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Posts Tagged ‘Avalon Hill’

Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign 1815 4th edition – fund the game you love!

Posted by Andreas Ludwig on February 25, 2013

pic36258_mdNapoleon: The Waterloo Campaign 1815 (published in 1974) was one of the early block games and it went through three editions. Since the 3rd ed. published by Columbia Games is from 1993 and the 200th anniversary of Waterloo occurs in June 2015, Columbia Games has decided to produce a new 4th edition of this great game.

Napoléon is a strategy game for two or three players that simulates the Waterloo Campaign. The time is June 15th, 1815. A French army commanded by the great Napoléon is ready to invade the Southern Nederlands (now Belgium) where two Allied armies, one Anglo-Dutch led by the Duke of Wellington, and one Prussian led by Marshal Blücher, are gathering strength to invade France. The French are concentrated and have the early advantage, but the Allies, if they can unite, are stronger.

Napoléon was first published in 1974 by Gamma Two Games, a Canadian company located in Vancouver, B.C. That edition sold out twice. In 1977, the game was licensed to Avalon-Hill of Baltimore, and they produced a 2nd edition. Later, after Avalon-Hill had gone to wargame heaven, Columbia Games published a 3rd edition. This too had several printings and recently sold out once more.
Napoléon is an elegant simulation of one of history’s greatest military campaigns. It has always been a fun, addictive game that you will want to play over and over.

To produce this new edition of the classic game, recently a Kickstarter project was initiated and if you want to get a deluxe version of the game you should consider supporting it via the Kickstarter fund, just click on the link below.

>>>>>> Napoleon by Columbia Games on Kickstarter

The 4th edition of Napoléon will contain the following upgrades from previous editions:

Deluxe Mounted Mapboard, 22″ x 25″.
Large 24mm hardwood blocks.

Two color copies of the rules per game. Both copies will be signed and numbered.
Larger tactical maps.

Two color Order of Battle Charts. The Order of Battle is similar to that found in the first edition. 8 quality dice (4 red and 4 blue).

IMPORTANT: most upgrades are for the Kickstarter version only. Copies of the game produced for later sale will not have the deluxe mounted map, signed extra rules, or extra dice.

The (beta) rule book is available here and feedback is welcome, so now is the time to let the designers know what you think 🙂

Please support a new five-star edition of this timeless classic, the game deserves it!

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CONTRA: “Don’t be afraid of monsters!”

Posted by Andreas Ludwig on May 10, 2010

by Andreas Ludwig

a discussion on Alan Emrich’s article “The Fall and Rise of Wargaming”


PRO Alan’s article CONTRA

Well, after reading Alan’s article on the issue “what are the positive and negative factors regarding trends and developments in the wargaming/historical conflict simulation business”, I have to admit that – although I agree on the whole with his opinion -, I see some points in a different way.

First of all, the reason why we decided to reprint his article on our homepage was the simple fact that everything which is discussing this hobby and the ways how it can be brought back again into the consciousness of a wider audience is something worth supporting.

Furthermore the fact that this article was published many years ago without losing its importance today is certainly an indicator that the situation the author addressed at his time hasn’t actually changed much – as we can see nowadays, because wargaming as a hobby is still shrinking and is still what Alan used to call an “esoteric hobby“.

So the question actually is: what went wrong over the decades from those glorious days when wargaming was an intellectual challenge with millions of sold games? Or better: are the reasons mentioned by Alan actually those which caused what he calls the “decline of wargaming”?

The consumer – digging his own grave?

Alan observes two main aspects which – in his opinion – are responsible for the current situation: that wargaming is a hobby for a minority and is getting more and more expensive:

Okay, to the outsider, ASL may look somewhat esoteric...

First he states that the customers demanded a different way to purchase their games. In the early days all wargaming companies made their money through direct postal sales until the players wished to buy their games in their local stores instead. This quickly changed the cost factor because the companies were forced to react to the now longer distribution chains which eventually made the games much more expensive for the customer who was buying this stuff and who was the one financing the entire market.

The second reason is the change in the very nature of wargames, because according to Alan everything started with games with a relatively low complexity level, until these gamers wanted more realism and more detail. Since companies are usually acting in accordance to the customers’ wishes (to get their money), they started to produce more detailed and more complicated wargames and this was driven over the edge – in Alans opinion – so that a newbie, someone who never played such a game, is completely lost when reading an extensive rulebook for the first time.

Based on these two main points he now explains why it is necessary to step back in this process to give wargaming a new chance again.

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PRO: “Introductory Wargames to revive the community!!!”

Posted by Denny Koch on May 10, 2010

by Denny Koch

a discussion on Alan Emrich’s article “The Fall and Rise of Wargaming”


PRO Alan’s article
CONTRA

Despite the fact that Alan Emrich wrote his article some years ago, I think it is as relevant today as it was then – perhaps even more, because his predictions have come true by now. Especially video games and PC games, which had an explosive growth since the end of the 90’s, finished the job which was started by colorful and easy-to-play role-playing games in the 80’s: lack of new recruits is more than evident these days.

Generation videogame

If you take a close look at today’s consim scene you can easily recognize that the average age is even higher today than it was when Alan wrote his article (and even then the 28-45 year olds were the largest part of the community), while it doesn’t attract players younger than 22 years. The same people who were active in the consim scene in the early days are growing old together with their hobby, while the attraction for younger gamers is constantly diminishing. In my opinion the strongest rival in this race are attractive, spectacular videogames (for example the Call of Duty and Battlefield series), which offer more action and more of the feeling of being “within the game” than perhaps an ASL scenario – or at least this is what the unexperienced newbie may think when comparing these two. Besides this, videogames are always “introductory” and can be learned within a few minutes to a maximum of one hour by every player, no matter how unexperienced he is.

Call of Duty MW2 is one of the most intense and driving front experiences you can get in a videogame

All we can do is promise that learning a complex consim and working yourself through a monster rulebook is worth all the time and effort – because once you get a grasp on the game system, you’ll get a very deep feeling for tactical and strategical situations – deeper than any videogame can offer.

Learning the circumstances of a historical battle, about the importance of a seemingly unimportant island or hill, the importance of securing supply lines, of morale, of leadership, answering “why didn’t they do this and that” and other “what if”-questions gives very fascinating historical insights into war. This doesn’t mean that games like Call of Duty don’t deliver an “authentic” front feeling, but it’s more of a spectacular, roller-coaster, fast-food type which is intense for a few hours, but forgotten when the next game launches. It doesn’t answer any questions or give deep insights into strategical and tactical decisions and problems.

But what is this promise worth? We will get nothing but a pityful look and a patronizing comment that we could enjoy our dusted counters and pages of tables and ballistic calculations if we want to. But why should today’s youth bother with calculating the combat odds for themselves – software and videogames do this superfluous background work and all these little calculations and all what’s left for the player is the mere gaming experience and fun!

Even if you have the rare lucky moment in finding a young person interested in history who is also after simulation and authenticity and a very accurate presentation of a specific event or combat, you will have problems in fighting your “evil rival”: there is no fight, no era, no battle you won’t find in a PC based simulation. By the way, PC games offer a huge advantage over boardgame based simulations – they almost always include a multiplayer modus over the internet which replaces the face-to-face gaming which was typical for gaming groups in the 90’s.

Even fans of roleplaying games tend to switch over to the Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games which allow them to dive deep into a virtual world without wearing out their fantasy too much and without the need to read heavy rulebooks or to calculate combat effects on tables (the only exception are Live Roleplayers, but this type of RPG cannot be compared to a “boardgame” but more to Gotcha or Reenactment as contrasted to a Wargame).

What was only starting to become evident in the future – as described in Alan’s article -, has grown into a serious threat for the hobby today.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to condemn videogames, especially not realistic tactical shooters: I love to play them myself and we enjoy the cooperative Spec-Ops mode in “Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2” or the Conquest mode of “Battlefield Bad Company 2” together with our friends… the point is: today’s youth – tomorrow’s wargamers – simply don’t know of the existence of different kinds of strategical and tactical gameplay, because the wargaming scene, the games, the magazines, the forums, the mailing lists etc. are not present in the eyes of the potential wargamer.

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The AREA Rating System

Posted by Denny Koch on May 5, 2010

Introduction:

AREA – The HFC rating system of choice!

One of the most important aspects why we started to search for a ranking system in 2001 was that we wanted our played games being rated.

Up to that day we had met regularly and played competitively against each other, but we hadn’t recorded our results anywhere, besides on a sheet of paper. This wasn’t very satisfying, so we decided that we wanted to archive our game results somewhere or to establish an internal rating and ranking system. First we experimented with specific rating systems we developed separately for each game we played – this soon became very impractical with the growing number of games we played and our self-developed systems got somewhat out of hand.

We felt the need for a simplified and homogenous system and discovered the well-tried AREA Rating system which existed for many years and which could be used for almost any game (or, at least, in which almost any game could be included). We then decided that from this day on all games we played (Face-to-Face or online by VASL / Cyberboard or by e-mail) should be AREA rated. By using this system we not only had an internal ranking system, but we also had the chance to compare our level to other players from all over the world. The fact that AREA is standard in many wargaming clubs and also used by single players, offered the chance to play “rated” games against players from all over the world without the need to include these games into self-developed ranking systems. By using AREA we saved time and got a far more functional rating system than we could ever develop ourselves!

Any game can be added to AREA, here: Up Front (Avalon Hill)

Even after the Homefront Wargaming Club became the Homefront Wargame Center in 2006, we still believed it to be an important mission to promote the AREA system in Germany and to support it – because using it had been a very positive experience over the past few years. In addition, we became convinced of the AREA idea and philosophy over the course of time. We don’t play games within a fixed club structure anymore and all games played are now a strictly private matter between the HFC Staff members and their friends, but we encourage all players to send in their game results, anyway!

We think that AREA is an important part of the wargaming hobby and we want to support and promote this traditional system. It’s very easy to report games to AREA: When starting a new game, all players should agree on whether this game will be AREA rated or not. We automatically regard a game as AREA rated if no player has any objections against this. In this we agree with Glenn E. Petroski (more about him below) who once said in The General regarding this point:

“In the spirit of helping one another, I ask that all games are to be AREA-rated. I cannot actually impose this upon you, and I will not abandon you if you choose to run your competition otherwise, but it is the one thing I ask of those soliciting my assistance and support. AREA can be a common link across our hobby, an information pool, a tool, for all our use. It will never happen without your support. Every game played should be AREA-rated. Failing that give preference to rated players. Recently, I have been accused of being discriminatory about this. My reply is “You BETCHA!” In the end those ratings will benefit us all.”
(Petroski in The General, Vol. 30, No. 6, p. 55)

Of course we make an exception when playing tutorial games versus newbies or when learning or trying new games ourselves – no newbie has to be afraid of getting a rated defeat just because he is new to a game.

Overview: What is this all about?

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