Scott Tortorice

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It's not Christmas without a new toy under the tree...or on the HDD. With that in mind, which should I pick as my Christmas Game this year? Usually, it is "Christmas Games" because there is so much to pick from, but 2013 was such a lousy gaming year that one game is more than enough. :D

Keep in mind this is a non-binding poll. :lier:

The choices:

1) Combat Mission: Market Garden: Like many, A Bridge Too Far is one of my favorite war movies, so when Battlefront announced CMBN: MG, I was interested right off the bat. To that base interest you can add the fact that my late love affair with Wargame: AirLand Battle has re-awakened a desire to play a more tactical wargame, even if it is <sigh> WWII yet again. Lastly, purchasing this expansion will give me an excuse to finally the get the CMBN patch that I have steadfastly refused to pay for. :p The negatives: I see CMBN:MG still uses neutrino rounds where a shell can pass through an armored vehicle without leaving a mark. :rolleyes:

2) Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm: Two wargames in one list? What is happening to me?!? :clown: Truth is, as mainstream gaming collapses, niche wargames are starting to shine a bit more. Be that as it may, yes, this is another tie-in to my passion for Wargame: ALB. And, yes, also another tie-in for a desire for something more tactical. Negatives: The 1.04 patch seems to be promising some nice fixes/enhancements, so there is an advantage in waiting.

3) Eisenbach Gap Deluxe: World at War: What, you thought I was kidding about going back to tabletop games? :D Nope. Yes, yet again, another tie-in to my Wargame:ALB kick. Also, I really, really, like how Mr. Walker is supporting his WWIII boardgame with all sorts of expansions that...er, expand on the the base idea of a WWIII. As I wrote elsewhere, I hate how many devs launch a WWIII series, get as far as West Germany, and then abandon the WWIII idea for something else. Negatives: I still have a bunch of WWIII games from the 1980s. Team Yankee, anyone? :)


Those are the three I have come up with so far. (Dis)Honorable mentions:

1) Battlefield 4: I was positive this was going to be my Christmas Game '13 when it launched in October, but seeing how the fortunes of this game just keep getting worse and worse - did you hear about the Battlefield lawsuit? - I want nothing to do with this title until mid 2014...and that is assuming there is a sale. :kotz:

2) Ogre: Designer's Edition: One of my favorite boardgames of all time...but you snooze, you lose! :hissyfit: This was definitely going to be my alternate after BF4 crashed and burned, but it turns out that the entire first batch of games has sold out! :cry: Why, oh why, didn't I back the kickstarter?!? :mad: SJ's Warehouse 13 still has them, but shipping is halted until January 8, so no point in making this a Christmas gift. I waited too long....:upset:

I think that is it. Opinions? Anything I overlooked?
 

Dr Zaius

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I think I'm going to give Nether a try. It's still an early release game, but it's the closest thing to Stalker I've seen.
 

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My Christmas game was Guild Wars Prophecies and the Eye of the North expansion. I'm finding it a lot harder and much less casual-friendly than GW2, but also much more satisfying when you win. Also, the lore/story in the first Guild Wars is far better than the mostly simple-minded and cliched story in GW2. I don't know, but I may post a thread in a few days comparing GW1 and 2.

BTW Scott, I revisited Bridge Too Far from Netflix last year, and I agree, it holds up rather well. The cast was great, and it was one of Sean Connery's best post-Bond roles. Also, I loved the underlying cynicism of the film. It's also interesting to note that the narrator at the beginning mentioned the ongoing feud between Patton and Monty; something that cannot be overstated imho. Speaking of Market Garden, I found that Battle Academy expansion frustratingly difficult, and I bailed from the series at the point.
 
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Scott Tortorice

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I think I'm going to give Nether a try. It's still an early release game, but it's the closest thing to Stalker I've seen.
Came across this just now concerning Nether:
"Supposedly it is from WarZ people. Their Steam Discussion is locked, which is a huge red flag."
Again, I wouldn't touch an "Early Access" game seeing what is going on with gaming these days. You might want to hold off on this, Don.

Nexus said:
BTW Scott, I revisited Bridge Too Far from Netflix last year, and I agree, it holds up rather well. The cast was great, and it was one of Sean Connery's best post-Bond roles. Also, I loved the underlying cynicism of the film. It's also interesting to note that the narrator at the beginning mentioned the ongoing feud between Patton and Monty; something that cannot be overstated imho.
The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far are my favorite WWII movies of all time. They are suitably epic for epic battles. And they don't revolve around a single squad saving the day, a la Saving Private Ryan. Hate this approach that 99% of Hollywood films take these days because every movie has to revolve around one or two mega stars.
 

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Yeah Don, like you Nether piqued my interest, as it looks rather like an urban Walking Dead mmo. But yeah Scott, I agree completely about early access being an enormous red flag, which is why I gave it a pass.

Scott, speaking of Private Ryan, what really killed that movie for me was Spielberg's forced tear jerker at the end. As someone else noted about Spielberg, he's famous for framing scenes in such a way as to tell viewers how they should think and feel about certain things, rather than giving the audience credit for having some intelligence and being able to come to their own conclusions.

Off topic, but the only recent (well, relatively recent) war movie I liked was Enemy at the Gates. Sure, it was a bit Hollywood cliched at times (especially as regards actress Rachel Weiss), but Stalingrad looked very real, Ed Harris was great as the icy cold German sniper, and most of the supporting cast (especially Ron Pearlman and Bob Hoskins) were quite good.
 
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Scott Tortorice

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Catching up on some replies today. Can't wait for the Christmas rush to be over!

Scott, speaking of Private Ryan, what really killed that movie for me was Spielberg's forced tear jerker at the end. As someone else noted about Spielberg, he's famous for framing scenes in such a way as to tell viewers how they should think and feel about certain things, rather than giving the audience credit for having some intelligence and being able to come to their own conclusions.
That is an excellent critique of Spielberg. I think that sentiment is spot on. The other thing that gets on my nerves with Saving Private Ryan, and most other modern WWII movies, is how they are less war movies and more passion plays. I mean, the cast of SPR practically walks around with a halo on their heads. Yes, the Allies were doing God's work by crushing the Nazis but let's not over-sentimentalize the troops. That is one of the things that really gets on my nerves with modern WWII entertainment. Someone, somewhere in Hollywood, decided WWII was the only good war fought by good soldiers. Every other war, or even the Pacific theater in WWII, is treated with much more cynicism. It just really gets on my nerves. I think this is one of the things that is contributing to my WWII fatigue lately.


Off topic, but the only recent (well, relatively recent) war movie I liked was Enemy at the Gates. Sure, it was a bit Hollywood cliched at times (especially as regards actress Rachel Weiss), but Stalingrad looked very real, Ed Harris was great as the icy cold German sniper, and most of the supporting cast (especially Ron Pearlman and Bob Hoskins) were quite good.
Stalingrad reminds me of a schizophrenic movie. The first half was fantastic, but the second half seems like a different director and screenwriter took over and forcibly moved the movie in a very different and inferior direction. I definitely think it was a victim of corporate screen testing.
 

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Flashpoint Campaigns Red Storm..you just can't go wrong..also even if worked stoppe don it today ti would be one of my all time fav wargames.
 

Scott Tortorice

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Flashpoint Campaigns Red Storm..you just can't go wrong..also even if worked stoppe don it today ti would be one of my all time fav wargames.
Yeah, the decision has been made. My Christmas game will be....drum roll please....

Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm

:hurray::hurray:

With a Scourge of War: Antietam chaser. :)

This is the first year that Matrix Games beat out Steam for me!

Thanks, Wodin! You were the first to spot this gem!
 

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3) Eisenbach Gap Deluxe: World at War: What, you thought I was kidding about going back to tabletop games? :D Nope. Yes, yet again, another tie-in to my Wargame:ALB kick. Also, I really, really, like how Mr. Walker is supporting his WWIII boardgame with all sorts of expansions that...er, expand on the the base idea of a WWIII. As I wrote elsewhere, I hate how many devs launch a WWIII series, get as far as West Germany, and then abandon the WWIII idea for something else. Negatives: I still have a bunch of WWIII games from the 1980s. Team Yankee, anyone? :)
Should still get!!! I own Blood and Bridges, The Untold Stories, and Into the Breach (an expansion for TUS). Honestly, the LnL World at War series is undeniably awesome! I wrote some AARs of the first 3 scenarios for The Untold Stories on Board Game Geek. Eisenbach Gap in general hard to come by up until they released the deluxe. I would highly recommend getting it if you come across it at a FLGS and or if you see The Untold Stories then I suggest getting that as well as that game is quite rare these days.

My AARs for The Untold Stories: Scenario 1, Scenario 2, and Scenario 3.

P.S. Those super cool explosion markers are produced by Litko.
 
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Scott Tortorice

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Should still get!!! I own Blood and Bridges, The Untold Stories, and Into the Breach (an expansion for TUS). Honestly, the LnL World at War series is undeniably awesome! I wrote some AARs of the first 3 scenarios for The Untold Stories on Board Game Geek. Eisenbach Gap in general hard to come by up until they released the deluxe. I would highly recommend getting it if you come across it at a FLGS and or if you see The Untold Stories then I suggest getting that as well as that game is quite rare these days.

My AARs for The Untold Stories: Scenario 1, Scenario 2, and Scenario 3.

P.S. Those super cool explosion markers are produced by Litko.
It's a good thing I didn't read your AARs before I made my decision or it might have gone differently! :D That was nicely done! And those Litko markers are really cool. I think if you like WaW you will like Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm. I was struck by how both seem to play in a very similar fashion. Might be interesting one day to take a WaW scenario and convert it into a RS scenario and see how the two would play out.
 

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It's a good thing I didn't read your AARs before I made my decision or it might have gone differently! :D That was nicely done! And those Litko markers are really cool. I think if you like WaW you will like Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm. I was struck by how both seem to play in a very similar fashion. Might be interesting one day to take a WaW scenario and convert it into a RS scenario and see how the two would play out.
Lol! I don't think you'd have been disappointed either way. The WaW system is very easy to get into. After a few plays you'll be having no trouble playing the game and the community has created some nice counters for nations not originally created for the game (including one guy who created enough counters for 2 entire American and Soviet regiments!). So there is a ton of re-playability with the series. Just don't get Blood and Bridges unless you own TUS or Eisenbach Gap: Deluxe as it's an expansion for Eisenbach Gap and doesn't come with the full rules for the game.

I'm also glad you enjoyed the AARs. It's a very fun game and the Litko markers really had some pazaaz to it.
 
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