Board Wargames vs PC Wargames

Board Wargames vs PC Wargames

  • Board Wargames

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  • PC Wargames

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Jim H. Moreno

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This is not posted to drive a wedge in between us, but rather to discuss the merits and drawbacks of each, in hopes we can get the makers of each medium to hear our cry. And for me to get a better idea of the calibre of gamer here so I can better this Forum section. Say what you will...
 

Reiryc

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While I enjoy both, I find that PC wargames are better for the ease with which to play a game. One can play against an artificial opponent (of dubious quality), sometimes depending on the game against one's self (hot seat), or against another human through tcp/ip or pbem.

This means that just about any night I can find an opponent of atleast one of the wargames I own on the PC.

Boardgames on the other hand often require space, a commited time slot, people in your area that play regularly, and is often relegated to a weekend/holiday only pursuit.
 

Sarge

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I for one was huge fan of Squad leader and then ASL. For years tried to find the PC equivalent, well never found it to tell you the truth never even came close. CC and CM are to a degree in some point just as good in a game play sense but nothing has come close to the depth and the replay ability you can get out of SL or ASL. So to answer your question board games still seem to be my fav. for now, but lets hope it will change. Getting hard to find someone to play ASL with in this day and age being out of print and all.
 

swamplizard

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PC games

are all I really have time for anymore. I miss the old ftf board gaming days, when it would be nothing to have 10 or more gaming nuts gather together to mutilate one another on the 2D maps. Those days are pretty much over for me for at least several more years as time and responsibilities have caught up to life.

With the PC gaming boom, I can playtest against the AI to develop strategies and techniques, then try them against some unknown enemy in cyberspace. I don't have to clear a table as the PC has its own space in the home and can save unfinished games with no clean-up or left-in-place board with hundreds of chits stacked thereupon.

Still, it would be great to partake in some exciting games of 3rd Reich, SL and others again. Or even some of the less complicated, yet equally fun "short" games such as: House Divided, Fall of South Vietnam, and Awful Green Things From Outer Space (anyone out there remember that one?).

Anyway, here's to all those out there who still keep the spirit of the wargame alive, maybe we shall meet on the battlefield of play sometime.

best regards :toast:
swampy
 

moondog

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PC vs BOARD

I only have 8 board "WAR" games anymore when at one time I owned over 40. I live out in the country and most of my neighbors are older folks. I also work 2 jobs and I'm the stay at home dad.

If I left one of my boardgames out and set up 1 of 1 million things would happen to it. One of the kids would knock it over, or the cat would, or one of the kids would spill something on it etc... Also, there is the limited space in our house... there is actually no place to leave it set up. Plus I have no opponents that live anywhere around. So it comes down to lack of time, space, and opponents. Although I have played a game now and then...very short scenarios and only if I beg one of the kids or the wife to indulge me. :D

With the computer wargame, I can find numerous opponents and they don't have to live anywhere near me. In fact, I play against friends who live in Latvia, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, and even one who works on a Cruise Ship. In fact my best friend is someone I met through wargaming on the net and lives in England.

I don't CHOOSE one over the other, time, space, and location have done that for me

dog
 

chrisvalla

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While I genuinely like boardgames, the time factor (and pet factor) really kills my playing them anymore. I don't think I've touched my board A&A since I got the computer version. I would really like to see World Aflame or World War 3 (GDW version) turned into a computer game, but Hearts of Iron and StratCom are good substitutes.

I remember playing Frag with my gaming group a few months ago and it took us 3 hours to play with 3 people getting to 6 kills on two maps. I thought to myself, 3 hours of online fragging... I'd have gotten mouse cramp!
 

pkpowers

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I started board games back in 1966 with all the old avalon hill games, but to me hands down the pc wins , it's the best way to control fog of war and run all the mathematics...

1966 bought AH's Afika Korps
1969 Jutland
1972 Panzerblitz
1976 Tobruk
1980....bought an Atari 800 to play AH's Computer Midway...the rest is history
 

Tom DeFranco

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I'm probably luckier...

than most of us because I enjoy a bigger opponent base with which to play boardgames. There are at any time about four or five friends I can call to play. While we kid each other a bit about winning and losing, everybody is friendly. Besides the kidding is what helps to make ftf boardgaming so much fun. There are those of us who can keep a boardgame set up for weeks if not, months. PC wargaming is fun in a pinch, but I prefer a breathing and thinking opponent. Played "In Their Quiet Fields II" (brigade level Antietam) last week and had a great time with the cornfield scenario. Three weeks ago, I played "April's Harvest" (brigade level Shiloh, while I await my copy of the regimental level game, A Fearful Slaughter). Again, a great time. Before that, "This Terrible Sound" (regimental level Chickamauga) and "Fear God and Dread Naught" WW I naval. Considering January and February in Chicago, that is a goodly amount of games in about 8 weeks.
 

Tom DeFranco

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MMP.

Originally posted by Sarge
I for one was huge fan of Squad leader and then ASL. For years tried to find the PC equivalent, well never found it to tell you the truth never even came close. CC and CM are to a degree in some point just as good in a game play sense but nothing has come close to the depth and the replay ability you can get out of SL or ASL. So to answer your question board games still seem to be my fav. for now, but lets hope it will change. Getting hard to find someone to play ASL with in this day and age being out of print and all.
Have you tried looking at Multi-Man Publishers? They have the current license for ASL stuff. You can check them out in www.consimworld. com .
 

Runyan99

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PC games are obviously superior because:

1) The computer can handle complex calculations and records keeping, which a paper wargame requires the players to do.

2) The computer can handle FOW elegantly, and keep information hidden from one player, or both players.

3) By email or internet, computer wargames link players all around the world.

4) Computer wargames can have moving or changing graphics, and sound effects.

5) There is no set-up or preperation time, and the rules are generally much easier to learn than traditional wargames, because the computer handles the complex bits. This makes a computer wargame much more accessible to the average player, who has a limited amount of time available.

As I see it the ONLY advantages that paper wargames have are:

1) Gaming in person with another player, or players, can be a pleasant social experience.

2) Paper wargames require no programming or specialized knowledge, so they are cheaper and easier to produce.


For these reasons, PC wargames are the present and future of the hobby. Paper and miniatures wargaming is a antiquated niche within the community.
 

swamplizard

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One aspect

of the board game that I think is better than the PC games that hasn't been mentioned, is that one can observe the entire board and all of the playing pieces at one time.
 

Tom DeFranco

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Originally posted by runyan99
PC games are obviously superior because:

1) The computer can handle complex calculations and records keeping, which a paper wargame requires the players to do.

2) The computer can handle FOW elegantly, and keep information hidden from one player, or both players.

3) By email or internet, computer wargames link players all around the world.

4) Computer wargames can have moving or changing graphics, and sound effects.

5) There is no set-up or preperation time, and the rules are generally much easier to learn than traditional wargames, because the computer handles the complex bits. This makes a computer wargame much more accessible to the average player, who has a limited amount of time available.

As I see it the ONLY advantages that paper wargames have are:

1) Gaming in person with another player, or players, can be a pleasant social experience.

2) Paper wargames require no programming or specialized knowledge, so they are cheaper and easier to produce.


For these reasons, PC wargames are the present and future of the hobby. Paper and miniatures wargaming is a antiquated niche within the community.
Regarding point #2, yes to a degree, but I have yet to find a PC game where, when playing against the computer that it shares in the fog of war with the human player. So we, as humans have hindsight, but the computer always seems to know where your bazooka teams, and AT weapons are hidden.

Regarding the other point #2, there is knowledge of the field and how to graphically portray it on paper, there is an enormous amount of research that goes into it (design for board wargames). I know a couple of designers of board games, and I know the amount of research that they do to come up with one these things. I have found also, that usually boardgames (properly researched ones, that is) tend to have more complete and accurate OBs and maps.

I also find that PC games, with a few exceptions like Carriers at War, tend to lose playability sooner than board games. I don't know if you've played all three venues, but if you haven't, you owe it to yourself to try the paper and minis too. My personal favorite are board wargames because they require the use of strategy as well as tactics (even in a basically tactical game) whereas minis players don't tend to want to read rules so they seem to like to bash heads right away and have a third party adjudicate things because of a certain lack of desire to read rules, but they are fun for big groups and because they look so appealing. Paper and PC games have more strategy involved, but after a while the PC's AI becomes easy to figure out. Plus, now, with the likes of board game modules from ADC2 you can play a boardgame via email without physically setting your game up. Still, like I said in an earlier post, I'm lucky because I come from an area rich in opponents. If I lived on a farm somewhere, I suppose I'd like PC games better, too.
 
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Evenly Matched

Maybe I'm a sucker for all things old fashioned, but I always liked board wargames. I always found them more economical in the long run, as you don't have to buy a computer or video game system (and then another when your current one becomes obsolete), and more detailed and challenging. PC games tend to focus on graphics and pretty explosions and put more emphasis on being fun and easy to learn as opposed to being realistic. (I'm not saying this is a bad thing, just that that is what they do.) I have yet to find a PC game that has the attention to detail of, say, AH's Fortress Europe or 1776.

Of course computer speed, AI, and graphics do pay off with tactical simulators like Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, and the Medal of Honor series. Where board wargames give you plenty of time to think about a situation that, in real life, you would only have seconds to decide about, in the computer world the enemy is actively shooting at you. These days, AI is improved and physical damage is calculated in a more realistic fashion, making for a more fun and challenging game.

Though I prefer board wargames, my overall opinion is that on a strategical level board wargames come out the best and on a tactical level the computer wins. Each has it's own strengths and weaknesess. I don't feel one form to be exceedingly better than the other.
 

hogdriver

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Board v Computer Wargames

In terms of convenience, having a (hopefully) good AI, more accurate combat resolution, etc. I have to go with computer games. However, there's nothing like pushing those little counters around a map. I can't pick one over the other.
 

Alan

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Like a couple of others here, I started out with Avalon Hill boardgames. However, as soon as I could do it and afford it, I moved to PC games. Of the probably 300+ boardgames I once owned, I only have one left.

I noticed a couple of the "board" gamers cite the poor AI of computer games. You are probably more than justified in doing so. However, the real fun & challenge of PC games comes when playing a human opponent by e-mail. I rarely play against the AI anymore.

FWIW, my currnet game(s) of choice are HPS' Panzer Campaign series. Well-researched OOB's & many scenarios to keep replayability high (to address a couple of other points made).
 

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Computer games cant be beat for convienence. Always available, always ready to play. However(you knew there was going to be a however right?) their collective AIs suck. Roughly the equivalent of playing against a human with an IQ of 50(and Im being kind).
 

Prussian Prince

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I like the friendship involved in board games. :toast: Since marriage and children I only have time for PC games now. Hopefully my kids will want to play when they get older.:D
 

Fenrir

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I started out in boardgames and went with those for 15 years before i got a computer. I spent 6 years playing Warcraft, starcraft, panzer general, steel panzers, age of rifles and many other computer games. at the time i didn't have anywhere to set up and leave a board or miniature game. now i have a new house with my own "fortress of solitude" room that has a 4'x8' purpose-built gaming table and no pets or children to interfere and i haven't played a PC game for over a year. I don't miss them at all. I never really learned anything from a pc game--i learned from thier manuals and thier OOBs but with a board game i can learn lessons and execise my mind and it becomes like meditation. the pieces are attractive and the map is attractive....it's all just so pleasing!

Also when people visit, nobody "oohs" and "ahhs" over a computer screen but a good sized wargame is something to behold with all the tables and charts and pieces. Of course a miniature game is even better to show off!

But I dont game to show off. I game because it feels good to re-enact the mayhem, the drama, the epic carnage, the tragedy and triumph of conflict. I feels good to learn about 16th century pike & musket tactics or the try my hand at the grand strategy of the 7 Years War in Europe.

A bird in the hand......

I like being able to play WITH my games.
 
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