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User Rating Comment Status
Andy Swingle
United States
Groveport
Ohio
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10
Oct 2003*
Owned
Roderick Chapman
England
Birmingham
West Midlands
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10
Jul 2008*
Want To Buy
mickey whitney
United States
McDavid
Florida
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10
Jul 2008*
Owned
Matthew Looby
United States
Wadhams
New York
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10
Aug 2013
Update: 3.0 I love it. Replicates accurately ACW Command and Control. No more Static WWI trench warfare across the map.


This is the Magnum Opus of CG. If I had to settle with ONE war game in my collection, it would be Bobby Lee.

As a note to gamers, I play exclusively with the original 1993 rules-set and the clarifications from the 1994 errata. I do not and never will play the later rule-sets.

If you wish to have a copy of the 1993 Rules,etc.,please PM.
2014-04-04
Owned
Want To Play
Matthew Looby
United States
Wadhams
New York
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10
Aug 2013
Owned
Want To Play
Roger Masters
United States
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10
Mar 2014
Owned
I McCluskey
United States
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10
May 2014
Owned
mario p.
Italy
Venice - Treviso
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9.5
May 2014
Owned
Jerry Taylor
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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9
Jul 2003*
This game is my nominee for the most under-appreciated and under-rated game in all of Boardgame Geekdom! Allow me to respond to the common criticisms. Criticism no. 1 - the game is static and reflects the feel of WWI trench warfare, not the Civil War. Well, it is if you play it that way but not only don't you have to, it's unwise to if you want to maximize your chances for victory. The Union has four avenues of attack available to him - the Shenandoah Valley, the Piedmont, the Penninsula, and Norfolk. Inexperienced players usually just mass the blue blocks in the center, eye the Piedmont, and opt for "hey-diddle-diddle, straight-down-the-middle." The Rebel player says, fine, let's party - and the Union hits a wall. Well folks, there a reason that none of the Union commanders had the guts to try this. And it wouldn't have worked for Grant earlier in the war were he on the scene either. If the Union forces the Reb to spread out by threatenging two or three fronts, he can thin the lines enought to break through into Virginia somewhere if he plays his cards right - or even tempt the Confederate into an offensive north that's more a trap than an opportunity. In fact, I've had as much dramatic give-and-take in this game as I've had in "EastFront"! Miracle come-backs and wild swings of fortune are more than occaissional happenstances. Criticism no. 2 - Bobby Lee ignores too much about the campaigns in Virginia like the trench warfare around Petersberg. Well, consider it abstracted into the battleboard system (which works wonderfully in this game, by the way, and poses fascinating tactical quandries). But look, if you want a soup-to-nuts simulation, there are indeed games that will do that better than Bobby Lee. But if you want a game that focuses on the big picture and is more concerned with putting you in the commanders' shoes, this game can't be beat. I suspect that this is a tough game to "master" for many and few give it the time necessary to discover all the richness that can be initially overlooked in a first playing.
2003-07-03*
Owned
Jens Hoppe
Denmark
Frederiksberg
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What are you, like 80?
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It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.
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9
Jul 2004*
The Eastern theater of the American Civil War. The best block game I've played. Has been described by some as "static" and "World War I-like", but I can only say I disagree: In my experience, while the game can certainly degenerate into a static slugmatch, it only does so if that's the players' mindset. If one wants to try daring outflanking maneuvers, cavalry raids and such, the game definitely allows it. Also, the game doesn't use named leaders, which allows it to avoid the pitfall usually seen in strategic ACW games, where players practice rules laywering by hiding bad leaders far from the front.
2004-07-06*
Owned
Nicholas Barker
United Kingdom
London
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9
Nov 2004*
A very enjoyable and tense game which provides an excellent and historical feel for the eastern theatre of the ACW. Unlike most other games on the subject you cannot use gamey ploys to manipulate your leaders - because there aren't any! Two minor weaknesses: long-range cavalry raids are too easy to carry out, and in the late game the US artillery is too powerful. House rules can easily fix both points.
2004-11-22*
Owned
Robert Patton
United States
Manassas
Virginia
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9
Nov 2005*
I am a big fan of Columbia Block Games, Civil War games and General Robert E. Lee ... so my rating of 9 reflects these preferences. However, you will not be disappointed with this game. Not sure if is still for sale from the Columbia Games website, but you might find a copy on eBay ...
2005-11-13*
Owned
Francis K. Lalumiere
Canada
Brossard
Quebec
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9
Dec 2006*
Upgraded this one to a 9 after more plays. Definitely one of my favorite wargames.
2006-12-19*
Owned
Elijah Lau
Singapore
Singapore
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9
Sep 2007*
This game, together with its sister game Sam Grant, gives a broad brush stroke coverage to the Civil War. I like it because it's considerably less fiddly than For The People, and still gives a strong sense of the challenges both sides faced during the war. Creative thinking is needed here to prevent getting bogged down in a slugfest, so novices may become frustrated with the game.
2007-09-08*
Pete Gelman
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Mysterious Matters of Max Metters / Moonifest Destiny
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Island of the Moths
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9
Mar 2015
3rd Edition: picked up Kickstarter Edition Feb 2014. Fantastic mounted (hard board) map, large hexes, good looking counters, and revised, shortened rules. 2 plays, excellent! Knocking my socks off. Love the many streamlined chrome nuances, easy playability and the right amount of simulation. Lots of tough choices, consequences, maneuver, plot development on a fantastic map. The tactical battles system is also a win. Columbia Games, good job. Please update Sam Grant this way!
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2nd Edition: 1 learning game (campaign), 2nd edition. Took 5 hrs with learning, wine, and philosophical chatting. Wow, the geography is such an interesting, exasperating factor here. Managing it seems vital in almost every decision. (Union Commander D. says, "Stupid mountains, so obnoxious! and later, "Stupid River!") You can't do everything, yet you must! I lived in Virgina but I had no idea that this was the situation. Good map here. I feel like now I'm understanding the Civil War a lot better than before. (To save time, we used Niko Ruf's application of Columbia Games A-B-C style block battles - we thought it worked well - http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/344385). I imagine the game could benefit from dummy blocks a la Quebec for greater FOW. I miss the use of ACW cavalry for screening & scouting (I'm not an expert but Across the Potomac is the only ACW game I know of that does that well. Now that I think about it I think Forged in Fire handles cav better, although the scale is different.)
2015-03-01
Owned
Want To Play
Jim Taylor
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9
Sep 2007*
Owned
Niko Ruf
Germany
Kaiserslautern
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9
Nov 2007*
Playing a single year is unsatisfactory, since it is quite possible that the fronts will hardly move. Playing through the entire war takes rather long, so I haven't played this as often as I'd like. My rating may well go up if I get more games under my belt. So far, there are some rules issues/effects I am not sure I like.

Update: Rating raised from 6 to 7 after some solo play. The game feels less static once you learn to navigate the map. My only problem now is play length.

Update: Since I started playing this by email, I've come to fully appreciate this game. It takes a bit of study to play this game well - try a campaign game solitaire and try out what works and which strategy is bound to fail disastrously. Very tense, and you never have enough resources to do everything you might want, not even as the Union. Rating raised to 9.
2007-11-24*
Owned
D S
Germany
Senftenberg
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9
Dec 2008*
Owned
Sakamichi Yokoshima
Japan
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9
Jun 2015
Owned
Want To Play
john f stup
United States
damascus
Maryland
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9
Nov 2010
DRAGOON LEADER
Japan
TOKYO
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9
Feb 2015
Owned
Jean Gagnier
Canada
Montréal
Québec
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9
May 2013
Acquired 2011-04-30

Severely house ruled, but a ton of fun.
2011-07-12
Owned
Michael Inkmann
United States
Mundelein
Illinois
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9
Apr 2015
The most fun and interactive reality based war game I have ever played. I love the battles, the rolls for reinforcements, the bids for who goes first, the blocks with fog of war rather than chits. This game is awesome!
2013-03-07
Owned
Want To Play
Bryan Beecher
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
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9
Jan 2013
Owned
Jason Koskey
United States
Kahului
Hawaii
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9
Feb 2014
Kickstarter
2014-02-24
Owned
luke mccredie
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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9
Sep 2014
Owned
André van Gils
Belgium
Lint
Antwerpen
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8.5
Apr 2004*
Owned
Rich K
United States
St. Petersburg
Florida
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8.5
Dec 2004*
Good "lighter" civil war game. Relatively easy to learn, and it took a couple of plays to get the rules down to the point where the game flows nicely. It usually takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours per game year. It does highlight the difficulties of the Civil War each side faced (North had manpower, but poor leadership and difficulites keeping campigning armies in supply, while the South had good to great leadership, only had to defend to win, but had a serious manpower shortage), while keeping the rules limited with no complicated charts and tables.
2004-12-29*
Owned
Jocke Persson
Sweden
Stockholm
Unspecified
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8.5
Sep 2005*
Owned
Harmonica
Netherlands
Tilburg
Noord-Brabant
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8.5
Jun 2006*
In contrary to many others I like this one more than the Front blockgames. Although there is not much back and forth manoeuvring in Bobby Lee as in reality and although leaders are - shame, shame, shame - not included, like in Gettysburg: Badges of Courage, I do like BL very much for its good atmosphere. There are plenty of strategic options, a good tactical system, a little bluffing and - as in all block games - lucky dice. I hope Columbia Games will take the effort to modernize this still enjoyable game.

Play with the latest version of the rules. They have improved the game a lot.
2006-06-10*
Owned
Martijn vR
Netherlands
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8.5
Oct 2008*
Owned
Damian Eastwell
United States
greensboro
North Carolina
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8.5
Jan 2010*
Block game covering the Eastern Campaigns of the ACW
2008-02-20*
Owned
For Trade
Jan van der Laan
Netherlands
Leeuwarden
Friesland
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8.5
Nov 2007*
Excellent blockgame! Easy to understand, hard to play. Very nice gameparts.
2007-11-13*
Owned
Paul Denhup
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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8.5
Dec 2010
Enjoy this block war-game. Between two players that know their Civil War history a tense and exciting game is bound to ensue. Quick to set up and play; one of the better "light" Civil War games out there that presents and plays very well. Have version 2.0
2010-12-16
Owned
Simon Sammut
Australia
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8.5
May 2013
Owned
Ronald Carlson
United States
Austin
Washington, California, Oregon, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Colorado, Nevada, Hawaii, etc. :-)
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8.5
May 2015
Owned
Want In Trade
Want To Buy
Want To Play
Chris Craft
United States
Bellevue
Washington
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8
Feb 2002*
Owned
Lasse Marsy
Finland
Oulu
Oulu
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8
Jul 2003*
Owned
Simmy Peerutin
United Kingdom
London
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8
Dec 2003*
Owned
Stephen Oliver
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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8
Jul 2004*
Owned
Robert Schelchshorn
Germany
Schlüsselfeld
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8
Oct 2004*
Owned
Chris Orszak
United States
Windsor Locks
Connecticut
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8
Nov 2012
Owned
John Hooper
United States
Dickerson
Maryland
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8
Jan 2009*
An excellent "block" game covering the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. The blocks with their hidden strengths impart "fog of war" using a very simple mechanism. High excitement factor, with cool battle mechanics reminiscent of combat from that time period. Very flavorful. Some complain it is too static, but this appears to be playing style not a limitation of the game system, as I've always seen lots of movement vs. various opponents. Dixie card game can be used to resolve battles with even more detail and flavor.
2007-05-01*
Owned
For Trade
Andrew Jaster
Canada
Aldergrove
BC
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8
Sep 2005*
Owned
Taco van Vliet
Netherlands
Zoetermeer
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Empty
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What are you looking at?
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8
Jan 2006*
Complicated but rewarding
2006-01-09*
Owned
Robert Crawford
United States
Chester
New Hampshire
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8
Jan 2006*
Also enjoy Sam Grant. The block system adds tension to all decisions.
2006-01-31*
Owned
JR Dundas
Canada
Unspecified
Unspecified
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8
Feb 2006*
Owned
darin haydock
United States
Turlock
California
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8
Feb 2006*
Owned
Morgan Dontanville
United States
Charlottesville
Virginia
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Plate of Shrimp.
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Here we are folks, the dream we all dream of.
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8
Apr 2006*
Boy this is a lovely system. There is so much going on, so that you always have too many things that you need to do and not enough ability to come close to stabilizing yourself. Fortunately both sides feel that way. Sure this is a dice game so there is going to be good or bad luck, but the movement and field combat is so much fun that it doesn't really matter. Easily the best block game that I've played. My rating could go up with more plays.

I suggest marking the passes and the river transitions with settler's roads or something just to make things clearer. This also could use a battle token to place on the board to indicate where the battle is taking place.
2006-04-20*
Michael Pritchard
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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8
May 2006*
Owned

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