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Thread: Best of recent PC Wargaming?

  1. #1
    HauRuck
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    Best of recent PC Wargaming?

    So there is a long history of me in the Introduce Yourself Forum or whatever.
    But a more quick on topic version is I've been mostly away from PC games, having quit MMO's permenately as well...and ending up solidly in the board game world.
    But as I really play more euros/ameritrash/etc. than strick board wargames...and only have so much love for vassal (little lives up to the quality of modules like A Victory Lost)..
    I've looked a lot at getting some of the PC wargames I'd missed..

    But which ones?

    Without demos of most it is so hard to judge. I'm terrible at deciding based upon after-action reports.

    What are the best PC wargames in recent years? Matrix/Wasteland or otherwise?

    I find I no longer care for the really complex ones on average...something about time investment I just cant spend the time War in the Pacific takes though I suppose I'd love too.
    I do love the pacific theatre, tactical WWII, and siege warfare the best, but may well be open to just about anything.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Acolyte
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    My own must-buys of the last few of years for all wargamers would be Command Ops (both Bulge and the Market Garden expansion) and War in the East. The latter isn't 'really complex' in the sense that WitE is; although I suppose nothing else really is. Rather than preach the merits of either, it's probably easier just to do your own research. No demos, but plenty of videos (inc tutorials), and AARs.

    Anything else depends pretty much on what your preferences are. Both Field of Glory (ancients) and the new Conflict of Heroes (WW2) are fun boardgame adaptations geared to easy-access multiplayer if that's your thing. Storm Eagle's 'Jutland' is THE WWI naval game - if that interests you. Gettysburg: Scourge of War is the best ACW tactical game to date - if that interests you. Both have demos. 'Panzer Corps' seems to have been a huge success among those demanding a true successor to the Panzer General series. The second generation 'Combat Mission' games have a huge fanbase, and the Normandy game would certainly satisfy your WW2 tactical urge; although I personally prefer the 'Achtung Panzer!' games. While I wouldn't rate 'Storm over the Pacific' as one of the best wargames of recent years, it is fun as a 'lite' WitP alternative, and any Pacific Theatre fan should certainly try it.

    Unless you are drowning in cash cost is a factor. Both Combat Ops and WitE ARE expensive, especially if you include the expansions. Other titles can be acquired for next-to-nothing if you shop around, and can often act as 'demos' for their cousins; such as WW2 Time of Wrath and Combat Mission: Shock Force. Oh, and download Global Conflict Blue and Armored Brigade. Both are excellent - and free.

  3. #3
    Abecedarian Mage
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    From my observations, wargames for PC seem to only come in three flavours.

    Shooters are for the young. It doesn't matter the name, they just want to shoot at things. They likely will not play any of our turn using games of any complexity.

    The rest seem to come in two forms, hopelessly detailed time consuming works of art that are not entry level, and likely never will be. And games often dismissed as lite beer and pretzels or dumbed down and derided for it.

    There is no functional real difference between turn 1 of Steel Panthers WaW Mega Campaign Lost Victories, and turn 1 of War in the East. In both you will be stuck with a massive sum of units that need to be doing something. Saying it is a squad or a division or higher really doesn't change anything. If the turn took an hour of concentrated effort to play and you moved more than 100 units, it is a category 1 wargame.

    Category 2 wargames are simply not as time demanding, not as effort demanding, not as saturated in workload managing several hundreds of units each and every turn. It doesn't matter the scale, if you were able to get in and out of the turn in 15 minutes or less, it is a category 2 wargame. Thus Panzer Corps and Battle Academy are the same regardless of scale.

    Only you know what you consider fun though. Buying all the games out there regardless of design aspects just makes you an addict (like my other half) and just makes it so people like me never have to buy any (yippee free games ).

    I like Panther Games for real time. The camera controls of Combat Mission make it too much hassle. I like Panther Games because the decision making matters. Close Combat seems a bit too mouse clicky in comparison.

    Do you want to play the game against the machine or me?
    That actually matters in game choice.
    I have found I can't really get up and walk away while playing Battle Academy, turns are too quick (if the other person is actually sitting waiting that is).
    Games like Panzer Corps will take a bit more thinking maybe, which means the other person likely is doing something else, and their turn is merely a diversion.
    The real detail heavy category 1 games are likely best played on your own. All they are good for, is not annoying your wife with your moaning about needing somewhere to set up your board game.

    I like Battle Academy because it is the most like Squad Leader in one key detail. ASL forces me to watch my opponents turn, so I am not just sitting there pondering my nail polish. It's too bad Battle Academy wasn't somehow designed so the turned were blended together you move a unit I move a unit etc. Then you wouldn't get some of those really cheesy stunts like the truck scout. Or the garbage unit didn't need it anyway sucker bait get the guy to shoot at it with that nasty tank so the real thing you wanted to shoot at it can get close and take a cheap shot point blank. That wouldn't happen if all you could do was just move one unit at a time.

    Some monster wargames come out looking like when I have used too many seasonings or spices. You can't get great chili if you are constantly adding things. Eventually you need to just limit the whole some how. Then again, some people like stuff with too much seasoning.

    Sometimes a game just needs some form of magic. I think Team Assault looks promising. Seems almost like a shooter, but in stop action mode. Seems almost like real time, just very slow real time. Hasn't got too many units. It's very colourful. You can relate to the people, they are not just a symbol on a map. You can sort of cheer for them 'Come on Lucky'.

    I think it has my prize for the most interesting in recent time.
    Please don't go on about how cool it is I like wargames. It gets old.
    Some of my comments are just me parroting his bitching.

  4. #4
    Mage’s Assistant
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    For me, it would be Armored Brigade. I think I spent more than 1000hours playing it. And the best thing is that since it's a real time wargame, I can run it in background and just adjust orders when something important happens. And it's tactical, so there's plenty of action.

    Organization of command is done pretty well. A battalion in Armored Brigade is either 9 platoons + fire support or 3 companies + fire support. There are single squads and vehicles but micro-managing them is penalized with higher order delays. Too bad, there's no subordinate AI, so the performance of formations isn't optimal.

    And it's free.


    Also, BftB. Too bad I don't like the France '44 setting.
    "And as the light embraces the wanderer,
    as knees bend as thought is obliterated,
    with the very moment that resistance has ceased,
    now, I am become death, the enemy of man."

  5. #5
    Neophyte Sorcerer
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    Armored Brigade,excellent game and as pointed out its free.Try the demo for Unity of Command,doesn't seem to complex and the scenarios arn't that long or time consuming.

  6. #6
    Abecedarian Mage
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    I looked at the Unity of Command demo. The engine looks good, but the setting didn't grab me in.
    Please don't go on about how cool it is I like wargames. It gets old.
    Some of my comments are just me parroting his bitching.

  7. #7
    Arcane Candidate
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    Sep 2012
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    I have really enjoyed the John Tiller Campaign series...East Front, West Front, Rising Sun ( Pacific of course)
    It is tactical level with nice graphics and a very realistic feel. It's almost like Panzer Blitz or Panzer leader on the PC. I never get tired of it. When I get frustrated with failure (such as in Strategic War In Europe) I always return to the comfort of a logical enjoyable game in East Front or West Front. (Not Rising Sun so much because I like Tanks) Also consider Matrix's Panzer Campaigns for a little larger tactical challenge.

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