Grognard Wargamer Thread!

Thanks! I’ve never received compliments on my counter clipping skill. This is a big day for me.

Yes, I’ve got the 2mm Oregon one, as linked by @sincilbanks.

I’ve heard from a couple of counter clipper experts that the Heavy Duty one is more durable, but so far my regular version has held up. If/when this one breaks, I’ll try the heavy duty version. I like the 2mm version on everything, and in my head wonder if the difference between 2mm and 2.5mm might mean less torque on the clipper, and therefore the 2mm would have a longer lifespan than the 2.5mm. But my understanding of physics is pretty much limited to knowing things will hit the ground when I let go of them.

I might shelled for this, but here goes…

My experience with the Leader series so far has been with Sherman Leader, and I really enjoyed the campaign I played with it. I love the dynamic campaign, the story that evolves as you play through your battles, the leveling up of your leaders, the frustrations and last-second victories. Very much a beer and pretzels sort of experience, but there are enough meaningful decisions in the gameplay to satisfy me. I really liked it as a gentle way back into wargaming.

There are caveats.

  • There are places where the rules are unpolished (we’ve discussed them here). I agree with @tomchick’s take on this point.
  • My underlying game board warped after a few months.
  • It’s a game, not a simulation. Combat is unrealistic. Your mortars and Stuart tanks can take out Tiger tanks pretty efficiently. If that sentence bothers you, you will hate this game.
  • There’s a good bit of randomness and luck involved. Sometimes you’re going to lose a campaign because of one unlucky die roll (more likely in campaigns against the Japanese).

I’m not sure how much the other games in the Leader series vary from Sherman Leader. I’d like to try Hornet Leader at some point, and would be inclined to start with that one if I were to start over.

Digs foxhole, puts helmet on.

Ah, yes, that makes sense then! Point taken. In that case, what about something like Empire of the Sun as well? And I think we’re forgetting what some consider the best solitaire game out there: RAF!

You could also say the US won the moment the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. (Or was that the Germans?)

Thank you, Senator Blutowski.

I just need to say this: that heavy duty clipper is the biggest fucking unmitigated piece of shit product I have seen for clipping counters. Sorry for the language, but it sucks total ass. Yes, it is absolutely more durable than the more expensive one with the plastic handle. I don’t care how long a product lasts — it can last until the edge of Time when Dio loses the rising sun on a misty morning – if it jacks up my counters. It undoubtedly works for clipping the stabby corners off laminated badges, which is what is was designed for. But for clipping counters, it can easily slip and take a chunk out of the edge of your counter unless you sit there and carefully align the counter each time. The “deluxe” one literally cannot misclip. It’s unpossible. Which lets you sit back and listen to a podcast or even stream while clipping which I thought was my genius idea until I found out Ardwulf had already thought of it. Even if you’re careful, you might get a misclip every hundred counters, which means that every game you have will have 2-20 oddballs. And as far as the durability goes, I bought my deluxe 2mm in something like 2014 and have clipped DAK, Guderian’s Blitzkrieg, Next War twice, and innumerable smaller games, and it still works exactly as it did when I first bought it. Dunno how much longer you’d want it to go to save thirty bucks, which I think is the price difference between the two. Thirty bucks! It’s like, lunch.

If you’re clipping laminated badges, I can see why you’d say, “nah, I can use the cheaper tool.” If you’re clipping counters, I cannot fathom why you would.

Wow I had no idea I had such strong feelings about that thing but I’m glad that’s over.

They would be wrong :) I do agree that it’s a good game, and enjoy it quite a bit. But it came out in 1986 and what I think is important about the Enemy Action games is that they specifically solve the problem of how to get AI to play a hex-and-counter wargame against you using basically the same rules, which had never been done before. Everything else is “system vs player.” I think it would be cool for someone who hasn’t played a board wargame in 40 years to see this magic device.

Total Ass: Warhammer III

So says the brain surgeon, LOL! ;) Yeah, it would take time but I think I’d appreciate seeing how solo board games handle AI these days. I’ve always been fascinated by AI in gaming, though my focus has been on computers, and especially the efforts to make AI more “human-like.”

And those were the good old days, old friend!

This is good to know, thanks! I saw complaints that the deluxe version breaks easily, and because of that people switched to the heavy duty version.

But fiddling with the alignment of a counter in the cutter would be an endless PITA. The time cost there would be huge if you’re going through a large game. If you have to do that with the heavy duty version, well, that’s a no go for me. I’ve got a really good system down now with just a couple of finger movements. I don’t even need to look at what I’m doing. Like you say, the deluxe version just holds the counter perfectly. And mine is holding up fine so far, probably 15 games in.

The only issue I had is the two inset screws on the cutting plate were catching the counter sometimes because the cheap tape they had over them came off. I’ve covered them up again with a bit of clear packing tape and everything just flies along now.

See all of this proves that traditional wargaming as a hobby is at least as much about the collecting and curating process than about playing. When I sold my collection of maybe 400 games back in the 1990s (grad school, my second go at it, was expensive!), I realized that for the vast majority of the games I had never actually played them. I had punched, trimmed, sorted, and stored counters, maybe set up a battle to look at once or twice, read the rules, or some of them, and then bought something else to wash, rinse repeat.


Heh, I think the cat is out of the bag! Same with my Lego Technic stuff, though I do usually get them built eventually. I have more fun sorting them than anything else!

Being a spectrum person does have its benefits. I can get loads of value out of staring at a box of parts for hours.

Back in Normandy…

0800 June 6, 1944 - A foothold at great cost. Command structure in place, US troops prepare to push inland. Just to the west, things have fared much worse, and all told six US infantry companies have been wiped out. We’re two shy of the catastrophic loss condition.

0945 June 6 1944 - Aerial photo of Omaha Beach at the point where Allied command abandoned the beachhead (catastrophic loss). US forces had reached the high ground but the losses were too extreme to continue.

Super fun time playing the first attempt. Now I’m trying again with the learning scenario. It’s already going worse than the first time! Good to know that I’ve learned from my first attempt.

To be fair, in my second attempt, I decided to try to rush for the shingle in groups rather than haphazardly. So I sent four units into heavy fire from one position at the same time, figuring they couldn’t hit all of us. But then the Germans drew a reinforcement event that put an extra troop right into that position. They then immediately all opened fire and pretty much wiped out that whole group in one 15-minute span. D’oh! Sorry guys!

So now I have another idea for getting to the shingle safely, that I’ve noted for attempt #3.

I like how you are trying to keep the counters lined up nicely. One of my pet peeves is playing board games against people who are MESSY. I mean, “piles of chits only vaguely aligned to the hexrows” type of messy. Drives me batty.

Thanks, I think! I’m not sure where it comes from, as I’m pretty disorganized in real life. But crooked picture frames on walls annoy me to no end; keeping wargaming counters reasonably tidy feels related to that in some genetic, ingrained, OCD way.


You were talking to me, right?


(I should note that one of my Tom Chick Interface Mods ™ is to invert disrupted counters, so Baker company and that battalion HQ are upside down for a reason other than to antagonize @TheWombat’s OCD. But the positioning of everyone else, including Chesty Puller’s leftward pull, is just how war happens.)

Gar! I’m trying to rearrange them on my screen but it’s not working.

Ok I gotta say this is cool.

There is actually a method to the madness. I don’t have OCD about things being lined up neatly, but it drives me batty if I can’t at least see the number of steps on every chit. So in the process of making sure all chits on top are slightly offset to one side, everything gets all cattywumpus.

I think my brain would explode if I tried to play a wargame with a stacking limit higher than 2.


This thread is pure chit and hex porn.

No one sneeze!