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If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/26/2018 5:29:10 AM   
MrsWargamer

 

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I'm curious, if you seriously had to choose computer wargames, or board game war games with the provision it was ALL one or the other, no niggling inclusions one or the other, what would you pick?

Tonight, while fiddling with some operational scale computer war games, while pondering, "do I really want to set up board game war games?", I was left dealing with the usual issues.

Computer war games, yes, they don't gather dust, but, does it run on your current machine, with your current OS? Does the interface confuse/confound you? Can you really tell what's actually going on? Does it feel as good as a board game war game?

Board game war games, do you have the battles available that you have in computer war games?
Do you have the space to set it up?
Does it play adequately solo.

I tried War in the East, graphics hassles with the interface.
World in Flames, same thing.
Battles in Normandy, just too many colours actually.
TOAW III, ok it seems more intuitive to run than the others at least.

I know Advanced Third Reich like the back of my hand. Troubles with secrecy in some elements though.
The Longest Day will require me to create a custom surface to set it up.
I have a great Russian Front and Western Front and Mediteranean Front operational board game of easy to manage physical size.
It's not like I have a large stack of titles, but, you can only play one game at a time. And the reason I still have the ones I have, is they are the best of the best from my years of playing.

I'm starting to wonder, is 100 computer war games that I never really play, superior to 10 war games I can set up and play easily without a learning curve or need to fret over computer environment hassles?
The whole "need for an opponent' angle isn't one of my problems. And dust, it isn't really that big of a deal. I don't have a cat, or even any other humans here. It will be safe to set it up indefinitely.

To answer my question, if I had to pick, and that means, what would stay and what would go, I'm tonight, right now, siding I guess with board game war games.
As much effort as it will take to set up The Longest Day, learning how to run the interface, and just needing to use the interface of a computer war game is actually a bigger barrier.
War in the East is an incredible simulation. But playing my Russian Front board game, is just as rewarding.

I think tactical is the only area where computer war games are in the lead.
But I like operational games more than tactical in the end.

< Message edited by MrsWargamer -- 4/26/2018 5:30:06 AM >


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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/26/2018 5:43:10 AM   
rico21

 

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I believe that available brain time a day sets the new deal.
For me it is at 2:30 per day.
It suits me well because I can finish a game of tactical wargame in this period of time.
Otherwise I would spend my nights, in my mind, playing the next moves!

(in reply to MrsWargamer)
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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/26/2018 5:48:57 AM   
warspite1


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Mmmmm.....

Pluses and minuses on both sides.

Board Games

I love having the board games around. There's something about the smell of a brand new game, the pristine, pre-punched counters, and (depending on the game of course) the incredible OOB's.

Computer Games

One doesn't get any of the above BUT recently more and more games are coming with proper, hard back, full colour, incredibly well presented manuals - so that scratches an itch.

Board Games

The biggest downers are the practicalities - finding an opponent is not always easy, the inconvenience of setting up somewhere semi-permanently and perhaps the biggest obstacle of all - failing eyesight in my frail dotage.

Computer Games

Easily accessible opponents and fewer logistical set up issues. Eyesight can still be an issue but most games (Aegod take note ) cater for this by making font size and zoom levels sensible - World In Flames take a bow

Both board and computer games have issues - how many board games were issued without the need for errata? Computer games with bugs. But of course (depending on the game and the maker) code improvements and fixes are easier to update on a computer game than finding out about changes to a board game and then manually altering counters or rules etc.

Overall I would have to go with computer games, although as a technophobe I don't appreciate it when games are released that require one to have knowledge of files and folders and all that cobblers - World In Flames take note with the auto updater not working and TOAW IV with a lot of the scenarios needing to be imported or whatever . I've paid my money now I want a game I can plug in and play.

But ultimately what is the test? The test is that since finding the Matrix website I've actually been playing wargames again - something I hadn't done for many many years as real life commitments took over and my board games became sadly redundant.

Mind you, all that aside I still can't wait for World In Flames Collectors Edition that should be arriving soon If I could've afforded it I would gladly have bought two - one so that I never need to unwrap the box

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 4/26/2018 6:00:10 AM >


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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/26/2018 6:01:06 AM   
zakblood


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pc wargames all the time, when i was younger i did board games and the war games i had were really good and special, but always on my own, now with the pc, i have a AI, which for me is a great leap forward from playing on my own,

and while i don't play online or ever against others in war games, for many reasons, but first and foremost i'm just not that good at them, but i enjoy the level and ability and skill i have and also enjoy it more than enough on most war games against the AI, win or loose makes no difference to me as long as i enjoyed it.

the only down side is the costs of keeping it working and up to date, which at times with some getting more and more complicated, at times with pc war games, it's always like your more up to date than they are, and i'll give an example,

when i used to play board games, each and every module worked and was better than the last one mostly,

pc games for first person shooters etc, are looking great and are ahead of the hardware most own, eg Battalion 1944 or with the looks of this one
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=yFKNSu_aI5I


https://store.steampowered.com/app/736220/Post_Scriptum/
while yes it's a FPS, but one day hopefully someone will make a pure war game which also looks like this, a dream, GG Total World War 2, makes for a good title,...

where still most war games because of limited buyers and budget look like something we could still play on 10 year old pc's, which does make for less eye candy and less limiting appeal for newer buyers also imo.

so ups and downs



< Message edited by zakblood -- 4/26/2018 9:36:04 AM >

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/26/2018 8:13:44 AM   
RFalvo69


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Does "PC wargames, including VASSAL" count a a valid answer?

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/26/2018 9:35:29 AM   
HunterICX


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PC Wargames, for the simple reason that I could only enjoy a Wargame Boardgame and find the effort to set it all up if there was someone across the table of me like with normal boardgames.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/26/2018 11:29:33 AM   
Cataphract88


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Give me a good board game over a pc game any day of the week.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/26/2018 11:44:30 AM   
Saint Ruth

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cataphract88

Give me a good board game over a pc game any day of the week.

Give me a good board game over a pc game any day of the week, as long as the opponent is in the same room.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/26/2018 12:01:09 PM   
hapshott

 

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Computer wargames. I find it difficult to find anyone which want to play a board Wargame. Other boardgames like catan is no problem. But a Wargame is a No.

I also cannot commit myself to play online. Health issues, work and family are such that This is just impossible. I think that this holds for a lot of people.

So a Computer Wargame with an AI is the best solution for my Wargame itch. That’s why for me a good AI is a must when I buy a Wargame.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/26/2018 1:15:40 PM   
Orm


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If I must choose then I would select computer games. Mostly because I can then keep several different games going at the same time.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/26/2018 1:30:56 PM   
Alan Sharif

 

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Another vote for PC Games here, no contest. When I brought my first PC I never brought an another board war game, ever.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/26/2018 3:58:58 PM   
Zap


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PC Wargames only. Left playing board wargames so many years.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/26/2018 5:12:18 PM   
rsallen64


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There was nothing quite like the feel of getting a new board war game back in the day. When I bought my first ones in the 1970's and set them up, that was opening up a whole new world I had only ever dreamed about. A computer war game has never captured the same feel. Squad Leader was the best, hands down. Played it for endless hours.

But the problem with a board game is the space, and I don't have that anymore. I used to sit in the basement for hours. Married for decades now, and that's not going to work. Computer war games give you the option of being able to switch between multiple games without the need for additional space. And I would never be able to have enough space to play something like WITP-AE, which is a literal dream come true in the war game genre. Playing with others was never really an option for me. I couldn't really find the people back then, and haven't played against anyone since.

Although like I said, nothing captures the feel of a board war game, I would have to go with computerized ones now. That's just my reality in the 21st century, and as an geezer in my fifth decade.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/27/2018 9:41:45 AM   
demyansk


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I just bought a bunch of games from DVG. Guess what? B17 Flight Leader is still sitting on the table- not played. As well as all the others which still behave the wrapping around the box.

I guess it's easier with the computer, plus I don't need to read the directions.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/27/2018 11:18:02 AM   
MrsWargamer

 

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6 days vs 6 minutes (or less).

This mess is what the planning/set up stage looks like for the game The Longest Day. I'm going to make an attachment to the table such that the upper left corner of the map will be supported. The map has a panel (buried under stuff at the moment) that extends off to the upper left. This is the Cotentin Peninsula region of Normandy France.

This set-up process, that is required to play the game, generally takes me about 6 days. Yes, I said 6 DAYS :)
Hey, it's a board game, not a computer game. You don't just click an icon on a screen.
Why do I like board game wargames enough to work this hard to play them? Glad you asked. Well, look at the table, this game runs on it just fine. That's an OS joke. Look at the screen view, notice how I don't need to scroll my eyes to see the whole map (that's another computer joke). I do actually have additional maps photo-copied so I can study the terrain sans counters. I also have a set that is reduced in size for easier handling.
Yeah, there are downsides. I can't eat dinner on the table or build models on it or paint a painting on the table while the game is there. Fortunately, I have other tables eh. It's not like a computer able to run multiple programs at the same time is without competition ya know.

Board games don't have computer AIs. So what. When was the last time you met an AI that wasn't a moron? I'd rather just play both sides of a board game if my choices are me vs me or me vs a moron. Computer games having an AI being better than board games because board games don't come with an opponent is essentially just a lie we have taught ourselves to believe. You can lie to yourself if it makes you feel better. I'm not interested in lying to myself.
Board games require you to learn the game, FIRST, or you can't play it. The advantage here is you actually don't have to wonder what the game is doing while it is running. No interface to master. Your brain and your senses and your hands are the interface.
No, errata isn't the end of the world.
6 days from now, I'm going to be playing this. Maybe a little sooner. It only takes me 6 minutes to be ready to go to play Battles in Normandy, one of several computer wargames I own. But it isn't the same. I also prefer to read real books, and like buying hardcovers. Some people have unyielding preferences.
Yeah, a human opponent would be nice. I'd like to find a husband for a lot of other reasons too :)
But I don't have the opponent, and I don't have the husband, and I've learned to deal with it. Well living without the wargaming opponent is a lot easier admittedly.

But there ain't no cat here and no other humans. The only one to complain about me using up the dining table for a long span of time is me.
Even if I was forced to share my day with that nuisance called 'work', it's not like I couldn't play the game plenty enough.

image of of my game being set up
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KqncDscfkZY/WuMGuC1AK4I/AAAAAAAAB0w/TJK3Krlq-g874demCJSGpXorOZynD_HXQCLcBGAs/s1600/20180427_064616.jpg

< Message edited by MrsWargamer -- 4/27/2018 11:20:10 AM >


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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/27/2018 11:34:57 AM   
zakblood


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that's one hell of a large map and area

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/27/2018 11:46:20 AM   
MrsWargamer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: zakblood

that's one hell of a large map and area


2k to the hex.

Fire in the East sits on a map that comes out as 6'x8' actually, and isn't even the entire eventual complete map :)
In the 90s I had a buddy that bought it. The idea being one of us had to. The other being the usual opponent.
But he never got around to setting it up, but then who even has 6x8 rooms available to work with.

I had toyed with getting the 9x21 map set that was made for World in Flames, but, I've only experienced one example of a place where a friend lived and had a 9x21 sized wall. He lived above a store in what was called a 'loft' apartment which really was just the attic floor and a single massive storeroom to a point. Sucked as an apartment, but he was also a cliche 20 something single at the time too. He didn't care if he lived in a largely unfinished box.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/27/2018 11:56:24 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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The answer for me is really both, but if I had to pick just one or the other it would be computer wargames.

If real life, space, time and arranging for an opponent were not an issue, the choice might go the other way but there are too many practical advantages to computer wargaming. As it is, I can and do play a computer wargame (or more accurately play test) every day, while I tend to be able to make time for playing one of my board games once per month. That's about a 30:1 advantage to the computer wargame and I think that would hold even if I did not happen to have my current job. Before we started Matrix, my "unplugged" gaming tended to consist of miniature wargaming, which again seemed to be able to fit in once or twice per month even when I was younger, had no children and had a more flexible schedule, whereas I played computer games of some kind almost every day.

With the amount of time I spend on the computer, I do enjoy getting off it and playing a tabletop game, either board or miniatures, as often as I can and that's why I would never choose one or the other. For me having both allows for variety, which as they say is the spice of life.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/27/2018 7:40:43 PM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

The answer for me is really both, but if I had to pick just one or the other it would be computer wargames.

If real life, space, time and arranging for an opponent were not an issue, the choice might go the other way but there are too many practical advantages to computer wargaming. As it is, I can and do play a computer wargame (or more accurately play test) every day, while I tend to be able to make time for playing one of my board games once per month. That's about a 30:1 advantage to the computer wargame and I think that would hold even if I did not happen to have my current job. Before we started Matrix, my "unplugged" gaming tended to consist of miniature wargaming, which again seemed to be able to fit in once or twice per month even when I was younger, had no children and had a more flexible schedule, whereas I played computer games of some kind almost every day.

With the amount of time I spend on the computer, I do enjoy getting off it and playing a tabletop game, either board or miniatures, as often as I can and that's why I would never choose one or the other. For me having both allows for variety, which as they say is the spice of life.

Regards,

- Erik


Likewise.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/27/2018 8:16:37 PM   
AbwehrX


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Nothing compares to an 8 player WiF Final Ed boardgame. Especially when you win as the Axis 3 times.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 4/27/2018 10:14:48 PM   
ringoblood


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Table top, not board game, Twightlight 2000, Squad Leader, DnD, ect.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 5/7/2018 8:23:43 AM   
tentackle

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rico21

I believe that available brain time a day sets the new deal.
For me it is at 2:30 per day.
It suits me well because I can finish a game of tactical wargame in this period of time.
Otherwise I would spend my nights, in my mind, playing the next moves!

Yes, I agree with this

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 5/7/2018 2:30:10 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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There's more than just setup time and opponents to favor the PC wargame:

Units aren't monolithic blocks that are either entirely pristine or totally eliminated. (Yes, some board games allowed a few step reductions, but still no comparison to what PC units can do).

Combat isn't resolved via a simplistic CRT. Rather, individual weapons within the unit can individually resolve their combats via a suite of almost unlimitedly complex algorithms, with resultant paradigm-shifts in realism.

My huge stash of board wargames are now only used as a reference source, for whenever I wish to convert their subjects to PC wargames.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 5/8/2018 2:48:53 AM   
MrsWargamer

 

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Sometimes PC war games are so utterly awesome in all their incredibly detailed magnificence that they completely screw the pooch when it comes to the KISS principle.

Sometimes a simple CRT works just fine. Sometimes a simple counter is what's required.

It took me like 5 days to set up The Longest Day recently. I currently have it stored in my spare room. I'll get back to it in a bit.
I'd rather play it than my copy of War in the West. Somehow, all the stupendous detail of the program still manages to fall flat on its face with me.

I like how I can just research the conditions of the battlefield from D+1, use some good guesswork and just recreate what I consider the best possible reflection in game terms of how the situation was through the counters and just not roll the dice and proceed from there. PC programs are simply not that user-friendly. They are what they are in most cases.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 5/8/2018 6:52:42 AM   
700851McCall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

There's more than just setup time and opponents to favor the PC wargame:

Units aren't monolithic blocks that are either entirely pristine or totally eliminated. (Yes, some board games allowed a few step reductions, but still no comparison to what PC units can do).

Combat isn't resolved via a simplistic CRT. Rather, individual weapons within the unit can individually resolve their combats via a suite of almost unlimitedly complex algorithms, with resultant paradigm-shifts in realism.

My huge stash of board wargames are now only used as a reference source, for whenever I wish to convert their subjects to PC wargames.


I agree, although I also still have a huge stash of board wargames, I've not played them against a human opponent in years, mainly because my one opponent moved out of town. Last solo board wargame I played was SPI's 'Cassino' S&T game, that's several years ago.

The 'AI' may be artificial but he is not intelligent, and that is still a drawback, but you can almost always find someone on line who will play a game with you.

You don't get any fog of war with a boardgame and that is a huge blow to realism. So with a reasonably well programmed AI I think this balances out, at least to some extent, the lack of smarts.

I do like my computer games to look like boardgames which is one of the reasons I am such a fan of TOAW. Some of the highly rated computer wargames like War In The West and War in The East just look awful to me and that puts me off.

I have a copy of Fire In The East bought in about 1988, never played it because it is just too big and too time consuming. Even if you are unemployed or retired. But TOAW allows me to play the entire Russian Campaign at division level and 10km to the hex on a laptop sat next to me on the couch. And it looks like a proper board wargame. It's a dream come true, frankly.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 5/8/2018 12:42:28 PM   
MrsWargamer

 

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While I am not saying I prefer PC, to board game, some PC games 'get it right' better than others.

I like SC3. It 'get's it right' better than World in Flames does. I like TOAW, it 'gets it right' better than many others do. TOAW is like Steel Panthers in that you get an incredible sum of everything in the process.

War in the East and War in the West for all its massive awesome detail is just European WW2. So TOAW totally beats it for 'completeness'.

And when you are competing against another product, you have to do it better than the other product, or that other product sticks you in second place or worse.

Because regardless of where I am sitting, or maybe standing, I am only able to play one game at a time.

Today is a wonderful sunny looking day and it is 8:30, and I might decide "I want to play a war game today". And I will have to decide on which game eventually. Yeah, I could play something on my desktop, and something on my laptop, and something on my dining table, and something on the table I have in the storage room ALL at the same time I suppose.

But that would be totally crazy :)

I don't have TOAW IV yet, and might want it. I am unsure if I need it. I have a perfectly fine TOAW III. And TOAW III might be similar to accepting I have Advanced Third Reich with the rules manuals from the Pacific expansion, and just not bother getting the Global War iteration of the product.

We don't always truly need "the next thing".

Steel Tigers might turn out to be awesome. But Steel Panthers already is awesome. The Mega Campaigns have not yet been equaled. And if you desperately need modern, SPMBT is quite suitable. The only real challenge with Steel Panthers is machine and OS requirements. Sort of like needing a warehouse sized space for setting up all of the Europa maps. Which is about as difficult to arrange, as it is for a group of persons wishing to build a model railroad layout for a local model railroading club. My father started one more than 40 years ago. Likely invented the exclusively model railroad annual invent idea in the process. He's passed away now though, but the annual event still happens, and the club still spends the cash to maintain the layout option.

People will make something happen if they want it enough.

That's why the notion of "I don't have any human opponents" is not a reason so much as it is a reflection of priorities.
If I won the lottery tomorrow, and up a multimillionaire, You can say I'd have that room, and I'd hunt down the human opponents, and I'd make it happen :)

I don't consider the AI option sufficient. That's me. It's not like I never play the AI in some games. I don't mind playing the AI in Civilization or Heroes of Might and Magic. But in a war game, I want to experience what I experience while playing a board game solo. The AI just gets in the way there.
When I play SC3 vs the AI, I'm just being lazy at that moment. I'd prefer to play it hotseat as if the 'other person' wasn't actually me. VS another human would be better though. But I don't mind playing Advanced Third Reich me vs me. I just don't get to indulge the wild what ifs.

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RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 5/8/2018 7:23:51 PM   
700851McCall

 

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It's interesting that you are happy to play both sides in a solitaire game. I always use the AI. But then I rarely played the board wargames solitaire, I usually had a real opponent. (Played a lot of games of Advanced Third Reich btw, that was always one of my favourites).

So I guess it is what we are used to.

You should get TOAW4, it is a significant upgrade on III.

(in reply to MrsWargamer)
Post #: 27
RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 5/8/2018 11:27:54 PM   
MrsWargamer

 

Posts: 687
Joined: 6/18/2014
Status: offline
I had a human opponent for a long swath of lifespan, and then life happened. Literally. He was never quite the same after becoming a parent.

Not that I can talk. I multiplied once :) I so wanted him to become a wargamer (I understand home-grown differently eh), but he insisted on being a common variety gamer, and then a writer. Oh well, the writer part is nice (I'm a writer).

I live in small town Canada though, and local wargamers are very rare.

Sigh. I've tried eeeeeeverything to find a regular wargaming opponent. Even sex. Sort of. Well, I've pondered marrying one eh.

_____________________________


(in reply to 700851McCall)
Post #: 28
RE: If you had to pick, computer or board.... - 5/9/2018 4:06:33 AM   
em2nought

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 5/9/2018
Status: offline
Most of my board games stayed in their issue of Strategy & Tactics, or their Avalon Hill box without being played. I did like to look at them though. I only played a few and that was only for a three year period during high school. At least I play computer games a bit more, and with an AI whenever I want. I'm also glad for computer games because I'd know a great deal less regarding computing if it wasn't for wargames. Not that I know a good deal, but I was recently able to update my business website and get my back office computer up and running after a failure so that's a good thing.

(in reply to MrsWargamer)
Post #: 29
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