Free war / strategy board games

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Turuk
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Re: Free war / strategy board games

Post by Turuk »

Jetryl wrote:You can play videogames in person - It's called hotseat. Or a 'lan party'. It's exactly like playing board games in person, except the games suck less. I'm not arguing that it was impossible to have a good time doing tabletop games; I'm arguing that it's better on a computer. It's like the argument between reading news on paper, versus reading news on a computer.

Seriously. Imagine if wesnoth took 2-4 times longer to play than it does now (no rule changes). Be honest with yourself - would you still be able to play it? I know it would be so slow that I wouldn't be able to enjoy it at all. For me, once I played risk on a computer, it was "once you go black, you don't go back." The first time I played a computerized version, I pretty much permanently swore off the board version. It was like taking rocks out of my shoes. I haven't played a non-computer strategy game in years, and I'm not looking back.
I am well aware of that, but I think it's a matter of personal preference. It is a many times easier to play a board game on a computer than in person, since it manages everything for you? Sure. I would still rather play such a game with people I can joke around with and see then writing lines of chat to them in a box. The human interaction is fun for me, particularly when it is done over a board and not shuffling in and out of a seat so that the next person can take their turn.

I entirely understand your point, but I think distinctly stating one way is better than another is a matter of preference based on the individual and the game.
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Re: Free war / strategy board games

Post by appleide »

Why has no one mentioned WARHAMMER 40K???
A 750 points 1v1 game on a 48 x 48 inch board can be finished in under an hour.
(750 points -> maybe half a dozen squads, each with 10-20 units.. More units than a wesnoth game! )

The only downside is the huge capital cost. You'll probably want to start with $500 for your army, and then you'll need to get glue and paint to make them look good. And then, you'll need to get your friends to do the same. THEN, you need to make the board, and having played for half a decade I still haven't learnt to make a nice board; We were too lazy so we just popped into a games workshop store.

Oh and did I mention you need to learn the rules too? (preferably get the rule book (has rules) as well as the codex (contains stats for units) for your army)

I haven't played for several years now though; People I used to play with defected to WoW one by one... I guess we played it only because it was an excuse to get together.

I still reminisce the days when I spent a whole week painting my army, then looking upon it when its finished with some sense of pride. :(

It was worth it. :) And no, I don't particularly like Dawn Of War the computer game.

EDIT: oh damn... Not Free. But then you can use lame proxies to represent anything...
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Turuk
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Re: Free war / strategy board games

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appleide wrote:Why has no one mentioned WARHAMMER 40K???
Most definitely not free, as you mentioned. ;)

If you weren't in Australia, I'd say dig out your army and we could have a go at it.
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Re: Free war / strategy board games

Post by Maeglin Dubh »

Turuk wrote:
appleide wrote:Why has no one mentioned WARHAMMER 40K???
Most definitely not free, as you mentioned. ;)

If you weren't in Australia, I'd say dig out your army and we could have a go at it.
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Turuk
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Re: Free war / strategy board games

Post by Turuk »

I have seen that before, and it's not a bad substitute if you have nowhere else to go or you want to really play with one particular person. It's missing some parts of the gameplay too, but it is free, so no complaints.
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Re: Free war / strategy board games

Post by Jetrel »

Turuk wrote:I am well aware of that, but I think it's a matter of personal preference. It is a many times easier to play a board game on a computer than in person, since it manages everything for you? Sure. I would still rather play such a game with people I can joke around with and see then writing lines of chat to them in a box. The human interaction is fun for me, particularly when it is done over a board and not shuffling in and out of a seat so that the next person can take their turn.
I suppose an argument about this is silly, though, because just by the numbers, videogames have firmly established themselves as the more popular medium, by perhaps several orders of magnitude. Because most people are like me, and just don't have the necessary free time. And we can get the exact same "human element" playing with our friends, in the same room; maybe via laptops+LAN, or most often via a console.
I entirely understand your point, but I think distinctly stating one way is better than another is a matter of preference based on the individual and the game.
Everything's an individual preference. However, I believe certain activities are objectively better than others. If you want to peck a memo out on a typewriter, or walk when you could bike … I guess I'm just gonna shake my head in bewilderment. Have fun with that.
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Re: Free war / strategy board games

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Jetryl wrote:Everything's an individual preference. However, I believe certain activities are objectively better than others. If you want to peck a memo out on a typewriter, or walk when you could bike … I guess I'm just gonna shake my head in bewilderment. Have fun with that.
So that is your individual preference, not everyone has to share your beliefs. There are certainly times I would chose to walk when I could bike, as there are many different inputs that influence my decision and will sway my choice differently then yours. It's the same with choosing how you want to play those games.

If you feel that you are always right about what should be done in any circumstance and feel that others who do not choose as you do are therefore always wrong.... I'm just going to have to shake my head in bewilderment.
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Re: Free war / strategy board games

Post by Velensk »

I would feel incredibly silly playing Starcraft the Board game, the computer game and not just because of the name. The computer game works better on the computer than a computerized version of the board game would work. At the same time the board game is interesting in it's own right and has much to offer that you couldn't get from the computer game, and is also more to play in person (though I wish I could get a computer to set the game up and clarify rules, that is about it). It is quite simply more fun to play it when you can watch your opponents expressions and engage in table talk because it is a free for all, and a very paranoid one at that.
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Re: Free war / strategy board games

Post by Jetrel »

Turuk wrote:
Jetryl wrote:Everything's an individual preference. However, I believe certain activities are objectively better than others. If you want to peck a memo out on a typewriter, or walk when you could bike … I guess I'm just gonna shake my head in bewilderment. Have fun with that.
There is always a better way to do things. Desiring to find this is what makes us human, instead of animal. If we didn't care about having a better way to do everything, we wouldn't ever learn things. The core reason to learn at all, is to make life better.

Turuk wrote:If you feel that you are always right about what should be done in any circumstance and feel that others who do not choose as you do are therefore always wrong.... I'm just going to have to shake my head in bewilderment.
Aspiring to that is actually the job of people who create things. We don't know everything, obviously. But if we didn't try to "know what you want, better than you, yourself, know what you want", nothing would ever get better. We fail at "knowing what's best for you" all the time, but sometimes we succeed, and that makes all the failure worth it. It makes the world wonderful. Ever get a hug when you didn't realize how bad you needed one? That's what we do. It's simultaneously a very conceited, but very kind thing to assume we know what someone wants. At worst, it's annoying, but at best, it's a godsend.


Do you want us to stop? If there's nothing wrong with the status quo, there's no reason to improve anything, you know. As a scientist, I don't think there's ever a plateau, where we finally reach it and say "okay, this is good enough. We can stop growing, and learning now. We've reached the end, this is it."


I mean, I know we're mortal. We've got only so long to live, and you don't expect an individual to go on some silly crusade to make everything better, because sooner or later you're gonna die. But as a race, we do exactly that; some of us cover for what the other guys don't care about, and collectively, we do engage in such a crusade. Here, you're watching one guy who cares about improving games, conversing with a guy who's happy with what he's got. My passion is making games more fun for people. I suppose you, yourself don't care about my improvements in my cloudcuckooland, but I know a lot of people DO care, and that's why I do it. It's why I work on wesnoth - if I can't make it better, why bother?
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Re: Free war / strategy board games

Post by Dave »

I personally prefer some games in board game format. The game has to be sufficiently simple for the board game format not to significantly extend its length.

Such games include Chess, Go, Risk, (which I don't think is a particularly good game), Monpoly, (which I think is a terrible game), Settlers of Catan, Carcassone, and some others.

There are a bunch of advantages to playing such games as board games:

- they can be played across or around a table, which is generally more conducive to socialization than any form of computer play
- any and all mechanics are, by definition, completely understood by players
- there is a certain satisfaction in rolling dice, seeing the results, counting out moves afterwards; there is a certain satisfaction in holding cards in one's hand, in holding and moving well-made playing pieces
- friends and relatives who are still suspicious of or misunderstand computer technology can grasp board games. I can arrive at my family's Christmas celebration with Settlers of Catan and get a game going. With any computer version, that just wouldn't work. At all.

Note that this ONLY works with games that are specifically designed as board games. There is no way that Wesnoth, with unmodified rules, would work as a board game. It's just far too complicated.

However, for this reason, I like studying the rules of good board games closely. A board game has to fit a lot of fun in some very simple rules to be successful. I like simplicity in game design. As such, I think that the restrictions board games place on designers force them to come up with very simple, elegant mechanics to make fun games with. I think that studying board games closely is very educational for anyone wanting to make turn based computer games.

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Re: Free war / strategy board games

Post by Thanatos »

Turuk wrote: So that is your individual preference, not everyone has to share your beliefs. There are certainly times I would chose to walk when I could bike, as there are many different inputs that influence my decision and will sway my choice differently then yours. It's the same with choosing how you want to play those games.

If you feel that you are always right about what should be done in any circumstance and feel that others who do not choose as you do are therefore always wrong.... I'm just going to have to shake my head in bewilderment.
Kudos to you, Turuk.
Jetryl wrote:There is always a better way to do things. Desiring to find this is what makes us human, instead of animal. If we didn't care about having a better way to do everything, we wouldn't ever learn things. The core reason to learn at all, is to make life better.
This is one opinion. There are others. (PM me, if you want some references.) Also, if you want to make something better, you have to ask yourself: what is the better? Which goal do you want to achieve? Depending on your goal it may be much better to walk than to bike and so on. Turuk gave you a hint on that. And you won't find an answer to this question of "how should it be?" in science but only in philosophy (or religion, if you are a religious person).

As I said in another thread already, I think you are generalizing your views too much.


As for the topic: What Dave said.
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Re: Free war / strategy board games

Post by kupo »

Interesting discussion. For the most part I agree with Dave. I'm a huge board game fan, and in my mind nothing beats a well designed board game shared around a table with friends. Most good (emphasis on the good) board games can be played fine on the computer, but are much more fun in person. Dave mentioned Settlers of Catan and Carcasson two of my favorites, but I also love Ticket to Ride, Power Grid, 10 days in Europe, Daytona 500 (look on ebay, it rocks!) And others. I've never found a good free strategy board game. Cheap Ass games makes some good cheap board games but they aren't as cheap ass anymore... They used to be printed on index cards. I miss those days.

I find most computer games make terrible board games because they would require a lot of tedious setup, dice rolling and arithmetic. Thats a big reason I haven't been tempted to try any of the Wesnoth board game variants posted here. Velensk and Jetryl have a point that some not so good board games (Risk is my classic example) actually become fun as computer games. Risk takes about 2 hours of tedious dice rolling to play as a board game, and about 5 minutes to play as a casual strategy computer game. I still play a lot of iConquer (mac risk game with custom maps).

Lastly, it has its own thread, but I have to plug my own game Constellation which I wrote to be a computer game with the feel of a board game. You can get it from http://www.paperdragongames.com. You can download and play for free but you now have to pay $6 to unlock all the features.

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Re: Free war / strategy board games

Post by panzervb »

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/39594. I made this, offered for free. Tabletop game, no board required. No campaigns. A lot of assembly required.

No one rated yet, guessed that's because it is so terrible. What can you blame for the work of an 11-year old?
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Re: Free war / strategy board games

Post by appleide »

Jetryl wrote: Everything's an individual preference. However, I believe certain activities are objectively better than others. If you want to peck a memo out on a typewriter, or walk when you could bike … I guess I'm just gonna shake my head in bewilderment. Have fun with that.
Hey... I can't paint my own units in Wesnoth!

Actually I could...digitally using photoshop... I'm only good painting actual models with a paint brush though. Using actual brush and rolling dice is also more fun for me than just clicking the mouse. I guess I can see how my grand parents feel when they say computers are complicated to use....

Sometimes it's just too much effort to adapt... (And incidentally, risk; Failure needs time to recover from)

An 80 year old has been walking to the nearest town for the past 75 years, 4 hours every day to and back. This year someone gives him a bike and he refuses to ride it. Why? you ask. He probably thinks learning to ride that bike would lead to him falling and breaking bones that would take years for him to heal. Years that he doesn't have.

Jetryl shakes his head in his bewilderment because riding a bike is objectively better than walking.

Jetryl wrote: Do you want us to stop? If there's nothing wrong with the status quo, there's no reason to improve anything, you know.
Im going to go a bit off topic here... There IS something wrong status quo... Population is growing yet Earth's resources remain finite. The only thing keeping us happy is our continued technological advance. Also... US maintains a constant account deficit; Either US defaults, creditors forgives US's debts, creditors stop lending money, or US economy nosedive caused by people saving money.
I wouldn't be as confident to say "There's nothing wrong with the status quo". When the status quo of something has nothing wrong, it is GREAT news; That means you can divert effort into improving the situation in cases where the status quo DOES have something wrong.

But I agree with the rest of your points.
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