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Boaz

What makes a good war game ?

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 What makes a good table top war game ... model count, system complexity, special characters, great background fluff, core rules ... what really makes one system more fun to play than another ?

 

 I have noticed several folks are working on a system as finding one that is 'just right' is almost impossible and if you do its tied to a model line you don't have ... I'm one of the folks working on a game system but I'm aiming for model independence ... a solid system that is not tied to any model line but open to use with any force you like ... I just want a good game I can bring any army I want to, and stll have a fair and balanced game with others bringing any army they like ... 

 

 Most of the open army systems I have looked at are too light or over regulated and most don't have a viable point system ... a solid point system might never be perfect but it's the only viable medium for pick up games and turnament play in an open army game system , so I'm starting with ...

 

 A universal point system, based on force type templates.

 

 1d10 based for all randome resolution.

 

 Smooth and straight forward game mechanics , with some special rules but keeping the system simple / fast is a primary goal.

 

Looking for player preferences,  likes/ dislikes , why one system stands out over others, what worked well and what just never seemed to get it right or seemed sooo wrong ... for all of us poking around at what could be ...

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I don't think you'll find "one system" that everyone likes. Mainly because we come to this hobby with different expectations, likes and dislikes, and desires about what we want out of the game.

 

For instance, the game store where I regularly play Warlord also hosts Infinity games.  The store owner loves Infinity.  It's tactically flexible, reliant on lots of terrain, and has some good underlying math to help people remember the modifiers.  I personally dislike the game, although I like many of the models.  If I have to stand a separate piece behind my opponents model to determine if I can see it or not, I'm spending too much time with the meta-rules rather than having fun shooting things. 

Plus, I'd have to invest in a new army and new rulebooks; I'd rather spend that money on other stuff.

 

Most games have a large range where you CAN play, but a smaller range where you SHOULD play.  For instance, Warlord can run 250 points to many thousand, but the sweet spot seems to be around 1000 - you get to play a variety of possible models, and the game doesn't bog down too much. 

 

I've become a big fan of Osprey's wargames, like Frostgrave and Gaslands.  They're simple enough for new players, don't require a huge investment in new models, and don't have the huge depth of fluff that something like WH40K has.  Go find treasure in a lost city, got it.  Go shoot up your opponent in an abandoned space station; that's straightforward, and I can use whichever models I have hanging around. 

 

I also dislike tournament games, as I find them to attract a type of player that doesn't have the same set of play goals as me. 

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And what you are describing sounds like Tomorrow's War by Ambush Alley Games. I believe its out of print but you can still buy it in a pdf version. I'll have to pull out my copy to be sure but your post certainly sounds like that game system.

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Sounds interesting ... but I don't want to have to have a bunch of every dice type ... I want room for psychics , laser swords , swarms of killer critter , giant robots ... a full range of sci-fi types with a kiss rule system on 1d10 dice for everything. 

 

 I have played WH40K 1st edition through 7th ... played Vor & Void with high hopes for each ... fiddled around with several other systems ... but each dI'd not ether have a viable ipen force point system or solid well rounded rules ... so I'm asking ... 

 

 What things did / do you like in table top games and what things do you not like in tabletop games ?

Edited by Boaz

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I dislike "universal point systems".  They sound good on the surface, but they are often too much work just to play, and frequently exploited.   Give me a decent selection of units/models that are balanced, and that are easily proxied, like Warlord does. 
I prefer games that can handle multiplayer well - too many games are optimized for two sides, and two sides only.   I also like games that keep both players engaged during a turn. 

Die types don't matter to me nearly as much as simple systems where it's easy to figure out what you have to roll and what you need to succeed or fail. 

I'm another one working on my own system

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I like a "universal point system"  ... I like being able to point out a 2000 point force whenever and walk into a game shop or friends house and throw down with any 2000 point force vs whatever they have ... if you pick your force before the scenario is selected or both players build a force to a scenario you should have a fair chance or win / lose ... no point system will be perfect ... but close and getting closer is a solid start ... how else am I going to play a game between my Kulathi and my mars attacks martians ... 3rd person scenario?  Just as unbalanced as a point system ... and less options. 

 

 The game I'm looking for / or to make has a universal point system , A game with the range of 1d10 ... 1d6 = 2,3,4,or 5 for any result ... I want more than a range of 4 ... 1d10 dice , universal point system , Kiss rules ... manditory.

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I like systems where the standards for "winning" are many and varied. I think of war games in two categories, Morning star VS Razor, Blunt VS Edge, General VS specific. Games like Infinity are great cause it tries to remove questionable moves with a rule that can attempt to explain. Personally I find it like that - but I think that comes from playing with people who try and bend every rule or change them all the time, so My bias may be showing, lol. 

 

I played Frostgrave and as it was very fun to roll dices and get cool things to happen the objective was singular and one of the guys in our group basically Min/Max and found the right wizard and skills to use to get that objective done the fastest... He won every game... I got bored. 

 

Battletech (Classic) although it can be nice and flexible with it's rules it can also be tiresome if you dont have all the rules memorized.

 

On that same note I'm really looking forward to playing Battle System's CORE SPACE. The takes care of character sheets and items with "dashboards" and tokens designed to fit in to spots on that dashboard. Although I have not played it yet, only watched videos on it as it is was a KS, the style seems to take the guess work out of background data management. 

 

 The reason I think this game and the others that are similar work is that they appeal to the ADD nature of people. As well as self serving nature; everyone can get loot, everyone has a third NPC enemy they can attack and everyone can decide if they want to attack another player or help them. As well as having different criteria for winning. 

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 That was one of the things I really likes in 2nd edition WH40K ... a primary objective, 5 points ... a secondary objective,  3 points ... and kill points,1 per 100 points of targrt ... between the 3 posible scoring options players had choises ... add to this a few terrain scoring options like ammo/full dump secute/blow up ect and you are a few scenario generation dice rolls away from a very involved game.

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The perfect game doesn't exist. Each player has their likes and dislikes. Heck, even designers keep fiddling with their own rules because they just aren't quite right yet (in their mind).

 

Me? I prefer open games with point systems, but have several games with dedicated model lines, because sometimes you have to play what everyone else is to get a game. I have been on the hunt for THE mecha game since CAV2 went the way of the dust bin.  I have also started on my own rules.  The same for my 15mm stuff. And for 28mm sci-fi skirmish. 

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17 hours ago, Sergeant_Crunch said:

The perfect game doesn't exist. Each player has their likes and dislikes. Heck, even designers keep fiddling with their own rules because they just aren't quite right yet (in their mind).

 

Me? I prefer open games with point systems, but have several games with dedicated model lines, because sometimes you have to play what everyone else is to get a game. I have been on the hunt for THE mecha game since CAV2 went the way of the dust bin.  I have also started on my own rules.  The same for my 15mm stuff. And for 28mm sci-fi skirmish. 

 

What about CAV Strike Operations?  Bones Kickstarters are continuing and it is ramping up interest for the game again since you can now build a force very, very cheaply.

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@Boaz  have you researched DBA or Hordes of the Things ?  They were a last century attempt to create rules that were model independent. 

 

I think they are mired in the D6 though. 

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Sergeant Crunch has the right of it. There is NO wargame that will suit all the wargamers. Best you can do is to watch the games being played and figure out what appeals to you and what does not, and whether you're going to have to buy a bazillion figures or not.

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That's kinda the point of the thread ... most of the good model independent game out their are also point system independent ... so I'm making a model independent system with a point system , but me being just me I though getting input on what others thought make a good table top game would be valuable,  to me and others I suspect are in the same boat ...

 

 Me, I got a Vor Growler army, a Syntha /Vasa / Koralon armies from Void, a Mars Attacks martians army and building a Kulathi army as well as galactic alliance (units of mixed aliens) and a cosmic confederation  (mixed of alien specific units) ... and I want to play with them in a game vs whatever army you want to play with ... that game I have not found, so I'm making it , I have looked over a few dozen systems buy their is always something that get in the way of K.I.S.S. ... I like Kiss and think it's the key to a playable game if it is not to simple ... attacker rolls for hits, defender rolls to resist wounds, with some special stuff for area effect, monster/ vehicle toughness , ect ...

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