Do Today's Wargamers Need Eyecandy to Play a Game?

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Do Today's Wargamers Need Eyecandy to Play a Game?

Postby vmibert » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:52 pm

I saw an interesting thread on BoardGameGeek that talks about the old Avalon Hill classics:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/506 ... lay-a-game

Interesting discussion - I wonder how our AHIKS members feel about this subject?

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Re: Do Today's Wargamers Need Eyecandy to Play a Game?

Postby ahikschas » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:59 pm

Great link/thread. I must admit I haven't read every page of it but enough to get me thinking on the topic. Whether today's gamer needs flashy graphics or not is something I can answer but I can speak for myself. Personally, I find some of the graphics of modern wargames downright goofy and because of that I can't help but think that the game designer/company is resorting to "eyecandy" to compensate for something missing in the game mechanics. I think that's true with Worthington's "Hold The Line", a beautiful game to look at but not so beautiful to play. Clash of Arm's "Landships" is a much better game but the graphics, while maybe more "exciting" (little doughboys charging across the field) still leaves me cold and quite frankly, makes me feel I'm being condescended to. I'm a big boy with a big boy imagination. I don't need little pictures to get me all bucked up about an infantry charge across no-man's land. A nice, clean NATO symbol for infantry is good enough for me. To make matters worse, my original countersheet from Landships was printed so far out of registration that almost half of the vital info packed onto each counter ended up printed on it's neighbor on the countersheet.

To sum up, in my opinion great graphics do not a great game make, not even for Avalon Hill. Take "1914": it had a beautiful map... almost a painting but the game was less than painterly. I think graphics, to hardcore wargamers, make little difference. If the simulation is playable, historical and fun, it's a good sim regardless of the artwork. To those who are new to the hobby, maybe they might need a little more icing on the cake.
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Re: Do Today's Wargamers Need Eyecandy to Play a Game?

Postby vmibert » Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:44 pm

Charles,

I have to agree with you. I have seen a mix of good games with some good "eye candy". Take GMT's Command and Colors: Ancients series. The game mechanics are very straight forward, a good mix of "eye candy", and the reference tables make playing easy. Same goes for their Combat Commander series. Multiman Publishing did an outstanding job of producing Panzerblitz Hill of Death, with a large map - but you never use the entire mapsheet for any one scenario. They would have been better off creating a series of mapsheets with larger hex sizes.

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Postby bstretcher » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:59 pm

I have never been one for a lot of flash and color. It can be nice, but at what cost? A lot of the old games with 3-color maps, were and remain fine to play. They were cheap, even by contemporary standards. I bought SPI's La Belle Alliance new for $3.00 in 1979. Such a game now would have better graphics, a big box, and run $30 at least. Why? I don't really buy games any more because they're so darned expensive (and I say that fully recognizing that my household income now is essentially infinitely greater than when I was in High School!).

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Postby vmibert » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:18 pm

I like a good mix of artwork and functionality - like Command and Colors: Ancients

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Postby Duncan » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:48 am

I just got No Retreat and Pre-ordered Fading Glory. I was interested in these because the VPG edition are small and manageable. What convinced me though was the GMT reprints have higher production value and bigger hexes and counters for my middle-aged eyes.

I used to love playing Terrible Swift Sword because it was a fantastic system. I would drive three hours for a game. But I was really turned off by the ugly map.
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Postby Duncan » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:00 am

I'm not fussy about too much flash. I do want the board to look better than the pink hills of TSS though. What I do want is a board and counters that are useable by my 46 year old eyes. I'm not that old but it is a lot more comfortable when I get larger counters with nicely contrasting colours.
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Re:

Postby COLTDAGUY » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:55 pm

Duncan wrote:I'm not fussy about too much flash. I do want the board to look better than the pink hills of TSS though. What I do want is a board and counters that are useable by my 46 year old eyes. I'm not that old but it is a lot more comfortable when I get larger counters with nicely contrasting colours.


Boy ... I would agree with that! I really have a hard time with unit counters that have tiny numbers and are printed with colors like black on dark green ... D-Day third edition in a game I am currently playing... Can't read the units with my reading glasses ... got to use a magnifier too and then there is the stacking .... ugh... terrible game to play as each unit has to be picked up before I can move it... :-(

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