Wednesday, April 05, 2006

David Lightman: What is the primary goal?
Joshua: You should know, Professor. You programmed me.
David Lightman: C'mon. What is the primary goal?
Joshua: To win the game.

David Lightman: Is this a game or is it real?
Joshua: What's the difference?

Gentlemen, I would like to extend an open invitation to all to our first Micro Wargaming Con on 4/7 starting at 10am at DL (or at Simon's ?).

I have received confirmation from a few of you.

The current list:
1. Ben
2. Jon
3. Simon
4. Me
5. Ted (?)
6. Michael (?)

If you want to join us, just drop a line here in the comments. We should be starting anywhere between 10-12 noon. I should be able to make it by 10am. We will only be playing wargames, so please, only show up if we would end up with an even number of players. You will be left out if you don't have a partner.

The goal is to try and have everyone play at least 2 differrent games. For those that have never played any particular game below, but would be interested to try it out, try to at least read over the rules online to expedite the teaching part.

Current games on the list:
1. Hammer of the Scots
2. Crusader Rex
3. Lock n Load: Band of Heroes
4. Wizard Kings
5. Rommel in the Desert
6. Bonaparte at Marengo
7. . . . . . (insert cool wargame)

Group games? Next Monday.


At 2:40 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Don't forget Bonaparte at Marengo!

Rules available at:

I can indeed host. I live off Warzbach and Huebner, so it isn't far from the DL. I also have two tables for gaming on (plus coffee table if you prefer to sit like a Chinese Go master while delivering untold punishment Sun Tzu style).

What's the word?

At 2:49 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Rob said...


At 3:09 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Kendahl said...

Don't you people have jobs?! Maybe I should quit mine so I can come... Dang, I am jealous.

At 3:21 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Well I can't speak for the others, but I work from home and set my own hours (which still hasn't prevented me from bitching about work).

Strangely enough though, I have missed like the last four or five gaming nights because of my job...wait, wtf? How did that happen?!

At 3:31 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

K, you have the time to check up on this site? I want your job... oh wait... I posted this between patients...

My shedule is weird. It changes every month. When I do get one with more time off (like this month), I have to make the best of it.

At 4:09 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

I'm detecting a heavy bias toward the wooden block brand of wargaming.

I'll bring Twilight Struggle (a GMT game...) and Arab/Israeli Wars (company-level post-WW2 combat).

At 5:04 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Ben said: "I'm detecting a heavy bias toward the wooden block brand of wargaming."

One of the big reasons for this is that Columbia, which makes only block games, focuses mostly on the lighter end of war gaming. Their games tend to be easier to learn and quicker to play than many others.

I'm toying with the idea of taking a half day off, but it looks like I'm going to have to do some experiments Fri afternoon. I'll know tomorrow.

At 6:01 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Well, blocks were my gateway wargames.... I'm hoping that LnL Band of Heroes will be my foot inside the chit and counter (aka the pure) Wargame genre.

At 6:57 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Brian said...

I'm not going to be there, but there are several good multiplayer games. I personally have Sword of Rome (a CDG that needs four), Napoleonic Wars (CDG that works 2-5), Europe Engulfed (2 or 3). Also you have "Rise & Fall" style games, like 7 Ages (which I own).

I'd like to do a long day of heavier gaming, but I'll have to wait until memorial day (or a weekend).

At 8:39 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

I was doing some thinking and I realized that the maids come on Friday. So maybe hosting at my house should be postponed until later in the day as they usually come from 11ish til 2ish.

Unless of course you don't mind yelling over the vacuuming...

At 10:16 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

I sincerely look forward to showing you guys some good counter-based wargames. I know Brian owns some of the best card-driven board games, too, such as Wilderness War and Paths of Glory.

I agree, the block-based games seem fun and quick to pick up, yet meaty enough to make a good meal.

At 10:26 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Nice variety Brian. I've been wanting to try Sword of Rome. Paths of Glory; have heard great things.

Dunno Simon...postponing = less gaming. I should be done with my gaming by 5pm'ish on Friday

DL then?

At 10:41 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Well, that's what I was trying to say. Game first at the DL and then perhaps relocate to mi casa.

Never shorten gaming sessions; what're you crazy?!

At 11:05 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Now that we can do.

Jugamos primero en Dragon's Lair y despues en tu casa. teased.

At 1:17 AM, April 06, 2006, Blogger Jonathan W. said...

I say we just meet up at D-lair at 10pm so we have the most possible time to game.

Simon, if you want to save the precious petrol I can give you a ride over.

At 1:42 AM, April 06, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

I don't think anyone was ever saying otherwise, Jon. However, once lunch rolls around we could all go grab a bite and relocate to the freshly cleaned, quiet house of mine where I won't feel slightly guilty for loitering and never buying anything. Plus this is the one time I'll ever be able to host (another guilt I have for never being able to). If no one cares all that much though, DL is fine for the whole day I suppose.

At 8:58 AM, April 06, 2006, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

I'll be very interested to hear a compare/contrast between blocks and chits.

It's hard to tell if people have a reason for their bias or not. One guy I read said except for the physical space, he vastly prefers blocks over chits. Fog of war plus step reduction plus physical feel.

At 12:00 PM, April 06, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

For low unit density games, blocks are the way to go... the bigger the better. For games with a lot of pieces, chits are much better. I'm still having post-traumatic stress from the 700 C&C: Ancients stickers...

Full color, 1" chits are the gold standard (e.g., the Arkham Horror monster chits).

Personally, I like calling them "counters" a lot more than "chits"....

Fog of war can be handled with inverted counters, dummy counters, or with each player having a separate map (such as in the AH games Bismark and Midway; i.e., like the game Battleship on megasteroids).

At 12:59 PM, April 06, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

I agree with Ben. Blocks are great but they aren't a replacement for the counter system. How would you represent a squad carrying support weapons that can be dropped and traded around in a block game? I'm sure you could but it would lack some elegance.

At 3:57 PM, April 06, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

I can't make it tomorrow. I've got too many errands piled up.

At 10:38 PM, April 06, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

I didn't have the time ro read up marengo or LnL. Hope y'all have the patience to explain.

At 10:39 PM, April 06, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

....btw all because I wanted to finish the darn dice tower.

At 11:07 PM, April 06, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

So did you finish the tower???

At 11:10 PM, April 06, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

I did. It was good practice. It looks good, but next time it'll be even better.

This may have sparked a new hobby in me....woodworking!

At 11:15 PM, April 06, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

I just purchased a 1.75HP Porter Cable plunge router to make the slot cutting a breeze next time. I also picked up a set of brass template guides so the cuts are clean, easy, and centered....

Besides more dice towers, I'm now actively thinking about a home arcade cabinet...

At 11:17 PM, April 06, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

sweet... btw, world of warcraft sucks. Servers are all buggy.

At 11:24 PM, April 06, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Good luck, Ben. Hopefully you'll be able to go farther than we we're willing or able to.

At 8:59 AM, April 07, 2006, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Simon said: "How would you represent a squad carrying support weapons that can be dropped and traded around in a block game?"

Interesting. I guess counter systems can do this fairly easily? I suppose there's a separate counter for the weapon?

Most of the blocks games have a fairly large scale: a war rather than a battle. Columbia has a few more recent games that deal with individual battles rather than whole wars, but the general trend is true.

Maybe blocks are best suited for games with large scale and high degrees of abstraction.

For example, people often confuse the interpretation of the CV (Combat Value or "hit-points") of a block. CV lumps together morale, supply and leadership in an easy-to-use fashion. When a block is "destroyed," that almost never means it killed to the last man. Maybe the morale broke, or the leadership corp was eliminated, or that unit ran out of ammo.

I point this out because this only makes sense at a fairly large scale. If each unit is a few guys, then it doesn't make sense to lump together all those items into a single, abstract concept like "CV." Hence one of the great advantages of blocks is mitigated.

Hope you guys have a blast with the mini-con

At 5:40 PM, April 07, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Well, the session was cool, but kinda short. Full session report to follow (if the other guys don't beat me to it tonight). I got there 1/2 hour late (damn work), Simon had to leave early, etc.

BTW Ted, having a similar wargaming background to yours (I think), you really need to try out a squad-based counters wargame. It was sweet. I'm getting LnL Band of Heroes at some point, and I will try it out with you. It is a little mind bloggling at first all the modifiers that come into play (specially coming from a block gaming background), but they really add LOTS of flavor/chrome.... it makes things feel more real and less abstract like you mentioned.

At 6:19 PM, April 07, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

I'll bring ASL Starter Kit #1 next time as well as Panzer Blitz and Afrika Korps (all counter-based games).

Block games are asthetically pleasing, easy to get in to, and have very elegant, smooth mechanics. I was very impressed by Columbia's Napoleon today. A very good, fun game.


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