I remember they made the Campaign for North Africa, which I can only describe as the equivalent of whacking your head with a hammer. 80 pages of rules, hundreds of units and a map that will require three by ten feet of your surface space for the remainder of your natural life. Once you're ready to "play," begin by filling out a log sheet for every unit - you read that right: every damn unit (hundreds in most cases). Then, take note of each unit's ratings: barrage, vulnerability, anti-armor, offensive close assault, anti aircraft. Record which pilots are flying which planes. Check plane fuel. Plan air missions. Establish supply dumps, convoys, and stores. Assign troops to trucks. Begin construction projects. Transport cargo. Repair stores. Deploy fleets. Initiate training. Check evaporation of water supplies. Pass out water, making sure the Italians get extra, since they need it to make spaghetti (I'm not making this up). Don't give up yet -- you're almost ready to move a unit!
that is soooo funny. 'Er...who wants to play "Hungry Hungry Hippos" instead?'
JediCharles: I know exactly what you are talking about. We are both very lucky to have friends who would (mostly) rather have a good time than just win all the time. Although our games often do get extremely competitive, there is always a lot of trash-talk and good-natured banter: no one ever takes it that seriously. A couple of us would definitely rather make a stunning "surprise move", than win the war the same old way.
Probably the best way to ensure variety in your gaming experience is to switch games every once in a while. Like TG Moses sounds like he really enjoys Civil War (and other games as well)--I am a HUGE fan of "Diplomacy"; although its so cutthroat some of my friends balk at it. However we had one game of A & A last all of 3 hrs (our last game without RR!), and so we busted out the "Diplomacy" game and still had a good time.
"Hungry Hungry Hippos" is also a good alternative to A & A
On another note, one of our players had a MAJOR problem w/ not planning his (A & A) turn at all and screwing around till his turn was up--then making up for the time by studying the board for up to 20 MINUTES before buying! We instituted a 10-minute turn and kept time. 10 minutes was too short, so we bumped it up to 15--which was too long. So we settled on 12 minutes and it works out pretty good. Of course, conferencing doesn't count (though it must be in between turns) and we are pretty loose about the stricture, but it works OK to move folks along & get them to plan their purchases & (especially) stay focused on the game.