Thursday, June 19, 2014

10 Games Challenge

Inspired by Mark Walker's post on the 10 for 10 Challenge.

What would be your ten games you would choose to really focus on?

I'm having a tough time committing.

Lock n Load WWII tactical Band of Heroes series
Blitzkrieg Commander II
Standard Combat Series

Perhaps list
Advanced Tobruk System
Kings of War Samurai
Grand Tactical Series
Chain of Command
A Victory Denied
Liberty Roads apparently
PanzerBlitz (new version)
Fate or FAE

I bought the Reluctant Enemies OCS starter box. Enjoy watching Kev Sharp’s videos on OCS. Even have some OCS local players that I could tap into to help me out. But man o man, do I not like the idea of learning those rules right now. It’s not that they’re difficult (whatever that means) it’s just new procedures, terms, sequence of play, exceptions, etc.

I thought the same thing watching Ty Snouffer’s hour and a half Grand Tactical Series live Skype call a few nights ago. Holy cow man. And the games can take a long time to play. Which I’m ok with to a point, but I do find myself losing interest if they go too long. That’s why it’s nice to have another smaller game set up to play in those times to get my mind and new thing for a bit and then get back to the longer game.

[Sidebar – Ty’s getting ready to play the Where Eagles Dare campaign game and he had to hold some basic training for those participating in the game. He also let a few of us sit in on it to learn for our own sake. Great job and cool having a live lesson. You can observe the game on Tuesdays on Vassal. (and Skype too I believe).]

What I like about both of those series, they’re just that, series. Learn the system and then play more games with small variations. So you can get a lot of playing with lower rules overhead. The problem I have with learning a bunch of one off games, like A Victory Denied, is that I’m fairly confident I’m going to want to play something else after just a few plays.

I say all that and I’m learning two miniature sets at one time right now, Rate of Fire and Chain of Command. That’s not easy. However, following Geekway, I’m in the mood to try some miniatures again, so I’m willing to go through that hurdle. However, the actually playing isn’t as involved as the OCS and GTS games mentioned earlier. (Chain of Command has a lot of rules compared to ROF though.)

But then you have set up and terrain and figures and, and, and… Either way there will be something. The beauty of board games, terrain and pieces are set, no prep time on those and unless pieces are missing, I don’t have to spend money and time getting all the kit necessary. And the terrain rules are nice and figured out…for the most part. Fewer ambiguities.

But man, I love that immersive feel the minis give me. The visual that draws me in so much.

Truly a ramble, trying to figure out what to play and how to spend my o so very limited hobby time. (I’m fully aware that there are millions of people in the world that have real problems and this is all just a bunch of hooey, but it’s still fun to think and write about.)

Back to my question, what would be your top 10 games you would want to play at least 10 times each to really get and understand?

I posted some of this on Facebook and Kev Sharp (AKA The Big Board) posted this video. And thank you Kev for the shout out.


  1. If I had to focus on 10 games (or 10 game series), it would likely look something like this (in no particular order):

    Bolt Action - My first major dive into the miniatures scene... and man has it been a dive off of the DEEP end!! It's not a great simulation, but it is fun and easy for folks from other genres to come in and play. That has helped grow the community.

    Chain of Command - This is where I'd like spend some more time. The beauty part of miniatures, just buy the rule set and go (already have minis from BA). This one focuses more on the doctrine of the time. It feels more historical than BA and leadership/command plays a much bigger part.

    (TBD) Modern ruleset (playing Force on Force at Historicon) - I've heard horrors of the rule book for this one, but seems once you get into it it's an enjoyable Skirmish level system. It also has the benefit of covering multiple theaters. Building on a theme here... Focus on one core system to cover multiple theaters.

    Smoke on the Water (ACW Ironclad rule set) - This was truly my first miniature purchase. I bought a couple ironclads, painted them up and found this rule set for free! Having played and enjoyed the board game Wooden Ships & Iron Men, there were some additional features here that really stood out - like rate of fire... bigger guns take longer to load.

    Dead Man's Hand - I bought the rules and some minis, but have only gotten through a few pages and primer. It intrigues me, but haven't had time to focus on it just yet.

    Board Games:
    LNL "Heroes" Tactical Series (to include WWII, Day of Heroes, Ring of Heroes, etc.) - Once you get through the rules, there's a really good tactical game with some chrome and even better covers a wide range of theaters. To your point, once you focus on the series and grasp the core rules, you'll have hours of tactical goodness.

    Combat Commander Series - Almost dropped this one since LNL covers a similar level of game play but is broader (Vietnam, Falklands, etc). However, every time I play it, I'm reminded how much FUN it is. The card play, while random and frustrating to some, is what differentiates this from the other and makes for some good chaotic fun.

    No Retreat Series - Fairly accessible Operation level game series. Eastern Front to N. Africa are different enough that you need to read through the rules for each, but most of the core rules and counter markings carry over.

    Labyrinth: The War on Terror - I've only played it once so far, but really enjoyed getting into it. It also plays along with my recent interest in moderns.

    Thunder Alley - I'm going to throw this one up here for now... Our group has played this one a couple times now on Vassal and it seems like some good fun. Grab some beers, grab some friends, and let's go racing boys! The only thing missing here is running someone into the wall ;)

  2. EDIT: After posting, I realized I had forgotten about LNLP's White Star Rising / Nations at War Series! I recently acquired Desert Heat and prior to that the expansion to WSR, Operation Cobra. This is one I would like to focus on as well. Not sure which one drops though...

  3. I have enough trouble as it is concentrating on 3 game's let alone 10. I'm trying to cut down and do them justice. Nice paint jobs, cool terrain etc.
    1st 6mm WW2/Modern. Terrain is interchangeable and the armour/infantry paint up quick.
    2nd 15mm ACW. Rules Fire and Fury. Always loved these. Not rushing as this is a long term labour of love so not to bothered about gaming at the moment.
    3rd 28mm Napoleonic. General Brigade rules. My Prussian Brigade is nearly done. Just needs artillery and cavalry. This is also a long term project that is done to the very best of my ability.
    And that's it. I find that before I was spreading myself to thin and getting nothing done.
    Maybe in November at Warfare in Reading I'll collect By Fire and Sword, eastern Europe renaissance. I've been look at the rules and models for while now. Also I have some Polish films from the same period.

  4. I'm with Redtroop on this one, I can just hold on to three or four games at a time! Currently they are SAGA, FoW, Ronin and X-Wing, but DBA and Empire of the Dead have also snuck in at times. I like to relax with boardgames too, I enjoy not having to paint anything!

  5. I've played a few turns of OCS Korea and the learning curve can be frustrating. The problem is that most of the scenarios take long term commitment and while you're getting familiar with the rules you will probably screw up your campaign and only realize what you have done wrong several turns afterwards. OCS seems to be all about the overall planning of the campaign and setting up a good supply chain for your army. I bet it's really rewarding once you're in, but I'll settle to learning SCS at the moment.

  6. I must admit, I like playing games just to see how the designer/author interpreted what the game is representing. And after many years with boardgames after a hiatus with miniatures, I am really appreciating the replayability with miniatures over boardgames. If I had a 10 top ten to play ten times, I would pick the folllowing:

    Ancient Battlelines Clash - my own fast play ancient rules for small table sizes. As I am playtesting them, this may be cheating. I have already played them about 30 times, and will play them a lot more.
    Advancing Battalions - my own fast play battalion level WW2 rules. Again, could be cheating but I have played them 7 times and expect to play them a lot more. A very related set is Advancing Companies, but I will not include it here - they are very similar.
    MegaTraveller - to get the one RPG out the way, I would definitely like to play this one more.
    Retro - Would like to get into this any play with all the ASL stuff I have picked up second hand but never played.
    Full Thrust - I have spaceship miniatures, and would like to play this set.
    Lost Battles - Have this too, and would like to play this 10 times.
    Songs of Blades and Heroes - have played this once, and again, I like it and would like to play it a lot more.
    Fall of Rome (the update). I liked the first version and the second seems good too, even if I may not use some of the newer rules.
    Hannibal: Rome Vs Carthage - I played this about 6 times in the 90's and would like to play it a lot more.
    Lastly, I am still looking for a WW2 War in Europe game I can get into and want to play 10 times. At one stage I thought it was World in Flames, but I do not think I have 10 times that in me! So a smaller game such as Bill Banks "The Big One" or "WW2: Barbarossa to Berlin" or the recent kickstarter for Columbia's "Victory in Europe". The latter is the frontrunner.

    I have already tried out about 20 ancient miniature rulesets over the last few years and I still have more to try, so I do not think any hit the play 10 sweet spot, except Armati, and possibly Mighty Armies and Rally Round the King.
    I have a list of 30 WW2 miniature rulesets I want to try out over the next few years, and one or more of them may make the top 10 to play 10 times. Currently top of my reading list is Men Under Fire (Frank Chadwick), Chain of Command and Rate of Fire.

    1. Great list. That's why I have a list of potentials. I'm not sure I've found a game in each "genre"
      Thank you for contributing.