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Avalon Hill "Classic" WWII Board Games??

Discussion in 'Tabletop Games' started by CTBurke, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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    I too am an old Avalon Hill/SPI wargamer. Some of the best games and best times I had were the ones where we played in the barracks. Back in the old days on non-payday or duty weekends, nobody had money to swoop and do the standard payday liberty partying, hell raising thing. This was in the old days when we still lived in open squadbays with an NCO room at one end. A group would get together buy beer and snacks and set up one of these games in the NCO hooch. The game would start Friday nite after the unit was secured and continue on until Sunday nite when you had to get ready for monday morning formation. Breaks were only for headcalls and chow call. We'd have enough people that we had overall commanders and unit sub-commanders, privates assigned as chart readers to give the results of die rolls.
    Some of the games I owned were: Guadalcanal, Midway and a number of the General magazines expansions, France 1940, Afrika Korps, Tobruk (very good game), Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Devil's Den, D-Day, Squad Leader and it's expansion games Cross of Iron, Crescendo of Doom and G.I. Anvil of Victory, Fury in the West, Jutland, Richthofen's War, and these are just the ones that readily come to mind, and a bunch of SPI games also. I probably still have 90% of them boxed up and stored in the attic. They're all complete except their boxes are beat up and I'm missing some of the dice.
    I also remember Urgh's Fulda Gap, a good game and like him I remember it as being particularly pertinent, especially having made a NATO float where our Battalion Landing Team was one of the unit's tasked with reinforcing the US Army units holding the Gap and I fondly remember the time spent working with other NATO nations forces, even though we were told going in we would basically be a speed bump. We were to hold in place until reinforcements could be flown in from the US.

    Yes I loved those games. I would however, disagree with JeffinMNUSA's statement of; "WHY are the modern computer simulations such pale reflections of the old AH and SPI games?"

    There are some very good computer simulations out there that retain the flavor and enjoyment of the old games while negating many of the old games short comings. Very good against the AI and even more fun when played against a human player using PBEM.
    The former TalonSoft releases of American Civil War battles re-released in Matrix Games John Tiller's Battleground Civil War series are actually better than any of the AH or SPI ACW board games I ever owned or played.
    http://www.matrixgames.com/products/319/details/John.Tiller's.Battleground.Civil.War

    There is also a very good WWII series released by Matrix and John Tiller, very reminiscent of the AH Tobruk and Squad Leader Games called John Tiller's Campaign Series. These too are former TalonSoft releases I had owned. The game comes with an editor so you can create or modify scenarios to explore what if's and a linked campaign mode where you command a unit through a series of battles and your success or lack thereof effects your manpower and capabilities for the subsequent actions. One aspect of computer versions that is superior to the board versions is Fog of War. It really changes your tactical gameplay.
    http://www.matrixgames.com/products/318/details/John.Tiller's.Campaign.Series

    One game I had owned in the old days that I always wanted to play and that I managed to attempt multiple starts at but the scale was too massive to ever get very far was "War in the Pacific" an SPI game that I still have in the attic (details here):
    http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/9650/war-in-the-pacific-first-edition

    Gary Grigsby released a computer version of this monster board game as Gary Grigsby's "Pacific War", that I purchased and found that it wasn't very good because he captured the scale but it was still virtually unplayable and the graphics were not good enough to capture the feel of the board version. Matrix re-released it with many changes in their version. Grigsby went on to create another Pacific game "Uncommon Valor" that was of limited scope, but by all accounts was a great simulation. He then combined Uncommon Valor with Pacific War and created the 2004 computer game War in the Pacific. Reviewed here:
    http://grognard.com/reviews1/warpacific.txt

    and the game described here:
    http://www.matrixgames.com/products/294/details/War.In.The.Pacific

    And this game evolved into "War in the Pacific:Admiral's Edition". This is the game we are using as our simulator for the "Anyone interested in Intellectual Exercise" thread.
    http://www.matrixgames.com/products/351/details/War.in.the.Pacific.-.Admiral's.Edition

    The reason I went into so much detail is that for those of you that are looking for the board game experience in a computer version look for Grigsby's or John Tiller's name attached. And some of you that miss the old days can get some of these games and play one another by e-mail, and recapture some of the enjoyment from your youth.

    Heres: Matrix Games website for a sampling of computer wargames out there:
    http://www.matrixgames.com/products/
     
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  2. ptimms

    ptimms Member

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  3. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    I'm emptying the big shed...got some tables....I could do with setting one up and just going back to it...put a fridge in there...and I'm away...serioiusly good idea...
     
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  4. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    I always wanted to play it...but could never afford it....or any of the other SPI biggies...when I was building 25-8mm tabletop armies too!

    One of the reasons we liked Fulda Gap so much was indeed its pertinence...I remember the first time I played it I was halfway through rading Sir John Hackett's finest!...and the fact that it was "packaged", easily playable in a long afternoon
    .
     
  5. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Hacketts two volumes...was reading them when in mob...facing East....Damn relevant at times...only thing I found irksome was the personal quotes from junior ranks...The young airman after being hit on runway clearance thing..No way any airman young or not at that time would be that daft in his comments...came off as the writer not knowing the lesser mortals that well...but none the less great books both of em.
     
  6. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Maybe I will give computer gaming another chance on this one-I am hearing some good things. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EDrM5YDCdE I will still be on the lookout for any 70s-80s wargames that might come popping up on Craigslist or elsewhere. The wife was genuinely shocked at what the old wargames-particularly the old SPIs-are fetching these days. http://www.ebay.com/sch/Toys-Hobbies-/220/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=simulation+publication&LH_PrefLoc=2 (SINAI was my first!) http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=avalon+hill&_osacat=233&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313&_nkw=avalon+hill&_sacat=233 And to think I let the whole collection go for next to nothing! Ah well.... If I can turn up a decent copy of Panzerblitz a marathon rematch between Comrade General Jeff and Feldmarschal Jim is long overdue!
    JeffinMNUSA
     
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  7. ptimms

    ptimms Member

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    I had 7 off that page and still have Sniper and Wolfpack. We used to play double blind Sniper, 2 maps, teams in seperate rooms and an Umpire controlling the game on a 3rd map.

    I was always more Simpubs than Avalon Hill and subscribed to Strategy and Tactics in the halcyon days.
     
  8. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Check the prices here; http://www.google.com/search?q=simulation+publications+inc+games+for+sale&um=1&hl=en&tbm=shop&source=lnms&sa=X&ei=eWDPUbzAJ4WQyAG11YGABw&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAw&biw=1547&bih=1053
    I will be keeping a SHARP LOOKOUT for any of my old favorites that might turn up on Craigslist as I don't think I want to spend the kind of money they want for the old SPI/Avalon Hill gemstones anymore. INTERESTING that this good computer game was invented by a couple of Croatians-did these guys have some real world experience of war in the 1990s? A sense of reality is what I have found to be lacking in all the computer simulations I have tried to date.
    JeffinMNUSA
    PS. Sample Craigslist hit-too bad it's 1000 miles from here! Will stay on watch! http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/tag/3899543527.html
     
  9. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    OMG $60 for Seelowe???

    That's ME $60 up!!!
     
  10. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Here are some more listings ; http://www.ebay.com/sch/Games-/233/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=squad+leader+game&_pgn=2&_skc=50&rt=nc Here's how my old SPI Winter War game prices out in today's market; http://www.ebay.com/itm/SPI-Strategy-Tactics-33-w-Winter-War-Mag-VG-/151067087283?pt=Games_US&hash=item232c4cd1b3 It would seem that the SPI, GDW, Avalon Hill and etc. were way ahead of their time! http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/afghan/articles/20130629.aspx
    JeffinMNUSA
     

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  11. Okie55

    Okie55 New Member

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    I still have SPI's "Blue & Gray Quad Game" Small, playable versions of Gettysburg, Antietam, Chickamauga, and Shiloh. My first was "Lee Moves North" a strategic/operational level game covering Antietam campaign. Great memories.
     
  12. ptimms

    ptimms Member

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  13. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Considering that Jim Dunnigan, of SPI fame, is one of the driving forces behind StrategtPage anything from there involving wargames is self referential :XD:, His games were good but as a historian he tended to "give his public what they wanted" more than I like. Most of his games were grounded in conventional wisdom.
    Of course his successors like Ty Bomba did worse and when it comes to superhuman SS nothing beats Perry"I don't use soviet sorces as they are evil" Moore, so Dunnigan was really middle ground.

    Btw at the other extreme of the wargaming political spectrum Jack Radey (People's wargames and the 9:00 column in fire & movement) has resurfaced with a very good book on the battle of Kalinin in 1941, the only grating flaw I have found in it is the title, it's not really abut the defence of Moscow 1941 the northern flank but just Kalinin in October, still a very good account of how the Germans continued to attack in late 1941 with worn out units, close to inexistent logistics and no reserves.

    On a final note I will be moving in a few months, and looking with misgivings at abou 100 SPI, AH, GDW boxes I know I will never play again, so drop me a PM if you have any "special interests" we may have a deal (but no PanzerBlitz series as I never got into that one).
     
  14. Otto

    Otto No More Half Measures Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I must say I'm quite pleased that Craig Burke's thread on these wargames keeps getting nice additions still. His legacy lives on and on...

    I've got a couple copies of Panzer Leader and Panzer Blitz. I've also gotten heavily into ASL of late. I'm heartened by this thread as I've always thought wargamers were more gamers than war historians, but the contents of this thread indicate I might have been wrong. Computer games are great, but there is nothing quite like sitting across from your opponent and going to battle for a short time over beers. I wonder how many of us would play some sort if wargame if we had consistent opponents.
     
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  15. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Thanks, but the wife is EBAYing in retirement, and I spend days hunting about for antiques; and I think I should be able to turn up some old wargames at sometime or another ( Panzerblitz should be a relatively easy find and I am already planning a "Partisan sweep" scenario from my readings on that subject).
    YOU HAVE 100 TITLES?! Mr TOS-you are sitting on a GOLD MINE! What I would do in your shoes is to EBAY them off individually, or sell them off the local internet market at 1/2-3/4 EBAY prices cash only. If the whole lot has got to go and now 1/3 market price is more than fair. Good luck to you!
    JeffinMNUSA
    PS. Let me amend that "What I would do in your shoes...." statement-if at all possible what I would do is to just sit on these classic games-the market is quite crashed on all antiques/collectables, but it can't stay that way forever.
     

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  16. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    The idea is to trim it down to 50 or so, I'm keeping the series I loved, like Les batailles de L'empereur Napoleon Ier, Europa, ASL, and the more recent OCS, or some classics I may still play like the Russian Campaign but hope to unload the rest.
    Not in a hurry what I want to avoid is then ending up in the cellar to rot, most have been played at least once so market value is not really the issue.
     
  17. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Market value is THE issue! Your games sound like they are in pretty good shape if they have been only played once. Of course they would be worth more if they were unpunched but even the "punched but lightly used" ones are fetching some decent price tags ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vietnam-Victory-Games-VG-SPI-AH-GDW-GMT-punched-/271228047400?pt=Games_US&hash=item3f26739028 and 9 watchers usually=a bidding flurry the last few hours). And here is another; http://www.ebay.com/itm/On-To-Richmond-Avalon-Hill-GCACW-Unpunched-Rare-/121135543583?pt=Games_US&hash=item1c343db51f The ones to watch are the ones you cannot find anywhere for price comparisons. If you are going to EBAY these-and at 50 games at roughly $20-$30+ (or $30++ or maybe even $30+++ each) I would certainly be thinking about it-you need to post good digital photos detailing condition. Cellphone shots will not do and EBAY demands a "50 pixel per shortest side" minimum (which is actually not much and EBAY really falls down on providing Hi Rez and maybe other services are better on this account). A good rule of thumb when pricing off EBAY is to "Watch what is paid-not what is asked" (and I suspect that these "triple digit plus" pricings are pipe dreams-but I could be wrong).
    The wife says that for shipping games she places a bubble wrap sheet inside to prevent internal jostling, cleans and wraps the game in medium bubble wrap, wraps that in brown paper, and then places the whole thing in a tight corrigated cardboard box-which she then cranks the whole package tightly with shipping tape. I joke that her packages could withstand a mortar barrage-but she gets little to no complaints on damage (and such complaints she has had have come mostly in the Southern USA for some reason). The Buyer pays shipping costs and if you run similar packages down to your local postal you can get an idea what stuff costs. International shipping has gone sharply up this year-but games are light and compact and as such you should not be getting too much sticker shock. For International we run the package down to the PO and get an individual estimate as rates vary from country to country-then email the potential buyer as to costs. Good luck and always ship with a confirmation of delivery!
    JeffinMNUSA
    PS. And like I said-if at all possible sit on these as the market on these can only improve.
    PSS. For securing hard surfaces to hard surfaces-ie SPI counter tray covers to their trays-use blue painters' tape as it peels off easily. Never use tape on the soft surfaces of any item!
    PSSS. Here is a "punched but in excellent condition" Art of Siege that is bid up to $60 and still bidding; http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-1978-The-Art-of-Siege-Boardgame-by-SPI-Very-Good-Condition-/251295037748?pt=Games_US&hash=item3a8259f934
     
  18. Steve Petersen

    Steve Petersen Member

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  19. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Every chance I could get Otto...Its cricket on a war board...Superb stuff
     
  20. Otto

    Otto No More Half Measures Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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