Friday, April 07, 2006

First ever Mini (nano) Wargame Con


Jon and Ben played Twilight Imperium. Simon and I played half of a Lock 'n Load: Band of Heroes scenario. I felt like I was winning although we still had a good ways to go. Unfortunately we had to stop early because Simon had to leave (he never really said why.... probably intimidated by the military prowess of my german forces). Still, it was a great way to be introduced to the traditional chits/counters wargame. It is definitively very very different from block games. Like I said on the previous thread, there are lots and lots of variables and charts (and I realize that there are games with even more charts and variables) that modify everything you do in the game. It is a little overwhelming at first, but they do add a lot of flavor and tension to the game once you start to understand how they affect the game. You actually "feel" protected when your units are inside a building.... and interrupting units as they walk in front of your line of sight....and springing snipers out of nowhere with their super long ranges, and no mobility, to chip away at the enemies advancing forces....

We then broke for lunch to Taco Cabana where we spent about an hour talking about life (and then quickly switched back to games). Then we went back to DL to play a game of Columbia Games' Napoleon. It is a 2-3 player block game; Ben (England) and I (Belgium) teamed up against Jon Bonaparte in the battle of Waterloo. We were all kinda rusty with the rules, but we still managed to play a full game. Napoleon unfortunately was caught in a sandwinch between my Belgian waffles and Ben's English krumpets... Where the game really shines is in its unique battle system where essentially you don't have to destroy all of your opponent's units...only break their line to force them to rout. Not a game that I would buy at full price (Jon the bargain hunter got it for just $10), but would play again.

To add to Ted and Ben's thoughts on block games, another thing I like about them at least with Columbia Games's block games in particular, they all share the same basic mechanics and each game just adds a few new features to add chrome/flavor. This can be both good and bad; good in that new games are easier to learn (just focus on what's new and different), and bad because it all feels like the same game to a certain extent. I guess in regards to this last point, this is the main reason I found much much pleasure in Rommel in the Desert; it is VERY different from all the other CG's I own.

I encourage others in the group to try these games out. Playing with history can be loads of fun.

3 Comments:

At 11:53 PM, April 07, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Hey, sorry guys for bailing out. It turned into a very long and unpleasant day after the pretty cheery start at Nano Wargame Con.

Oh and trust me Rob, you had your work cut out for you in that game. I already had gotten a foothold into the enemy line by low crawling my wounded recon squad. I actually think we were on the verge of the "giant four round battle of doom" that sparks up in near every LNL game. The winner of that battle gets a decided advantage, but not necessarily the win. So I guess, it was way too hard to tell who had what going...

Anyway, I'm disappointed I didn't get a chance to play Bonaparte at Marengo with anybody. I think it's a really cool, new system that wargamers will appreciate (especially those with a block background, wink wink).

*sigh* Maybe next time...

(I sure do say that a lot nowadays)

 
At 12:09 AM, April 08, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

All this game did was get me into looking up great classics like ASL, panzer blitz, etc...

Isn't gaming great?

 
At 9:34 AM, April 08, 2006, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

My list of games to try definitely includes both Bonparte at Marengo and LNL. I've also heard alot of very interesting things about ASL and SL, too.

As Rob has guessed, my wargaming experience has been dominated by block games. When I started getting into gaming I was looking for wargames with an emphasis on playability. Columbia's block games seemed to fit that pretty well.

Right now, though, I'm hoping to get some more time in on some current games: Rommel, Duel of Ages, a few others.

 

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