$10.00
The Comprehensive Guide to Board Wargaming, by Nicolas Palmer
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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Published in 1978, Nicolas Palmer's book The Comprehensive Guide to Board Wargaming is a classic of the old wargaming days; the days when huge beasts with names like SPI and Avalon Hill and GDW roamed free, releasing games that have become legends in their own right such as Drang Nach Osten, Global War, Panzerblitz, Waterloo, Afrika Korps, and Invasion America.

Part IV of Palmer's book, "Simulating History on $10 a day" is a examination of the games in print at the time the book was released, and in this Geeklist I hope to link to BGG entries for all the games listed in the chapter, along with some of the book's comments on each.

Most games are rated from both polls done at the time by both SPI and Avalon Hill; ratings run from 1 (abysmal) to 9 (excellent). I'll list ratings where given so you can compare the contemporary views of the games listed with the present BGG ratings. Additionally games were ranked numerically; there were 202 games in the SPI poll and 25 games in the Avalon Hill poll, so I'll include those numbers as well.

NOTE: The following games listed in the book are not on BGG (or at least I couldn't find them), so therefore aren't on this Geeklist: Four Roads to Moscow (AH), Freiburg (SPI), Minas Tirith (SPI), Missile Patrol Boat (GDW), Nordlingen (SPI), Pursuit of the Bismarck (DCC-AWA), Raiders of the North (DCC-AWA), Road to Ruin (SPI), Victory at Sea (DCC-AWA).

UPDATE: Much thanks to commenters who pointed out games I had missed!
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51. Board Game: Caesar's Legions [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:5039]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 6.0/119; AH rating 6.36/9

"Scenarios run from the simple to the rather complex [. . .] new comers can work their way gradually into the rules, instead of learning page after page before moving a piece. Unfortunately, the early scenarios are too simple for most tastes, and unbalanced in favor of the Romans."

"Not altogether suited to solo play"
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52. Board Game: Cambrai, 1917: The First Blitzkrieg [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 5.5/159; listed as just "Cambrai".

"Simple and exciting games are what Rand tries to produce, and Cambrai seems to meet the target, as well as being well-balanced."

"The low poll rating of most Rand games is probably partly due to their relative simplicity, and partly to some rule obscurities, it is wise to ensure that you have any errata sheets around."
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53. Board Game: Cauldron [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:7398]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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"Part of the North Africa Quad. Much longer (twenty-six turns) than usual Quad games, with control of Tobruk crucial."
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54. Board Game: Cemetery Hill: The Battle of Gettysburg, 1-3 July, 1863 [Average Rating:5.30 Overall Rank:9363]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 6.8/33

"a rather bland Gettysburg"
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55. Board Game: Chaco [Average Rating:6.56 Unranked]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 6.4/80

"In total contrast to every other GDW game, this has a scenario only two moves long! The main scenarios are also short and playable[. . .]"

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56. Board Game: Chancellorsville (second edition) [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:7410]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 6.2/102; AH rating 6.32/9

"Attractive board; detailed rules for river crosssing; bloodless CRT, with units dispersed and regrouping, often during the night; optional artillery rule and other possibilities."

"Generally thought well-balanced"

"3-6 hours, quite complex."
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57. Board Game: Chariot [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:7500]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 6.0/119

"As an aside, it may be added that Chariot is a revised version of a game enticingly called Armageddon, but neither game actually attempts to simulate the Biblical Armageddon itself, despite considerable theological controversy on the stacking limit for angels on a hex-per-pinhead scale. Pity."
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58. Board Game: Chattanooga [Average Rating:6.44 Unranked]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 6.6/54

"Union troops try to battle out of the siege."
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59. Board Game: Chickamauga: The Last Victory, 20 September 1863 [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:4666]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 7.0/15

"Fought in forest with a great deal of manoeuvre and road-blocking; lots of options."
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60. Board Game: Chinese Farm [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:7042]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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"A drawback of Chinese Farm is that the CRT is unsuited to cross-canal actions."
 
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61. Board Game: Combined Arms [Average Rating:4.30 Overall Rank:10621]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 4.4/195

"Disastrously unpopular game featuring tactical operations in the 1939-1980 time span."
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62. Board Game: The Conquerors [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:5106]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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"Two basically strategic simulations of Alexander's Persian campaigns and the Roman drives in the Mediterranean, published in early 1977."
 
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63. Board Game: Conquistador [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:2244]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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"complex and highly entertaining", "very much a 'fun' game"

"Not a supreme test of skill."
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64. Board Game: Coral Sea [Average Rating:5.37 Unranked]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 6.5/65

"Coral Sea is not one of GDW's megagames, and has just 240 counters and a 22" by 28" map."

"Noted for realism, but rules require concentration. 6-10 hours."
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65. Board Game: Crimea [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 7.1/7

"Innovative combat system reinforces correct period 'feel'. Another delight for aficionados, intimidating for beginners."
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66. Board Game: Cromwell [Average Rating:5.60 Unranked]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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"Quietly distinguished"

"Not nail-bitingly gripping, but consistently interesting and challenging."
 
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67. Board Game: Crusader: Battle for Tobruk, 1941 [Average Rating:5.82 Overall Rank:8481]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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"Two short scenarios and a campaign version."
 
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68. Board Game: Custer's Last Stand [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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"Interesting choice of strategies, but some rule problems. 4-6 hours, moderately complex."
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69. Board Game: D-Day (first edition) [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:8998]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 5.4/169; AH rating 5.57/21

"The accent is on a fast, easy game rather than on historical accuracy - with all Allied units except paratroops much of a muchness the game is indeed not very accurate."

"3-6 hours."
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70. Board Game: Decline and Fall [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:5051]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 5.8/137

"[. . .]disliked by experts because of its elementary rules and unbalanced structure, but it is a highly entertaining game for four players, if it's not taken too seriously."

"3-5 hours"
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71. Board Game: Desert War [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:8825]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 6.5/65

"[. . .]platoon-level North African combat with simultaneous movement."
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72. Board Game: Destruction of Army Group Center [Average Rating:5.61 Overall Rank:8394]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 5.5/159

"Something of a slogging match"

"Simple, smooth-running game systems makes 'DAGC', as it is usually called, a good game for beginners, but experienced players tend to find it lacks variety. 3-5 hours."
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73. Board Game: Dien Bien Phu [Average Rating:5.38 Unranked]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 4.2/200

"It is accurate and innovative but unbalanced against the French."
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74. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:357]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 6.8/33

"[. . .]this game can be strongly recommended to anyone interested in games of multi-player negotiation. 4-10 hours, or 18 months-2 years by post, with moves made once a month."
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75. Board Game: Dixie [Average Rating:4.36 Overall Rank:10676]
Gary McCammon
United States
Rochester
New York
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SPI rating 4.9/184

"68% of the SPI sample knew this game and on the whole gave it a negative rating."
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