This grew out of the favourite boardgame topic.
In the UK we have a radio programme where well-known people are asked to nominate the 10 pieces of music they would take to a desert island to sustain their spirits while they wait for possible rescue.
So this thread is to nominate your top 10 favourite wargames. To open it up we'll assume no baggage restriction so you can take any boardgame or figures game (including armies, terrain and stuff) you like. A group of friendly natives will provide opponents.
There is no ranking, just pick your 10 favourite games. The point is to explain your choices. Here are mine:
Space Hulk 1st edition (GW)
Well I think we all know this one.
Intense "Aliens" style tactical action. Simple to learn but with a lot of depth in the playing. Can easily be expanded to enormous, all-day campaigns or play a scenario in 10 minutes.
Kingmaker (Gibson Games)
15th century strategy as you attempt to get your pawn crowned the next king of England.
Marvellous historical atmosphere with very colourful pieces and can be played equally well with a varied number of players. Open to winning by different strategies of diplomacy, combat and enough luck to always give the underdog a chance.
Civilisation (Avalon Hill)
Great sense of history and human development
Another fabulous multi-player title with a lot of depth, allowing for a win through trade, development and/or combat.
Wargames Research Group Ancients 7th edition
Battles with up to 300 figures a side and the whole of ancient warfare from 3000bc to 1500ad is at your disposal.
Flawed masterpiece of transition from the hugely successful 6th edition to the simpler, faster playing style of DBM. Great for large scale battles that feel like battles. Enormous variety of unit types and playing styles.
Up Front (Avalon Hill)
This semi-abstract card game puts you in charge of a squad of 10-15 WW2 soldiers. You can only move if you have a move card, and so on.
It makes a surprisingly good demonstration of the effects of "fog of war". The rules are initially counter-intuitive nonsense to a traditional player but produce a convincing recreation of squad level infantry combat, and a good flavour of the differences between the fighting nations (Germany, US, Russia, UK, Japan.) Combine up to three sets for multi-player battles. Great artwork on the playing equipment.
Stars and Bars 3rd edition (ACW rules by Scott Bowden)
Combines excellent tactical combat rules with an effective grand tactical manoeuvring system and emphasises the necessity for clear and effective command of your army.
One of my favourite historical periods when Napoleonic style manoeuvring was combined with an anticipation of the horrors of the Great War. Can be played on tactical or strategic levels and allows for a good variety of scenarios, units, weapons and uniforms depending on the period of the war.
Junta (West End Games)
Live it up as one of the leading families in a South American banana republic. Grab the biggest chunk of the international development assistance budget.
Combining diplomacy and sheer sneakery with the amusing tactical events of coups, this game offers a diverting evening if you're ready for a cynical laugh.
Elric (Avalon Hill, previously by Chaosium)
Fantasy strategy game set in the Stormbringer universe created by Michael Moorcock.
I wavered between this and Titan, both excellent games of the type where you roam the land collecting together an army. I plumped for Elric because I so enjoy the depiction of Michael Moorcock's classic fantasy cycle.
Illuminati (Steve Jackson Games)
Control one of the secret societies that vies to rule the world from behind the scenes of normal life.
Superb easy-playing card game combing diplomacy, treachery and force. Also very funny.
OGRE, GEV and Shockwave (SJG)
Science Fiction company level armoured combat.
One of the best pure tactical game series ever designed. Simple rules and inspired unit design combine to produce infinite complexity in the deplyoment of forces.