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The U.S. Civil War» Forums » Rules

Subject: Fall 2016 Rules Update -- Summary of Official Changes rss

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Jim Dauphinais
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On Consimworld, Mark Simonitch has posted a summary of the official changes to the game that will be included in the Fall 2016 Rules Update. That summary can be accessed from this link:

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?233@@.1ddabee3!enclosure=.1...


As I noted on Consimworld:


The summary file is a stopgap measure that, in conjunction with the 3-3-2016 Living Rules and April 2016 Errata file, will allow you to play the game as it will be under the Fall 2016 Rules Update.


The 3-3-16 Living Rules can be obtained from:

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?233@@.1ddabee3!enclosure=.1...


The 3-3-16 Living Rules Player Aid Card can be obtained from:

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?233@@.1ddabee3!enclosure=.1...


The April 20156 Errata File can be obtained from:

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?233@@.1ddabee3!enclosure=.1...


For those of you who find this stopgap approach too awkward, Mark and I will be working on the Fall 2016 Rules Update over the coming month and hope to have it out by early December. Also, to differentiate the Fall 2016 changes from the 3-3-2016 changes, we will use green text in the Fall 2016 Rules Update for all changes from the 3-3-2016 Living Rules. We will also retain the blue text that identifies the 3-3-2016 changes from the published rulebook.

I ask that everyone carefully read the summary completely through twice before asking any questions.

If you think something rumored or mentioned in the past is missing, the answer is that it was discarded based on the results of our playtesting over the past six months. For example, in the end, nothing at all was changed with respect to the attrition rules.

Some will believe we changed too little and others that we changed too much. I ask that all of you be patient with each other and recognize that we are not all going to have the same opinion with respect whether the changes are too little, just right or too much. However, I can tell you that the changes in the summary have the full support of the playtesters, Mark and myself. I ask you to try a few games using them before you come to a complete judgment on them.

Also, note that the changes are not being presented as proposed changes. They are final. Debate and convergence on these changes took place in the playtester forum. That process was open to anyone who committed to play at least one playtest game. This said, you are certainly welcome to comment on the changes. Moreover, if someone identifies a rules issue that Mark, the playtesters and I missed with respect to any of the changes, we certainly want to know about it.

I hope all of you ultimately find that these changes significantly improve the game by addressing a number of the issues that were identified by the extensive play of the game that took place after it was published. It is our intention that this will be the final word with respect to the rules for some time with the exception of the possible need to cleanup any errata that may currently remain undiscovered.

Finally, I would like to thank the playtesters for all of their contributions with respect to the development of the changes and Mark for his patience and support throughout the process.


Jim Dauphinais

Developer of The U.S. Civil War
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Holman
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Thank you for all your work on this!
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Rob F
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Thanks Jim,

Having only recently got TUSCW I was aware that there was a lively discussion over on Consim about the changes but for the life of me I couldn't find out what they were.
 
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Randy C
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Thanks, I have been waiting for the changes!

My attitude on rules changes is:

Bad games rarely get played and almost no questions are asked.
Good games get played, questions are asked, and errata may be issued.
Great games are played alot, many questions are asked, and the game is continuously improved.

when considering a new game, I look at rules question not the BGG rankings.
The more rules questions there are, the better the game!
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Barry Miller
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Jim,

Thank you very much for posting this! And I'm saying that with not having even played the game yet (though it eagerly sits on my shelf). Just that you would come here and share with us is great to see, is all.

But that also makes me wonder why Mark didn't post the summary here on BGG as well as at ConSimWorld? It's my impression that CSW and BGG form the top two sites for wargamers.

jimdauphinais wrote:
Also, to differentiate the Fall 2016 changes from the 3-3-2016 changes, we will use green text in the Fall 2016 Rules Update for all changes from the 3-3-2016 Living Rules.

Finally, for those of us who haven't yet played with the current set of rules, and thusly wouldn't know the difference between the old and new text, have you considered releasing a version that doesn't differentiate?

While the use of the green text would be extremely helpful for veteran players, it's just the opposite for all new players - now and in the future. A version of the new rulebook where all the text is printed in the same color would be less distracting and cleaner for the new guys.

Thx!

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Jim Dauphinais
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Assuming Mark can do it with little effort, I'll see if he can post a clean version (non-color coded version except for differentiating the Basic Game text that only applies to the Advanced Game) as well as the color codded version.

The challenge with multiple forums is that many of us do not have the time to follow them all. As a result, a favorite forum often has to be chosen. In my own case, while I like BGG, I am principally a CSW guy. I try to get over here when I can, but it is not as often as on CSW. Fortunately, there are others that have been quite a bit of help over here -- most especially David DesJardins. I believe Mark Simonitch very rarely gets over to BGG. Regardless, the links above directly go to the files.
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Barry Miller
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Jim,

Thank you very much, and I appreciate what you're saying about having time to visit only one forum. I'm exactly the same. But because I "found" BGG first, is why I hang out on BGG rather than CSW.

It's all good!

 
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Devin McCane
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Jim,

Love the rule changes, one question though. Can you provide additional fidelity on the rule clarification "A LOC can only connect to a Navigable Waterway through a friendly port or SP"?

Am I correct in interpreting that change to mean it pretty much eliminates using hexes with friendly-controlled navigable rivers as direct sources of supply? (i.e. using hex 1948 containing the Potomac as a direct LOC for Union. Now the Union player would either have to have 1 SP stationed in that hex or capture the ocean port city of Aquia Station and use it as the LOC source?)
 
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Jim Dauphinais
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dm1985 wrote:
Jim,

Love the rule changes, one question though. Can you provide additional fidelity on the rule clarification "A LOC can only connect to a Navigable Waterway through a friendly port or SP"?

Am I correct in interpreting that change to mean it pretty much eliminates using hexes with friendly-controlled navigable rivers as direct sources of supply? (i.e. using hex 1948 containing the Potomac as a direct LOC for Union. Now the Union player would either have to have 1 SP stationed in that hex or capture the ocean port city of Aquia Station and use it as the LOC source?)


The clarification not related to the rules for River Supply. It only affects a LoC that is transitioning from a Navigable Waterway to land (and continuing beyond the initial land hex).

The new clarification is saying that a LoC can only transition from a Navigable Waterway to land through a Depot that is a either a port or a SP.
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Kevin Grey
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While we are talking about rules updates I want to propose a change to the setup for the 1861 scenario and the campaign game. The current set up card has McClellan setting up in Pittsburg. The Official Records show him stationed in Cincinnati commanding the Ohio state troops. His invasion of West Virginia started by rail form Cincinnati to Parkersburg, not south form Pittsburg. A small detail but in a game this accurate it seems worth addressing. Comments?
 
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john f stup
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i have played some of the early turns solo with the new additions and the union is having a rough time of it. i am wondering if the new rules might shift the balance to much in favor of the south. and this is without much use of navy rules yet(basic rules). i would like to hear what others are saying and thinking that are playing with the new fall additions.
 
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Rich James
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There was a lot of playtesting by experienced players with these new rules, so it is unlikely to have balance issues between competent opponents. I haven't tried them myself yet. Perhaps describe in more detail the issues you see the North are now having to get some specific feedback.
 
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john f stup
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thanks for your response. first of all i like the idea of the fall rules because i thought the game was unbalanced in favor of the north before these new additions and we weren't convinced of the historical correctness of union making lots of landings easily behind enemy lines(although the south could sometimes make it close).
now i only played 6 turns on the board map and the north only got 8 VP's of the 15 listed on the turn and the south has 1 also making a net 7 VP's.
i have also soloed some on vassal but haven't got very far in learning how to use the engine. and the 6 turn game i only drew 1 navy card which didn't help matters. so i would like some input from those that have played further in the game(not necessarily play testers). it seems that the play testers should have found this problem earlier but maybe they were just concentrating more on getting the rules right. so i do value their input in that the present ones were most likely working on the balance issues.
so as you can see that my question is based on limited play.
 
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Jim Dauphinais
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nhojput wrote:
thanks for your response. first of all i like the idea of the fall rules because i thought the game was unbalanced in favor of the north before these new additions and we weren't convinced of the historical correctness of union making lots of landings easily behind enemy lines(although the south could sometimes make it close).
now i only played 6 turns on the board map and the north only got 8 VP's of the 15 listed on the turn and the south has 1 also making a net 7 VP's.
i have also soloed some on vassal but haven't got very far in learning how to use the engine. and the 6 turn game i only drew 1 navy card which didn't help matters. so i would like some input from those that have played further in the game(not necessarily play testers). it seems that the play testers should have found this problem earlier but maybe they were just concentrating more on getting the rules right. so i do value their input in that the present ones were most likely working on the balance issues.
so as you can see that my question is based on limited play.


John -- What you described is within the bounds of many games I have seen during playtesting. In some games the Union will have hard time, in others they will not. It depends on luck, your experience and the experience of your opponent. Also, note that because things were previously so soft for the Union, many Union players have not fully thought through what the Union player can do. Moreover, some Union players are too impatient and as a result can get trashed pretty badly by the Confederate player when they make an impatient mistake during 1861 and 1862. This is a deep game and the outcomes can vary quite a bit from game to game. Play balance cannot be judged from a few isolated playings of the game.
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Jim Dauphinais
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kcsl3 wrote:
While we are talking about rules updates I want to propose a change to the setup for the 1861 scenario and the campaign game. The current set up card has McClellan setting up in Pittsburg. The Official Records show him stationed in Cincinnati commanding the Ohio state troops. His invasion of West Virginia started by rail form Cincinnati to Parkersburg, not south form Pittsburg. A small detail but in a game this accurate it seems worth addressing. Comments?


This was discussed and changes of this nature were decided against by the designer at this time. He wants to do some additional research prior to tinkering with the situation in the general vicinity of West Virginia. However, if and when there is a 2nd Edition, the designer intends to revisit the early situation in West Virginia and the neighboring area.
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Grant Linneberg
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That's exactly what I'm hoping. In our early plays the Union was walking over the CSA. Like the OP, my original thought was the rule changes looked like they might have tipped things too far. But the more I look at it the more I think Jim has it exactly right (at least I'm hoping so). This should really curtail the Union from a knockout blow early on. I'm interested to see how it works out for a patient union player.
 
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Jim Dauphinais
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I'll add that we want to give the game a good couple of years with no further changes to the rules. If after that time, there are still some lingering issues that warrant addressing, they will likely be addressed at that time.
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