What battles are over done?

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#2
Originally posted by jguritza
Do you ever see a new game and say, "My goodness! Another game about that!"
Who hasn't? Waterloo, Gettysburg, and the Battle of the Bulge readily come to mind. Maybe Stalingrad too--or the whole east-front theater, for that matter.

Come to think of it, WWII as a whole gets way too much attention, in my opinion.
 
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#3
Yeah, the big battles (the Bulge, D-Day, Coral Sea/Midway, Waterloo, Kursk, Gettysburg... just off the top of my head) have several incarnations done at various times over the years. I really can't think of anything pre-Napoleonic that's been run into the ground... of course, I generally only play modern as well, so I imagine someone would say Caesar, Alexander, and Hannibal who is more knowledgable of classical-era games.

I can't say I pay all that much attention anymore though, so anything after 1998 or so I probably couldn't even name.
 
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#4
Never had a problem about this...

I understand people's frustration with yet the next game on the Battle of the Bulge or Gettysburg, but if we told people NO MORE GAMES on these battles, we never would have gotten such gems such as GMT'S ARDENNES '44 or The Gamers' RSS game, THIS HALLOWED GROUND or Clash of Arms' SUMMER STORM.

What torques me is a new game on one of these subjects that doesn't "advance the ball" in some way, shape, or form in terms of treatment or understanding of the battle/war/engagement.

So you'll never catch me complaining about so many games on this or that particular battle!

--emw
 
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#5
Re: Never had a problem about this...

Originally posted by ericmwalters
What torques me is a new game on one of these subjects that doesn't "advance the ball" in some way, shape, or form in terms of treatment or understanding of the battle/war/engagement.
I'll second that. AH comes out with "Smithsonian" Gettysburg, and I'm scratching my head, asking, "Didn't you already do this a couple times back in the 60s? You advanced as far as G-burg '77 (which was a tremendous leap forward, even if the advanced game was unplayable), and now you're back to this? Why?"

The answer is, they didn't care about advancing the state of the art; they just wanted to sell games. There are always a lot more newbies in the world than grognards.

Now Hasbro/AH has dumbed it down even more with Battle Cry. A fine, fun, light wargame, but simulation-wise a big step backward even from "Smithsonian" Gettysburg.

That tension in the wargaming market is always exasperating to me. It's so hard to design a good simulation, and the market for it is so small, that it's rare to see one make it into print. And my critical attitude makes it worse: as soon as I start seeing flaws or shortcomings, I reject the game and wait for something better to come along. I'm afraid I'll be waiting all my life unless I adjust my attitude.
 
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#6
Re: Never had a problem about this...

Originally posted by ericmwalters
I understand people's frustration with yet the next game on the Battle of the Bulge or Gettysburg, but if we told people NO MORE GAMES on these battles, we never would have gotten such gems such as GMT'S ARDENNES '44 or The Gamers' RSS game, THIS HALLOWED GROUND or Clash of Arms' SUMMER STORM.

What torques me is a new game on one of these subjects that doesn't "advance the ball" in some way, shape, or form in terms of treatment or understanding of the battle/war/engagement.

So you'll never catch me complaining about so many games on this or that particular battle!

--emw
As a whole I agree, still, I'd like to see a game on the Pacific land fighting, rather than the next installment of Stalingrad.

Also does anyone know why it seems cooler to do the first half of the Eastern Front (Barbarossa, Case Blue, etc.), with the Nazis having their way than an Op: Bagration.
 
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#7
Re: Re: Never had a problem about this...

Originally posted by Tom DeFranco
As a whole I agree, still, I'd like to see a game on the Pacific land fighting, rather than the next installment of Stalingrad.

Also does anyone know why it seems cooler to do the first half of the Eastern Front (Barbarossa, Case Blue, etc.), with the Nazis having their way than an Op: Bagration.
How could you manage all those Russian units?

:scream:
 
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#8
Re: Re: Re: Never had a problem about this...

Originally posted by freightshaker
How could you manage all those Russian units?

:scream:
What about the other way around? Besides, even early on, the Russians have tons of units - their just weaker than the proverbial ninety-eight pound geek.
 

MCranmer

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#9
Speaking of Pacific land battles, I'd love to see a good game on the Tarawa invasion, something on a squad or platoon level, maybe something on the order of the Avalanche Press Panzer Grenadier series. I believe there was an ASL version of Tarawa, but I've never really had the inclination to make the investment (time or money) in the series. It seems like there would be a lot of interesting small unit actions in the Pacific that would make good games.
 
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#10
Originally posted by MCranmer
Speaking of Pacific land battles, I'd love to see a good game on the Tarawa invasion, something on a squad or platoon level, maybe something on the order of the Avalanche Press Panzer Grenadier series. I believe there was an ASL version of Tarawa, but I've never really had the inclination to make the investment (time or money) in the series. It seems like there would be a lot of interesting small unit actions in the Pacific that would make good games.
Yaquinto had an "album" (came in a sleeve, like an old vinyl album) game about amphibious attacks in the Pacific. It was rather generic in nature, with no specific battles depicted.

It was OK, played it a few times and moved on.

I'll check my library when I get home tonight.

[Edit}
The game is called "Beachhead". The "album" opens up to form the map, about 11 x 22 inches. It has the expected common terrain features, found in the Pacific battles: beach, sea wall, jungle, swamp, hills, a river, building complexes, a long pier, and of course water for the amphibs and landing craft.

US units have two levels (qualities) of infantry, rangers, and assautl teams (shake and bake, demolition and flame throwers, very powerful), MGs, mortars, ranks and LC.

Japanese units include infantry, infiltration infantry, assault infantyr (banzai), MGs, infiltration MGs, mortars, tanks, and artillery.

The US can also call in airstrikes and offshore bombardments.

The Japanese have trenches, bunkers, and emplacements.
 
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#11
Tarawa Simulations

Yes, MMP produced a Historical ASL (HASL) module on the Tawara battle for that system--and is quite an incredible experience to play. I personally have a hard time thinking the battle could be done justice at a higher scale.

Certainly others have tried. STRATEGY AND TACTICS many years ago (when TSR had it) published a game entitled RED BEACH ONE in that issue, which was eminently forgettable.

Doing the situation at the PANZERGRENADIER scale should be fairly managable and I'd argue this is a better system to use than, say, the TCS by The Gamers/MMP. I'm just not sure how exciting it will be for the Japanese player at this scale.

This may sound wacky, but I'd almost like a game on the battle done using the STORM OVER ARNHEM system with all the refinements that we've seen for THUNDER ON CASSINO, TURNING POINT STALINGRAD, and MONTY'S GAMBLE...except that those are configured for the scale shown in the game. I think it might have the tension needed to keep the Japanese player interested.

--emw
 

larrymarak

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#12
The tactical scales allow the designer to do a new game in an area games before. PanzerGrenadier has done Saipan, Tinian, Guadalcanal, and Guam on a platoon level. The Advanced Tobruck system has done scenario sets on Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Wake, and Tarawa at 50 meters per hex. Thoroughly mined theatres can always be represented by upping or lowering the ground scale.
 

Proff3RTR

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#13
Way to many Battle of the Bulge games out there, and although I am a dyed in the wool 'Ost Kampfer' there are a lot of Stalingrad games.
 

larrymarak

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#14
You're certainly right about all the Bulge games that have been produced....the Boardgame market is primarily American, and we've had a very jingoistic attitude toward American participation in WW2. Hence the (perhaps) 100+ games on the topic.
There are plenty of subjects that never will be covered because of the lack of commercial potential. Virtually all of WW2 on the Asian mainland 1937 till 1945 is untouched. Plus not many American or European designers are fluent in Japanese and Mandarin, the two primary languages of memoirs of that period.
 

Proff3RTR

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#15
You're certainly right about all the Bulge games that have been produced....the Boardgame market is primarily American, and we've had a very jingoistic attitude toward American participation in WW2. Hence the (perhaps) 100+ games on the topic.
There are plenty of subjects that never will be covered because of the lack of commercial potential. Virtually all of WW2 on the Asian mainland 1937 till 1945 is untouched. Plus not many American or European designers are fluent in Japanese and Mandarin, the two primary languages of memoirs of that period.
Good psot, I would like to see more about the British efforts during the war, we were after all one of the first to get stuck in as it were, and were in it from the start. Also I would like to see some of the more obscure battles out East (Russia) covered, such as the fighting on the Mius fron in August/September 43, Operations just after Bagration ended and such like, the far east would be good as well, but as said, the games market is mainly American owned and driven, so it is hardly surprising the amount of Bulge games etal is what it is.
 

Paul M. Weir

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#17
The mention of Tarawa got me thinking and the more I do the more I am convinced that an ASL level game is the only way to do it. Tarawa is really too small for even platoon level to my mind.

The '38 and '39 clashes between the USSR and Japan have had little coverage. Khalkhyn Gol has been only covered or in intended to be covered in less than half a dozen games. I could only find 1 air combat expansion, 1 Memoir '44 expansion and 3 specific battle games on Boardgamegeek. The '45 August Storm campaign also seems to have had little coverage.
 

larrymarak

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#18
A lot more cam be done on the WW2 eastern front from presenting the narrative from the Soviet point of view. Frank Chadwick figured it out with Blood and Iron in the first battles series of games. Cover 1941 and 42 Soviet counter offensives from the I situation till the high tide of each fight.
 

Sparky

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#19
I'd like to see a good game on the Norway invasion in 1940. Brits, French and German.
what a fascinating campaign that was. Perhaps my single favorite campaign of the war. I'll second that especially a good operational level game with air, land and sea all covered.
 
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#20
A couple things remain a continuing mystery to me:
1. Why does the English Civil War get so much more attention than the 30 YW? I get it somewhat for gamers in the British Isles - it's their history - but for anyone else the 30 YW would seem to have very, very much more of interest.
2. (Not so much a 'mystery' as an irritation) The general disinterest among wargamers for the Taiping Rebellion. It certainly isn't for lack of scope - by some estimates it was the second costliest (in loss of life) war in history. It was vastly more important in world history terms than the Boxer Rebellion (which in miniature gaming, at least, gets a great deal more play). It included a dramatic technical breadth of weapon systems from spears and archery to lever action rifles. The campaigns are numerous and (based on my limited reading - mostly b/c there's not much in English available - the Franz Michael book is worth a read if you can track it down,) interesting.

It seems if wargamers have heard about it at all it's just 'Chinese Gordon' and perhaps the Ward Corps, whose participation was very minor.

As far as the actual thread goes, I'd add Agincourt to the list of overdone battles. Some of the 1-3rd Crusades battles have probably been done at least as much, but at least those are tactically interesting, unlike Agincourt.
 
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