First in the series is one the first "real" wargames (in contrast to Risk or army men on the floor) I ever played - Afrika Korps by the much-lamented Avalon Hill.
My father was a closet wargamer. By that I mean I never saw him play with other people, but he had a small stack of Avalon Hill wargames stacked on the bookshelf (along with a copy of Wargame Campaigns!). I was probably around 10 or so when I got him to teach me how to play. We battled over the fields of Waterloo and Gettysburg (he also had Blitzkrieg but we never tried it). My favorite at the time, however, was Afrika Korps.
Being one of the early Avalon Hill games, the mechanics were quite simple. The counters represented military units and each has a movement factor and strength factor listed on it. Combat was a simple affair of adding up the strengths of the units involved, determining the odds, and rolling on a results chart. Simple stuff that even a 10-year-old could grasp.
Perusing on boardgamegeek, I noticed some complaints about balance and that was certainly my experience (the allies always won, but that could have been the result of my poor generalship). I always played the Germans and I was determined to break through to Alexandria. I would race my troops along the coastal road as rapidly as possible, but I kept getting stymied by Tobruk. Again and again, my attack would grind to a halt there. I think I may have taken it once, but I never got to Alexandria.
Germans start on the left and have to take Alexandria on the right.