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Where to start?
#1
So I'm new to PG but not new to tactical gaming, I have been looking at picking up a PG game for a while now but the shipping costs from the US have put me off. Though I have decided to take the plunge and order one of the games.

I have read a number of posts talking about Elsenborn being the best to start with but these threads date to a couple of years ago and it seems a whole new batch of 4th edition stand alone games have come out.

So I just wanted to ask the community which would be best to start with, invasion 44 looked liked it might be a good starting point but after seeing the 2 maps it comes with it looks like the scenarios might become a bit samey as they both seem to be covered in hedgerows.

I'm interested in all theatres I'm just looking for advice on a good solid first purchase to try out the system.

Thanks in advance
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#2
Hi and welcome! I for one think that any games with hedgerow-packed maps are ABYSMAL choices for introductory games, yet Avalanche Mike stubbornly keeps picking them for that role (Airborne, Invasion 1944). I would recommend more wide-open spaces, or at least only wooded hills to deal with terrain-wise, to start with. The 2 Kursk games, Broken Axis, and maybe Liberation 1944 (that has scattered but not dense-packed hedgerows) are good choices, I think.

Elsenborn's great too!

Pat
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#3
(03-29-2017, 01:59 PM)Aussie_digger Wrote: So I'm new to PG but not new to tactical gaming, I have been looking at picking up a PG game for a while now but the shipping costs from the US have put me off. Though I have decided to take the plunge and order one of the games.

I have read a number of posts talking about Elsenborn being the best to start with but these threads date to a couple of years ago and it seems a whole new batch of 4th edition stand alone games have come out.

So I just wanted to ask the community which would be best to start with, invasion 44 looked liked it might be a good starting point but after seeing the 2 maps it comes with it looks like the scenarios might become a bit samey as they both seem to be covered in hedgerows.

I'm interested in all theatres I'm just looking for advice on a good solid first purchase to try out the system.

Thanks in advance

I would suggest An Army at Dawn. It has a nice variety of units and nations. I think the terrain issues are a minimum and you get a lot of experience with elevations. It is bigger than the introductory games but has a nice variety in scenario sizes.  AP does have a introductory scenario that you can by just paying shipping (not sure if they are still offering that option). Make sure to pick something that is in print and shipping otherwise it may be while before you see anything.
"It was a battle right fierce and terrible" - Froissart
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#4
Thanks for the early responses, just to clarify I'm not daunted by different terrain types, it just looked like invasion was going to be 1 hedgerow battle after another. Where I'm looking for something that will give a good variation of what can be found in the series.

I had a look at the free trial game, but was going to be $27 US posted so I'd rather just get a full game and try it out.
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#5
The trial game has a Vassal module you may want to try. Army at Dawn is a good starter. Invasion '44 is the official starter, but I think the terrain is too congested for those learning the system. Elsenborn Ridge has been the popular starter for years.

For something closer to home, you might try Kokoda Campaign. I wouldn't suggest it as a starter because of jungle fighting. For a longer campaign, you may be able to find a copy of Waltzing Matilda.
... actually you Americans are probably the most dangerous people in the world. This is because you treat war as a job, and your culture has an excellent work ethic.
-- paraphrased from John Keegan's Fields of Battle

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#6
I hear you on your level of dauntedness. But even as a player of the system for > 15 years, I look at hedgerow battles and go "UGH!" There is a special cognitive load with those particular rules that is oppressive, for me at least. Maybe I should crack open my unplayed copy of Invasion, though, and see if perhaps it's not so bad. But I still stick by my recommendations, and would add that Army at Dawn sounds good too (I don't have it).
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#7
Elsenborn Ridge:
  • Maps are well done (and one has option to purchase the winterized set).
  • Varied terrain: some open boards, others wooded hills (both light and regular woods).  
  • Scenarios well documented (all have at least two plays): #09 is an iconic starter scenario whilst #22 (St. Vith: The Fall) had perhaps the most well-read AAR (by Doug McNair) in all of APL history.  
  • Provides counters for many supplements.
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#8
I recommend starting with An Army at Dawn, Elsenborn Ridge, or Fall of France.
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#9
Go with a topic that interest you the most but a newer title with 4th edition rules.
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#10
(03-30-2017, 02:21 AM)Hugmenot Wrote: I recommend starting with An Army at Dawn, Elsenborn Ridge, or Fall of France.

Any of the three would be good, but my preference would be An Army at Dawn. When Fall of France is reprinted, that would also be high on the recommended list. Selecting a theatre that interests you is also a good bet, but the history study that is stimulated by any selection is fun for its own end.
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