There are those SPI games that have bit the dust over time--some for deservedly good reasons--and others that we still keep playing even after all these many years.  I thought I'd devote a section to those that we break out now and then to sit down and play.  Call them classics--call them whatever; we like them and, at least in our mind, they have never been superseded.  

What SPI games have you kept over the years and don't think you'll ever replace with anything newer or shinier?  Why?

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Too bad there's no Voting mechanism on this- StarForce was my first thought, too.

I tried to replace Battle of Monmouth with the newer GMT title. It is the quintessential example of your thesis - newer, shiner, etc. But it just would not take for me. While I would wish the original did offer a little more deliniation of the Dragoons as Cavalry, the original has SO MANY beautifully integrated pieces:

  • the limited ability to change formation
  • point cost to change facing
  • the two step demoralized-then-rout, rally to demoralized-then-good order
  • Routed units that aren't rallied keep on running (!) 
  • and the potential for an infectious morale collapse thanks to retreats through friendly units!

This game has it all!

All these details, combined with the regimental manuver element and leadership ala GBACW give the player a feeling they are really commanding an army of troops from the time of the Battle for Monmouth.

Perhaps the only other thing I would like to add would be smoke counters (and perhaps an extra DRM to hit once all the troops are enshrouded in smoke) since EVERYTHING else about the game certainly has the look and feel nailed down!   

This particular title generated its own system and a number of titles that applied it in a variety of other situations.  Indeed, we'd not seen such a wide application since SPI's original KURSK and the spawning of the SPI "Divisional" series.  Some might say A VICTORY DENIED has superseded this title, but I'd say it complements it rather than replaces it.  I for one have no problem playing this game at a drop of a hat.  It retains a high competitive aspect as well as being quite the puzzle for new players.  There are few wargames on this particular subject and PANZERGRUPPE GUDERIAN will be always considered the granddaddy of them all!  Again, this game typified how a magazine issue game could not only stand on its own compared to its boxed brethren, it could be considered one of the best in its genre!

Yes, AVD may be a more historical version of the battle... but nothing can replace this classic!

Yes, this was the other one I thought of when I read your opening blurb. Excellent choice.

Sometimes one can measure the longevity of a particular title by how many reprints/subsequent editions it goes through.  Such is the case with this particular game.  Once again, we have a Strategy and Tactics magazine title that is far more than just another magazine issue game.  In this particular case, TSR/SPI published a boxed version that contained another map and additional counters so you could play the D-Day invasions as well as the OPERATION COBRA breakout.  That was also successful, to the point where Decision Games revised this version and published COBRA again in the pages of Strategy and Tactics.  

The latest Youst version isn't bad. You just have to parse the rules in his mindset and previous experience...

I liked this one too, and I also enjoyed Normandy, which got played to death in my teens. The different set-up scenarios were great, as it changed the level of difficulty for the Allies.

Not many people seem to like Normandy, but I still have my copy safely tucked away.

It's amazing that after all these years, there are no games that provide the kind of gut-wrenching tension and such an accurate portrayal of urban warfare as SPI's old CITYFIGHT does.  Oh, I've played a lot of tactical urban warfare games since this one, to include HASL RED BARRICADES, VALOR OF THE GUARDS, and even FESTUNG BUDAPEST.  They are all great.  But they are far different than this title is.  And, for my money, this one is still far and a way the best.

Far different - an entirely different order of being than those games. And great as those are, they are GAMES. CITYFIGHT is an experience!

Great work, Eric!


I'll have to play this sometime, as a homage to my Dad, who fought through Hue. ASL, Patrol, Sniper, etc just never gave me the right feeling. This looks good!

There had only been one other game of note on this particular subject--RAND's small game, CAMBRAI.  But when this title came out, it took tactical gamers by storm.  Nobody had seen a World War I game of such intoxicating interest since SPI did SOLDIERS way back when. And this was far better. It contained loads of color and detail but remained very playable despite all that.  And there have been other games on the subject since, notably ROYAL TANK CORPS by Moments In History and BREAKTHROUGH: CAMBRAI by MMP.  They are great games, but they complement--rather than replace--this venerable title.  Excalibur games has re-released it so it is still available...what other testament to its enduring qualities need be mentioned?


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