Friday, April 11, 2008

Getting my mind off brains....

A man can't be always revising for his neuroscience exams, so this week I have managed to fit in soloing an entire game of Clash of Giants II in between all the anxiety, depression, psychosis and amnesia. I played the Ypres scenario and had a fantastic time. The Germans managed to take Ypres but at the cost of seeing their left wing collapse and the French swarm back into Lille. This game was such fun solo I can't imagine how great it must be face-to-face! With a simple rule-set it very precisely captures the feel of WW1 mobile warfare - the constant worries about keeping in contact with friendly units on your left and right, the difficulties of co-ordinating large-scale movements, the slight superiority of defence over attack and the tendency for things to bog down. I like the combat system and the way that troop quality is separated out from raw manpower. And the chit-pull mechanic generates friction and anxiety aplenty.

In my opinion this is an absolutely classic operational-level wargame. I enjoy strategic wargames (like Paths of Glory or Europe Engulfed), and I've had mixed experiences with tactical wargames (ASLSK cool, GBOH not so cool). But for me this sort of thing is the apex of cardboard and paper wargaming: the traditional hex-and-counter operational wargame.

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