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Wargames where unit facing matters
Rodger Wilkershank
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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I enjoy wargames were unit facing is an important element to the rules but I've only managed to play a couple of games with facing rules.

What wargames/series have rules specifically for unit facing?

If you've played the individual game, or a game in the series:

1 What game, or game(s) in the series, have you played?

2 How important are the facing rules to the game (vital, important, mostly aesthetic, etc).

3 I'm a solo wargamer so if you played solo how well did it play? If not, how well do you think it would play solo?
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Rodger Wilkershank
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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I've played both Samurai and RAN. The facing rules are pretty important to the game play.

I've played both solo and enjoyed them a great deal.

Of the games I'm familiar with in this series unit facing is an important element to the game play but I've only played these two so far.
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Mitchell Land
United States
Ballwin
Missouri
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Fontenoy contains the v3 rules, and Mathew Hinkle is doing a superb job in providing a primer on play which you can find (along with a great many other items) here: https://sites.google.com/site/battlesfromtheageofreason/
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3. Board Game: Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:306]
Michael Dorosh
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Cover arcs for AFVs and anti-tank guns determine fields of fire.


1 Have played this as well as all three follow up gamettes (Cross of Iron, Crescendo of Doom and G.I. Anvil of Victory).

2 Facing is essential to AFV combat as armour thickness is different depending on facing - though a loophole in the early rules would permit you to move a tank sideways if you wished, according to an article by Lorrin Bird.

3 People have been soloing this game for decades - the Advanced game had a Solitaire module specifically written for it.
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Lutz Pietschker
Germany
Berlin
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All units have a facing that determines the direction of attack and flank/rear vulnerability.
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5. Board Game: Boots on the Ground [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:4684]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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This is a 1 counter=1 man scale game about modern day combat against insurgencies. Facing is important because getting shot in the back is deadly. However, the facing/turning rules are very simple.

This game is made so that it can be played solo, and it works really well that way.
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6. Board Game: Flight Leader [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:3277]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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Most war games where the counter represent vehicles or ships will require facing to matter. This one is no exception. Each counter represents one plane, and the way the counter is facing dictates how it can move and where it can fire.

I have only played this game solo. The player needs to play both sides, but when playing with the basic rules the record keeping is easy to keep track of. My solo play was enjoyable.
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Michael Weber
Germany
Wendeburg
Germany
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Quite a few Nappy era tactical games care about unit facing. One most prominent and detailed of these is the La Bataille series.

As in most Nappy tactical games the facing is decisive.

Solitaire gameplay is about as good as in any other wargame without Fog of War
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8. Board Game: Wooden Ships & Iron Men [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:766]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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Each counter is two hexes long, and represents a single ship. Facing is vitally important in this game. Obviously ships can only move the way they are facing, but how they are facing really matters. How much a ship can move is relative to how they are facing to the direction of the wind. Also, broadsides can only fire every other turn, so the direction a ship is facing also dictates if it has a valid target.

Sadly, this game plays terribly solo. In this game players secretly plot out their movement, and then reveal simultaneously. A lot of the game's fun comes from trying to out maneuver the opponent.
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Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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Facing matters for vehicles and guns. It occasionally matters for machine guns as well.
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Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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Facing matters for firing direction/melee, artillery and cavalry charges.
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11. Board Game: None But Heroes [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:3228]
Michał M.
Poland
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Successor of RSS series.

Facing is probably vital in this great game. Expose your flank and you're dead.
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12. Board Game: Rome At War I: Hannibal at Bay [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:8618]
Michael B
Canada
Ontario
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In the RaW series, facing matters. Some units only fit in a space in a certain way. Flanking an opposing unit is possible, as well as attacking from behind.

Solowise, you just play each side. Each side must roll to see how many activations it gets, so it's easily done.
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13. Board Game: Stratego [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:2102]
Wally Jones
United States
Windermere
Florida
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Face it.

This is a war game. And facing is important.
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14. Board Game: First Emperor [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
patrick stevens
United States
Los Angeles
California
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15. Board Game: 1914 [Average Rating:5.62 Overall Rank:8570]
Ken Waters
United States
Aloha
Oregon
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One of Jim Dunnigan's earliest designs, 1914, used double-sided counters with unit facing on the back. Units were placed on the board upside-down so their strength was hidden and the unit facing was showing. Defense was stronger through 3 hexsides and units could not move in those directions but would have to expend movement points to turn first. This is the first game I'm aware of that used unit facing and also the first that used fog of war from hidden unit strengths.
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16. Board Game: Ancient Battles Deluxe [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:3465]
The one and only (but one of two in BGG)
United States
Minnesota
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Facing is very important in this one. For one thing, to constitute a formation (which has the advantage of being able to move all at once), units have to be facing in the same direction.

I've only played it solo. It works fine, though some might find aspects of it a little awkward.
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17. Family: Lock 'n Load
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United States
Minnesota
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For AFVs and weapon teams, not for infantry.

Again, I've only played solo, and it's great for that. The unique Spotting system helps with solo gaming (no hidden units or concealment markers).
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The one and only (but one of two in BGG)
United States
Minnesota
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"Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade." (Marcel Proust)
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Gotta get those guns (or rams) lined up with their targets.

This is a lot like Wooden Ships & Iron Men (listed above), but most ships in this game are steam powered--so wind and current don't have as big an effect as in WS&IM (but engines conk out sometimes, and many ships still have sails). Additionally, some ships are armored and some have rams or spar torpedoes, making them potentially deadly bow-to-broadside as well as broadside-to-broadside.

I've only played solo, and I agree with the first comment under WS&IM above. Even with plotted simultaneous movement, the game works. As always, just plot and make the best moves you can think of for each side.
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19. Board Game: Alexander the Great [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:4049]
Eric Johnson
United States
Rohnert Park
California
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Unit facing is vitally important because flanking attacks and especially rear attacks are devastating to all units. Therefore, the effective employment of cavalry (with its superior mobility) becomes extremely important.

The genius of this game is the morale step system, which cause units to fight less effectively as their morale sinks.

This game might play reasonably well as a solo game.
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20. Board Game: Star Fleet Battles: Captain's Edition Basic Set [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:1548]
Colin Raitt
United Kingdom
Boston
Lincolnshire
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Facing is triply important. Photon torpedoes only fire forward. Klingons have wing phasers with strange firing arcs. Rear shields are weak. You can only move forward or turn 60 degrees.
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Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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Not only do you get to face your vehicles, but turrets have a separate facing!
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22. Board Game: Wings [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:3670]
Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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Each plane has a facing AND attitude (pitch and bank).
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23. Board Game: Panzer (second edition) [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:1715]
Necessary Evil
United States
Glen Arm
Maryland
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I believe Facing matters in this one. Never played it myself.
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24. Board Game: Napoleon's Triumph [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:189]
Scipio O.
United States
Oakland
California
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Facing is represented fundamentally differently in this block game than in your standard hex and counter. But it's absolutely vital. You will agonize about whether and when to move which units into or off an approach. You hope to reap the benefits on defense as well as attack (artillery can't otherwise be fired). And the game will likely turn on whether you made the right facing decisions along the way.

The analogy to traditional facing is not perfect but I think it belongs here.

This game can be appreciated and studied solo, but it doesn't play that way.
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25. Family: Space Hulk
Ron Balla
Canada
Windsor
Ontario
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All units in this family of tactical games (1 man/alien = 1 model) must have a facing in one of the four cardinal directions.
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