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Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played

 
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Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/12/2008 10:35:14 AM   
Adam Parker


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Thought I'd just follow up with some experiences after my boardgame purchases these past weeks.

I'm extremely happy to report that my investment in GMT's Commands and Colors: Ancients has proven to be a wonderful decision.

In my gaming life of thirty years I have never played such a neat, complete, atmospheric and fog of war-driven board wargame as this series. It just rockets off the solitaire-suitability scale.

I'm in the middle of the core title focusing on the battles of Carthage vs Rome and her Neighbors and it is just playing so smoothly.

If you want a solitaire game that doesn't take up much table space, has no imformation counters to clutter the map or interrupt play, has no stacking issues and that forces you to make decisions, I sincerely recommend that you look no further.

Extremely well written rules and a reference card that practically replaces the rule book. A wonderful diversity of unit types that, reference card in hand, quickly becomes part of your operational repertoire.

But its beauty truly lies in the command card system with the added twist of battle dice. By regulating the number of dice capable of being thrown per unit type, the impact each dice face may have in a given combat, the ability of the defender to actively participate in a battle through being given decisions to evade or "battle back" where applicable and an entite system of leadership and retreat being built on top of all that... This is just a tour de force of design pleasure.

A series where horses hate the smell of camels and can subsequently cower! Where elephants act in manners so unpredictable that befits their enormity on friend and foe. So much is taken out of the players hand that in the process of merely solitairing both sides to the best of one's ability, one can lose given the matrix of force type-dice outcome-leadership-nature-command availability.

I heartily suggest this series to gamers looking for a way to fill the void left by so many PC war games of late. Yet there are two issues of note: 1) To reach this state of gaming nirvana expect some manual labor in the form of applying decals to wooden blocks representing your various armies (and there are many of them). 2) Invest in some plexiglass or other remedy if you are planning to use the board supplied with the core title - or buy expansions 1 and 2 at the time of purchase (the later offers a new mounted map board) - or buy the separately available "Epic" mounted board for game "Battlelore " (about $20 USD). That was my solution and C&C:A just looks marvelous with it. C&C:A's terrain tiles fit perfectly.

Happy gaming,
Adam.
Post #: 1
RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/12/2008 6:11:09 PM   
Peter Fisla


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Hi Adam,

Seems to get good reviews here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/14105

I got into boardgames as well about 2 years ago as I really couldn't find anything insteresting in the PC wargaming world. I'm playing Advanced Squad Leader with Solitaire ASL module and I'm having a blast! Also lately I got into Combat Commander : Europe + the expansion module and it plays solitaire very well....I'm glad I discovered boardgames. It's all about gamplay..at least the games I got.

(in reply to Adam Parker)
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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/12/2008 9:11:45 PM   
Rooster


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CC:A is cool.  Have you check out VASSAL for it?  Provides all the scenario setups and lets you save your games to finish later.  Makes solo play easy too.  Plus you can find opponents to play real time and PBEM. 

The translation to the PC does loose something of the game's tactile pleasure... but it is very convenient.

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/12/2008 10:31:19 PM   
andym


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B17,Queen of the Skies by Avalon Hill Kept me amused for hours.

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/13/2008 1:12:56 AM   
Adam Parker


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Hi Peter - I take my hat off to you in mastering ASL. I got there once in my life and by the time I bought Solitaire ASL, life had intervened and I just couldn't re-learn the base system, though it's very much dear to my heart. I've been following Combat Commander in GMT's C3i magazine and it certainly looks to have gotten things right, especially with the card driven game mechanic for soiltaire play.

Rooster - I've only dabbled with Vassal once in a module of Mark Walker's Lock n' Load Vietnam (a great solitaire friendly game too but way too heavy on the informational markers - a times there can be more of these on map than units!). I could never really understand Vassal but I'd love to. Is there a guide to solitaring by Vassal anywhere? Thanks for the mention re C&C:A.

Andym - on a trip to NYC about 2 years ago I was lucky to have picked up an almost mint copy of B17 - a long held ambition of mine to add to my wargaming collection. B17 in my opinion made designing games for solitaire play fashionable in the industry and it took Avalon Hill decades to admit that the bulk of its customers bought its games for solitaire play in the first place. What a long drawn out debate that was! I'd really like to land a copy of Raid on St Nazaire. I have Patton's Best too - bought that new on release way back when.

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/13/2008 4:44:19 AM   
Rooster


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Hi Adam - For VASSAL solitaire play you just open it up and muck around until you find a system that works for you.  It's a good way to get the hang of the interface should you choose to go against someone.

Re B-17, Scott Krol a blogger at Shrapnel is going to be doing an AAR of his solitaire play of this game:

http://www.shrapnelcommunity.com/blog/2008/01/07/come-fly-with-me/

(in reply to Adam Parker)
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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/13/2008 2:02:51 PM   
Sarge


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Has anyone ever made it 25 missions with B17

I receved my copy of B17 from one of the co-designers way back as a kid . Charley owned a local millatary miniture/game /greenhouse and I remember him stating even the designers never made it threw 25 missions.




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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/13/2008 4:30:14 PM   
Peter Fisla


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Adam Parker

Hi Peter - I take my hat off to you in mastering ASL. I got there once in my life and by the time I bought Solitaire ASL, life had intervened and I just couldn't re-learn the base system, though it's very much dear to my heart. I've been following Combat Commander in GMT's C3i magazine and it certainly looks to have gotten things right, especially with the card driven game mechanic for solitaire play.



I started with ASK Starter Kit #1 (only about $18 US), then proceeded with ASL SK #2 and I'm currently trying to understand tank rules in ASLSK #3. At the same time slowly reading full ASL rules. If you are still interested you might want to give ASL SK #1 a chance, it's cheap and the rules are only 10 pages long.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/9823

Once you conquer that you can get ASLSK #2, which adds ordnance...

< Message edited by Peter Fisla -- 1/13/2008 4:31:54 PM >

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/14/2008 1:39:46 AM   
Jim_H


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Thanks for that post Adam!!! I've been hovering over CaC:A for a long time and you've persuaded me. It looks awesome on the reviews, but I wasn't 100% convinced about solitaire (which I'd probably play most of all) until this thread. Good enough for me 

I also have Ambush, which is a solitaire only, squad level game. I haven't had time to play it yet, but many people reckon it's brilliant. RAF is a good solitaire game too. Both of these are out of print now, so ebay is your friend. Memoir '44 is one of my favourite games to play and is pretty good alone. It's simple, fun and can be done in an hour if you're pushed for time. Some say it's too beer & pretzels, but with such limited time, that's perfect for me.

Thanks again Adam.

Regards,
Jim


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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/14/2008 7:12:58 AM   
Peter Fisla


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim_H

Thanks for that post Adam!!! I've been hovering over CaC:A for a long time and you've persuaded me. It looks awesome on the reviews, but I wasn't 100% convinced about solitaire (which I'd probably play most of all) until this thread. Good enough for me

I also have Ambush, which is a solitaire only, squad level game. I haven't had time to play it yet, but many people reckon it's brilliant. RAF is a good solitaire game too. Both of these are out of print now, so ebay is your friend. Memoir '44 is one of my favourite games to play and is pretty good alone. It's simple, fun and can be done in an hour if you're pushed for time. Some say it's too beer & pretzels, but with such limited time, that's perfect for me.

Thanks again Adam.

Regards,
Jim



RAF is getting face lift, now called RAF II...you will even be able to play Luftwaffe side as well. It's currently in play testing stage:

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?50@120.D2lRdSftEtF.9@.1dd28162

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/14/2008 9:52:29 AM   
Jim_H


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Peter Fisla
RAF is getting face lift, now called RAF II...you will even be able to play Luftwaffe side as well. It's currently in play testing stage:

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?50@120.D2lRdSftEtF.9@.1dd28162


That's great news! If it manages to improve on the original, this will be a very good game. The new counters look better too.

Thanks Peter

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2nd Lt. George Rice: Looks like you guys are going to be surrounded.
Richard Winters: We're paratroopers, Lieutenant, we're supposed to be surrounded.

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/14/2008 12:51:48 PM   
Adam Parker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim_H

Thanks for that post Adam!!! I've been hovering over CaC:A for a long time...


It's a pleasure Jim. I recall the first time I saw C&C:A in a shop, picking up the box and thinking "What's the gimmick?" But I never forgot it, there was just something about it. I too had no idea how good it would be solitaire. It is a true hex-based wargame that swaps blocks for counters.

I really do suggest finding a replacement for the board if plexiglass isn't your thing. It looks good but is just unusable without something over it, being simple cardboard. GMT call it "deluxe"! I've never heard of "Battlelore" before but someone recommended its mounted map as a perfect substitute and my shop was selling them individually in an "Epic" exapansion pack. So I picked up 2. Just one totally replaces the C&C:A map in exact dimension and scale and it looks awesome.

But GMT has listened. The new expansions 2 and 3 (Barbarians, Roman Civil War) each now contain a bona fide mounted map to replace the original.

The game is just so manageable and to me really recreates the feel of continuous, unpredictable ancient combat. I keep going back to the very first scenario of the game though. Carthage vs Syracuse. I cheer for the Carthaginians and I have yet to beat myself

I will not give up!

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/14/2008 1:25:17 PM   
Jim_H


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As we're short on decent game shops in the UK, I still haven't even seen a real copy of CaC:A. If I'd seen it in a shop, I'm pretty sure I'd have bought it immediately.

Battlelore is also on my wishlist, as it also seems to get rave reviews. I will definitely be buying this one at some point.

We have a huge pine picture frame we bought from Ikea a while ago that would be good for boardgames. It's more that large enough to hold any game map and has perspex (plexiglass?) instead of glass, so it should be perfect for my games.


_____________________________

2nd Lt. George Rice: Looks like you guys are going to be surrounded.
Richard Winters: We're paratroopers, Lieutenant, we're supposed to be surrounded.

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/14/2008 1:52:01 PM   
JudgeDredd


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I keep toying with getting Memoir....I'd love to get back to board wargaming.

I did get The Hunt for Red October (TSR) out a while back, but it wasn't really designed for single player and besides, I didn't have anywhere to really set it up...all rooms taken in my house.


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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/14/2008 3:06:44 PM   
Jim_H


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Memoir is great and got me hooked again. The comments on BoardGameGeek are good, with AAR's and links to reviews. As long as you don't expect anything too complex, it's fun to play. Having said that, you still have to think hard about where to move and which cards to play, so I wouldn't say it's formulaic. As it is based on Command and Colours, you can guarantee good design mechanics. Even my wife enjoyed playing it and she's NOT a wargame fan at all.

I had Hunt for Red October, but had to leave it at home when I left in 1990. I still don't know what happened to it. I remember it being quite complex, with lots of cardboard ship pieces and a *huge* board, but that's all.

Space is also a problem for me, which is why I'm thinking of the picture frame idea. It would be easy to move from room to room without disturbing the game. I tend to collect games rather than play, just because I don't have a space to keep them set up all the time.

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2nd Lt. George Rice: Looks like you guys are going to be surrounded.
Richard Winters: We're paratroopers, Lieutenant, we're supposed to be surrounded.

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/14/2008 3:27:33 PM   
HansBolter


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Tokyo Express - Victory Games

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/14/2008 4:00:33 PM   
JudgeDredd


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That's a shame...I just read Memoir 44 is a 2-8 player game...I thought I read somewhere it could be played solo?

Adam, I don't mean to hijack your thread...sorry


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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/14/2008 6:39:26 PM   
Jim_H


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You can play Memoir solo, as standard 2 player or add boards together to have huge scenarios (one comes with the game, but you need 2 copies) and more players.

The only drawback with solo is that you'll have knowledge of the cards in each player's hand. Some say, pick a card out of the hand at random with each turn to preclude prior knowledge. Others say just pick out the best card for each turn from each player's hand. I haven't tried both ways yet. Playing on your own is good, if you're honest with yourself. There do seem to be more reviews and comments for solitaire play than against.

It's even better if you're blonde because you'll simply forget each move immediately after taking it. Think of the replayability! 

_____________________________

2nd Lt. George Rice: Looks like you guys are going to be surrounded.
Richard Winters: We're paratroopers, Lieutenant, we're supposed to be surrounded.

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/14/2008 10:44:30 PM   
Adam Parker


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I recieved Memoir when it first came out as a present, yet I haven't opened the piece packs to play a game yet. I did notice that many of my plastic pieces do need straightening! I was very surprised to find that both Memoir and C&C:A were designed by the same guy, Richard Borg (not Berg!), who also designed the game that started it al off, Battle Cry.

For solitaire play, C&C:A seems to offer itself better than Memoir because though you can see each player's hand, there is an immensely greater force variety in C&C:A than Memoir's simple armor, infantry, arty, meaning more concentration required to your own strategy.

What this implies is that the player in C&C:A is really forced to worry about just his own hand at a given time in order to create the best force match ups and positionings possible. Then on top of that, the defender get's to "Battle Back" each combat if able - meaning whatever card you play in your turn, you run the risk of an immediate answer - not based on the play of any defensive card at all! The defender sometimes has the option to "Evade" meaning that some of your offensive punch gets watered down whilst the defender acts out a fighting withdrawal. Leaders, fate and Mother Nature can then stymie a retreat. Force types greatly change the make-up of a single combat.

In other words, so much can take place in a turn that the play of a card merely determines where it all takes place as opposed to predicting how it will all turn out, like so many other card driven games.

The net result is that, as a solitaire player, you do not get to worry about what you've seen in the opponent's card hand, because the opponent is already reacting to you in your turn without needing to play any cards at all! This simulates so well a feeling of chaos and continuous battle and goes to the essence as to why I rate this game so brilliantly for solitaire play.

You really forget to worry about anything than what's before you. There is no card discarding! You basicaly find yourself in a world where orders are given but it's in the lap of the Anceint World as to how your communications get carried out. Further, you regularly find every point along the front needing attention but seeing that the board is broken into sectors (left, centre and right) whilst your enemy my be pushing along the right, you may well see a need to push along the opposite flank. Both solitaire minds then, frequently find themselves deep in their own strategy and suddenly needing to come up for air, to react. It's just an awesome feeling of era and solitaire command.

It's a world where horses hate camels, elephants scare horses and no matter whether friend or foe, if an elephant starts to retreat, everyone close by suffers! How can you even think about your opponent's cards when you've set in motion your enemy's twin tuskers and they're trampling everything in sight!

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/15/2008 12:27:13 AM   
rowech

 

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Has anyone played Men of Iron enough to make comments about it?

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/15/2008 1:08:56 AM   
Sarge


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

That's a shame...I just read Memoir 44 is a 2-8 player game...I thought I read somewhere it could be played solo?

Adam, I don't mean to hijack your thread...sorry



Don’t ! unless you intend to enlist a newbee and don’t wish to scare them off with Hex and Counter game play.

If your looking for a solo tactical WWII squad level board game go with Europe Combat Commander , the card mechanics work well for solo play , believe me you will get far more enjoyment out of ECC and expansions then M44.


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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/15/2008 4:42:21 AM   
Joram

 

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Yes, C&C Ancients is anexcellent game.  Technically it's not a solitaire game but with the command deck and a little bit of self-honesty it is very easy to do solitaire.  The only difficulty of course is trying to put yourself in the right frame of mind when playing both sides.  My father made me play this one scenario over Christmas because he couldn't win as one side when he played it solitaire.  I showed him the light.  :)

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/15/2008 5:28:09 AM   
Michael Dorosh


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim_H

I also have Ambush, which is a solitaire only, squad level game. I haven't had time to play it yet, but many people reckon it's brilliant.


Technically, it is a man-to-man game. And yes, it is indeed brilliant, mostly because it bears no resemblance to reality - think Vic Morrow in "Combat" on TV. There are no "squads" and little in the way of real life tactics, but you'll have a blast.


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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/15/2008 9:43:20 AM   
JudgeDredd


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sarge


quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

That's a shame...I just read Memoir 44 is a 2-8 player game...I thought I read somewhere it could be played solo?

Adam, I don't mean to hijack your thread...sorry



Don’t ! unless you intend to enlist a newbee and don’t wish to scare them off with Hex and Counter game play.

If your looking for a solo tactical WWII squad level board game go with Europe Combat Commander , the card mechanics work well for solo play , believe me you will get far more enjoyment out of ECC and expansions then M44.



lol...how about my 11 year old daughter. She's kind of a daddys girl and wants to do things "with dad"...so I could easily get her into gaming!!

Maybe I'll look at ECC as well...it's my birthday soon...I might treat myself.

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/15/2008 3:00:56 PM   
Sarge


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd
lol...how about my 11 year old daughter. She's kind of a daddys girl and wants to do things "with dad"...so I could easily get her into gaming!!

Maybe I'll look at ECC as well...it's my birthday soon...I might treat myself.



I see , yes my son also 11 and I have a blast with M44

Another great game for the young ones is Wings Of War.

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/15/2008 5:32:36 PM   
Peter Fisla


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sarge


quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

That's a shame...I just read Memoir 44 is a 2-8 player game...I thought I read somewhere it could be played solo?

Adam, I don't mean to hijack your thread...sorry



Don’t ! unless you intend to enlist a newbee and don’t wish to scare them off with Hex and Counter game play.

If your looking for a solo tactical WWII squad level board game go with Europe Combat Commander , the card mechanics work well for solo play , believe me you will get far more enjoyment out of ECC and expansions then M44.




Combat Commander is really cool, there is room in my head for another tactical wargame besides ASL. I have the second CC module as well as Paratrooper Scenario Pack. I believe this year Stalingrad scenario pack should be out as well as dynamic campaign rules!!! It's all good :)

< Message edited by Peter Fisla -- 1/15/2008 5:37:02 PM >

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/15/2008 5:56:39 PM   
HansBolter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael Dorosh


quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim_H

I also have Ambush, which is a solitaire only, squad level game. I haven't had time to play it yet, but many people reckon it's brilliant.


Technically, it is a man-to-man game. And yes, it is indeed brilliant, mostly because it bears no resemblance to reality - think Vic Morrow in "Combat" on TV. There are no "squads" and little in the way of real life tactics, but you'll have a blast.



Ambush has about 3-4 expansion modules as well. They also issued a tank game based on the same system called Open Fire, I think (I'll have to look on the shelf tonight).

I'm surprised no one has commented on Tokyo Express. It is a tactical naval game of the surface fights in Iron Bottom Sound. Absoutely the best solitaire board game I ever played, and I played a lot of them.

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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/15/2008 5:57:21 PM   
JudgeDredd


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With regards to miniatures...I've seen on Boardgamegeek pictures showing different miniatures...some (plain grey/blue/green) and others looking camoflaged up and looking neat...almost model quality.

Where do they get them from?


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RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/15/2008 6:03:11 PM   
HansBolter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

With regards to miniatures...I've seen on Boardgamegeek pictures showing different miniatures...some (plain grey/blue/green) and others looking camoflaged up and looking neat...almost model quality.

Where do they get them from?




There are various sources. Some of the generic colored plastic ones come with the games like Axis & Allies.

There are some standardized scales for some miniatures rules such as the Micro-Armor I collected and painted 20 odd years ago which are 1/287 scale. They are lead castings that I detail painted and came in kits of platoons. Try a net search on "micro armor" and see what you come up with.

DML (a leading plastic model company) has a line they call the "Pocket Army" that are prepainted, finished products intended for use as miniatures.

btw: One of the coolest things about miniatures was the little plastic toy periscopes we used to get views of the battlefield from the tank commanders point of view.

ASL came out with a "Deluxe" version of the game boards with oversized hexes that would accommodate miniatures. The intent was to place the ASL unit conunter under the miniature to use for game mechanic purposes while enjoying the "panoramic splendor" (their exact marketing hype verbage) of the miniatures.

< Message edited by HansBolter -- 1/15/2008 6:09:27 PM >

(in reply to JudgeDredd)
Post #: 29
RE: Best Solitaire Board War Game I've Ever Played - 1/15/2008 8:34:53 PM   
Peter Fisla


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(in reply to HansBolter)
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