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Board Wargaming's New Golden Age

 
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Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/11/2008 5:13:24 AM   
Adam Parker


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They've done it again.

This time, GMT, the prolific board wargame publisher has opened the door to a Golden Age of wargaming hearkening back to the Avalon Hill days of the 1960's and 70's.

GMT's remake of the Avalon Hill title Successors has hit the market and what a job they've done.

This company, who for decades has based its business model on paper maps, seeing the financial difficulties faced by Avalon Hill in the 1980's whose reputation for fully heavy mounted maps created a cost-benefit dilemma, has listened to customer feedback and released a 1st edition game with a fully heavy mounted map board that would make even the toughest Avalon Hill diehard cry with joy.

Faced by stiff competiton from the so called "Euro" game makers whose quality components have put many to shame, GMT appears to have bitten the bullet with this gutsy move - for the price of this glorious title is no more than would would have been with its standard 22" x 34" paper map.

The map is a georgeous splendor of hues spanning old-town Greece, through the northern empires and India and south through Judea into the Nile and the deserts of the west.

GMT showed its hand recently in capitulating to enormous demand for mounted maps with their Command and Colors: Ancients series. GMT seems to have gotten its cost model and quality right. For it cannot be stressed highly enough, that this release of Succesors is GMT's print #1. No promises of "deluxe" cardboard maps for future print runs here, as GMT was wont to do. Simply the full real deal, first time out of the gate.

Whether this can now spurn the likes of Hasbro to start re-releasing its mounted Avalon Hill catalogue, again is something that those on the outside can only speculate.

However, for now all that is moot. GMT - the paper map company - is now a true player in the quality components world.

And what does all this mean for a PC wargame industry I consider slowly on the decline? Where paper manuals made way for PDF, where color charts inside a box made way for digital scans, where boxes made way for paper CD sleeves, where rulebooks made way for strategy guides and even those soon took flight, where warrantees still guarantee nothing?

It cannot be stressed how significant a move this is for GMT. For little more than the price of a PC download, wargamers receive a huge heavy mounted map, a glossy deck of 72 quality playing cards, plastic unit stands, thick die-cut unit counters, rulebook, cardboard reference cards and two sturdy black and gold d6 dice.

This value for money just doesn't compare with a malfunctioning AI and PDF.

It also means that game collectors can now obtain the classic Card-Driven-Game successors to Mark Herman's We the People (Avalon Hill/Hasbro), fully up to date and mounted - Hannibal Rome vs Carthage by Valley Games 2007 and Successors by GMT 2008. To get around Hasbro's stubborn hold on his copyright, Mark Herman is working on a re-make of the one that started it all.
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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/11/2008 5:40:11 AM   
GJK


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As I've plugged here before, look at "Conflict of Heroes". Currently the #1 rated wargame on BGG.com, it too features thick counters and mounted mapboards.

Edit to add much more: I just witnessed an online game of CoH - to get away a bit from the physical ftf quality of boardgaming but will say that the interactivity of boardgaming just seems to far surpass what you get in any/many computer wargames. YOU control all the units, each action is yours and frankly, it's fun to have to do a quick look-up of the rules to check that you did something properly.

< Message edited by GJK -- 10/11/2008 5:43:15 AM >

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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/11/2008 12:29:54 PM   
PunkReaper


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This is great news. I was so disapointed with the cardboard game board of Twilight Struggle, which I felt let down such a great game. I have recently re-discovered the joys of board gaming, the fun of opening a box full of nice parts, no trying to get it to run on my computer or downloading patches. I have just bought 1960-Making of the President and was pleased with the quality of the board. I will now look at Successors and I hope that future GMT releases follow this plan.....Unhappy King Charles, Crown of Roses etc...

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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/11/2008 2:00:18 PM   
GJK


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1960 is an easy and fun game to play. Seems counter to the point about nice boards and parts, but there is a few electronic (PC) versions of 1960 if you'd like to play remotely some time. :)

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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/11/2008 3:25:51 PM   
BoredStiff

 

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quote:

RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age

What I'd like to know in regard to this Golden Age is either of the following:

1) What is our special unit, which (when, where, how) battle did it win and against whom?

or

2) What Great Wonder was built?

I'm guessing the Great Wonder might have been the internet.

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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/11/2008 3:46:22 PM   
Sarge


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I really enjoy some of GMT’s games, especially Combat Commander, I know its light on realism (card mechanics n’ random events,) along with the absents of vehicles is an turn off for some of the old hex dice heads but on the fun factor front the game can’t be beat.

WWII, Hex n’ Counter , tactical along with easy setup and the light learning curve the game is perfect fit to hold the attention of non-war gamers and veterans alike

GMT’s counter art is top notch , I don’t mind the non-mounted maps much . I usually use sheet/s of Plexiglas anyhow so that’s not really an issue for me.

Combat Commander, Ardennes , Battles of the American Revolution , the Civil War series along with Twilight are just plain fun even for the novice/newbe.

I look forward to the GMT’s release of the Solitaire game Fields Of Fire

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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/11/2008 3:58:34 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Adam Parker

This value for money just doesn't compare with a malfunctioning AI and PDF.

Between malfunctioning AI and nothing, I'll choose malfunctioning AI. Furthermore, computer wargames have much better compatibility with Internet. And yeah, I've played with all those options with one particular wargame: Classic BattleTech (computer version: MegaMek)

PDF files have their advantages over paper manuals, like search function. Furthermore, even though value of money has been in decline, prices of computer games have stayed nearly same. One reason for that is use of text files instead heavy paper manuals. Of course at least quick reference card in print would be welcome, and those still come with many games.

< Message edited by Matti Kuokkanen -- 10/11/2008 3:59:40 PM >


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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/11/2008 4:43:24 PM   
Grell

 

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My favourite board wargame company is Clash of Arms.

I also love GMT!

Great games, great contents.


Regards,

Grell

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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/11/2008 7:14:42 PM   
SireChaos

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Matti Kuokkanen


This value for money just doesn't compare with a malfunctioning AI and PDF.

Between malfunctioning AI and nothing, I'll choose malfunctioning AI. Furthermore, computer wargames have much better compatibility with Internet. And yeah, I've played with all those options with one particular wargame: Classic BattleTech (computer version: MegaMek)

PDF files have their advantages over paper manuals, like search function. Furthermore, even though value of money has been in decline, prices of computer games have stayed nearly same. One reason for that is use of text files instead heavy paper manuals. Of course at least quick reference card in print would be welcome, and those still come with many games.


Not to mention not having to spend an awful lot of time setting up the board or returning loads of counters into their compartment in the box, or sweeping clean half the battlefield with a hearty sneeze.

Don´t get me wrong - I like a good board game, even board wargame, but computer games are a lot more convenient. I play BattleTech, too, and I wouldn´t want to go back to having to keep in mind (or look up on a chart) an insane number of modifiers, or having to prepare the sheets for each unit beforehand - not to mention the... uh... complications of trying to play double-blind, i.e. with fog-of-war.

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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/12/2008 1:19:44 AM   
Adam Parker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BoredStiff
What I'd like to know in regard to this Golden Age is either of the following:

1) What is our special unit, which (when, where, how) battle did it win and against whom?
or
2) What Great Wonder was built?


1) Rodger MacGowan, Mark Simonitch, Tony Curtis, Andy Lewis, Gene Billingsley. The P500 system - it was their invention! Democracy in wargaming
or
2b) Reversing 18 years of corporate philosophy, providing games that can once again be played out of the box.

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Post #: 10
RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/12/2008 1:24:42 AM   
BoredStiff

 

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OK, lol.

Edit: I nevertheless think the internet has been the key. The Pre-order 500 system would not be feasible otherwise. Also, the various pbem aids that allow boardgames to be played as such have a strong impact it seems.

< Message edited by BoredStiff -- 10/12/2008 1:48:38 AM >


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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/12/2008 1:34:42 AM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Adam Parker

1) Rodger MacGowan, Mark Simonitch, Tony Curtis, Andy Lewis, Gene Billingsley. The P500 system - it was their invention! Democracy in wargaming
or
2b) Reversing 18 years of corporate philosophy, providing games that can once again be played out of the box.


How successful have they been at getting their games on store-shelves?

PoE (aka ivanmoe)

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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/12/2008 3:17:37 AM   
GJK


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Played some Conflict of Heroes online last night with a couple of guys (I actually observed the game). Had a good time and the game was solid and fun. A little screenshot from the game (nothing all too exciting, it was at the end of the game): COH-Multiplayer

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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/12/2008 4:10:30 PM   
PunkReaper


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quote:

Played some Conflict of Heroes online last night with a couple of guys (I actually observed the game). Had a good time and the game was solid and fun. A little screenshot from the game (nothing all too exciting, it was at the end of the game): COH-Multiplayer


Looks a really neat game, just wish I could get hold of a copy in the UK.....

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Post #: 14
RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/19/2008 12:09:53 PM   
Adam Parker


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Quick follow-up FYI:

GMT has received some great feeback it seems re their mounted map and has just put mounted maps for Paths of Glory and Here I Stand on P500.

What recession?

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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/25/2008 12:14:30 AM   
Adam Parker


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And it keeps coming.

Mark Herman the guy who invented the Card Driven Game concept with his American Revolutionary War game "We the People", is about to release its re-make called "Washington's War".

A design that stays faithful to the simple elegance of the original, tweaks combat back to a CRT and totally overcomes Hasbro's unwillingness to part with its copyright having inherited Mark's breakthrough design from Avalon Hill.

But what's the best news? You guessed it!

As Gene Billingsley at GMT games writes:

quote:

Several have asked about whether Washington's War will ship with a mounted map, like WtP did. The answer is yes.


The game is now a P500 pre-order.

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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/25/2008 12:54:26 AM   
mllange

 

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Deleted - double post

< Message edited by nim8or -- 10/25/2008 12:55:44 AM >


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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/25/2008 12:55:09 AM   
mllange

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: GJK

Played some Conflict of Heroes online last night with a couple of guys (I actually observed the game). Had a good time and the game was solid and fun. A little screenshot from the game (nothing all too exciting, it was at the end of the game): COH-Multiplayer




Is this a screen shot of a computer version, or simply a digital photo of the board game being played?

< Message edited by nim8or -- 10/25/2008 12:56:34 AM >


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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/25/2008 12:55:11 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Adam Parker
Mark Herman the guy who invented the Card Driven Game concept with his American Revolutionary War game "We the People", is about to release its re-make called "Washington's War".


Great to hear, I'll be picking that up.

Regards,

- Erik

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RE: Board Wargaming's New Golden Age - 10/25/2008 3:48:40 AM   
GJK


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quote:

ORIGINAL: nim8or

Is this a screen shot of a computer version, or simply a digital photo of the board game being played?


It's a screenshot from the ZunTzu gamebox that Uwe (game designer) worked with me to make (he provided the original artwork). The gamebox should be available for download from the CoH official website any day now (he has the final release that I did).

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Post #: 20
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