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Any tactical level boardgames played by CM owners?


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As the title says - interested to learn what other players here think on this topic.

Recently discovered tabletop wargaming and am in the process of aquring a bunch of games among which are also tactical level boardgames. I am wondering if CM players think playing CM games is all it is needed in the tactical level universe or are there any CM players who love to take their phisical board games for a ride? Which tactical level boardgame systems do you liek the most and why?  

I am into the WW2 Pacific theater and am choosing between Fields of Fire 2, Warfighter Pacific, Combat Commander Pacific, Conflict of the Heroes Guadalcanal and Old School Tactical Volume III.

What say thee?

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I also spent nights on Squad Leader at the time it was very little distributed in France and buying them in the USA or in London was an adventure in itself,  souvenir souvenir !!!🙄 Currently I pla

A little update on Conflict of heroes, Storm of Steel - Kursh 1943. My Son now works from my house also, so we now have time to play a game during lunch. So guess what we are playing. played

Haha, yeah, no wonder, I was shelling you guys with boardgames. I got Silent Victory, D-Day at Peleliu and The Doolittle Raid. Only opened Silent Victory - my wife have given a green light to ope

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There are certainly a bunch of former tabletop players on the board, I can't recall much talk about playing a game recently, though. Its mostly nostalgia for their misspent youths. Me, I cam into CM via the back door - hobby modeling.

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Ha, not many then, eh. 

 

Still, if some soul is out there do come forward and let me know if it is worth taking the plunge - boardgaming has a special feel to it that PC games don't have. 

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Avalon Hill's Advanced Squad Leader was the last board game I played, quite a while ago.  Excellent game but rather heavy on the rules (there was a massive folder full of them).  I used 1/300th scale metal tanks on the boards, looked good.   Of course there is no Avalon Hill any more...  A very good attempt at converting most of it to PC has been made by Peter Fisla, called Tigers on the Hunt.  It's like a board game on your PC, and you don't need to consult the rule book every 5 minutes.  But you said you don't want PC games 😁.  If you did, I'd recommend Combat Mission.

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I think after CM1 was released there seemed little point in struggling with remembering complex rules etc to play a tactical wargame like Squad Leader.  Panzer Leader was one of the most accessible.  Cardboard games are still interesting when they do strategy and operational level games that may not have a large enuff market to pay for a computer game.  Eg:  Some of GMT's efforts like Andean Abyss; The War on Terror etc.

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OK, undersood - not much sense going in tactical level games when Combat Mission exists. :D CM doesn't cover Pacific though so I might have an excuse to try one nevertheless. 

Thank you for your input guys. 

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I also spent nights on Squad Leader
at the time it was very little distributed in France and buying them in the USA or in London was an adventure in itself,  souvenir souvenir !!!🙄
Currently I play Tanks https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/195242/tanks-panther-vs-sherman

very simple and fast with my 2 boys but once in 2 it ends in a fight:  the crooks they cheat🤬

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I play a lot of boardgames. Combat Commander would be my preference from that list.

Wargames in general struggle with keeping to a reasonable amount of time - finding a game that's playable in 1-3 hours is fantastic, but many will go far over that.

The No Retreat! series, although certainly not tactical, is worth a look. The full campaigns are all-day affairs, but scenarios are playable in that timeframe.

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Thank you domfluff - CC does come up awfully lot. Have you perhaps also played any Old School Tactical games and if yes how does it stack to CC? 

Will check the no Retreat! series. 

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Very broadly speaking, Combat Commander is Squad Leader, played with the cards from Up Front. A lot of the design decisions were not to simulate WW2, but instead on how things worked in Squad Leader (a lot of the unit values, for a start).

That does mean that as a simulation it does lack some verisimilitude, but what you get in return is a superb game that you can knock out in 90 minutes or so. The Random Scenario Generator (which was originally supposed to be the only way to play it) means that there's no limit to the amount of game in the box.

As to "there's no reason to play paper wargames when Combat Mission exists" - a scenario of Combat Mission is a project in and of itself, doubly do if playing with someone else. PBEM typically takes months, and no AI is going to compare with locking horns with another person. There's always a good reason to have a tabletop game.

Of late, the majority of my sim time hasn't actually been with wargames, but with things like the BIOS series of games - games which are definitely simulationist in approach, but not wargames (or that war plays a minor part). High Frontier, in particular, is very much my thing.

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OK, CC Pacific is defenitely on my buying list now. 

Again, I have seen lots of praise for Old School Tactical Pacific - has any of you played that system on how do you find it especially against Combat Mission? People state this is their go to tactical ww2 game but this might be just 'cos it is something new.  

*Addendum: I will play my tactical boardgames mostly solo. 

 

Thank you for standing for boardgames. :D
High Frontier looks awesome!

Edited by Hister
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I play tabletop wargames from time to time, but not so much wwii tactical. I have Fields of Fire though. It is a good game, I think the designer is serving in the Marine Corps and he has published several wargames; his Musket & Pike series is very good. I have the first edition covering Normandy, Korea and Vietnam, not the one about the Pacific theatre that you are interested in but it is the same rules really.

The game deals with command and control issues with some interesting and unique mechanisms. It is not at all like ASL and takes a much broader view of the topic, putting you in the shoes of a company commander. The "board" is actually made of rows of cards that you pick randomly according to scenario instructions.

One of the Hue scenarios below :

pic5075418.jpg

I hesitate to recommend it as your first foray into tabletop wargaming because the rules are a bit of a mess to be honest even though this is technically the third edition. It is not for the faint hearted and you should be prepared to invest a lot of time browsing the game forums trying to decipher the finer points of the ruleset and be ready to face lots of ambiguous situations. But it is a rewarding game, eminently replayable that models elements of command and control and company level engagements that almost no other wargame tackles.

edit :

Oh and I forgot to mention that it is a purely solo game. The enemy is setup on the board and reacts on its own without you having to play both sides if you don't have an opponent.

Edited by Zveroboy1
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5 minutes ago, Zveroboy1 said:

I play tabletop wargames from time to time, but not so much wwii tactical. I have Fields of Fire though. It is a good game, I think the designer is serving in the Marine Corps and he has published several wargames; his Musket & Pike series is very good. I have the first edition covering Normandy, Korea and Vietnam, not the one about the Pacific theatre that you are interested in but it is the same rules really.

The game deals with command and control issues with some interesting and unique mechanisms. It is not at all like ASL and takes a much broader view of the topic, putting you in the shoes of a company commander. The "board" is actually made of rows of cards that you pick randomly according to scenario instructions.

One of the Hue scenarios below :

pic5075418.jpg

I hesitate to recommend it as your first foray into tabletop wargaming because the rules are a bit of a mess to be honest even though this is technically the third edition. It is not for the faint hearted and you should be prepared to invest a lot of time browsing the game forums trying to decipher the finer points of the ruleset and be ready to face lots of ambiguous situations. But it is a rewarding game, eminently replayable that models elements of command and control and company level engagements that almost no other wargame tackles.

Yeah, I did list Fields of Fire 2 on my list (see below). Thank you for the input. I believe FoF system is the most serious take on tactical level of them all and would come closest to what Combat Mission simulates, right? 
It is a real shame GMT released such a bad manual on each 3 releases - so not like them. Also, the box that the game comes in is way too small I hear - I don't wanna have my shiny boardgames stored in a random shoe box, blimey!

Would these rewritten rules help me getting on with the game or would I still need to search around?
https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/187173/rules-rewritten-and-reorganized-11x17-charts

I am intrigued with this game, alot. 

8 hours ago, Hister said:

I am into the WW2 Pacific theater and am choosing between Fields of Fire 2, Warfighter Pacific, Combat Commander Pacific, Conflict of the Heroes Guadalcanal and Old School Tactical Volume III.

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Now I can try to answer the other part of your question. Are tactical wwii tabletop wargames obsolete if you also play CM?

It is tempting to say yes because CM scratches the same itch without having to burden yourself with reading and learning a 40 pages rulebook (or a lot more for ASL) and it probably models most aspects of infantry and tank combat much better. Let's just take armor penetration for instance. You're clearly not going to have the same level of detail with a 6 sided die or even a 10 sided die than a computer algorithm gives you. The PC simulation is going to be much more fine grained and accurate provided it is fed the right data.

There is something to be said about poring over a good old fashioned paper map though instead of staring at a computer screen. And even though it sounds a tad quaint, it has its appeal especially if you already spend a long time in front of a screen for your job for instance. The tactile aspect too is not completely irrelevant : rolling the die, fiddling with counters etc. You'd think it is in a lots of ways a throwback to a bygone era and just nostalgia but you'd be surprised by how popular tabletop wargames have become in the last 10 years.

There is actually a golden age of tabletop wargaming these days caused by a generation of grognard designers who have grown up in the heydays of the hobby in the 70's and who have now reached some sort of peak after having honed their skill for so long. New designers too are coming up with LOTS of new systems and there is plenty of innovation with the addition of cards (to add political elements or randomness), impulse movement (you only activate and move a part of your total force, usually a formation then your opponents does the same), and even simply doing away with the hex grid which is replaced by a point to point system or simply areas etc...

Now if you're purely interested in wwii tactical then it'd be a hard sale to try to convince someone that tabletop is better I have to admit. I have stopped playing ASL the day I discovered CM. Mostly because the rules overhead doesn't translate into a more realistic simulation. Sometimes though, I feel like CM scale is too constraining. You might want to expand your horizons and command several battalions instead of a company or two for instance. What if instead of trying to capture a village, you want to cross a major river and encircle a whole enemy division?  That's why I mostly play operational or grand tactical wargames these days. They scratch a different itch and there is no doubt in my mind that tabletop wargaming does it better at that scale than computer games.

47 minutes ago, Hister said:

 

Yeah, I did list Fields of Fire 2 on my list (see below). Thank you for the input. I believe FoF system is the most serious take on tactical level of them all and would come closest to what Combat Mission simulates, right? 
It is a real shame GMT released such a bad manual on each 3 releases - so not like them. Also, the box that the game comes in is way too small I hear - I don't wanna have my shiny boardgames stored in a random shoe box, blimey!

Would these rewritten rules help me getting on with the game or would I still need to search around?
https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/187173/rules-rewritten-and-reorganized-11x17-charts

I am intrigued with this game, alot. 

No it is not the same at all. They don't attempt to simulate the same elements. There is a lot of micro management in CM, sometimes it feels too much of it. In Fields of Fire you are clearly in the boots of the company commander only. You pick the avenue of approach, you allocate assets to the different platoons, set up a base of fire, reserves, decide when to push, when to disengage, when to launch the assault, where to setup an evacuation spot for casualties etc... you don't pick the exact piece of cover you want the men of the first platoon to use; you tell them to head for this built up area or this patch of wood but not behind which tree trunk they need to hide. It is zoomed out. It doesn't mean that there are no hard decisions to make, it is just not on the same level. For instance your soldiers once they open fire will keep firing and in order to tell them to cease fire, you either need to have your XO there or use pyrotechnics, a red flare for cease fire for instance.

It is all about orders and command and control. You can give a limited number of orders each turn. But you can set up a sop at the beginning with the different flares and colored smokes at your disposal for when you are not in range or when you run out of command points and your troops will react according to the pre-planned orders. You also have handheld radios, field telephones whose lines can't be damaged by artillery thus severing your communication network, you can dispatch runners etc. It is a deep game but a bit involved.

I haven't tried these rewritten rules. But I'd say if you are interested just go for it. It is a good mental workout and I see you already know about bgg. It is a rather popular game so you won't get stuck if you have a problem, someone will probably already have asked the same question somewhere. I mean the rules are not easy but it is nothing impossible. The box is jam packed full of components, cards, counters and rulebooks but it fits just fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you a bunch Zveroboy1! I am fully on board with you regarding the board games - they do give you a whole lot of different feeling when you play them. Maybe has something to do with physicaly being able to move stuf around, the sensorical aspect of it, etc. I started with war boardgames with Risk back in the day but then PC games took over until a year or so ago when a friend introduced me to war boardgames again with Columbia Games Julius Caesar. A whole new dimension opened for me.

Own 3 Columbia games (+Pacific Victory, Napoleon), GMTs Sekigahara, Empire of the Sun and some others.  Preordereda bunch of new GMT titles and am ordering Silent victory, D-Day at Peleliu, ECA The Doolitle Raid, Combat Commander Pacific+battle pack and yet to see if I will order FoF2, Conflict of Heroes Guadalcanal, Old School Tactical Vol III and its extension and WarfighterWW2 Pacific.  

Excellent clarifications on FoF2. Also glad the content fits inside the box aftr you unpack everything - that was my mig gripe with it. Am closer to getting it now that you explained it to me. 

Which grandtactical and operational games would you suggest for me to check out? I've seen Stalingrad '42 from Simonitich take a lot of cool praise.

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Empire of the Sun is really really good.

Yes anything by Simonitch. It hits the sweet spot between rules complexity and simulation level as far as operational wargames are concerned. I can't rate these games highly enough. The scale and the counter density is just right (well maybe slightly less so for Stalingrad), the rules are clearly worded and tight, the maps are easy to read and very clean looking . It is one of the designers I was thinking of when I was talking about master craftsmen of the hobby.

pic5131395.jpg

Ukraine '43 and Ardennes '44 in particular are amazing. I haven't got Stalingrad '42 yet but I am thinking of purchasing it. I don't really have enough room to set up a 3 mapper though so I wouldn't be able to play the full campaign but there is a separate Case Blue and a Uranus scenario too.

Another option would be A Victory Lost, also on the Russian Stalingrad counter offensive and Manstein's famous backhand blow. This one is a gem, a very elegant design with only a dozen pages of rules but might be out of print sadly. If you can get a copy though, it would be the perfect introduction.

For grand tactical, personally I delved a bit into the Tactical Combat Series from MMP and it is interesting but I wouldn't recommend it unless you know what you're getting yourself into.
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Great. Will center my focus on Simonitich then. 

Will probably just go with the Combat Commander Pacific and its extension and ditch CoH and OST for the time being.

A Victory Lost was made by the guy who made The Fire in the Sky. Nice.

I was already checking on Grand tactical combat series - the Mercury mission but game costs too much. Will pay a bigger attention to it from now on. 

 

 

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For me, ditto on the above: there's really no point in tactical wargames in the era of CM. 

The only hex and counter games I play any more are operational command level: VG's Vietnam 1965-1975 and AH 1776 (which I actually pulled out and played solo a few months back). Everything else is multiplayer strategy games which non wargamers can be occasionally talked into playing socially:  AH Amoeba Wars, KingMaker, Diplomacy, and the TSR classic Divine Right. All my tactical games are in the attic.

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45 minutes ago, LongLeftFlank said:

For me, ditto on the above: there's really no point in tactical wargames in the era of CM. 

The only hex and counter games I play any more are operational command level: VG's Vietnam 1965-1975 and AH 1776 (which I actually pulled out and played solo a few months back). Everything else is multiplayer strategy games which non wargamers can be occasionally talked into playing socially:  AH Amoeba Wars, KingMaker, Diplomacy, and the TSR classic Divine Right. All my tactical games are in the attic.

Yeah, I was musing when reviewers were at awe about the "granularity, detail" of certain tactical level boardgames when in CM that would be regarded as utter abstraction. :D

Thank you guys, my vision regarding boargame tactical level is clearer now. If CM would have a Pacific core game I would probably avoid buying any tactical level boardgames for it- I for sure am not interested in getting me tactical boardgames that cover any TOO that CM already covers. 

 

Operational and grand tactical that play well in solo mode  is gonna be my main focus for WW2 boargames besides storytelling ones like Silent Victory and Doolittle Raid from now on.

 

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I would recommend „Up Front“. No board game, more of a table top card game. Quite old and unfortunately never up dated, so the „visual appeal“ in almost not existing. It took me a while to accept the system, but then I found it extremely  immersive.

Clash of Arms „Hell of Stalingrad“ is pretty good. Card driven, but not ultra „tactical“.

If you would consider WW1: Clash of Arms „Landships“ is quite recommendable.

GMT‘s Combat Commander series (already mentioned above) is very worthwhile, indeed. I bought them all, except CC Pacific. Together with the scenario packages. you‘ll get a huge amount of content. Though you have to accept the system, e.g. that you need (to wait for) the right cards, before you can stage a more complicated action.

While we are at GMT: Have a look at the „The last hundred yards“ series“ (which includes a Pacfic War module) and„Tank Duel“ series.

I personally did not like it, but Avalon Hill‘s „Pattons Best“ was highly acclaimed. A tank simulator and only solitaire playable.

Another solitaire recommendation would be „Raid on St. Nazaire“ from Avalon Hill. Unfortunately, I never played it, but that one received very good ratings.

Edited by StieliAlpha
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20 hours ago, Hister said:

As the title says - interested to learn what other players here think on this topic.

Recently discovered tabletop wargaming and am in the process of aquring a bunch of games among which are also tactical level boardgames. I am wondering if CM players think playing CM games is all it is needed in the tactical level universe or are there any CM players who love to take their phisical board games for a ride? Which tactical level boardgame systems do you liek the most and why?  

I am into the WW2 Pacific theater and am choosing between Fields of Fire 2, Warfighter Pacific, Combat Commander Pacific, Conflict of the Heroes Guadalcanal and Old School Tactical Volume III.

What say thee?

I still have a collection of WWII GHQ Micro Armor (and other assorted companies) and, either play using couple different miniature rules, or just setup to look pretty on about 9x 2'x4' Terrain Tables.

https://www.ghqmodels.com/pages/military/index.asp

Edited by JoMc67
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1 hour ago, Bud Backer said:

Up front is a great game. Nicely made and presented cards, rules that are sophisticated enough to make it quite serious, and a small unit feel as it’s really squad - sized, with supporting elements. 

Yep, once I accepted that all of a sudden a trench could pop up in front of my troops, I started to love it. (One of  the reasons, why I have no problems with abstractions and little understanding for certain „bug reports“.) 🤓

The fast pace of a card game really pulled me in. And, after all, it is „realistic“ enough for what it is. Good game for quick, tense sessions.

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17 hours ago, Hister said:

OK, undersood - not much sense going in tactical level games when Combat Mission exists. :D CM doesn't cover Pacific though so I might have an excuse to try one nevertheless. 

Thank you for your input guys. 

No, I would not say so. Tactical board games are somewhat difficult to find, but otherwise:

Nothing better than seeing your opponent crumble at the table.... A joy you rarely find in computer gaming.

I don‘t play board often nowadays, but still manage two or three weekends a year.

Edited by StieliAlpha
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