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What does board wargaming do a PC wargame cannot?
^ More at the link
That is a good question. People often ask me why I bother playing these huge board wargames when I can just play almost the same thing with a Matrix Games PC title or a John Tiller game.
My main reason for loving physical games is also the tactile sensation as well as the ability to see a big situation in one sweep.
And while I love computer games, with a PC game, you are locked into the assumptions and model that the developer has made. While with cardboard, you are free to mash up different games: A map from one with the counters from another; try a different game's CRT to even things up, etc.
You can add factors to the counters, play with house rules, change up the reinforcement schedule to reflect better / different information, make corrections, etc.
And, barring a disaster, you are also able to play with the physical game forever. I have some beloved computer games for which I'm keeping a variety of virtual systems running so that I can fire them up once in a while. At some point, they're going to disappear. A disk crash, media failure or inability to maintain them.
cardboard has two strong points
1] The Big Picture: You can see everything at a glance.
2] Rules changes and modifications are easy if you don't have to modify the physical components.
3] Much Greater variety in products
That said I play most of my "Board Games" on Vassal now and most of the games I want to play have small enough maps that I can zoom out enough to see the whole thing. Down side to Vassal is if you can't follow the instructions to make a useable module you are dependent upon the kindness of others. So whether or not there is a VASSAL module or is likely to be one restricts my choice in games. But still way more VASSAL modules than computer games.
If sim cloud cover and false intel could limit info on a map we would better appreciate cardboard.
For me it comes down to the tactile feel of having a game in front of me and being able to view the entire expanse. Especially if it's something I find graphically appealing, like a La Bataille type game or anything that fits one's fancy. I guess it's akin to the argument of eBook reader vs. physical book....
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