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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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101. Board Game: Toe-to-Toe Nu'klr Combat with the Rooskies [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:4440]
Joe Thomas
United States
Coshocton
Ohio
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I know that I'll get yelled at for this, but I really enjoy this game. I play it everytime I do laundry. A nice little solo game.
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102. Board Game: Combat Commander: Pacific [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:200]
James Crosfield
United Kingdom
Gillingham
Dorset
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I have been thinking about this for a few days now and still find it really hard to pick one. Storm Over Stalingrad above is very close but it has to go Combat Commander. I have played a load of this in the last two years and nothing else brings me the level of fun and entertainment that this game does, it is like watching a film each time it is played. I have gone for the Pacific as I like the different rule nuances and the more close combat for me the better.
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103. Board Game: Strike of the Eagle [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:843]
Michael Vinarcik
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This was tough...between Wilderness War, Washington's War, and Strike of the Eagle...I had to go with SotE.

I like the fog of war aspects and the pre-plotted orders...the game just has a nice flow and feel to it.
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104. Board Game: StarCraft: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:233]
Erlend Flaten
Norway
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This is the absolutely best war game I have played by far (best with the expansion). It is because it contains everything. There is resource-management (harvesting, producing units and producing factories) complex and very deep order system. Card driven combat with the option to add special cards to your deck (you can choose between a lot of cards). Different player powers. Only one thing is certain : "There will be WAR!".
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105. Board Game: Dieppe [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
matt gonneau
United States
New York
New York
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Simulations Canada so somewhat of an outlier and hardly a looker, but Dieppe is a great little sim and a fun challenge for the Allied player. I'm drawn to asymetric battles like amphibious landings, air drops and sieges, and for my money this recreation of the 1942 raid in force against Dieppe by the Brits and Canadians makes for a tense and memorable struggle. A bunch of what-if scenarios lets you experiment with alternative schemes that were historically considered by the planners, so there is quite a bit of scope to the game. Ideally I'd like this game played out at a more granular tactical level, but for a one mapper that includes both flanking naval batteries it works nicely. One day I will put together a version at about half scale.

Great geeklist by the way

EDIT: I will add that variant scenarios 2-4 calling for the tank platoons to land at Puys must certainly be in error [or a typo] since only two beaches were seriously considered for landing AFVs - Pourville and Dieppe. In the variants I would allow either or both, the draw off Puys was a rather treacherous gully..
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106. Board Game: Tac Air [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:4356]
Dan Stueber
United States
Vernon Hills
Illinois
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This was the second war game I ever purchased and I have loved it ever since. I have played every scenario in the game at least three times and developed house rules and variants for the game. I even helped edit an article for the game that was supposed to be published in The General. I know there are a lot of people who hate the game but it is still my all time favorite.

I am a big fan of WW3 games that are operational in nature and this fits the bill. There are tank and mechanized infantry battalions, artillery batteries, air defense units, and recon units. Plus the Headquarters units are depicted in the game along with the various supply trains for each formation. No longer can you trace supply back an unlimited amount of hexes to a map edge. Also, you better defend those supply and HQ units or your divisions and brigades will grind to a halt if you lose them.

The game has all kinds of air units; from attack bombers, to interceptors, to recon aircraft, to unmanned drones and stealth aircraft.

It is a very fun and satisfying game in my opinion.

Dan Stueber
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107. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Napoleonics [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:201]
Nick B
United Kingdom
Northamptonshire
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This has now replaced Battle Cry, C&C: Ancients and Memoir 44 as my absolute favourite of its type. And only after a couple of games. In which I lost twice. Why? Units and cards variety on a par with Ancients. Ability to move and shoot with many more unit types than Ancients gives greater depth of play. Combined arms and cavalry breakthrough rules, melee and battling back and the general carnage from artillery, all give period feel. Varied scenarios (all that terrain!), those played so far (Talavera and River Coa) have been excellent. But the simple innovation to reduce combat dice as units take casualties really makes a difference over the other games, with no additional complexity. Not quite perfect ('forming square' is causing a few frowns, I'm sure other niggles will surface in time) but this exceeded my expectations and I can't wait for the rest of the expansions!

Now will someone please retrofit the appropriate rules here into Battle Cry? Ta very much.
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108. Board Game: Flying Colors [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:992] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Chris Valk
United States
Bloomsbury
New Jersey
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Picking a favorite is always hard, because it can fluctuate based on what period of history currently has me in thrall. Several games already mentioned fit the bill -- but the "Flying Colors" system has been a consistent favorite for several years now.

I played a lot of Wooden Ships & Iron Men back in the day and loved it -- but it ultimately frustrated me because I found it too clunky for anything larger than a squadron action and hard to play solitaire (as are any si-move games).

Then along came this game. Rather than focus on ship-to-ship, this design scales things up to fleet level. As you would expect, it lets you experience combat in the age of sail in all its glory (the weather gauge, points of sail, shot and target types, etc.) and it also adds innovative and elegant mechanics to simulate command-and-control and national differences in rules of engagement. Scenarios allow for small squadron actions up to Trafalgar-type slugfests, and also include campaign rules. Each ship, leader, and damage type has its own individual counter, so you don't need to track them on a separate log sheet (as a neat touch, Nelson, along with a few of the other admirals, has several counters to represent his growing abilities and seniority throughout the course of his career). Cherry on top: the initiative-based movement sequence makes it easy to play solitaire.

The sequel (Serpents of the Seas) takes the timeline through the War of 1812 and includes special rules and cards for ship-to-ship duels. With "Flying Colors" you can fight out any action of any size with every ship type from oared xebecs up to over-gunned first rates.

The scaleability here is fantastic. I've played many enjoyable solitaire games in an hour or two, yet recently played with 5 others in an epic fleet action that took all day and was a nailbiter down to the last turn.

Another plus for me (some might consider it a drawback) is that the designer and developer are extrememly active in addressing issues as they arise, so the system is constantly being tweaked for balance and playability.

I love this game, and I can't forsee ever needing another one on the topic.
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109. Board Game: Axis Empires: Totaler Krieg! [Average Rating:8.52 Overall Rank:1775] [Average Rating:8.52 Unranked]
Karl Kreder
United States
Nuevo
California
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If I have to pick just one this would be it. The learning of this game is a bit obtuse since you don't know the cards and the effects, but it is well worth the time investment.

This just hits the sweet spot for me, low counter density, planning you move and attacks carefully (worry about mud, production schedules, etc...) the politics, it's all there. Rules do guide through (most of the time) if you follow them carefully.

I cannot wait for the supplement guide to come out.
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110. Board Game: Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:1278]
Daniel Coats
United States
Santee
California
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I'm really loving this game and it has taken its place as my go to tactical squad-level wargame. Fire and movement, with a minimum of elegant rules, based mainly on SUPPRESSION, morale, and covering fire. The gameplay forces you to use realistic tactics without a bunch of rules forcing the action, endless exceptions, acronyms and constant rulebook flipping.

The morale/suppression mechanics are great. The concealed/decoys mechanics are a wonderful way to model that both sides didn't have total knowledge of their enemies positions. This is a wargame without being unapproachable.



It is quick, fast playing, reactive, elegant, has its own style, and is realistic albeit with certain choices made in the abstractions (which is no different that all other games at this level). It doesn't feel GAMEY- a criticism I have of a certain other squad-level game- and it doesn't feel like a LIFETIME commitment- a criticism of a certain other squad-level games.


Only thing it's missing- more units, more maps, more scenarios, more, more, MORE! Can't wait to see where this series goes!
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111. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:50]
Joseph Hayden
United States
Amelia
VA
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Absolutely love the narrative this game creates Combined with an excellent, approachable rule set. Whenever I am at a loss for what game to put on the table this one will almost always get the nod.

Great fun.
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112. Board Game: Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815 [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:656]
jeff miller
United States
West Jefferson
North Carolina
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This is my favorite because it is one of the older games I own that I still enjoy as much as ever and its the game that I attribute to getting back into wargaming as a serious pastime when I rediscovered it several years ago.
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113. Board Game: Panzergruppe Guderian [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:1212]
Scott Mahar
United States
Florence
Massachusetts
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This is a classic for me that doesn't get old. Blind combat values for the Russians make for great solo play, classic German armored thrusts, lots of territory to defend or attack, and simple yet satisfying gameplay make this one a pure classic.

If not this one, I was going to put in a vote for Steel Wolves. If you have the time to play it through, it just gets better and better.
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114. Board Game: Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Division [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:713]
David Ells
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
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Here the truceless armies yet / Trample, rolled in blood and sweat; / They kill and kill and never die; / And I think that each is I. // None will part us, none undo / The knot that makes one flesh of two, /
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Sick with hatred, sick with pain, / Strangling -- When shall we be slain? // When shall I be dead and rid / Of the wrong my father did? / How long, how long, till spade and hearse / Puts to sleep my mother's curse?
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Haven't seen this one posted yet, so here it is: my favorite wargame.
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115. Board Game: Gunslinger [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1024]
Ruben Rigillo
Italy
Roma
Rm
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My favorite ever!
Bought it in 1986, I was 14.
After some games full of mistakes I started to master the rules and I think this is the game which offers some of the best subtle tactics.
The pleasure you have in playing the right action sequence and the thrilling in waiting to see what your opponents are going to do, it's hard to find in any other game!
One of the best single man combat simulation ever designed.
It often looks hard to newbies but once you enter in it, is a game that flows down smoothly.
The narrative aspect is so strong!
The "delay points" mechanism is excellent: the best way to sort out wounds effects.
Everyone, who loves single-man combat games, should try it.
Horray for Mr.Hamblen!!!
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116. Board Game: La Grande Guerre 14-18 [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:3535]
Enrico Viglino
United States
Phoenix, AZ
Arizona
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This is the only '10' I currently have for a wargame. It ain't perfect
(far from it) but its modeling of the national will alone would
make it a top pick. When you add all the facets this game really
tries to cover (and think of the ones that didn't quite make
it in), it's an impressive undertaking.

But, the real 'why' it is my only '10' is that it keeps drawing me
back again. Maybe it's because of the flaws, but I always want
to see if I can get a reasonable result from it. The designer's
other grand opus (Europa Universalis) has a couple of strikes
against it, which may not really be its own fault: I've overplayed it,
and it's lost some charm for me; and, I'm not really sure it qualifies
as a wargame - it's more about non-military aspects, and the scope
is just too grand. This one, I'm sure of.
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117. Board Game: Proud Monster Deluxe [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:4363]
Tony Kerstan
Australia
Hobart
Tasmania
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I played the original Proud Monster until it wore out. The game had its issues, but it delivered that incredible "monster game" experience in a very playable and fast format. This allowed players to swap and experience the desperate struggle between two asymmetrical forces.

The Axis have the fast Panzers who can strike hard, but are brittle. The real power of the Axis is the German infantry divisions, but they are slow and their power is diffused as they move further into Mother Russia. The Soviets forces are of mixed quality and many will be destroyed, only to return with the phoenix-like replacement rate. However the Soviets also have the vastness of Russia, Axis supply limitations and general Mud to assist them.

The crowning achievement of Proud Monster is the sliding scale automatic victory conditions, which drive the Axis to Gotterdammerung style advances versus desperate Soviet defence and counterattacks. It keeps each turn tense and I've played many games that have gone down to the wire.

Proud Monster Deluxe is a beautiful re-imagining and expansion of the original game, while still retaining playability. One day, when I finally get my gaming room back, I will re-emulate the king of playable monster games; the aptly named "Proud Monster".
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118. Board Game: Sword of Rome [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:556]
Kristofer Nilsson
Sweden
Stenungsund
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It's not my most played wargame but if I was to name a favourite it's the one. If I had three other interested people to play with more often it would see the table far more.

The setting of the game is interesting to me. There is no edge of the map where you can feel safe. The north can be invaded by other non-player Gauls and the south is locked in war with Carthage (which can also be a fifth player). Multiplayer means there is meta balancing going on. The rulebook was easy to read the first time. The board is pretty and not cluttered during play. Battles are random and sieges are safer which matches my impression of the period. The factions all play differently; the ravaging hordes of Gauls, the "two factions-one player" Samnite-Etruscans, the fortifying Romans and the well positioned Greeks who suffer from internal strife.
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119. Board Game: Successors (third edition) [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:541]
Daniel Blumentritt
United States
Austin
Texas
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Alexander the Great has just died and now his generals are squabbling over who takes control his empire. Every player starts with 2 of the 8 major generals that begin the game on the board, but there aren't pre-set pairings, so the strategic situation is different every time. Sometimes you get 2 Eastern players and 2 Western players, sometimes 1 guy is consolidated (but also confined) while everyone else is scattered, sometimes one players has a lone general sandwiched by a pair from another player, etc. Some combos are perhaps better than others, but with the 4-player dynamics and mechanics that reward players for not jumping out to big leads, the starting situation isn't going to win or lose anyone the game.

Battles in this game are much more decisive and one-sided than in most games (as is befitting of combat in the ancient world). But what keeps it from being a "ugh me have more troops stomp stomp stomp I win" fest is first that it's hard to hold enough territory to auto-win with just one big army. Second, if you just have powerful forces but no legitimacy (claim to the throne), you'll lose out on a couple of chances to win the game earlier than otherwise. Third, the game seriously incentivizes appearing to be a faction that just supports the rightful heir, whoever it might be. As soon as you are openly trying to seize it for yourself, things generally get harder for you.
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120. Board Game: Streets of Stalingrad (third edition) [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:2711]
Joseph Rody
United States
Florida
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This has got to be one of the most overlooked, underrated titles in wargaming. Since I agree that a particular game has an undefined shelf life as a "favorite game", this is my current favorite.

This grand tactical recreation of the battle of Stalingrad is by no means a simplistic affair. The game sequence allows for lots of interaction and strategy in a grand tactical sort of way. Not for the faint of heart but it does reward the experienced player who has multiple plays under his belt. Just don't expect to jump right into the game without some inital effort learning the rules and the tactics.

Streets of Stalingrad is the third edition and a very mature design that goes back a long way ( see Fire on the Volga and Battle for the Factories ). As such, it has been refined and re-defined along the way. This is truly a labor of love down to the components and historic detail.

SOS 3rd edition is not without its challenges. It can be learned but mastering it effectively is entirely a different matter. As grognards, you know what exactly I mean. Also... while I am extremely familiar with NATO symbology but this game uses the symbols of WWII and sometimes I find myself overlooking a unit because I don't recognize the symbol immediately.

All in all... a great, underated design with excellent production values. But...most of all, when I play it, I feel like I've used my time wisely and I am rewarded with the near complete immersion into the environment that this game provides.

To summarize... it's a really cool game.
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121. Board Game: HoldFast: Russia 1941-1942 [Average Rating:8.22 Overall Rank:2730]
Tony Kerstan
Australia
Hobart
Tasmania
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This has replaced Eastfront II as my Eastern front block game due to its accessibility, short play time and fun factor. It also works very well solo without the fog of war (i.e. lay the blocks down and treat as a normal hex and counter wargame).
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