and movement abilities.

Image
Diagram showing map and counters: the arrows show possible movement paths for a unit

Rules

The rules tell how the counters move and engage in combat, what the victory conditions are, and any other information needed to play the game. The rules to all good wargames try to show the situation covered by the game in realistic terms: what was and was not possible on the battlefield is or is not possible in the game. Consequently, wargame rules tend to be more complex than those of other games (such as Chess or Risk), but players are rewarded with an exciting and challenging game situation.

Charts

The charts summarize often-used game information for quick reference during play. Most wargames have a terrain effects chart, which specifies the effects of terrain on the movement and combat of the counters, and a combat results table, which is used when resolving combat between the counters.

Image
Example chart: Combat Results Table

For more information on board wargaming I suggest you check out the following websites and then feel free to post here to discuss them as they related to WWII in general and the Germany army.

An Intro to Wargaming
Wargaming entry on Wikipedia
Last edited by Jason Pipes on Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

phylo_roadking
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Post by phylo_roadking » Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:35 pm

Jason - as well as "boardgames", "tabletop" gaming with miniatures too?
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." - Malcolm Reynolds

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Post by Guest » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:17 pm

Sure, I don't see why not. Stuff like Panzer Commander and Flames of War (both are miniatures rule systems, not computer games).

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Alex Coles
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Post by Alex Coles » Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:11 pm

I'm sure not everyone with wargames reads all of that <insert rude word> so if you could say something like Sudden-Strike or Call of Duty as wargaemes, that we all know ... :D
Alex

(Also known as 17 SS)

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TPMM
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Post by TPMM » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:52 am

Interesting idea.
I've just realised that in my collection of wargames I don't have any involving German Army :shock:
Don't worry, be crazy ;]

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Post by Wolery » Mon May 28, 2007 12:32 am

Would in depth computer games like Hearts of Iron count in this catagory?

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Jason Pipes
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Post by Jason Pipes » Wed May 30, 2007 1:36 pm

No, they aren't tabletop games. Computer games belong in the Soldatenheim section as described on the forum main page.

David W
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Post by David W » Wed May 30, 2007 4:51 pm

I have Panzer Blitz & Afrika Korps. Both by Avalon Hill?
Panzer Blitz is Ok, but Afrika Korps is way too simplistic.

Has anyone got D-Day, or Battle of the Bulge?
Are they any good.

I also have D.A.K Vol 2.
Thanks. Dave.

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Post by Mark F » Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:44 pm

I have a copy of the original Battle of the Bulge. It is very inaccurate and way too simplified. For a better treatment try and obtain a copy of Danny Parkers Hitlers Last Gamble. I have played Wacht Am Rhein, a monster game made by SPI. It is a battalion/company level game.

I have the following games that I can remember, some I have in storage and may have forgotten.

Panzerblitz, Panzerleader, Arab Israeli Wars, Luftwaffe, Battle of the Bulge all by AH

Campaign for North Africa (another monster), Panzerarmee Afrika, NATO, Red Star White Star, Ardennes Offensive, Spitfire, all by SPI

DAK II, Tunisia by MMP

Zitadelle and another two-three dozen games by 3W

So I have everything from the beer and pretzel afternoon games to the long marathon games.

Of the games I own my vote for the best researched would have to be Parkers Hitlers Last Gamble, very enjoyable. Panzerarmee Afrika is very simple, inaccurate but very fun and fast paced.

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Post by David W » Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:49 pm

Mark.
Hello over here too!

If Wacht Am Rhein is Battalion/Company level, what level is Hitler's last gamble?


If you weren't on the other side of the planet,
If we had the time,
If we had the room,
We could play all of the above. It would only take the blinking of an eye!

David.
Thanks. Dave.

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Post by Mark F » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:51 am

David-I thought that was you!

Hitler's Last Gamble (3W) is a regiment/battalion level game. Let me give you an idea of the scale.

Infantry units: most are regimental or brigade (British) in size except for a very few battalions

Armor units: The US Armor Combat Command and British armor units are brigade in size, the German armor units are all battalions. The US 2nd and 3rd Armor Division units are all battalions as are the armor battalions attached to the US infantry divisions. All tank destroyer and assault guns units are battalion in size.

Artillery units are brigade or artillery corps sized.

You do have a few companies (ex. German stormmorser's) and even the individual Skorzeny jeep unit teams running around too.

Scale: each hex is 3.2 kilometers (2 miles)

Wacht Am Rhein (SPI) in comparison is a regimental, battalion and company level game. Most of the units are battalion size and most of these can break down into companies. The game scale is 1 mile per hex.

I have an unpunched copy of HLG, I made a copy of the map and counters and that is what I use for play. I do not have Wacht Am Rhein, the SPI version is very hard to obtain and very expensive. I do have a copy of the game rules and have found a website that has scans of the counters. I have an enquiry out on this forum to see if anyone has the new 2nd edition of this game produced by Decision Games. By the way Danny Parker provided research assistance for Wacht Am Rhein and a few other SPI games relating to the Battle of the Bulge. Many of concepts are treated much the same in both games.

Mark

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Post by David W » Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:34 am

David-I thought that was you!
Yes, like the proverbial bad penny, I turn up everywhere! :wink: :D

Thanks for the info, very informative.

You've gone a little quiet on the mysterious units threads over on DAK, are you very busy?
Thanks. Dave.

Mark F
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Post by Mark F » Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:33 pm

David,

No actually I read everything that is posted over there and am learning new things all the time. I just have not been able to contribute much in the way of new info to the discussions. I will jump in whenever I feel I might have something new to contribute.

As far as wargames go where do your interests lie? What era? What battles or campaigns? What level, tactical, strategic? If you like DAK II you might want to get Tunisia (The Gamers), it is by the same designer. It does have the same system that we have talked about earlier. You had mentioned the combat ratings representing both attack and defense factors. That does not bother me too much. I have had games like that before and with a little research you can easily modify them and come up with seperate values for each and make up new counters for them. I have modified almost every game I have played to one extent or another. I have a couple of PC games that I would love to modify but I can't, give me the old fashioned board games anyday, if you don't like something about them you can change it!

Be seeing you around here and there!

Mark

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Post by David W » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:05 am

Mark.

Wargames. Board. WWII. North Africa. Battalion level.
with a little research you can easily modify them and come up with seperate values for each and make up new counters for them. I have modified almost every game I have played to one extent or another.
A man after my own heart.

My research is primarily aimed at creating the ultimate North African WWII wargame. But it's a long way off.

I would like to see PC versions of board wargames. The computer does have advantages. It only takes moments to set up. You can stop & start without having to put it away. Large battlefields fit on the same size computer monitor! You can play against the computer. Stacked units don't fall over! (I hate stacking, my wargame will not have stacking, due to the ground scale & constant unit size).
I agree with you, that not being able to 'tweak' computer games is a serious disadvantage.
Thanks. Dave.

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Post by Mark F » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:11 am

From what I understand Decision Games is coming out with a 2nd edition of the SPI game Campaign For North Africa. They have Richard Berg working on it. I know it will be expensive but I am very interested in seeing it come out.

Mark

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