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Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 3:22:57 PM   
Jonathan Palfrey

 

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I started playing wargames in the 1960s, when they were relatively short and simple. Since then, games have got long and complicated, alas. Most modern games require players to spend their time on tedious chores that a real-life commander-in-chief would sensibly delegate to subordinates.

Are there any games these days designed for players who have jobs and families; who want a game that can be played to completion in a short period of time (say, half an hour to two hours?); who want to spend their playing time thinking about grand strategy and not fussing around with minor details?

I have an interest in the American Civil War, so I bought Forge of Freedom when it came out. This game has the praiseworthy aim of offering different levels of complexity: a Basic game, an Intermediate game, and an Advanced game. You can even turn individual rules modules on and off.

However, the implementation of this idea is shaky. Take supply, for example. In Forge of Freedom, you can turn the supply rules on or off. If you turn them on, you're deeply involved in supply management chores. If you turn them off, units can rampage all over the map without needing supply lines.

The sensible chore-free way of handling supply is that units should be able to trace supply lines or suffer penalties; this doesn't involve the player in any work because it's all handled automatically by the game. Unfortunately Forge of Freedom doesn't provide this option.

The end result is that the Forge of Freedom Basic game still involves too much work for my liking, while failing to simulate the war adequately.

I think what I need is not a cut-down version of a more complex game, but a game fully focused on providing an adequate simulation with a minimum of chores. Amazingly, the games industry doesn't seem to provide such games. Or have I missed something?

There are probably some board wargames that would suit me, but I can't play them for lack of human opponents.
Post #: 1
RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 3:43:02 PM   
sterckxe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jonathan Palfrey
I think what I need is not a cut-down version of a more complex game, but a game fully focused on providing an adequate simulation with a minimum of chores. Amazingly, the games industry doesn't seem to provide such games. Or have I missed something?


If you're into WWII operational level combat you could take a look at Conquest of the Aegean. It's pure operational combat, about the most realistic on the market with an extremely competent AI, without burderning the player with chores like moving little supply truck to the front and back.

You wear the hat of the corps commander, give your orders and start the clock. Pause at will to adjust your orders or give new ones. No more moving hundreds of units each, just give orders to your AI battalion commanders and let them sort-out the details of which company/platoon should be in the van and when to request supply.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

(in reply to Jonathan Palfrey)
Post #: 2
RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 4:05:00 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jonathan Palfrey
Are there any games these days designed for players who have jobs and families; who want a game that can be played to completion in a short period of time (say, half an hour to two hours?); who want to spend their playing time thinking about grand strategy and not fussing around with minor details?


Grand strategy and 1-2 hour play times generally don't mix. I can't recall a grand strategy game that I could really play so quickly. With that said, there are plenty of games with less "chores" so that you can get in your 1-2 hour sitting and feel like you've made a lot more progress.

Of our recent releases in grand strategy, probably the easiest to play is Commander: Europe at War. Below the grand strategy level, I would recommend Hornet Leader PC and Carriers at War as intuitive games that can give you satisfaction in very short time frames.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 4:05:22 PM   
JudgeDredd


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And it's reduced in price this side of 2008!

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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 4:10:13 PM   
Jonathan Palfrey

 

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Thanks for the constructive suggestion, Eddy! I normally prefer turn-based pre-20th century games, so it's not what I had in mind, but Conquest of the Aegean sounds like an interesting attempt to combine authentic simulation with automation of details.

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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 4:21:04 PM   
Jonathan Palfrey

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Grand strategy and 1-2 hour play times generally don't mix. I can't recall a grand strategy game that I could really play so quickly.



That's my problem! Such games don't seem to exist. There's no reason why they shouldn't, except that for some reason game designers apparently don't want to make them.

In fact, there is a computer game of the whole American Civil War that can be played in less than half an hour; it was written by W.R. Hutsell in the 1990s and is still available (see http://www.dhq.nu/hutsell/vga.htm). It's rather too simple even for me, but I did play it repeatedly some years ago. If Hutsell could do it, I wish others would make the attempt, and do it better...

quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Of our recent releases in grand strategy, probably the easiest to play is Commander: Europe at War. Below the grand strategy level, I would recommend Hornet Leader PC and Carriers at War as intuitive games that can give you satisfaction in very short time frames.



Thanks for the suggestions! I'll look at them.

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 4:57:31 PM   
Hidde

 

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It's not grand strategy but my favorite games when it comes to "easy to get started, quick to play but hard to master" would be the two Tin Soldier games.
Another game in that vein is Napoleon in Italy but it's more time consuming if you play the tactical battles, which I would recommend (to play the tactical battles, that is).
Birth of America is another focused and streamlined game. And fun.
Another one that I haven't seen recommended much anywhere is the first Takeda by Magitech. I think it was fun but the few reviews that I've seen didn't like it very much.

(in reply to Jonathan Palfrey)
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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 6:19:53 PM   
Jonathan Palfrey

 

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Napoleon in Italy is an interesting suggestion, as I once spent three years living in Piedmont. At least the map would be familiar!

Birth of America uses, I think, the same engine as AGEOD's ACW game, which I bought but still haven't played. AACW seems well designed and popular, but the complexity level is enough to intimidate me, and there's no simplified version: you play the full game, take it or leave it.

(in reply to Hidde)
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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 8:19:25 PM   
ravinhood


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Combat Mission series will give you those 1 to 2 hour battles. Just use the quick battles setup. Take about 1000pts or less of buy points and play on a small map. Quick fast and furious and over before supper. Mad Minutes 2nd Manassas and Bull Run Open battles can be played in an hour or two as well.

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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 8:38:24 PM   
Jonathan Palfrey

 

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Thanks, ravinhood. I specialize in strategy rather than tactics, but I have played battle games occasionally in the past.

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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 9:10:21 PM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jonathan Palfrey

Birth of America uses, I think, the same engine as AGEOD's ACW game, which I bought but still haven't played.


Yes, and no. It's more the other way around, but the game mechanics of ACW are rather more complex to suit that conflict and, more importantly, the scenarios take much, much longer to play. You should be fine with the shorter BoA scenarios at least, which only take an hour or two. Recommended, a superb game.

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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 9:13:47 PM   
leastonh1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood

Combat Mission series will give you those 1 to 2 hour battles. Just use the quick battles setup. Take about 1000pts or less of buy points and play on a small map. Quick fast and furious and over before supper. Mad Minutes 2nd Manassas and Bull Run Open battles can be played in an hour or two as well.


Hmmm, what was it you were saying very recently in another thread about someone who happened to mention another games company beginning with P?! Tut tut Ravinhood. It seems you are being a bit of a hypocrite here. No consistency. That's not good for a potential moderator candidate, is it?

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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 9:34:42 PM   
freeboy

 

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if you want civial war the blue and grey.. ageods game is a winner for ease and simplicity, I own it and forge, both excellent games..
Europe cammander, or whatever .. mayber commander in europe? is a reletively simple strategy game as well

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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 10:26:04 PM   
ravinhood


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim_H


quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood

Combat Mission series will give you those 1 to 2 hour battles. Just use the quick battles setup. Take about 1000pts or less of buy points and play on a small map. Quick fast and furious and over before supper. Mad Minutes 2nd Manassas and Bull Run Open battles can be played in an hour or two as well.


Hmmm, what was it you were saying very recently in another thread about someone who happened to mention another games company beginning with P?! Tut tut Ravinhood. It seems you are being a bit of a hypocrite here. No consistency. That's not good for a potential moderator candidate, is it?


Go back and READ the other thread TOPIC Jim_H it was asking about MATRIXGAMES game. This one is not. Therefore it is a more open thread and I win you lose. ;) (as always)

Plus, all these other yo-yo's broke the thread mentioning BOA and ACW those are NOT Matrixgames games either. Matrixgames is just suking a little blood out of them "distributing" them from their site. You can bet they ain't doin it for free. (Are you Erik? <gasp>)

Oh an btw Jim_H yah know what they call/label people like you doin what you're doin? :)

Jim_H = Trolling:
Provoking arguments that tend to have little to do with the actual topic, may be very personal in nature, generally being annoying towards others with the intention of getting them to (over-)react. Picking a fight, so to speak

Now let's list some of Jim_H's trolling moments:

1.On the strength of Eddy's post here, I vote Ravinhood for mod lol! Just until he's banned of course!

Jim

2. ROFL! Except himself?! (directed at me)

3.People do complain bitterly about Windows and are up in arms, but they still use Windows instead of going elsewhere. They are taken in by the hype and marketing to really think there are no alternatives to Windows. The fact is, they are wrong. (here he is saying his opinion is right an everyone else is wrong. Clearly provoking a reaction and response to believe as he does or suffer the consequences) ;)

4. See? Moaning about a game, moaning about the price, being irritating, harping on about a game you don't have yet that you'll no doubt complain about when it's released because it's $1 more than you want to pay. Then you'll proclaim in countless threads about how you're gonna wait until next year's Xmas sale (which I can guarantee it won't be on) because it's too expensive upon release, but that doesn't matter because it's crap anyway like all Matrix games (once again OT and directed at ME. ) :)

5. Judge:
You are like a double act sometimes.

Mrs Hood posts (attack on my gender) something upsetting to someone (inevitable really),(makes up things) you reply with a putdown (and what is it you do Jim_H?) and the rest of us sit watching, popcorn and beer at the ready. Well, I do anyway.

6. AFAIC Mr (Mrs?) Hood deserves all the flak posted in these forums! You're deliberately obnoxious, arrogant and do your utmost to bait people, (and what is it you do Jim_H? )

7. If there was an award for the most Politically Correct Troll I've ever encountered, it would be yours (more direct attacks at ME). ;)

Perhaps you should look in your own mirror Mr. Jim_H you have quite the baggage of a troll following you. ;)

< Message edited by ravinhood -- 12/17/2007 11:11:04 PM >

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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 10:31:57 PM   
Terminus


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You often wave at yourself in the mirror?

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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 11:03:49 PM   
leastonh1


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Ravinhood
I'm not trolling at all. I'm just pointing out that you contradicted yourself. I seem to remember your primary objection was in the first line of your post. Something about "stop promoting p....... games on the matrix games site" or words to that effect. How is that trolling?

Jonathan
I'm not a big fan of ACW, so can't comment on any of the games. However...
Flashpoint Germany is great for a quick blast. Some of the scenarios can be done in a couple of hours. The learning curve isn't particularly steep and it's a blast to play.
Advanced Tactics has some nice, short scenarios and can produce 1-2hr random maps if you're pushed for time. The supply situation is well executed and doesn't really need much more than monitoring. Certainly not micromanaging anyway.

Hope that helps and sorry for the hijack.

Regards,
Jim


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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 11:06:08 PM   
HansBolter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


Grand strategy and 1-2 hour play times generally don't mix. I can't recall a grand strategy game that I could really play so quickly.

Regards,

- Erik




Erik,

I'm surprised at you. You have the perfect example of what he is looking for in your product line. Gary Grigsby's World at War is exactly what he is after. You can play at least half the war in a couple of hours. I, personally, haven't played it much since my initial look into it for the very same reasons it would appeal to him. For me, it is too simple and the war goes by too fast. I started playing UV again last weekend and am leaning haevily toward picking up WiP soon to satisify my need for an ultradetailed ultragrog grand strategic game, but for someone looking for a streamlined, fast paced grand startegic game WaW fits the bill completely.

< Message edited by HansBolter -- 12/17/2007 11:07:48 PM >

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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 11:19:13 PM   
leastonh1


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Ravinhood. Have you nothing better to do? Ok, so I enjoy winding you up, I admit it. Guilty as charged. Do you feel better now? 

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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 11:26:37 PM   
ravinhood


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Lol just proving another point Jim_H....just proving another point. The ole 3 fingers vs 1 pointing directions philosophy.  Don't worry, if I did one on Terminus or Judge Dredd they would take up two pages probably. hahahah You're just a beginner vs me.

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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/17/2007 11:50:56 PM   
TheHellPatrol


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim_H

Ravinhood. Have you nothing better to do?
Not until the elementary school up his street lets out at 3PM


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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/18/2007 12:01:22 AM   
sterckxe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood

Lol just proving another point Jim_H....just proving another point. The ole 3 fingers vs 1 pointing directions philosophy. Don't worry, if I did one on Terminus or Judge Dredd they would take up two pages probably. hahahah You're just a beginner vs me.


Just curious where I am on your scale - pre-kindergarten ?

<my wife nods in the background - she reads minds I tell you>

Am I too boring to duel with or too deadly

That said, if the OP wanted info on a strategical level game with as less drudgery as possible as opposed to a pure strategy game there's a couple of options :

- Gary Grigsby's World at War - a World Divided : from the ETOA to the PTO, regions, turn-based, demo for the original World at War available

- Strategic Command 2 - Weapons and Warfare : latest patch includes the PTO, isometric, turn-based, demo available

- Commander : Europe at War : ETO, hexes, turn-based, no demo

All 3 of them are actually fine games so my advice would be to read a couple of reviews to see what's your personal preference and take the plunge.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

(in reply to ravinhood)
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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/18/2007 12:20:34 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi Hans,

quote:

ORIGINAL: HansBolter
I'm surprised at you. You have the perfect example of what he is looking for in your product line. Gary Grigsby's World at War is exactly what he is after. You can play at least half the war in a couple of hours. I, personally, haven't played it much since my initial look into it for the very same reasons it would appeal to him. For me, it is too simple and the war goes by too fast. I started playing UV again last weekend and am leaning haevily toward picking up WiP soon to satisify my need for an ultradetailed ultragrog grand strategic game, but for someone looking for a streamlined, fast paced grand startegic game WaW fits the bill completely.


Actually, I love GGWAW and especially the new AWD, but in my experience it takes longer than that to play thorugh it. It's very realistic and also easy to play, but I found it was taking more than 4-6 hours or so to play through. Not a bad thing though and you're right that I should have mentioned it. I was mainly only looking at our recent releases though (i.e. <1 year old) in giving a quick answer.



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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/18/2007 1:08:37 AM   
ravinhood


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheHellPatrol


quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim_H

Ravinhood. Have you nothing better to do?
Not until the elementary school up his street lets out at 3PM



You know HellPatrol you keep bringing up 10 year olds and elementary school subjects. I beginning to wonder about you seriously now. That's twice you have brought up young people in(sin)uations. ;)

@Sterecke yah know you fall into the same catagory as Jim_H, you're both trolling for a reaction out of me. You both seek that adverse reaction. :) Plus you both and a couple of others go into every thread drawing it off topic almost immediately with an attack on me. Now I ask you who's the real troll(s) here? ;)

quote:

Ok, so I enjoy winding you up, I admit it. Guilty as charged.


See Jim_H even admits to trolling. Signed sealed and delivered. Erik do your duty. ;)

< Message edited by ravinhood -- 12/18/2007 1:13:47 AM >

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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/18/2007 4:03:46 AM   
cdbeck


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim_H
Hmmm, what was it you were saying very recently in another thread about someone who happened to mention another games company beginning with P?! Tut tut Ravinhood. It seems you are being a bit of a hypocrite here. No consistency. That's not good for a potential moderator candidate, is it?


That was said to me Jim, and I appreciate the defense, but I have long since given up taking RH seriously (which is why he and I can talk civilly)!

I would say that GG:WAW is a very nice Grand Strategy game with few chores (although the supply thing can be a hassle if you let it get out of hand). It does take several hours to play (I can think of no game that fits the 1-2 hour bill) but you can get a pretty long way in 1-2 hours. It plays like Axis and Allies, so fans of this will love it.

I also agree with Advanced Tactics. Anyone can look at my recent post history to see that I am in love with this game. Vic is a master and Matrix backed the right horse on this one. JudgeDredd disagrees with me (surprisingly) but I think it is Matrix's very best game (followed by CotA). Try out People's Tactics and think of it as an "early beta."

Lastly, if you don't mind non-historical, Starships Unlimited is a very good 1-2 Grand Strategy 4X space game that has practically NO chores in it. I love the game, but it is the very essence of minimalist, semi-retro space fun. I believe there is demo floating around.

If you are interested in historical games, like For Liberty!(or Napoleon in Italy), Hussar games offers a free FULL VERSION of its first game 1848 and a nice demo of For Liberty!. Try these out to gauge if you would like Napoleon Italy.

Best,
SoM

< Message edited by Son_of_Montfort -- 12/18/2007 4:05:46 AM >


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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/18/2007 5:07:37 AM   
TheHellPatrol


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood

You know HellPatrol you keep bringing up 10 year olds and elementary school subjects. I beginning to wonder about you seriously now. That's twice you have brought up young people in(sin)uations. ;)

"51 here and I never liked Led Zepplin. More of a Moody Blues fan here.
It's sad to see no 12-13 year olds posting here. That's what we need more of not you old codgers"




A quote from your post...i can post a link if you like...give it up ravinhood, the jig is up.
You've been served!


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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/18/2007 7:08:03 AM   
mjk428

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Hi Hans,

quote:

ORIGINAL: HansBolter
I'm surprised at you. You have the perfect example of what he is looking for in your product line. Gary Grigsby's World at War is exactly what he is after. You can play at least half the war in a couple of hours. I, personally, haven't played it much since my initial look into it for the very same reasons it would appeal to him. For me, it is too simple and the war goes by too fast. I started playing UV again last weekend and am leaning haevily toward picking up WiP soon to satisify my need for an ultradetailed ultragrog grand strategic game, but for someone looking for a streamlined, fast paced grand startegic game WaW fits the bill completely.


Actually, I love GGWAW and especially the new AWD, but in my experience it takes longer than that to play thorugh it. It's very realistic and also easy to play, but I found it was taking more than 4-6 hours or so to play through. Not a bad thing though and you're right that I should have mentioned it. I was mainly only looking at our recent releases though (i.e. <1 year old) in giving a quick answer.



I'm surprised too but IMO the softball that hasn't been swung at is: The Operational Art of War III. There must be something I'm missing. because the simpler/smaller scenarios seem to be almost perfect for the OP. It's on sale to boot. Maybe y'all know he's already got it. It's not the preferred era but many of the suggestions haven't been.

The scenarios with a bazillion units can just be ignored. I know I don't like to play them. Barbarossa at the battalion level is too much even for me and WitP's complexity is right in my wheelhouse. Still, there are dozens of good scenarios that can be played in a few hours.


< Message edited by mjk428 -- 12/18/2007 7:09:59 AM >


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RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/18/2007 8:58:29 AM   
ravinhood


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheHellPatrol


quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood

You know HellPatrol you keep bringing up 10 year olds and elementary school subjects. I beginning to wonder about you seriously now. That's twice you have brought up young people in(sin)uations. ;)

"51 here and I never liked Led Zepplin. More of a Moody Blues fan here.
It's sad to see no 12-13 year olds posting here. That's what we need more of not you old codgers"




A quote from your post...i can post a link if you like...give it up ravinhood, the jig is up.
You've been served!



Yes, but, my post is about getting the younger generation into wargaming. Your insinuations is getting them into your bedroom. ;)

(in reply to TheHellPatrol)
Post #: 27
RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/18/2007 9:53:56 AM   
leastonh1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Son_of_Montfort
That was said to me Jim, and I appreciate the defense, but I have long since given up taking RH seriously (which is why he and I can talk civilly)!

<snip>

Lastly, if you don't mind non-historical, Starships Unlimited is a very good 1-2 Grand Strategy 4X space game that has practically NO chores in it. I love the game, but it is the very essence of minimalist, semi-retro space fun. I believe there is demo floating around.


Hi SoM,
I am in the same camp as JudgeDredd now and have discovered a very useful feature of this forum called "block list". I take my hat off to you though. I can't bring myself to be civil to someone so obnoxious and arrogant, who is quick to point the finger at everyone else for what they are guilty of. In over twelve years of being online, I have never felt the need to use this feature before, on any forum. There is a first time for everything!

Jonathan,
What about Panzer Command: Operation Winter Storm? There's no worrying about supply, nice graphics, and excellent gameplay. I agree about Starships Unlimited, it's quite a good and simple 4X game.

Regards,
Jim

_____________________________

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.

(in reply to cdbeck)
Post #: 28
RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/18/2007 10:14:44 AM   
JudgeDredd


Posts: 8561
Joined: 11/14/2003
From: Scotland
Status: offline
Well, it's enlightening to see I'm not the only one with issues with RH. I suppose one could use the old "common denominator" theory and suggest that RH is the problem, being as he's the common denominator between all who get caught up in his posting antics.

But that could be unfair...not really scientifically proven, is it?

But I'm running with it

Jonathan

Welcome (I know you've been here a while, but I haven't seen you around before). Maybe you try and keep yourself away from the murky mire that is the General Discussion" forum.

As for games, I suppose GG:AWD fits your description. I never got on with it, but I hear tell alot of people like it. And it does kind of fit with what you're looking for.

mjk428
One of the reasons I seldom play TOAWIII (as brilliant as it is) is because I've never had the time to sit down and digest the rules...and from my perspective playing without reading the manual (a couple of times for us oldies!) isn't on...even the smaller scenarios. Still, I suppose that could be said for all games...

I think GG:AWD would be up his street. Even though I do not like it, I can be objective if it's something that might fit for someone else (unlike some people in the forum, eh RH? "I don't like it "scream ScReAm SCREAM!!! so no-one else should want it 'cos I am right <filled in with a lot of blah blahs and self righteous crap>")


_____________________________

Alba gu' brath

(in reply to leastonh1)
Post #: 29
RE: Looking for strategy games without chores - 12/18/2007 10:21:17 AM   
sterckxe


Posts: 4605
Joined: 3/30/2004
From: Flanders
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood
@Sterecke yah know you fall into the same catagory as Jim_H, you're both trolling for a reaction out of me. You both seek that adverse reaction. :) Plus you both and a couple of others go into every thread drawing it off topic almost immediately with an attack on me. Now I ask you who's the real troll(s) here? ;)


A cookie of your own dough is sometimes hard to swallow ain't it

<cloak from RavinHood>
Anyone else notice that RavinHood can go on and on for pages when it comes to arguing daft points, but really has trouble with come-backs once you start to make fun of him ? It seems to really hurt him.

As I'm not a fan of torture I will restrain from making fun of him too much - just the occasional jab to keep him off-balance
</cloak from RavinHood>

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

(in reply to ravinhood)
Post #: 30
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