If you were going to recommend a wargame today, which one would it be?

I've got some birthday money that is burning a hole in my pocket.  Any thoughts on which game to buy?

My historical preferences are: ACW, Napoleonics, WW2, Vietnam era, modern warfare. I have been looking for a good Roman era tactical game (not sure if that exists).

I am considering:

War in the East by Gary Grigsby and Vietnam '65 but other than that I am out of ideas.

Feel free to suggest a game below!


Johan said…
Are you already playing Combat Mission? If not, the latest one, Black Sea, is highly recommended, as is the latest WWII module, Red Thunder.

Other than that, if you are considering War in the East, it just had a Steam release and is 30% off there. That's not much, considering that the game is 5 years old and still really pricey, even with the discount. But that's wargaming for you, the prices are extremely high, compared to other genres.
Chris said…
Thanks Johan for the comment. I have Red thunder, Shock Force and Fortress Italy from Battlefront but I don't have the Black Sea game yet. I saw the steam sale and that is really the only reason I considering the game. Have you played WitE?
Johan said…
No, my interests are more tactical than the operational/strategic level of WitE, so I do not own that game. I might still possibly pick it up in the future though, if there is a more substantial discount.

I do have Black Sea though, and if you like the WWII titles I'm sure you'd enjoy Black Sea too, unless you have little or no interest in modern warfare.
Chris said…
I do like modern warfare and I think I will put Black Sea on my considering list. I played the demo when it first came out and thought it was interesting. Thanks for the comments!
RangerX3X said…
This is just my 2 cents adjusted for inflation, but War in the East is a monster wargame that chews people up and spits them out (either you love it and are never heard from again, or you hate it and hate yourself for spending $60 on it just to play it for two hours and give up due to its complexity). I don’t own the game and have never played it, but I gather that much on the gazillion reviews I have read about it, and every time I came close to purchasing it I opted for something else.

Vietnam ’65 is $9.99 on Steam and frankly if you have even a passing interest in that era of combat it is well worth the money. Although not a true gronard type wargame by any sense, it just had a major update that improved virtually every aspect of the game play and it can be quite satisfying to win a mission in that one. As far as indie titles go, this is perhaps one of the best ones out there.

If I were to recommend anything not mentioned on your list, something that is at the top of my Steam wish list is Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm. I have the original Flashpoint Germany and it is a quite enjoyable and challenging effort, so I am hoping that the new game has some potential as I really like the late Cold War setting.

In the end though there are truly too many good games and too little time to play them.
Marco said…
Command Ops...... Just kidding, you got it since day 1.

I recommend Graviteam Tactics, really hard core WWII East Front with good graphics and impeccable and implacable simulation of eastern front.
For tactical games in the ancient era I would recommend the games of Paul Bruffell.
You can get them at HPS http://www.hpssims.com/Pages/Products/Ancient/RCW/RCW.asp
They are similiar to John Tiller games. I have a couple and like them.
Or you wait till this is released https://ancientarmies.wordpress.com/
Looks like an ancient Command Ops.
Chris said…
Thank you for all of these great comments!
florian said…
I would recommend "Graviteam Tactics: Operation Star" its on Steam.
There are several eastern front and a few more modern dlc's available (like Operation Hooper for example)

Its a real hardcore simulation, imagine Combat Mission with a more detailed C2 simulation, less micro-management and a operational layer !

Or take a look at "Steel Armor - Blaze of War", its a tank simulation from the same developers.

Another game you could consider (if you want a Hex game) is "Decisive Campaigns: The Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris", its also on Steam !
Mircea Pauca said…
I assume Rome: Total War would be too old or too un-grognardy for your tastes?

A (pausable or accelerable) real-time 3D game of grand tactics in the ancient era, focuses on Romans vs various barbarians, Carthage of course, early and late Greeks, Macedonians, Eastern empires etc.
Definitely inspired from some miniatures rules in its internal mechanics (designer having done a grognardy computer game in the late 1980's on same Ancients theme; R:TW is mostly a 3D-ification of that concept). A player controls like 10-20 'stands', not each soldier, and they have some nice emergent behaviours on their own.

Don't know, has Napoleonics been done well like this recently? Like in your blog's title photo?
JC said…
Happy birthday!

Steel Beasts ProPE?

Peter Winship said…
Happy Birthday, Chris! I've been playing CO2, CMRT, CMBS, JTS Antietam, JTS Waterloo, BPW, Liepzig, Bautzen, JTS PB Kursk and other JTS PBEM games. But it was you that got me into JTS games so you won't need anymore of them. Black Sea is spot on. I would go with that. Peter
Chris said…
Hah. Thanks Peter! How is Antietam? I don't have any Tiller ACW games.
Peter Winship said…
It's great. The system is slightly different to the Nappy system ( a tad simpler, I think) in that you aren't dealing with cavalry charges (no lances by then...) and skirmishers are abstracted rather than actually hived off the main counter. Plus you can move fairly well in line formation. Little things like that. It works gracefully and the unit IDs are all very clear. The battles (PBEM, anyway) play out pretty much to history if you take the historical routes. Not sure about the AI. I've ended up more or less ignoring JTS AI, because getting PBEM games is so easy, and it's certainly better to learn that way, I think. If I want to play myself I do hotseat against myself, which works great to practice bigger battles and movements. I will get Getysburg in due course too. It seems to be the most played. There's one big minus in the ACW games (for me) in that they don't have the third level of 2d zoom that the Nappy games nearly all have now, and that makes it quite hard for me to see, with my eyes. I wish they would patch that.

I also played a lot of GTOS and FCRS, by the way - though no longer. Both these games, from those mentioned above, are distinguished by having pretty developed enemy AI (and GTOS has good friendly AI too), moving in the direction of the kind of AI development in CO2. I gave up on FCRS because I found the scale to be dull, after a while. It's 500m hexes, I think, and you end up with close range battles, eventually, where you can't really see what's going on (counters on top of each other). I also found the enemy AI unimaginative, to say the least, so that most battles ended up played out with massive soviet losses (me as the US) and yet the AI just kept pushing the soviet armour into ambushes etc. Maybe that's realistic, but it felt a bit WW2 to me. That said, the system in FCRS is superb and the maps are now great (since Plodder got involved0 and the dev team all great guys. I will certainly come back to it, I think, and hope they will do a WW2 iteration with smaller scale. I think that will work much better. I have played a lot of WITE and WITW too, but ultimately find the scale in those to be really daft for a turn-based system. Moving units that size a week at a go you can just cover too much ground before your opponent can react to make it realistic, for me. GTOS Is fantastic but flawed, in many little ways, but one big way, for me. It's a game that looks like it should play like the CM games, but it's definitely not. In fact, you have to command units more like in CO2, trusting the AI, because there are just not the detailed effective terrain features used in the CM series to make tactics realistic. In GTOS you cannot actually move a platoon up behind a hedge and carefully position them in cover. Instead, you have to trust the AI to do that. And it doesn't. Hence casualties are really stupid. Troops really get wiped out in a totally unrealistic way and there's not much you can do about it. So I gave it up, for now, but will probably buy GTMF when it comes, hoping for improvements.

Lol. Hope all this info is helpful! You probably know all this already. For me, CO" still the best thing out there, hands down, if you want to play a computer, or play real time against a human.
Peter Winship said…
Thanks to The Shattered Sword for the heads up on this game: https://ancientarmies.wordpress.com/

Looks very interesting. Hope it gets somewhere. Like all one man shows, I fear it will be forever in development, or beta....
Peter Winship said…
Forgot to mention naval games, Chris. I have played CMANO (and can't get into it at all, so far - perhaps it's just too complicated for me!)But for me the real unsung gem of all naval games is the NWS Steam and Iron series. Both Steam and Iron (WW1) and RJW (Russo-Jap war) are truly superb games, with fantastic clean design and a great AI. They have recently put out another game - Rule the Waves - in which you build up a navy for a select country and take it through the great years of (roughly) pre WW2 battleship conflict. It looks like another really choice offering. If you're at all interested in this period of history at sea then you MUST try one of these games. Trust me.

Here's a link to an AAR that's just started for the new game, so you can get a feel of it all (assuming you haven't already tried these!)


Chris said…
Thanks Peter for the comments. I have heard good things about the Iron and NWS steam series. Will check them out!