Today for FTE’s Classics we bring you our top five classic games in the war/combat genera.
#5: Axis & Allies
While A&A remains one of my personal favorite games, it falls to number five. Because it’s evolved to a point where the actual classic version pales in comparison to the modern expansive and deep rules sets we have today. Which is not a bad thing mind you, but this is one of those rare classic games where my recommendation is not to go hunting for the original, but to simply head to your Wal*Mart and pick up a brand new copy of the latest edition.
Coming in at number four is Skirmish, one of Milton Bradley's American Heritage series of excellent little was and combat sims of the ‘70s. Skirmish is set during the American Revolution, and gives players a unique experience. Where many of todays games strive to achieve balance Skirmish sets out from the start to set up an unbalanced situation, what today is called “Asymmetric Gameplay.”
This asymmetric situation means not only does each player have a different set of goals and a different set of forces with which to accomplish those goals. But they also have a completely different set of first order strategies. While both players have access to all the same mechanics, each is favored by a different one. The British player is best served by forcing the Americans into large battles where the out come is determined by dice rolls favoring the almost always larger British Army. The Americans on the other hand are best served by smaller skirmishes where the outcome is determined by a card draw.
#3 Panzer Leader
Panzer leader is one of those great classic Avalon Hill “squares on a map” games that is well balanced and has massive amounts of depth, and strategic options. But all that depth comes with an equal amount of complexity. If your looking for a challenging classic game with an amazing level of detail and depth, then Panzer Leader is only a thrift store away. While this game dates from 1974 you can still find it for reasonable prices on Ebay, and at your local Goodwill.
#2 Tactics II
Everything you need to know about the basics of Tactics II is in our video from a few weeks back. But to add to that, what makes Tactics II such a great game is it’s simplicity. Where Panzer Leader excels in complexity, Tactics II specializes in ease of play and accessibility.
Now I know a lot of you hard core war gamers are saying, “what Risk, really!” But yes Risk. Like Tactics II Risk is a great game to introduce new players to the world of world conquest, but unlike Tactics II, Risk has been in continuous production since 1959. You can go to almost any store that sells toys, and pick up a copy today.
And while Risk has evolved like Axis & Allies, Risk has continued to included the original classic rules in every version. Even the themed editions like Star Wars, or Transformers Risk still include all the components and rules to play the original classic edition. And in the end it’s that simple but yet deep original gameplay that makes Risk a classic that people have been playing for over 50 years.
Well there you go our Top Five Classic games, hope you enjoyed reading, now get out there and conquer the world…
Well at least conquer a cardboard facsimile of the world anyway.