Gateway Wargames: Top 10 Ways to Recruit New Players
#2 Battle Cry (Hasbro/Avalon Hill)
This game has chess-like pieces and large hexes. It has simple rules and mechanics, but it feels like a miniatures game and it has lots of interesting historical notes. If I were going to teach a newbie, I would use this or the WWII version from the French company, Memoir ’44. Teach your honey the "rebel yell" in a delightful new context.
Plastic figures are lined up for the battle known as First Bull Run
(Manassas). Terrain is added to the board via the add-on
hexagons and battles are decided via special dice
(pictured in center of the board). Movement is card-driven.
#1 Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc) (Tilsit Games/Clash of Arms)
The Gamers translated these rules from French to English and were distributing it in the States for a while. This game has elements of building up ones castles (a plus with the feminine gender to be able to build as well as destroy), nice heavy game pieces (castles and fortresses), colorful counters and a pretty map of France. It uses area movement, a card-driven mechanic of sorts (more like Hammer of the Scots than Paths of Glory or We the People) and calls for cooperation. If you beat your opponent too handily the first time you play this game, you might find that you are the one who gets burned in the second playing. Players learn that quickly.
Take a relatively plain map of France and neighboring
environs, add colorful control markers, and build
enough castles and fortresses to defend your new
possessions. It won’t take 100 years for you to win.
Johnny L. Wilson is the former editorial director of Computer Gaming World and publisher of Dragon, Dungeon, Star Wars Gamer, Star Wars Insider, TopDeck and Undefeated magazines. He is the author of The Sim City Planning Commission Handbook and co-author of Sid Meier’s Civilization or Rome on 640K a Day. His most recent game-related book is High Score: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games, written with Rusel Demaria. Today, he balances his game playing with his work as a freelance novelist and author of multimedia study guides for the books of the Bible. His passion is any game that causes him to study more history. Not the strongest player, he is nonetheless an avid player. Johnny and his wife live on the shore of Castle Lake in Tyrone, Georgia.
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