While doing yard work this morning I started thinking about ETO wargames. Then I started thinking if I made an ETO wargame what would I want in it. I'm not talking about all the systems it would take to make the game, just some basic stuff I would like in my perfect ETO wargame. Here are the items I thought of:

1. The game should fit on a 6' x 5' table. That is the size of my gaming table, any more than that and the wife has to park outside. Now I don't care if she parks outside but trying to convince her.....

2. An easy production aspect of the game. Something like TSR's ETO or GD's AETO. WiFFE is a little too much for my taste while SFE has a little too little.

3. Some way of upgrading units throughout the game. I know some games abstract this out by saying all armies upgraded throughout so its just a wash. However, I want my Soviet armies to get to be truly awesome, and I want the Grossdeutschland (sp?) to become devastating.

4. Corps/ Army size units with some divisions as needed.

5. A few "chrome" units like commandos, guard units, marines, etc.

6. Headquarters units for the various armies. With this in mind I want the HQ's to play a significant part in the war. They would have to be activated to control the various corps/armies in battle.

7. Strength markers!! I want to be able to tailor my corps/ armies by moving strength markers along the front, similiar to say Barbarossa and Air & Armor. I know people don't like this aspect but I think it is really cool. Even when playing solitare I sometimes forget the value of the SP's under units I just moved. If not this then something along the lines of Russian Front.

8. A strategic war that is not overly complicated. I want to be able to place units into the strategic warfare box, roll a die or two and then apply the results.

9. A naval war that is fun to play but not too complicated. I like the way JP3R does this with the different boxes in each sea area. I personally would like a fleet system where you assign different squadrons to respective fleets and then send them out but I think it might be a little much.

10. A combat system that maybe has a variety of results and has bonuses for combined arms, air support, terrain, etc.

11. An air system similiar to SFE or ETO. Simple but not simplistic.

Obviousely I am not sure how all of this would work out but it seems like a good game to me. What do you guys think should be in your perfect ETO wargame.

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Replies to This Discussion

Not what you want to hear on a mostly board wargaming forum, but the old "Clash of Steel" game has most, if not all of what you ask. See my recent AAR at http://www.garykrockover.com/uploads/cos/

Please check out Sturm Europa! if you haven't already. I can confidentally say it fulfills all of your criteria and then some (except for #4 because the game is army level). It is due of before the end of the year.


The BGG page is very active but the CSW page is a little out of date, but I'll be updating very soon.
1. The game should fit on a 6' x 5' table. That is the size of my gaming table, any more than that and the wife has to park outside. Now I don't care if she parks outside but trying to convince her.....

Dan, While the physical size of the board is important to me too, for me as an avid pbem player of games, the aspect of size most important to me is playability. When a game is so large that the physical task of moving all the units on all the fronts begins to seem like too much of a chore for one person then, for me, a game is too large. Struggle for Europe fits on your table as you well know, and more importantly, it is playable by two people. It's size does not interfere by taking away too much of our gray matter from the mechanics of play. This balance is for me the test. Any larger and the game would need to be made simpler or it is truly meant for multiplayer play. It is not surprising to me that AWAW and AETO are far more complex than SfE. If SfE were as complex as either of those games it would be very hard to play by just 2 players. That a game be playable by just 2 players is important to me because, again, I am chiefly focused on pbem play and games with 3 players or more generally take much longer than those of equal size do with two players. But beyond this, with the exception of a half dozen or so small pockets around the US, you are lucky if you can find just one other person to play ftf with.


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