[messages] [Opponents Wanted] Turning Point: Stalingrad & Breakout: Normandy

Gryff ml_berlin at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 25 01:05:26 CEST 2018

I think I have to explain myself a little more, when I say I'm a player,
that means not only wargames. Although, as child I went from Monopoloy
to Risk and then Kursk,History's greatest tank battle,1943 from SPI :-)
But I played a lot of pen&pencil role-playing games, like AD&D,
Paranoia, etc. and more than 300 Boardgames. I was in a group of people
who met practically every weekend at least once for 15 years. In the
early 90's, when PCs became affordable we met for Lan-parties to play
Jagged Alliance or Civilization.
When I was student in my semester vacation, 2 of the group, who worked,
took their vacation, too, and we played a 4 player Siege of Jerusalem
for 2 weeks, average 10 h per day. We probably would have needed another
4 weeks to finish the campaign...
So I have played all, from 5 min Magic:The Gathering -games to endless
'monster games', and I came to some conclusions:

__I need several different( but equal in their potential to win)
strategies in a game to be able to play it more than once.__

I would guess at least(!) a third of all boardgames, I've played, failed
in this category. The 'game' was rather a riddle or a puzzle to find the
best if not only strategy, and as soon as I discovered it( not seldom at
the first game session), there was no reason to play them again.

__The longer a game takes, the less important the luck factor must be.__

I am not against randomness in games! In fact, the reason why I disliked
Thunder at Cassino and Storm over Arnhem, was the missing 'uncertainty'
in a player's action and the infinite impulses(no roll for day/night).
BUT, if you were playing for 6h, and another player wins because he drew
the winning card(with no relation to the status on the board, or what
was happening there for the last 6h) this is just a waste of time.
I'm referring here to card-driven games, which were very successful in
the last 15 years, in fact too successful, because so many weak and not
enough tested cdgs were published.
Twilight Struggle has several instant win/lose cards, dice rolls that
can be devastating but it is still playable because the average playing
time is 60-90 min. In fact, I had a lot of fun for some years, although
I usually play only Paths of Glory today. Which takes 5-6h, but although
there are combat rolls, and players draw cards*, there is no luck factor
on your strategical decisions, or in other words, there is absolutely no
chance that a beginner will beat an expert in this game. It's like chess
with cards& dices when you've reached a certain level.
*=(but each from his own deck!! Such a simple and elegant solution to
eliminate unfair luck like in TS and 90% of other cdgs, which means,
when I draw all the good cards from the ONE deck, then you simply can't
draw any)

__Fun vs work ratio is important__

I went to a Con with a friend, he carried 3 fat folders for ASL with
him, and found another player soon, while I joined a 6 player Titan
round. After I was eliminated as 3rd or 4th, I went back to his room and
they hadn't even started and were still discussing rules and which
optional rules they should use in that scenario! That was about 2.5h
later. I started another multiplayergame, which was aborted after one
player left. So after another 1.5h , I came back to his room and they
were still setting up...
And it wasn't even a 'big' scenario.
That was of course after he had tried to convince me from ASL in private
sessions before, but sorry guys, ASL fails definitely in this category.
I owned(!) Squad Leader and from my perspective it works better as a
'game'. I don't wan't to spent more than 4h on 'preperations' for a game
that I can start right from the box, while the game definitely has some
flaws(especially in the 'open terrain' scenarios, the Dzerherzinsky
Tractor Works scenario will always have a place in my heart :-)
I also don't need rules about the effectiveness of star shells on a
cloudy but full moon night in Mid-November at 2 am... :-)

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