9 Responses

  1. Jon
    Jon at |

    Great list! You have piqued my interest in Kemet! I am going to have to go check it out. Have you played any of the “Birth of America Series” games, 1175 or 1812? I have heard a lot of good press on them and would be interested in seeing how they compare to these other entry level war games.

    1. Seth
      Seth at |

      After reviewing your list, I cannot help reaching the conclusion that you are much more of a boardgamer than a wargamer (nothing wrong with that). Only three of the games actually model real wars. Furthermore, a serious wargamer would never list Memoir 44 at #1 in any list of wargames – even for beginners. Actually, aside from thematic variations, “Ancients” and “Memoir” are pretty much the same game.

      It is a good list of starters for new people interested in games that are ‘wargamish’ but a newbie would enjoy other wargames a whole lot more. Here is my own list of suggestions.

      1. Conflict of Heroes – very easy simulation of WW2 tactics to learn with superb clearly written rules

      2. A Victory Lost – an elegantly designed and easy to learn simulation of WW2 operations on the Easter Front

      3. Manoeuvre – a simple card assisted wargame with a Napoleonic Theme. Look out for a sequel that will use monsters and wizards in the near future. If I have an hour to introduce someone to wargames I use this one.

      4. Hannibal – One of the first CDGs. Basic mechanics are easy to grasp quickly and the game NEVER gets old.

      5. Hammer of the Scots – A simple superb introduction to the block game genre of wargames.

      All 5 of these games include string thematic elements, are simple to learn to play, introduce new players to common wargame mechanics and are challenging and interesting enough to still be worth playing even after a player has moved well beyond amateur status. I would say that Ancients has many of those qualities too and might be in my top 10.

      1. Daniel B
        Daniel B at |

        Hannibal is a bit longer, a full game can take 3-4 hours. I’d go with Washington’s War if we’re going for 2 hour CDGs. Hammer of the Scots is a great choice.

  2. Steven P. Van Helten
    Steven P. Van Helten at |

    Here would be my list of the Top War Games.
    1. Panzer Blitz
    2. Quebec 1759
    3. Panzerarmee Afrika
    4. Russian Campaign
    5. Third Reich
    6. BarLev
    7. Diplomacy
    8. Wooden Ships & Iron Men
    9. Panzergruppe Guderian
    10. Waterloo

  3. ian
    ian at |

    not played for years but i thought escape from colditz, would have been in top 10. very addictive and easy to pick up..looking for a similar game to that, can you recommend

  4. John
    John at |

    Having played half the games on the list, I feel Mr. Mastrangeli did an admirable job narrowing down this diverse genre into 10 “intro” titles. His list demonstrates how relatively simple strategies and tactics combined with dice rolling and card drawing play out in the realms of fantasy, ancient history, modern warfare and science fiction. Some readers may appreciate a more in-depth analysis that breaks the list into subcategories.Then again, some new tabletop gamers might fall victim to information overload.

    1. Patrick
      Patrick at |

      Twilight Struggle would also be an excellent introductory title. Simple rules plays fast and very deep.

      1. Daniel B
        Daniel B at |

        But he said wargames.

  5. calandale
    calandale at |

    I’d say it depends on why you want to play a wargame. If you just want something that has conflict in it, this list is fine (even if there are few if any games from the wargaming hobby present). If you want games that actually help ease a player into the hobby itself, I don’t know that any of these are particularly good choices – so they won’t make a transition to playing actual military simulations any easier.


Leave a Comment