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Your absolutely favorite wargame, and why it is
Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Wargamers, in this list you can only name one (okay, two, if there is an unbreakable tie) wargame for your all-time (so far), absolute, favorite wargame. Also, write a bit explaining why it is your favorite.
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1. Board Game: Firepower [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:3219]
Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Anyone who knows me at all probably would know that Firepower is my favorite. IMHO, it is the best man-to-man tactical wargame ever made, and I really like tactical wargames. Also, geomorphic maps!

The rules and many charts are quite detailed, with individual primary and secondary weapons and grenades, various stances, facing, cover, etc. Yet, the game can be played as a simple engagement with only a few charts and units, or a detailed skirmish. Easy to mod and create new scenarios for (I even created an extra map), the game has incredible replayability. Also, the chit pull system adds suspense and increases the solo playability.


Craig Taylor is a genius!
2012: Rest in peace, my friend. I will miss you. soblue
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2. Board Game: MBT [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:2656]
Scott M.
United States
Winter Springs
Florida
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I love modern warfare. I have tried several systems and found MBT to be at the top of detail and variety of strategy and tactics when it comes to late cold war era warfare.

The myriad of weapon systems and combinations of allow for massive variety of forces to be represented. In addition the scale is small enough to allow company on company engagements and allows for the application of soviet doctrine vs NATO doctrine and its effects.




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3. Board Game: Whistling Death [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:1898]
J.D. Webster
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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...cause I designed it. And I designed it to satisfy my own wants in an air game...and I pretty much play it on a daily basis on line with fun like minded folk.

:-)

J.D. Webster
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4. Board Game: The Third World War [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:1347]
steven slater
England
County of Essex
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Or Nato (VG). Great games that I think offer great play and a good simulation. I can never decide which I prefer.
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5. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (first edition) [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:189]
Jerry Martin
United States
Loveland
Colorado
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I'm probably going to get booed off this geek list since I don't know if wargamers consider this a war game. BUT I LOVE A GAME OF THRONES! If not this I'll pick Small World
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6. Board Game: World in Flames [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:614]
Wendell
United States
Twin Cities
Minnesota
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Surprised?

I like it because of the grand strategic scope of the whole thing.
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7. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:47]
Kent Reuber
United States
San Mateo
California
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The game is fast and easy to play allowing you to be immersed in the game without hunting around for rules. I find the tension of hand management really gripping as you have to sweat about the sequence of cards you're going to play on upcoming turns.

In addition the battle back and evade mechanics allow you to react to your opponent even if you don't have any cards for that sector.
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8. Board Game: World in Flames [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:614]
Bruce Miller
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
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I began with this game in 2003. I played with Hampden Sydney college faculty and students. Our normal game was on Sunday mornings and afternoons.

I enjoyed because it was a game on an epic scale.
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9. Board Game: Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:305]
M@tthijs
Netherlands
Venlo
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I love the complexity of this game: not overly complex, not too simple. And 'add rules step by step' is a great system. I also love the enormous amount of scenarios. At least more than I will play in my lifetime. And I love that you can either play 1 hour full games (without even picking up a manual), or set up a monster scenario that'll take days (and lots of paging through the rules).

I have no problems that some things are abstracted. It's a game which feels like a simulation. Easy to learn to newcomers, still challenging for grognards.
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10. Board Game: The Civil War [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:576]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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The deepest wargame I have ever played in terms of immersiveness. I would find myself thinking about the game when I wasn't playing it. That has never happened with any other game.
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11. Board Game: Sergeants Miniatures Game: Day of Days [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:2026]
Ubergeek
United States
Camas
Washington
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Minimalist rules. Easy to learn. Fast to play. Cool bits.
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12. Board Game: Terrible Swift Sword [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:2019]
Jon
Canada
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This game was a revelation for me back in the 80s. It introduced me to the grand tactical gaming world and since then I have enjoyed many, many different series of games of that ilk.

I enjoy the command and control in these games as well as the narrative that is created as the play unfolds. Both the "big picture" narrative of the battle itself, but also the smaller individual struggles for hills, fence lines and strongholds that occur. TSS had the added bonus of being a meeting engagement spread out on three (later four) maps, which allowed room for maneuver and interesting choices.
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13. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:980]
Robert Wesley
Nepal
Aberdeen
Washington
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yep! This one, as it made 'easily drawing another' into playing something more complex, later afterward.
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14. Board Game: World at War: Eisenbach Gap [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:959]
Jeff Schulte
United States
Washington
New Jersey
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Unquestionably I would have to choose LNL's World at War series. I have played over 100 times FTF since Eisenbach Gap came out. For me, it really captures the fast and deadly nature of armored warfare in the mid '80s. The games play fast as well with small scenarios only taking an hour, while the largest ones run about 4-5 hours.

The series now has a lot of variety with forces from not only nations of the Warsaw Pact and NATO, but also Israel, Syria, South Africa, Cuba, and FPLA. You can also get unofficial forces from files right here on BGG to inlude, Chinese, Taiwanese, Australians, and New Zealanders. Two new expansions to the series should be out this year, including Into the Breach which should be out in April.
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15. Board Game: FAB: The Bulge [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:875]
Łukasz
Poland
Warsaw
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Great command system (implemented by the chit mechanism), plays fast, elegant rules, the importance of each of moves, the perfect balance and great replayability.
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16. Board Game: Washington's War [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:259]
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Before 1994, American Revolution games usually involved victory point cities. Even now, that is the rout that most of them take. The idea is that the British cannot control enough for victory.

While it creates fun and balanced game play, it wasn't historically true. The Brits took the 3 most important U.S. cities (New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston along with Newport (R.I.) and Savannah and it did nothing for them. Sure, they couldn't take enough cities, but these cities had little to no strategic value.

The war was a political war for the hearts and minds of the people. While that is impossible to simulate, Mark Herman's landmark 1994 game We the People added a political factor. It wasn't a simulation, but it captured the core ideas of using the military to achieve political objectives. Besides the political factor, the card driven mechanic was a breath of fresh air.

However, being the very first card driven game, it had some warts, such as having a dead hand full of opponent's events and not being able to move your British armies due to no 2-3 OPS cards. When Mark Herman re-designed it in 2010 (Washington's War), he fixed these warts and sped up the game, knocking 30 minutes off of play time.

Some complain it lacks enough simulation (a common complaint of any CDG) or it lacks enough confrontation, but my viewpoint is that I most enjoy studying the American Revolution and until We the People, none of the others came close to matching the spirit of the war. This was far different from say, WWII/Eastern Front or the French and Indian War, and therefore, it needs a different type of game, and this gem did just that.
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17. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:88] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
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Not just my favorite war game, but currently my favorite game, period. I love anything on the subject of WWII, so the theme fits perfectly. M44 has several things going for it:

Replayability - I have a few expansions and a total of about 80 scenarios at my disposal.

Play time - Quick enough to set up and play in about an hour. Not too long, not too short.

Components - I'll take plastic figures over cardboard squares any day. Plus, I love the board and terrain hexes.

A mix of luck and strategy - The cards and dice force you to make many tactical choices, balance risk vs. reward, and manage your hand effectively. Still, a rookie can beat a veteran once in a while.
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18. Board Game: A House Divided [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:620]
Antonio B-D
Spain
Madrid
Madrid
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I am in love with OCS currently, and WiF is a must for me. But I cannot forget the simplicity, speed and FUN of my first love.

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19. Board Game: Hammer of the Scots [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:176]
Gene Baker
United States
Ocean Springs
Mississippi
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Games with dragons, spaceships, and bears aren’t wargames. Call them conquest games or strategy games or crap but they aren’t wargames.
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My favorite game would have to be Hammer of Scots. The ebb and flow of the two sides can be very dramatic and the fog of war of the blocks adds a nice tension. One turn you’re down to 2 nobles and the next you can make a comeback. Replayability is great, and I’ve only played the Braveheart scenario. The quick setup (and takedown) and minimum pieces are icing on the cake.

The last two games I played were decided by the Wallace tiebreaker, with the games being split. My opponent went the last three turns depressed that he couldn’t take one last area to avoid the tiebreaker. I meanwhile was hoping to goad him (the English) into stupid attacks since Wallace was in the draw pool. I never could draw Wallace and the look of stunned disbelief he had as I shook his hand congregating his victory I’ll never forgot.
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20. Board Game: Minuteman: The Second American Revolution [Average Rating:5.82 Overall Rank:8241]
Brian Train
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Minuteman has long been my favourite, tied with Nicaragua. Seiminal games by two of my favourite and most inspiring designers, on underdone or not-done-until-then topics.

Minuteman modelled the growth and spread of a revolutionary movement, using a setting of what in 1976 looked to be a very pessimistic future but now looks more and more like reality. I'd play this for hours with The Clash and Talking Heads' "Life During Wartime" on the headphones.

Nicaragua was one of Joe Miranda's first published game designs, and is still a great piece of design on insurgency/counterinsurgency. It inspired me to a lot of my own work on the same subject.
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21. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:50]
Ronster Zero
United States
California
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This is my current favorite war game to play.

While there are some issues with the game I do think at this point this might be my favorite for the mixture of easy rules, fairly easy to play, randomness, and fun factor.

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22. Board Game: 2 de Mayo [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:684]
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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Theme. Theme, theme, theme. And its simplicity.
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23. Board Game: Empires in Arms [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:598]
suPUR DUEper
United States
Villa Hills
Kentucky
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Wendell took WiF so I will go with EIA.

EPIC!

The power of France
Shifting alliances
Battle tactic selection
Small well lead corps shredding ponderous armies
How far Moscow is from Paris
Mighty sea battles.
Forcing an opponent to the peace table.
Turkish CAV. Lots of Turkish CAV.
The Duke of Wellington. Davout. Blucher. Charles. And 5.5.6 Napoleon himself.
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24. Board Game: EastFront II [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:784]
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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I play lots of Combat Commander (another game I rate a 10), which I love for the story that comes out of it every time I play, and Twilight Struggle is my favorite game, but EastFront was the first and original true love of mine. I still have the original, which honestly has a nicer footprint with its smaller map, but the second edition looks simply gorgeous.

As to game play, this one really epitomizes for me the logistical nightmare that Barbarossa and the entire eastern front was. I don't really have any local opponents, but I got in a game at BGG.Con last year and am hoping to get another one in this year.

And if anyone wants a pbem game on VASSAL... geekmail me!
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25. Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach [Average Rating:8.31 Overall Rank:303]
John Di Ponio
United States
Warren
Michigan
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It was between this and Ambush! but I think this takes the cake for me. Solo games have always been a big interest for me since, over time, many opponents have moved away or do not have the time for a longer wargame. D-Day has everything I am looking for with a great rulebook, good challenge, and components that are well laid out. I find myself coming back to this game quite often.
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