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Posted on Nov 13, 2007 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Where the Boardgames Are

By Mark H. Walker

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Tide of Iron comes in a hefty, man-sized box. The 12 double-sided map tiles and dozens of terrain hexes allow for an abundance of potential combinations.

I went to GameStop yesterday. Browsing for games was an endeavor I used to enjoy, but now I find it frustrating. It’s not that the quality or quantity of games has declined, or that they are too expensive or too difficult to find. Major publishers put into games more resources (in terms of money, expertise and technology) than ever before. Titles like Hour of Victory, Frontline: Field of Thunder and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter II are darn near perfectly produced video games. But still I’m frustrated, saddened and nostalgic – frustrated by attempting to adapt my tastes to genres that don’t fit; saddened by the dearth of triple-A no-compromise turn-based games; nostalgic for the days when those aforementioned titles were the top of the line.

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I understand, however, that the 500 words in this column won’t change the world. I can’t convince publishers that there are 100,000 gamers willing to buy a well-done, high-quality turn-based wargame, or that our attention spans aren’t as short as they would believe. And you know what? I don’t need to.

The games I love – accessible, immersive, atmospheric, beautiful games that give players the time to plan, ponder and execute their strategies – are alive and well, and even thriving. They are being produced by the most creative minds and well-funded companies in the industry — the boardgame industry, that is.

Are you interested in a platoon-level game that lets you re-create conflicts from Finland to the South Pacific? Check out the Panzergrenadier series of games at Avalanche Press (www.avalanchepress.com).

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Replay some of America’s great airborne battles from June 1944 with Band of Heroes by Lock ‘N Load.

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3 Comments

  1. Wonderfull games¡¡ I owned Wings of War and Memoir44, I played it several times and I think they are very great games. I like more the kitchen table than the PC games. Enjoy. from Argentina.

  2. As a boardgamer–who also plays computer games, I totally agree and encourage anyone who enjoys implementing strategy to sit down at a table and try a few boardgames (or historical miniatures games, for that matter). If you need to find players to teach you or match up against, contact me via the Boardgame Players Association (www.boardgamers.org; kaarin@boardgamers.org) and I’ll see what I can do to help you find an opponent or a club.

  3. I have been playing board games since 1974, and still love it. I thought th earticle was excellent and I agree with the sentiment, “slap down a game on the table” its what I still do. I enjoy the feel of it and the total ambiance. I do not enjoy the Panther games “continuous play style” very much.

    I also enjoy reading the background to the units involved. The orbat is important to me too.

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